Stone Mortar and Pestle

WHAT IS PAÑCAKARMA?

Pañcakarma is a process of releasing toxins stored in the body, the mind and the senses to help the body to heal and become balanced. It is a process of expelling the doṣas from the body. At Vaidyagrama, each person is unique and therefore receives treatment based on their unique constitution, current state of balance/imbalance, time of life, time of year, etc. The doctors will weigh the strength of the disease against the strength of the patient in order to proceed with the best therapies and herbs for that individual person.


  • At Vaidyagrama, the first 7 days usually consist of taking herbs and receiving treatments to help open the channels of the body.

  • The second 7 days is dedicated to drinking ghee in increasing amounts daily and receiving oil treatments. The ghee binds to the fat cells and extracts the toxins which are fat soluble. If the person is not strong enough to drink the ghee, which will be determined by the skilled doctor, then special external oil treatments will generally be given instead.

  • Around the 15th-17th day, one of the main karmas (actions) will be performed to clear the ghee and toxins from the body. 

    • The most common karma utilized is virechana (purgation), herbs are administered to encourage the ghee to exit via bowel movements. 

    • Basti (enema) is another common karma. Herbalized water or oils are used in these enemas to help clear the toxins via the colon. 

    • Vamana (vomiting) is used in certain cases to clear toxins through the process of vomiting. Herbs in combination with milk and rice water are consumed to induce vomiting. 

    • Nasya is the process of releasing the toxins through the nose, using herbalized oils, this is less common. 

    • And the rarest action is rakta moksha (blood-letting).

  • After the karma (action) is performed:

    • 21 day stay—external oil treatments will continue along with dinacharya (daily practices) instruction that you will continue at home.

    • 28 day stay—additional treatments, which help the body to rejuvenate, will generally be given, with the last three days dedicated to external oil treatments along with dinacharya (daily practices) instruction that you will continue at home.

  • A three month supply of herbs will be prepared for you to use at home, along with a list of other recommendations for diet and lifestyle.


My personal experience is that the benefits of Pañchakarma unfold over the next 9 months or so.