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ayurvedic enema therapy and basti
Photography by mirko betz

ayurvedic enema therapy and basti

by Vijaya Stern vijaya stern
Nutrition | Nutrition | Alternative Medicine | Cleansing | Ayurveda


elimination and medication through the lower pathways
The Ayurvedic medicated implant treatment known as Basti, involves the introduction of medicinals such as sesame oil, coffee, acidophilus, or a herbal decoction in a liquid medium into the rectum following a water enema. This treatment is useful for cleaning out the length of the colon, hydrating the body and freeing the lower body from stress and stagnation.

If you are suffering from parasites or yeast, the addition of 1tsp. of Vidanga, and /or Neem powder is useful in a formula called Dashmula - meaning ten roots in Sanskrit. If there is a tendency for gas, inflammation or mucous in the bowel, the addition of 1 tsp. of Triphala powder to the Dashmula is another popular formula. 

Each of the three herbs in Triphala can be added separately for the three respective doshas and their imbalances. Bibhitaki is great for kapha imbalances in the bowel, such as sluggishness, mucous or oiliness. Amalaki, one of the kings of herbs because if it’s anti-oxidant qualities, is unsurpassed in treating Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome, diarrhea or hemorrhoids from pita imbalance. For vata imbalance, Haritaki is wonderful for gas, dryness and constipation.

For cleansing the liver and gall bladder a coffee enema is also recommended because of its spasmodic tendency which squeezes the stones and waste from these organ. One of my long-time favorite bastis is acidophilus. It is used after an enema to re-implant good probiotic enzymes, and help control yeast.

Step I. Preparation of the Basti

Medicated Basti: Add 2 TBSP of herbal mixture to 2 cups pure water, Bring to boil, Simmer for 20 minutes, Strain, Recipe can be doubled and, reheated up to this point. Add: ½ tsp of black or pink salt, ½ cup of sesame oil, ½ cup of sunflower oil, ½ cup ghee and cool to comfortable temperature.

Coffee Basti: Add 3 TBSP of organic coffee (not decaf) to 1-quart pure water, Boil for 6 minutes, Simmer for 20 minutes, Strain, Cool to a touchable temperature. For implanting after the coffee basti is expelled, set out ½ cup of sesame oil so that it can come to room temperature if refrigerated.

Acidophilus Basti: Add 1 tsp or 2 caps acidophilus powder to ½ cup warm pure water. This implant is advised whenever there is a yeast or bacterial issue. It should be administered repeatedly to insure successful colonization of good flora.

Step II. Taking a Comfortable Water Enema
Create a warm private space in your bathroom, either on the floor or preheated but empty bathtub. Insure no interruptions, light candles, burn incense, warm the room. Usually the best time for taking an enema is before going to bed, so you can take advantage of the relaxed hydrated state of the body. Some people like to have one before an adjustment or before having bodywork done. 

Fill an enema bag with approximately 2 quarts of filtered or good quality water. The water should be 101-103 degrees or a comfortable wrist temperature. 

Body positions in which the enema can be done:

1. In Child’s Pose in a knee-chest position with buttocks in the air
2. in left lateral side position or
3. in Apanasana, on the back with knees pulled towards chest and together, feet apart.

Hang the enema bag shoulder height while standing (4ft.) or lower for slower flow or coffee basti (2ft.) Lubricate the enema tip generously with water soluble KY-Jelly. Insert the lubricated enema tip 2-4 inches into the rectum and allow water to flow gently into the colon, taking about 5-10 minutes for the complete fill. If “gripping” (pain) occurs, clamp off the water flow and wait for the sensation to quiet before resuming. 

A slow fill will permit more warm water to enter the colon and stay there longer without discomfort. Colon spasms can be caused by a fast fill, with the bag hung too high, or water temperature either too hot or too cool. A few degrees inside the colon does make a big difference.

Gentle counterclockwise abdominal massage moves water deeper into the colon. However, this may cause a need to evacuate, if so release into the toilet. This is not a contest; so don't worry about getting enough water, or all the 2 quarts of water in at the same time. You can always start another fill. Once you feel well rinsed, expel the water from the colon into the toilet. Do some stretches against a wall and wait until you are sure all water has been expelled before continuing on to the next step. This may take up to one hour for some people.

Step III. Implanting your Basti

After doing a plain filtered water enema to insure there is enough space in the colon to retain the basti for the indicated time, pour the basti into the enema bag with hose clamped off. Get back into position (see step II) to do the implant. Insert tip into rectum, unclamp hose and empty bag. Massaging the colon counterclockwise helps the basti move further into the colon. You may want to take a bath while you are retaining your basti, to remain still and warm. 

Medicated Basti: Retain for 20-30 minutes. Expel the basti into the toilet. The basti may possibly stay in bowel until your next bowel movement which is fine, but make sure your are protected in case of leakage.

Coffee Basti: Retain for 15 minutes. Expel the basti into the toilet. Add ½ cup room temperature sesame oil to the enema bag, implant and retain for at least 20 minutes or possibly until your next bowel movement.

Acidophilus Basti: Retain for 30 minutes or longer if possible. Expel the basti into the toilet.

After expelling the basti wait at least 1/2 hour before eating. If oil was used in the basti, it is advised to use a sanitary pad or Depends after your basti to insure not getting oil on your clothes. Placing a towel or plastic hospital pad on your bed at night might prevent possible nighttime leakage stains.

Step IV. Cleanup

Cleanup should be minimal. Wash the bag out with dish soap or “Simple Green”.  Then rinse the enema bag and tip with a 10% solution of bleach in case any back flow of fecal matter occurred. Hang the bag to dry so no mold grows in it. Don't use it for douching and do not share your enema bag with anyone else.

[email protected]AnjaliAyurveda.com






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