Rakta Mokshana – therapeutically reducing Pitta Dosha

Rakta Mokshana, as it is called in Ayurvedic texts, can be translated as liberation of the blood, and refers to applications in which blood is extracted to relieve the body, either through bloodletting or by means of leeches. It is one of the five applications traditionally included in Panchakarma, along with Nasya (nasal treatment), Vamana (therapeutic vomiting), Virechana (purging) and Basti (medicinal enema).If you’ve had a Panchakarma cure, you are already familiar with some of these.

In classical Ayurveda, Rakta Mokshana plays an important role, but in Europe it is practiced in only a few clinics. Bloodletting is one of the oldest purifying procedures and is known worldwide among many indigenous peoples. Hippocrates founded the humoral pathology, also called the four-fluid system, around 460 B.C., describing the development of disease based on the body fluids, including the blood. At that time, bloodletting was used especially to remedy inflammations and persistent pain. Bloodletting became more widespread throughout Europe through Hildegard von Bingen, who recommended bloodletting once a year for regular cleansing and stimulation of the organism. From the Middle Ages until the 19th century, this therapeutic procedure was used for numerous diseases and ailments. As modern medicine flourished, bloodletting faded into the background, but with the growing interest in integrative healing methods, it has experienced a renaissance within naturopathy for several years now. In Ayurveda, bloodletting has been a common therapeutic procedure for over 5000 years and is counted among the Shodana therapies, i.e. the procedures for purification and cleansing. The purpose of Rakta Mokshana is to relieve the body by withdrawing blood as a therapeutic measure. Metabolic residues (Ama), which can accumulate in the blood just like in the tissues, are drained out, allowing the organism to regenerate more easily. Withdrawal of blood opens up space for tissue fluid to flow in, thereby changing the qualitative composition of the blood. The flow properties of the blood are improved and at the same time a hematopoietic (blood-forming) stimulus is given to the bone marrow. Another effect is an increase in the number of white blood cells, which play a central role in the immune system. Bloodletting thus removes old blood containing toxins and promotes the formation of new blood and cells. Simultaneously, a stimulus is set in the body tissues to dissolve and release metabolic waste products.

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