Basti is one of the main procedures of Panchakarma. Basti is administered by the introduction of medicated fluid into the colon. Basti therapy balances and nurtures Vata. As Vata governs all body movement, it plays a major role in the disease process, because it can move both nutrients and toxins around the body, and if unbalanced, can cause disease. By managing Vata we gain control of the disease process before it goes into the migratory phase. Ayurveda uses the colon as the primary pathway to eliminate and nourish the body. When Basti is used in Panchakarma it cleanses and nourishes more than just the colon, it helps to purify all over the body. The entire body can benefit through proper care of the colon.
Basti introduces medicated oils and medicated decoctions into the colon. It treats the entire length of the colon. In addition to getting rid of toxins, it restores healthy function to the colon and through the colon, nurtures and rebuilds all body tissues.
This treatment is usually administered for three days after Vamana treatment, but its duration may vary from case to case. In fact, Virechana can be administered directly after Purva karma, without undergoing the Vamana therapy that precedes Virechana.
Basti therapy treats disorders of Vata imbalance and is often prescribed for acute Vata conditions. These include reproductive system disorders, chronic constipation, low back pain, sciatica, rheumatism, gout, arthritis, and neuromuscular disorders e.g. Parkinson, MS and atrophy of the nerves and muscles, It also benefits disorders of bones and the urinary systems. Basti is contraindicated for infants, those with rectal bleeding, ulcerative colitis, and colon cancer.
Basti given through the anal route bypasses the liver and therefore can deliver a far higher concentration of medicine to the organs of the lower abdominal cavity especially. Suitability for Basti, Panchakarma’s prime therapy, can only be decided by a professionally qualified physician of natural medicine. It is not to be practiced by, or should one receive Basti, other than from qualified professionals.