The Ayurvedic Science of Detoxification and Rejuvenation
By Dr. Kumar Pati
Viewing disease as the natural end result of living out of harmony with our environment, Ayurveda emphasizes reestablishing harmony and balance as the means of recreating a state of optimal health in our bodies and minds. While Ayurvedic methods utilize many therapies including herbs, balanced diet, aromatherapy, color therapy, mantras, yoga, meditation and general lifestyle counseling, the most profound of all treatments is that of Pancha Karma.
Pancha Karma is the traditional form of detoxification of the body and mind that facilitates rejuvenation. It has been utilized for thousand of years as a method of staying healthy, young and vital.
The value of Pancha Karma is that it offers systematic treatment for dislodging and flushing toxins from every cell, using the same organs of elimination that the body naturally employs – sweat glands, blood vessels, the urinary tract and the intestines.”
Pancha Karma is unlike any other detoxification program because it is fundamentally designed to remove a different form of toxin. While many toxins exist in our environment which accumulate and harm our bodies, Ayurvedic Pancha Karma addresses a special toxin called ama which is formed within our own bodies.
Ama is the by-product of inadequate digestion. It has the qualities of stickiness and heaviness. In our bodies it clogs our systems and damages our tissues. It is among the most damaging of forces in our bodies and contributes to disease.
Here is an analogy to help you understand how ama is formed. Imagine that there is a fire inside your stomach. Think of a campfire. If the fire is weak, it cannot burn up the wood put on it. Instead, the wood smolders and begins to smoke in the end, charred bits are left and the wood is not efficiently turned into ash.
Poor digestive fire, or digestive strength, leads to food being improperly digested. This results in gas, bloating, burning indigestion, or constipation, In addition, a residue of this poorly digested food accumulates in your digestive tract and overflows into your bodily systems. This residue is called ama.
Ayurveda links the occurrence of ama in the body and a weak digestive system to the cause of such chronic conditions such as candida, chronic fatigue syndrome, migraine headaches, chronic respiratory disease of many other conditions. The process of Pancha Karma removes ama and clears the way for the body to re-establish an internal state of balance and harmony.
Ama may be present in the body if there is a coating on the tongue. A normal tongue appears pink throughout, but as ama accumulates in the digestive system, the tongue may appear with a white, yellow, green or gray film over it. In addition, in some cases the body and breath develop a strong odor and the stool becomes dense and sinks to the bottom of the toilet. (According to Ayurveda, the normal stool should float). If you have any of these signs, Pancha Karma treatment may be indicated.