Raktamoksha is a technical word comprising Rakta (blood) and Moksha (to expel), which means the process in which the vitiated blood is expelled out of the body. In general we translate Raktamokshana as bloodletting. It is withdrawal of blood to cure or prevent an illness.
There are various methods to conduct Raktamokshana. They are- Siravedha (venipuncture), Prachhana (bloodletting by pricking), Jalauka avacharana (application of leeches), Shringa avacharana (bloodletting using horn) and Alabu avacharana (bloodletting using bottle gourd). Now modified modern equipments are being used as an alternate to Shringa and Alabu.
The theory put forward in the choice of the correct method of Raktamokshana is based upon the predominance of vitiated doshas. According to the vitiated doshas the Shringa (horn) is used in conditions where blood is vitiated by Vata, because it is snigdha (unctuous). Jalauka (leech) being sheet (cold), it is used in Pitta vitiated condition and Alabu (bottle gourd) is used in Kapha dominance because it is Rooksha (dry). Prachhana is indicated when doshas are localized and pindita (collected). Shiravedhan is indicated in Tridoshaj (vitiation of all doshas) and generalized condition.
Once and may be repeated after an interval of 7 days, 15 days, 30 days or 45 days.
Raktamokshana is very much useful in diseases like skin diseases (scabies, erysipelas, blemishes etc), filariasis, non healing wounds, varicose vein, high BP, frozen shoulder, sciatica, acute inflammation etc.
Raktamokshana techniques like shiravedha and prachchhana are avoided in children and coward patients. Some diseases like anemia, diabetes, bleeding disorders like hemophilia etc. are contraindicated for Raktamokshana.