Panchakarma is a combination of two Sanskrit words Pancha and Karma. “Pancha means five” and “Karma means actions” that gives a meaning five actions or five therapies. It is an ayurvedic process used to detox the body from toxic materials left due to disease, poor nutrition, and environmental toxins. It purifies the tissues of the human body at a very deep level. 

Ayurveda refers Panchakarma as a seasonal therapy that helps to maintain mental, physical hygiene, and balance of the body. The five main procedures of Panchakarma include Vaman, Virechana, Basti, Raktamokshana, and Nasyam. These five procedures aim to pluck away the deep-rooted imbalances in the body. 

Vamana: It is an emesis or vomiting therapy-induced to eliminate the Kapha that causes the excess mucus. Virechana: It is a purgative therapy that eliminates the toxic substances from the intestine by using therapeutic laxative or purgation.

Basti: It is an enema therapy that involves that uses herbal oils or decoctions to fight against powerful diseases.

Raktamokshana: It is a traditional ayurvedic therapy that purifies and cleanses the blood.

Nasya: Nasya is a Sanskrit word that means “nose”. In this therapy, medicated ghee is administered through the nasal cavity. It addresses the disease related to the head region. 

Panchakarma therapy is only prescribed to those patients who are fit for that particular Panchakarma procedure as per the guidelines dictated by classical Ayurvedic textbooks (Ashtangasangraha, Charaka Samhita, and Susrutha Samhita).

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Frequently asked questions about Panchakarma

What is Panchakarma treatment?

Panchakarma is a combination of five procedures that involve elaborated methods of purification to release stress, and prepare the body tissues to accept the maximum benefits of nutrition, foods, and exercises. 

Who can opt for Panchakarma treatment?

Any person of the age group 18 to 70 can opt for Panchakarma; however, it is only prescribed to those patients who are fit for Panchakarma procedures as per guidelines mentioned in classical Ayurveda textbooks. It has few restrictions on pregnant women, weak persons, children, etc. 

What type of diseases and conditions are treated through Panchakarma?

It addresses all types of diseases by balancing all the three doshas of the body. 

Does Panchakarma offer instant relief in any conditions?

No, it eliminates the toxins from the body and starts showing its effect gradually; however, one will find lightness and relief in muscular stiffness.

What would be diet during Panchakarma treatment?

Light vegetarian diets are offered during the treatment. After the process, depending on the inclinations, a specific diet is prescribed. 

What is the general duration required for Panchakarma treatments?

The general duration required for Panchakarma treatments is a minimum of 07 days to a maximum of 60 days. However, there is no pre-decided package for Panchakarma treatment as the needs of every individual are different as per his/her health condition. 

Are all five Panchakarma procedures needed for each patient?

A healthy person should take all the five Panchakarma procedures for good health and prevention of disease. However, in certain disease conditions, one or more can be employed depending on the doshic predominance and state of health of an individual. 

How are the Panchakarma procedures different from other therapies?

Panchakarma procedures expel the accumulated toxic materials from the body and diseases managed by Panchakarma therapies may never occur whereas other therapies are palliative in nature.

What are the precautions that need to be taken while undergoing Panchakarma procedures?

An individual taking Panchakarma procedures should strictly follow the diet and lifestyle regimen recommended by the expert Vaidya.

Is it true that Panchakarma treatments are referred for diseased people only?

No, Panchakarma treatments are helpful for healthy persons as well to promote good health and prevent the disease. It is helpful to balance the dosha imbalanced due to seasonal variations.

Recent Articles

The pre-Panchakarma procedures include examining and understanding of an individual body’s constitution and condition, counseling, correction of the digestive fire, planning diet, and lifestyle supportive for treatment. The important phase of Panchakarma is Panchakarma-the main phase. It is done under an expert Vaidya and various therapies and medicines are administered to remove the toxins from the cellular level. In post Panchakarma phase, the patient is observed for the symptoms related to the completion of detoxification, and based on the intensity & level of detoxification, proper diet is advised.

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