“Panch” means five and “karma” means action. So, panchakarma means five different ways of treatment. According to Ayurveda, diseases formed in the body are due to the formation of toxins, or ama. Regular cleansing of the body by removing this ama is recommended. Panchkarma is this cleansing process which helps in the elimination of ama from the body and thus prevents formation of disease. It is a cleansing therapy to strengthen the body’s metabolic functions with herbal medicines and controlled food habits. The basis of the therapy is elimination. As the wastes and excess of doshas are eliminated from the body the person becomes healthy. Those who suffer from chronic disease are said to benefit by it tremendously. In Ayurvedic terms, it also helps those who undergo a seasonal imbalance of tridoshas.
This therapy is recommended for maintaining youthfulness and building immunity and resistance against diseases. The panchakarma treatment is found to be helpful in chronic diseases where treatment with allopathic medicines has its limitations. Rheumatoid arthritis, skin diseases, hemiplegia, polio, epilepsy, insomnia, hypertension, cardiac problems, intestinal diseases, peptic and duodenal ulcers, ulcerative colitis and asthma are some of the conditions where this therapy proves of immense help.