Out of the five essential therapies which form the prime actions of  the Panchakarmas or the techniques of  thorough detoxification and overhauling the body, Basti Karma or the Enema therapy is regarded as the most important in Ayurveda healing. This is because this specific therapy aids greatly in balancing and combating the vitiated Vata dosha or the Air body humor, which alone is responsible for 80 types of diseases and disorders.

What is a Basti?

In the right understanding of the word, Basti means ‘to stay’. Basti is also regarded as the urinary bladder. In earlier times, the bladder of goat was used to give enemas, thus its name. Today plastic enemas and syringes are used to push medicated decoctions viz. medicated oil enemas and cleansing enemas into the intestines of the patient.

Basti Karma – Enema Therapy

Considered as the mother of all treatments, Basti cleanses the accumulated toxins from all the three doshas, Vata, Pitta and Kapha, especially the Vata toxins, through the colon. The importance of Basti Karma is that other than providing thorough detox, this procedure effectively balances the Vata dosha. This is much needed because not only does the Vata dosha cause majority of diseases in the human body, yet due to its mobile and erratic nature, the Vata dosha moves the other two doshas viz. Kapha and Pitta from one part of the body to another and thus aids in their disturbance and implementing symptoms in the form of an ailment. It is for this reason that Vata dosha has to be balanced so as to cure the disease as well as stay clear of the same. Basti Panchkarma therapy mainly aids to eradicate the disturbed or aggravated Vata dosha and thus finds its importance.

Efficacy of Basti Karma

Basti Karma has been the prime part and parcel of Ayurveda treatment ofPanchkarma since ages. It is believed that if properly performed, alone Basti karmas can be rendering to the human body, would be nothing short of a miracle.

  • Basti karma has the reputation to be half of the entire treatments that can be available to provide substantial cure and relief.
  • Ayurveda justifies the efficacy of Basti karma with its possible outcome to balance all the three doshas viz. Vata, Pitta and Kapha. This is because whereas Basti balances Vata dosha, also when the vata dosha is balanced, the other two doshas i.e. Pitta and kapha would be balanced spontaneously. This is the best part of this particular Panchakarma therapy.
  • It also nourishes and feeds the colonic flora.
  • Basti also enhances the immune system of the individual by cleansing and nourishing the colon.
  • Basti puts the body into a state of total balance by nourishing the base prana of the body which is formed in the colon.

Procedure of Basti Karma:

Medicated oil or ghee and herbal decoction is given as enema to clean the colon and increase the muscle tone. This procedure is usually recommended for 8 to 30 days, based on the medical condition of a person.

While performing the Basti Karma, the client who is taking the Ayurvedic Panchkarma therapy of Basti karma is advised to first lie on his left lateral position. The right knee is folded touching the abdomen. After this, the previously lubricated nozzle is pushed into the rectum for about 4 to 6 inches so as to make the oil or decoction enter and move through the colon. It is taken care that no air is infused and also that the liquid that is being inserted is at room temperature. The client is advised to inhale deeply while taking the Basti. After the procedure, the client is advised to hold the Basti for as much time it is possible for him and the soles of his feet are massaged.

Two Main Types of Basti

Asthapan Basti

Asthapan Basti or the enema therapy is also called as Niruhana Basti. This basti helps in removing the doshas (stuck inside the body tissues) in the form of faeces. Judging by the form of the disease, properties and actions of the medicines to be used, time of the day, type of the season and whether the patient is strong enough to respond to the treatment, this Basti, when given to the patient, purifies all the body pores. More often Aasthapan Vasti is given in the disease of the large intestine and the digestive tract.

Anuvasan Basti

If the roots of the tree are filled with water, it also fills the tree with leaves, flowers and fruit. Similarly, inside the detoxified and purified body (from which the aggravated doshas have been removed), this particular Basti provides vigour, vitality and strength to the body. In this method of treatment, medicated oils are given in enemas that lubricate the body tissues. It works by purifying and nourishing the seven dhatus (body tissues) inside the body viz. Rasa, Rakta, Maans, Medha, Asthi, Majjha and Shukra (Juice, blood, muscle, fat, bone, bone marrow and semen) dhatus or the body tissues. Furthermore it helps in holistic healing and thus enhancing the total health of the individual.

Benefits of Basti Karma

Being the most effective therapy and technique to allay the aggravated Vata dosha, Basti karma provides much relief and cure in a wide variety of diseases. At Indus Valley Ayurvedic centre, we have successfully treated patients suffering from Vata type diseases and disorders like hemiplegia, Paraplegia, Colitis, Convalescence, Cervical Spondylosis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome Constipation, Digestive disorders, Backache & Sciatica, Hepatomegaly & Splenomegaly, Obesity Piles, Sexual Debility & Infertility.

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