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What is Panchakarma Treatment and its Top 10 Benefits

Panchakarma is an ayurvedic treatment which cleanses the toxic substances and rejuvenates our body, mind, and spirit. It involves some techniques and methods. Read on to know about panchakarma and its 10 benefits.

Panchakarma is the cornerstone of Ayurveda, the ancient Indian medicine system, that goes back to the Vedic age. It is a practice or treatment that helps eliminate toxins from the body, causing it to heal, naturally. Panchakarma is a holistic method of detoxification of the body. Literally translated, the term panchakarma means five actions. The treatment involves a combination of techniques that set the pace for the body to cleanse itself, through these five actions. Panchakarma involves herbal therapies, using special oils, herbs, and potions in combination with massage and fomentation, to get the body to purge itself.

Why you need Panchakarma therapy?

We deal with constant stress, work under different kinds of pressure and breathe in polluted air. We ingest harmful chemicals through food. We live in artificial environments, work late hours, do not exercise enough and do not sleep enough. We drink, smoke, do not consume enough fluids. We do not treat our body's well – all of this creates a build-up of toxins in our bodies. Gradually, this leads to tissue and cell degeneration, resulting in lack of vigour and poor health. Panchakarma reduces the side-effects caused by our lifestyle. It flushes out toxins and boosts cell and tissue regeneration, and restores the body's ability to heal itself.

An expert in Ayurvedic treatments can prescribe the right panchakarma therapy for you, based on an analysis of your body type. These specific treatments are best performed under the guidance of trained therapists. A therapist may also suggest special ayurvedic diet plans, combined with herbal concoctions and oils, to be continued at home. The potent herbs used in panchakarma assist the liver and the digestive organs to function better. The liver begins to flush out toxins at a rapid pace. A clean and healthy liver supports a healthy body.

Basic techniques of Panchakarma

There are two basic techniques used in Panchakarma, and they are the basis of all treatments.
panchakarma massage
  • Snehana

Panchakarma uses an ayurvedic therapy called Snehana, which necessitates the use of oils, ghee and fats. Snehana is also referred to as oleation. The fatty substances are used to lubricate the body, internally as well as externally. Oils are used for massage or poured in a continuous trickle over specific body parts. For internal use, a concoction of oils and herbs is administered either orally or through an enema.

The procedure aids in the transfer of medicinal properties of potent herbs, to the tissues and cells and prepares them for the cleansing.

  • Fomentation

Snehana is followed by fomentation, a treatment that generally causes the body to sweat. The type of fomentation depends on different factors, such as the ailment, body part etc.
Ayurveda uses five different forms of fomentation, namely hot fomentation, dry fomentation, cold fomentation, wet fomentation, and strong fomentation. Different methods are applied during fomentation, these include the use of herbs, packed in a cloth bundle or stones.

Five methods of Panchakarma

There are five elements that constitute panchakarma. These five distinctive approaches remove toxins from the body, in the most natural way. Most of our health problems are due to the toxins in our body. A body that rids itself of toxins, becomes instantly cleaner and healthier.

  1. Nasya

    The treatment is used for ailments affecting the region above the neck, such as hair loss, headache, chronic rhinitis, insomnia, cerebral pain, neurological disorders, sinusitis, and respiratory problems. The treatment starts with a massage and fomentation of the head and shoulder regions, following which medicated nasal drops are administered in the nostrils.

  2. Raktha Moksha

    Raktha means 'blood' and the treatment is used to clean the blood of its impurities. It is an effective treatment for skin related problems, namely, dermatitis, pigmentation, acne, abscess, psoriasis, and dandruff.

  3. Virechana

    The treatment involves the purging of the bowels, through snehana/oleation and fomentation. It is one of the best ways of removing toxic waste stored in the body. The treatment is beneficial for conditions such as celiac infection, zoster, colitis, jaundice, and herpes.

  4. Vaman

    It is a therapy that uses snehana/oleation and fomentation in combination with other therapies and ayurvedic emetic remedies that loosen the toxins accumulated in the body. The treatment causes vomiting, which is a sign that it is working. It is ideal for people suffering from chronic health issues like hyperacidity and asthma. It even boosts metabolism and quickens weight loss.

