Medically Supervised Panchakarma

Panchakarma is an ayurvedic detoxification and rejuvenation technique. The word “Pancha” means five and “Karma” means “actions.” The five actions are therapeutic techniques for removing toxins from the body. Pancha Karma (PK) is usually recommended in the fall and spring as a routine preventative practice to bring balance back to the body as the seasons change.  It can also be used to treat chronic medical problems. It is especially helpful in Colorado, a Vata aggravating climate.

Panchakarma is a unique mind, body, spirit cleansing experience. It can enhance your lifespan and improve memory and cognitive skills, reduce stress and enhance the five senses. It will increase the flexibility and tone of the body and improve your complexion. It will enhance your overall vitality and improve libido.

Many types of diseases can be reversed or halted by proper Panchakarma. We have seen reduction in high blood pressure and insomnia. It has helped with headaches and skin conditions. It can also reduce airborne allergies and has helped in liver disease. People with auto immune disorders have improved under our care. It has been proven to help with obesity, gastric reflux as well as constipation and other digestive issues.

Aspects of Panchakarma are offered at almost every spa in the US now. However, few spas have ayurvedic practitioners to medically supervise the therapies and bring about deeper healing. Prior to treatment you will be given a full ayurvedic evaluation by Dr. Desai and she will recommend a very specific series of treatments for you, using unique oils, herbs, and detoxification techniques suited to your body type and medical condition.

Mira Devi is our Panchakarma technician. Dr. Desai and Mira work together as a team to fine tune the therapies. You can choose to have PK for three, five or seven days in a row—depending on your availability, health, and budget. The individual treatments of massage, sweat box, and Shiro can also be used as a one day nourishing and stress reducing technique, separate from Panchkarma.

What Happens in Panchkarma?

Two weeks prior to PK a simple elimination diet is followed along with some special herbs. Toxins are then loosened by internal oil treatments for the 3 days before PK. This is followed by external oil massage & sweat box treatment. Commonly, ghee (clarified butter) is taken internally for internal oleation and warm sesame oil is massaged into the skin followed by an herbal steam bath. This is followed by a Shirodhara. Each day of PK involves 3 hours of these treatments with a massage therapist.

During the cleanse period, Kitcheree is the only food eaten. It is made with split mung beans, basmati rice, mild spices, and ghee.  This combination is very easy to digest and allows the body to spend more energy in detoxification rather than digestion.  Cumin, coriander, and fennel are made into a tea that helps digestion and clear toxins.

Procedures used following the loosening of toxins include purgation (for Kapha or Pitta excess), and gentle herbal tea enemas (for Vata excess).

A Shirodhara is part of the daily treatment. This is a unique treatment of gently pouring warm sesame oil over the forehead and the scalp.  Shiro is extraordinarily calming to the nervous system and most people find it to be blissful experience.

Nasya, applying herbalized oil into the nose, is used for clearing the head or calming the nervous system.  Since the nose is a straight channel to the brain, putting herbs directly into the nose quickly affects the brain.

Netra basti is an optional treatment at the end of PK which is wonderful for rejuvenating and soothing the eyes. This procedure prompts the body to move to the rejuvenation stage.

After PK you will need to schedule an appointment with Dr. Desai to get rejuvenate herbs.
Uplifting practices like chanting, meditating, praying, gardening, and being in nature deeply feed the heart and soul after PK.


Panchakarma is a treasure of Ayurveda, designed to help Maharajahs and Sages live a long life. We look forward to helping you experience this Ayurvedic treasure.

Dr. Nita Desai

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