Basti is one among the panchakarma therapy mentioned in Ayurveda, indicated in Vataja vyadhis. It is also known as Vasti. It is the procedure by which a medicated fluid is administered into your large intestine through anal/ vaginal/ urethral route after following specific preoperative procedures.
Even though the procedure sounds like an enema, Ayurvedic basti types, methods and its benefits are different.
Classification of Basti
Basti is classified into different types depending on the dose, medium, route of administration and number basti per sitting.
Based on routes of administration:
- Vaginal route (Uttara Basti in females)- Administration of basti dravya into the uterine cavity. Indicated in infertility, tubal blocks, repeated miscarriage, menorrhagia, Abnormal vaginal discharge and other gynaecological conditions.
- Urethral route (Uttara basti in males) – Administration of basti dravya into the urinary bladder . Indicated in male infertility, urethral stricture, BPH, dysuria, etc.
- Anal route– Combination of asthapana and anuvasana basti given through anal route. Indicated in various musculoskeletal and neurological disorders.
- Mouth of an abscess or wound – Irrigation of wound or abscess by medicated fluids.
Based on the medium (basti dravya) and quantity:
- Asthapana basti (kashaya or nirooha basti)- Water based and the quantity administered will be large.
- Anuvasana basti- Oil based and small in quantity.
Based on number of bastis per sitting:
It includes combination of anuvasana and nirooha basti
- Yoga basti- 8 bastis
- Kala basti- 16 bastis
- Karma basti- 30 bastis
Indications of basti:
Basti is very beneficial in conditions like low backache, sciatica, IVDP (intervertebral disc prolapse), arthritis, obesity, infertility, muscular dystrophy, paralysis, Parkinson's, Alzheimer’s, chronic constipation, flatulence and other colon disorders. Removes vitiated vata and other toxins, rejuvenates your body and prevents ageing, promotes your body strength and brings clarity of sense organs.
Prerequisite for basti:
- Depending on your illness, you may need to undergo vamana and virechana procedure.
- On the day of basti, you need to undergo oil massage and fomentation.
- You should attend your nature calls. Your bladder and rectum should be empty.
- You need to be on empty stomach for asthapana basti whereas anuvasana basti is given after consumption of food.
Things to be followed during basti:
- You need to take light and easily digestible food.
- Avoid suppression of natural urges.
- Avoid excess travelling.
- Avoid day sleep and keeping awake at night.
- Avoid strenuous exercise and intercourse.
- Avoid exposure to cold breeze.
- Keep yourself mentally calm. Avoid anxiety, fear and stress.