Panchkarma The Gem Of Ayurvedic Treatment

Hello my readers!
Today I am starting a new series of a subject which is one more gem from the ancient wisdom of
As in everything medical and health related issues, Panchkarma is also caught in the fog of
misconceptions and myths not to mention common fears & apprehensions of people towards the
treatment. When I advice ‘Panchkarma’, many of my non medical acquaintances and my ‘first-timepatients’ always ask me and quite fearfully, if I am going to make them drink huge quantities of Ghee
(clarified butter) or whether I am going to administer medications to make them vomit their guts out
This led me to begin this series. The second reason is like I mentioned earlier, ‘Panchkarma’ is a gem
of the Ayurvedic treatment that is basic to begin treating almost all diseases… Preconception,
diabetes, OA, heart diseases or CVD, skin disorders and hyperacidity and so on.
Ayurvedic treatments are basically divided into two parts namely
1. Samshodhana chikitsa (bio-cleansing therapy) (संशोधन चिकित्सा)
2. Samshamana chikitsa (pacifying therapy) (समशमन चिकित्सा)
Shodhana consists of panchkarma treatments that are mainly recommended to help eliminate the
toxins or ama from the body and thereby enhancing the immunity. Panchkarma also significantly
increases the acceptability of the body to various regimens of treatment & medicines as well as
helps easy absorption of the medicines. That is why it is suggested as a basic treatment.
All panchkarma treatments eliminate the basic cause of the disease that is ‘Hetu’ and thus maintains
the equilibrium of the doshas.
The five procedures of panchakrma include:
1. Vaman
2. Virechna
3. Basti
4. Nasya &
5. Raktmokshan
Let me again go back a little…
Agni is identified as the prime factor for promotion of health and cure of a disease. Most of the
diseases are generally resulted from hypo functioning of Agni. Agni is classified into thirteen
varieties; i.e. Jatharagni, five Bhutagnis, seven Dhatwagnis. The term Jatharagni (Kosthagni)
connotes various kinds of digestive juices which split the different complex organic components of
food substances into their simpler forms, thus rendering them fit for absorption. The terms
Kayagni/Dhatwagni represent the activity of various cellular enzymes, hormones, oxygen etc.
involved in various metabolic reactions. Therefore Ayurvedic therapeutics always focuses on
restoring normal status of Agni. There are numerous Ayurvedic drugs explained to be useful in such
a diseased condition; termed as Deepaniya (Stomachic) and Pachaniya (Digestants).
Prior to these five main procedures (pradhana karmas), preparatory measures(purva karma)are
advised to be done for better results. Deepaniya (Stomachic) and Pachaniya (Digestants) are given to
the patients for two days prior to starting the course of treatment.
Any Panchkarma treatment always begin with two more purva karmas:
 Snehana
 Swedana
After the main treatment, paschat karma (ऩश्िात िमम) or samsarjana karma (a special diet and
lifestyle) is recommended to every patient.
Let me again give you a basic information …
The toxic products of the body metabolism can be broadly divided into water soluble, fat soluble and
volatile substances. The volatile substances like CO2 can be removed easily from the body through
the lungs. While there are numerous mechanisms in the body to get rid of water soluble toxic
materials through kidneys, sweat and other body secretions. Among all the three toxic products, fat
soluble toxic material is the most difficult to remove out of the body and only the liver can play a
role in the entire process. The use of different oils and ghee or any kind of ‘Snehana’ in all
Panchkrama procedures makes it possible to eliminate these toxins out of the body.
This is followed by ‘Swedana’. Swedana is a form of therapy that uses herbal steam to release toxins
from the body through the skin. During this therapy, sweat is released through the pores of the skin
which release ama, or “toxins,” that are rooted deep in the body. This therapy is effective in
relieving muscular tension, restoring flexibility, clearing energy passages, detoxifying the body, and
helping with muscular inflammation, hypertension, blood pressure and circulation.
Before doing the panchkarma procedures, your Ayurvedic physician will decide on the dose of the
medicines, and frequency of treatments after a thorough check up and on a complete
examination of the patient based on patient’s age, strength, seasons, disease stages and severity
of the disease, constitution as well as the medical condition.
Let me conclude this by highlighting that only then will your Ayurvedic physician decide which
treatment/s is to be advised.

