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1 Home Preparation Phase

2 Treatments Phase

3 Culminating Strong Actions




Home Preparation Phase



Too high a level of ama, not being able to comply with preparations or the protective after-care instructions, or menstruation may require

Start Home Preparation

5 days



Cleanse Diet for Ama Reducing

When to start: 5 days before your first office treatment day

This consists of:

  • Warm, soft foods with liquid base: curries, soups, stews, porridges
  • Rice, quinoa, barley, bulgur. No pasta
  • Minimal, small shredded pieces of meat or vegetarian if you can manage
  • No caffeine, alcohol, chocolate or other stimulants, no sugar
  • All whole foods only
  • No processed foods (incl veggie burgers etc and processed boxed foods, snacks, tapas, pickled)
  • No snacks in between meals. Take meals at same time daily.
  • No food past 6pm
  • No foods that you know give you gas: cabbage family etc
  • Substitute non-yeasted flatbreads for all bread
  • No fruits combined with other foods. No banana, melon, watermelon

Breathing is one of the key ways your body expels toxins, so this becomes priority #1 throughout your cleanse.

In this Home Preparation phase,

    1. 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes in the evening of alternate nostril breathing (primary balancer of hormones)- with or without holds, depending on your experience
    2. 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes in the evening of a strong breathing practice such as:
        • standing ocean breath (example: first 5 mins of this video or Max Strom’s app called “Strategic Breathing)
        • Kapalabhati (if it is not contraindicated due to acid reflux, migraines, feeling of panic, high Pitta etc)
        • Bhastrika (Kapha only)
  • Sleep
  • Go to bed earlier, but 10pm and get minimum 8 hours sleep.
  • No daytime naps.


Daytime Restorative Techniques

You may rest with your legs up the wall or do breathing exercises (see above)


Moderate cardio is allowed, including daily walks of 30-45 mins, runs, elliptical. If your constitution is Kapha and you are accustomed to strong movement, continue intense sporting.


Oiling your Body

In the Home Preparation phase, please start daily application of warm oil all over your body, leaving it minimally 10 mins (max 45 mins) before showering.  What to use:

  • Plain, untoasted sesame oil or sunflower oil (or coconut oil in summer months)
  • Herbal oil specially recommended to you


Special spots to oil: ears, feet and head

While you are applying oil to your whole body, be sure to massage oil into the outer ears, soles of your feet and apply oil to the crown of your head and massage to spread. You may do the head only on the days you will shampoo your hair, if that is not daily. 


Below are articles on how to do this self-application of oil, and some additional tips.


Oiling your Nose


Start these kitchen remedies. You can do them minimal 1x day or even with each meal.

Agni Boosters

Digestive Agni Shot
Indications: low digestive fire, indigestion, gas
Counterindications: Signs of excess heat

1/2 tablespoon honey
1 slice of fresh ginger (coin sized) 1 pinch of salt
splash of lime juice
Prepare all ingredients on tablespoon before drawing into mouth to chew.

Gas Reducing

Cardemom chew
Remove the peel of 5 cardamom pods and chew the seeds inside 3x day after each meal

Cumin, Coriander, Fennel Tea
Indications: corrects direction of Vata, Tridoshic, cleans out ama and urinary tract
Counterindications: none
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
Combine seeds in a tea ball. Pour boiling water over. Cover and let sit for 10 minutes. Make a stronger more medicinal variation by placing seeds in 1 L boiling water and boiling down to 500-700ml, and drinking that all day long.

Ama Burners

    • ½ teaspoon Ginger POWDER after meals
    • Ashta churna powder – take 3g (about 1 teaspoon) with warm water twice per day before a meal
    • Gandharva Haritaki – for those with the tendency for dry-type constipation, reduces ama & Vata
      • In an iron skillet, roast a pinch of haritaki powder in 1-2 tablespoons castor oil
      • Take nightly before sleep
You may be asked to start a technique of ghee drinking called snehapana
It is drinking increasing amounts of ghee first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, then fasting until it is completely digested and true hunger comes up. This often replaces breakfast, and may even mean you skip lunch. 

Ghee progression

5 days before your strong action, start to drink ghee in increasing amounts. This will overlap with treatment days at the office. 


Melt the ghee. (I prefer the au bain marie technique to melt the ghee and put the ghee inside a mug and then the mug in a bowl of boiled water. I also like to have a slice of ginger nearby to chew directly after, or some citrus essential oil to smell.)

After the ghee melts, drink that, then have 50ml of hot water. You may cleanse the feeling and taste from your mouth by chewing a slice of ginger.


Timing of ghee drinking

You will find it easiest to digest ghee on an empty stomach as early as possible in the morning, before 6 or 6:30am. Do not delay ghee drinking after 7am or it will become heavier to digest. 


