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Panchakarma - Treatment, Procedure And Side Effects

What is the treatment?

Derived from the Sanskrit word Panchakarma means the “five actions” or “five treatments”. This is one of the critical processes in Ayurveda that is used to clean the body of toxic materials. Thanks to the lifestyle we follow our body finds it difficult to get rid of the harmful toxins naturally. Panchakarma treatment does this effectively. An individual’s poor dietary habits, no exercise patterns, lifestyle have changed a lot, and as a result, the hormones and agents which regulate the body’s inherent richness have become redundant. This can lead to the spread of toxins throughout the body resulting in various diseases. The waste matter is known as “ama” in Ayurveda. Ama is a foul-smelling, sticky, harmful fluid that needs to be completely removed from the body. Panchakarma aims to do that and correct the imbalances by eliminating the adverse amas out of your system. The treatment basically involves daily massages and oil baths, herbal enemas, nasal administrations. It is a very pleasurable and rejuvenating experience for both the body and the soul. Ayurveda would recommend Panchakarma as a traditional treatment for maintaining a good physical hygiene and mental balance. Many of the ayurvedic treatments channel panchakarma and form the base in all its therapy methods. Due to this nature, the treatments are widely popular all over the globe.

How is the treatment done?

Panchakarma is often called a five-fold therapy. It is customized to suit every individual, based on the needs of the person. It varies a lot and depends on the Ayurvedic constitutional type, the individual’s doshic imbalances, age, digestive strength and immune strength. Depending on the needs, all or only parts of the five therapies are utilized. Sometimes two or three of the therapies are linked together to form the basis of the treatment. Some of the treatments can include “Abhyanga”. This is an individually prepared herbal-oil massage designed to deeply penetrate deep into the skin and relax the mind and body. They also help in the breakup of the impurities and vastly help in the removal of the stagnant waste from the body. Shirodhara is a treatment where warm herbalized oil is poured over the forehead systematically and methodically. They are beneficial in synchronizing the brain waves and have a calming effect on the body as a whole. Garshana treatments consist of dry skin brushing with either soft wool or a silk glove. The purpose of this treatment is to enhance blood circulation and clean the skin of impurities. Swedana is an herbalized steam bath, during which the head and the heart are kept cool while the body is heated systematically to remove the physical toxins accumulated deep within the tissues. Pizichili is the most famous forms and involves a continuous stream of warm herbalized oil poured over the body and massaged in perfect unison. The warmth of the oil penetrates deep into the tissues and rejuvenates the entire body.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

Ayurvedic treatments have been tested and perfected across centuries. They are extremely safe, and the treatments can be taken up by anyone irrespective of the age. Middle aged people are better candidates for such treatments as they are more prone to the physical strains of their day to day life.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

Pregnant women and people who are older than 75 can avoid these treatments as some of the herbal remedies might not suit them. On the whole, Ayurveda is one of the safest forms of treatment and can be undertaken by anyone.

Are there any side effects?

No, there are no side effects. Initially, after the treatment, your body might experience a temperature rise and sudden fever. But this is a natural phenomenon as this is your body’s way of getting rid of the toxins. Few individuals can experience cold for few days as the herbs, and the oil use can cool your body. But these symptoms are very much temporary and should heal within a few days.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

You might be asked to take herbal tonics or herbal syrups for a few days after the treatment. You might be asked to change your diet patterns so that the herbal remedies work effectively. Apart from these, there are no specific guidelines to follow. Your Ayurvedic doctor would be the best person to suggest on this based on your body pattern.

How long does it take to recover?

No, there is no recovery period involved, and you can get back to your regular duties immediately post the treatment. Usually, these types of remedies are done in sessions. Hence make sure that you follow these sessions religiously as a break in the pattern cannot get the results that you desire.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

The treatment plans can consist of multiple sessions, and these can range between 1,200 INR to 1,500 INR per day. Also, ensure that these treatments and therapies are done at professional ayurvedic centers and which has been existence for a long time. These can make all the difference in getting your body supple and free of toxins.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

No, the results of the treatment are not permanent. It depends on a lot of factors like your lifestyle, work nature, your diet, etc. It is best recommended to have these types of treatments once or twice a year for better benefits. The success of the therapies depends on how much you change your lifestyle and your dietary habits.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

There are many alternatives to these treatments, but most of them do follow the same baseline of the Panchakarma therapies. Most of them are massage based, and you can opt for an ayurvedic massage which is similar to them.

