Ayurveda prescribes cleansing the body from within to help the body adapt to seasonal changes. Ayurveda says that the only way to achieve the state of ‘aarogya’ (disease free body & mind), is to balance the three doshas - vata, pitta & kapha. In fact, according to Ayurvedic tradition, vata dosha alone is responsible for more than half of the diseases that humans endure during their lifetime.
The primary treatment in panchakarma that is geared towards vata is basti (Ayurvedic enema). Basti is so highly revered in the panchakarma process that it is said that the benefit received from basti is equal to the cumulative benefit of the other four processes in panchakarma.
What Is Basti ?
Considered as the mother of all treatments, it cleanses the accumulated toxins from all the 3 doshas, Vata, Pitta and Kapha, especially Vata toxins, through the colon. Basti is highly beneficial as a rejuvenating treatment as well. Medicated oil or ghee and an herbal decoction are given as an enema to cleanse the colon and increase the muscle tone. This procedure is usually carried on for 8 to 30 days, based on the medical condition of a person.
Benefits Of Basti Karma
It is believed that if properly performed, Basti karma can be extremely beneficial to the human body. Ayurveda justifies the efficacy of Basti karma with its possible outcome to balance all the three doshas viz. Vata, Pitta and Kapha. This is because as Basti balances the Vata dosha, the other two doshas i.e. Pitta and kapha are balanced spontaneously. This is the best part of this particular Panchakarma therapy.
Other benefits are -
It nourishes and feeds the colonic flora.
Enhances the immune system of the individual by cleansing and nourishing the colon.
Puts the body into a state of total balance by nourishing the base prana of the body which is formed in the colon.
Basti works in the region of the colon, but its impact is far reaching and deep.
It is instrumental in bowel regularity, joint support, treating gastric problem, nervous system support, and healthy sleep patterns.
Basti promotes overall well-being and a healthy glow.
CONTRAINDICATION - Basti does have some general situations in which it is contraindicated, including pregnancy, menstruation, diarrhea, inflammation of the anal region or rectal bleeding, and extreme weakness or debility.
Is Basti Correct For You?
Generally, basti is well tolerated in appropriate candidates, and a proper basti should result in 1-2 bowel movements with cleansing of the fecal matter as well as a feeling of lightness and a promotion of appetite and agni.
After doing basti, one should take care to follow vata balancing recommendations. Eat light, grounding, warm, oleative food. Rest and avoid vata provoking activity, including excessive talking, extremely windy or cold weather, travel, and busy activity. In this way, basti can be used to keep vata balanced on a routine basis, cleanse vata during seasonal transitions, and manage more extreme vata imbalances that are causing issues in the deeper tissues.
At SKK Ayurveda & Panchakarma, all panchakarma treatments, including all types of Basti Karma, are carried out under the expertise of Dr. Tarun Gupta. In our experience, many patients have benefited with basti but we do recommend a thorough evaluation by a competent ayurvedic doctor to ensure proper treatment. When it comes to basti, the proper administration of the karma is as important as the treatment itself.