Ayurveda has three broad themes of treatment. These are elimination therapies (shodana or Panchakarma), pacification therapies (shamana), and nourishing therapies (bhrimana). Panchakarma includes nasal administration for vata, pitta and kapha, medicated enemas for vata, purgation and blood letting for pitta, and vomiting for kapha. Symptomatic treatment of this type of disease is not effective in bringing a cure. Pacification strategies, or balancing with opposites, include diet, lifestyle, herbs, meditation, yoga, and so on. Nourishing therapies are used when strength or emaciation issues are being treated.
The model of disease development in Ayurveda describes six stages. Knowledge of the symptomotology of each stage for each dosha enables the practitioner to properly diagnose and treat the disease. This knowledge shows how a common cold becoming chronic may become asthma or congestive heart failure; or how multiple sclerosis starts with worry, constipation and the need to control and ends with degenerative changes in challenged nervous tissue. The classification of the western disease scheme manifests in the fourth stage of the development of disease according to Ayurveda. This knowledge enables the Ayurvedic practitioner to prevent the serious diseases indicated in the western classification of disease.