Basti Karma is one of the main procedures of Panchakarma Chikitsa. Various medicated enemas are introduced into the large intestine through the rectum with the help of an enema pot or special bag made for this purpose. “Basti” literally means the urinary bladder. In ancient times, sterilized urinary bladders of animals was used to instill the enema, hence the name of the procedure is Basti Karma. The extent of Ayurvedic Basti is very significant and hence cannot be compared with contemporary enema, which is used for bowel cleansing or nutritive therapies. As per Ayurveda, treatment of Vata Dosha is mandatory in treating any disease, since Vata Dosha is known to be the main cause in initiating ailments. Basti chikitsa is the most important treatment to subdue the elevated Vata Dosha, hence it is considered as most important procedure in Panchakarma Chikitsa. If administered properly this therapy can cures most health complaints and promote good health.
Basti Karma is of two types :
- Aasthapan Basti / Niruha Basti: Decoctions of medicinal herbs are used for enema, in this type.
- Anuvasan Basti: This comprises of enemas given with medicated oils. It also works as rejuvenator (Balya and Brihan) and body bulk promoter.
Indications for Niruha Basti
All arthritic conditions and nervous disorders, obstruction of urine, stools and flatus; amenorrhoea, infertility, etc. are the diseases, which can be treated with Niruha Basti.
Contra-indications for Niruha Basti
Malnourished, weak persons, or those suffering from tuberculosis, ascites, peritonitis, intestinal obstruction, dysentery, diabetes, skin diseases, asthma, etc., Niruha Basti should not be employed.
Indications for Anuvasan Basti
All persons in whom Niruha basti is contra indicated should be treated with Anuvasan Basti.
Contra-indications for Anuvasan Basti
Persons in whom Niruha basti is advised; persons suffering from anaemia, jaundice, obesity, piles, intestinal worms, etc., should not be treated with Anuvasan Basti.
It is given like any other enema. The only difference is that Anuvasan Basti should be retained in the body, therefore patient has to lie down in the lateral position for 6-8 hours; therefore it is employed at the bedtime.
Complications of Basti therapy
- When Basti therapy is incomplete, spasmodic pains, burning sensation, anorectal itching and pain, anorexia, blockage of stools and flatus are noticed. If given in excess, it causes anorectal inflammation and ulceration, fissure, weakness, and muscular cramps.
- Uttar basti: It is the vaginal douche, given with medicinal decoctions for various
gynaecological complaints, such as uterine prolapse, leucorrhoea, mennorhagia, urinary obstruction, habitual abortions, infertility, etc.
- Matra basti: In Matra basti, enema is given with 50 cc of medicated oils. It is recommended for otherwise healthy persons who undergo daily excessive physical exertion, and who are weak and malnourished. Matra basti also works as rejuvenator, immuno-modulator, and nutrient and it also subdues elevated Vata Dosha.