Lifestyle

Everything You Need To Know About Panchakarma

INTRODUCTION

Panchakarma is the main tool to Ayurvedic management of disease. Pancha Karma is the procedure which gets into the root cause of the problem and balances the essential Tridosha’ in body. Pancha Karma is not only good for curing disease but is also a useful tool for maintaining proper health. Ayurveda advised to undergo Pancha Karma at the seasonal changes to clean the body, enhance the digestion and to improve all the metabolic processes in the body.

Ayurveda emphasized that the health is not only the state of not having disease but, it is the state of normalcy of all Tridosha, Dathu, Agni and Malakriya. It also includes the Prasanna Atma (soul), Indriya (sense organs) and Manas (mind).

What is Panchakarma???

The word panchakarma has two words namely Pancha & Karma.

• Pancha :- Five

• Karma :- Therapy (Process)

Pancha stands for Five and Karma are different types of therapeutic procedures so it means five types of therapeutic measures. Which are used for the purification of the body and Ayurveda considers it is so much necessary to undergo this procedure before the start of any other therapy. The logic being -as a cloth purified or cleaned of impurities and dust before it is imparted a new color.

Why Panchakarma??

  • 100 % Natural Ayurvedic Therapy.
  • Great for rejuvenation, healing, cleansing, destressing and detoxifying the body.
  • Works internally and rejuvenates the body system in a proper way.
  • Removes toxins from the system, rebalance the doshas and heal numerous ailments and renew a feeling of clarity and peace.
  • It’s a five step method of treatment in Ayurveda for total mind and body rejuvenation.

The five karmas are as fallows

  • Vamana: Therapeutic vomiting or emesis
  • Virechan: Purgation
  • Basti: Enema
  • Nasya: Elimination of toxins through the nose
  • Rakta Moksha: Detoxification of the blood

Objective of Pancha Karma

Three major objectives:

  • Health maintenance
  • Elimination of the disease
  • Prepare for rejuvenation

Pancha Karma Classified as –

  • Poorva karma – preparatory actions
  • Pradhana karma – main actions
  • Paschath karma – post-therapeutic actions

POORVA KARMA STEPS INCLUDE

  1. Dipana
  2. Pachana
  3. Snehana
  4. Svedana

PRADHANA KARMA STEPS INCLUDE

  1. Vamana
  2. Virechana
  3. Basti
  4. Nasya Karma
  5. Rakta Moksana

PASCHAT KARMA STEPS INCLUDE

  1. Kwath Grahana
  2. Gandusha
  3. Sansarjana Karma
  4. Dhumrapana

Vamana(Emesis)

  • First Panchakarma Procedure Advised in Human being
  • Vamana means to induce vomiting; it is a bio-cleansing measure meant for the elimination of doshas (mainly kapha) accumulated in upper gestro intestinal tract (amashaya) Vamana is a treatment of choice in kaphaj disorders vitiated and aggressive Kapha dosha is expelled out of the body, leading to cure of disease.
  • The digestion and metabolism power gets enhanced,
    Normal health is restored.
  • The sense organs, mind, intelligence, and complexion become clear and gain strength.
  • The person gains strength, nourishment and immunity.
  • It improves the chances of fertility, virility and sexual power.
  • It helps to slow down aging process.
  • One can live healthily for long time.

Virechana (Purgation)

  • Virechana therapy is a type of Panchakarma treatment. Here, person is made to undergo controlled purgation for a specific amount of time. It is designed to flush out body toxins. Liver detox, colon detox etc

Benefits

  • Balances pitta dosha.
  • Flushes out of toxins and excess mucus from the small intestine, this helping in improving digestion.
  • Clears congestion from the liver thus improves metabolism.
  • Enables fat digestion, thus helping in weight loss.
  • Relieves many gastrointestinal disorders.
  • Improves the condition of skin disorders, rashes & allergies.
  • Helps manage paraplegia, hemiplegia joint disorders etc.

