About Panchkarma

In principle, the Ayurvedic approach to the treatment of a disease consists of two major procedures,

1. Samshodhana Chikitsa (Purifactory Therapy)
2. Samshamana Chikitsa (Pacificatory Therapy)

Samshodhana Chikitsa is the radical treatment of a disease and is supposed to eradicate or eliminate the vitiated Doshas from the body thus conservative treatment which consists of conservative measures like langhana(fasting), Pachana(digestion) etc..

The Samshodhana treatment consists of a number of physicophysiological measures advocated in the treatment of a disease. The Samshodhana Chikitsa in Ayurveda is termed as PANCHKARMA.

It is a detoxifying treatment which has a great therapeutic role in treating many disease and also for rejuvenation and prevention of disease.

Panchkarma is a Sanskrit word that means “five actions” or “five treatments”. This is a process used to clean the body from toxins left by disease. Normally the body has innate ability to efficiently process and eliminate the waste materials including the vitiated Doshas but due to one’s repeated dietary indiscretion, poor exercise patterns, genetic predisposition of the digestive enzymes, metabolic co-factors, hormonal changes and life style become disorganized. This can lead to the accumulation and spread of toxins through the body resulting in disease.

This toxin is known as Ama. When Ama is accumulates in the body, it blocks the channels (strotas) thus blocks the flow of energy and waste materials transportation throughout the system which is called as Strotorodh. Common example of this is the accumulation of saturated fat and cholesterol that is beyond the body’s capacity to metabolize. This leads to the blockage of the blood vessels and arteries and ultimately to heart attack.

Panchkarma is a fivefold treatment regimen to clean the toxins from the body and eliminate the disease from its root. Panchkarma purifies the tissues at a very deep level.

Panchkarma is highly individualized based on the needs of individual depending on the Prakriti (Ayurvedic constitution of individual), Doshic imbalance, age, digestive strength, immune system and many other factors. Depending on each individual’s needs all or only one of the five therapies are utilized. These procedures must be administreted by specially trained Panchkarma expert in a definite sequence for a specified period of time. It is essential that the therapy must be supervised by a knowledgeable expert who can recognize the sign and symptoms of properly administration of Panchkarma therapy.

Panchkarma therapy begin with an initial consultation by a qualified Ayurvedic physician who can determine the individual’s Prakriti ( Ayurvedic constitution of individual) and the nature of the disease so that he/she can decide which kind of therapies should be apply.

The Panchkarma Process

Panchkarma treatments are divided into "three phases" of detoxification and purification.

  • Purvakarma
  • Pradhankarma
  • Pashchatkarma

Purvakarma :

It consists of two steps as:

(a) Snehankarma,
(b) Swedankarma

Snehankarma means to oleate or to make smooth. It is further divided in two parts as internal Snehankarma and external Snehankarma. Medicated oils or ghrit (clarified butter) are used by oral route in internal Snehankarma. In external Snehankarma medicated oils are used for different kinds of massage according to requirement. Both these Snehankarma help to mobilize the sticky vitiated Doshas from their sites. Snehanakarma render the body Snigdha or oleaginous as well as it makes the vitiated Doshas easily extractable.

Swedanakarma is the process by which perspiration of the body will be produced. It removes stiffness, heaviness and coldness of the body.It works to regulate the movement of blood circulation, extra and intra cellular fluids of the body, fomentation must be adopted after the Snehankarma. It enhances the nutrition to the cells and evacuates the waste materials from the tissues. Thus, Purvakarma causes the liquefaction, displacement, softening and smoothing of vitiated Doshas and makes their elimination possible.


The main course consists of five process as follows

I. Vaman (Therapeutic vomiting or emesis therapy)
II. Virechan (Therapeutic purgation)
III. Basti (Medicated enema)
IV. Nasya or Shirovirechan (Errhine therapy or Nasal administration)
V. Raktamokshana (Blood letting)


Pashchatkarma consists of a specialized diet schedule designed to restore the digestive and absorptive capacity of the person leading to the normal state of health.