Matra Basti: Indications, Benefits, Contra Indications

Article by Dr Raghuram Y.S. and Dr Manasa
Matra vasti is a type of sneha vasti – fat enema. It has been highly praised for its extensive and multi-dimensional use. The dose of matra vasti is half that of anuvasana vasti i.e. half of 3 pala or 12 tola. Thus the dose of matra vasti is 1 ½ pala or 6 tola (72 grams approximately). 

Charaka and vagbhata are of the opinion that the dose of matra vasti should be equal to that of hrisva sneha matra (minimum dosage of oral consumption of sneha).

Basti yantra enema

Hrisva matra of sneha is that dose which when consumed gets digested in 6 hours duration. This dose has not specified because it depends on agnibala (capacity to digest) and is moreover individual rather than general.

According to Chakrapani, the commentator of Charaka Samhita treatise, the dose of sneha vasti is 6 pala (288 grams approximately), the dose of anuvasana vasti is 3 pala (144 grams approximately) and the dose of matra vasti is 1 ½ pala (72 grams approximately).

Matra vasti has a special place among all the vastis and is highly praised because it can be administered at anytime. It doesn’t cause any complication. Since the dosage of sneha used in matra vasti is low, there will be no fear of any complications. It can be given individually and need not be given along with niruha vasti. Matra vasti can be administered on daily basis. It stays in the colon for maximum period (12 hours or more) and will induce all beneficial results. There are no restrictions tagged to administration of matra vasti.


Indications for matra vasti –

  • Vyayama karshita – those who have got weak due to excessive exercises
  • Karma karshita – people who are debilitated due to excessive work, strenuous work
  • Bhara karshita – people who are debilitated due to excessive lifting of weights
  • Adhwa karshita – people who are debilitated due to excessive walking
  • Yana karshita – people who are debilitated due to excessive travelling
  • Stree karshita – people who are debilitated due to excessive indulgence in sexual intercourse
  • Durbala – excessive weakness
  • Vatabhagneshu – people who are suffering from diseases caused due to vata vitiation

There is no pathya (dietetic and lifestyle restrictions) indicated while undergoing matra vasti. This makes the administration and taking of matra vasti an easy process. Even parihara kala has not been mentioned with respect to matra vasti as is done in case of niruha vasti. (Parihara kala is the time period of following strict dietetic regimen and lifestyle modifications after the completion of a course of vasti.

Parihara kala should be double the time period of the number of days in which vasti has been administered. Example, if vasti has been administered for 15 days, the parihara kala will be 30 days. This means to tell that matra vasti can be readily administered while following the protocol of daily living.

Food and life activities shall be the same as we follow it regularly with no need of much modification. Matra vasti is brimhana in nature (nourishing, bulk promoting, strengthening). It is the best in the business of combating the vata disorders. It is specifically beneficial for kids, old aged people, royal people, people of tender and delicate nature etc in whom the other strong forms of vasti is contraindicated.


Contra indications for Anuvasan Basti: Ananuvasya
य एव अनास्थाप्याः त एव अननुवास्याः स्युः विशेषतः तु अभुक्तः भक्त नव ज्वर पाण्डुरोग कामला प्रमेह अर्शः प्रतिश्याय अरोचक मंदाग्नि दुर्बल प्लीह कफ उदर ऊरुस्तंभ वर्चो भेद विष गर पीत पित्त कफ अभिष्यंद गुरु कोष्ठ श्लीपद गलगंड अपचि क्रिमि कोष्ठिनः॥(च.सि.२/१७)
Ya eva anaasthaapyaaha ta eva ananuvaasyaaha syuhu, visheshataha tu abhukta bhakta nava jwara paandu roga kaamalaa prameha arshaha pratishyaayaa arochaka mandaagni durbala pleeha kapha udara oorustambha varcho bheda visha gara peeta pitta kapha abhishyanda guru koshta shleepada galaganda apache krimi koshtinaha (Ref – Charaka Siddhi 2/17)

