Three ceramic spoons with spices against a blue background. Cover picture for the article Pancha-Karma-Cure.

Panchakarma cure — purification through Ayurveda

Pan­chak­ar­ma lite­ral­ly means “fiv­e­fold action” and is part of a cle­an­sing regi­men of the tra­di­tio­nal Indi­an heal­ing art Ayur­ve­da. It ser­ves to res­to­re a natu­ral balan­ce bet­ween the three doshas Vata, Pit­ta and Kapha.

The doshas repre­sent three basic ori­en­ta­ti­ons of human exis­tence in Sans­krit. Their mix­tu­re deter­mi­nes the indi­vi­du­al cha­rac­te­ristics (Pra­kri­ti) of a per­son. In the anci­ent Indi­an theo­ry of dise­a­ses, the doshas are embo­di­ed in the humors of bile, phlegm, blood and wind.

If the uni­que rela­ti­onship bet­ween Vata, Pit­ta and Kapha is dis­tur­bed in the cour­se of life, accor­ding to the medi­ci­ne of anci­ent India, ill­nesses occur.

An important part of res­to­ring the natu­ral balan­ce of the three doshas is the diet in the Pan­chak­ar­ma cure. Every unna­tu­ral expres­si­on of a Dosha is coun­te­red with an oppo­si­te diet for cle­an­sing and deto­xi­fi­ca­ti­on. Accor­din­gly, the Pan­chak­ar­ma cure is divi­ded into three forms of nutrition. offers weekly tasty menus for seven days, which, fol­lo­wing the Ayur­ve­dic Pan­chak­ar­ma cure, bring the three doshas into balance. 

Vata reducing diet

Sym­bo­li­zing the ele­ments of space and air, Vata stands for the prin­ci­ple of move­ment and con­trols all pro­ces­ses that have to do with move­ment, trans­port and com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on. Vata are assi­gned the pro­per­ties of fast, agi­le, rough, irre­gu­lar, cool, dry and light. Con­di­ti­ons rela­ted to breathing, move­ment, cir­cu­la­to­ry, ner­vous sys­tem and excre­ti­on are trea­ted, which cau­se sym­ptoms such as hea­da­che, joint pain, sleep or diges­ti­ve disorders.

Vata cal­ming nut­ri­ti­on coun­ter­acts its pro­per­ties dry, cool and light with liquid, warm and slight­ly oily food, such as soups and has a sweet, sour and sal­ty taste.

To be favoured:
  • warm drinks
  • ten­der vegetables
  • sweet, ful­ly ripe fruits
  • all dairy products
  • nuts
  • high qua­li­ty vege­ta­ble oils
  • Grains: wheat, oats, rice
  • Spi­ces: cumin, cori­an­der, gin­ger, mus­tard seeds and pepper
The following is waived:
  • all types of cabbage
  • legu­mes
  • pota­toes
  • basi­cal­ly: light, dry, cold food and drinks in the fla­vors bit­ter, spi­cy and sour

Pitta reducing diet

Pit­ta, crea­ted from the ele­ments fire and water, stands for diges­ti­on, meta­bo­lism and trans­for­ma­ti­on in our body. Pro­per­ties of pita are hot, spi­cy, run­ny, sour, oily and dyna­mic. If too much Pit­ta has accu­mu­la­ted in the body, hot flas­hes, per­spi­ra­ti­on, inten­si­fied hun­ger and thirst as well as aggres­si­on occurs. Dise­a­ses such as gas­tri­tis, over-aci­di­ty, sto­mach ulcers and skin dise­a­ses can be caused.

In order to redu­ce pit­ta in the body, the fol­lo­wing should be considered.

To be favoured:
  • not too hot food
  • in the fla­vors sweet, bit­ter, sour
  • all fruits
  • green vege­ta­bles, zuc­chi­ni, white pump­kin, okra, cau­li­flower, broc­co­li, aspa­ra­gus, let­tuce, artichokes
  • oli­ve oil
  • Milk, but­ter, yogurt
  • Spi­ces: fen­nel, cori­an­der, cumin, turm­e­ric, saf­fron, cin­na­mon and cardamom
The following is waived:
  • fer­men­ted food
  • hot, sal­ty, sour
  • all luxu­ry foods: alco­hol, cof­fee, car­bo­na­ted drinks
  • honey
  • Vege­ta­bles: toma­toes, pep­pers, radis­hes, beets, hot pep­pers, raw onions
  • Spi­ces: black pep­per, chil­li, cayenne, mus­tard seeds, fenu­greek seeds

Kapha reducing diet

Sym­bo­li­zing the ele­ments water and earth, Kapha stands for the struc­tu­ral prin­ci­ple. Kapha gives strength, sta­bi­li­ty, struc­tu­re and growth and is respon­si­ble for tis­sues and ener­gy stores in our body. Kapha stands for cohe­si­on, vita­li­ty, strength, resi­li­ence and pati­ence. The pro­per­ties are ascri­bed to be hea­vy, cold, soft, oily, sweet, sta­ble and sti­cky. Excess Kapha leads to obe­si­ty, dia­be­tes, all­er­gies and com­mon colds.

The fol­lo­wing should be obser­ved when redu­cing the Kapha.

To be favoured:
  • light, warm food
  • warm drinks
  • in the fla­vors hot, bit­ter, sour
  • Legu­mes (except tofu)
  • Ber­ries
  • all vege­ta­bles except pota­toes and sweet potatoes
  • Grains: bar­ley, corn, buck­wheat, mil­let, bas­ma­ti rice
  • Goat milk and cheese, yogurt, redu­ced-fat milk
  • all spi­ces except salt, in par­ti­cu­lar: pep­per, chil­li, gin­ger, cayenne
The following is waived:
  • too much, too greasy, too heavy
  • cold food
  • sweet, sour, salty
  • nuts
  • fruits: avo­ca­do, pineapp­le, melons, oranges enables a simp­le and rela­xed form of the Pan­chak­ar­ma diet. Deli­cious menus for seven days are com­pi­led to redu­ce one of the three doshas. Fresh, regio­nal ingre­di­ents enable a sen­su­al encoun­ter with Far Eas­tern heal­ing, in your own making, wit­hout any labo­rious preparation.

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