Basti Karma (The Enema Therapies)


Basti therapy is one of the main treatments in Ayurveda. Ayurvedic basti refers to the introduction of certain oils, herbal decoctions, and sometimes milk or other liquids through the perineum- anus, urethra in men or vagina in women. Basti is the most effective treatment for vatadosha or vata disorders. The term ‘Basti’ literally means bag or bladder. In ancient times, sterilized urinary bladders of animals were used to inject the fluids into the rectum. Therefore, this Ayurvedic therapy came to be known as Basti Karma.


Ayurvedic Basti involves instilling liquids like medicated oils, herbal decoctions and milk through the perineum. The purpose of this therapy is to clean or heal. The ama or toxins accumulated in the lower part of the body or the toxins pushed to the colon, urinary tract or reproductive tract due to previous ayurvedic therapies snehanor swedan cleared through basti therapies. Enema, on the other hand, refers to injecting of a fluid into the rectum to cause a bowel movement. It is a more localized, symptomatic treatment. Basti has significant multiple effects for treating various vyadhi and other medical conditions. In administration, effects and intent the Ayurvedic Basti differs significantly from Enema and Colonic treatments. .


“Bastina deeyate eti Basti‘’ (A. H.Su.19-1)

In Ayurveda the role of Panchkarma especially Basti having a very important place in the treatment of infertility that is vandhyatva.

In modern medicine enema is given to remove the fecal material from the rectum but in Ayurveda it is given asposhan kriya, or nourishing enema shodhan of doshaas, Sanshamana disease, and mala sangrahana,

Increases strength, increase health and longevity.

The effect of Basti is the best chikisa for vata, so also for pitta, kapha, rakta and, in sanipattadoshas.( sus. Chi. 35-6)

The pitta & kapha are pangu; also mala & dhatu are pangu, in the body they can move only with the help ofvaayu or vata.

is an active force that drives them from one place to another place. So you can imagine that basti chikisa is good & effective chikisa on infertility.

Basti therapy is mostly prescribed for vata Dosha. Vata’s predominant site is the colon and as stated earlier too, Basti is the most effective treatment for vata disorders. Vata is the motive force behind the elimination and retention of feces, urine, bile and other excreta. It is primarily located in the large intestine. However, the bone tissue or Asthidhatu is also a site for vata. Medication administered through rectum effects Asthidhatu. The mucus membrane of the colon is related to the outer covering of the bones (periosteum), which nourishes the bones. Any medication given through rectum goes into the deeper tissues, like bones, and corrects vata disorders.

Types of Basti Therapies

There are different types of Basti categorized on the basis of bodily area from where fluids are injected. In this type of basti, medicated oil are used to cure acute vata disorders. It is mainly recommended when a person experiences excessive hunger or dryness.

Niruha or Asthapana Basti (decoction enema) it is mainly enema of water based medical extracts or medicated water. This basti is used for evacuation of vata, nervous diseases, gastro-intestinal vata conditions, gout,conditions, unconsciousness, certain urinary disorders, appetite, pain, hyperacidity and heart disease infertility

UttaraBasti - Enema is given through vagina in women. Uttara Basti is for certain gynecological disorders like uterine prolapsed urinary obstruction, habitual abortions, infertility and PCOD disorders, shwetshrava, atyartava.

Mutrashaya Basti -
Enema is given through urethra in men. This basti treatment is for selected semen disorders and for certain problems regarding painful urination or bladder infections.

Matra Basti - is used for very lean or thin person emaciated by overwork, too much exercise or heavy lifting, too much sexual activity or someone with chronic vata disorders. This Basti therapy basically aims at giving strength and promotes weight apart from helping in elimination of waste products.

Karma Basti – It is a scheduled Basti treatment which needs 30 sessions

Infertility - Failure to achieve conception by a couple of mature age, having normal coitus, during appropriate period of menstrual cycle, regularly.

Vandhytva - vandhyatva defines as

Vandhyam shattpaken shodhita nayathakrumam |
Balataillan deyaasturbatyastryaavrutench|| (sus. chi. 38 – 89)

One does not find unequivocal description of this entity in any of the Ayurvedic classic except in Harita samhita. Harita has defined Vandyatva failure to achieve a child rather than pregnancy. In Susrut samhita Vandhya included among twenty gynecological disorders. Charaka & vagbhata have referred vandhyatva due to abnormality of Bija. Kashyapa has mentioned pushpaghani, under Jataharinis, having useless pushpa or menstruation. In all these conditions women fails to get child Thus this can be included under infertility.

Infertility is due to any problem in following causes which leads to fertilization

 Rutu – Fertile period
Khsetra - Garbhashaya and healthy yoni (Artavavahashrotas), Artav vahini
Bijja -
sperm, ovum.
Ambu - nutritional fluid
properly functioning vayu

Due to all these shrotasa dusty women suffers following symptoms

 Non acceptance of bija (sperm)
Yonivyapad (gynaecological disorders)
Destruction of Bija in Artavdusti (menstrual disorders) the conception does not take place.
The women suffering from disease of vata who cannot conceive.


Acharyas mentions basti treatment as very useful treatment in vandhyatva i.e. in infertility. 

The infertile women having undergone cleansing by sequential use of purifying procedures, should be given Basti chikitsa, to regulate vatadosha, to nourishment and to sudha bija nermiti. Following are basti commonly used in treatment of infertility.

Balatail matrabasti: The infertile women having under gone cleansing procedures should be given Basti of Balatail.

Shatavaryadi anuvasanbasti: satavaryadi anuvasanbasti
is very beneficial in vandhatva because satavari is madhur, rasayan and garbhasthapak.

Traivrata snehabasti
: The infertile women having undergone cleansing by sequential use of purifying procedures should be given basti of triavrtasneha.

tail Anuvasanbasti: Powdered Ashwagandha, Bala, Bilava, Patala, Laghu Brahati, Bhrat Brahati, swadamstra, Atibala, Nimba. Syonaka Punarnawa, Prasarini, and Agnimanthaeath ten palas should be decocted with one drone of water, when ¼ remains it should be strained.

Phalaghruta uttar basti is useful in vandhatva.

Kshar tail Uttar basti is useful in vandhatva due to tubal block.

Sahacharyadi yapan basti beneficial for vandhatv.


More by :  Dr. Kavita Mule

Top | Ayurveda

Views: 3461      Comments: 1

Comment Hi I want to know if persons platelates and hemoglobin creation has slow down however bone marrow reports are all negative.. does this helps for the same ? Basti of milk ?

Or what other medication can be given ? It’s my mom with SLE

Yugandhara Sherkar
11-Nov-2019 08:59 AM

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