Diet and regime during Panchkarma
Chikitsa is divided into two main categories
Shamana chikitsa and Sodhana chikitsa
Samana chikitsa: therapies that reduce and maintain the doshas and dhatus are
called Palliative therapies or Samana chikitsa.
Shodhana chikitsa: Therapies that remove the vitiated doshas from its location
and return it to its normal state and location are purification therapies or
Panchakarma: Shodhana chikitsa is divided into five therapies that collectively
are known Pancha Karma which is used to maintain Doshas, Dhatu (tissue) and
Mala to prevent disease and also promote resistance to outside pathogens.
Palliative therapies include diet and medicine. Thus, herbal or dietary therapies
may not be effective unless the srotas are cleaned and the vitiated doshas and
malas are removed from the body. Pancha karma theory states that vitiated
doshas and malas need to be eliminated radically from the body before saman
therapies are given.
One should always be borne in mind by all those who wish to undergo
panchakarma treatment should take proper preparatory measures and proper
One week before the actual treatment begins; the person may be given a daily
dose of the proper medicine to ensure easy evacuation of the bowels as a
preparatory measure. These results in a proper and satisfactory cleaning of the
alimentary tract and thereby ensure the absorption of the active food principles
into the system.
Though the different treatment are of having different advantage, yet the course
of diet, regimen are same for all without exception and irrespective of the
disease the person is suffering from.
All restrictions should be followed during the course of the treatment for an
equal number of days after it with regards to diet as well as physical and mental
For drinking purpose use water boiled with coriander seed, dry ginger and
cumin seeds. For shower, warm water or medicinal water should be used. The
person should abstain from sex. Suppression of the urgings of nature, physical
excursions, mental excitements such as anger, grief and exposure to cold, dew,
sun, wind, smoke or dust should also be avoided.
Travel, too much walking, speaking too much or too loud and other actions that
may give any strain to the system must be avoided. Sleeping during day time,
keeping awake late at night, sitting for a long time or standing long period must
also be avoided. It is also advisable to use a pillow, which is neither very thick
nor very thin during sleep at night.
During the course of treatment, the person should be cheerful and happy, and
should avoid wearisome exertions, distasteful diet or excessive indulgence in
tasty foods and should wear clean cloths.
Regarding food restrictions, one should only have dietary that is relishing, and
healing. Do not use any food contra indicated by the disease and it should also be
easily digestible. Food must be taken at regular intervals. Food materials that are
more in liquid or semi solid form, warm and those that do not cause Vidhaha
should be prepared as much as possible. While the quality of the food taken is
thus restricted, the quantity taken is also of atmost importance. One should
abstain from eating the moment he feels nearly satisfied. Generally it may be said
that only half the capacity of the stomach is to be filled with solid food, one
fourth with liquid and remaining one forth left empty. This quantity will make
one just satisfied. Food that are either too hot, oily or too acidic should always be
A well balanced diet with proper amount of protein, carbohydrates and fats is
most necessary. Protein is abundant in lentils, beans, peas, milk, nuts and
nitrogen rich vegetables. If accustomed, there is no harm in using meat or meat
soup of animals and birds belonging to the Jangala group.
It would be better to avoid all demineralised food such as white bread, white
crackers and other white flour products. In their place, substitute with whole
meal products, rolled oats, half polished or brown rice,plantain products, surans,
black pepper, bitter gourd, snake gourd and other foods and vegetables
containing calcium, magnesium, sodium, iron, potassium, silica and other
Ghee, butter, coconut oil, gingely oil and other vegetable oils should be used
Fruits especially ripe plantain fruits, pomegranates, grapes and amalaka fruits
may be eaten, not only for the mineral salts they contain, but also for the
stimulating effect these fruits have on the liver and other organs of excretion.
All stimulants such as coffee, alcohol and caffeinated drinks should be avoided as
much as possible. Drinking water has to be boiled with Dhanyaka, sunti and
Jeeraka. This water will help promote proper digestion of the food.