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February 17, 2008

Panch Karma-five actions

Panch karma is five actions to cleanse and rejuvenate the body. Depending on your imbalance it might include massage, oil application, enema, sweating or induced vomiting. Panch karma works by pushing the toxins from storage (ie phlegm in the lungs or biribulin in the blood) to where it can be expelled, like the digestive system, and then expelling them, as well as strengthening the body so as not to provoke Vata.

My last Panch Karma, for high Vata Pitta includes oil massage, short sweats, shirodhara (oil on the forehead) and a series of oil enemas. I had treatment six days a week for two and a half months. As you can imagine this makes it a very holistic and gentle process.

I was on the long road to recovery from Hepatitis A and Giardia, but you don't have to be sick to have panch karma. It will stop the toxins from accumulating and spreading into deeper tissue like bones where it can cause disease.


Anonymous said...

Hi Julia.
I like your blog and ayurveda is very interesting.
I want to detoxify so enema is the only remedy or can we have a diet plan /consume food stuffs that detoxify.

Julia said...

There are many ways to detoxify. Herbs, spices, fasting, mono-diets fresh air, neti, the ocean, meditation...many many things can help us to rid the body of toxins. But none are as deeply and instantly effective as Panch Karma.

Also there is no one way to detoxify that will suit everybody. As a general rule a monodiet of kichadee, with spices and ghee appropriate to your dosha imbalance, is a safe sustainable way to detox. Triphla can also help. This can be sustained for a week or so, so long as you do not let yourself get too hungry.

NB. Enema's (a type of basti) in an Ayurvedic sense are not the same as regular enema's. There are many different kinds of basti and many different decoctions and retention times used depending on your condition.

Anonymous said...

Hi Julia,
Thanks :)
I will try the kichadee diet.
The kichadee is to be taken for both lunch and dinner?

Julia said...

...and breakfast and desert and snacks. Eat it as often as you are hungry. It is very important not to let yourself get too hungry, this can disrupt natural digestive processes. But it is equally important not to over eat. Never over eat, your stomach should be one third full with food, one third water and one third empty.

Unless, of course, an Ayurvedic Doctor is working closely with you and gives you different advice.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Julia :)