Excretion of vitiated tridosa (air, fire, and water), malas (excreta, through the mouth is known as emetic (vamana) therapy. In this process, vomiting is induced. In ayurveda, the alimentary canal’s (maha-shrotas) chief dosas are the stomach (amasaya), the small intestine (pachyamanashaya), and the colon (pakawashaya) for water (kapha), fire (pitta), and air (vata), respectively. Hence, the nearest natural physiological modes for their expulsion or elimination are respectively emetic, purgative, and enema.
According to ayurveda, an emetic drug is a substance that is hot, sharp, spreading, and penetrative; hence, an emetic collects the kapha dosa (vitiated water) from the stomach and the paragastric region and expels it through the mouth by the process of antiperistalsis.
Antiperistalsis means the expelling movement of the intestine.
The following diseases are amenable to emetic measures:
poisoning, indigestion, fever, diarrhea, chronic adenitis, elephantiasis, obesity, asthma, chronic cough, cold, nausea, polyuria; ear, nose and throat complaints.
The following conditions are contraindicated to emtics:
pregnancy, use on delicate and weak persons, malnutrition, hyperacidity, exhaustion, infancy, old age.
Drugs used for Ayurvedic emetic therapy are:
- Madluka – decoction of Glycyrrhia glabera linn (climbing lily).
- Sadapuspa – Calotropis gigantea r. (swallow wart).
- Tagara – Valeriana wallichi (East India rosebay; Nero’s crown ).
- Pitali – Piper longum linn (long pepper ).
- Sringavera – Zingeber officianale (ginger).
- Water mixed with milk, alkali preparations, and salt