What Is Panchakarma?

Five-Prana-Ayurveda_What-is-panchakarma.JPG

The Ultimate Ayurvedic Cleanse

Panchakarma is considered the ultimate purification therapy or shodhana chikitsa. It is often referred to as the Ayurvedic cleanse. Panchakarma translates to “the five actions”; pancha means five and karma means action. Panchakarma is the five actions used to cleanse the body of ama or toxins. Panchakarma removes ama and mala or waste products from the body and restores balance to the dosha.

Panchakarma is used when toxins or ama builds up in the body. According to Ayurveda, this is when we begin to see manifestations of dis-ease. Oftentimes when we’ve entered into the later stages of the disease process, Ayurvedic lifestyle and dietary changes won’t produce the major shifts that the body needs. That is where panchakarma is most needed because it purifies the body toxins that have been lodged in the body, mind, psyche and spirit.

Five-Prana-Ayurveda_What-Is-Panchakarma?.JPG

The Five Actions

Panchakarma utilizes “the five actions” of vamana, virechana, basti, nasya, and rakta moksha to cleanse the body of ama and vitiated dosha.

  • Vamana or emesis therapy

    • this treatment is predominately used for kapha-imbalances and

    • to remove toxins from the lungs and stomach;

    • this procedure involves taking herbs to induce vomiting;

    • this treatment is rarely performed in the United States and can only usually be experience in an Ayurvedic clinic in India

  • Nasya or cleansing of the head: it is sometimes called shirovirechana or purgation of the head; this treatment is predominately used for kapha-imbalances and to remove toxins from the head; this procedure involves nasal insufflation of medicated powders or medicated oils

  • Virechana or therapeutic purging:

    • this treatment is predominately used for pitta-imbalances and

    • to remove toxins from the small intestines;

    • it involves taking purgatives or laxatives to remove mala, ama and toxins from the body

  • Basti or purification and rejuvenation of the colon:

    • this treatment is predominately used for vata-imbalances and

    • to remove toxins from the colon;

    • it involves using herbal decoction or herbal oil enemas

  • Rakta Moksha or blood-letting therapy:

    • this treatment is predominately used for pitta-imbalances and

    • to remove toxins from the blood;

    • in India it involves placing leeches on the body;

    • this treatment is not practiced here in the United States; however, there are some practitioners who recommend blood donation as an alternate form of this treatment

If you are interested in learning more about the Five Prana Panchakarma program, click here.