Panchakarma – A procedure much hyped, is it practiced in its truest sense?

I ask this question myself every time I receive a query about Panchakarma treatment at our Hospital. Many guests and […]

I ask this question myself every time I receive a query about Panchakarma treatment at our Hospital. Many guests and people with whom I interact on a daily basis, tell me that they have undergone Panchakarma in XYZ centers and inquire more about this procedure for their next course of treatment. But the more I speak about it, later the people realize that a mere Full body abhyanga, kizhi, and siro dhara was merely an eye wash and the deeper procedures have not even been touched by these so claimed “Genuine Ayurveda Clinics” and mushrooming Ayurvedic Centers. So the crux of the matter is that the goodness of Ayurveda is confined to mere massages and cosmetic spa experiences.

Today with the power of information technology has crossed the barriers of continents. IT has revolutionized our quest for knowledge and information. Everything is available at the click of a button. So, the Ayurvedic Treatment information is also available aplenty across. But a word of caution is – the credibility and authenticity of the information and also the correct direction which shall enable a person to choose the right destination for his / her Ayurvedic procedure.

On asking deeper questions regarding the last therapeutic experience, many people get surprised when I tell them that they have not received the procedure completely and feel cheated. It is a universal truth that in regular outpatient procedures one or two or a maximum of three karmas out of five ( Pancha-karma) can be given. But all these such procedures are to be given with caution and with diet and lifestyle guidance.

If all the 5 karmas are to be given to a person, it would be difficult to be done within a period of 7-14 days. I am stressing here of 2 weeks time because a lot of tourists and wellness seekers come to India for a tour/vacation of 2 weeks. So a speedy Panchakarma course is something people opt for, which is really to be looked upon in detail as the body needs its own time and energy to bear the procedures in its entirety. Panchakarma procedure is taxing on one’s energy and strength. So, hard labor, too much travel, and heavy, oily, pungent food are strictly avoided. Abstinence is mandatorily observed.

Panchakarma in toto has 3 broad protocols, namely Pretreatment procedures ( Poorvakarma), Main Treatment procedures ( Pradhana Karma), Post Treatment procedures ( Paschata Karma). The further information is found in the following links:


So next time, you wish to undergo a panchakarma treatment, please ask/check on these aspects:

Do you see the need for the procedure to be undertaken?

Is the center or hospital credible and registered? Don’t be misled by false advertisements by mushrooming centers.

Do they have qualified doctor (s) and trained therapists in-house?

Is the procedure planned by you or by the doctor? Many times, well-informed persons stress the procedures to the physician and the physician complies with the same.

Ask for references of patients/guests from the center. If possible talk to the guests before committing for treatment.

Do they have any tie-ups with any hospitals/clinics for emergency conditions?

The cost of the procedures is vital and get the complete breakout of the costing.

Take all instructions on paper. Ask for proper prescription & appropriate bills & invoices.

Last but not least, get a completely satisfactory explanation of the procedure from the treating physician. You must know what is the procedure, how it is done, and also the expected outcome of the therapeutic procedure.

Believe me, it is self-education that is of vital importance because only by being correctly informed you can safeguard your health. Inappropriate methods and wrong therapy administration can lead to a number of complications.

It is also the duty of each and every institution and the responsibility of medical practitioners to provide correct information and sincere approaches toward the guests and patients. It will not only it will help the patient but also upkeep our age-old tradition of Ayurveda in its pristine glory.

This article is written by Vaidya Himanshu Jha. Comment if you have any questions related to Panchakarma. Please share your experience/feedback with us. Join our telegram channel for reading more health-related articles by Dr.Himanshu Jha.

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