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What is Panchakarma? What are the 5 therapies included in Panchakarma? A detailed guide

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Our body is a temple and so we have to keep it clean at all times. Ayurveda offers great ways by which we can clear the toxins accumulated in our body naturally. One such way is Panchakarma, it is an ultimate healing method, which aims to detoxify the mind and body. It restores our balance and well-being while also strengthens our immune system. At the heart of Panchakarma lies the philosophy of rejuvenation and detoxification. Many Ayurvedic experts believe that it is one of the best healing modality offered by Ayurveda. It is recommended that one gets Panchakarma treatment on a seasonal basis, or whenever they feel their body out of sync.

Panchakarma is a Sanskrit word, wherein, Pancha means “five” and Karma means “actions.”

This process detoxifies the body of any toxic materials left by poor nutrition or by a disease.

Panchakarma comprises of five therapies that include

  • Vamana,
  • Virechana,
  • Basti,
  • Nasya and
  • Raktamokshana.

Let’s look at each of the therapies at a glance:


Vamana focuses on removing Kapha toxins from the body that are accumulated in the respiratory tract and other parts of the body. It is a type of therapeutic vomiting that is given as a part of a medicated emesis therapy. This is mainly given to such people that have a huge imbalance of Kapha. With this therapy, they are able to loosen and mobilize the toxins present in their body and vent them out for good.

Virechana :

It is a type of a medicated purgation therapy that aims to purify blood and cleanse the Pitta by flushing out toxins from the body. This treatment focuses on the toxins accumulated in the gallbladder and liver. The GI tract is also detoxified with this therapy. As a general practice, this treatment is usually given three days after the Vamana treatment.

Basti :

Basti is termed by many Ayurvedic experts as a mother of all treatments, as it cleanses all three doshas like Vata, Kapha and Pitta. Basti has the most impact in terms of removing Vata toxins through the colon. One big advantage of this treatment apart from detoxifying the body is balancing the Vata Dosha. Balancing of Vata dosha is much needed as it causes the majority of diseases and disorders in the body.

Nasya :

Nasya karma focuses on treating Sirorogras, which are diseases that affect the head region such as sinusitis, migraine, chronic headaches, ENT disorders. This process completely purified the head region and balances the doshas above the neck region. The imbalanced doshas are purged out through nasal openings. Patients are administered with nasal errhines, such as medicated powders, medicinal oils etc.

Raktamokshana :

As the name signifies, Rakta meaning blood and Mokshana meaning to leave, this therapy revolves around the purification of blood. In this therapy, the small quantity of blood is carefully removed from the body to neutralise built up Pitta toxins. The removal of the harmful pitta toxins ensures that one does not get any blood-related disease. This process lowers the quantum of the enhanced Pitta dosha and thus diseases caused by Pitta are also cured.