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The Ayurvedic Science of Panchakarma

Updated: May 15, 2023

A popular Ayurvedic treatment Panchakarma involves the internal purification and rejuvenation of the body, mind and consciousness by flushing out toxins.

In Sanskrit, “Pancha” means ‘five” and Karma denotes “action”. Panchakarma literally translates to five actions which involve different rejuvenating and purifying processes to cleanse the body.

Panchakarma Treatment
Preparation for Panchakarma

According to Ayurveda, every human is made of five elements: Earth, Fire, Air, Wind & Water and three physiological forces called Vata, Pita & Kapha doshas. Each individual’s constitution is determined by the proportions of these three doshas.

An imbalance in the doshas results in a disease or disorder due to accumulated Ama (toxins) that create blockages in the body and mind.

On the contrary, a balance of these three doshas promotes health and overall well-being.

Panchakarma therapy is designed to each individual's need and aliment given their specific dosha constitution.

One can enjoy a disease-free life through regular Panchakarma detoxification & treatments.

In today’s dynamic world, where stress, pollution and hectic lifestyles take the front seat, our health is compromised at various levels.

Toxins and residue clog up our physical channels and, in turn, inhibit the free flow of energy through the body.

This results in various lifestyle-related diseases. Panchakarma therapy encourages the body, mind and soul to reset, rest and restore by eliminating wastes that interfere with one well being.

The process of Panchakarma takes a few days and can go up to a few weeks, depending on each individual's needs.

In Ayurveda, Panchakarma is categorized as Samshodana Chikitsa (Bio-cleansing therapy) as it is a dynamic procedure to cleanse the body inside out and get rid of Ama ( toxins).

It is a comprehensive procedure to improve the immunity of the body and prevent the disease from recurring.

The complete process involves three stages – Purvakarma, PradhanaKarma and Paschat Karma.

Purva Karma is the preparation process to purify the body. This involves three pre-purification procedures –

Deepana Pachana – oral administration of digestive herbs to increase the digestive fire and melt the toxins to be ejected

Snehana – Oleating the body either internally by administering medicated ghee and externally through specific oil body massages

Swedana – steam bath with herbal concoctions to flush out toxins and induce sweat.

Pradhanakarma – involves 5 procedures

Vamana – purification to treat Kapha-dominant diseases. Herbal medications are administered to induce vomiting, eliminating toxins through the mouth.

Virechana – treats Pita diseases with herbal preparations and powders. This produces controlled loose motions and eliminates toxins. It can also be used to treat Kapha and Vata imbalances.

Basti – is a treatment to purify the colon and rectum. Basti refers to the urinary bladder. It is also known as a therapeutic enema.

Medicated oils and decoctions are used. Basti is used to treat excess Vata and support the healthy functioning of the colon for proper assimilation of nutrients.

Nasya – Is performed by putting medicated oils called Anu Thailam through the nose. Nasal therapy is used for healing diseases of the throat, neck, eyes, ears, nose and head. Nasya is administered before meals and is best on an empty stomach.

Raktamokshana – is called therapeutic toxic bloodletting, which involves releasing toxic blood from various parts of the body. Impure blood is let out during this procedure. Pita disorders connected to the liver, spleen, and skin are best treated with this procedure.

Panchkarma is a great way to commence the act of self-care and commit to it.

After Panchakarma therapy, the rejuvenation phase involves sustaining a routine of healthy practices, including yoga, meditation, dosha-based meals, daily abhyanga and pranayama.

During this phase of rejuvenation, the healthy cells and tissues are rebuilt, and the body’s life force is enhanced.

Reap a bouquet of wellness benefits by increasing your energy and discovering the best version of yourself. It is better late than never.

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