Basti in Ayurveda

  • Author :
  • TATA AIG Team
  • Published on :
  • 11/12/2023

The ancient science of Ayurveda believes that three doshas or faults in the human body cause various diseases. These are Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. The various Ayurvedic treatments are designed to balance these doshas, eliminate accumulated toxins, and detoxify your body.

Basti in Ayurveda, is one of the primary therapeutic procedures that involves the administration of medicated enemas. Basti Ayurvedic benefits include addressing a range of health issues and promoting the holistic well-being of the individual.

In this article, we will share everything that you need to know about Basti Ayurvedic treatment.

A Basic Understanding of Basti in Ayurveda

Ayurveda includes a detailed detoxification and rejuvenation therapy called Panchakarma. The name translates into five actions that reflect the five procedures:

  • Vamana (therapeutic vomiting);

  • Virechana (purgation);

  • Basti (enema);

  • Nasya (nasal administration of medicines); and

  • Raktamokshana (bloodletting).

In Basti Karma, practitioners administer medicated oils or herbal mixtures as an enema through the rectum. This helps in getting rid of harmful substances and balancing the body's natural energies. The procedure is like a cleansing therapy, removing toxins and bringing back harmony in the body.

The Basti procedure is primarily beneficial to people with Vata Dosha. This dosha affects the colon. The Panchakarma therapy involves accumulating all doshas in the abdomen and then removing them by using Basti.

Basti Karma Procedure

When medicine is administered via the anal route, the intestines absorb them with ease. The best time for this procedure is either early in the morning or evening. The stomach must be empty for the procedure. Hence, patients are recommended to wait for at least three hours after eating.

There are two stages of the Ayurvedic Basti procedure:

Oil Stage: Warm sesame oil is introduced into the rectum and retained for around 10 minutes.

Decoction Stage: With the oil still inside, a herbal mixture is introduced and retained for 30 minutes.

Here is the step-by-step Basti procedure:

The right oil is chosen based on the individual’s ailment and heated to a comfortable temperature.

The patient is asked to lie comfortably on the left side laterally. The left leg is usually folded and the right leg is stretched out.

The oil is gently applied to the lower abdomen and the area around the anus.

Using a nozzle or catheter, the oil and herbal mixture is introduced into the rectum.

The patient is asked to retain it inside for a specified duration.

After the time is over, the oil can be released taking the toxins along with it.

After the procedure, the patient is usually asked to rest and drink warm liquids to facilitate the removal of toxins from the body.

Basti Treatment Benefits

The Basti therapy offers numerous benefits as listed below:

Helps in balancing the three doshas

Aids in the removal of accumulated toxins from the colon

Regulates Vata dosha

Enhances absorption and digestion

Relieves constipation

Nourishes and strengthens the tissues

Enhances blood circulation

Boosts immunity

Relieves Vata-related joint problems

Helps in the management of numerous gynecological issues

Can help regulate hormonal imbalance

Improves the tone and texture of the skin

When Do You Need Basti Treatment?

While people diagnosed with Vata Dosha by an Ayurvedic practitioner are usually recommended Panchakarma therapy which includes the Basti procedure, it is also recommended to people with the following ailments:

Diverticulosis Insomnia Hernia Constipation
Nervous disorders Arthritis Gout Sciatica
Headaches Lumbago or Slipped Disc Rheumatism Tinnitus

Types of Basti in Ayurveda

There are different types of Basti treatments based on various factors as described below:

Based on the Site of Administration
Pakwashaya Gata Large Intestine through the anal route
Garbhashaya Gata Vaginal route
Mutrashaya Gata Urethral route for both men and women
Vrana Gata Directly to ulcers or wounds

Based on the Type of Medicine Used
Niruha Basti Herbal tea decoction
Nmadhu Tailika Basti Honey and Oil
Anuvasana Basti Medicated fats, mainly ghee and oil
Based on its Function
Shodhana Basti For cleansing
Lekhana Basti For scraping excessive fat
Snehana Basti For lubricating internal organs
Brumhana Basti To enhance muscle
Shaman Basti To pacify the doshas
Utkleshana Basti To provoke the doshas and prepare them for elimination
Pichchila Basti To increase sliminess in the body to arrest haemorrhoidal bleeding
Deepana Basti To correct metabolic disorders
Shukrakrit Basti To enhance the quality and quantity of semen
Based on the Duration
Yoga Basti 8 days
Kala Basti 16 days
Karma Basti 30 days

Some Things to Remember Before Undergoing a Basti Treatment

It is recommended to get the treatment done through an Ayurvedic practitioner. Avoid the DIY tools available unless you are trained and certified to carry out the procedure.

Women who are menstruating or pregnant should avoid Basti.

Patients who are very weak should avoid getting the procedure done.

Talk to the practitioner and understand the precautions that you need to take before and after the treatment.

Buy a health insurance plan that covers the costs of Ayurvedic treatments including Basti.

Summing Up

Basti in Ayurveda is an effective and common procedure to help battle various health ailments. While these procedures are not very costly, depending on the ailment, the overall costs can rise. Hence, it is prudent to buy health insurance from a reputed reliable insurer that covers AYUSH treatments.

Your individual health insurance plan must cover most of the costs associated with medical treatments, allopathic or otherwise. TATA AIG takes care of your allopathic and Ayurvedic treatments and other traditional medicines. Choose a medical insurance plan that offers comprehensive coverage for treatments like Basti too.


Is Basti treatment painful?

Typically, Basti treatments are not considered painful. However, if the practitioner feels that based on the condition of the patient some pain might be possible, then he can administer a sedative to ease the pain.

How long is a Basti treatment?

The duration of the treatment is based on numerous factors including the health of the patient, the treatment plan recommended by the practitioner, and how the patient responds to it.

A single session of Basti can last up to 30-40 minutes. The overall treatment plan is typically not more than 30 days. However, this can vary from patient to patient.

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