Basti Chikitsa: Benefits, Routes, Types, Indications, Equipment

Article by Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay) and Dr Manasa
Vasti or Basti is a specialty treatment of Ayurveda, considered among Panchakarma therapies. It is a method of administering enemas with medicated decoctions, oils, ghee or milk through the anal, urinary or vaginal route. Basti therapy is the best in the business for dealing with Vata related disorders. This treatment method has both preventive and curative perspectives. It is an ultimate remedy for many psycho-somatic diseases. It boosts immunity and promotes longevity. It helps in delaying ageing process, strengthens body and mind, fortifies tissues, cleanses the body of its impurities, acts as best rejuvenator and aphrodisiac and has many more beneficial effects on health. Vasti being the best in maintaining the quality and quantity of life is described as ‘Ardha Chikitsa’ or ‘Half of the treatment of all the treatments of the world put together’.

Vasti is a part of Panchakarma or 5 treatment procedures explained in Ayurveda.

Vasti Chikitsa

It is not just about administering enema or medicaments through the anal route, it is much more. It is not an ordinary soap water of glycerine enema to flush out the stools and wastes from the large gut.

enema bag - Basti yantra

I have seen paralytic patients brought on stretchers walk around within a couple of weeks, arthritis patients walking confidently after a course of Basti, people suffering from auto-immune problems and Musculoskeletal disorders recover from their chronic pains and resuming work in quick time and lot more in my clinical practice.

Why the name Basti?

The ancient doctors skilfully converted a cleaned and sterilized urinary bladder of an animal as enema equipment.

In ancient times, to administer this medicated enema, urinary bladder of animals were used. The bladder is called Basti in Sanskrit. So the name of the treatment is Basti treatment.

The exterior and interior of the bladder was scraped and cleaned sterilized by dipping it in the medicated decoctions for many hours or days and then used as enema equipment. The upper end of the bladder was opened so that the liquid medicaments to be used in the Basti treatment could be filled in it. The lower end which has urethra (muscular tube carrying the urine from the bladder to excrete it) was fit with a tube or pipe like structure made up of medicated leaves (after having made it leak proof). This tube was inserted into the anal orifice of the patient. When the bladder was squeezed by both the hands, the liquid medicine present in it would flow through the connected tube into the intestine of the patient. Thus the urinary bladder acted like enema equipment in the olden days.


Definition of Basti –
वस्तिना दीयते इति वस्तिः।(अ.हृ.सू.१९/१, अरुणदत्त)
बस्तिभिः दीयते यस्मात् तस्मात् वस्तिः इति स्मृतः।(शा.उ.ख.५/१)

Vastinaa deeyate iti vastihi (Ref – Arunadatta commentary on Ashtanga Hrudaya Sutra 19/1)
Bastibihi deeyate yasmaat tasmaat vastihi iti smritaha (Ref – Shaarangadhara uttara khanda 5/1)

That (medicine) which is administered using Vasti (urinary bladder) or Bastis (urinary bladders) is called Vasti or Basti.
This means to tell that the procedure in which the liquid medicines are administered through anal route using Vasti or urinary bladder as an equipment is called Vasti.

वसु निवासे बस् आच्छादने बस् वासने सुरभि कारणे
Vasu nivaase bas aachaadane bas vaasane surabhi karane
The word Vasti can be used in different contexts so as to mean

Nivaasa – abode, home or place of stay, that which accommodates (here vasti accommodates urine, holds medicines during the treatment procedures)
Aachhadana – to cover, envelope or surround, Vasti is a structure which covers or envelopes or surrounds urine (when used as an equipment in the treatment procedures it surrounds the medicated liquids like herbal decoctions, herbal oils, ghee, milk etc)
Surabhi – to impart fragrance

In the treatment, the term Vasti giving the meaning of nivasa and aachhaadana is adaptable

Thus, Vasti is a treatment procedure in which the liquid medicines are administered through the anal route (through urethra and vaginal orifice and wound openings also)
The medicines were administered using sterilized urinary bladder of an animal as equipment (enema cans, syringes used now days are called Vasti yantra or enema equipment)

The bladder of either of cow, bull (ox), goat, buffalo etc animals were used in the procedure.

One or more of the kwatha (herbal decoctions), sneha (herbal oils, ghee etc), ksheera (medicated milk), mamsa rasa (meat soup), rakta (blood) etc liquid medicines are used for Vasti, depending on the morbidity, condition of the disease and diseased.

Routes of administration

Different routes of Basti administration:
Urethral route: Vasti is also given through Mutramarga to treat uro-genital disorders

Vaginal route: Called Apathyamarga, in women to treat disorders related to female reproductive system.

Anal route – for all other purposes – to balance down Vata Dosha.
The enema given through the urinary or genital passages is called Uttara Vasti. The same liquid medicines administered through guda marga (anal route) can be administered skilfully through uttara vasti, but in a smaller quantity.

For wounds: Vrana Marga The medicinal liquids are pushed into the wounds, ulcers and sinuses. This is called Vrana Vasti. It helps in cleaning and healing the wounds and ulcers.

Basti Chikitsa meaning

Default meaning of Basti Cikitsa:
Unless specified, the term Vasti always denotes Niruha Vasti (evacuation enema, especially herbal decoction enemas)

अत्र वस्ति शब्दो निरूह एव वर्तते।(च.सि.७/१,चक्रपाणि)
वस्ति शब्दो अत्र निरूह वस्तिः।(च.सि.७/१,जेज्जट)
Atra Vasti shabdo niroohaa eva vartate (Ref – Chakrapani commentary on Charaka Siddhi 7/1)
Vasti shabdo atra niruha vastihi (Jejjata commentary on Charaka Siddhi 7/1)

Importance of Basti

Vasti, the best among the lot –
तत्र स्नेहादीनां कर्माणां वस्ति कर्म प्रधान तमम् आहुः आचार्याः कस्मात्? अनेक कर्म करत्वाद् वस्तेः।(सु.चि.३५/१)
Tatra snehaadeenaam karmanaam vasti karma pradhaana tamam aahuhu, aachaaryaaha kasmaat? Aneka karma karatvaad vastehe (Ref – Sushruta Chikitsa 35/1)

Basti yantra enema

The roots for the superiority of Basti is its multiple areas of utility in comparison to other treatments

Purpose of Basti Chikitsa

Different purposes of Basti treatment:
The vasti medicine prepared by combining many effective medicinal herbs helps in:

  • Dosha shodhana – expelling the morbid doshas from the body
  • Samshamana – pacifying the aggravated doshas
  • Sangrahi – accumulation of malas or excreta
  • Vajikarana – acts like an aphrodisiac for those suffering from ksheena shukrata condition (depletion of semen)
  • Brimhana – promotes bulk and makes the thin person stout
  • Langhana – emaciates the people who are obese or over-weight
  • Chakshu preenana – nourishes the eyes
  • Vali palita apaha – eradicates ageing and premature greying
  • Vaya sthapana – establishes age (anti-ageing) and promotes longevity, establishes youthfulness
  • Shareera upachaya – proper nourishment and development of the body
  • Varnya – enhances colour and complexion
  • Balam – enhances strength and immunity
  • Arogyam – promotes health
  • Ayushya – promotes quality and quantity of life, enhances life span

Enema prolongs Drug Action?

