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What is Panchakarma Treatment in Ayurveda?

21 Jan 2020 HYN Himalayan Yoga Academy

Panchakarma Treatment in Ayurveda?
  • School of Panchakarma

Ayurveda comes from a Sanskrit word, “ayuh,” meaning life and “Veda,” meaning knowledge. Hence, Ayurveda is a system of traditional medicine that has been practiced in India for over 5000 years. The name Ayurveda translates to “The Science of Life,” and focuses on achieving optimal health through balance of mind, body and consciousness.Learn Panchakarma Treatment in Ayurveda

The Ayurveda principles, which are based on achieving a balanced state of mind, are an important step in achieving a healthy body. The Yoga Sutras and the Vedas understood the connection between the purity of one’s mind through constant and regular practice of Yoga, thereby applying the principles Niyamas and Yamas to achieve total health of the mind, body and spirit.

● Maintain internal and external balance
● Sync with our truest nature
● Connect with the natural surroundings

What Is Panchakarma Treatment in Ayurveda?

Panchakarma is reknowned as the King treatment of Ayurveda, a therapy designed to restore health and revive the entire being. Here are the some of the core elements of a traditional Panchakarma treatment.

Panchakarma is the amazing Ayurvedic five-step treatment that balances the doshas, detoxifies the entire being, and rejuvenates the body, both internally and externally. Panchakarma is a Sanskrit word that narrates ‘Panch-Five’ and ‘Karma-Treatment’. The therapy removes the ama accumulation in the body, cleanses it deeply, and reduces stress.

Panchakarma is an essential part of Ayurveda that helps us achieve a balanced state of the body, mind, and consciousness. The method involves body massages, oil baths, steam baths, and nasal administrations to treat the illnesses.

With a proper consultation from a certified Ayurvedic doctor or Panchakarma expert, the treatment is recommended.

Pre-Panchakarma Procedures

Panchakarma preparatory methods include oleation and fomentation therapies that help loosen up the toxins and then remove it from the body.

Snehana (Oleation) – In the therapy, herbal dosha specific oil is applied to the body and a deep tissue massage is given. The medicinal oil reaches the deep layers of the skin and loosens up the ama accumulation in the tissues.

Swedana (Fomentation) – In this therapy, you will sweat out. The softened toxins become thinner and eventually get thrown out of the body.

How to Perform Pre-Panchakarma Treatment?

• Abhyanga- Medicated oil is applied to the body for massage.

• Pizhichil- Warm medicinal herbal oil is poured on the entire body followed by a soft hand massage.

• Nasyam- A detox therapy through the nasal administration where drops of an herbal oil or medicinal extracts are poured in the nose.

• Podikizhi- A potli massage where potlis or bags are made from muslin cloth and are induced with rice, medicinal herbs, etc. The bag is then heated in warm herbal oil and then the Potli is used for the massage therapy.

• Kashaya Vasti- A decoction made of rock salt, herbal oil, honey, herbs, administered through the anal route for detoxification.

• Shirodhara- A stream of warm oil poured on the head region for 30-45 minutes.

The Five Treatments in Panchakarma


After the pre-panchakarma procedure for a few days, when the toxins loosen up and gather in the body’s upper cavity, the Vamana is performed. In the therapy, an emetic medicine is given to the patients that induces vomiting and clears the toxins from the tissues. Best suited therapy for the Kapha people with ailments like asthma and obesity.


Purgation or Virechana is performed to flush out the ama from the Gallbladder and Liver. The toxins are eliminated from the body and cleanse the gastrointestinal tract. It is performed to cleanse the Pitta toxins. Works best for the Pitta people with ailments like colitis and jaundice.


Enema or Basti is used to cleanse all the Doshas through the colon and is considered the Mother of ayurvedic panchakarma treatment. A medicated herbal substance like oil, milk, herbal decoction, ghee, etc., is administered into the rectum for cleansing. The therapy is beneficial for curing many health conditions, especially the chronic and complex ones.


The therapy is used to cleanse the nose and head region where the Kapha toxins are gathered. In this therapy, a light massage and fomentation are given in the head and shoulder regions. Then herbal nasal drops are poured in the nostrils that clear the entire head.

Rakta Moksha

It is a blood cleaning Ayurveda technique that cures the diseases caused due to the impurities present in the blood. Rakta Moksha can be performed on the entire body or at the particular areas, only after the recommendation of an expert. The treatment treats skin diseases like pigmentation, eczema, and reduces the risk of infection as well.

Ayurveda is a vast science of preventing and healing the ailment and Panchakarma treatment is one major and most beneficial form of Ayurvedic treatment.

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