As Ayurveda has always emphasized the necessity for the elimination of doshas(humor) over the conventional treatment to treat numerous disorders, Aacharya Sushruta has also mentioned prevention of recurrence of various disorders by advocating the para surgical procedures like Agni karma which has emerged as an integral part of the Ayurvedic therapeutics. Acharya Sushruta has mentioned different methods of management of diseases such as bheshaja karma, Shastra karma, Kshara karma and Agnikarma.
While he mentioned yantra and its classification Agni was considered as an upyantra. Agni karma means the application of Agni or heat directly or indirectly to the affected part with the help of different materials to save the patient from a disease or complication. Agnikarma holds a special place in surgery by Sushruta as it is believed that a disease once treated by Agnikarma does not recur and does not get infected easily.
The word Agnikarma is made up of two words i.e., Agni and Karma. Agni, the masculine word derived from the root “agigatau agyati agnayamna prapyanti”. i. e. it gives the rebirth, is utilized to cure and prevent the diseases. Agni is the important one among the pancha mahabhutas.
The Agni, in the form of bhootagni, jatharagni and dhatwagni is the life for the creatures. The procedure that involves the Agni directly or indirectly is considered under Agnikarma. The Agnikarma is also known by different names like Dahanakarma, dahakarma, dagdhakarma, jalanakarma and pachanakarma, finds its role in the vataja and Kaphaja vyadhi involving the dhatu that are predominant with pruthvi and ap mahabhutha. Mere utilization of Agnikarma, which is counted in anushastra, upayantra and shashti upakrama, provides Shalyatantra the unique position among the eight faculties of Ayurveda.
Agnikarma can be utilized – As a preventive measure, as the curative measure, as a postoperative procedure, and as a hemostatic measure.
Dr. Mridul Mohan,
Assistant Professor, Department of Salyatantra,
Muniyal Institute of Ayurveda Medical Sciences, Manipal