Here Pancha means five and Karma means procedure. Hence panchakarma means a fivefold detoxification treatment. Panchakarmas are:

» Vamana (therapeutic emesis)

» Virechana (therapeutic purgation)

» Vasthi (therapeutic enema)

» Nasya (therapeutic nasal medication)

» Raktamokshana (therapeutic blood letting)

All the above procedures are meant for the purificationof body.

Emphasis on Panchakarma treatments in Ayurveda

The treatments in Ayurveda has been broadly classified and dealt under three lines of management namely Shamana (Conservative / Paliative), Shodana (Purificatory) and Nidana Parivarjana (Preventive of positive factors). The treatment aims at tackling the doshas effectively to be brought to a state of equillibrium. The doshas that have diminished activity have to be nurtured, the hyper doshas have to be subdued, palliated and the aggraveated doshas have to be eliminated through purification procedure (Panchakarma) thus bringing them to normalacy. The normal doshas have to be protected through the toughtful application of Dinacharya (Daily Regemine), Ruthucharya (Seasonal Regemine), Sadvrutha (Good Conduct) and Rasayana Chikitsa to keep the diseases at bay.

Panchakarma For ???

According to Ayurvedic texts our body is crisscrossed by Srotas ( channels or tube like structures). This network contains both microscopic and macroscopic channels. ( Digestive system, Nervous system , Circulatory system etc are few examples of these channels). Innumerable physiological process like breathing, blood circulation, secretions of enzymes, hormones etc , flow of signals, supply of nutrients, filtration of toxins , excretion of waste etc are aided by these tubular structures.

Diseases occur when toxins get accumulated in body and clog these channels. Unhealthy diet, lifestyle, stress, changes in environment etc lead to accumulation of toxins in body. These accumulated toxins have to be expelled out in order to keep our body healthy. Through Panchakarma therapy these toxic clogs are removed to normalize the physiological process. Hence Panchakarma therapy is called as Detoxification therapy. Panchakarma therapy can also be administered to a normal person to prevent diseases and keep his body healthy.

Methods of Treatment in Ayurveda

The treatments in Ayurveda has been broadly classified and dealt under three lines of management namely:

» Shamana chikitsa(conservative/paliative)

» Shodana chikitsa(panchakarma purification)

» Nidana parivarjana(prevention of causative factor)

Phases of Panchakarma

» Poorva karma (pre-operative)

» Pradhana karma(operative procedure)

» Paschat karma(post-operative procedure)


Pre-operative procedure is a preparation to the main operative procedure involves the following steps:

A. Deepana and Pachana (The duration of this process is 3-5 days depending on the conditions and diseases)

» Usage of warm water.

» Fasting.

» Herbal powders(Choornas)/Decoctions(Kashayas)/Special diet.

B. Snehana

» Internal: Internal oleation is done by administering small quantities of medicated oil or ghee internally. The duration of internal oleation , quantity and type of medicated oil or ghee is determined by the physician after analyzing the body constitution of the patient.

» External: External oleation is done after the completion of internal oleation.. The whole body or body part is massaged with medicated oil. Few types of external oleation are used as treatment methods. They are

» Abhyanga - Massaging whole body

» Lepa – Smearing medicated oil and herbs

» Mardana – Kneading the body parts with fingers and fists.

» Padaghata – Tampling the body with foot.

» Gandusha - The mouth is filled with oil and is retained for a longer period of time.

» Parisheka (Pizhichil ) - The warm medicated oil is poured continuously over the entire body for an extended period of time.


1. VAMANA KARMA (Therapeutic Emesis): Vamana is a medicated emesis therapy which removes Kapha toxins collected in the body and the respiratory tract. This is given to people with high Kapha imbalance. Daily treatment involves loosening and mobilizing the toxins in an effort to finally eliminate them.

2. VIRECHANA KARMA (Therapeutic Purgation): Virechana is medicated purgation therapy which removes Pitta toxins from the body that are accumulated in the liver and gallbladder.

» 1. yoniroga(vaginal diseases)

» 2. pakshaghata(paralysis)

» 3. akshi rogas(diseases of the eye)

3. VASTHI KARMA (Therapeutic Enema): Vasti is considered as the mother of all Panchakarma treatments. .. It cleanses the accumulated toxins from all the 3 doshas : Vata(Especially), Pitta and Kapha, through the colon. Basti is also highly beneficial as a rejuvenating treatment. Medicated oil or ghee and an herbal decoction is given as enema to clean the colon and increase the muscle tone.

4. NASYA KARMA (Therapeutic nasal medication): This is the method used for the elimination of aggravated local doshas such as vata, kapha and pitta through the nasal passage ;by using special medicaments.

5. RAKTA MOKSHANA ( Therapeutic Blood letting): Raktamokshana is an effective blood purification therapy, in which carefully controlled removal of small quantities of blood is conducted to neutralize accumulated Pitta toxins of many blood borne diseases. This is because Raktamokshana decreases the quantum of enhanced Pitta dosha and thus the diseases caused by Pitta are also relieved.


» Usage of warm water is indicated for all purposes of bathing and washing .
» Follow bramhacharya and meditation.
» One should sleep only during nights, avoid sleep during day time
» One should not suppress the natural urges for urine, sneezing thirst, hunger etc.
» Avoid dynamic exercises
» One should resort to speaking in a very low tone
» Smoking is prohibited.
» One should not indulge in worry, anger ,tension and depression.
» One should not expose to extremes of cold and hot weather and very cool breeze and dust.
» Avoide curds,banana,and incompatible foods.
» One should always rest on bed at the time of panchakarma and obey the physician and follow all the above rules to obtain good results.

Contraindicators of Panchakarma Therapy

» Menstrual Time
» Lactation
» Cancer of the Lungs or Testicles
» Melanoma
» Congestive Heart Failure
» Emaciation
» Any Active Infectious Disease
» Pregnancy


» Kayagni (digestive fire) gets purified and becomes powerful and potent to enable normal digestion
» Diseases loose their validity and further spread of the disease is arrested.
» The Doshas Vata, Pitta and Kapha will return to their original places & function normally
» Five senses(panchajnanendriyas) and five functions(panchakarmendriyas) are cleansed and they function normally and gain clarity
» Mind calms down because of the purification.
» Intellect becomes very sharp, so also the concentration and aptitude.
» Skin attains a good tone and radiance and the complexion is improved.
» One will become very strong physically and mentally.
» All the seven tissues of the body are nourished and its vigour and vitality are improved.
» One becomes rejuvenated and the attained aphrodisiac qualities ensures good progeny.
» One will attain long-life with youthfulness.
After the Panchakarma purification like a cloth cleansed of its dirt the person becomes fit to perform his normal activities, becomes free of diseases and also will also achieve the god hood which is the ultimate aim of Ayurveda.