Share Pin Email
feature image
Live Fresh

Should You Try a Panchakarma Detox?

What you need to know before you try this intense series of Ayurvedic treatments used to restore the body and mind.

33
Author Image
Contributing Writer
SHARE:

As Ayurvedic medicine becomes more popular and well-known in North America, more people are talking about the various Ayurvedic treatments they’ve tried. One of them that’s currently getting a lot of buzz is called a Panchakarma detox.

As you can probably guess, this is an ancient practice for clearing the body of toxins. In fact, Panchakarma’s literal translation is “five purification procedures.” But what many people don’t know about Panchakarma is that they’re not all safe for everyone. Luckily, there are many different external body work therapies also included in Panchakarma that more gently detox and rejuvenate the body. Here’s what you need to know.

Cleansing Panchakarma Detox

The most classic type of Panchakarma detox involves actually removing toxins from the body through one or more of the following methods:

  • Virechana or purging: The patient is prepared for several days, then given herbs that will help them purge through the lower orifice.
  • Vamana or emesis: The patient is prepared for several days, then given herbs that will cause them vomit.
  • Basti or enema with herbs: An enema with herbs is administered to lure toxins from the colon.
  • Basti or enema with oil: An oil enema is administered to nourish the colon.
  • Nastya or nasal drops: Nasal drops are administered after preparation to detoxify the head and neck region.

The above methods are used by Ayurvedic doctors who specialize in internal medicine. Those who specialize in surgery may also use bloodletting, with leeches for example, as well.

Contrary to what’s commonly thought about Panchakarma detoxing, it’s extremely rare for someone to go through all five treatments. This would require a minimum of 60 days of supervised Ayurvedic care. Each treatment requires several days of preparation, oil massage, steaming, and in many cases, a special diet both before and after the treatment.

Instead, it’s much more common to undergo one or two of these treatments based on the season, doshas, or a specific health problem.

For example, purging treatments are often done to balance the pitta (fire) dosha, which tends to accumulate in the middle part of the gut. If someone has hyperacidity in their gut, which is seen as a pitta imbalance, purging is appropriate.

Emesis is done for kapha (water) dosha, which tends to accumulate in the upper part of the GI tract and chest. If someone comes to an Ayurvedic practitioner with chest congestion, then the practitioner may choose to undergo emesis with the patient because it is thought to remove the phlegm right from the upper chest.

Enemas are done for vata (wind), which tends to accumulate in the colon and pelvic area. Let’s say a patient comes with back pain. An Ayurvedic doctor may choose enema as a treatment because it’s in that area.

These treatments have total body effects, too. If somebody has arthritis, it’s considered a vata-related condition because of the pain and discomfort with movement, so an enema still may be chosen as treatment.

Nasal cleansing is done for conditions related to the head and neck region, so this could include headaches, sinus infections, and more.

Panchakarma cleansing treatments are also done seasonally because the change of the season automatically increases certain doshas. For example, in the fall, pitta energy is very high, so Ayurveda recommends undergoing purging. In early spring, we do emesis to remove mucus and phlegm. When it rains and the temperature comes down significantly, we have people undergo a course of enemas to control vata.

It’s important to note that Panchakarma cleansing treatments are not recommended for women who are pregnant, young children, the elderly who are weak, or those who have not gone through proper preparation. Because of the intense nature of these treatments, it’s highly recommended that you find a qualified Ayurvedic doctor you trust to administer them.


Related: 5 Essential Ayurvedic Herbs that Heal



Rejuvenating Panchakarma Treatments

In modern times, the word “Panchakarma” has actually come to mean something even broader and more complex than just detoxing. Rejuvenative treatments are also included in Panchakarma.

When you hear that people have undergone Panchakarma at an Ayurvedic facility, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ve undergone enemas and purging and the more deeply detoxing procedures. Instead, they might have just done a series of rejuvenating therapies.

Anyone can go to an Ayurvedic center and ask for rejuvenating Panchakarma, and they’ll receive treatments like whole body oil massage, steaming, shirodhara (where an oil stream is poured on you), and more. This is what most people think of when they hear about Panchakarma. Rather than treating a specific set of symptoms, these treatments are mainly health promotive for both the mind and the body.

Because of these treatments, everyone can take part in Panchakarma in some manner. Often, we recommend that these rejuvenating treatments are done seasonally as well, so you can start each new season feeling your best.

By

SHARE:

Comments (0)

Recipe by Request

Do you need some help in the kitchen? Tell us about your dietary needs and lifestyle for the chance to receive a personalized recipe idea developed by a professional chef.