Can enema prolong the duration or effect of orally given medicines? For example, some people take enema while taking recreational substances so that it stays in the gut and thus prolongs its effect. 
Dr JV Hebbar
That is an interesting use-case of enema but frankly, Ayurveda does not endorse or recommend such procedures. Yes, recreational activities, usage of alcohol etc. are mentioned in Ayurvedic texts but enema therapy is administered in Ayurveda to deliver medicinal liquids through the colon route. Enema or Basti chikitsa is one among the five main detoxification Panchakarma therapies of Ayurveda. 

While administering Basti therapy, if it is only oil or ghee administration, then the patient is advised to have light meals and soon after that, the enema is given, because the oil or fat can climb very high up in the gut, which is undesired. They are supposed to stay in the colon and intestines to exhibit their actions. 

If it is a decoction enema (Asthapana basti), then it is given on an empty stomach. 
Usually enema therapy and oral intake of medicines are not done simultaneously. So, considering all these things, it is safe to say that Ayurveda does not approve of this. 
To answer the question theoretically, it can prolong the effect of the substance but it depends a lot on what substance is given and what enema is given. It can also be very dangerous to do so, because the enema substance can react with the oral one to create a life threatening situation. 
Avoid it. 


Classification of Vasti therapy:

Adhishtana bheda

I. Based on the site of administration (Adhishtana Bheda) –

Pakwashaya Gata – is administered into the Large Intestine, through anal route. In this, the site of administration is Large Intestine and Vasti is administered through anal route. This Basti not only helps in expelling the morbid Dosha’s from the Pakwashaya or Large Intestine but also helps in taking control over the morbid Vayu. Pakwashaya is the chief site among many sites of Vata. Vata or Vayu operates the functions of the whole body from Pakwashaya. Vata is the chief controller of all the activities of our body and mind.

When Basti is given into the Pakwashaya; the medicines control the morbid Vata at its ‘chief center of operation’ and thus helps in removing the morbid Vata spread all over the body. Many diseases caused by morbid Vata can be controlled by this type of Basti. By doing so, the Vasti establishes health and establishes immunity.

Garbhashaya Gata – through vaginal route.
Mutrashaya Gata – Through urethral route, for both men and women.
Vrana Gata – Directly to the wounds, ulcers, sinuses

Dravya bheda

II. Classification based on the type of liquid medicine used (Dravya Bheda) –

1. Niruha Basti
2. Madhu tailika Basti
3. Anuvasana Basti  –  3 sub types –
Sneha Basti,
Anuvasana Basti
Matra basti 

Niruha Basti or Kashaya Vasti or Asthapana Vasti
Here Kashaya or herbal tea / decoction is used as a medication.

स दोष निर्हरणात् शरीर दोष हरणात् वा निरूहः।
वयः स्थापनात् आयुः स्थापनात् वा आस्थापनम्॥ (सु.चि.३५/१८)
Since this Vasti eliminates (expels) the morbid Doshas and or diseases from the body, it is called Nirooha Vasti (Niruha = To eliminate).

Since this Vasti establishes life span (Vaya) and age, it is called Asthapana Vasti. Establishing age means enhancing the age, by enhancing the lifespan of each and every cell in the body. By expelling the morbidity, Basti establishes health and immunity in all the cells in the body. All the functions of the body will be carried out in a smooth way. A new life element is created in each and every cell enabling them to live more and live healthy. This Basti enhances longevity and establishes youthfulness.

Madhu-Tailika Vasti is a variant of Niruha Basti. As the name indicates apart from other medicaments, Madhu (honey) and Taila (oil) is used as main ingredients of the Vasti medicine, hence the name Madhu-Tailika Vasti. It is also known by the names – ‘Yapana Basti’, Siddha Vasti’ and Yukta ratha vasti’.

Anuvasana Vasti –
Here  Sneha (medicated oils and or ghee) is used as the main liquid medicine is called Anuvasana Vasti. Sushruta has named it as ‘Snaihika Vasti’ (Sneha = Medicated fats, mainly ghee and oil). Anuvasana Basti is said to be a type of Sneha Vasti.

अनुवसन् अपि न दुष्यति अनु दिनं वा दीयत इति अनुवासनः॥(सु.चि.३५/१८)
Anuvasan api na dushyati anu dinam vaa deeyata iti anuvaasanaha (Ref – Sushruta Chikitsa 35/18)

Anuvasana means to stay. In Anuvasana Vasti, the administered medicines stay for a longer duration inside the intestine (bladder, uterus) but still do not cause any untoward problem. They neither aggravate the Dosha’s nor cause any complication. They in fact cure many diseases stayng inside our system for a longer duration. They can also be administered on a daily basis. Therefore it is called Anuvasana Vasti.

Types of Anuvasana Basti:
Depending on the quantity (dosage) of Sneha administered, Anuvasana Basti is divided into 3 types. They are as mentioned below

Sneha Vasti – 6 Prasruta medicines is given
Anuvasana Vasti – ½ of Sneha Vasti, i.e. 3 Prasruta medicines is given
Matra Vasti

Sneha Vasti –
The maximum dosage of Niruha Vasti (decoction enema) is said to be 12 Prasruta quantity (96 tola or 1152 grams). This is not a fixed dosage of Niruha. It will carry a different dosage in accordance with age. The dosage of Sneha Basti will be ¼ of the dosage of Niruha for a given age.

Thus if 12 Prasruta is the standard adult dosage of Niruha, ¼ of 12 Prasruta i.e. 3 Prasruta (24 tola or 288 grams approximately) will be the standard adult dosage of Sneha Vasti.

According to Dalhana,
– The Uttama Matra (standard and highest dosage) of Sneha Vasti is 6pala or 24 tola or 3 Prasruta (288 grams approximately). Chakrapani, commentator of Charaka Samhita calls this dosage of Sneha Vasti as ‘Sneha Basti’.

– The Madhyama Matra (moderate or intermediate dosage) of Sneha Vasti is 3 pala or 12 tola or 1 ½ Prasruta (144 grams approximately). Chakrapani, commentator of Charaka Samhita calls this dosage of Sneha Vasti as ‘Anuvasana Vasti’.

– The Kaniyasi Matra (lowest dosage) of Sneha Vasti is 1 ½ pala or 6 tola or ¾ Prasruta (72 grams approximately). Chakrapani, commentator of Charaka Samhita calls this dosage of Sneha Vasti as ‘Matra Vasti’.

