30 Nov 2014
November 30, 2014

why Panchakarma cannot be done at home

4 Reasons why Panchakarma cannot be done at home

This might break your heart but yes Panchakarma cannot be done at home. Panchakarma is a set of clinical procedures mentioned in classical Ayurvedic texts.You can read here to know more about Panchakarma. More and more people now want to explore and experience these age old scientific techniques. Nowadays its very easy to spot such fancy terms on internet as:

panchakarma at home

Basti medicine prepared as emulsion

  • Home Panchakarma program
  • Home Panchakarma kit
  • Panchakarma stores
  • Basti formula for sale

It pains to see that it takes more than eight years of training to become a  Panchakarma specialist and ridiculously some people make the population believe that Panchakarma is an easy ‘to do at home’ procedure. This blog is to make people realize that it is not just another ‘Ayurveda home remedy’ but a domain of experts. Here are 4 reasons why Panchakarma cannot be done at home.

1) Massage is not Panchakarma

Neither do the following qualify as Panchakarma:

  • Taking hot bath
  • Applying steam
  • Drinking ghee
  • Performing shirodhara
  • Taking triphala powder
  • Taking dashmool enema

While massage,steam and drinking ghee are poorvakarmas or preparatory procedures, shirodhara is an adjunctive procedure. Self massage cannot even qualify as a preparatory procedure because it will be inadequate.

Panchakarma Basti

Basti – Ready to be given

Dashmool enema performed at home with an enema kit is a far cry from Basti procedure which is the jewel of Panchakarma. Taking a laxative like Triphala certainly does not equate to Virechana procedure.

2) Traditional Panchakarma can only be performed by experts

The main Panchakarma procedures can be counterproductive when preparatory procedures are inadequately done. Only a trained Panchakarma therapist knows the right strokes of an Ayurvedic masssage and he alone should do it. Only a wise physician knows how much ghee a patient needs to drink and for how long (3/5/7 days). Otherwise it can alter the lipid profile of the recipient and can cause metabolic syndrome. Basti/Vamana/Virechana ( the core procedures) are all techniques mastered over a period of many years. They can only be performed by experts and that too in a clinic or a hospital and certainly not at home. A residential Panchakarma clinic or hospital is most ideal. But  one may ask the recipient to come to the clinic everyday from home with strict dietary and lifestyle guidelines.

 3) Panchakarma has complications

Complications are rare when performed by experts. During and after Basti procedure the patient has to be kept under watch for any signs of vasovagal response. The patient might complain of severe pain or might lose consciousness. All these symptoms are easily managed by a Panchakarma expert. The procedures are very potent and can be harmful  if not done properly.

4) 5 day cleanse is not Panchakarma

Complete Panchakarma with all its core procedures requires about 128 days. Adjuvant procedures like Shirodhara, Sirobasti e.t.c. can be done for 3/5/7 days. Among the core procedures only ‘nasya’ (nasal medication ) can be done for shorter period of time. Ayurveda is much about following a healthy diet and lifestyle. So one can follow Ayurvedic principles at home for a healthy living. But one should not be fooled to think that all the promised health benefits of Panchakarma can be achieved in the comfort of home. Ayurveda is much more than ‘home remedies’ and ‘kitchen spices’.

3 Responses to why Panchakarma cannot be done at home
  1. Hi

    My father (SK Srivastava) is suffering from Interstitial Lungs Disease (ILD) since 2012. Actually it is Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Doctor say that CT scan show it is scarring of lungs. My father was asked for PFT tests but he failed.

    From past few years, they were prescribing Pirfenex tablets to control it. At present my father is taking 4 tablets 200 mg, 3 times a day. I guess this is the maximum level any patient can take.

    I want to know whether this is curable or not. What further steps shall we take. What are the best doctors for this. In past how these cases were handled.
    Has there been any cases where ILD patient with this level got treated.

    How can Ayurveda help in this.

    I would be highly grateful if you can help me in finding the cure.

    If possible I can come to meet you.

    Vineet Kumar Srivastava

  2. My mother is suffering from interstitial lung disease and doctors are giving pirfinex 200 3 tablets in morning evening and night kindly tell me the procedure and cost
    Dushall Mahajan

  3. My btother was earlier diagonosed to have sarcoidosis then later NSIP then now IPF. All this has happened in a span of 9 months. Except rapid weight loss and shortness of breath, there is no other syptom. He can barely stand now.Please help

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