Fasting after drinking ghee

After drinking ghee early in the morning, DO NOT EAT ANYTHING until the ghee is completely digested. You will likely need to adjust your meal time, so carry a piece of fruit or packet of oatmeal. When you finally do feel TRUE hunger arise, take your first ‘meal’ of the day – a simple piece of fruit, like a mandarin (no banana)


Signs the ghee is completely digested (when you’re allowed to eat your first light ‘meal’)

  1. TRUE, growling hunger
  2. Clear belching, without taste
  3. A feeling of lightness at the stomach and in the chest


Amount to drink

The amount will vary per person, and Susan will adjust the amount you will drink daily. Each day, you will increase amounts (unless I tell you otherwise).

It can happen that there are signs the ghee is really not being digested and we have to skip a day.

First example for very intensive Panchakarma:

Day 1- 2 tablespoons ghee

Day 2- 4 tablespoons ghee

Day 3- 6 tablespoons ghee

Day 4- 6 tablespoons ghee

Day 5- 8 tablespoons ghee


Second example of ghee-drinking progression:

Day 1- 1 tablespoons ghee

Day 2- 2 tablespoons ghee

Day 3- 3 tablespoons ghee

Day 4- 4 tablespoons ghee

Day 5- 5 tablespoons ghee

Day 6- 6 tablespoons ghee

Day 7- 6 tablespoons ghee

Note: for these dosages, Susan may require you to skip a day of ghee drinking or adjust the next day’s dosage.


  • You have to be extremely mindful to wait for true hunger, because it can feel like it’s time to eat when you’re tired, but that is likely not the time the ghee is completely digested yet, especially with the larger amounts.
  • It is tempting to eat early, but resist that, since that will form ama (undigested food) and make you feel tired. 
  • Any doubts, you can take 1/2 – 1 tsp of ginger powder with hot water, and wait 60 minutes to see if the hunger comes.


Alternatives to ghee

There is no alternative to ghee that has the same effect at loosening the doshas to make them available to be removed from your body.


Ghee is tolerable to most, even who are lactose intolerant since in the nature of its processing, the irritating parts are removed.


If you cannot tolerate ghee: first modification Susan may make is that your dosage may be reduced, and you may be required to take it for more days leading up to your strong action. 

A patient who cannot tolerate ghee can achieve the side benefit of overcoming dryness in the body (if appropriate) by taking flaxseed oil in increasing quantities instead, but no other oil will have the same effect on readying the doshas for excretion- the main goal of Panchakarma.


foods for each phase


What to eat will change depending on whether you’re in Phase 1,2 or 3

  • More than a week before treatments > Eat a clean, reducing diet. Cut out sugar, alcohol, reduce coffee to the absolute least you can without triggering headaches.
  • 3-5 days before treatments > Eat a strict pre-cleanse diet.
  • during ‘strong action’ days > Mostly fasting, but special instructions given depending on which ‘strong action’ treatment you have
  • 3-5 days after you ‘strong action’ > recovery diet, gradually moves from rice water to kitchari
  • next 2 weeks > move from kitchari back to strictly clean diet

What to eat will change depending on whether you’re in Phase 1,2 or 3

  • Eat a strict pre-cleanse diet, consisting of kitchari, or alternative
  •  sugar, alcohol, reduce coffee to the absolute least you can without triggering headaches.








Learn about the Panchakarma Actions

We have selected 1 or 2 of the Strong Actions for you based on your body’s needs. Learn about it by finding it in the list below.


Strong Actions

Get familiar with the 5 cleanse techniques we’re doing all the preparation for.


In specific conditions where the vitiated rakta has accumulated, rakta moksha may be organized to apply locally to refresh the area.


Possible treatments you may receive

full body treatments


herbal body scrub

churna pinda swedan

bundle of herbal powder heated and used to steam body

patra pinda swedan

bundle of leaves heated and used to steam body


herbal oil massage


Steaming via full body herbal bundle treatments above

Steaming via sitting in a steambox (no heating the head)

nadi swedana herbal steam via tube

bliss therapies

added to enhance the medicinal benefits


karna purana

warm oil soak dams

muscle packs (uterine, heart, head, or area of stiffness)



essential care to ease back to normal


Essential care to safely get back to normal and keep the benefits for as long as possible

recovery foods



What to eat will change depending on whether you’re in Phase 1,2 or 3

  • More than a week before treatments > Eat a clean, reducing diet. Cut out sugar, alcohol, reduce coffee to the absolute least you can without triggering headaches.
  • 3-5 days before treatments > Eat a strict pre-cleanse diet.
  • during ‘strong action’ days > Mostly fasting, but special instructions given depending on which ‘strong action’ treatment you have
  • 3-5 days after you ‘strong action’ > recovery diet, gradually moves from rice water to kitchari
  • next 2 weeks > move from kitchari back to strictly clean diet
What is a Graduated Diet? and Why is it so important to get it right after your cleanse?


It is necessary to re-construct full digestive capacity and prevent the formation of new ama after elimination treatments.

