Janu Basti is an ayurvedic therapy in which a ring is placed around the knee joint and medicated ayurvedic oil is kept in this ring for 30 minutes. Oil is continuously replaced to keep the oil warm in the ring. This technique is effective in the management of knee pain, inflammation and stiffness. It aids in the management of knee osteoarthritis. Let’s first learn about knee osteoarthritis.
What is Knee Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease characterized by loss of articular cartilage, synovial inflammation, joint stiffness, pain, swelling and loss of mobility. Studies have indicated that this disease has a propensity to affect the weight-bearing joints such as the knee.
What Causes Osteoarthritis?
Factors that increase the risk of knee osteoarthritis include:
- Being older than 40 years.
- Being overweight or obese.
- The family history of osteoarthritis.
- Knee injury.
- Performing activities that put a pressure on the knee continuously.
In this disease, the cells of the cartilage degenerate and the articular cartilage may decompose into fragments, which disrupts the knee movements.
How to Treat Knee Osteoarthritis?
Medications, ointments and surgery are some ways to treat knee osteoarthritis. Though these procedures may be effective, they are often associated with certain side-effects plus they are expensive too.
Today, everyone wants a procedure, which is safe, effective and inexpensive. Janu Basti, an Ayurvedic procedure, is the best solution for treating knee pain.
What Is Janu Basti?
Janu Basti (also spelled as Janu Vasti) is an ayurvedic procedure in which a ring made of black gram flour is placed around the knee, the ring is sealed (to prevent leakage) and oil is poured in this ring. The oil is kept warm for 30 minutes by replacing it with warmer oil. The frame ring is made from black gram flour, which is mixed with water to form a ring.
It is helpful for treating painful conditions of the knee, which are caused by increased or aggravated vata dosha. Generally, it includes knee osteoarthritis, as discussed above.
This Ayurvedic therapy helps in relieving pain and stiffness in the knee joint and reduces swelling as well as inflammation in the knee joint.
Janu Basti brings lightness and improves the health of the lower limbs. It boosts movements and enables the affected person to move and work freely, reports a study.
Janu Basti is beneficial in pain and stiffness because it increases the range of motion. The word ‘Janu’ refers to knee and ‘Vasti’ stands for means to hold.
Janu Basti is carried out for 7-21 days depending on the nature and intensity of the disease.
Who Can Benefit from Janu Basti?
Janu Basti is advantageous for the individuals with the following conditions:
- Chronic pain of the knee joint
- Osteoarthritis of knee joints
- Arthritis of knee joints
- Sport injury of knee joint
- Various neurological, musculoskeletal knee issues etc.
Oils used in Janu Basti
The most commonly used medicated oils are:
- Dashamula Taila
- Karpasasthyadi Taila
- Sahacharadi Taila
- Masha Taila
- Dhanvantara Taila
- Kottumchukkadi Taila
- Mahanarayana Taila
Janu Basti Procedure
The patient is thoroughly examined, and all his reports and investigations are noted before starting the procedure.
- Before the main procedure begins, all the materials required for the procedure are collected.
- 300-400 grams of black gram flour is mixed with a sufficient quantity of water to form a thick paste or dough.
- This dough is rolled into a ring-like structure with a length of about 45-60 cm, the height of 5 cm and thickness of 2-3 cm.
- Around 300-500 ml of medicated oil is used during the procedure.
The Main Procedure:
- The main procedure usually takes place in the morning. However, it can also be performed at any other suitable time.
- The patient is asked to lie down in the supine position or he/she may sit straight, extend the legs on the table with the knees exposed.
- The prepared dough is fixed on the Janu area in a proper circular way to prevent the leakage of the medicated oil.
- The chosen medicated oil is heated. The oil is taken in a small bowl. This bowl is kept in the vessel filled with hot water. The heat is passed from the hot water to the oil and the oil gets heated.
- This warm medicated oil is then poured slowly into the compartment or ring made from black gram flour dough.
- The temperature of the oil is maintained throughout the procedure. If the temperature of the oil decreases, such oil is replaced with the warmed oil. For this, the oil from the pool is removed at regular intervals and replaced with the warmed oil. However, the entire oil is not removed. Some amount of oil is left at the bottom. The oil from one knee is replaced first and then the other one is replaced.
- The oil is kept in the compartment for 30-40 minutes.
- Care should be taken to maintain the temperature of the oil in the Janu Basti pool.
