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Basti – Medicated Enema

The procedure of Basti Karma involves administering medicines in suspension form through the rectum or genitourinary tract using a specific apparatus known as Bastiyantra. It is the most important procedure among Panchakarma procedures and the most appropriate remedial measure for Vatadosha.

Bastikarma is the procedure by which the medicines in suspension form are administered
through rectum or genitourinary tract using Bastiyantra (Specific apparatus). It is the most
important procedure among Panchakarma procedures and the most appropriate remedial measure for Vatadosha.

Materials and Equipments

  • Vastiputaka (Bladder or polythene bag approx. 1.5 Lt. capacity) – 1
  • Vasti netra (Nozzle) – 1
  • Lavatory facilities
  • Others (thread, vessels, churner, heating apparatus, table/ bench, towel, hot water for bath etc.)
  • Medicines- usual ingredients
  • Medicated oils for Abhyanga
  • Swedana Karma materials
  • Medicated oils for Vasti
  • Kwatha (Decoction) & Kalka (Paste) made from prescribed medicines
  • Madhu (Honey)
  • Saindhava (Rock-salt)
  • Man Power-

Types of Basti (Classified into many ways)

According to the nature of medicine used, two types of basti are:
1. Asthapana/Kashaya/ Niruha Basti – Decoction based enema
2. Anuvasana/ Sneha Basti – Oil based enema

Matra (Dose)

It depends upon age, sex, strength (bala) of the patient and state of Doshas / disease.

Apparatus Used

Bastiyantra is composed of a Bastiputaka (animal bladder/polythene bag) and Bastinetra or nozzle made up of metals like gold, silver, copper, etc (Charak Siddhi 3/7). The length of Bastinetra may be 6 to 12 fingers according to age of the patient (Sushrut Cikitsa 35/8).


Before meals (i.e. 8-9 AM), the healthcare provider administers a decoction enema, which typically consists of

  • Medicated oil/ghee : 240 ml
  • Madhu (Honey) : 180 ml
  • Decoction made from prescribed drugs: 480 ml
  • Shatahwa kalka : 30 gm
  • Rock-salt : 15 gm

Preparation of Basti dravya

  • Stir powdered rock salt into honey in a clean vessel using a pestle.
  • Add oil to this mixture little by little and stir it again.
  • The healthcare provider should add the paste of Shatahwa followed by the decoction gradually and in small quantities, while ensuring a thorough mixing to create a homogeneous emulsion. They should then gently heat it in a water bath, maintaining a temperature slightly above body temperature.
  • Pour this mixture into a Bastiputaka (polythene bag/processed animal bladder) and secure it with a Basti Netra (by tying it using a thread).


  • After undergoing Abhyanga and Swedana, the healthcare provider advises the patient to lie down in the left lateral position.
  • Apply a small amount of oil to the patient’s anus and the nozzle of the Basti yantra. Gently insert the nozzle into the anal canal up to a specific length, and then press the Bastiputaka containing the mixture with a uniform pressure.
  • Continue applying pressure until only a small quantity of fluid remains in the bag to prevent the insertion of air.
  • In this case, the healthcare provider gently removes the nozzle, and the patient is allowed to lie down in the supine position until they feel the urge to excrete.
  • When a full dose of Niruha Basti is administered, the Basti dravya typically exits the body along with feces within 10 minutes. The maximum time specified for retention of Basti dravya is 48 minutes
  • After evacuation of the bowel, the patient may take hot water bath and semi solid diet.

Typically, healthcare providers do not administer Niruha Bastis in isolation. When necessary, healthcare providers must administer Niruha Basti alternately with Sneha Basti. Healthcare providers carry out the arrangement of Sneha Bastis in the initial phase, followed by alternating Niruha Bastis and Sneha Bastis, and ending with Sneha Bastis. They determine these patterns based on factors like the total number of Bastis, the severity of the disease, and the patient’s condition.

These are known as:
Karma – 30 in number (12 Niruha, 18 Anuvasana)
Kala – 16 in number (6 Niruha, 10 Anuvasana)
Yoga – 8 in number (3 Niruha, 5 Anuvasana)

Commonly used Basti Yogas

  • Madhutailika basti
  • Bala guduchyadi basti
  • Patolanimbadi basti
  • Vaitarana basti


  • Neurological disorders – Hemiplegia, Paraplegia, Sciatica, Parkinson’s disease etc.
  • Rheumotological disorders – Gout, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lumbago, OsteoArthritis, Myalgia etc.
  • Digestive disorders
  • Chronic Fever
  • Secondary Amenorrhea


  • Urakshata (Chest Injuries)
  • Krisha (Emaciated body)
  • Amatisara (Diarrhoea with mucus)
  • Chhardi (Vomiting)
  • Kasa (Cough)
  • Shwasa (Asthma)
  • Madhumeha (Diabetes)
  • Arsha (Piles)
  • Shoona Payu (Inflammed Anus)
  • Kritahara Immediately after taking food)
  • Udakodara (Ascitis)
  • Garbhini (Pregnant woman)


The term for administering medicated oil through the anal/genitourinary route is “Sneha basti.” The dosage through anal route may vary from 100 ml to 250ml according to the Doshik predominance, disease condition / patient’s condition etc. The usual time of administration is afternoon immediately after lunch.


After performing Abhyanga and Swedana, the healthcare provider advises the patient to lie down in the left lateral position. They administer the Bastidravya (Sneha) in a manner similar to Niruha basti. Since it is a retention enema, the patient must retain the contents inside for a minimum period of three hours, and every effort must be made to ensure this retention. It is not harmful even if the patient retains it for one day.


  • Neurological & Arthritic conditions
  • Jeerna Jwara (chronic fevers)


  • Arsha (Piles)
  • Bhagandara (Fistula)
  • Raktapitta (bleeding disorders)
  • Navajwara (Acute fever)
  • Pushpita (menstrual period)
  • Pandu (Anemia)
  • Kamala (Jaundice)
  • Prameha (Diabetes)
  • Peenasa (Sinusitis)
  • Sthoola (Heavier Person)
  • Krimi (Worm infestation)
  • Galganda (Thyroid disorders)
  • Shlipada (Filariasis)
  • Katishoola (backaches)
  • Gridhrasi (Sciatica) and other Vata vyadhis
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