Panchakarma – The Concept

Panchakarma (process of detoxification) in Ayurveda

Panchakarma is the major purification and detoxification procedure in Ayurveda. In fact, it offers the best mind-body healing experience in the process of detoxifying the body, boosting the immune system and brining back overall balance and wellness. The term Panchakarma (Sanskrit) means “Five therapies”. Following five therapeutic treatments help in getting rid of the toxins that are accumulated in the body due to poor lifestyle and nutrition.

  • Vamana
  • Nasya
  • Basti
  • Virechena
  • Raktamoskshana

According to Ayurveda, excessive build-up of toxins is the root cause of all diseases. These five therapies assist in the process of removing deep rooted stress as well as toxins that cause disease from the body; at the same time balancing the doshas (doshas are energies which govern all the biological functions of the body).

Panchakarma is a rare and distinct treatment procedure mainly because it can be tailored easily to cater to the needs of each individual based on their doshic imbalances and body constitution.

Ayurvedic texts state that the body is criss-crossed by tube like structures called srotas or channels. The network has microscopic as well as macroscopic channels. These channels include the digestive system, circulatory system, nervous system and the like. A number of physiological processes such as blood circulation, breathing, secretion of hormones and enzymes, supply of nutrients, excretion of waste, filtration of toxins and flow of signals are facilitated via these tubular structures. When toxins get accumulated in the body and tend to clog these channels, there is onset of diseases. Poor lifestyle, stress, unhealthy diet, changes in environment, etc. result in accumulation of toxins in the body. To keep the body healthy, these accumulated toxins must be expelled out. This is where Panchakarma has its role to play. Using Panchakarma therapy, it is possible to remove the toxic clogs and bring back normalcy in the various physiological processes. That is why; Panchakarma is rightly called detoxification therapy.

A normal person can undergo this therapy in order to prevent disease and maintain good health. According to Ayurveda, the best season to expel the toxins via this therapy is the rainy season.

Panchakarma can also be used as a purifying therapy to totally cleanse the body prior to starting any treatment. Cleared channels enable the medicines to penetrate into the deeper tissues with ease.

Also the impaired vata, pitta and kapha dosha when mixed with one another lead to the formation of ama dosha. Due to the inhibition of jathragni if the ingested food is not properly digested and the products which arise out of such an impaired digestion are being retained in the amashaya they undergo changes and yield toxic substances i.e ama. This may very well be compared with toxaemia of different types.

Benefits of Panchakarma

  • Doshas are balanced
  • Toxins are expelled from the body
  • As stress is reduced, the body gets relaxed
  • Ageing process is slowed down and lifespan is increased
  • The skin gets increased lustre and glow
  • Immunity and energy levels of the body are boosted
  • Implementation of a healthy lifestyle and diet is facilitated
  • Strength, vitality, energy and mental clarity get enhanced
  • Dependence on drugs, alcohol and tobacco is reduced

Panchakarma is likely to be effective only if a special detoxification diet is followed coupled with the prescribed treatments. Experts in Ayurveda are well aware of this fact and an individual who undergoes this treatment receives a special diet monitored every day. So, it is ideal to receive this therapy only from experts.