Ayurveda, the science of life, is an Indian traditional medicine. It follows the core principle of natural medicine: “when balance is restored, health and wellbeing is inherent.” Among Ayurveda’s vast spectrum of dietary, lifestyle, herbal, and body therapies is a powerful detoxification protocol: Panchakarma.

In this blog post, we are exploring the first stage of the Panchakarma elimination process:


Preparing the Body, Mind, and Spirit

Before performing Panchakarma, the practice of purifying the body’s five main organs by activating their elimination processes, we begin with Purvakarma. This stage of treatment activates the elimination of toxins at the cellular and tissue levels through a customized combination of herbal remedies, specialized diet, and daily routines.

The Process

During Purvakarma, your individualized treatment protocol brings toxins to your body’s elimination channels in preparation for being eliminated. This process draws toxins outward from deep tissues like marrow, bones, muscles, joints, and fatty tissue, and moves them into intermediate organs like blood, liver, kidney, skin, and lungs. During the Purvakarma stage, toxins are conjugated and prepared for elimination.

Purvakarma takes place over a period of 7-21 days, as specified by your individual treatment plan.

What to Expect during Purvakarma

The goal of Purvakarma is to draw toxins into your body’s elimination channels in preparation for the elimination processes that take place during the subsequent stage, the Panchakarma detoxification. This involves using Ayurvedic herbal remedies, dietary adjustments, and daily routines, but may also include some aspects of counseling. Why? Mental and emotional distress may be associated with chronic disease, or it may be a stand-alone issue. In either case, Purvakarma helps bring mental and emotional issues to the surface of consciousness so that they may be eliminated.

During this phase we focus on activating the metabolic system to gather and process toxins from the diseased tissue of the body, so the process will be experienced differently depending on the individual patient. For example, people with suppressed toxicity or long-term disease often experience some aggravation of symptoms as toxins are brought back in to circulation to prepare them for elimination. Individuals who have emotional trauma associated with the development of disease might experience increased dreams and have emotional releases. Some people may experience low energy or a desire to sleep longer, and/or they might experience a mild to moderate increase in pain if painful symptoms are involved.

These kinds of experiences are often associated with a cathartic experience. In Natural healthcare, this is called a “healing crisis.” It is often inevitable in detoxification programs because we are loosening toxins from deep within the body. At Natural Rhythms, we support our clients during this phase by staying in regular contact via phone and email and by providing counsel and recommendations to help manage aggravation. Throughout the process, we educate clients about what they are experiencing and encourage them to remain strong—understanding the process helps make the aggravations more tolerable.

Once the process of Purvakarma has been completed, the body, mind, and spirit are prepared to move to the second stage of treatment: Panchakarma, the elimination.

Learn More About Each Stage of the Panchakarma Treatment: