Improvement in Cardiovascular Risk Factors Through Panchakarma Purification Procedures

The Journal of Research and Education in Indian Medicine, Vol. 12, No. 4, pp. 3-13, 1993.

Hari M. Sharma,* Sanford I. Nidich,** David Sands, and D. Edwards Smith.

Conducted at
**Department of Pathology, College of Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
**Department of Science of Creative Intelligence and Laboratory for Preventive Medicine, Department of Physiological and Biological Sciences, Maharishi International University, Fairfield, IA


Maharishi Ayurvedaa uses Maharishi Panchakarma§ (PK) for eliminating impurities, purifying and balancing the physiology, and clearing the channels. PK consists of oleation (use of clarified butter), virechana (purgation), abhyanga (medicated whole-body massage), shirodhara (flow of medicated oil on forehead), swedena (herbalized fomentation), nasya (nasal administration of herbs), and basti (herbalized enemas). PKwas given for 3-5 days to 31 subjects (15 male and 16 female), with a mean age of 40.6 years. Fasting blood samples were tested for biochemical parameters before (visits A and B), during (visit C), 1 week following (visit D), and 2.9 months following (visit E) PK. Vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP), a coronary vasodilator, rose a significant 80% by 2.9 months after PK. Total cholesterol fell acutely in all subjects and HDL cholesterol rose 7.5% (p=0.015) after 2.9 months if original values were <15 mg/dL. Lipid peroxide, a measure of free radical damage, rose during PK, then fell to lower levels at 2.9 months. Pulse and diastolic blood pressure were reduced after PK. State anxiety measures improved significantly. These results indicate that PK is useful in improving cardiovascular risk factors.

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