Thus according to Chakrapani Sneha, Anuvasana and Matra Basti are all types of Oil enema. The dosage of each of these Vasti’s will be half of its precursor. The subtypes and dosage of Sneha Vasti are –

Sneha Vasti – 6 Prasruta medicines is given
Anuvasana Vasti – ½ of Sneha Vasti, i.e. 3 Prasruta medicines is given
Matra Vasti – ½ of Anuvasana Vasti, i.e. 1 ½ Prasruta medicines is given

Anuvasana Vasti –
Here, medicated fats are administered in a dose of ½ of that of Sneha Vasti (i.e. ½ of 6 pala i.e. 3 pala). Its dose is 3 pala (144 grams approximately)

Matra Vasti –
Here, medicines are used in a dose equal to that of Hrusva Sneha Matra (lowest dose of intake of medicated fats) is called Matra Vasti (According to Charaka, Charaka Siddhi Sthana 4/53). According to Sushruta, Matra Basti is a type of Anuvasana Vasti. In Matra Vasti, the medicated fats are administered in a dose of ½ of that of Anuvasana Vasti (i.e. ½ of 3 pala i.e. 1 ½ pala). Its dose is 1 ½ pala (72 grams approximately).

Based on function

III. Classification of Vasti on the basis of its function –
According to Sushruta, Vasti can be classified into 4 types, based on the its functions –
Shodhana Basti
Lekhana Basti
Snehana Basti
Brumhana Basti

Shodhana Vasti – Shodhana means to clean or cleanse. The Vasti in which the medicine mainly acts in expelling the morbid dosha’s and excreta from the body is called Shodhana Basti.

Lekhana Vasti – Lekhana means scraping. Lekhana Vasti scrapes of the excessive fat which has accumulated in the body and is giving rise to morbidity. By depleting the fat, this Basti helps in thinning of the patient and thus is used effectively in treating obesity, over-weight conditions and related metabolic and hormonal disorders.

Snehana Vasti – Snehana means to cause unctuousness or to provide oiliness or lubrication. Sneha is a medicated fat (oil or ghee) which is used in Vasti. It helps in imparting unctuousness and lubrication to each and every cell of the body.

Brimhana Vasti – Brimhana means to promote bulk of the body, mainly to enhance the muscles in terms of their quality and quantity (but can be generalized to enhance the quality and quantity of all the tissues). The Vasti in which the medicines help in enhancing the quality and quantity of all the body tissues.

According to Vagbhata, Vasti can be classified into 4 types, based on the its functions –
Utkleshana Basti – Utkleshana means to provoke. The Vasti which provokes the morbid Dosha’s and Mala’s (excreta) in the body and enhances their quantity by liquefying them is called Utkleshana Vasti. When the morbid elements are provoked and their quantities enhanced, it becomes easy to flush them out of the body.

Doshahara Basti – Dosha hara means to eliminate the morbid Dosha’s. it serves the purpose of Shodhana type of Niruha Vasti.

Shaman Vasti – Shamana means to pacify. Shaman Vasti helps in suppressing or pacifying the vitiated Dosha’s and bring them back to normalcy.

According to Sharangadhara

Classification by Sharangadhara (based on functions) –
Utkleshana Vasti – Exacerbating or provoking the doshas so as to prepare them for elimination
Doshahara Vasti – to expel the morbid doshas
Shodhana Vasti – to cleanse the body
Lekhana Vasti – for scraping the excessive fat in the body
Brimhana Vasti – for promoting the bulk of the body
Pichchila Vasti – Pichchila means slimy or sticky. The medicines used in this Vasti will cause Pichchilatva (sliminess) in the body. This is useful to arrest bleeding from the lower orifices as it happens in haemorrhoids, Crohn’s disease, Ulcerative Colitis etc conditions and is also used to cure chronic diarrhoea and dysentery.
Deepana Vasti – Deepana means to kindle the fire. Deepana Vasti is highly beneficial to correct the metabolic disorders by setting right the dysfunctions of Agni or metabolic fire.

According to Charaka

Some more types of Basti (based on functions) explained by Charaka (Charaka Siddhi Sthana Ch. 8) –
Vataghna Vasti – Destroys the morbid / vitiated Vata
Bala-varna krit Vasti – Enhances Bala (strength and immunity) and Varna (colour)
Snehaneeya Vasti – Provides lubrication and unctuousness to the cells
Shukrakrit Vasti – Enhances the quality and quantity of semen
Krimighna Vasti – Helps in destroying and expelling the micro-organisms (Krimi)
Vrishatva Krit Vasti – Enhances sexual potency and libido, cures impotence

According to Sushruta

Classification of Basti according to Sushruta –
Shodhana Vasti –
a) Teekshna Vasti (intense, strong and fast acting)
b) Mridu Vasti (mild and slow acting)

Lekhana Vasti – for scraping the excessive fat
Utkleshana Vasti – exacerbating or provoking the doshas so as to prepare them for elimination
Shaman Vasti –
a) Vata Shamana (mitigates morbid Vata)
b) Pitta Shamana (pacifies morbid Pitta)
c) Kapha Shamana (pacifies morbid Kapha)
d) Shula Prashamana (Pacifies pain, analgesic) etc

Brimhana Vasti – To promote weightgain
Karshana Vasti – to cause weight loss
Rasayana Vasti – Anti-ageing, immune-modulator, rejuvenator,
Vajikarana Vasti or Vrishya Vasti –
a) Ksheena indriya bala kara – Increases the strength and vigour of the Indriyas (sense organs and motor organs including the sexual organs), Aphrodisiac
b) Vyapanna Yoni Pathyatama – Beneficial in eradicating the uterine disorders, helps in conceiving, cures sterility

Snehaneeya Vasti – Enemas to produce unctuousness of the body or oiliness of the body
Chakshushya Vasti – Beneficial for eyes
Samgrahi Vasti – Causes accumulation and liquefaction of morbid doshas and malas
Varna prasadana Vasti – Colour and complexion enhancing property

Based on number of Vasti

Classification of Vasti on the basis of the number of Vastis given –
Karma Vasti – In this, a total of 30 Vastis are given. Firstly Anuvasana Vasti is given on 1st day. From 2nd day Niruha Vasti and Anuvasana Vastis are given on alternative days until 12 Anuvasanas and 12 Niruhas are completed on 25th day. On the last 5 days, Anuvasana Vastis are given. For easy understanding –
Anuvasana = A,
Niruha = N
Numbers indicate days. 1=A means, on the first day, Anuvasana is administered.

11=A12= N13=A14=N15=A16=N17=A18=N19=A20=N

Thus in Karma Vasti 12 Niruha Vastis and 18 Anuvasana Vastis are administered in a period of 30 days.

Kala Vasti – In this, a total of 16 Basti are given. The method of administration is as mentioned below –

11=A12 = N13=A14=A15=A16=A

1st day – Anuvasana Vasti
2nd, 4th, 6th, 8th, 10th and 12th days – Niruha Vasti
3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, 11th and 13th days – Anuvasana Vasti
14th to 16th day – Anuvasana Vasti

Thus in Kala Vasti 6 Niruha Vasti’s and 10 Anuvasana Vastis are administered in a period of 16 days.

