Raktamokshana – Therapeutic Withdrawal of Blood
The father of Ayurvedic internal medicine Charaka, describes the five actions (karmas) of Panchakarma as Vamana (emesis), Nasya (administrating medicine through the nasal passages), Virechana (purging) and two types of Basti (cleansing and nourishing enema). See Vamana, Virechana and Basti therapy.
After Charaka, another great Ayurvedic scientist Sushruta combined the two types of basti into one category and added raktamokshana – the therapeutic withdrawal of blood from the body – as the fifth major procedure used in Panchakarma therapy.
In Ayurveda the blood is said to be carrier of ayu, or life, so its condition directly influences the four parts of life: soul (atma), mind (manas), senses (indriyas) and body (sharira). Good blood, free from toxins and waste products, sustains life and helps maintain the physiological balance necessary for health.
Although Raktamokshana is the most limited of the five major procedures, it provides a rapid and sometimes dramatic reduction of symptoms in certain acute disorders, especially where time is a critical factor. When toxins appear due to excess Pitta, they concentrate in the blood. In situations, when Pitta symptoms must be reduced quickly and there is no time for Purvakarma (preparation for Panchakarma) and Panchakarma procedures, acute symptoms can be relived within hours by simply removing a small amount of toxic blood from the affected area. After that the patient can be put on a Panchakarma regiment.
Raktamokshana successfully treats blood-related diseases: chronic itching, eczema, urticaria, rashes, leukoderma, enlarged liver or spleen, gout and some types of headache and hypertension.
Administration of Raktamokshana:
Small amount of blood is withdrawn intravenously using a sterile syringe. After approximately one hour the patient can get up and leave.
When blood withdrawal is contraindicated but the blood needs to be cleansed, specific herbs are used to purify the blood.
Raktamokshana as part of Panchakarma is a special, powerful procedure requiring guidance from a properly trained medical staff. It is performed individually for each person with his or her constitution and medical condition in mind and requires close observation at every stage. I wouldn’t go to someone with a modest amount of Ayurvedic training for this procedure. Talk to the doctors and patients and check reviews and recomendations.