- After the prescribed time, oil is removed using a spoon. The remaining oil is removed using a clean cotton swab.
- After the procedure, the black gram dough is carefully removed.
- The area around the knee is cleaned using warm water.
- The patient is then given an oil massage and herbal steam for 5-10 minutes over the knee joint.
- After the entire procedure is over, the patient is advised to rest for 15-30 minutes in a comfortable position.
- The medicated oil, which was used is then filtered and stored properly. This oil is then reused for the same patient for the next two days.
- On the 4th day, fresh medicated oil is used for the main procedure.
- The patient is advised to empty his/her bowels before the procedure.
- Eat a light snack before Janu Basti. Do not eat anything heavy.
- The patient should not perform any heavy or strenuous exercise after the procedure like running, jogging etc.
- The expert must prevent excess heating of the oil as it may cause burns and discomfort.
- The expert must form the ring properly to avoid leakage of the oil.
Who Should Not Opt for Janu Basti?
Janu Basti is not for the individuals with the following conditions:
- Infection of the skin around the knee area.
- Loss of sensation.
Side Effects of Janu Basti
Janu Basti is a completely safe and a cost-effective procedure. Unlike other medications and surgeries, Janu Basti does not have any adverse effects on the body.
However, the patient may experience some discomfort due to prolonged sitting/lying in the same position, which is also very rare. Some sensitive individuals may experience a burning sensation when the warm medicated oil is poured over the knees. This is also very rare if Janu Basti is performed under the supervision of an ayurvedic practitioner.
Benefits of Janu Basti
Here are a few benefits of Janu Basti:
Janu Basti helps to relieve pain and stiffness of the knee joints, reports a study. The warm oil poured over the knee region helps the joints to relax.
Heat from the oil improves lubrication, which reduces stiffness. The warm medicated oil soothes arthritis pain in the bones and joints.
It pacifies the morbidity of Vata, Pitta and Kapha in the affected joints, muscles and soft tissues. This causes sweating and brings a feeling of lightness in the affected joints, soft tissues and muscles.
The stiffness of the joints can restrict mobility and make motion painful and difficult. Janu Basti greases the joints, increases the mobility and keeps the joints completely lubricated.
This procedure increases the flow of the oxygen and nutrient-rich blood towards the knees and strengthens the nerves. This reduces the stiffness, redness and the swelling associated with the knee pain.
Studies have indicated that in Janu Basti, the medicated oils used have an anti-inflammatory property. An increased blood flow towards the knee during Janu Basti helps in getting rid of pro-inflammatory compounds. Such a drop in the levels of pro-inflammatory compounds lowers the level of inflammation as well as pain.
Strengthens the Knee Joints
The medicated oil used in Janu Basti is rich in natural herbs and ingredients, which strengthens the nerves, muscles and bones of the knees.
Janu Basti boosts blood flow towards the knees, which provides strength and energy to the knees. It blocks the action of certain biochemicals that causes pain, stiffness and inflammation of the joints.
Accumulation of toxins in the body inhibits the smooth functioning of Doshas. This causes pain, inflammation, stiffness and loss of movements in the knee joints.
Janu Basti improves the blood flow towards the knee region and helps in the excretion of dangerous toxins and other waste products.
Such an action of the medicated oil strengthens the nerves and soft tissue present around the knee regions.
Janu Basti is one of the most effective treatments in relieving knee pain. It rejuvenates the fluid and decreases the stiffness of the joints.
As all the ingredients and materials used are natural, this procedure is completely safe and has no adverse effects on the body.
Besides this, Janu Basti is cost-effective and less expensive as compared to other modes of treatment available for acute or chronic knee pain.
This special Ayurvedic treatment eases your knee movements. It adds strength to your knees as well as the lower limbs, which supports body movements and flexibility.
- Sharma, A., Shalini, T. V., Sriranjini, S. J., & Venkatesh, B. A. (2016). Management strategies for Janu Sandhigata Vata vis-a-vis osteoarthritis of the knee: A narrative review. Ayu, 37(1), 11–17. http://doi.org/10.4103/ayu.AYU_24_16
- Kaushik, Raman & Sharma, Pragya. (2015). JANUBASTI AND NADI-SWEDANA IN JANU SANDHIGATA VATA: A CASE STUDY. International Journal of Ayurvedic and Herbal Medicine. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/317184179