Acharya Charaka mentions the number of Kala Basti as half that of Karma Vasti. Though half of 30 is 15, we should take 16 Vasti’s as a count. Chakrapani, the commentator of Charaka Samhita emphasises that we should not take the literary meaning of half and should consider 16 days for Kala Vasti.

According to Vagbhata, author of Ashtanga Sangraha, the number of Vastis given in Kala Basti procedure is 15. The procedure is the same as explained by Charaka but will end with Anuvasana on 15th day instead of 16th day. Thus we have 6 Niruha Vastis and 9 Anuvasana Vastis. (reference: Astanga Hrudaya Sutrasthana 19th chapter)

Yoga Vasti – In this, a total of 8 Vastis are given. The method of administration is as mentioned below –


1st day – Anuvasana Vasti
2nd, 4t and 6th days – Niruha Vasti
3rd, 5th and 7th day and 8th day – Anuvasana Vasti

Thus in Yoga Vasti 3 Niruha Vastis and 5 Anuvasana Vastis are administered in a period of 8 days.
According to Charaka, Yoga Basti is half of Kala Vasti, i.e. 8 Bast is are given.

Anushangika bheda

Classification of Basti on the basis of specific names given to the procedures (Anushangika Bheda) :
Yapana Vasti –
This Basti is mainly administered to enhance the Bala (strength and immunity) and to increase the quality and quantity of Shukra (semen) and Mamsa (muscle tissue, flesh). After the completion of Vasti course, a period of rest and follow up is advised. This is called Parihara Kala (recovery period). In this period a set of do’s and don’t’s are advised to the patient. They have to follow them to obtain optimum benefits of Basti and total recovery from the ailments. If the restrictions are not properly followed during Parihara Kala, it leads to serious consequences and complications. Yapana Vasti is highly beneficial in handling these complications occurring due to mis-deeds in Parihara Kala. Yapana Vasti can be given during all times and all seasons. It is free of complications and can be easily taken. This Basti causes Yapana (nourishment and support) of Ayu (life span and age). This means to tell that Yapana Vasti is the best to enhance life span, maintain youthfulness and promote longevity.
In Yapana Basti, along with Kwatha (decoction), milk, meat soup of animals living in desert lands, honey, ghee, jaggery, the inner part of the eggs of cock etc are used. Charaka has explained around 26 Yapana Vastis.

Siddha Basti –
Sidda means to achieve or conquer or succeed. The Vasti’s which are specially planned to eradicate particular diseases are called Sidda Basti’s. These Vastis effectively conquer the disease or diseases, with the intention of getting rid of which these Vastis are being given. Thus Siddha Bastis can be considered as disease specific Vasti treatment.

Prasruta Yougika Basti –
These Vastis are given in a quantity (dosage) of 1 Prasruti. This means to tell that the liquid medicines used In Prasruta Yougika Vasti are in a quantity of 1 Prasruti or 8 tola (96 grams approximately). Chapter 8 in Charaka Samhita is dedicated to the Vasti formulations which should be administered in 1 Prasruta quantity. Ksheer Vasti, Taila-Prasannadi Basti, Patoladi Basti, Vidangadi Basti etc are some of the examples of Prasruta Yougika Basti.

Dwadasha Prasrutikee Basti –
When the quantity of the liquid medicine administered in Vasti is equal to 12 Prasruta (96 tola or 1152 grams approximately), it is called Dwadasha Prasrutika Vasti (Dwadasha=12). This is said to be the maximum dosage for Basti.
Madhu-Tailika Vasti is a good example for this Vasti. In this
1 Karsha (1 gram) of Saindhava Lavana (rock salt powder),
Honey – 2 Prasruta (192 grams),
Sneha or medicated oil / ghee – 3 Prasruta (288 grams),
Kalka (medicinal paste) – 1 Prasruta (96 grams), |
Kwatha (herbal decoction) – 4 Prasruta (384 grams) and
Prakshepa (additives in the form of milk etc) – 2 Prasruta (192 grams) are mixed up into homogenous mixture weighing 12 Prasruta.

Padaheena Vasti –
Pada means one fourth of anything. The Vasti in which the quantity of medicine is taken ¼th less than that of Dwadasha Prasrutiki Basti, i.e. ¾ of Dwadasha Prasruta i.e. 9 Prasruta is called Padaheena Vasti (Pada= ¼ Heena = less).

Teekshna Vasti –
If the composition of the Basti medicine is made up of herbs which are intense and deep penetrating, strong and fast acting, the Vasti will be called Teekshna (intense) Vasti. In this Kshara (alkali), Mutra (urine), Ushna (hot potency) and Teekshna (intense) quality herbs are added to enhance the Teekshna nature of the medicine. Teekshna vasti can be included under Shodhana (evacuation or cleansing) Vastis but we should remember that all the Shodhana Vastis will not be Teekshna in nature. When the previously given Vasti doesn’t come back, it can cause complications. Teekshna Vastis are administered to bring out the previously administered Vasti.

Mrudu Vasti –
The Vasti which is mild and slow acting in nature it is called Mrudu Basti. Such Vastis are administered to kids and old aged people who cannot tolerate stronger Vastis. The medicine is prepared by combining Madhura Skanda Aushadhas (herbs belonging to the group of herbs which have sweet taste), milk, meat soup, ghee etc. The addition of these things brings mildness to the Vasti medicine.

Pichcha Vasti –
This type of Vasti is prepared using Pichcha dravyas (medicines having slimy nature). The intention is to stop the loss of pichcha (slimy substance of the body which holds the integrity of our body) and jeeva shonita (fresh blood) by checking them through their coagulant property (stambhana). This can be included into the category of grahi or sangrahi vasti.

Rakta Vasti
Here blood is given in the form of enema. This is useful in bleeding disorders where there is heavy loss of blood from the body. This not only fulfils the loss of blood but also helps in formation of new blood.

Vasti Yantra

Vasti Yantra (Equipments used for Vasti) –
It has 2 parts
a) Vasti Netra – Nozzle of Vasti Apparatus
b) Vasti Putaka – Container of Vasti apparatus

Vasti Netra

Netra basically means the eye. But in this context, netra means Nalika or tube or nozzle of the instrument.
नेत्रं नलिका।(चक्रपाणि)
नेत्रं यन्त्रं।(डल्हण)
Netram nalikaa (Ref – Chakrapani)
Netram Yantram (Ref – Dalhana)

The tube like structure or nozzle attached (fixed) to the Vasti Putaka (container of the instrument) is called Vasti Netra. This Netra is made up of metal. This is the portion of Basti apparatus which is inserted into the anal cabal.
In ancient days the Nalika was made of either of gold, silver, copper, tin, bronze, brass etc.
Gold or costlier metal was used when the instrument was prepared for giving Basti to kings and other noble men.
Other materials used for making Vasti Netra are – Bones (tubular bones), weapons, tree or wood, bamboo, teeth, tusk, tube, horn, pearl, latex (resin) etc.
Now days, it is made up of iron, stainless steel, copper or brass etc.

