“Samadosha samagnischa samadhatu malakriyah
Prasanaatmendriya manah swastha ithyabhidhiyathe” (Sushrutha Samhita)
Sushrut Acharya states the equilibrium of body doshas(humor), Agni(digestive fire), dhatus(tissues),malakriya(physiological functions of excretion, etc), and whose Atma(soul),indriya(senses), mana(mind) all happy are considered as a healthy individual. This definition is very much similar to the health definition by the World Health Organization.
In Ayurveda, diseases can be classified into 2 divisions namely santarpanajanya vyadhis(diseases due to over nourishment) and apatarpanajanya vyadhis (diseases due to undernourishment). The former category has to be treated with samana (palliative therapies) and sodhana (purifying therapies) wherein the latter category is treated with santharpana chikitsa (nourishing therapies). The panchakarma comes under the shodhana chikitsa. Our body is subjected to constant changes due to environmental factors, lifestyle, poor food habits, choices, stress, etc. These changes lead to the accumulation of toxins in the body in the long run. This can in turn lead to diseases or metabolic changes. The body has to be cleared off these toxins at regular intervals which are achieved by performing panchakarma therapies. It helps in achieving a balanced state of mind, body, and spirit. It improves the energy flow through the channels which lit up the productivity, concentration, and metabolism of the individual.
Panchakarma’s way of healing is the pillar on which most ayurvedic therapies rely. Panchakarma refers to 5 karmas or procedures which help in eliminating the toxins from the body. It is often associated with the word detox. It is an underrated explanation as it is not a mere detox but is a complex procedure having several benefits and is to be done under proper supervision and care.
Ayurvedic Panchakarma Procedure
Ayurvedic Panchakarma procedure usually happens in 3 steps namely poorva karma,pradhana karma, and paschat karma:-
1) Poorva karma (Preparatory Phase)
Before the vigorous panchakarma, the body has to be prepared which is done through poorva karma. This mainly includes ama pachana,snehana, and swedana. Aama pachana refers to administering oral ayurvedic medicines which help in improving the digestive fire. Snehana refers to the administration of medicated oil externally and internally to lubricate the system. Swedana refers to different types of fomentation such as potali, steam bath, etc. These procedures help in opening up the channels and bringing the lubricated toxins back to the gastrointestinal tract, from where they can be easily flushed out. During poorva karma along with these procedures diet and lifestyle play an important role. The individual has put on a light and easily digestible diet preferably rice porridge and sipping warm water act as a catalyst in the digestion of medicated ghee. The individual is restricted from doing vigorous exercise, air-conditioner, sunlight, etc. This is to make sure that the body gets adequate rest and the whole concentration is just on the lubrication of toxins.
2) Pradhana Karma (Panchakarma)
This includes the five procedures namely Vamana,virechana,anuvasana vasti,niruha vasti, and nasyam.
- Vamana:- It refers to induced vomiting mainly indicated in upper respiratory tract diseases such as asthma, bronchitis, etc. A day prior to Vamana the Kapha dosha is activated with the help of milk porridge, medu vada, etc to make the detox process easier.
- Virechana:- It means induced purgation. The main indications are skin diseases, hyper acidity, metabolic disorders, paralysis, etc. One day prior to the procedure pitta is activated by giving rasam, sambar, vegetable biryani, etc.
- Anuvasana Basti:- Enema with the help of medicated oil (mezhukupakam) helps in lubricating the colon and rectal area. It helps in flushing out the lipid-soluble waste. Anuvasana vasti cannot be given on an empty stomach and when the person is hungry. It is the main treatment for removing accumulated vata dosha. It is mainly indicated in neurological disorders, degenerative joint diseases, gynecological issues, etc.
- Nirooha vasti:- It is also known as kashaya vasti(decoction enema). It is mainly performed in vataja disorders. Helps in clearing out the toxins from the transverse colon till the anus. Instead of only medicated oils, it is a combination of herbal decoction,saindhava, honey, Sneha, etc. It has to be administered on an empty stomach (early morning). Since this kind of vasti is highly potent it can cause dryness so it is usually followed by anuvasana vasti.
- Nasyam:- The traditional oiling of the face, chest, neck, and upper back along with steaming on these areas are the poorva karmas which are done before nasya. Nasya involves the administration of medicated oil through the nostrils which helps in clearing sinus, throat, and nasal passage. The toxins above the shoulders, head, and neck can be removed through nasya. It is mainly indicated in sinusitis, migraine, headache, cervical issues and degeneration, paralysis, and psychological ailments. The paschat karma (post panchakarma procedures) includes gandusham (gargling with medicated water) and dhumapana (medicated smoking).
3) Paschat Karma:- Post of Panchakarma Treatment the body will be weak, the gut will be sensitive and the person will undergo physical stress. Immediately returning back to the normal routine is hence not advised. Ayurveda advises to follow peyadi krama so that the digestive fire and body strength can be gradually increased. Peyadikrama refers to having easily digestible foods which start with solely liquid diets, soups semi-fluid foods like rice porridge, kichadi, etc to a normal diet. Rest is also as important as diet. Once the digestive fire is restored rasayana therapies are performed in order to rejuvenate.
So panchakarma mainly cleanses and rejuvenates the body. It cannot be performed on everyone. Before doing the procedure, the condition of the individual has to be assessed by ayurvedic physicians. It is a complex procedure that requires willpower. Age plays an important role in determining the panchakarma therapies whether to do or not. Too elderly people and too small kids below 16 are strongly contraindicated. In bedridden patients, traumatically injured, pregnant women, etc panchakarma cannot be performed.
Find the benefits of Panchakarma as follows:-
- It improves metabolism which helps in managing metabolic disorders.
- It helps in weight loss by correcting fat metabolism.
- It promotes the self-healing quotient of the body
- it boosts immunity as it acts on a cellular level
- Opening up the blocked channels
- Relieves stress both physical and mental
- It rejuvenates the body by slowing the aging process.
- Restore the vitality of the body and improve mental clarity.
- Riddance of toxins.
- complete purification of the body.
- helps in bringing back the equilibrium of doshas.
- helps in implementing a healthy lifestyle.
Agni ayurvedic village is one of the authentic ayurvedic hospitals in India for Panchakarma Treatments. Panchakarma cannot be done in 2 or 3 days. It is a step-by-step procedure that requires the complete physical and mental presence of the individual at least for 7 to 10 days. All the 5 Panchakarma therapies cannot be done in one person at a time, don’t fall prey to such quacks; it results in deterioration of health rather than benefits. In agni ayurvedic village we provide complete assistance for the patient starting from the preparatory phase till the achievement of normalcy. Here we provide customized panchakarma therapies, diet, and yoga sessions for our guests depending on the assessment done by our panel of physicians. All the medicines we use during the treatments are from Kerala which is authentically prepared and are purely herbal formulations. The atmosphere of agni ayurvedic village will be an added benefit for undergoing these procedures here.