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Panchkarma in Ayurveda means five types of therapeutic bio-purifactory ways (shodhan karma) of treatment to eliminate toxins (morbid dosha) from the body and to replenish the tissues of the patient. This purification therapy can be implemented not only for curing diseases but to maintain health. No other systems of medicine can offer such an effective treatment measure. So we can proudly declare our superiority of Ayurveda to any other systems on account of its purification therapy. These five types of therapies are as follows:

  1. Vaman (Medicated Emesis): Induction of vomiting for expelling the dosha accumulated in the amashaya (gastrium) by oral administration of emetics is the procedure of vaman.
  2. Virechan (Medicated Purgation): Expelling of the morbid accumulation of dosha from the intestine the way of inducing purgation is the virechana karma
  3. Basti (Medicated Enema): Expelling of the morbid dosha from the colon by administering the evacuating enema is the procedure of basti karma. This procedure is also being useful to medicate the colon locally and potentiating the body to overcome the vata dosha specially.
  4. Nasyam: The procedure of nasya karma includes cleaning the head from any morbid dosha by way of administering the medicine through nasal route.
  5. Raktamokshana (Bloodletting): Allowing the blood by different techniques for the therapeutic purpose is known as raktamokshana. These above said therapies done in a planned manner as follows- preparatory phase, main procedure and post cleaning phase.

Preparatory Phase

For the easy, proper and effective administration of the Shodhan karma it is essential to prepare the client is subjected to certain preliminary procedures. These preliminary procedures are pachana, snehana and swedana.

  1. Pachana:- Toxins (morbid dosha) in body may be present in two distinct states. These states are known as ama and pakva state. Ama refers to the incompletely formed state of the morbid dosha, and in the state it is inseparably adhered to the body tissue, hence cannot be expelled out from the body. Pakva state of the morbid dosha refers to the formed state and in which it can be expelled from the body by different shodhana procedures. The pachana procedure is the oral administration of the medicine in the form of powder, tablet or decoction to enhance the digestive power that renders the paka state of the morbid dosha, so that late it may be expelled easily by the different shodhana procedures.
  2. Snehana: Imparting greasiness to the body by the administration of the fatty substances either the internal route or external route is referred by the name snehana chikitsa. Before the shodhana this snehana helps in the mobilization of the dosha from the site of morbidity to the site of the elimination.
  3. Swedana: Induction of perspiration by different methods of applying heat to the body is the swedana procedure. This procedure also helps in the mobilization of te dosha into the gastrointestinal tract where from it is eliminated by the shodhana procedure.

Main Procedures

In this stage the loosened and liquified doshas are expelled out of the body by the appropriate purifactory procedure.