Dimensions of Vasti Netra –
Basti Netra is hollow inside, wide at the base and tapering towards the end or tip (front).

According to Charaka the dimensions of Basti Netra (in terms of angula pramana, 1 angula = ¾ inch) are as said below:
For a child of 1-6 years of age the length of netra should be 6 angulas
For 7 years of age – the length of netra should be 6 ½ angulas
For 8 years – 6 2/3 angulas
For 9 years – 7 angulas
For 10 years – 7 ½ angulas
For 11 years – 7 2/3 angulas
For 12 years – 8 angulas
For 13 years – 8 ½ angulas
For 14 years – 9 angulas
For 15 years – 9 ½ angulas
For 16 years – 10 angulas
For 17 years – 10 ½ angulas
For 18 years – 11 angulas
For 19 years – 11 ½ angulas
For 20 years – 12 Angulas
20 years of age onwards – the length of netra used should be 12 angulas
Angula means finger. Approximately, 1 angula is equal to ¾ inches.

That means to tell that the Vasti Netra’s dimension should be equal to the thickness of the finger of the particular patient to whom Basti is being given. This shows that the new Netra’s were prepared for each patient and were disposed after the treatment. This shows the scientific approach of the ancient acharyas (teachers), mathematical accuracy in preparing the instrument, depth of anatomical knowledge and the first concept of disposable syringes or disposable (use and throw) equipment.
If the dimension is too less, the medicines cannot be pushed beyond the rectum and the medicine will tend to come back. If the length is too long, it may injure the anal canal.

Practically having the nozzles of so many dimensions is impossible. At least the nozzles of 6 angula (4 ½ inch), 8 angula (6 inch) and 12 angula (9 inch) approximately should be kept ready.

Shape of the Vasti Netra –
The shape of the nozzle should resemble Gopuchcha or tail of a cow, broad at the base and tapering towards the end or tip, have a thickness of thumb at the base and thickness of small finger at the end.

According to Sushruta,
The netra should have a small finger thickness for 1 year old child, ring finger thickness for 8 years old child and middle finger thickness for 16 years old person and the thickness of thumb for people 25 years of age and onwards.

The netra will have 3 karnikas. The first one is located at the root or the nozzle or netra, where the netra is introduced into the lower opening of Basti Putaka (enema can). The 2nd karnika is located 2 inches below / distal to this 1st Karnika. The vasti mukha or the lower opening of  Basti putaka is tied tightly in the interval between 1st and 2nd karnika (after having inserted the netra into the putaka. The 3rd karnika is located at ¼ distance of the total length of netra from the tip. This will restrict the nozzle from entering the anal canal beyond this level.
The inner orifice (lumen) of the netra or nozzle will permit a green gram (mudga) is a nozzle prepared for a 6 year old child, a pea in a nozzle prepared for a 12 year old and the seed of Jujube fruit (badara) in a nozzle prepared for a 20 year old person.
Dimension of a Vrana Vasti Netra (nozzle used for infusing wounds) –
It should be 18 angula (13 ½ inch) long, its lumen permits green gram, According to Sushruta – In the absence of Netra – a tube, bamboo or bone is used. This inner portion is hollowed out.

Uttara Vasti Netra Dimension

It is also called Pushpa Netra. This is used to administer Vasti into genital tract and urinary tract. Thus, the uttara vasti is given through the urethra (in both men and women) and through vagina (women).
The uttara vasti netra or nozzle measures 12 angulas (14 angulas according to Sushruta), lumen permits a mustard seed (sarshapa), it has 2 karnikas, the karnika or limiting ridge near the tip (as in other netras) is absent.
Now days a rubber tube is fixed to the nozzle projecting from the lower rim of enema container. The tube (enema catheter) is inserted into the anal tract. The end of the tube is connected to a long nozzle with an opening at the tip which allows a monitored stream of medicine into the intestine. This whole set up can be compared to the Basti netra (excluding the container which can be compared to Basti Putaka, which will be explained in the upcoming passages). The catheter or tube will have different dimensions and can be disposed after single use. This maintains sterility of the treatment.

Note – Karnikas are circular ring like ridges at the regular intervals which are in the shape of umbrellas. The karnikas are elevated beyond the circumference of the netra or nozzle. The karnika present near the tip (as said above) limits the length of nozzle which is allowed to enter the rectum. The nozzle cannot be pushed into the rectum beyond this level because the karnika forms a clamp at the anal opening. The other end of the netra is pushed into the lower opening of the vasti putaka (urinary bladder in this case) and is tied between the 2nd and 3rd karnikas to prevent leakage of enema liquid during administration.

Netra Dosha

Netra Dosha (errors of the nozzle) –
If the built of the nozzle is not proper (as per the norms and dimensions mentioned in the classics) it can cause some complications to the patient. The errors in the built of netra or nozzle are called netra doshas. The netra should be devoid of the below said doshas (errors) –
Hruswata – (too short netra) – If the netra is too short, the medicine doesn’t enter deep into the intestines, beyond the anal canal if the netra is too short.
Deerghata (too long netra) – If the netra is too long, the medicines reach deep into the intestines and also into small intestines and stomach (that far reach of enema medicine is not intended), which is not intended
Tanuta (thin nozzle) – If the netra is too thin, it will produce irritation of the bowel. Since the medicine doesn’t pass easily in quick (desired) time into the intestine, the nozzle should be kept in the anal canal for longer duration than intended (until the whole medicine is pushed into the anal canal). The long stay of netra in the bowel causes bowel irritability.
Sthulata (too thick netra) – If the netra is too thick in dimension (than intended) it injures the anus and rectum as it cannot be easily pushed (due to the thickness) beyond the permeability of the anal canal.
Jeernata (old, damaged and fragile netra) – If the netra is made up of old and fragile metals and which are damaged, it injures the anal canal
Shitila bandhana (loosely bound) – If the binding of netra and putaka (container) is loose at the junction, the medicines will spill out from the junctional gaps even before it enters the anal canal.
Paarshwa chidra (lateral opening or opening towards the side of the netra) – if the opening of the netra is not at the tip (as intended) but is placed wrongly to either side of the netra, it causes pain in the anus, the medicines too will not flow easily because the opening at the side will be blocked by the wall of the anus or rectum when the nozzle is inserted in the anal canal.
Vakrata (crookedness of the netra) – If the netra is crooked (instead of being straight) the flow of medicines also will take place in a crooked way. This causes colic.

