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Rakhtamoksha Therapy And Its Benefits

Rakhtamoksha is a very distinct Ayurvedic therapy that requires proper guidance from a highly trained and skillful Ayurvedic practitioner

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Ayurvedic panchakarma procedures mainly focus on eliminating the vitiated doshas from the body. These procedures were developed thousands of years ago, and still hold an important place in ayurvedic treatment. 

Raktamoksha, commonly known as bloodletting is a treatment used in Ayurveda. It is one of the five toxin-eliminating treatments that collectively comprise panchakarma. Rakhtamoksha is regarded as the most significant treatment in panchakarma. It is used to treat skin disease, herpes, jaundice, abscesses, acne, eczema, scabies, ulcers, gout, enlarged liver, among other ailments. It purifies the blood by letting out vitiated blood from the body. This process of blood detoxification is derived from two words ‘Rakht’ which means blood and ‘Moksha’ which means leave. Thus, the word ‘Rakhtamoksha’ implies letting the blood out. 

There are two categories of Rakhtamoksha therapy, these have been explained below:

Shastra Visravana:

This method uses metallic instruments to carry out the procedure. Shastra Visravana is further divided into two types, Pracchana and Sira vedhana. Pracchana involves letting blood pass through several incisions in the skin, while Sira vedhana is the removal of blood by puncturing the skin, also known as venepuncture.

Anushastra Visravana:

This method does not make use of any metallic instrument. It is further divided in three categories, Jalauka vacharana, Alabu, Shrunga vacharana. Jalaukavacharana involves applying leaches to the body. It is used to treat people with ‘Pittha’ dosha. Alabu involves creating vacuum and extracting blood using a vegetable.  It is done for treating ‘Kalpa’ dosha diseases. Shrunga vacharanamakes uses cow’s horns to remove blood from the infected area. It is done for treating Vata disorders.

Rakhtamoksha is prescribed to people suffering from aggravated imbalance between blood, Pitta dosha and high level of toxicity. It also enables better and smooth functioning of heart, liver and other vital organs of our body. 

During Rakhtamoksha or any step of panchakarma therapy, traditional Ayurveda recommends certain lifestyle and diet guidelines.

It is advised to refrain from stressful work, loud noise, strenuous exercise, travelling, exposure to direct sunlight and other such stimulating experiences. It is also recommended keep warm and away from the wind and to observe one’s thoughts during this time.

Certain substances such as sugar, salt, yogurt, caffeine, sour-tasting food and alcohol that are toxic to blood must be avoided. Consumption of light and easy to digest food is recommended during rakhtamoksha therapy. The reason for this diet is that during the cleansing process the digestive fire (agni) takes rest. Also, as toxins move back into the gastrointestinal tract, the power of digestion is further slowed. 

Rakhtamoksha is a very distinct Ayurvedic therapy that requires proper guidance from a highly trained and skillful Ayurvedic practitioner. One should consult with an Ayurvedic physician before proceeding with the therapy. Also, one must bear in mind that, this therapy cannot be performed on people with anasarca, anemia, haemorrhoids and pregnant women. 

Rakhtamoksha is done individually from person to person depending on the disorder and hence it requires close observation and supervision.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


Tags assigned to this article:
ayurveda Rakhtamoksha

Dr Ashwini Konnur

The author is BAMS, YIC, CFN In-house Ayurvedic Consultant, AyurUniverse

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