That is because elimination treatments dramatically affect the digestion due to the GI tract being the main route to eliminate toxins during the procedures.

Plus, don’t forget that faulty digestion is the thing that creates the potential for illness to arise in the first place.



What you will see when you study the following Graduated Diet is that we start small to feed the digestive fire, and slowly increase the ‘fuel’ over a number of days.

Just like when you build a campfire, you start -with patience-  with some scraps of paper, then add small splinters of wood, then tiny twigs and work towards adding small branches and finally logs. Likewise you will start feeding your digestive fire with the smallest ‘kindling’ to get it started, slowly and patiently adding heavier foods until your Agni is blazing strong, you feel hungry for each meal and you’re back to eating a clean doshic diet that you were pre-cleanse.



This is a delicate phase. If this is not done well – if you eat heavier foods than the tiny agni that exists right after PK can handle- that food will not be metabolised and absorbed into usable nutrients, and that undigested food becomes ama which starts the disease process again.

I will support you to take the necessary care to make sure you avoid this, so that after your cleanse you create a strong and vibrant Agni for yourself that is better than before.

FIRST DAYS: Rice Water Progression | Grow your fire with the smallest kindling

How quickly you move through this Rice Water Progression will depend on how deep your cleanse was. Susan will tell you how many day parts to eat each step.

Rice Water Progression -building the fire from scraps to twigs

Note: Use white basmati rice

  1. First Meal | Rice water (manda) : Boil 8 parts water with 1 part rice. Strain to seperate the rice and drink only the rice water. Drink warm. This is the first meal after vamana or virechana, when tru hunger returns, usually about 4 hours after.
  2. Second Meal | Rice soup (peya): 2-3 hours later, when true hunger is there. Boil 8 parts water with 1 part rice. Cook the rice until it becomes like porridge and very soft.
  3. Third Meal | Thick Rice soup (vilepi): Boil 4 parts water with 1 part rice.
  4. Fourth Meal | Thick Rice soup with seasoning: Make as in step 3. Sauté in ghee some finely chopped fresh ginger, fresh or dried turmeric, and powders of: cumin, coriander or fennel. Add the spice mix to the porridge soup.
  5. Fifth Meal | Cooked Rice (odana): Normal, soft, cooked rice. optional to add the sautéd spices like in Step 4
  6. Sixth Meal | Mung Bean Soup (yusha): rice and yellow/split mung dal (the one with green hulls removed)

Finally, you will progress back onto Kitchari.


Kitchari: Add “small sticks” to your digetive fire

Finally you will take Kitchari for a number of meals: basmati rice, split yellow mung beans, cooked with sauteed spices and a pinch of black salt

Add “cut branches” to your fire

After the Kitchari phase, you progress into simple, clean foods, like at the start of your Cleanse (steamed vegetables, rice, mung beans / or vegetable soups)

Note there is still no bread, snacks, coffee, sugar, alcohol etc etc


Add “logs” to your Digestive Fire

After some days of clean foods, you will move into the final post-cleanse food phase: Eating for your Doshic diet.

Continue to abstain from  bread, snacks, coffee, sugar, alcohol etc for 1 month or more


recovery herbs


Rejuvenation Jam Instructions

Medicines used to rejuvenate after Panchakarma are called rasayanas. A special category is herbal jam. 

It is common that I recommend clients to eat a special herbal jam as part of their rejuvenation phase to gain their strength back. 

These are always taken first thing in the morning on an empty stomach.


Here are 2 common medicinal jams, and how to take them.


How to eat:

  • Put it on a spoon and lick slowly
  • first thing in the morning – replaces breakfast (and later, take just before breakfast)
  • on an empty stomach
  • take for 3 weeks


Dosage: 10g in morning with half glass of warm water. Consume slowly lick-by-lick.

  • a herb formulation to delay and reverse the aging process
  • contributes to each of the 7 body tissues
  • especially good for improving respiratory immunity
  • contains around 50 herbs
  • contains herbs for: nourishment, immunity, digestive strength and mental health
  • useful for depression and anxiety
  • high Vitamin C profile due to the central role of the Amla fruit in this formula
  • interesting research around usefulness in focus and concentration and immunity
  • not for use in case of heavy menstruations

If you feel a slight burning sensation after taking Chywanprash, let me know. I may advise you to take it with a little warm milk in that case.



Dosage: 10g in morning with half glass of warm milk or warm water, 30 mins before breakfast (or as replacement to breakfast).

Consume slowly lick-by-lick. 

  • central effect is to strengthen the mental faculties
  • assists recovery from chronic stress & tiredness
  • a herb formulation to delay and reverse the aging process, particularly skin & hair rejuvenation
  • weak joints and bones, lax muscles
  • improves immunity (lymphycytes & neutrophils increased)
  • known to reduce cholesterol
  • contains 45 herbs
  • there is some interesting research around lung cancer management

Any burning sensation, take 20 mins after food.

How to restart your herbs