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Enema syringe, India, 1831-1870

Enemas (vasthi) are one of five treatments making up panchakarma therapy. This is used in Ayurvedic medicine to cleanse or purge the body. The remaining four are vomiting, purging using laxatives, blood letting and cleansing the nostrils. A combination of herbs is inhaled, injected or eaten to produce the desired effects. Some treatments combine treatment and purging in several enemas. Enemas are also used to apply treatments inside the body.

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Glossary: enema syringe

A syringe for adminstering enemas

Glossary: Ayurveda

An Indian medical tradition. Literally translated it means ‘Life Science’ and promotes mental and physical health through balancing biological elements. Ayurveda focuses on exercise, massage, yoga and meditation.