Safety: Very High Effectiveness: High Timeliness: High Relative Risk: Very Low Side Effects: Very Low Recovery Time: Very Low Price Range: RS. 1200 -1500 per day

Popular Health Tips

Panchakarma Therapy

Dr. Deepti Gupta 92% (90 ratings)
Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS), N.D.D.Y, F.A.N
Ayurveda, Gurgaon
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Panchkarma And Its Applications
3 people found this helpful

Panchakarma Therapies

Dr. Sowmya M Nair 88% (27 ratings)
BAMS, MD (AM) , Panchakarma, Yoga
Ayurveda, Gurgaon
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Hi, I am Dr Sowmya Nair and I am an Ayurvedic physician with more than 13 years of experience in Ayurvedic treatments. I am specialised in Ayurvedic therapies. So, today I am going to speak about Panchakarma therapies. In Ayurveda, Ayur means "life" and veda means "science". IN Ayurveda, we are treating patients according to the doshas i.e. vaat, pitt and cough. If a person has any imbalance between the vaat, pitt and cough then they will suffer from diseases. In order to balance the doshas, we are doing Panchaklarma therapies. Panchakarma means 5 karmas. It is the main treatment in Ayurveda. Panch means "five" and karma means "treatment". There are Vamana Virechana Nasya Basti Rakta moksha These are the main treatments in Ayurveda. With these therapies, our body will be healthy and it helps in maintaining all the doshas- vaat, pitt and cough. For problems like- sinusitis, chronic sinusitis, psoriasis, we do Vamana therapy. Virechana is a loose motion therapy. In the pitta problems also we do Virechana therapy. Nasya is the main treatment for the sinusitis, allergic rhinitis related problems. Basti is the main treatment. It cures all the vada related diseases. LIfestyle diseases liek spondylitis, cervical spondylitis, lumbar spondylitis, slip disc cases, multiple psoriasis. In this, we are giving medicated decoction and medicated oil through anal route. The last is the Rakta moksha. It is a blood ducting. It is a Kerala therapy and it is a Leech therapy. Leech therapy is very good for all pitt dosh related problem and skin related problems. Nowadays the slip disc and osteoarthritis are very common. In osteoarthritis, there is degenerative changes in bones. If it affects your neck, it is called cervical spondylitis. If it affects your back, it is called Lumbar spondylitis. If it affects your knees, it is called ankylosing spondylitis. Osteoarthritis of knees are very common now a days. How to prevent Osteoarthritis of knees? Maintain your diet. Avoid eating junk food and oily food in order to maintain your body weight. Do regular exercises. Do walk and yoga asanas to help preventing Osteoarthritis. Maintain the right postures. If slip disc affect the neck, you will have pain and numbness. If it affects the cervical, you will get cervical pain, neck stiffness, neck pain. If it affects the Lumbar region, then you will have difficulty in movements and pain in both the legs. For such problems, we have excellent treatment in Ayurveda. Treatments- In Osteoarthritis problems, we are doing janu basti, janu pichu, abhyangam, elakiri, podikizhi. All these treatments are very good to cure Osteoarthritis. If it is cervical disc related problem, then we give greeva basti, greeva picchu, nasyam are very good for this problem. We treat Lumbar disc related problem with Kadi basti, kadi picchu, abhyangam. These are the main treatments for all the diseases. For more information, you can contact me through Lybrate. Thank you.

