Scott Gerson, M.D., M. Phil (Ayurveda)
This is the abstract of the accepted doctoral thesis submitted to the Graduate Division of Pune University in fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Ayurveda
This study was designed to determine the effects of a 30-day regimen of Panchakarma Chikitsa on the hepatic detoxification capacity and immune status in 147 healthy male and female volunteers. Subjects were randomized to one of two groups in which they received either authentic or sham Panchakarma therapies.
Hepatic detoxification capacity was assessed by means of administering challenge doses of specific substances which are known to be processed in the liver via specific detoxification pathways. Both Phase I (mixed function oxidase cytochrome P-450-dependent functionalization) and Phase II (glutathione conjugations, sulfate conjugations, glycine conjugations, and glucuronide conjugations) were measured before, immediately after therapy, and at sixteen weeks post-therapy follow-up.
Hepatic detoxification capacity was assessed by means of the following measurements:Phase I
Caffeine ClearancePhase II
Acetaminophen mercapturate (glutathione conjugation)
Salicyluric acid (glycine conjugation)
Acetaminophen sulfate (sulfation)
Acetaminophen glucuronide (glucuronidation)
Immune status was assessed by means of the following measurements:B Cell Function:
IgG, IgA, and IgM levelsCell Function:
serum T4 / T8 ratioComplement:
C3 and CH-50 (total hemolytic complement)Phagocyte function:
nitroblue tetrazolium studies
Results indicated that:
(1) Panchakarma up-regulated This study was designed to determine the effects of a 30-day regimen of Panchakarma Chikitsa on the hepatic detoxification capacity and immune status in 147 healthy male and female volunteers. Subjects were randomized to one of two groups in which they received either authentic or sham Panchakarma therapies.
(2) Panchakarma was also shown by preliminary results to up-regulate enzyme-dependent Phase II conjugation processes. The degree of this positive effect on each of the four Phase II pathways was found to be different.
(3) There is also preliminary evidence for increased activity of both nonspecific (i.e.complement, phagocytes) and antigen-specific (antibodies from B-cells, T4/T8 ratios) immune systems.
cytochrome P450-dependent Phase I functionalization processes. Only patients who received Authentic Panchakarma therapies showed an increase in Phase I biotransformations, as measured by salivary caffeine clearance. This effect was absent in patients receiving Swedish Massage therapy ("Sham" Panchkarma).