Colon Cleansing Vs Ayurvedic BastiColon refers to your large intestine, a part of your digestive system. It is also known as the large bowel. It is divided into four parts- Ascending, Transverse, Descending colon, and Sigmoid colon.

Functions of the Colon

  • Reabsorption of water.
  • Formation and elimination of waste products.

What is Colon Cleansing?

Colon cleansing is also termed as colonics or colonic irrigation. It is the procedure done to remove toxins and other waste products from your colon by administering a large amount of water or any other fluids or laxatives or by administration of purgatives orally or dietary fibres. There are various methods and procedures followed for colon cleansing in different complementary and alternative medicines like hydrotherapy, enema, etc.

Documented Harmful Effects of Colon Cleansing

  • Stomach bloating.
  • Abdominal cramps.
  • Vomiting.
  • Dehydration.
  • Perforation of the intestine.
  • Electrolyte imbalance.
  • Bowel Incontinence.

What is Ayurvedic Basti? 

According to Ayurveda, the colon is the location of vata dosha. Basti (medicated enema) is the procedure done to control vitiated vata dosha. Whereas, Virechana (purgation) is done to remove vitiated pitta dosha located in lower part of stomach and small intestine. These procedures are very different from usual colon cleansing. These are indicated for various disease conditions and its benefits also varies.

In Ayurveda, Basti is given a lot of importance and it is considered as ‘Ardha chikitsa’ which means half of the treatment is done for various major diseases if you undergo basti.

Basti is of three types:

  • Anuvasana basti.
  • Niruha basti.
  • Uttara basti.

This classification based on the materials used to prepare basti, quantity, time and duration of basti. Another classification as below is done based on number of bastis given for certain number of days:

  • Karma basti.
  • Kala basti.
  • Yoga basti.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is colon cleansing and Ayurvedic basti procedure are same?

A: No. These two are entirely different.


Q: Is administration of basti similar to colon cleansing?

A: No. There are various preoperative, postoperative procedures and dietary restrictions in basti karma.


Q: Are the ingredients and quantity of Ayurvedic basti and colon cleanser same?

A: No. In Ayurveda various herbs, medicated oils and decoctions are used. Even the quantity varies depending on each individual and type of basti (Anuvasana or Niruha)


Q: Is it safe to take purgation or colon cleansing often on your own?

A: It is not at all safe to take colon cleansing or purgation weekly once or monthly once on your own.


Q: Is purgation and colon cleansing advisable to healthy individuals?

A: No, it is not necessary. Your body has the capacity to eliminate toxins on its own when every system is functioning normally.


Q: Are Ayurvedic bastis safe to take daily?

A: Not all bastis are safe to take daily. Matra basti, is a type of basti where the amount of medicine is very minimal, no need of strict pre and postoperative procedures can be taken regularly in a person who has excessively vitiated vata dosha, chronic constipation, involves a lot of physical activities and strenuous work.


Q: Is there any diet restrictions during basti procedure?

A: Yes, there are lots of dos and dont’s that need to be followed during any panchakarma procedure.


Q: What are the indications and contraindications of basti?

A: Indications and contraindications depend on the type of basti. In general, it is indicated in bones and joint disorder, low back ache, Sciatica and various nervous system related disorders. General contraindications include fever, diabetics, indigestion, bleeding through the rectum or any rectal injuries, severely anaemic, breathing difficulties, etc.