What is Panchakarma? The only guide you need if you are a beginner

May 20, 2022 | Ayurveda


What is Panchakarma? Panchakarma is an Ayurvedic method of cleansing the body of unwanted waste. Ayurveda is an ancient healing science that has comprehensive teachings on preserving and maintaining physical and mental health for complete wellbeing. It is a testament to its genuine wisdom that the teachings of Ayurveda can be adopted even in today’s faster paced world. If you are beginner this guide will help you on your Panchakarma treatment journey.

What is Panchakarma?

Panchakarma therapies are a method of removing toxins from the body after lubricating it through five purification procedures to cleanse and detox the body for mental and physical wellbeing. Panchakarma is an ayurvedic treatment.

How does Panchakarma relate to Ayurveda?

The word panchakarma is derived from two words; pancha which means five while karma means procedures and is a five-stage treatment that includes curative, preventive and promotive actions for various diseases. Panchakarma therapy is a type of detoxification program that uses different Ayurvedic cleansing and rejuvenation procedures.

What are the 5 karmas?

As said the panchakarma program consists of five cleansing and healing therapies that help restore balance and strengthen the immune system.

  • 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

Today these five ayurvedic panchakarma have been modified to suit the needs of modern life:

Herbal oil massage – A herbal warm oil is magged into your whole body to increase circulation and help the body eliminate toxic residue while purifying the blood.

Cleansing enemas – This is normally done after the medicated oil massage which helps improve circulation. After which you will be made to lie down and the ayurvedic therapeutic enema make according to an herbal formula, will be introduced to your body by an expert.

Nasal administration – This involves herbal nasal drops being administered through each nostril followed by deep breathing. This strengthens general immunity and helps keep the nasal passage and airways clear.

Gentle laxatives (senna) – These herbal formulations help correct vata imbalance, reignite the digestive fire and help the colon work properly. It helps promote normal bowel movement and treat constipation.

Specialized diet – As panchakarma is a detoxifying therapy to heal the body through cleansing you will also be given a specialised diet to follow that helps with the process. Post therapy too you will be advised on the best diet to maintain for maximum benefit and to help maintain vata, pitta and kapha dosha balance.

Steam baths – You will sit in a steam box which is filled with herb-infused team for a duration advised by your ayurvedic practitioner. The herbs added to the steam are based on your body and mind and specifically treat your imbalance. The steam bath helps the herbal oil from your massage go deeper into the layers of your skin for deep rooted benefits.

Post panchakarma lifestyle changes

To enjoy the total benefits for both body and mind, of having panchakarma treatment done it is best to maintain the good lifestyle changes that will be explained to you. These are not difficult to adopt and with time they will become part of your daily routine.

  • Practice mindfulness
  • Eat at the right time
  • Consume an appropriate quantity of food
  • Understand the foods that benefit you and the ones that are harmful
  • Drinking plenty of water and other suitable beverages


The human body accumulates toxins and waste which make us feel less than healthy over time. Panchakarma is a way of cleansing or resetting your body to help strengthen your immunity and for a sense of wellbeing. It is normally recommended that a healthy person undergo Panchakarma treatment at least once a year and anything more than that based on advice. Each panchakarma procedure you undergo is specifically designed for you after a thorough physical examination and can last from 7 days to even as long as 21 days, depending on your needs. Get in touch with an ayurvedic practitioner today if you are interested in experiencing the holistic benefits of panchakarma treatments.