What is Vasti?
Vasti is one of the most important therapies of Panchakarma. In Ayurveda it is called as the king of all therapies, like there is also a synonym for Vasti called as Artha Chikilsa which means even if you don’t do all the treatments but you just do the enema or Vasti you have completed half of your healing…now that is given to understand the importance of this therapy.
Now enema is considered to be the most effective treatment to eliminate toxins from the large intestine parts and we need to understand physiologically we cannot clean the large intestine by taking a medicine through the mouth because by the time it reaches there, the liver will go and interfere and neutralize the effect of this medicine. So the only way we can clean and detox the large intestine is to go the other way up. And we
need to understand large intestine is the place where the maximum toxic load and auto intoxication in such conditions happen mostly in the end part of the large intestine. So in such cases enema or what we called as Vasti in Panchakarma is the most profound therapy for healing.
How is Vasti performed?
There are many varieties of Vasti that are explained in the Ayurvedic textbooks, however in order to have a broad understanding let us take an easier classification which is enema because of oil which is called as Anuvasana Vasti and enema with some herbal decoction which will also include some honey and rock salt according to the dosage that is advised. So these are the two main classifications that we have to understand and oil enema is the preparation before we give the decoction enema. Oil enema is given to prepare the intestines for the decoction enema… just like how we do the ghee therapy followed with purgation or the vomiting… same way we give the oil enema followed with the decoction enema to have the intensive cleanse. Like oil enema
is done after we have the food and decoction enema is mostly done on empty stomach preferably in the morning time and again this is followed with the oil enema. According to Ayurveda, Vasti is the most powerful therapy in cases of irregular Vata Dosha. In many conditions of inflammations, arthritis and even autoimmune disorders such as multiple sclerosis… even brain fog people say after the enema, they experience their energy levels are much better, their ability to focus on things are much better, their mental clarity goes up and there is a huge shift because intestines especially the
large intestine…this is where the maximum toxic load of the body is present and after you do the enema a huge cleanse is happening in the whole system and also we are also learning in modern medicine the connection between the gut and the brain. So when the gut is is efficient and clean, our efficiency of the brain also goes up.
What is the significance of Vata Dosha?
Vasti is the most powerful healing therapy to regulate the Vata Dosha in our body and in Ayurvedic textbooks like Charaka Samitha the most important Dosha that is given importance is Vata Dosha. For example, Pitta and Kapha are only explained in few paragraphs, where as for Vata, one whole chapter is dedicated… this is because Vata has the most destructive energy in our body. This is the biggest Dosha that creates pain or ability to move is affected… in such kind of conditions Vata is the most powerful compared to the other two Doshas. So in order to regulate the Vata Dosha according to Ayurveda, Vasti is the best antidote to regulate this excess or irregular Vata.
What are the conditions effectively treated with Vasti?
So the diseases that are affected because of excess or irregular Vata includes conditions such as inflammatory joint pains, low back pain, sciatica, constipation, constipation induced back pain and also many conditions where the nervous system is affected like paralysis…even autoimmune disorders such as multiple sclerosis and also to improve the efficiency of the brain. Now today, we have the science that is figuring out what is the importance of the gut
and the efficiency of the brain and we have observed in many people they say after the enema their ability to focus, their ability to be more efficient in what they do… like before whatever that took 6 hours to get done..they are getting it done in less than half an hour that’s because our mental focus and clarity is much higher… because we need more good blood going to our brain that’s when our efficiency and our thinking and clarity goes up. So we’ve observed such variety of conditions that can be healed because of vasti.
When is Vasti avoided?
Now the contra-indications of Vasti are extreme young age and old age, extreme low blood pressure if there is any incontinence of bowel movements or if they have any haemorrhoids or fistula or fissure or if they have any bleeding per rectum, in such conditions Vasti cannot be done. However we need to understand there are more than 52 different types of decoction enemas that are mentioned in Ayurveda. So according to the condition, it is given. For example in old age, oil enema can be done. In Ayurveda, it is mentioned oil enema is one of the therapies that can be done regularly where as decoction enema needs a medical supervision and has to be done under proper understanding of the medical history.