Dr. Manjiri Joshi

91 9403360452

langhana fasting


My last two blogs were focused on infertility & obesity. I had also put forth various causes leading to both the conditions. Today I am highlighting a very common remedy that takes care of most of the digestion related  conditions & help improve metablism… ‘Langhana’ or fasting!

I have seen that there are a plethora of misconceptions and myths surrounding langhana which actually lead to worse health conditions.

Fasting or langhana is primarily the act of willingly abstaining from some or all food, drink, or both, for a period of time. Langhana is an important treatment to address obesity, as well as to eliminate  toxins out of the body and naturally then to maintain good  health. Langhana is a non invasive, non pharmacological treatment mentioned in Ayurved texts to treat obesity . However it must be done under proper professional care.

The duration of the langhana must depend upon the age of the individual, the nature of disease, climatic conditions, & constitution of the patient.

How does langhana exactly work? 


We all look forward to a relaxing weekend. Because we are basically tired and physically worn out. Similarly our body cells, our digestive system also get tired with constant work. The cells, the body organs, the digestive system need rest. Langhana or fasting one day in a week, allows rest to the digestive system.


Now fasting or langhana  doesn’t mean not  to eat anything  for the whole day. Ayurved recommends eating  light and light food, infusing more liquids in the diet that help digestion. By this, we are reducing usually burdened digestive system, the cells and organs.


What is healthy langhana?

Initially begin with langhana once a week which is adequate in ensuring balanced health. Please note that the duration of langhana and its frequency  again depend upon the age, constitution, disease, climate and even the place (geographic) of residence. Of course if you have a known medical condition then you should consult your doctor before fasting.


It’s healthy to start the day with breakfast comprising of fresh fruits and soaked almonds, resins the quantity of which should be regulated as per your doctor’s advice. It is a way to digest food efficiently.

Eating fruits, is like reducing extra burden on the digestive system. During langhana period, the digestive system is not supposed to be bombarded by constant supply of food. This is a qualitative period you are offering to your digestive organs and an opportunity for the vital organs that are responsible for ongoing detoxification, to rest and rejuvenate…yes, your liver, kidneys, lungs, & even your skin are the vital organs. Isn’t it?

A day starting with fruits, provides enough nutrients so as to make sure that you don’t starve for sugar and  the nutrients in the fruits are easily digestible which lightens the burden on the digestive system and enhance ongoing detoxification.

You may take a bowl of hot herbal soup (refer to my previous blogs of soup) midmorning . The spices we use in the soups have appetizing & digestive properties that further boost the detoxification process.

For lunch you can eat a rice porridge with ghee and spices, buttermilk, some salads, or moong dal. This lunch will ensure adequate energy for your body throughout the day. It will also simultaneously help and gear up detoxification.  Please remember food (& drink)that is warm to hot eliminates toxins from the body and not cold. It is therefore imperative that you avoid cold juices, cold water, refrigerated food.

In the afternoon you can give a shot of herbal tea and light snacks to boost detoxification. It is recommended to have early dinner (& same as lunch). I’d say it’s really good to go on a fast for one day every week. Call it a fancy diet plan instead of ‘langhana’ if you like the sound of it.


The uniqueness of Ayurveda is that does not deprive your body of food nor does it bombard with only juices or fruits or smoothies as hugely publicised in most western diets and by modern dieticians.

But mind you, this is effective only if you are eating properly for the remaining six days of the week.


Benefits of langhana or fasting:

The benefits of ‘Langhana’ are many. Especially when you follow the directions of your Ayurvedic physician Langhana gives you specific advantages, the major being metabolism improvement.Physicians of all cultures, throughout history, have recommended extended fasting as therapy for various conditions. The highpoints however, are as follows:

  • Basically langhana improves digestion and appetite thus improving the metabolism.
  • So langhana is helpful in almost all metabolic disorders like obesity, diabetes, thyroid issuses , PCOS, infertility and even in the treatment of menopause.
  • Once the metabolism is normalized, what happens is the fat reduction begins, plasma glucose starts to regularize in diabetics as well as hormone balancing in the body.
  • Langhana helps normalizing circulation thus improving the immune system.
  • It enhances the body’s immune system by eliminating toxins out of the body.

I am sure now that you have read this, you would give up all fanciful misconceptions and myths and head straight to consult with your physician who will, after checking your ‘Prakriti’ & lifestyle give show you the right way to fasting!

Dr. Manjiri Joshi