Other errors mentioned by Sushruta –
Asanna karnika (close by limiting ridge of the netra) – If the limiting ridge of the netra is very close to the opening or the tip of the nozzle, a small segment of netra will enter the anal-canal, this will cause spilling of medicines at the rim of the anus.
Prakrushta Karnika (limiting edge of the netra being very far away from the anal opening) – If the limiting ridge of the netra is very far away from the tip or opening of the netra, a big segment (than intended) of the netra will enter the anal-canal causing pressure and pain in anus and rectum.
Anu netrata (small opening orifice at the tip of netra) – If the opening orifice at the tip of the netra is too small (than intended) it becomes difficult to administer vasti because the medicine doesn’t flow easily through the narrow opening.
Maha srotata (big opening orifice at the tip of the netra) – If the opening orifice at the tip of the netra is too big (than intended) the medicines will flow very quickly into the intestines (not intended)
Bhinna netrata (broken netra) – If the netra is broken or perforated, the medicine gets spilt even before entering the anal canal or there will be partial entry of medicines

Vasti Putaka

Vasti Putaka (Enema container) –
Basti putaka means the container of the enema apparatus. It accommodates the Vasti medicines (liquids). In ancient days it was made up of the urinary bladder (vasti) of animals and hence the name vasti (vasti=urinary bladder or bladder or something which holds). They were made using the urinary bladders of cow, ox, deer, pig, goat, etc animals. Before using the urinary bladders for the Vasti treatment, they were impregnated in the Kashayas (herbal decoctions) and or tailas (herbal oils) for many days. Dipping the bladder in the kashayas or tailas was a part of sterilizing, de-contaminating and disinfecting the urinary bladder. Dipping in the oils was a part of maintaining their elasticity and flexibility. The urinary bladders which were selected used to be strong, soft, flexible, elastic, devoid of infection, perforation, contaminants, bad odour etc. the veins over the surface of urinary bladder were skilfully removed. The shape of the putaka (urinary bladder) used to be triangular in shape.
If the urinary bladder of the above said animals weren’t to be available, the skin of the plava bird or ankapada was used to prepare vasti putaka.
Basti netra was fit into the lower (urethral) opening of the urinary bladder and tied firmly between the upper 2 karnikas. The upper surface of the urinary bladder was opened. The medicinal liquids were poured through the upper opening.
In a later period, rubber bags, plastic bags, bladder of volley ball or football were used as Basti Putaka. Now we have cans made up of metal or plastic. It has an upper opening (large) through which the medicinal liquids are filled into the container. The lower portion has a small hole as exit for vasti medicine. The orifice has a small nozzle to which a long rubber tube or catheter is tightly fit. At the other end fo the tube a longer nozzle, preferably made up of disposable plastic and fulfils the dimensions of vasti netra is fit. This portion is pushed into the anal canal. At the junction of the nozzle and catheter, the nozzle will have an outward elevated ridge (karnika) which will limit the entry of the nozzle only up to that level. The nozzle will have the length and dimensions similar to that of anal canal (such that it covers only the length of the anal canal). This portion is pushed into the anal canal. Many nozzles are also fit with a tap to control the flow of medicaments. The nozzle is (tube also) disposable and can be substituted with a new one after one treatment (administration of vasti). To maintain the sterility of treatment, this part of apparatus is changed for different patients and also for the same patient every time.

Vasti Putaka Dosha (errors of enema can or container) –
Just like the vasti netra, the Vasti putaka too should be devoid of certain errors of manufacture or assembling. The Basti Putaka should be devoid of the below said errors –
Vishama (uneven shape of the container) – The shape of the vasti putaka should be even and uniform. If it is uneven, it may cause uneven flow of medicines when the container is pressed.

(Note – When in the olden days, the urinary bladder was used as a container, it had to be squeezed in order to push the medicines into the Vasti netra and consequentially into the intestines. Now days the use of plastic or metal container will allow the flow of medicines on the virtue of gravitational force when the container is held at a higher level with the patient having slept a t a lower level in comparison to the putaka, so that the medicines flow easily following eh gravitation)

Mamsala (fleshy container or putaka) – The Vasti putaka or container should not be too fleshy. The bladder should be made sterile, made soft, smooth, excess flesh should be removed to enhance the flexibility and elasticity of the putaka. Fleshy urinary bladder or putaka imparts foul smell to the vasti medicines apart from being difficult to sqeeze down the medicines when pressed.

China, Chidrayukta (torn or perforated putaka) – The Vasti putaka should neither be torn nor perforated. Perforated or torn putaka will cause leakage of contents while administering Basti.
Sthula (stout and large putaka) – The vasti putaka should not be stout and fat. Stout and fat bladder (putaka) becomes difficult to hold and handle. It is also difficult to press the putaka while administering Basti.

Jala yukta (putaka with networks) – The Vasti Putaka should not have networks. When the surface presents networks it will have minute perforations (orifices) which will cause oozing of medicines.
Vatala (putaka with lot of air in it) – The vasti container should not consist of air; lot of air in the putaka will cause bubbling and frothing of the medicines which is not intended.
Snigdha (oily putaka) – The vasti putaka should not be too oily or unctuous because being so it will become slippery. If the putaka slips from the hand while administering vasti, the whole medicines will be spilt.
Klinnata (wet putaka) – The Vasti putaka should not contain lot of moisture or watery contents. Excessive moisture or watery contents in the container (urinary bladder, container) will make it difficult to hold and pose difficulty in administering Basti.

Preparation or assembling the Vasti Yantra (Vasti apparatus) –
As we have seen that the Vasti Yantra (apparatus) will have 2 components i.e. Vasti netra (nozzle) and Vasti Putaka (can or container).
Before the administration of Vasti, the instrument or apparatus should be kept ready by properly checking the errors if any and also by assembling the netra and putaka to perfection. After assembling the apparatus, it should be checked for leakage at the junctions.
The upper expanded portion of the Vasti Netra is introduced into the lower opening of the urinary bladder or vasti putaka (exit or urethral opening of urinary bladder) such that the part of nozzle unto the midpoint between the upper 2 karnikas (limiting ridges) lie within the bladder. The bladder is tightly tied between the upper 2 karnikas or the junction of the lower opening of the bladder and the netra is sealed tightly by applying cauterization using burnt sterile metal rods. The apparatus is ready to use.
Now days, enema can with a detachable tube (rubber o rplastic catheter) fit to its nozzle and fit with a long nozzle with opening at the tip with a tap for monitoring the stream of medicines is used for administering Niruha Basti (asthapana vasti or decoction enemas). For oil or ghee enemas (sneha vasti or anuvasana vasti), glycerine syringes or disposable 100 ml syringes are used.
Now the whole apparatus has been assembled and is ready to be used for administering Niruha Basti.

Medicines used

Many things are used in Vasti either as a base or as an ingredient of Vasti liquid. They are called Vasti Dravyas. They include parts of medicinal plants, animal products like milk, meat soup, semen, eggs, urine etc, alkalies, salt, honey and many more. Since it is very difficult to mention the things which are not included as Basti dravya (almost everything is used), it would be too elaborate to enlist or explain the properties of all the Basti dravyas.

Charaka himself has admitted that it is very difficult to enlist the Vasti dravyas since many materials can be combined in many aways to prepare the medicine to be administered in Asthapana Basti (decoction enemas). For convenience of understanding, Charaka has classified the Vasti dravyas on the basis of their predominant Rasa (taste). He has thus classified the medicines used in Vasti into 6 groups and has called it as Shad Asthapana Skanda (6 groups of medicines which can be used for Asthapana Basti). Though the classification does not cover the complete list of things used in Asthapana Basti, Charaka has done justice in providing us a blue print of working and combining the medicines while planning for Vasti.

