In Ayurveda, there is no question of repairing anything without having cleaned before and, this is the basis. This is why panchakarma is so important before starting a healing action.

It is a five-step treatment that resynchronizes the body, organs, mind, breathing, nervous system and purifies the blood. The purpose of the Panchakarma is to cleanse. But the panchakarma is in fact related to much more than 5 actions, and it is preceeded by the Purvakarma (Pachana -Digestion, Snehana or Snehapanam -Internal and External Oleation, Swedana -Fomentation or sweat - and followed by the Paschat karma (Post therapeutic measures) which includes Sansarjan Karma - Specific dietetics, Dhumapana - inhaling of medicinal herbal sticks , kashayams - medicines and everyday life rules to be followed.

Snehapanam, for instance, is part of the process : the body is saturated of ghee and it is the reaction that releases. Fatty molecules carry a lot of cellular information and are used as an internal communication tool.

NB: The panchakarma is practiced differently according to Ayurvedic obediences, Kerala, Himmalaya, Sri Lanka, but the fundamentals remain the same.

In most Ayurvedic resorts, the process is only partially applied depending on the duration of the cure and the real medical need, so even if it can be done in two weeks, three weeks are strongly recommended for optimal effect (which can include snehapanam). In all cases, on a marketing point of view, the word PANCHAKARMA is used, eventhough it is sometimes merely a detoxination.

Panchakarma (Pancha = five and karma = stages, systems, actions) is a treatment that eliminates sick doshas (also known as Sodhana).

These five steps are the main part of panchakarma, called Pradhankarma:

1. Nasyam, elimination of toxins through the nose. The nose is said to be the door way to the brain and to the conciousness. Nasal administration of medicated oils through nose to cleanse accumulated kapha toxins from neck and head region is called Nasyam

2. Vamana, therapeutic vomiting.

3. Virechanam, purgation (we take a spicy potion on an empty stomach in the morning, and an hour later we can start to drink warm water - a drink every half hour - we can go to the toiletes between 2 or 3 hours after the ingestion of the potion, according to the people. In the afternoon, the doctor can see you and if it worked well, he prescribes a mash of plain rice, at the end of which we stop drinking lukewarm water, later you can drink fresh coconut milk, then a special dinner is prepared for you. This is a medicated purgation therapy which removes pitta dosha toxins from the body that are accumulated in the liver, gall bladder and small intesline. It completely cleanses the gastrointestinal tract. It is a safe procedure without any side effects.

4. Vasthi or Basthi (enema). The chief karma in panchkarma is described as Basthi since it cleanses the accumulated toxins from all the tridoshas (Vata, Pitta, Kapha) mainly working on Vata dosha, the prominent place of Vata being the colon. Basti is also highly beneficial as a rejuvenating therapy. Medicated Oil/Ghee/Herbal decoction is given as enema to clean the colon and increase the muscle tone. This procedure is usually applied from 8 days to 30 days, based on the medical condition of the patient.

Sneha Vasthi, rectal enema with oils

Kashaya Vasthi, enema made from plant decoction

5. Raktamoksha (rakta = blood, moksha = release) sometimes made with leaving leeches, sometimes by syringe. The Leeches are worms living in the water. Leeches used worldwide for medical purpose. A single leech can suck upto 10-30 ml. impure blood. In General, Leech therapy is indicated for the problems such as skin diseases, inflammatory reaction, Arthritis & rheumatic disorder, Tenderness varicose veins, thrombus , arthrosis, muscular tension, for blood purification & generation, thrombosis & embolism, congestion, hypertention pain relif etc.

These different treatments are used in severe cases of diseased or vitiated doshas (vikrithi), which are then eliminated, thus detoxifying the body.




If panchakarma is radically effective in detoxifying oneself and preparing for a deep "renovation" of our body, this is not done without some apprehensions! Indeed, the description that is made is not very appetizing ...

But rest assured, there is no integral panchakarma without the patient's agreement, and on the other hand, it can be partially cured (especially in the context of Ayurvedic preventive medicine) depending on your actual needs and time you have.

In general it takes three weeks for a complete panchakarma (because snehapanam is unpredictable and can last 3, 5 or 7 days. The term panchakarma is also used for cures of two weeks, but it is actually a light version, for requirements of duration, but which can however give excellent results.

To make a "cure" of a week does not make sense. This is, however, accepted by some centers which receive Westerners, thus allowing them to become familiar with the techniques of ayurvedic care and to bring them some relaxation, but the term "Ayurvedic cure" is then totally abusive and inappropriate, and that must be known.