Ayurveda & Yoga for Life in Balance

Panchakarma (Detoxifiction)

December 1, 2016 | Dr. Madhu


Panchakarma is the cornerstone to Ayurvedic management of disease. Pancha Karma is the process, which gets to the root cause of the problem and re-establishes the essential balance of 'Tridosha' (three doshas: Vata, Pitta and Kapha) in body. Pancha Karma is not only good for alleviating disease but is also a useful tool in maintaining excellent health. Ayurveda advises undergoing Pancha Karma at the seasonal changes in order to clean the body and improve the digestion and metabolic processes. Panchakarma is a Sanskrit word that means "five actions" or "five treatments". This science of purifying the body is an ancient branch of Ayurveda. The Treatment in Ayurveda consists of two main types.

One is Shaman Chikitsa, used to subdue the vitiated Doshas, which may cause any ailments. It is administered by using various medicinal herbal preparations.

However, if the Doshas are vitiated beyond a particular level, they give rise to various toxins, which have a tendency to be accumulated in the minute channels. These are beyond the level of pacification and hence need to be eliminating from the body. In such cases, the second type of treatment, which is Shodhan Chikitsa or cleansing therapy, is indicated. Since it consists of the five types of main therapies, it is known as the Panchakarma.

Panchakarma has been given a special place in all ancient Ayurvedic texts. Aacharya Charak, the author of the most important ancient text on internal medicine, has described a wide use of Panchakarma therapy in almost all major diseases.

Panchakarma includes three parts namely:
Poorva Karma (Preparatory Methods), which includes-
• Paachana (Digestion)
• Snehana (Internal and external oleation)
• Swedana (Fomentation)

Pradhan Karma (Main methods), which includes-
• Vamana (Induced vomiting)
• Virechana (Induced purgation)
• Anuvasana (Medicated oil enema)
• Asthapana (Medicated decoction enema)
• Nasya (Drug administration through nose)


Pashchat Karma (Post-Therapeutic Measures) which includes-

• Sansarjan Krama (Specific diet)
• DhumaPana (nasal smoking of medicinal cigars)
• And some rules to follow specific activities





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