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Panchakarma - what & how?


Panchakarma “The five great Procedures” are the most potent healing and rejuvenating methods for mind and body. It also detoxifies & rejuvenates body and mind. Immune system will get strengthened by this procedure. This is the most effective treatment modality for keeping a person functionally fit.

‘Panchakarma’ should be done only after proper preparation of body and mind with its pre-procedures. This can be classified into two.

  1. Snehanam (Oilation)

  2. Swedanam (Induced sweating)


Snehanam is the important pre-procedure in which the patient is given ghee, oil or any fat internally or externally in loading dose. The selection of oil should be done with great care considering the constitution of the individual, age, climate, diseases, digestive ability etc. which should be done only by a doctor with ample experience. This will be done for 2 to 5 days with a dose of 50ml to 250ml. the ghee or oil is opting in accordance with the disease and body condition of the person. The dose will be increased daily. This will help the body to be loose, the channels and pores to get open the and will also work as a toxin solvent. This will help to make mechanical and functional correction very easy.

During this treatment the patient has to take complete rest with strict diet restriction and is not allowed to take bath. Salt will be restricted completely. The patient is usually given only porridge or easily digestible carbohydrates while feeling hunger.

The patient may feel very tired during this phase of treatment.

A less effective tool of Snenanam is to use oils externally. This is done in different ways.

‘Abhyangam’ where oil is applied all over the body with massage. or ‘Vasti’ where it is allowed to pool in some part of the body or ‘Vestanam’ when cloth is bandaged all over and oils are poured over it.

Next day after a successful completion of Snehana, patient can take bath and to have porridge or easily digestible carbohydrates according to hunger. Salt also can be used from morning. From noon onwards normal diet will be given if appetite is good or will diet will adjusted accordingly.

‘Swedanam’ or sweating is the next step. This also ca be done in many ways. Dry and wet methods are there. Sweating with hot Kashayam (decoction) is usually employed, Massage with heated medicinal powder, sand, different poultice. Steam are some other methods, the selection has to be done by a physician according to the conditions of patient, disease and climate. This will be done repeatedly along with massage for 2 -3 days.

After proper Swedanam, the main course of panchakarma will start. Initially Vamanam (Emesis) or Virechanam (Laxation) or both will be done with spacing according to the disease and body condition.

The other procedures (Vasti, Nasyam, Raktha mokshanam) will follow this. This will be done along with different kind of Kizhi’ (a type of massage performed using small satchels containing herbal powders, herbs, rice or sand). Pizhichil (a synchronized process of pouring oil and massaging body simultaneously) etc.

Panchakarmas (In Sanskrit ‘Pancha’ means five and ‘Karma’ means Actions) are

  1. Vamanam – Induced Vomiting

Vamanam is an Induced vomiting procedure after giving milk up to throat. It is the cleansing procedure for diseases manifested due to ‘Kapha’ dosha one among ‘Tri-dosha’ (Vata, Pita, Kapha). Essential in treating skin diseases like Psoriasis and respiratory diseases like Asthma, COPD etc.

  1. Virechanam – Laxation

Virechanam is induced laxation. Laxation is induced by medicinal preparations like ghee, oil, decoction and powder. Selection of medicine is done by the physician in accordance with patient’s disease and Prakrithi. Virechanam is a purification procedure in ‘Pita’vitiated diseases.

  1. Vasti – Medicated Enema.

Vasti is the process in which the Vata alleviating medicine as given to large intestine trough anus. This is the most important process in treating all ‘Vata” diseases. Vasti is done with Kashayam, oil, ghee or soup considering the Prakrithi and condition of dosha.

  1. Nasyam – Nasal Medication

In Nasyam medicines in form of juice, oil or powder is administered through nose. Upper respiratory allergy, sinusitis, migraine, neurological problems, degenerative and inflammatory conditions in neck and shoulder can be treated with this.

  1. Raktha Mokshanam – Bloodletting.

Different kind of bloodletting is effective in many skin conditions, arthritis conditions, and different kind non-healing ulcers like varicose ulcer. It is done by leeches, pricking veins, suction etc.

In normal condition ‘Njavara Kizhi’ (A Kizhi made out of Rice and milk) is the final procedure. The intention of Njavarakizhi is to strengthen the channels of the body which got loose by Snehapana and for non re appearance of the disease.

In all these procedures medicines or other materials used, temperature of process, duration, pressure of massage are decided and prescribed by the physician. The success of the therapy depends on the team work with an experienced physician and well trained therapists.

The total treatment duration will be an average of 2 to 3 weeks or more which depends on the physical and disease condition.

A successful completion Panchakarma procedure is only after its essential post procedure. The person after undergoing Panchakarma, have to take rest with limited activities with light & less spicy food. Some food has to be avoided according to the disease and body condition. Internal medicines to be continued for few weeks or months, for completing the healing process. Meditation and yoga positions are advised, for promoting self-healing & to prevent recurrence.

Usually the full benefits of the treatment will be expressed within three to nine months

A yearly repeating of the process is found to be more beneficial.

What you should follow for the complete expected result?

The only thing you have to do is just believe us and give us yourself. Be in the soft & firm bed full day, except the things doctor advised. Shed all your headaches, be calm and relaxed. Ultimately enjoy the laziness.

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