“Following panchakarma [Ayurvedic cleansing], a person’s perception and understanding become clear and the ego becomes mellow as love, compassion, and clarity unfold in the mind. The mind returns to its home, which is conscious awareness.” — Dr. Vasant Lad
Panchakarma (five actions) is a cleansing and rejuvenating program for the body & mind. It is known for its beneficial effects on overall health, wellness and self-healing (for sample pricing plans, click here).
In the Ayurvedic health protocol, the careful removal of toxins from the body is considered of great importance. Panchakarma is the most effective process of detoxification in Ayurveda. Ayurvedic detoxification programs are the oldest and most complete. They are carefully selected based on the individuals’ constitution, strength, overall health and season.
What is our Natural State?
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 body, which opens the door for chronic, degenerative, and sub-clinical diseases to develop. These can evolve into serious specific diseases, ultimately damaging an individual’s health and wellness.
Panchakarma can help by reversing these negative effects. 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. Ayurveda can help you sustain this process by making positive changes in your lifestyle.
The Panchakarma therapeutic process appears quite simple in its application, however, it is powerful and effective.
Panchakarma is a unique, natural, holistic, health-giving series of therapeutic treatments that:
- Cleanse the body’s deep tissues of toxins
- Opens the subtle channels
- Brings life-enhancing energy to the body and mind, thereby increasing:
- Inner peace
Pancha karma – The 5 actions
- Nasya: Nasya therapy is a process wherein medicated herbs (decocted in oil or as a powder) are administered through the nostrils, this follows a face massage and steam. Read more here
- Vamana: This is induced Emesis. It eliminates toxins from the stomach and adjoining areas. It is useful for skin disease, asthma, obesity, allergies and other kapha problems. This cleanse has an affininty to Kapha Dosha.
- Virechana: This is induced Purgation. It eliminates toxins from the stomach and gastrointestinal tract. It is used to treat blood impurities, inflamatory conditions, etc. This cleanse has affinity to Pitta Dosha.
- Basti: Enema therapies. There are generally two kinds of enemas used in Ayurveda, Anuvasana and Nirooha. Enema therapy is often done in a series of 8, 16 or 30. Basti therapy is considered the most beneficial Ayurvedic therapy. It is even said that this process alone is equal to 60% of all other Ayurvedic therapies combined. Basti have an affinity to Vata Dosha.
- Raktamokshana: Blood Letting. Practiced less often these days, blood letting is only performed in specialised centres. (We do not perform blood letting at Satmya). Raktamokshana is used to relieve pressure and eliminate toxic blood. Blood donation is one simple version of this. Raktamokshana has an affinity to Pitta Dosha.
THE 5 CLEANSES ARE:
Nasya: Nasal therapy. Has afinity to Kapha Dosha. Medicine is administered through the nose to enduce theraputic effect on the sinuses, E.N.T ailments and nervous system. Nasya eliminates excess Doshas form the head.
Vamana: Induced Emesis. Has afininty to Kapha Dosha. Elimination of toxins from the stomach and adjoining areas. Used to treat skin disease, asthma, obesity
Virechana: Purgation. Has afinity to Pitta Dosha. Elimination of toxins from the stomach and gastrointestinal tract. Used to treat blood impurities, inflamatory conditions etc.
Basti: Enema therapies. Has afinity to Vata Dosha. Usually of two kinds, Anuvasana and Nirooha. Often done in a series of 8, 16 or 30. It is said that this process has the effect of 60% of all other Ayurvedic therapies combined.
Raktamokshana: Blood Letting. Afinity to Pitta Dosha. Practiced less often these days, blood letting is performed in specialised centres. It is used to relieve pressure and eliminate toxic blood. Blood donation is one simple version of this.
Other cleanses available as part of Panchakarma include:
- Kunjala: induced emesis on an empty stomach using salt water. This cleanse can be done in isolation or in preparation for Vamana
- Baghi: induced emesis using salt water 3.5 hours after eating. This cleanse can be done in isolation or in preparation for Vamana
- Neti: Salt water nasal irrigation.
- Mild purgation: using specific herbal laxatives and dietary change
Before any cleanse is undertaken, adequate preparation is vital to ensure success. This preparation is generally called Purvakarmas (preparatory protocol) and consists of diet modification, internal and external oleation, sudation or sweating therapies and intake of herbal preparations etc.
Provided adequate preparation is undertaken, Panchakarma can be done at any time of the year. However, there are certain seasons during which elimination of specific toxins/Doshas are more easily facilitated.
- Nasya – Spring, Rainy Season
- Vamana – Spring, Autumn
- Virechana – Autumn, Spring
- Basti – Autumn, Late Winter
- Raktamokshana – Autumn, Spring
Illnesses treated with Panchakarma include :
- 81 of Vata origin ie. Sciatica, Deafness, Epilepsy etc.
- 40 of Pitta origin ie. Bleeding disorders, excessive appetite, anger, etc.
- 40 of Kapha origin ie. Diabetes, Asthma, Eating disorders, weight gain, coughs, depression, addiction, etc.
When you cleanse the head quarters of a Dosha, symptoms of the aggravated Dosha diminish.