Panchakarma (five methods for detoxifying) are the cleansing and rejuvenating program for the body, mind and consciousness. It is known for its beneficial effects on overall health, wellness and self-healing. According to Ayurveda, our natural state is one of health, happiness and an inner sense of well-being. Health is defined as the body being clear of toxins, the mind is at peace, emotions are calm and happy, wastes are efficiently eliminated and organs are functioning normally. In a busy, stressful and toxic world, our physical and mental systems accumulate toxins causing deterioration in bodily functioning. This eventually weakens our systems, which opens the door for chronic, degenerative, and non-specific diseases to develop. These can evolve into serious specific diseases, ultimately damaging an individual’s health and wellness.

Panchkarma is a unique experience that leaves the mind and body feeling relaxed and rejuvenated. Many illnesses result from the build-up of toxins in the body that can impair the functioning of its natural defenses such as the lymph, circulatory, and immune systems. Panchkarma promotes healing and restoration by eliminating these toxins from the body. However, unlike other detoxification programs, Panchkarma is a gentle process that achieves deep cleansing without discomfort, allowing the rejuvenating energies of the body to flow freely.

The main aim of this treatment is to eliminate the internal causative factors of the diseases. Large quantities of toxic bi-products are formed in the body as a result of continuous metabolic process. Although most of these toxins are eliminated naturally by the body's excretory system, some may get deposited in the various tissues of the body, which ensures the vitiation of Doshas, Dhatus etc. and then the normal functioning of the system is impaired. Similarly, disease causing toxins accumulate in the body as a result of various factors like unhealthy life style , wrong food habits, incompatible combination of food items, suppression of the body urges, emotional imbalance etc.

Panchakarma can help by reversing these negative effects of daily living. It can restore your natural state of health and wellness by cleansing your body of toxins, bringing balance into your system and improving bodily function. It can also help you sustain this process by making positive changes in lifestyle.

The purpose of this is to determine which of the three doshas or vital energies in the body is causing an imbalance that is at the root of the illness. Once the diagnosis has been made, Panchakarma therapy is started, to achieve the balanced state of body, mind and consciousness that is essential for good health.

Panchakarma means ‘five actions’ or five ‘treatments’. It is one of the cornerstones for disease management in Ayurveda, for it corrects the essential balance of the three doshas in the body, vata, pitta and kapha. Panchakarma is also beneficial to the body during seasonal changes, for it cleans the body, improves digestion, and boosts the metabolic process. Thus Panchakarma is useful not just in alleviating disease, but in maintaining good health as well

The human body is a part of the nature and hence is subjected to changes when there are changes in nature such as climate etc. Each and every thing in earth including living body is composed of the five great elements of the nature – Earth, water, fire, air and space. Vatha, Pitta and Kapha are the three bodily humors (three dosha), which also of these natural elements. The periodic changes in nature leads to variation in the balance of these doshas, which is base cause for any disease. To maintain natural balance of these three doshas over the natural changes, periodic cleansing therapies are prescribed that are Panchakarma.

Vamana, Virechana, Vasti, Nasya and Raktamoksa are the Panchakarmas and administered as per the body specific and disease specific indications.

Abhyanga, Dhara, Kizhi-(Medicated pouches of herbs are massaged to the body with oils) etc. are administered to prepare the body (Poorvakarma) for purification and cleansing of the body is done by means of Vasthy, vamana, virechana, nasya and rakthamoksha appropriately.

These Porvakarma and Panchakarma therapies help in preventing diseases and to cure certain illness too. Diabetes, Cholesterol, Heart ailments, stroke etc are prevented to certain extent by means of these periodic health maintaining programs. Arthritis, paralysis, back pain, head aches and skin diseases are treated with these therapies effectively.

Copyright 2004 Vaidyaratnam Bangalore, All rights reserved