Shad Asthapana Skanda

  • Jeevaka – Malaxis accuminata
  • Rishabhaka – Microstylis muscifera
  • Jeevanti – Leptadenia reticulata
  • Amalaki – Emblica officinalis
  • Guduchi – Tinospora cordifolia
  • Bala – Sida cordifolia
  • Vidari – Pueraria tuberose / Ipomoea digitata
  • Ashwagandha – Withania somnifera
  • Punarnava – Boerhavia diffusa
  • Brihati – Solanum indicum
  • Kantakari – Solanum surattense / Solanum xanthocarpum
  • Gokshura – Tribulus terrestris
  • Shatavari – Asperagus racemosa
  • Shatapushpa – Anethum sowa
  • Yashtimadhu – Glychirrhiza glabra
  • Kapikachchu – Mucuna pruriens
  • Draksha – Vitis vinifera etc

Benefits: They can be skilfully compiled into Vasti dravyas – to combat Vata disorders, combined with honey, ghee and sheeta dravyas (medicines with cold potency), they are used to combat high pitta conditions

Amla Skanda (Sour group or medicines having sweet taste which can be used in Vasti) –

  • Amra – Mango
  • Amrataka – Spondias pinnata
  • Lakucha – Artocarpus lakoocha
  • Karamarda – Carissa carandas
  • Vrukshamla – Garcinia indica
  • Amlavetasa – Garcinia pedunculata
  • Badara – Ziziphus sativa, Indian jujube
  • Dadima – Punica granatum
  • Matulunga – Citrus medica
  • Amalaki – Emblica officinalis
  • Changeri – Oxalis corniculata
  • Asava, Arishta – Fermented herbal liquids
  • Dadhi – curds
  • Dadhimanda – supernatant watery layer of curds etc

Benefits – Can be effectively combined and used in Vasti medicines to combat Vata disorders

Lavana Skanda (Salts used in Basti) –
Saindhava lavana – Rock salt (sodium chloride)
Sauvarchala Lavana – Sochal salt (potassium nitrate)
Kala lavana – A type of black salt, Sodium sulphate
Vida lavana – Ammonium salt
Samudra lavana – sodium chloride etc
Benefits – Can be effectively combined and used in Vasti medicines to combat Kapha disorders

Katu Skanda (Pungent tasting herbs used in Basti)  –

  • Pippali – Piper longum
  • Pippalimula – Roots of Piper longum
  • Chavya – Piper retrofractum
  • Chitraka – Plumbago zeylanica
  • Ardraka – Ginger
  • Maricha – black pepper
  • Ajamoda – celery
  • Vidanga – Embelia ribes
  • Ela – cardamom
  • Kushta – Saussurea lappa
  • Hingu – Asafoetida
  • Sarshapa – mustard
  • Lashuna – Garlic
  • Karanja – Pongamia pinnata
  • Shigru – Drumstick, Moringa
  • Kshara – alkalis
  • Mutra – urine
  • Pitta – bile etc

Benefits – Can be effectively combined and used in Vasti medicines to combat Kapha disorders
Decoction of these herbs should be admixed with honey, oil, salts etc and used as Vasti

Tikta Skanda (Bitter group or herbs, used in Vasti) –

  • Chandana – Sandalwood
  • Aragwadha – Cassia fistula
  • Usheera – Vetiveria zizanioidis
  • Nimbi – Neem
  • Kutaja – Holarrhena antidysenterica
  • Haridra – Turmeric
  • Daruharidra – Berberis aristata
  • Musta – Cyperus rotundus
  • Kiratatikta – Swertia chirata
  • Katuki – Picrorhiza kurroa
  • Karavellaka – Bitter gourd
  • Ativisha – Aconitum heterophyllum
  • Patola – Trichosanthes dioica, pointed gourd
  • Patha – Cyclea peltata, Cissampelos parieta
  • Guduchi – Tinospora cordifolia
  • Saptaparna – Alstonia scholaris
  • Arka – Calotropis gigantea
  • Tagara – Valerian wallichi, etc

Benefits – Its decoction processed with or fortified with oils, salts etc should be administered in Kapha disorders

Kashaya Skanda (Astringent group or herbs used in Basti)

  • Priyangu – Callicarpa macrophylla
  • Anantamula – Hemidesmus indicus
  • Katuka – Picrorhiza kurroa
  • Lodhra – Symplocos racemosa
  • Dhataki – Woodfordia fruticosa
  • Kamala – lotus
  • Jambu – Eugenia jambolana
  • Amra – mango
  • Plaksha – Ficus lacor
  • Bhallataka – Semecarpus anacardium (marking nut)
  • Khadira – Acacia catechu
  • Badara – Zizhiphus sativa
  • Manjishta – Rubia cordifolia
  • Ashoka – Saraca indica, Saraca asoca, etc

Benefits – Can be effectively combined and used in Basti medicines to combat Kapha disorders. It should be given luke-warm. The decoctions of desired herbs should be mixed with honey, oil, salts etc and used as Basti.

Niruha Varga

Niruha Varga or Asthapana Varga (Group of herbs which can be used for decoction enemas) – explained by Sushruta –
Latex of Ksheeri Varga herbs (latex yielding plants), Amla varga (sour group of herbs), mutra varga (different kinds of urine used in urine group), oils, ghee, decoctions, meat soup, salt, Trikatu (3 pungent herbs, long pepper, black pepper and ginger), Triphala (3 fruits – Terminalia chebula, Terminalia bellirica and Emblica officinalis), honey, Shatapushpa (Dill seeds), Sarshapa (mustard), Vacha (Acorus calamus), Ela (cardamom), Rasna (Pluchea lanceolata), Devadaru (Cedrus deodara), Haridra (turmeric), Yashtimadhu (Glycyrrhiza glabra), Kushta (Sausseurea lappa), Samshodhana Varga (herbs useful in cleansing or evacuation procedures), sugar, Musta (Cyperus rotundus), Chandana (sandalwood), Madanaphala (Randia dumetorum) etc

Niruha Dravyas mentioned by Vagbhata –
Madana (Randia dumetorum), Kutaja (), Kushta (Holarrhena antidysenterica), Yashtimadhu (Glycyrrhiza glabra), Vacha (Acorus calamus), Dashamula (10 roots), Devadaru (Cedrus deodara), Rasna (Pluchea lanceolata), Yava (Barley), Kulattha (horsegram), honey, salt etc

Phalini Dravyas (Charaka Sutra 1/83,84) – Fruits of the below said are used for decoction enemas –

  • Dhamargava – Luffa cylindrica
  • Ikshwaku – Lagineria siceraria
  • Jimuta – Luffa echinata
  • Krutavedana – Luffa acutangulata
  • Madanaphala – Randia dumetorum
  • Kutaja – Holarrhena antidysenterica
  • Trapusha – Cucumis sativus
  • Hastiparni – Juniperus communis

