Panchakarma is three steps, cleansing procedure of Ayurveda through which deep seated toxins or in other words-vitiated Dosha are expelled from the body to bring back the balance of the Dosha. Dosha, once are in a balance works for the body, governs and directs everything in a proper manner but once vitiated these become harmful-dangerous and start causing the diseases. “The water which flows in a rhythm within the banks of a river is beautiful and life giving but once it breaks its banks, start destruction in form of flood”. We can control the flood by normalizing the flow of the water and for this we need to regulate the things from root. This is Panchakarma!
When there is a big pond full of sewerage water there are two ways of it- start pouring sand in it, so that it will dry- but you can never say that when the settled will float again? This is the method by using the treatments. Second method is-drain the bad water, clear the pond and now refill it with natural clean water- this is Panchakarma!!
(Ayurveda Detoxification therapy)
Panchakarma treatments are the five – fold Ayurveda cleansing therapies which get to the root cause of the problem and eliminates the deep seated toxic metabolites (Ama) from the body thereby restoring equilibrium of the Dosha and promoting healthy tissues. Just like a tree has to be destroyed completely by uprooting it, diseases has to be cured completely by cleansing toxins from the body by Ayurveda Panchakarma treatments otherwise there will be recurrence of the disease again and again.
Apart from providing curative line of treatment, Ayurveda Panchakarma therapies help in promotion of health & wellness and prevention of disease thus beneficial for both diseased and healthy. Just as a piece of cloth has to be washed well first before subjected to dyeing; the body has to be purified with suitable Ayurveda Panchakarma therapies for enhancing better absorption of herbs and Rasayana (Ayurvedic Rejuvenation) therapies. There are three sequential steps in carrying out Panchakarma treatments in the classical way. They are Purvakarma, Pradhana Karma / Panchakarma therapies and Paschyat Karma.
For proper and effective administration of Panchakarma it is essential to prepare the patient before Panchakarma by Dipana – Pachana, Snehana and Swedana treatments.
Dipana – Pachana (Herbs to increase digestive fire and to promote digestion) - Oral administration of Dipana – Pachana (Digestive) herbs in the form of powder, tablet or decoctions help to enhance Agni (Digestive fire) and liquefy Ama (toxic metabolites) so that it can be eliminated from the body by Panchakarma treatments.
Snehana (Internal and External Oleation) –Snehana is the process of administration of fats internally in the form of medicated ghee and externally in the form of Ayurveda massage. Suitable medicated ghee is administered orally in increasing dose for a period of 3–7 days depending upon the severity of the condition and nature of the patient. Snehana helps in mobilization of the vitiated Dosha from the site of morbidity.
Swedana (Sudation) – After Abhyangam (Therapeutic massage), Swedana is administered. Swedana is the procedure of inducing perspiration by application of heat to the body. This helps in liquefying the vitiated Dosha and bringing them to the gastrointestinal tract from where it is eliminated by various Panchakarma treatments.
The term Panchakarma is a combination of two words– “Pancha” meaning Five and “Karma” meaning “Procedures”.
The five Panchakarma therapies are Vamana (Emesis), Virechana (Therapeutic purgation), Nasya (Nasal medication), Anuvasana Basti (Medicated oil enema) and Niruha Basti (Herbal decoction enema). They help in cleansing the body and have a relaxing effect on the body and mind. After Purvakarma, following Abhyanga (Therapeutic massage) and Swedana (Sudation) suitable Ayurvedic Panchakarma therapies are administered to the patient.
Vamana (Emesis) – In this Panchakarma treatment, vomiting is induced by oral administration of herbal emetics to remove the accumulated Dosha especially vitiated Kapha Dosha from the body.
Virechana (Therapeutic Purgation) – This Panchakarma treatment involves the use of oral purgatives to remove the vitiated Dosha especially Pitta Dosha by inducing purgation.
Nasya (Nasal medication) – Nasya is one of the Ayurveda Panchakarma therapies which helps in removal of vitiated Dosha from the head and sinus by instilling liquid medicines through the nose after massage and fomentation of face and neck. This Panchakarma treatment is beneficial in disorders affecting the head, face and neck.
Anuvasana Basti (Medicated oil enema) – Medicated oil enema is administered in this Panchakarma treatment through the anal route for expelling vitiated Dosha. It is highly beneficial for pacifying Vata Dosha.
Niruha Basti (Herbal decoction enema) – This Ayurveda Panchakarma treatment involves the introduction of herbal concoctions into the rectum with the patient lying in left lateral position. Niruha Basti Panchakarma treatment is effective for balancing Vata Dosha.
For enhanced benefits after Ayurveda Panchakarma treatments, one should avoid diet and lifestyle that contribute to illness. Follow up regimen in regard to diet and lifestyle helps to intensify Agni (digestive and metabolic fire), restore physical strength as well as for optimum functioning of the body systems. Post Panchakarma regimen includes intake of wholesome food and avoidance of day sleep & physical and mental over-strain.