  • Anasthapya – all those conditions in which asthapana vasti is contra-indicated
  • Abhukta bhukta – on empty stomach (in a person who has not consumed food)
  • Nava jwara – acute fever
  • Pandu roga – anaemia
  • Kamala – jaundice
  • Prameha – diabetes, stubborn urinary diseases
  • Arsha – piles
  • Pratishyaya – coryza, cold congestions
  • Arochaka – anorexia
  • Manda agni – low digestion
  • Durbala – weakness
  • Pleeha udara – splenomegaly (enlargement of spleen)
  • Kapha udara – abdominal diseases caused by vitiated kapha
  • Urustambha – stiffness of thigh
  • Varcho-bheda (atisara) – diarrhoea
  • Visha peeta – poisoning
  • Gara peeta – consumption of artificial added poisons
  • Kapha abhishyanda – conjunctivitis caused by morbid kapha
  • Guru koshta – heavy abdomen (hard bowel movement)
  • Shleepada – filariasis
  • Gala ganda – goitre
  • Apachee – cervical lymphadenopathy
  • Krimi koshta – worms in intestine
  • Prameha –urinary disorders, diabetes
  • Kushta – skin diseases, leprosy
  • Sthoulya – obesity
  • Peenasa – nasal block
  • Krisha – excessively emaciation

Matra Vasti for knee pain

Sir can Matra basti help in chronic knee pain in old age due to lack of synovial fluid?
Dr JV Hebbar
Matra Basti is a form of enema treatment with herbal oils or ghees. It is useful in pure Vata conditions such as osteo-arthritis. If the knee pain does not involve ama or indigestion, then it can be useful in treating knee pain. Along with it, oral Ayurvedic medicines, local Ayurvedic therapies on the knee will also be required for a comprehensive management. Basti alone might not be 100% beneficial. 
Read: Classification Of Pain And Arthritis As Per Ayurveda

22 comments on “Matra Basti: Indications, Benefits, Contra Indications

  • ss

    19/08/2016 - 12:55 pm

    Good Article!

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

    29/01/2017 - 5:20 pm

    Matra basti can be given once in 2 – 3 months time.

    Reply to comment
  • nik

    13/02/2017 - 12:49 pm

    dear dr. can one take matra basti everyday for long term use.. as a person who is ??habituated to exercise each day.. is it safe to take matra basti everyday?? plz advise

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

      06/03/2017 - 5:57 pm

      8 days schedule followed once in 2 – 3 months is ideal.

      Reply to comment
  • Karthik J

    02/02/2018 - 3:37 pm

    What is the best time of the day for administering Matra basti ? Should be colon be empty ?

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

      04/02/2018 - 7:53 pm

      Soon after breakfast.

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

    03/06/2018 - 1:03 pm

    No. But decoction basti with oil bastis can be useful.

    Reply to comment
  • Karthik

    03/06/2018 - 6:47 pm

    As a regular regimen to maintain what basti due you recommend ? e.g. I due Jal Basti every month

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

      04/06/2018 - 9:36 am

      Sesame oil enema would be good once in 2 months. Best to consult an Ayurveda doctor and get the right Basti treatment.

      Reply to comment
  • Vikash

    29/09/2018 - 6:11 pm

    I have heard that Nasya and Basti should be done daily with oil ( courtesy Charak Sangita). Am I right ?. If so, can seasame oil be used for this daily as matra basti. Please ensure me about this. Also, what amount of oil should one use in it.

    Reply to comment
  • Kanika

    20/10/2018 - 1:21 pm

    Can matra basti is administered by diabetic patient ??

    Reply to comment
  • Kanika

    20/10/2018 - 3:08 pm

    Can diabetic patient do matra basti

    Reply to comment
  • ashwini kalinkar

    07/12/2018 - 2:46 am

    how many days can be given matravasti?

    Reply to comment
  • Saraswati Kulkarni

    28/10/2021 - 6:34 pm

    Sir I am doing enema daily with plain water, Is matra basti using mahanarayan oil for 8 days.I have
    Frozen. Shoulder problem. And laxity of fluid in leg and shoulders. So may I try by virgin coconut oil.Please reply me SIR 🙏

    Reply to comment

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