AYURVEDA USES TWO MAIN MODALITIES IN THE TREATMENT OF DISEASE, EACH WITH ITS OWN DISTINCT PURPOSE, namely Shamana and Shodhana therapies.
(Procedures for Alleviating the Symptoms) Shamana, which means "to suppress", reduces or eliminates symptoms. Shamana treatments make the patient feel better by suppressing the effects of the body's accumulated ama. When we take aspirin to alleviate headache or muscular pain, we are employing a shamana or palliative type of treatment.
(Procedures for Eradicating Disease) The second means that Ayurveda uses to treat illness is called Shodhana, which literally means "to go away". In this form of treatment, the basis of the disease process is eradicated. Shodhana therapy rids the body of ama and mala and restores balance to the doshas. It is considered superior to Shamana because it not only removes the symptoms of disease but also eliminates their cause.