Home Ayurveda Ayurvedic Medicated Enema (Basti Karma) Types & Benefits

Ayurvedic Medicated Enema (Basti Karma) Types & Benefits

by Pooja Saini
Ayurvedic Medicated Enema

Basti Karma is also called ayurvedic medicated enema. In ayurvedic medicine system, Basti Karma refers to the introduction of oil and decoction into the rectum of a person. Basti karma is often called ‘king of all treatment’ due to its unique benefits. The term ‘basti’ means ‘bladder or bag’ and karma means therapeutic procedure. This treatment helps in cleaning the accumulated toxins, which is the result of all the three doshas- Vata, Pitta and Kapha. However, it is primarily indicated in vata disorders.

The medicated oils and herbal decoctions are administered through the anal cavity, which pacifies increased and vitiated vata dosha. Vata is associated with the principle of pathogenesis. According to ayurveda, Vata is one of the major causes of multiple body diseases as it moves from one site to another. The major site of Vata in body is the colon. Basti is the most effective treatment for Vata disorders. Treatment of vata disorders lead to the treatment of both pitta and kapha simultaneously because Pitta and Kapha both depend on Vata for their functions, according to ayurveda principles.

This is a type of panchakarma detox therapy and the main aim is to push out wastes and toxins from the body. It relieves conditions like constipation, obesity, lower back pain and nervous disorders. It is also beneficial in infertility, sexual weakness, bladder infections, cold, gout, headaches and heart pains. It provides nourishment to the colonic region and enhances immunity. It increases strength and longevity of a person.

Basti karma involves the administration of medicated oils and ayurvedic herbal decoction into the body through rectum for the purpose of purification, nourishment and improvement of body metabolism. The course of the therapy varies from 8 to 30 sessions based on the health condition of the patient. The initial requirement for this therapy is ayurvedic consultation with an ayurvedic doctor. It helps to interpret the dosha involvement and tolerance of patient for the therapy.

Types of Basti Karma

According to duration of basti treatment, basti karma is classified into three categories:

NameTherapy Sessions
Yoga Basti8 sessions
Karma Basti16 sessions
Kala Basti30 sessions

There are several types of classifications described in ayurveda text. However, mainly basti karma can be divided into four types depending on place of administration.

  1. Anuvasana Basti – medicated oil enema.
  2. Niruha Basti (Asthapana Basti) – herbal decoction enema.
  3. Uttara Basti – administration of medicine through vagina.
  4. Mutrashaya Basti – administration of medicine through urethra.

Anuvasana Basti

In this type of basti karma, medicated oil is administered into the rectum. Medicated oil enema is used only in cases of vata disorders and dryness related to vata imbalance. Anuvasana basti is not suitable for people suffering from jaundice, piles, intestinal worms, obesity and anemia.

Benefits of Anuvasana Basti

Anuvasana Basti provides lubrication to lower abdominal organs and pacifies the vata dosha.



The slow movement of stools through the bowel than usual is called constipation. The frequency can vary from person-to-person and definition of constipation also varies from person-to-person.

Anuvasana Basti works in a type of constipation in which patient has dry and hard stool. It provides lubrication in the rectum and provides strength to the deeper tissues and helps in reducing the symptoms of constipation including difficult bowel movement and pain associated with defecation. It further provides nourishment to the weaker intestine, which helps to restore the natural function of peristalsis. It also helps to break the habit of constipation in chronic cases.


Several medicated oils are used in Anuvasana Basti, which have strengthening and nourishing action. In an emaciated person, it can be highly beneficial because it restores strength and reduces dryness in the body.

Vata Disorders

According to ayurveda, oil is the best medicine for Vata disorders. Oil based basti karma is the best for vata diseases. Vata disorders refer to mainly neuromuscular disorders. So, it is beneficial in all types of neuromuscular disorders. The main purpose of Anuvasana Basti in vata disorders is to provide strength and nourishment to the person, who has become weak to fight off these disorders.

Essential before and after Niruha Basti

As per ayurveda principles, anuvasana basti is an important therapy, which should be done before detoxification with Niruha Basti. It helps to reduce the side effects and increases the effectives of whole treatment.

Niruha Basti (Asthapana Basti)

When herbal decoction is used for the purpose of basti karma, it is termed as asthapana basti or niruha basti. This type of basti should not be undertaken by people suffering from diabetes, asthma, skin diseases, tuberculosis, dysentery and major body weaknesses. Asthapana basti is mostly used in cases of infertility, nervous problems, urinal and stool obstruction.

