What is Panchakarma? Types of Panchakarma? Panchakarma Therapy? What is Panchakarma Treatment?

By Yogahow to do, panchakarma, what is

Panchakarma is an ultimate Ayurvedic detox that rids your body off the toxins, helps balance doshas and builds immunity against diseases. If stress has been taking a toll on you and has disrupted your body’s natural healing ability, Panchakarma technique is recommended for you for overall well-being and health benefits.

Panchakarma techniques work like wonder in reducing your stress levels and rejuvenates the mind and body. It helps in clearing out toxins that may be making you ill, gives a boost to your digestive system and increases body’s natural healing ability. It also gives you protection from infections and diseases.

Panch (five) karma (actions), like its name suggests five actions. These actions are aimed at cleansing the bodies of its impurities by using medicated oils, herbs etc. It is a set of therapies that are given to the individual on basis of prakriti (constitution), doshas, age, metabolism and many other things. The process may take between 7 days to 21 days depending on individual requirement.


Preparing for Panchakarma

One is advised to prepare the body and mind for Panchakarma well in advance, around 3-4 weeks, for best results. You can make certain dietary and routine changes over few weeks so that your gastrointestinal tract is cleansed of coarse waste. Drink lots of water and do not over indulge in food.  Try to eat satvik food which is fresh, seasonal and nutritious with adequate amount of fibre.

The breakfast should be light and lunch should be at around 12-1pm as the digestive fire during this time is strong which aids digestion. Dinner on the other hand should be light and taken at least 3 hours before going to bed so that the digestive system gets enough time to break it down. Before 3-5 days of your Panchkarma, you should stop drinking tea, coffee to prepare yourself. Take a walk after dinner and go to bed early.

Also Deepana – Pachana, Snehana and Swedana treatments are given to a patient before the main Panchakarma procedure.

Deepana – Pachana

In this, herbs to enhance the digestive fire are given to the individual in form of powder or decoctions and melt toxics so that they can easily exit from the body at the time of main procedure.


Fats in the form of medicated ghee internally or in the form of Ayurvedic massage externally are introduced in the body. This is done for the period of 3-7 days depending on an individual.


In this, perspiration is induced by giving a steam or heat to the body. This helps to melt the toxins which are then removed through one of the main Panchakarma techniques.

Now that your body and mind is prepared to undergo the life-changing detox process, let us know more about the chief techniques of Panchakarma.

The five main techniques to clear gastrointestinal system, head and complete body are:

  1. Vaman (Vomiting or Emesis therapy): An ideal treatment for kapha-related health problems, Vamana involves elimination of toxins by way of vomiting. Oleation (use of oil on the body) and fomentation (treatment that produces sweat) are used for a few days and once the toxins are melted and get collected in upper cavities of the body, the decoctions to induce vomiting are given to patient so that toxins are removed from the body. It is especially useful in eliminating kapha which causes excess mucus.
  2. Virechan: In this process, toxins are released through bowels. After internal and external oleation, and fomentation, a natural purgative is given to the patient so that the toxins are removed from the body through bowel movement. This treatment is beneficial for pitta related health problems like jaundice and colitis.
  3. Basti: Basti is especially useful in vata related health problems like piles, arthritis, and constipation. It is done in two ways. One is called asthapana and the other anuvasana.  In the former decoctions are used, while in the latter oils form a major part.  Decoctions, oils, milk or ghee are managed into the rectum.
  4. Nasya: It helps in clearing of sinuses, throat, nostrils and head area and is helpful in any kind of headaches, hair issues, sleep problems, neurological disorders and respiratory ailments. To begin with shoulders and head are given a gentle massage and formentation is done. For the procedure, few drops of oil are administered through both the nostrils.
  5. Raktamokshana: The treatment aims at purification of blood by releasing impure blood from the system. Surgical instruments are used for the treatment and incisions are made. Medicinal leeches may also be used to suck out impure blood. People may go for this treatment in case of skin infections like psoriasis and dermatitis.


Benefits of Panchakarma

Detoxifies the body

Accumulation of toxins in body could lead to various chronic diseases. Panchakarma is an effective way to deal with this as it entails removal of the toxic substances that ail the body – through vomiting, bowel movement and ayurvedic surgical procedures. Once the body gets rid of the toxins, its natural ability to heal itself is restored. Read More –  Body Detoxification Juice 

Boosts the metabolism

Panchakarma works wonders for the internal body processes and metabolism is a part of it.  Through virechana those who have metabolic disorders like diabetes, PCOS get benefitted.

Increases immunity

The toxic accumulation in the body puts us at risk of catching several infections and diseases. Panchakarma helps us to get rid of the harmful substances that puts our body under duress. The immunity goes up as the body’s natural healing ability is strengthened.

Relieves stress

Panchakarma helps in clearing head, nose, and sinuses which also has a positive effect on mind. The use of medicated oil in massaging head and shoulders has a calming effect. In Shirodhara, warm medicated oils are poured on the head which induces sleep and improves blood circulation. In Pizichil, medicated oils are poured on the entire body which has a deep relaxing impact.

Weight loss

Apart from the toxins, the fats are also removed from the body in the form of extra cellulie that is stored under the skin. Panchakarma helps to remove the fats and helps a person to lose weight between 2kg-9kg, depending on an individual.

Improves digestion system

An increased metabolism and better healing mechanism, the digestive system too is powered to perform better. The changes in diet combined with the release of toxics from the body have an overall positive impact on our digestion process.

Rejuvenates mind and body

Panchakarma has techniques that purifies all parts of body and mind. The techniques are advised as per the constitution of a person and the dosha imbalance is kept in mind while working on individual treatment. The body gets complete elimination from harmful substances and its natural healing mechanism gets a boost. The positive effects on  mind and body makes you feel that you have got a fresh lease of life.

Though panchakarma is loaded with benefits it’s always better to take an Ayurvedic physician or a specialist’s advice. While suffering from fever, injury or during pregnancy, the panchakarma therapies are not advisable.