basti elimination + panchakarma chart

Basti is a mild herbal enema that cleanses the colon and large intestines, and it is a key part of the Ayurvedic Panchakarma treatment. In the classical texts, Basti is said to balances Vata, or the air element in our body. This is the element that is responsible for all movement. Because Vata leads the other two doshas of Pitta and Kapha, balancing Vata is a very important for all types of imbalances.

Besides balancing our three doshas, Panchakarma help remove toxins from the body.

We tend to gather environmental toxins from the food we eat, the water we water drink and the air we breathe. Even prescribed medicines can create toxins that can result in side-effects.

Improper diet and digestion can lead to a toxic build-up that Ayurveda calls Ama. Ama tends to block the body channels and clog up our tissues and cells. One consequence of an Ama building up is the lack of nutrition going to our cells and poor elimination of toxins from our cells. Ayurveda sees Ama as the source of the great majority of our diseases.

Panchakarma is Ayurveda’s recommended treatment for the removal of both types of toxins: environmental toxins and the toxic build-up caused by incomplete digestion.

To ensure that the removal of toxins is done most effectively, and in a way that does to lead to further imbalances, there is a specific sequence to this purification process.


The first stage of this Panchakarma detox process involves the internal and external application of oils. This is called Snehana (oleation therapy) and its purpose is to soften up our tissues and cells so that toxins, that get stuck there, are made ready for elimination.


The next part of the Panchakarma  process is heat treatment. Heat can be applied to the whole body, though herbalised steam or heated and herbalised oils, or it can be applied locally by the application of hot water bottles. The heat helps open our Shrotas or body channels and this in turn helps our cells eliminate their toxic burden. The toxins now gradually move into the intestines for elimination.


The next phase of Panchakarma to ensure that those toxins, we so carefully mobilised, are not just re-absorbed into other parts of our body. Different types of Bastis, some nourishing and some eliminating, are given to clean out the toxins from the intestines and colon.

Basti treatment is  particularly recommended in the Ayurvedic texts for Vata imbalances such as constipation, tremor, stiffness and discomfort in back and hips, and to support bone and joint health.

Get a revitalising clearout with Panchakarma

Many people come once or twice a year for regular Panchakarma treatment at the Maharishi Ayurveda Health Centre in Skelmersdale, Lancashire. It revitalises the body and mind and give you more energy and clarity for the rest of the year. Contact: +44 (0)1695 363088,