The Best Places To Go On A Panchakarma Retreat

Traditional Indian Detox Around the World

Panchakarma is traditionally a 21 to 28-day process that purifies and rejuvenates the body. With a simple diet, lots of rest and detoxifying treatments, panchakarma should leave you feeling physically good, calm and balanced. There are several places in the U.S. and Canada where you can go through panchakarma affordably by starting at home, going to the center for the treatment (usually a three or five day minimum), then continuing at home. Or you can spring for a trip to India!

  • 01 of 06
    ••• Vaidyagrama in India gives you the most authentic panchakarma experience.

    Vaidyagrama means "healing village" and is a "green" Ayurvedic center in India that has been recommended by Dr. Claudia Welch, Dr. Scott Blossom and Dr. Robert Svoboda, all highly respected within the American Ayurvedic community. It has highly trained Ayurvedic doctors, one of whom will be your own senior Ayurveda Physician working with you and overseeing your treatments. They make their own medicines, especially for you, and try to help you create a more healthy daily routine. The cost is about $100 a day, including your private suite, food and treatments. The expensive part if your airfare -- usually around $1400 round trip to Delhi.

  • 02 of 06
    ••• The Ayurvedic Institute offers panchakarma in New Mexico.

    The Ayurvedic Institute in Albuquerque, New Mexico, was founded by Dr. Vasant Lad, one of the world's best-known experts on Ayurvedic medicine. Besides training Ayurvedic practitioners, the institute has a five-day panchakarma program that runs from Sunday night through Friday. A complete Ayurvedic consultation assessment includes a pulse evaluation. Daily Ayurvedic treatments last approximately two hours and include Abhyanga, Swedana (individual herbalized sweat therapy), Shirodhara (pouring of warm oil to the forehead), and Udhulana (herbalized dusting of the body). You can attend classes with Dr. Lad or one of his advanced students, Monday-Thursday, 6-9 PM when the Ayurvedic Studies Program is in session.  It also has a lot of useful resources on its website 

  • 03 of 06
    ••• The Ayurvedic Center of Vermont offers panchakarma treatments like shirodhara. The Ayurvedic Center of Vermont
    The Ayurvedic Center of Vermont in Williston, Vermont, is a holistic health care clinic that offers a guided home cleanse, a one-day panchakarma experience, and residential panchakarma programs that last three, five, seven or ten days. It's located in a beautiful historic house and has two elegant but simple rooms, so you know it will be quiet. This center has been recommended by Dr. Vasant Lad and Dr. Claudia Welch. All of the panchakarma therapy packages include daily treatments of abhyanga , nasya, swedana and shirodhara, lasting approximately two and one quarter hours. Please leave time for a warm shower, relaxation and tea.
  • 04 of 06
    Begum Teja
    ••• Begum Teja of Elemental Embrace, an Ayurvedic detox spa in Ontario, Canada. Photo By: Anitra Brown
    Elemental Embrace is small, authentic and affordable, with lots of individualized attention. Begum Teja, owns the small wellness retreat in the woods just outside Brighton, 90 miles east of Toronto. Locals use Elemental Embrace as a relaxing day or quick overnight spa, but many people travel there to do the 7 to 21-day detox. (You can also do a two to six night "Quick Cleanse & Refresh." Begum says that most people who are there for detox have emotional ups and downs -- that is part of the process -- and that was certainly true for me. At Elemental Embrace, you tend to go inward. I wanted to rest a lot and Begum encouraged me too. "It takes a lot of energy for the body to heal," she said.
    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06
    Kripalu in Lenox, Mass., got its start as a yoga center, but has more recently moved into Ayurveda, both teacher training programs and five-day panchakarma retreats. A half-hour phone consult with an Ayurvedic practitioner will give you a two week cleansing program for home to get you ready. At Kripalu you have an individual assessment of your constitution by an Ayurvedic Practitioner, lectures on Ayurvedic principles, daily Ayurvedic body treatments, self-administered medicated enemas, a special cleansing diet, Kripalu yoga classes and a personalized take-home program. Call 800-741-7353.
  • 06 of 06
    The Raj in Fairfield, Iowa, has in-residence programs like "toxin detox" that are essentially panchakarma. When you arrive at The Raj, you will have a personal consultation to assess your current mind/body balance using the ancient technique of pulse assessment and design your treatment program. Treatments vary from day to day but include abhyanga, swedana, shirodhara, basti and other Ayurvedic treatments. You will receive a home program with specific recommendations for diet, exercise, herbal preparations, and daily and season routines. The men and women's wings are separate and you receive treatments from someone of your own gender.