FAQs on Panchkarma

Q. Is there an equivalent procedure to Panchakarma in modern medicine?

To the best of our knowledge, no therapy in any other type of medicine is similar to Panchakarma. It’s a unique scientific and natural way of purification of body.


Q. How are the Panchakarma procedures different from other therapies?

Panchkarma procedures are bio-cleansing (shodhana) procedures which help to expel accumulated toxins from the body whereas other therapies are palliative in nature (relieving pain without dealing with the cause of the condition). Diseases cured by Panchakarma therapies may never recur.


Q. Is Panchakarma advisable for any particular disease or imbalance? 

Panchakarma is used to treat those diseases, which are chronic, metabolic, degenerative, non-infectious or stress-related in origin. Panchakarma has been used to treat allergies, asthma, arthritis, cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome, colitis, high cholesterol, depression, diabetes, digestive disorders, heart disease, hypertension, immune problems, chronic inflammation, insomnia, nervous disorders, obesity, skin problems, chronic ulcers etc.

However, Panchakarma is limited in treating traumatic injuries, infections and conditions which requires immediate surgery or invasive procedures.


Q. Can a normal person do Panchakarma?

Yes, Panchkarma is a detoxification treatment. However Ayurvedic physician is best person to decide if Panchkarma is required for patient or not.


Q. Does Panchakarma has any restrictions about age & gender?

Generally, Panchkarma has few restrictions on pregnant women, weak persons, children, etc. But again Ayurvedic physician is best person to decide if a particular patient can be recommended for Panchakarma or not.


Q. How often Panchakarma therapies can be done?

There is no specific answer to this. However in general a healthy person should undergo Panchakarma at least once a year. Though ideally Panchkarma must be done during change of every season.

For a diseased person (according to conditions), it may vary.


Q. Is Panchkarma painful?

Because it is a procedure for cleansing the body, a kind of tiredness may be experienced by the patient. However, most patients enjoy it. Sometimes patients may have an aversion to some procedures. For example, some patients are advised to drink 200 ml of medicated bitter ghee which at times is difficult. Sometimes a mild headache or tiredness may arise during interal oleation in high doses. Otherwise, in general, Panchakarma procedures are painless.


Q. Are there any side effects of Panchakarma? After how many days can we feel the benefits of it ?

For scientific and authentic procedures, there are no side effects.  There is a list of Do’s and Dont’s in Panchakarama, which has to be followed strictly. If the patient does not follow the instructions, then he or she may face problems or unpleasant effects. If the procedure goes smoothly, then patients do not have to suffer. The benefits of Panchakarma are long lasting.


Q. Are there any precautions to be followed post Panckarma process?

Definately yes. As with any medication, in Panchkarma also, the patient has to follow precautions post Panchkarma process. This is called as Paschaat karma. During any step of Panchakarma therapy, Ayurveda recommends certain lifestyle and diet guidelines to be strictly followed after the therapy to get maximum benefit in the body.

It is advised to get plenty of rest during the panchakarma days. Must avoid strenuous exercise, any indulgence activity, late nights, loud music, television and other such stimulating experiences. It is also advised to take particular care to keep warm and away from the wind and to observe one’s thoughts and experiences during this time.

A mono-diet of kitchari and ghee is recommended, as well as essential restrictions on cold drinks, cold food, caffeine, white sugar, recreational drugs or alcohol and dairy products. The reason for this diet is that during the cleansing process the digestive fire (agni) takes a rest. Also, as toxins move back into the gastrointestinal tract, the power of digestion is further slowed. Kitchari will provide adequate nourishment, is very easy to digest, nourishes all the tissues of the body, is excellent for de-aging of cells and assists in the detoxification and cleansing process. Kitchari is a seasoned mixture of rice and mung dal, and is basic to the Ayurvedic way of life. Basmati rice and mung dal both have the qualities of being sweet and cooling with a sweet after taste. Together they create a balanced food, an excellent protein combination that is tridoshic.


Q. Does Panchkarma therapies upsets mood?

At times, yes. This is completely normal and a good sign. Panchakarma works to detoxify the seven tissue layers in the body (dhatus). The seven layers are:

  • Rasa(plasma) – connected with immune system,  Joy, faith.
  • Rakta(blood) – connected with passion, invigoration.
  • Mamsa (skin,muscle) – connected with discernment, uprightness.
  • Medas (fat)- connected with ability to love and be loved.
  • Asthi (bone) – connected with confidence, how we carry ourselves into the world.
  • Majja (nervous system, bone marrow)- connected with clarity of mind.
  • Shukra(reproductive tissues & fluids) – connected with creativity.

Each of the dhatus has a connection with an emotional and mental component as well. As the body gets detoxified, one may feel extra tired or emotionally vulnerable. This is a natural cleansing reaction. Allow these feelings to rise up and out.


Q. Can Panchkarma be done at home?

Panchakarma is a very special Ayurvedic operation requiring proper guidance from a highly trained and skillful Ayurvedic practitioner. This should not be undertaken with information from an article, book or even from content of this website. One should consult with an Ayurvedic physician and Panchkarma expert. Panchakarma is done individually for each person with their specific constitution and specific disorder in mind, thus it requires close observation and supervision. Panchakarma may seem simple, but it begins a process that brings about significant shifts in body, mind and spirit.


Q. Are all the Panchakarma procedures needed for each patient?

According to the health condition and requirement one or more (out of five) or all five Panchakarma procedures can be employed. To complete all five treatments minimum 60 days are required.


Q. What is the time difference required between two Panchakarma procedures?

It is very important to understand that human body cannot bear two cleansing processes at the same time or immediately one after the other. Generally few days of interval is given between two Panchakarma treatments. That means say after Vaman, minimum 7 days of rest and light diet is given before starting purgation or any other treatment.

The duration for each procedure of Panchakarma therapy varies according to the choice of the attending physician. However the general duration for Panchakarma treatment range from 3-4 days upto maximum 60 days.  But it is important to notice that there is no pre decided package for Panchakarma treatments as every individual needs different and unique set of treatments for his/her health condition.


Q. What dietary and lifestyle regime should I follow before and after Panchakarma procedures?

The most important point is to eat only a non fat diet during this time. Preferably, eat only khichadi for all of your meals.If you are having issues with your blood sugar, you can add steamed vegetables. Do your best to avoid snacking.

Specific dietary regimen for a specific period is recommended after Panchakarma procedures. The recommendations may vary depending on the Doshic predominance and the type of Panchakarma procedure carried out. However, the following instructions should be followed like including usage of warm water, maintaining celibacy and avoidance of sitting / standing / walking for prolonged period, strenuous traveling, riding on animals, sleeping during the daytime, speaking loud, suppressing natural urges e.g. passing of stools, urine, etc., exposing to breeze, consuming cold food items, over exposure to sun light, smoke and dust, taking food at unusual times, taking incompatible food, etc.


Q. Can I receive treatment during the days of menstrual flow? 

It’s not recommended during monthly cycle of women.


Q. Does Panchakarma offer instant relief in my conditions?

Generally not! Panchakarma relieves the body of its toxins and the effects begin to show up gradually; although one finds the lightness and relief in muscular stiffness.


Q. Is Panchkarma expensive?

It is not expensive, we at Sparsh Ayurveda always try to minimize the expense of patients as far as possible. For this we provide most of the in-house medicinal preparation at reasonable rates. There are few medicines which might be required to be brought from market. We advise any investigation or a procedure if it is very much required.