Benefits of Niruha Basti

Niruha Basti has cleansing action. So, it is effective in conditions in which amadosha (accumulated toxins) is a main concern. However, it cannot be done alone. Along with this procedure, Anuvasana Basti is also necessary to increase its effectiveness and reduce its complication and side effects.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis is the name commonly given to a number of joint pain related conditions. One of the major causes of rheumatoid arthritis is malfunctioning of the immune system. In Ayurveda, vitiated vata, excessive ama (poorly digested food) is considered as the main cause of this condition. Thus, herbal decoction based basti karma is one of the most effective treatments for such type of arthritis. The enema helps in increasing digestive efficiency and flushing out the excess ama from the body. Basti karma is also regarded as one of the best therapies for vata disorders.


Vata Disorders

Like Anuvasana Basti, it is also given in vata disorders. The purpose of its use is to eliminate the amavisha (toxins) from the body. If ama is the main concern, which blocks the proper flow of vata in the body and results in vata disorders, then it is highly efficacious. It helps to improve digestion and elimination of the blockage and corrects the vata functions.


Obesity and other weight related problems have common causes like improper diet, presence of too much calories in food and poor digestion. Sometimes, our digestive system is not effective enough to breakdown the extra fat and calories present in food. This inefficiency directly reflects through the weight of a person.

Obese Woman

The chances of obesity and other lifestyle diseases have increased in the recent times. Herbal decoction based Basti karma therapy provides fat burning action and helps in reducing accumulated fat in the body. It further improves the digestive capacity and liver functions, which aid in better fat metabolism.

Uttara Basti

This type of basti karma is especially designed for gynecological problems. These problems may include infertility, urinal obstructions, uterine prolapse, menorrhagia, multiple miscarriages and PCOD disorders. The enema is administered through the vaginal cavity of women.

Benefits of Uttara Basti

In women, Uttara basti is administrated for the following benefits:

  1. It increases fertility in women.
  2. It provides strength and nourishment of internal reproductive organs.
  3. This therapy is also useful in cases of some vaginal infections.
  4. It is also beneficial in cases of uterine prolapse, vaginal pain, amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea and infertility.

Mutrashaya Basti

This type of basti procedure is for semen related problems and other sexual disorders in case of males. The medication is administered through the urethra.

Benefits of Mutrashaya Basti

This therapy is effective in cases like:

  1. Painful urination.
  2. Bladder infections.
  3. Infertility.
  4. Abnormal sperm count.
  5. Kidney Stone.

Necessary Precautions

  • This therapy should not be performed on people suffering from diarrhea, food poisoning, fever, diabetes, piles, jaundice and indigestion.
  • This therapy is not to be undertaken by old people and children below the age of 7 years.
  • This therapy should be conducted under the supervision of an expert as improper administration of this therapy may lead to many complications like blockage of stool, burning sensations, spasmodic pains, anorexia and anorectal itching and pain.
  • Use of this therapy in excess may result in problems like weakness, muscle cramps, anorectal inflammations and ulceration.

The use of various types of Basti karma therapy depends upon the conditions of the patients. The choice of type of treatment and medications is a very important step. So, consult ayurvedic physician for more details.

  1. Shukla, G., Bhatted, S. K., Dave, A. R., & Shukla, V. D. (2013). Efficacy of Virechana and Basti Karma with Shamana therapy in the management of essential hypertension: A comparative study. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3764884/
  2. Gundeti, M. S., Raut, A. A., & Kamat, N. M. (2013). Basti: Does the equipment and method of administration matter?. Journal of Ayurveda and integrative medicine. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3667437/
  3. Kadus, P. A., & Vedpathak, S. M. (2017). Comparative study of Anuvasana Basti with constant and escalating dose as an alternative to Snehapana in Purvakarma of Vamana and Virechana. Journal of Ayurveda and integrative medicine. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5607383/
  4. Kadus, P. A., & Vedpathak, S. M. (2014). Anuvasan Basti in escalating dose is an alternative for Snehapana before Vamana and Virechana: Trends from a pilot study. Journal of Ayurveda and integrative medicine. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4296438/
  5. Damayanthie Fernando, K. P., Thakar, A. B., & Shukla, V. D. (2013). Clinical efficacy of Eranda Muladi Yapana Basti in the management of Kati Graha (Lumbar spondylosis). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3764877/
  6. Auti, S. S., Thakar, A. B., Shukla, V. J., & Ravishankar, B. (2013). Assessment of Lekhana Basti in the management of hyperlipidemia. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3968693/

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