ayurharshaRaktamokshana (Blood Purification)

It is procedure that is carried out for purification, cleansing of deep seated blood toxins and is advised only in extremely rare conditions.

Procedure of Raktamokshana :

The procedure is divided into 3 parts:

1.Purva karma (pre operative procedure): In the preoperative procedure. Snehana (oleation) internal and external, swedana(hot fomentation with steam to whole body).

2.Pradhan Karma(operative procedure)
a) By using jalauka(leeach)The patient is made to lie on bed comfortably. The leach is applied over the affected part. The leech starts to suck blood when its mouth becomes raised and appears like horses hoof. If the leech does not suck blood a drop of milk is put at the spot or a small prick with sterilized needle is taken. A wet cotton is kept over the body of leech to keep it moist and alive. The leech leaves the spot after a while or is deliberately removed when the patient experiences pricking pain at the site. (This pain indicates that the Leach is sucking pure blood)
b) siravedha (venous puncture) The patient is asked to lie comfortably over a bed. The air cuff of sphygmomanometer is tied over the bicep muscle of hand. The patient is asked to clench his fist tightly. The cuff is inflated and the desired vein(medial cubital is preferred) is punctured with a sterilized scalp vein(butterfly) needle. Cuff is removed and the blood is collected in a kidney tray. When the sufficient quantity of blood is drawn the needle is withdrawn and patient is asked to loosen his fist. A cotton swab is pressed over the wound.

3.Paschat karma (post operative procedure)If bleeding continues from the diseased site fine powders of lodhra (Symplocos racemosa), yastimadhu(Glycyrrhiza glabra),raktachandana (Pterocarpus Santalinus)etc. are applied. The area is covered is wet cloth or a thin paste of cooling dravya like chandan is applied. The patient is advice to take rest and can be given light diet or milk later in the evening. Rice flour is applied to whole body of jalauka and little siandhava lavana (rock salt) and oil is applied to its mouth. And it is squeezed gently from tail to mouth in order to remove the sucked blood. Now jalauka is immersed in water and can be used after a span of seven days.

How Does Raktamokshana Work :

The patient undergoing Raktamokshana should be asked to sit or lay down. Then the medically eligible leech should be applied to the diseased spot. If the leech does not start sucking blood then a drop of blood should be kept over the affected part and the leech will start sucking the blood. If at the biting site needling pain and itching appear it indicates that the leech is sucking pure blood and is suddenly removed by pouring rock salt at its mouth. As soon as the leech is removed it should be dipped in dilute saline water, turmeric water and plain water one after the other. By this process the leech vomits out the blood immediately. Once used the leech is not fit to be used again for at least seven days.

Benefits of Raktamokshana :
  • Chronic eczema, Gout
  • Enlargement of spleen and liver
  • Jaundice