An ancient methodology called Panchakarma has been an eternal part of Ayurveda. ‘Panch’ means five while ‘karma’ means procedure of performing an Ayurvedic treatment. There are more than 100 enemas to perform the Panchakarma. Vasti therapy in Panchakarma is to cure the ailment of the patient by eliminating the toxins and doshas from the body. It is performed using the medicated oils and liquids to expel the impurities out of the body through the intestinal tract by the means of the urethra, anus and vaginal passage. The medicated oils are administered into the body through the rectum by the means of an instrument known as vasthiyantra.
Benefits of Vasti Therapy
It is effective and capable of eradicating ailments such as kidney stones, heart pain, backache, vomiting, sexual disorders, constipation and chronic fever along with dealing with simpler troubles like the common cold. About 80% vata related disorders can be treated by the vasti therapy and the medicated enemas. This treatment is executed over a specific duration of time that can be for a week to a month. It is greatly efficient in treating the patients while providing them with comfort and a relaxing atmosphere.
There are many types of vasti therapies, but it is broadly classified into three types – Kashaya vasti, Uttara vasti and Sneha vasti. The most practiced therapies are Kashaya vasti and Sneha vasti. Shiro vasti is also a popular form of performing the vasti treatment.
Kashaya vasti is a treatment in which harmful toxins and impure doshas are made to get out of the body in order to purify it from within. It is performed with a mixture of herbal paste, honey, rock-salt and Ayurvedic oils. This mix is well mixed until a homogeneous mixture is obtained. After filling the amalgam into a leather sac, it is wrapped and tied at the end of the vasti instrument or the vastiyantra. The body is massaged so that the abdomen of the patient is warmed up along with the oil massage on the anus and the nozzle of the vasti Yantra. The medicinal paste is introduced through the rectum of the patient. It is vital to note that the person undergoing the therapy must have had food the previous night. Then, the patient is made to lie on their back and relax. The patient’s abdomen is massaged further until there is an urge to go to the toilet. With proper bowel movements, the therapy is considered to be successful. After the therapy, the patient should take a bath and eat food.
Sneha or medicated oil is an effective way of curing multifarious ailments. This oil enema is very useful in the cleaning of the colon and detoxification of the entire body. Diseases like rheumatism, lower backache, paralysis, constipation, gout and even paralysis can be capably cured using Sneha vasti. Sneha or sedated oil is administered into the body by the rectum with a slight pressure and gentle motion towards the vertical column. The enema should stay in the patient’s body for about 1-2 hours for proper completion of the therapy. If this happens, the patient should eat the next morning and fast for the night. It works wonders in cleansing the body of the toxins and doshas.
One of the most special technique of external application of medicated oil is Shiro Vasti. It focusses on the direct application of oil to stimulate the central-most units of the body, that is, the head. The patient is made to sit on a stool, wearing a leather cap open from both the ends. Warm sedated oil is poured inside the cap which provides a sense of relief and makes the patient feel tranquil and stimulated. The oil is made to stay inside the cap for about 45 minutes for efficient treatment. The head is cleaned with cotton after the treatment is completed for the head. It is followed by the application of warm oil and herbal liquids on the head and the body, ending the therapy with a soothing lukewarm water bath.
This kind of vasti treatment is competent in the eradication of primary infertility, bladder disorder, sexual problems and dysmenorrhea. It is performed in the similar way as the above therapies, but with specific herbal and medicated oils. In women, it is performed after the completion of the menstrual cycle. This is because the female genital tract is fairly more receptive at that point of time. In case of men, it is performed to eliminate the urethral disorders.