Panchakarma and emotional well-being: nurturing mental health

Jun 6, 2023 | Ayurveda


Panchakarma is a much practiced ayurvedic treatment that removes toxins from the body. It does this by lubricating the body through five purification or ‘pancha’ procedures to cleanse and detox the body. The results of this treatment are known to have immense benefits on a person’s physical and mental health because it leads to a reduction in the levels of cortisol and other stress hormones. If you are looking to nurture your mental health then this article should help you understand how panchakarma can support you with regaining control of your mental health with long term results.

What is panchakarma?

Panchakarma therapy, is as said, an ayurvedic method of cleansing the body of waste buildup. It is derived from two words – pancha which means five and karma which means procedures. It is a five stage treatment that includes curative, preventive and promotive actions to detox the body through cleansing and rejuvenation procedures.

Ayurveda is an ancient healing life science that has comprehensive teachings on maintaining balance within the life energies or dosha to preserve and maintain mental and physical wellbeing. Despite its ancient beginnings, ayurveda is flexible and has been successfully adopted to cater to the lifestyles of today. It is still as effective and is used to cure various ailments and promote wellness. The panchakarma treatment too has been adapted to suit modern patients and is used to treat issues such as allergies, chronic fatigue, migraines, arthritis and constipation among others

Panchakarma and emotional wellbeing

The benefits of panchakarma therapy includes strengthening of the self-healing power of the body and thereby improved mental health. It restores the functions of the five sensory organs and also identifies the root cause of stress, depression, anxiety and other mental issues caused by the build up of toxins. This helps correct an essential balance between the soul, body and mind to create a healing platform for mental and emotional wellbeing. It balances the doshas – vata, pitta and kapha – that govern our individual constitutions and ensures they are returned to their correct balance which helps the mind calm down and for concentration to return.

Panchakarma procedures

The five procedures that come under this ayurvedic treatment are basically cleansing and healing therapies that strengthen the immune system and as said, restore balance. The older versions of these therapies were:

  • Basti, which used herbal enemas to purge the large intestines
  • Nasya, which is the method used to clean the nasal passage
  • Vamana, removes toxins in the stomach through therapeutic vomiting
  • Virechana, removes toxins from the small intestines
  • Raktamokshana, purifies the blood with carefully controlled letting of small quantities of blood

They have been adjusted to meet the requirements of modern patients but still deliver on the positives this thousands of years old life science has to offer.

Herbal oil massage – A warm herbal oil is massaged into your body to increase circulation which stimulates the elimination of toxic residue

Cleansing enemas – After stimulating circulation, a cleansing enema is administered. You will be asked to lie down, and the herbal formula will be introduced into your body by an expert.

Nasal administration – Herbal nasal drops are placed through each nostril which is absorbed by deep breathing. This helps keep the nasal passage and airways clear for a natural flow which strengthens immunity.

Steam baths – for a specified time duration you will be asked to sit in a steam box filled with herb infused steam. The herbs used are based on your specific imbalance and helps the oil from your massage to be absorbed deeper into your skin.

Specialized diet – To make the most of the cleanse and detox you will be asked to follow a specialised diet to compliment the therapies. Post therapy too you will advised on the type of diet to maintain to keep the dosha in balance.

If necessary you will be given gentle herbal laxatives to promote normal bowel movement to reignite the digestive fire to help the colon work properly.

Treatments are usually specifically designed for you after a thorough examination done by your ayurvedic practitioner and can be planned to last 7 days and even for 21 days depending on your need. It is recommended to undergo a panchakarma treatment at least once a year based on the advice of your ayurvedic physician.

Benefits of panchakarma in promoting emotional wellbeing

Unfortunately the human body accumulates toxins and waste which after a while make us feel sluggish and less healthy. It impacts our mental health as well. Panchakarma works to regain good health both mental and physical for a complete sense of wellbeing. Done by an ayurvedic physician it is an effective way to reset your mind and body.

It purifies the body through a series of lubrication therapies to strengthen bodily tissues to work at optimal levels. When toxins are removed it fills the mind and soul with positivity which in turn helps you feel physically better as well.

As said it relaxes the mind and you are asked to incorporate yoga and meditation as well into your post-panchakarma lifestyle to continue enjoying a relaxed mind free from incessant thoughts. It relieves stress as it helps us to take time to focus on ourselves, which often gets neglected in our fast paced lifestyles. It removes blocked channels to allow healing energy to flow through our bodies and promote good mental health.

Importantly, it resets our dosha to their natural balance and it is when these dosha are in balance that we feel happy and healthy.


If you suffer with mood swings and other mental issues you should really consider panchakarma treatment for long lasting benefits. It provides a natural way to improving your health and strengthening your immunity. The lightness and wellbeing you feel when your body is purified and reset to its perfect balance has a positive impact on your emotional wellbeing. Consult an ayurvedic specialist and find out how you too can benefit from an ayurvedic cleanse and detox and enjoy renewed energy and a positivity towards life.