Basti(Enema)

  • Basti chikitsa is one amongest the ayurvedic panchakarma therapies which is used to expel the vitiated dosha’s out of the body through intestinal route.
  • It is considered to be the best among the other panchakarma therapies because of it’s ability to pacify vata dosha which is the igniting factor for any disease process.

Benefits

  • Highly beneficial in cleansing and detoxifying the body.
  • Balances all the three doshas viz.Vata, Pitta and Kapha.
  • Puts the body into a state of total balance.
  • Secretions in the colon are promoted by Basti karma, thereby ensuring a good health.
  • Relieves constipation, chronic fever, cold, irregular bowel habits, kidney stones, backache, sciatica, arthritis and other pains in the joints.

Nasya(Elimination of toxins through nose)

  • Medicine or Medicated oil administered through Nasal passage is known as Nasya.
  • Involves the cleansing of the nasal passage the administration of oils, powders, herbal juices, infusions or smoke.
  • Nasya also means beneficial to nose.Clears mucous blockages

Benefits

  • Opens blocked channels
  • Strengthens the nasal passages
  • Treats nasal infections
  • Remedy for congestion
  • Treats allergies and sinusitis
  • Relieves headaches and migraine
  • Strengthens the Nasal Passages Relieves Headaches & Migraine
  • Treats Allergies & Sinusitis
  • Clears Mucous Blockages
  • Opens Blocked Channels
  • Treats Nasal Infections
  • Remedy for Congestion

Raktamokshana(Detoxification of blood)

Raktamokshana is the important and prime process of blood detoxification. It comes from two words i.e.; ‘rakta’ which means blood & ‘mokshana’ which means leave. So the meaning of raktamokshana is to let the blood out.

Benefits

  • It is used to treat the following:

Pigmentation, Scars, Wound, Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Pericarditis, Gouty arthritis, Psoriatic arthritis, Atopic dermatitis, Pain, Uremia Inflammations, Allergies, Skin disorders such as Eczema, Allergic Dermatitis, Tonsillitis, Sciatica, Abscess

Lifestyle and Diet: During and After Panchakarama

During all steps of panchakarma therapy, traditional Ayurveda recommends some sort of lifestyle and diet guidelines.

It is advised take a plenty of rest during the panchakarma experience and to avoid strenuous exercise, sexual activity, late nights, loud music, television and other such stimulating experiences. It is also advised to follow particular care to keep warm and stay away from the wind and to observe one’s thoughts and experiences during this time.

A mono-diet of kitchari(khichadi) and ghee is recommended, as well as essential restrictions on cold drinks, cold food, caffeine, white sugar, recreational drugs or alcohol and dairy products—all substances It shouldn’t be stoped (if at all) until sometime after panchakarma is completed.

The reason behind this diet is that during this process the digestive fire (agni) takes a rest. Also, as toxins move back into the gastrointestinal tract, the power of digestion is further gets slow. Kitchari will provide enough nourishment, it is very fast digestible, nourishes all the tissues in the body, it is so excellent for de-aging of cells and assists in the detoxification and cleansing process. Kitchari is a mixture of rice and mung dal, and is basic to the Ayurvedic way of life. Basmati rice and mung dal both have the qualities of sweet and cooling with a sweet aftertaste. Together these all create a balanced food; these are excellent protein combination that is tridoshic.

Conclusion

Panchakarma, a bio-detoxification and rejuvenation regimen, which has been always an integral part of the Ayurvedic treatment of many chronic diseases. There has been a phenomenal increase in the demand for these Panchakarma specialized therapies, not only for treatment of diseases but also for preventive and promotive health care.

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About author
Nishkarsh kumar recieved his bachelor of science in nutritional sciences from Chandigarh University and completed his internship program in Chandigarh. He is an ayurvedic enthusiastic and passionate about evidence based nutritional information.
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