Panchakarma: An ayurvedic detoxification method

To maintain health and alleviate diseases, Ayurved advocates “Panchakarma” as a powerful purification process to eliminate mental, physical and emotional toxins. Panchakarma is a very powerful healing technique.

Panchakarma literally means “pancha” meaning five and “karma” meaning actions or therapies.  It is a five-fold purification therapy aimed at correcting the imbalance of bodily humors viz. vata, pitta and kapha in order to maintain their inherent equilibrium. This therapy is widely used to cure neurological ailments like paralysis, arthritis, rheumatic pain, dermatological problems, mental disorders etc. it is also used for rejuvenation. Aacharya Charak, the author of the most important ancient text on internal medicine, has described a wide use of Panchakarma therapy for almost all the major diseases.

Vaman (therapeutic emesis), Virechan (therapeutic purgation), Basti (therapeutic enema), Nasya (therapeutic evacuation of vitiated dosha ) and Rakta mokshana (therapeutic blood letting) are the main five therapies (pancha karma). These main therapies are preceded by some pre-treatments like snehana (oleation, herbal oil massage) and swedana (herbal steam bath).

Some of the special treatments prescribed in ancient ayurvedic literature, which are part of panchakarma, are practiced more in Kerala. These are dhara, pizichil, navarakazi, shirobasti etc. These treatments are very effective in longstanding disorders like paralysis, rheumatism, arthritis, spondylosis etc. It is also very effective in psychosomatic disorders like hysteria, depression etc.