Basti is an Ayurveda enema, a major component of which is herbal oil, individually prescribed by the Ayurveda doctor Vaidya. This is one of the most important Panchakarma treatments. Since the unbalanced Vata Dosha is the cause of most diseases and the principal place of localization of Vata Dosha is in the intestine, about half of diseases can be treated directly by Basti.
Firstly, Vata Dosha balance is restored, secondly, toxins and wastes are removed from the system, and thirdly, Basti nourishes the intestine, restoring its normal functioning.
"Chakra Samhita", the oldest and the most authoritative Ayurveda handbook, says that Basti therapy slows the aging process, increases disease resistance, prolongs life, improves brain activity, makes the voice pleasant, and normalizes the complexion. Basti is good for everyone - young, adult and elderly.
There are several types of Basti. The most important and frequently used are Sodhana Basti and Matra Basti.
It has a cleansing effect, removes toxins and wastes from the intestines, accumulated due to improper diet or bad habits, which strengthens the immune system, helps increase spermatogenesis and restore vitality, it also eliminates toxins from all parts of the body.
After the body channels and intestines are cleansed by Sodhana Basti, Matra Basti is prescribed. Its properties are more medicinal. Matra Basti increases energy, improves complexion, through oiling it heals dryness, through heaviness it eliminates excessive lightness, through warmth it eliminates hypothermia. Matra Basti quickly gives a feeling of happiness, energy, improves digestion and appetite, lubricates and nourishes the digestive system after the intensive cleansing effect of Sodhana Basti.
Basti are effective in the treatment of such Vata Dosha disorders as constipation, chronic fever, cold, sexual disorders, renal colic, back pain, sciatica and joint pain. Basti are also good for other Vata Dosha disorders: headaches, exhaustion, arthritis, rheumatism, gout, nervous disorders.
Do not do Basti if you are suffering from diarrhea, bleeding rectum, chronic indigestion, shortness of breath, malnourishment, during acute periods of anemia, pulmonary tuberculosis, the infirmity of old age. Basti are also contraindicated for patients under the age of seven years.