Guide to ayurvedic treatment in Kerala

Panchakarma Treatment

Panchakarma is used to treat and prevent illnesses. It removes toxins and purifies the body. Panchakarma is considered a very powerful treatment modality, because it eliminates the root cause of disease and restores balance in the body. The purpose of panchakarma treatment is to achieve complete physiological purification.

How can you get the best results from panchakarma?

For panchakarma to yield best results, the body and mind should remain stress free so that the system can use all its energy to remove toxins and rejuvenate tissues. If we tax ourselves, it interferes with purification and limits the benefits of the treatment by bringing down the body’s ability to transport toxins from deep body tissues to the digestive tract.

Therefore, follow these recommendations during panchakarma treatment:

  • Reduce activity. Get physical and mental rest.
  • Inform your employer and family about the treatment and stay away from the usual preoccupations of work and family.
  • Avoid situations that trigger strong emotions.
  • Forego sexual activity during and immediately after treatment
  • Schedule the treatment so that it doesn’t coincide with menstruation period.
  • Reduce sensory input. Avoid TV, internet, bright lights and loud music. Read in moderation, if necessary.
  •  Minimise speech.
  • Avoid strenuous physical exercise.
  • Meditate.
  • Comply with the diet prescribed.


Panchakarma Treatment: Top 10 frequently asked questions

What is Panchakarma in ayurveda?

Panchakarma is a deep cleansing ayurvedic treatment. It is a set of five procedures or karmas used  to purify the body. They are Vamana Karma, Nasya Karma, Virechana Karma, Basti Karma and Raktamokshana Karma. These procedures draw toxins (ama) from deep body tissues (dhatus) and expel it from the body.

Who can benefit from Panchakarma treatment?

Panchakarma may be prescribed for patients with chronic diseases as well as others who are ageing, have degenerative changes and want to prevent diseases.

How does Panchakarma treatment help patients?

Panchakarma cleanses the patient's body by removing accumulated toxins in body tissues. This helps in eradicating the cause of the disease and relieving symptoms. When a patient comes to an ayurvedic physician, she examines the patient, assesses the cause of the disease and determines the site of accumulated toxins. She then prescribes the appropriate panchakarma procedure(s) to remove the toxins and restore the right balance. 

How does Panchakarma treatment help healthy people?

Panchakarma helps in preventing diseases and delaying age related degenerative changes. Even people who have not yet been diagnosed with any disease may have toxins in their body due to stress, wrong diet, pollution, injuries etc. which may accumulate in tissues. Over time, symptoms develop and diseases manifest in these weakened tissues. Panchakarma helps a person remain healthy by removing toxins in the body and preventing the onset of diseases.

How long does a full course Panchakarma treatment take?

Panchakarma treatment takes 3-4 weeks. This is because panchakarma is a deep cleansing programmme and requires proper preparatory and post-treatment procedures. Therefore, panchakarma is done in 3 stages- purvakarma, pradhankarma and paschatkarma. The first few days are for purvakarma or preparatory procedures where the toxins stored deep within body tissues are loosened and brought to the digestive tract. The next few days are for pradhankarma or the main procedures where toxins are eliminated from the body. The last stage is paschatkarma or post treatment procedures where digestion is brought back to the normal state and tissues are rebuilt. For panchakarma to be fully effective, it is essential that the person goes through all stages as prescribed.

Does it mean that if I am undergoing Panchakarma, I will go through all the five procedures?

No. Your physician decides the procedure to be used depending on the nature of imbalance in your body. Different procedures are appropriate for different kinds of imbalances, so you will be prescribed one or two procedures which will restore your body’s balance. You may also be prescribed some adjunct therapies for relief of certain symptoms.

Are there any contra indications for panchakarma treatment?

Yes, panchakarma is not prescribed for all patients. It is only prescibed when found necessary and when the patient is adequately strong physically and mentally to go through all stages of cleansing.

Can I not eliminate toxins from my body through fasting and drinking juices? Why Panchakarma?

Panchakarma brings out toxins stored deep within body tissues. Toxins have a heavy sticky quality and once it lodges in deep body tissues, its grasp is tenacious. In panchakarma, the body is prepared through various procedures to loosen the toxins and bring it out. Common fasting techniques may help removal of some toxins from the digestive tract but not from deep tissues.