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Panchakarma cure - the secret to a healthy life

Panchakarma cure - the secret to a healthy life

Panchakarma In Ayurveda, cures have been considered healthy and rejuvenating for thousands of years.

Ayurveda is the knowledge of long and healthy life. This knowledge is more than 5,500 years old and was originally developed by Vaidya to Vaidya passed on. A Vaidya is an Ayurvedic doctor and the word Vaidya is derived from the Sanskrit term Veda. The Veda is the sacred scriptures, which also includes the field of Ayurveda. Incidentally, the word Veda is the origin of our word knowledge. Our German language is an Indo-European language, so many of our words have their origin in Indian. Welcome Home!

What does Panchakarma mean?

Panchakarma means five actions in its translation. Some translations also say five activities. However, it always involves five different procedures with which toxins, pollutants and impurities are eliminated from the body. These are:
  1. laxative
  2. entrances
  3. nasal rinses
  4. emetics
  5. bloodletting
Today mostly only the first three methods are used to cleanse the body. A few thousand years ago, people were a little more robust, maybe a little coarser than they are today and accepted emetics without complaint. Nowadays nobody would be willing to undergo this unpleasant procedure without being asked. Even bloodletting is no longer practiced in Western Ayurveda.

Ama - the origin of every disease

Why does something have to be discharged? A Panchakarma cure is aimed solely at getting rid of pollutants, toxins and metabolic residues, called Ama, like garbage. But how does all of this get into us? Nowadays it is practically impossible not to ingest toxins and pollutants. Not even if you live all year round on an alpine pasture and eat an Ayurvedic diet. We have now enriched water, air and earth with so many pollutants - we breathe them in, drink them and absorb them with our food. In addition, if you eat the wrong thing at the wrong time, ama will also build up in your body. Your body simply cannot digest a warm main meal with meat or fish in the evening without leaving any residue. Only a body in which everything has been digested without leaving any residue is a perfectly healthy body. But who can say that about themselves? Ayurveda does not say you are what you eat. No, it says:

You are what you digest!

You can imagine your metabolism like a well-functioning garbage disposal. Everything that is no longer needed is removed and excreted through the intestines during the next bowel movement. Everything is clean, everything is good. But the metabolic residues that didn't make it into the garbage disposal because it was already closing time remain in the body. And that's what Ayurveda calls Ama.

This is how Ama is born

  • Eat before the previous meal is digested
  • Too many food
  • snacks
  • Eat hard to digest foods in the evening
  • Animal protein, especially in the evening
  • alcohol, nicotine, drugs
  • Fast food and old groceries
  • Iced drinks with meals
  • Destructive way of life
  • Irregular lifestyle
  • Destructive Thoughts (Mental Ama)

If you have a lot of ama in your body, you will get sick. Here is the origin of every disease.

Typical diseases caused by too much Ama

  • arteriosclerosis
  • Coronary heart disease
  • metabolic disorders
  • Rheumatoide Arthritis
  • limb or joint pain
  • Gas and bloating after eating
  • Tiredness, exhaustion, lack of energy
  • Inflammation of joints, skin or organs
  • constipation
  • Heartburn, acid regurgitation and many more.

The good news for you: Ama can be eliminated again with a Panchakarma cure. Depending on the amount, it may not be the first time, but you'll feel better with each repetition. In Ayurveda it is said that if you take three cures a year, you will never get sick.

Process of a Panchakarma cure

Initial examination and anamnesis

The Vaidya, the Ayurveda doctor or Ayurveda therapist takes his time. An initial consultation usually lasts an hour, which is completely unthinkable in western medicine. The pulse diagnosis, tongue diagnosis and iris diagnosis are important sources of information to find out the relationship between Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Medical reports and examination results, if available, are also included.

Preparation - the ghee days

Once the diagnosis is made, a treatment plan is drawn up. In most cases, the Ayurveda cure begins with the intake of liquid ghee, the Ayurvedic butterfat. The amount increases a little bit day by day and depends on the ama load and constitution. The ghee is already dissolving the first toxins because it penetrates deep into the tissue via the intestine.

The purifying treatments

If the body and the mind are prepared, no additional strain should be added during the coming days. The days should be spent in rest and relaxation, the diet comes from Ayurvedic cuisine and should be easy to digest. Now you can start loosening and draining the waste products and blockages.

The five elimination processes

A Panchakarma cure is not a wellness treatment, you have to be aware of that. This cure can be exhausting, because letting go of metabolic residues, ama, as Ayurveda experts say, can lead to headaches and fatigue. But that's normal and a good sign. Because then you know something is going to happen!

