INTRODUCTION TO PANCHAKARMA DETOX

Ayurveda, the ancient natural healing system of India, defines health as a state free of all ailments and disease. It further defines health as a state of enjoying life with uninterrupted physical, mental and spiritual happiness. Now if that’s not motivation enough to reach for good health I don’t know what is.

The most powerful form of Ayurvedic healing is Panchakarma: the 5 processes for internal purification and detoxification of the body. Pancha meaning 5, Karma meaning action. Traditional Pancha Karma in India is traditionally undertaken in an Ayurvedic or Panchakarma clinic. The process takes from 21-28 days. The doctor or practitioner designs the Panchakarma programme specifically for each client but not all 5 treatments are necessarily administered.

The five treatments in the Pancha Karma are the following:

Vamana -Induced vomiting or Emesis therapy
Virechana– Purgation therapy
Vasti -Medicated Enema therapy
Nasya Medicated nasal cleansing
Rakta Moksha -Blood Letting

THE PANCHAKARMA ADAPTED

Some of the Panchakarma treatments have long been adapted of replaced with gentler treatments to better suit the western sensibility and physiology. Induced vomiting is almost never practised in the west for example. Bloodletting is rarely used anymore, even in India, and certainly not in the West.

How traditional Pancha Karma has inspired the AMAVEDA detox system

The following are just some of the components you would find in a traditional panchakarma program are still extremely effective as healing modalities and have found a place in the Amaveda Ayurvedic home detox programme.

GHEE

Ghee is simply butter, that has had the milk solids removed. Sometimes referred to as clarified butter, it might just be one of the most effective tools for detoxifying the body. Ghee is now at the forefront of the ‘good fat’ movement, with hundreds of scientific studies showing it’s profound benefits within the microbiome of the gut. This is partly due to it’s most precious component, butyric acid, something present in the beneficial microbes of the gut. Butyric acid, also known as butyrate, is a short chain fatty acid that the intestinal tract thrives on. Not only does it protect the lining of the gut, but it can even assist in fat metabolism. Fat metabolism is a detox essential since the non-water soluble toxins (the ones we don’t flush out naturally) live in our fat cells, and we must burn fat to eliminate these toxins. From the Ayurvedic perspective, ghee enhances ‘Ojas’ also know as our tissues. It increases digestive fire, fortifies and repairs our liver and acts as food for our nerves, bones and brain.

TONGUE SCRAPING

Tongue scraping is an effective and quick daily practice that eliminates toxins from the tongue and maintains excellent oral health.
Daily tongue scraping can assist with the following

• Eliminates toxicity in the mouth
• Prevents bad breath, plaque and gum problems
• Prevents ulcers and digestive disorders
• Makes the tongue more sensitive to taste

The practice of tongue scraping is particularly useful because it makes self-examination of the tongue a daily practice. You may not know how to read the tongue as a diagnostic tool, but you will certainly know when something unusual shows up and will learn with time what your own body is telling you.

DAILY ROUTINE – DINACHARYA

Dinacharya In Sanskrit means daily routine. According to Ayurveda, one should follow a Dinacharya in order to lead a healthy and disease-free life.
Our morning Dinacharya: all assisting detoxication, pH balance, lymph/blood circulation and deep nourishment.

1. Tongue scraping
2. Oil pulling
3. Lemon water
4. Dry brushing
5. Abhyangha

This list gives you an idea of what the detox morning dinacharya could look like. Any morning Dinacharya can be quite simple and easy to fall into. It will only take a few times to feel comfortable with a new morning routine. Even after doing things in the same way for years, once the adjustment is made the things we introduce become the new normal in no time.

THE MONO DIET

A mono diet is the standard desired diet during any Pancha Karma has become the topic of much interest in longevity research and alternative health modalities. The trendy “CR” (or calorie reduction) as a way of assisting the body to repair itself has long been practised in India through its nation-adored healing dish “Kitchidee”: a simple porridge of rice and mung beans and digestive spices.

BASTI

Medicated Enemas, or “retention enemas” as well as cleansing water enemas and colonic irrigation has undoubtedly earned it’s respected place in modern western alternative ways of detoxifying the body and alleviating a myriad of toxicity related complications. Learning to self-administer a water enema in your own home can be hugely beneficial since the practice is free, fast and easy to do on your own. A successful water enema can relieve constipation, lethargy, low mood, pain in the body and bring an instant fresh boosted feeling the physical and emotional body.

Abhyanga

Abhyanga is the process of self-oiling the body with unrefined naturally medicated oils. This is additionally seen to “melt” toxins and lubricate the body from a dry “holding” state, to a more lubricated and “releasing” state. Abhyanga is also a very calming and luxurious practice. Detoxing can be stressful on our psyche as we are most likely outside out routine and subsequently our comfort zone. Stress on the body impacts the nervous system and the release process so stress needs to be addressed and managed. Pro-actively undertaking such a beautiful process like self-oiling has a two-fold benefit in the detox process.

All of the above practices and many more are incorporated into my Ayurveda -inspired luxury at-home detox programme that runs on set dates throughout the year in the UK and internationally.