At Home Detox – Panchakarma

I wanted to share an easy to do Ayurvedic home detox program I do every Spring and Fall.

It is not harsh, or as difficult as juice cleanses and it helps to nourish your cells on a deeper level without causing dryness in the body. In fact, it helps to counteract dryness that can happen as we age.

The program I am referring to is Vasant Lad’s home Panchakarma. I have used other protocols as well, however, for the purpose of sharing I believe his is the easiest and most straightforward for someone new to this practice.

Pachakarma means to purify the body (ether, air, fire, water, earth) through 5 methods. Including massage, purgation, enemas etc.

To prepare for the cleanse it is important to set aside 3-10 days where you can rest and be at ease. You can choose the amount of time that is best for you. If this is your very first time start with only 3 days. For the purpose of this post I will share how to it for 8 days.

During the time of the cleanse, you want to avoid going on the news, having any exciting or stressful conversations or media. If you can avoid social media all together that is great. Make space for relaxation in your life, time to rest and rejuvenate.

Go for nature walks, listen to pleasant music, meditate, do yoga if you are up for it, or just rest. Honour and listen to what your body needs.

For the days leading up to the cleanse, begin to eat only cooked vegetarian food, avoiding dairy and any processed foods.

**Pachakarma is counter indicated if you are pregnant, weak or have a serious illness or disease.


During the cleanse, consume only kitcheri. Which is a mono diet of mung beans and rice with spices. Here is a kitcheri recipe. In the evening every day take 1/2 to 1tsp of Triphala in warm water before bed (an hour or so after eating).

DAY 1- Day 3: Consume 2 ounces of warmed ghee (that has been liquified) in the morning. Do not eat until you feel very hungry afterwards, usually 2-3 hours later. To make it easier to take the ghee, have lemon water ready to sip right after. It helps a lot! If you have excess Vata, take with some salt in the ghee. If you are pitta, take it plain. If you are kapha, take it with equal parts ginger and black pepper.

** If you have high cholesterol or blood sugar, do not use ghee. Instead use flaxseed oil. Take 2 Tbsp of flax oil 3x a day for 3 days 15 mins before eating.

DAY 4- DAY 8: Do not take ghee on these days. Now, begin oiling the body externally with self massage. Really rub in the oil from head to toe. Use warmed oil. For Vata- sesame is good, for pitta sunflower, for kapha use corn oil. After getting the body very oiling and really rubbing it in, let it soak in for a bit. Then have a warm bath, or hot bath if you are Vata or kapha. Repeat for each day. If you are able to do a steam or sauna during these days it is recommended and beneficial. However, if you have too much pitta do not. Ginger baths can also be done a couple times during this period if you like or a regular hot bath is fine.

DAY 6- DAY 8: Continue with daily oil massage in the morning and a warm bath afterwards. Then, an enema is performed in the morning after your bowel movement (before eating breakfast). The enema is done for the next 3 days after your morning bath. Boil 1 Tbsp of Dashamoola in 1 pint of water, simmer for 5 minutes and then let it cool. Use it in the enema. If the colon is very dry it may absorb all of the liquid, this is fine. Try to hold it as long as you can and then let it go.

External and internal oilation helps to move toxins into the digestive track so that they can be eliminated from the body.


After day 8 begin to incorporate cooked vegetables into your diet. For Day 9 eat kitcheri with cooked veggies. After Day 9 you can stop the kitcheri but continue with cooked veggies and easy to digest soups. Make a slow transition back to eating more solid foods.

Your digestion should be stronger and you should feel lighter and rejuvenated in the weeks following the Panchakarma.

My Experience

Pachakarma has been greatly beneficial in my life. When I was in my early 20’s I had chronic fatigue and nothing would make it go away. I ended up going to India and by the grace of the divine was introduced to Panchakarma. I did Panchakarma for 1 month. It was an intensive program and very transformative. It changed my body completely. The chronic fatigue was gone and has never come back.

Since then when my life allows during spring and fall I make sure to do Panchakarma. I do not do one month( I would like to go back to India at some point and do it again). At home I typically do 7-10 days. It is a wonderful reset for my mind, digestion and body. The ghee really does move toxins and emotions and I always feel much better after.

Note to the wise

I do recommend finding out what your dosha is and your imbalance from an Ayurvedic practitioner because this knowledge will be important in making adjustments to your pachakarma program. As well as knowing what your cholesterol levels are before starting the ghee.

During Panchakarma you are much more sensitive and so it is not advised to work during this time or to watch or be exposed to stressful things. It is a time of cleansing and letting go, it is best to honour the process.

I recommend journaling and spending time in nature.

Wish you all the best in this process, enjoy. Let me know how it goes 🙂

Stay wild friends ❤

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