Description of the five drainage procedures

1. Drainage (Virechana)

Depending on the diagnosis of the Ayurveda specialist, the herbal mixtures are made up differently. The aim is to empty the intestines and thereby calm the doshas vata, pitta and kapha. At the same time, the intensity of the digestive fire Agni is calmed down.

2. Enema (Basti)

Another very effective cleansing treatment is colonic enemas. In a Panchakarma regimen, the enemas consist of warm, medicated sesame oil and/or herbal teas. Since the large intestine is the seat of Vata, enemas are very Vata calming. The treatment is carried out calmly, with plenty of time and in silence. After a longer period of rest, you can get rid of everything on the toilet.

3. Nasal Rinse (Nasya)

In the word Nasya we can again find an Indo-European connection to our word nose! The nose is the free entrance into our head, therefore a Nasya treatment acts directly on the nasal cavities and the central nervous system. A nasya is an elaborate treatment that begins with a massage of the face and then continues with nasal oil enemas, herbal vapors, or herbal smoke.

4. Brechmittel (Vamana)

Vomiting is repugnant to most people, or at least very, very uncomfortable. If you don't have a problem with that, you should talk to your Ayurveda therapist about it, because from an Ayurvedic point of view, vomiting is very healing.

5. Aderlass (Rakta Mokshan)

Nowadays, at least here in Europe, this is generally avoided. So these five acts or activities are the basis of any Ayurvedic Panchakarma regimen. But the best is yet to come: the oil massages and stamp massages! 

Ayurveda massage with oil and herbal stamps

A very effective method of removing toxins and metabolic residues from the body is an Ayurvedic oil massage. Traditionally, this massage is carried out synchronously by two Ayurveda therapists. The two massage your body with exactly the same movements and loosen everything that needs to come out through the skin. The Panchakarma cure has different massages, all of which have the same goal: the oil is used to massage Ama's skin.


The whole body is massaged synchronously with oil from top to bottom according to a special procedure. The pressure and the choice of oil depends on your dosha constitution and your symptoms. An Abhyanga is generally felt to be very soothing and relaxing.


A herbal paste based on chickpea flour and individually selected herbs is rubbed vigorously over the skin. This accelerates the elimination of metabolic residues and you will have velvety soft skin afterwards.


The forehead pouring with warm herbal oil is the most well-known Ayurvedic treatment. The warm oil is usually poured very slowly over the forehead for 30 minutes. The deep relaxation helps you to recover on a mental and spiritual level.


This full body oil treatment is also known as the royal Ayurveda treatment. Warm oil flows continuously over your body from a container hanging from the ceiling. Simply royal!

Herb Stamp (Pinda Sveda)

Painful joints and parts of the body can be specifically treated with these herbal stamps. Cooked special rice, individual herbal mixtures and oils are placed in a linen bag and tied tightly. The pain points are treated with pressure and circular movements.


The Ayurvedic sauna works like the Finnish sauna with heat, but much more gently. The patient lies on a perforated couch through which warm herbal steam flows. A semicircular hinged lid ensures that the steam envelops the body for as long as possible. However, the head sticks out and is cooled to make the procedure comfortable.

Ayurvedic cuisine - the ideal diet for a cure

One of the main ingredients of Ayurvedic cuisine is love and joy! When you do an authentic Ayurveda cure, the chef will do everything to ensure that you are happy when you eat. During a Panchakarma cure, this means that you eat almost fat-free, do not eat bread and of course eat vegetarian. A gifted Ayurvedic chef can use whatever is available now to conjure up the most delicious foods that will delight and purify your body. These are heavenly prospects!

Who is Panchakarma suitable for?

In principle, anyone can do a Panchakarma cure. In Ayurveda it is said that up to the age of 80 it is not a problem at all, and even after that, as long as the person feels strong enough. After operations or severe psychological stress, however, you should wait three months and become stable again. An Ayurvedic cure is very pleasant, especially the massages, but the detoxification of the metabolic system can be exhausting. Even with acute inflammation, you should not do a Panchakarma cure, because the organism is already running at full speed and should not be put under additional strain. But Ayurveda can also help here. Any Ayurveda doctor can also recommend constructive, calming or strengthening herbal preparations for such cases.

Ayurveda is the science of long and healthy life. This knowledge is at your disposal for your well-being!
Author: Christel Scherzer
Datum: 1.5.2021

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