  1. Vaman Karma: Vaman is the unique procedure of eliminating the dosha from the body through the oral route by way of inducing vomiting. Kapha dosha , the third among thr three doshas is the best eliminated by the procedure. The forcible expulsion of the undigested pitta and kapha through the upper root is known as the vamana by definition.
    Indication of vaman karma:- Most common indications of vaman karma are cough, asthma, psoriasis, other many skin disorders, Pshycological disorders such as depression etc, Upper respiratory tract infections, Acid peptic diseases and other disorders due to vitiated kapha dosha or as per physician opinion.
    Complications of vaman karma:- Most common complications that the client may suffer from are – distension of the abdomen, irritation and cutting pain in the throat, excessive salivation, precordial discomfort, stiffness of the body parts, appearance of the blood in the vomitus, altered state of the consciousness, rigidity, sense of tiredness etc.
  2. Virechan:- Expulsion of the waste product is the verbal meaning of the word virechan; the word virechan means mere expulsion. But in general the term virechan karma is use for the evacuation of the fecal matter and other accumulation of dosha in the lower gastrointestinal tract through the anal route. Among the three doshas the morbid accumulation of pitta dosha is best eliminated by this procedure.
    Indication of virechan karma:- Most common indications of virechan karma Skin diseases, Febrile illness, Hemorrhoids, swellings, Anemia, Headache, Migrain, Worm infestation burning disorders, Tastelessness etc.
    Complications of virechan karma:- Distension of the abdomen, severe cutting pain at the anal region, discharge from the anus, precordial discomfort, stiffness in the body part, appearance of the blood in the excreta, Altered state of consciousness, rigidity, sense of tiredness etc.
  3. Basti:- The administration of the liquid medicine through the rectal, urethral or vaginal route is collectively referred by the name basti. In general notion that enema is administered with the purpose of evacuating the bowel. But in Ayurveda, this procedure is prescribed as a rout of drug administration. In a nut shell the basti therapy is stated as the procedure, easily administered, well accepted by the client, as well as very effective at any age. Basti is indicated in maximum numbers of the diseases to cure the every type of dosha specially vata dosha.
    There are many types of basti depend on combination of herbs etc. So indications and complications will be according to type of basti.
  4. Nasya:- Administration of the medicines through nasal route is known as nasya. AS the nearest root, the diseases related to head is best treated by this procedure. Shirovirechana, Murdhavirechana and shirovireka are the other names of this procedure. The medicine might be in the form of medicated oil, medicated ghee, powder, juice etc.
    Indications of nasya karma:- Stiffness of head, chronic sinusitis, headache, disease of neck, hair fall, tinnitus, frozen shoulder, premature graying of hairs, hoarseness of voice etc.
  5. Raktamokshana:- The surgical procedure of allowing the blood to bleed for therapeutic purpose is known by the name Raktamokshana. This procedure might be done by the any surgical instrument, leech, sringa, alabu etc. This procedure is very effective but should be done only by the experienced doctor/ Ayurvedic Surgeon.
  6. Post Cleaning Phase

    1. Sansarjan Karma:- This includes the regimens to be practiced after the purification. This mainly intended to augment the digestive fire as well as the physical strength of the patient. This also termed as sansarjana karma. Sansarjana karma may be 3-7 days as according to the type of shuddhi/ cleaning.
    2. Shamana Chiktsa:- Following shodhana procedure to complete the treatment, palliative measure are carried out by way of administering the medicine and is unique and specific to different cases. Such palliative measure is known as shaman chikitsa and it clears the small amount of the morbid doshas, which is left out after the shodhana and also rectifies the damage cause by the disease process.
    3. Rasayan Chikitsa:- This methodology is useful for promotion of health by increasing the immunity power after the shodhana karma. Promotion of health may for routine general health, specific health e.g. increase in weight/ memory etc and to avoid the re-occurrence of any disease.

    Duration of Panchkarma

    Vaman Snehan-Swedana
    Vaman Day
    Sansarjana Karma
    5-8 days
    1 day
    3-7 days
    Virechan Snehan-Swedana
    Virechan Day
    Sansarjana Karma
    5-8 days
    1 day
    3-7 days
    Basti Type-I
    8 days
    16 days
    30 days
    Nasya 3-7 days
    Raktamokshan Snehan-Swedana
    Raktamokshan day
    5-8 days
    1 day
    Note:- The duration of Panchkarma procedure depends on many factors so for details please contact to your concerned physician.

    Don’t Do’s during and after the procedure

    1. Speaking loudly
    2. Irritation of the body by excessive travelling
    3. Prolonged walking
    4. Continuous sitting
    5. Consumption of the food when suffering from indigestion and consumption of excessive foods
    6. Irregular and wholesome food intake
    7. Day sleep
    8. Sexual intercourse

    Panchakarma Therapies

    Abhyang Kavala Kati Basti
    Netratarpan Lepa Nadi swedana
    Murdha Tail Dhoompana Upnaha Swedana
    Shiroabhyanga Mukhalepa Karnapurna
    Shirodhara Parishek Pizichil
    Shiropichu Shirobasti Pinda Swedana