About Ayurveda > What is Panchakarma

Panchakarma means the “five therapies”.
Panchakarma is Ayurveda’s primary purification and detoxification treatment.

PanchaKarma is the process which gets to the root cause of the problem and corrects the essential balance of ‘Tridosha’ in body‚ by eliminating deep rooted stress and illness causing toxins from the body.

Simply put, Panchakarma is a fivefold purification treatment used in Ayurveda, usually including a purgative to eliminate kapha, a laxative to eliminate pitta, an enema to eliminate vata, inhalation treatment to clear doshas from the head, and bloodletting to purify the blood.

Five Basic Shodhans: Cleansing Methods
Vaman
therapeutic vomiting or emesis
Vaman removes Kapha toxins collected in the body and the respiratory tract.
Virechan purgation
Virechana removes Pitta toxins from the body that are accumulated in the liver and gallbladder, it completely cleanses the gastro-intestinal tract.
Basti enema
Basti (Enema) is considered as the mother of all Panchakarma treatments since it cleanses the accumulated toxins from all the 3 doshas, Vata, Pitta and Kapha, through the colon.
Nasya elimination of toxins through the nose
Nasya involves administration of medicated oil through the nose to cleanse accumulated Kapha toxins from the head and neck region
Rakta moksha detoxification of the blood
Raktamokshana is procedure to cleanse the blood and is advised only in very rare conditions.
Ayurveda is based on “Panchabhutha” and “Tridosha” theories. This unique living system considers that a human being is a balanced composition of body, mind, and soul. Lifestyles, which are based on the true principles of Ayurveda, will resist diseases, arrest premature ageing, and retain youthfulness for a long time.

The uniqueness in Ayurveda Treatment
Ayurvedic treatment is unique in its approach to health and disease. Instead of suppressing the main symptoms, the root cause is eliminated and thus gives permanent relief. The treatment is mainly carried out using powders, tablets, decoctions, medicated oils etc. prepared from natural herbs, plants and minerals, massages, and enemas etc.
The 8 branches of Ayurveda are:
Kayachikitsa
(General Medicine)
Describes ailments of adults not treated by other branches of Ayurveda. Hence known as general medicine.
Balachikitsa
(Paediatrics)
This branch deals with the prenatal and postnatal baby care as well as the care of a woman before and during pregnancy. It also elaborates various diseases of children and their treatments.
Graha Chikitsa
(ENT & Cephalic Diseases)
The study of mental diseases and their treatments. Treatment methods include medicines, diet regulation and yogic methods for treatment of mental diseases and improving psychic power.
Salya Chikitsa
(ENT & Cephalic Diseases) 

Describes ailments of adults not treated by other branches of Ayurveda. Hence known as general medicine.
Salya Chikitsa
(Surgery)
Maharishi ‘Sushrutha’ is the first surgeon who is also the author of Salya Chikitsa, the foremost speciality of Ayurveda. He describes various surgical operations using different surgical instruments and devices.
Visha Chikitsa
(Toxicology)
This branch deals with the toxins from vegetables, minerals and also toxins from animal origins. The concept of pollution of air and water in certain places and seasons has been given special consideration. Such pollution is also said to be the cause of various epidemics.
Rasayana
(Rejuvenation Therapy)
This branch which is unique to Ayurveda, deals with prevention of diseases and promotion of a long and healthy life. It also advises how to increase our health, intellect and beauty.
Vajeekarana
(Aphrodisiac Treatment)
This branch deals with the means of increasing sexual vitality and efficiency. Besides these 8 branches, Ayurveda also brings diseases affecting plants and animals into its ambit of consideration.