In Sanskrit Pancha means five and Karma means actions. Thus Panchakarma therapies are five profound healing modalities unique to Ayurveda. Panchakarma is unique for two reasons: Not only do these therapies remove the diseases from their site (i.e., arthritis in the hand) but remove the toxins from the body once and for all. Panchakarma therapies are able to heal diseases previously thought to be incurable according to Western medicine. It is a common occurrence to see people wheeled into Ayurvedic hospitals in India and walk out on their own two feet healthy after treatment. Each dosha benefits specifically from a different Panchakarma therapy.

Five Panchakarma Therapies are :


Vaman is one therapy among 'Panchakarma'- the five fold Ayurvedic detoxification procedures. This process will induce therapeutic vomiting. Prior to this procedure the individual's body will be prepared by proper Snehana (oleation) and Swedana (sudation). This is a very beneficial therapy for Kapha predominating disorders such as asthma, cough, psoriasis and skin disorders.


This therapy is one among Panchakarma which eliminates excess Pitta from the body. Virechan is performed by administering Virechak Aushdhi (purgative medicine) in milk or warm water preparation after proper preparation of the individual through Poorvakarmas. This therapy is extremely beneficial in Pitta disorders such as dermatitis, chronic fever, heartburn, jaundice, etc.


(a) Sneha Vasti

One among the five classical detoxification programme (Panchakarma) and indicated in Vata disorders. The main seat of the Vata dosha is Pakwashaya (large intestine); therefore Vasti, the medicated oil enema, is the main therapy for all Vata disorders such as constipation, neurological ailments, paralysis, flatulence, lower backache, gout and rheumatism. The results nourish and rebuild the Dhatus (body tissues), strengthen their activities, restore and strengthen the body's immunity. This is very nutritive while removing accumulated Malas (toxins) from the colon.

(b) Kashaya Vasti

This therapy is normally done after a course of Sneha Vasti. This is a cleansing enema where a combination of honey, oil, herbal paste, herbal decoction, etc. is administered as per the patient's requirement and condition. This therapy eliminates Vata and helps to treat disorders such as arthritis, constipation, neurological ailments, paralysis, flatulence, lower backache, gout and rheumatism.


A therapeutic treatment for the nose, throat, sinus and head. The face, shoulders and chest are massaged with specific herbal oil and made to perspire. The Herbal extracts/herbal oil in exact doze is measured and instilled into the nostrils, while inhaling. After this process, the area around the nose, chest, palms and foot are massaged vigorously. This Ayurvedic therapy can provide a miraculous remedy for congestion, allergies, sinusitis, headaches, migraine and other nasal infections. This therapy will cleanse, purify and strengthen the nasal passages allowing you to breathe fully and easily again. This treatment is highly effective for headaches, sinusitis, migraine and rhinitis.

Rakta Moksham

This is a method to remove the excess toxins in the blood, but it is not used in many Western countries because it requires a medical license to practice. Blood letting is listed by Sushruta - father of Ayurvedic surgery. In Charaka Samhita, instead of blood letting, the two forms of vasti are seen as two separate forms of Panchakarma. A modern listing includes Shiro Dhara or hot-oil head massage (Abhyanga).

Objective of Panchakarma:

  • To loosen the toxins where ever they exist (e.g., Arthritis in the shoulder).
  • To release toxins through sweating and returning them to their origin sites (Stomach for Kapha; Small Intestine for Pitha; Colon for Vayu).

Preliminary procedures include the following requirements:

  • Abhyangam (massage)
  • Steam Bath
  • Light Diet (Kicharee- rice, moongdal & ghee)
  • Rest