Snehas (fats) used in Vasti – Ghee, oil, muscle fat, bone marrow

Mutra vargas – Urines of goat, sheep, cow, ox, elephant, camel, horse, donkey

Asthapana Anuvasana Gana

Asthapana-Anuvasana Gana (Group of medicines which can be used in both Asthapana – decoction enemas and Anuvasana – oil enemas) –

  • Patala – Stereospermum suaveolens
  • Agnimantha – Premna integrifolia / Clerodendrum phlomidis)
  • Bilwa – Aegle marmelos
  • Shyonaka – Oroxylum indicum
  • Kaashmaree – Gmelina arborea
  • Shaalaparni – Desmodium gangeticum
  • Prishniparni – Uraria picta
  • Kantakari – Solanum suratense / Solanum xanthocarpum
  • Brihati – Solanum indicum
  • Gokshura – Tribulus terrestris
  • Bala – Sida cordifolia
  • Eranda – Ricinus communis, Castor
  • Punarnava – Boerhavia diffusa
  • Yava – Barley
  • Kulattha – Horse gram
  • Guduchi – Tinospora cordifolia
  • Madanaphala – Randia dumetorum / Randia spinoza
  • Kola (badara) – Zizyphus jujuba
  • Palaasha – Butea monosperma
  • Kattruna – Cympopogon schoenanthus
  • Sneha – oils and ghee
  • Lavana – Salt

Asthapanopaga Gana

Asthapanopaga Gana (Medicines which act as helpers to herbs used for Asthapana Vasti) –

  • Trivrit – Operculina turpethum
  • Bilwa – Aegle marmelos
  • Pippali – Piper longum
  • Kushta – Saussurea lappa
  • Sarshapa – mustard
  • Vacha – Acorus calamus
  • Kutaja – Holarrhena antidysenterica
  • Shatapushpa – Anethum sowa (Dil seed)
  • Yashtimadhu – Glycyrrhiza glabra
  • Madanaphala – Randia dumetorum

Anuvasanopaga Gana

Anuvasanopaga Gana (Medicines which act as helpers to herbs used for Anuvasana Vasti) –

  • Rasna – Pluchea lanceolata
  • Devadaru – Cedrus deodara
  • Madanaphala – Randia dumetorum
  • Shatapushpa – Anethum sowa
  • Rakta punarnava – Boerhavia diffusa
  • Shweta punarnava – Trianthema portulacastrum
  • Gokshura – Tribulus terrestris
  • Agnimantha – Premna integrifolia / Clerodendrum phlomidis)
  • Bilwa – Aegle marmelos
  • Shyonaka – Oroxylum indicum

Asthapana basti indications

Indications for Asthapana basti:
Briefly the above said conditions in which Asthapana Basti is indicated can be included in the below said categories:

  • Vata rogas or Vata pradhana rogas – diseases caused due to vitiated vayu or diseases in which Vata morbidity is severe
  • Diseases located in or occurring in the sites, organs and tissues which are abodes of vayu (vata ashraya sthanas)
  • Diseases in which Shodhana (cleansing) should be administered
  • The diseases which can be cured by the different types of vastis (as seen in the above said classification of vasti)
  • The diseases occurring in the site of malashodhana (colon)

Anuvasana basti indications

Indications for Anuvasana Vasti –
All the conditions which are mentioned in the indications of Asthapana vasti are also the indications of Anuvasana Basti. This means to tell that all the conditions which can be cured by Asthapana Vasti can be cured by Anuvasana Basti also. But Anuvasana Vasti is specifically beneficial in patients having excessive rukshata (dryness) in the body, those in whom the agni (digestion, metabolism) is severe and patients suffering from Vata Vyadhis (disorders caused due to vitiated vata).
Click to Consult Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ayu)

14 comments on “Basti Chikitsa: Benefits, Routes, Types, Indications, Equipment

  • Abhiranjan

    22/03/2017 - 12:35 pm

    Sir????, In text on first and second day of basti procedure successively anuvasana basti to be given has been mentioned and on third day niruha but here it’s different, what’s your view regarding this Sir

    Reply to comment
    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

      22/03/2017 - 11:00 pm

      Hi, you are talking about Karma basti –
      In Ashtanga Hrudaya Sutrasthana 19th chapter, 63rd Verse –
      Prak Sneha EKAHA panchante dvadasha asthapanani cha |
      Sa anvasanani karmaivam basthayaha strimshat Iritaaha ||

      So, prak sneha ekaha – first one is Sneha basti.
      Panchante – last 5 is anuvasana basti.
      dwadasha asthapana, sa anuvasana – in between these, 12 niruha and 12 anuvasana.

      In the pairing of niruha and anuvasana, some start with anuvasana first and some with asthapana first, hence both versions are prevalent and apt.

      Reply to comment
  • Aruna rani

    01/09/2017 - 12:37 pm

    Hello sir, how long v can give lekhana basti in obese n any case study pls

    Reply to comment
  • Rustom

    22/09/2017 - 2:38 pm

    Doctor the details mentioned and benefits received here are an eye-opener. Had gone through Yog-Basti procedure a few years ago and felt good. How long after a Yog Basti procedure another Yog Basti procedure can be done without any side effects. Minimum and Maximum ages of people under going this basti and any side effects. Thank You

    Reply to comment
    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

      24/09/2017 - 10:56 pm

      Depends on the analysis by the consulting doctor. Once in 2- 3 months is good to undergo Yogabasti.
      Minimum age – 1 year (only if doctor advises). Maximum age – not est.
      Side effects – some people may feel nausea, abdominal discomfort.

      Reply to comment
  • chandan

    07/01/2018 - 1:54 pm

    What is the treatment of calcification in ayurveda.

    Reply to comment
  • Vibha

    09/09/2020 - 12:06 am

    Namaste, sir!
    Could you please tell whether the Yoga Basti be reduced to 3-4 days, but retaining the number of Bastis to be 8 only. Similarly can Kala Basti be compressed to 8 days, but with 15 Bastis? What could be expected from reducing the number of days but retaining the original number of Bastis as mentioned in the texts?
    Please guide in this matter.

    Reply to comment
    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

      15/06/2021 - 6:48 pm

      Hi, it is also a common practice to give one type of basti in the morning and other in the evening. If you are confident, then basti can be given this way, reducing the number of days.

      Reply to comment
  • Surinder

    21/04/2022 - 8:49 pm

    I have read your long article on basti administration.This is very helpful for practitioners.

    Reply to comment
  • Dr Farheen

    25/09/2022 - 8:59 pm

    Respected sir
    I wanted to know the efficacy of basti in kushta as it is contraindicated but we get reference in siddhi sthana of panchatikta niruha basti in kushta sir I wanted to know criteria to choose basti as a treatment in kushta like kitibha kushta

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  • Dr Farheen

    26/09/2022 - 9:56 pm

    Thank you sir for your reply..
    I wanted to know whether panchatikta niruha basti will be effective in kitibha kushta with respect to plague psoriasis??

    Reply to comment

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