Vasti (administration of medicine through rectum) is another sodhana or purification treatment. It relieves constipation, chronic fever, cold, sexual disorders, kidney stones, heart pain, backache, sciatica, pains in the joints as well as arthritis, rheumatism, gout, muscle spasms and headaches. Vata is mainly located in the large intestine and bone tissue. Vasti is the treatment where herbal medicines like medicated oils, decoctions, medicated milk or ghee are administered through rectum using an instrument called vasthiyantra. There are three types of vasti – kashayavasti, snehavasti and uttaravasti. Among these kashayavasti and snehavasti are most commonly practised. In kashayavasti the treatment is done with a combination of honey, rock-salt, oil, herbal paste and decoction. In snehavastimedicated oil and ghee is administered through rectum. In uttaravasti the vasti is given through urethral or vaginal tract. Kashayavasti is sodhana as it purifies the body by expelling the impure doshas from the body whereas snehavasti is brimhana as it nourishes and lubricates the body. These two treatments are always used in combination, thus producing a balance of purification and nourishment in the body. In the usual procedure snehavasti is given first to lubricate the body, followed by kashayavasti to purify the body.
Kashaya Vasti The medicine for kashaya vasti is prepared by mixing honey, rock-salt, oil, herbal paste and decoction. First honey and rock salt are mixed in a vessel. Then oil is added and mixed well. This is followed by paste and then decoction until a homogenous mixture of all the ingredients is made. This mixture is filled in a sac made of leather warmed a little in hot water. The sac is then tied at the end of the vastiyantra. The patient should have taken food the previous night and then evacuate and do ablutions in the morning. The patient has to lie down on his/her left side, flexing the right leg and extending the left leg on a wooden cot. The body must be massaged with oil and abdomen should be warmed up. The nozzle of the instrument and anus of the patient are lubricated first by applying oil. Then the nozzle is carefully introduced into the anus while keeping the patient relaxed and breathing out. The leather sac containing medicine is pressed firmly once and medicine is injected into the rectum. A little of medicine is left in the sac to prevent air entering into the rectum. Then the patient should lie down on his back after completion of vasti. His abdomen should be massaged gently. When urge to pass stool, the patient can go to the toilet and evacuate. If he gets clear bowel movements then the treatment is successful. Afterwards he should take bath in warm water and take food.
Siro Vasti Sirovasti Sirovasti is the most intensive, potent external oil application. Sirovasti is a special technique to administer medicated oil on the head. The patient is made to sit upright on a wooden stool and medicated oil is applied on body and head. Then a cap made of flexible leather, open on both sides, is fitted on the head and the prescribed medicated oil, slightly warm, is poured onto the cap. The oil is allowed to remain inside the cap for about 45 minutes or till the manifestation of proper signs of efficient treatment, whichever is earlier, and drained out. Afterwards the head is wiped with a clean dry cotton cloth. Again medicated oil is applied on the body and head and the patient is given body bath in warm water. This treatment is done for maximum seven days and requires equal number of days for preparation and for having the post intensive treatments. (i.e. 21 days are required for a full course)
Sneha Vasti The patient should take light food, then oil massage and bath are given. Soon after he should be laid on a comfortable cot neither too high nor too low, on his left side, folding his right thigh and extending the other. The enema nozzle as well as the anus are lubricated with oil. The instrument is then filled with the medicated oil and introduced into the rectum in the following manner. It should be pressed without shaking hands in the direction of the vertebral column, neither too fast nor too slow, neither with great nor with low force in just one attempt. After this administration of the sneha (medicated oil) the person should lie down facing upward extending the entire body with a pillow under his heels. Then he should be given massage of abdomen, hands and feet. Oil should be smeared all over the body so that the sneha does not come out early. In normal case the enema liquid will go out after one or two hours. If the sneha returns properly at the right time the patient should fast at night and can take breakfast the next day morning.
Uttara Vasti It is called douche in simple terms. It is done after the completion of menstrual cycle when the female genital tract is receptive to the administration of medicated formulation. It is indicated in uterine disorders, bladder disorders, dysmenorrhoea, menorrhalgia, primary infertility. 3 – 5 ml of medicated unctuous formulation can be administered into the uterine cavity by means of a 5 c.c. syringe guided with a cusco speculum. It is done for a period of seven days with gradual increase of the dose of medicine. In case of men it is done in urethral disorders and known as urethral douche.