  5. Vasthi

    Works well for people who suffer from piles/heamorrhoids, constipation, and severe arthritis and other chronic ailments. Patients are administered enema through the rectum. The concoction for the enema varies for different conditions, with a base of ghee, oils or milk.

Top 10 benefits of Panchakarma

  1. Rids the body of toxins

  2. Causes the body to cleanse itself

  3. Boosts metabolism

  4. Induces fat burning and weight loss

  5. Improves digestion

  6. Clears blocked channels

  7. Rejuvenates the body and mind

  8. Helps in cell and tissue renewal

  9. Enhances immunity

  10. Stress Buster

How will Panchakarma benefit you?

The positive effects of panchakarma therapy can be experienced within a few days of starting the programme. You will begin to experience clarity of thought, find yourself a little less vulnerable to emotional stress and notice a definite improvement in your physical health.
Every individual is different and not everyone reacts to the programme in the same way. The likelihood of you feeling sick is a possibility. The therapy could leave you feeling tired and nauseous, and you could experience stomach cramps. This, of course, is normal, and a part of the healing process. It is a sign that the body is adapting to the cleansing routine.
panchakarma benefit

Panchakarma's effect on the mind and body

Ayurveda is an ancient science, which centers around holistic healing of the body and mind. It links wellbeing with our ability to absorb things that we need and discard the unnecessary. It seems complicated but is a rather simple premise. You experience imbalance when your body stores the wrong things (toxins). The build-up of toxins leads to sickness and lethargy. Panchakarma helps purge the stored toxins and activates the body's natural healing mechanism.


Author: Umesh22 Feb 2019 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 3

In the ancient system of Ayurvedic methods emphasis is given on proactive measures to keep the body in a good shape by avoiding the foods which create toxicity and observing the lifestyle which makes a person stress free.

To achieve this target the Ayurveda system uses age-old methods which are described in this article.

Modern science can not comment on the efficacy of these methods but the improvement and regaining the vigor in the individuals undergoing these treatments is a testimony to its success.

From a commonsense point of view also good lifestyle and good habits definitely pave ways for a healthy life physically as well as mentally and most of the Ayurvedic potions try to achieve that through the natural methods.

Author: Nimmy16 May 2019 Member Level: Silver   Points : 4

It is a very old system of practice. Ayurveda has given very beautiful tips and measures to the individuals to keep their health and body active. The effect of Ayurveda is marvellous and it is the best way to practice instead of using the medicines. It is a slow process than this but is said to cure the diseases from the roots.

Panchakarma treatment is one of the best part/branch of Ayurveda. The word Panchakarma is a Sanskrit word that means the fivefold detoxifying and purification treatment process involving body massage, herbal therapy, and other procedures. Panchakarma process releases the stress instantly. All the joints of the body get flexible. It is also helpful in treating many skin related issues like allergies, body rashes, nerve problems, asthma, arthritis, cholesterol, digestive problems etc. Panchakarma treatments can eliminate the issue of sleeplessness too.

These natural methods are very good and safe for every individual.

Author: Sheo Shankar Jha16 May 2019 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 6

The healing effect of Panchkarma is the elimination of toxins by means of five different routes such as Vaman, Virechan, Nasya, Rakta-Moksha and Vasti which can transform the entire body and fill it with energy.

However, this Panchkarma needs to be initiated only in consultation with an experienced Doctor/ Vaidya who is aware of the side effects of the administration of such routes. Since bodies are different, employment of different parameters would certainly vary depending upon body constitution such as Pitta, Vata and Kapha. The extent of different routes has to be decided by the age, sex and other body conditions also.
Any consequent adverse effect needs to be checked immediately with the close supervision of the patient.
However, adverse effects are transient in nature and would go away within a couple of days with the right guidance of a competent Vaidya. The benefits associated with this system can eradicate Asthma, digestion disorders, Immunity disorders etc.

The author has put the relevant merits of this treatment in a lucid way and it is worth reading. However, readers are advised to go through a session with a competent Vaidya before undertaking this treatment.

Author: Varghese22 May 2019 Member Level: Gold   Points : 2

Thanks for the very well detailed article on Panchakarma Treatment. It was very informative and I really felt like going for one sitting.
Some of the points I felt needed to be covered are:
-Time/Days required for the treatment
- Age
- Approximate cost of treatment
- When should one go for this treatment
- List of a few Hospitals or Ayurveda Clinics where you can get it done

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