The Panchakarma cure is Ayurveda’s main purification treatment (Shodhana chikitsa). Besides from undergoing surgery, this treatment is the most efficient and thorough one available in Ayurvedic medicine. This treatment lies within the area of internal medicine and must, therefore, be practised under stationary medical surveillance (by an Ayurvedic practitioner) for a period of at least 28 days in order to be effective. The Panchakarma cure is optimal in cases of serious or advanced illness, but also in cases where the body has become overloaded on the physical and psychic levels without a disease having been diagnosed.

The Panchakarma treatment includes 5 different procedures for the deep purification of the body; the preferred technique depends on the patient’s constitution and on the pathology at hand. They are therefore never all practised during a single treatment, seeing as each procedure corresponds to a specific need.

 

The 5 Panchakarama actions:

  1. Induced vomiting (Vamana)
  2. Purgation (Virechana)
  3. Nose cleaning (Nasya)
  4. Enema or Colonic Irrigation (basti)
  5. Blood letting/cleansing (Raktamoksha)

The cure is carried out in 3 phases: 1st phase = Panchakarma is preceded by a pretreatment (Purvakarma); this is a preparatory phase enabling the body to prepare for Panchakarma. This pretreatment consists of a phytotherapeutic treatment, a strict diet as well as therapeutic and manual treatments. 2nd phase: the main action; the Panchakarma consists of parallel manual treatments together with a diet and phytotherapy. 3rd phase: after Panchakarma comes the post-treatment (Pascatkarma); this phase needs to last as long as the cure itself in order for the body to fulfil its actions of integration and reharmonisation. This is in fact a period of convalescence that is necessary for the cure to be efficient and to avoid an overload and deregulation of the body. This last phase can be done at home; it is advisable to respect a diet as well as the rules of personal hygiene whilst progressively resuming one’s normal activities.

In conclusion, if one has enough time and is interested in this ayurvedic treatment, the benefits of Panchakarma – when practised in a serious and professional environment – can be quite significant seeing as the body will truly feel cleaned, purified and regenerated!