Who cannot do Panchakarma? What other treatments can I do instead?

Who cannot do Panchakarma? What other treatments can I do instead?

In Ayurveda, all the diseases are identified to be stemming from two conditions – malnourishment or overconsumption. Diseases from overconsumption are more difficult to treat than diseases from malnourishment. Once it goes into your system, it is difficult to eliminate.But if it is not there in your system, it is easier to top it. In today’s world, the illnesses that plague humanity are more from overconsumption than scarcity. Ironically, what was once called as the treatment for kings has become a necessity for most individuals. Even today, during the pandemic, people with comorbidities are more vulnerable because of their over consuming lifestyle.

Diseases of overconsumption are treated by two therapies – Shamana and Shodhana. Shamana is a mild purification therapy, while Shodhana is a more intense form of purification that can have a mild stress on the body. Panchakarma falls under Shodhana.

In Ayurveda, it is mentioned that, in order to do Panchakarma, it is important to identify whether the person has strength to undergo it. Even though you may need Panchakarma, if you do not have the strength to do it, you should not undergo it. This can only be determined by the Ayurvedic doctor after a consultation.

For the scope of this article, let us try to understand the limitations that can prevent you from undergoing this treatment.

Will Power

Ayurveda mentions that the most important factor in undergoing Panchakarma is the will power of the person undergoing it, and his intentions to truly heal. Most treatments in Panchakarma are about resetting the body, calming you down and releasing you from the old unhealthy patterns that caused the issues in the first place. If a person is not willing to give up the habits, then the treatment can be a source of mental stress.

Ofcourse, the doctor, the environment and the therapist are going to support the patient in this journey, but ultimately the patient will be receptive to this only if he has a strong will power.


A pregnant woman cannot undergo the treatment.

Chronic Conditions

People who are in a bed-ridden condition cannot undergo the treatment.

Rogi Bala or the strength of a patient is a prerequisite to do Panchakarma. If the patient is weak, then Panchakarma should not be done. It is the doctor’s duty to understand whether the patient is strong enough for each treatment in Panchakarma.

All elimination therapies are called Langana. In this, we have Shamana and Shodhana treatments. Shamana is a mild purification therapy, while Shodhana is a more intense form of purification. Panchakarma falls under Shodhana.

For patients who do not have the strength to undergo Panchakarma, we prescribe Shamana therapies. These are milder, have a relaxing effect on the nervous system and reduce inflammation in the body. Kizhi, dhara, fasting, massages and Shirodhara are examples of milder treatments.

key therapies

"Pancha""karma" literally means the five detoxification treatments in ayurveda which are done to remove the accumulated toxins and mucus (Aama) from the body. These treatments include -

Nasyam – nasal cleaning

Removes mucus above the shoulder level of the body.

Vamanam – therapeutic vomiting

Clears toxins from the chest and the upper part of the body

Virechanam– purgation

Cleans the intestines.

Matra/ KashayaVasti – medicated enema with oil /decoction.

The two types of vasti (enemas) are the definitive ways by which we can clean the large intestines.

Raktamoskshana – bloodletting

Removes Aama from the blood.