Basti therapy is primarily used for Vayu disorder. It is useful for many disorders including chronic constipation, sciatica, lower back pain, arthritis, infertility, mental conditions and neurological disorders.
Basti provides positive health, enhances digestion, body strength, voice, complexion, intelligence, prevents ageing and promotes longevity. Depending upon the composition of ingredients used in the administration of basti it is of two types
- Asthapana basti / Niruha basti – this basti is prepared mainly from a herbal decoction, taila, kalka, honey and salt. This is a very unique process and takes several hours to prepare.
- Anuvasana basti unctuous enema and contains mainly sneha such as oil or ghee.
Administering the combination of niruha and anuvasana basti regulary for eight days. the course is started with one Anuvasana basti followed by three Niruha and Anuvasana basti alternatively. Then the course is completed with one Anuvasana basti. In total eight basti are performed.
Enema is half of the medicinal therapy, or even the complete treatment.
Charaka Si. Ch 1:39
How does the basti work?
Sushruta has scientifically and beautifully described the mode of action of basti where he has given his importance to the active principle of the herbs administered.
The active priciple of the basti spreads from the colon all over the body in the same manner as the water poured at roots of a tree reaches up to the leaves.
Just as a tree irrigated with water at the root produces blue leaves, become beautiful with tender leaves, and during the course of time grows to produce flowers and fruits, similarly a person becomes young and beautiful by the administration of Anuvasana.
Charaka Si 1:29
Enema though situated in the large intestine draws out impurity from head to the feet by its power just as the sun takes away sap of the earth even staying in the sky.
Sushruta Chi 35:27