Lifestyle Diseases

Dr. Sowmya M Nair 88% (27 ratings)
BAMS, MD (AM) , Panchakarma, Yoga
Ayurveda, Gurgaon
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Hi, I am DR Sowmya Nair, an ayurvedic physician with more than 13 years of experience in Ayurveda. I am specialised in Ayurvedic Panchakarma treatment. Today I am going to speak about cervical spondylitis. Cervical spondylitis, Lumber spondylitis and Ankylosing spondylitis. So these are the lifestyle diseases and are very common these days. It is a lifestyle disease because we are sitting in front of the computers for long time and not maintaining our body postures, using mobiles, playing tabs. How to prevent these lifestyle diseases? First is diet, try to avoid too much junk and oily food in order to maintain the body weight. Second is to maintain the correct posture. Sit straight while using computers. Sit in such a manner that the monitor or laptop should lie in eye level. Third is to indulge in regular exercises. Doing yoga helps us to stay healthy. In all the spondylitis changes, the major change is the dignity of the neck. So, the main symptoms like neck stiffness, neck pain, pain in arms, headache. Back pain is also a major problem, difficulty in walking in Lumber spondylitis . In Ankylosing spondylitis, the rigidy and stiffness will be more. In Ayurveda, we are offering Panchkarma treatment for all these ailments. The main Panchakarma treatment for; For Cervical Spondylitis are greeva basti, greeva bicchu, abhyangam, potli massage and nasyam. For Lumber spondylitis, we are providing kati basti, kati bicchu, basti. Dhanyamla dhara for Ankylosing spondylitis. All these are the treatments available with us. So, we treat these lifestyle diseases from the roots. In case of more details about Panchakarma treatment or any other treatment for lifestyle disorders, you can contact me through Lybrate.


Dr. Mahesh Gupta 93% (161 ratings)
Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery (BAMS), CERTIFICATE IN OSTEOPATHY, Panchakarma Training
Ayurveda, Udaipur
There are many treatments for enlarged prostates (BPH), but all have side effects and possible complications. Ayurveda treatment of enlarged prostate is safe and gives long lastiing results. panchakarma treatment like Basti is exellent in this condition. we can prevent or delay surgical intervention by using ayurvedic oral medication and panchakarma therapy. some patients get permanent relief.
2 people found this helpful


Dr. Sandip Patel 88% (181 ratings)
Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS), MD - Ayurveda, Ph.d Arthritic Disorder
Ayurveda, Surat
As the name suggest, Abhayanga means massage. It is one of the pre-purification measures of detox therapy. Oil is massaged into the skin through gentle to medium pressured strokes; that helps to eliminate body toxins and makes the superficial and deep skin tissues soft and supple. Snehana is done daily for three to seven days, as indicated by your physician. INDICATION : Vata diseases Joint pain Neuromuscular & skeletal diseases Fatigue Dryness of the body As rejuvenative technique PROCEDURE : Abhyanga is the application of warm, herb-infused oil to the entire body from head to toe. As the oil is applied to the skin using rhythmic motions and synchronized massage movements; it penetrates deep into the tissues to eliminate toxins at the cellular level. It prepares the body for shoddhan procedures like Vaman and Virechana. DIET : Before therapy: Patient is advised not to have a heavy meal before the therapy. He can consume liquid foods like hot milk or soup in moderation prior to procedure. After therapy: Patient is advised not to have anything for procedure. Heavy, spicy and junk food must be avoided during the course of the treatment. Patient is advised not to have anything for procedure. Heavy, spicy and junk food must be avoided during the course of the treatment. BENEFIT : Rejuvenates whole body Enhances blood circulation Beautifies and moisturizes the skin Tones muscles and increases tissue strength Enhances joint mobility Alleviates Vata dosha Reduces the pains and aches in the muscles and the adjoining skeletal system Removes the toxins of the body

Popular Questions & Answers

I need to do treatment for Vata Dosha. Can anyone please advise for any good Panchakarma centre in South Kolkata? Thanks.

Dr. Shashank Agrawal 91% (13709 ratings)
PG Diploma in Emergency Medicine Services (PGDEMS), Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS), MD - Alternate Medicine
Ayurveda, Ghaziabad
1-apply prasarini oil or pranacharya restopain oil on your affected part and give hot water fomentation. 2-take yograj guggul and agni tundi vati after lunch and dinner with warm water. 3-Take maha rasnadi kwath 2-2 tsf twice a day. 4-Take pranacharya vatari capsule and syrup twice a day. Diet- Avoid fermented food. Junk food. Potato rice. Sleep well.
2 people found this helpful

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Psoriasis - Ayurvedic Remedies For Managing It!

Dr. Renuka Siddhapura 90% (40 ratings)
Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS)
Ayurveda, Ahmedabad
Neem oil can help treat psoriasis. True or false? Take this quiz to know more.
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