 

Make a Request

Load More

Find us on Instagram

@LIVESONIMA
  • Mindfulness is about being present within moment to moment awareness. 
Try this walking meditation today and allow every breath to fill your life with more meaning. ✨

Click on our bio link to follow along to this 5 minute mindfulness meditation and ground yourself in the preciousness of the present moment! ✨
.
.
.
.
.
#mondaymindfulness #mondaymotivation #mondaymindset #mondaymorning #mondayvibes #mindfulnessmeditation #walkingmeditation #mindfulwalking  #mantramonday #mindfulliving #livewell #livefree #livefit #sonima #livesonima #healthylivingrevolution #yogalifestyle #yogaliving #mindbodybalance #winterwonderland #winterwalk #mindfulnesspractice
  • . .

Here are a few easy and basic tips you can start to implement into your practice to first develop the strength for handstands. 
1. Use Uddiyana Bandha in Downward Facing Dog.
2. Hold high plank position using strong legs and core.
3. Start to jump forward from Downward Dog and get your hips up over your shoulders. 
4. Don’t be afraid of falling over. 
5. Feel comfortable to land in a backbend or use the wall for support.
  • Try these quick, simple, and nutritious “Holiday Roasted Rosemary Vegetables.” Bring them to that impromptu Christmas party or enjoy them in your own home. 
They are a great addition to any Hanukah dinner or gathering with  friends or family. 🥕

Click on our bio link for the full recipe created by Amie Valpone @amievalpone 🙏🏽♥️
.
.
.
.
.
.
#holidayseason #holidayrecipes #christmasfood #amievalpone #cleaneatingrecipe #cleandiet #detoxdiet #eatingclean #thehealthyapple #resetyourbody #antiinflammatorydiet #flightinflammationwithfood #eatingcleanrecipes #vegetarianrecipes #veganrecipes #veganfoodlovers #veganfood #vegetarianmeals #healthyrecipes #mindfulliving #livewell #livefree #livefit #sonima #livesonima #healthylivingrevolution #healthierchoices  #balancedlife #balancediet #roastedveggies
  • Opportunities are coming your way this month, and with the right mindset and some newfound confidence, you can wrap up 2020 with great success! 💫

Read your full December horoscope 
when you click on our bio link! ✨
.
.
.
.
.
.
#tuesdaytransformation #tuesdaymorning #tuesdaythoughts #astrology #horoscopes #sagitarius 
#yogalifestyle #yogaliving #positivenergy #positivelifestyle #positivemindpositivelife 
#mindfulliving #livewell #livefree #livefit #sonima #livesonima #healthylivingrevolution #astrologicalsign #sagitariusseason #monthlyhoroscopes #astrologyzone #horoscopesigns #monthlyhoroscopes
#sagitarianas #sagittarius♐️
  • Seven science-supported reasons why moderately intense activities—like yoga, walking briskly, or biking around town—will never go out of style and may actually be the best kind of exercise for your body. 🚲
.
From our profile page, click on our bio-link to read the full article. 🧘🏻‍♀️
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
#weekendvibes #weekendworkout #weekendwarrior #lowintensitycardio #lifestylefitness #workoutroutine #workoutmotivation #workoutoftheday 
#yogalifestyle #yogaliving #positivenergy #positivelifestyle #positivemindpositivelife
#mindfulliving #livewell #livefree #livefit #sonima #livesonima #healthylivingrevolution #healthierchoices  #balancedlife #createbalance #createhealthyhabits #mindbodyhealth #integrativehealth #loveyourlife #sundayinspiration
  • Though it's often hard to move after a heavy meal, these sweet yoga poses help to relieve the body, restore comfort, and aid in digestion! 
After the feast, give yourself some time to rub your stomach, then, take a deep breath and turn to your yoga practice to care for your digestive health. 
Good digestion is a key part of overall well-being and happiness! 🧘🏻‍♀️ .
Follow the link in our bio to follow this very helpful practice to help you digest. ✨

Happy Thanksgiving! 🙏🏽
.
.
.

Yoga practice created by @christinechenyoga 
Photos by @haileywist .

#thankfulthursdaysonima

#yogalifestyle #yogaliving #positivenergy #positivelifestyle #positivemindpositivelife
#mindfulliving #livewell #livefree #livefit #sonima #livesonima #nationalgratitudemonth #gratitudechallenge #gratefulheart #gratitudejournal #gratitudeattitude #gratitudedaily #thankfulgratefulblessed #thankfulheart #gratitudepractice #attitudeofgratitude 
#gratefulforlife #gratitudemonth #gratitudemeditation #deepakchopra .
.
Receive fresh content delivered to your inbox every week!