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Raajayaapana Basti

Dr.Manoj Nesari
M.D. (Ayurved)

Raajayaapan Basti is the name used in Asht`aanga Samgraha and Asht`aanga Hridaya. The well-known physicians, Charaka and Sus`hruta, have described this Basti under the name Mustaadi Yaapana Basti.

Both Charaka and Sus`hruta have used the word Yaapana in various contexts. The different meanings of Yaapana are Dhaaran`am (Maintain; S.Ni. 1:12), Poshan`am (To nourish; S.Su. 14:3) and Roga S`hamanam (to cure a disease; S.Chi.6: 13). Charaka has used it as a synonym for Yaatrakara i.e. supporting life (C.Su. 18:39). Chakrapaan`i has described Yaapanafunction as preserving the equilibrium (C.Vi. 1:4 Chakra). These meanings suggest the various functions of Yaapana Basti.

Chakrapaan`i mentions, The Basti which supports life and promotes longevity is called Yaapana Basti (C. Si. 12:17, Chakrapaan`i).

On ccount of the variation in action, Aasthaapana Basti is sub-classified as Utkles`hana, S`hodhana etc. Yaapana Basti is also a variety of Aasthaapana Basti; and Maadhutailika, Yuktaratha, Doshahara and Siddha Basti are its synonyms. These synonym also suggest the nature of these Basti_s (A.S.Su. 28:6)

The compound Maadhu Tailika Basti is so called from the fact of its being principally composed of Madhu (Honey) and Taila (Oil). Yuktaratha owes its name to the fact of its imposing no restriction as regards riding in carriages, on horses and elephants after its administration. Siddha Basti derives its name from the uniform success, which applies to its application in a large number of cases of bodily distempers and from its irresistible power in improving the strength and complexion of the body.

Actions of Yaapana Basti:

The Yaapana Basti eliminates the Dosha_s accumulated in the body, improves strength and complexion and shown highly beneficial therapeutic effects (Su.Chi. 38:39). Yaapana Basti_s are designated longevity promoters. They are promoters of MaamsaS`hukra and strength. It cures all the diseases and is suitable in all seasons (C.Si.12). It induces fertility in sterile women and men. Yaapana Basti_simpose both the properties Lekhana as well as Brimhan`a. Thus they are formed to serve the purpose of both types of enema namely Nirooha and Anuvaasana (A.S.K.26). Hence, though these are mentioned as a variety of Sthaapana Basti, they do not require the administration of Anuvaasana Basti, in their causes. They possess Vrishya property and are also the best in Vaajikaran`a drugs.

To whom it may be administered:

Yaapana Basti_s can be administered to the diseased as well as the healthy. They can be resorted to with respect to Kings or King-like persons as well as to women, aged, and infants and also in persons of delicate constitutions. These are recommended in persons of easy and luxurious habits as well as in persons of Mridukosht`ha. Persons habituated daily to be treated with Emulsivemeasures (Sneha Karma) and in that accumulation of Dosha_sare less may also be safely given Yaapana Basti.


Yaapanbasti are promotiveof S`hukra and Maamsa. So they can be used in the diseases of their Srotas like KlaibyaAharsha etc. and ArbudaApachi. Etc. It is a special treatment of Klaibya (C.Chi. 30/203, 204)

Yaapana Basti_s are indicated in degenerative disorders as well as in diseases due to ageing. Yaapana Basti_sare beneficial in condition of Sarva Dhaatvaavritta Vaata.

Contra Indications:

There are no major contra-indications mentioned specifically for Yaapana Basti. Being a type of Nirooha, contraindications of Nirooha Basti should also be considered as the contra indications of Yaapana BastiSus`hruta has advised not to administer Yaapana Basti in case of indigestion (S.Chi. 38:113)

Pathya for Yaapana Basti:

Asht`aanga Hridayam has advised the intake of food with milk medicated by AatmaguptaaS`hveta Gunjaa, and Taalimakhaanaa during the course of Siddha type of Yaapana Basti.

Apathya for Yaapana Basti:

While describing Maadhutailika BastiSus`hruta opines that the use of this remedy does not entail any strict observance of continence or of any particular rule, diet, conduct or conveyance on the part of the patient. (S.Chi.38: 98). However some proper rules of diet and conduct should be observed, e.g. day sleep should not be indulged in, after being treated with a Basti (S.Chi. 38:113). Siddha Basti, another variety of Yaapana, does not entail any strict observance of the regimen of diet and conduct. D`alhan`a further comments that these Basti_sdo not require, previous administration of emetics and purgatives etc. (S. Chi. 38:118, D`alhan`a Commentary)

Charaka advices avoidance of certain activities. He prohibits, exercise, sex act, alcohol, honey, cold water, excessive eating and jolty conveyances during the course of these enemas.

Retention of Yaapana Basti:

Yaapana Basti is Mridu in nature and hence retain for a long-time than any ordinary Basti (K.Khi. 8:69). However being a variety of Aasthaapan Basti, it must come out of the body after a certain amount of time and should not be retained. If, on account of some mild action, these Basti_sare not thrown out, then a corrective enema with strong (Teeskshn`a) medication mixed with cows urine should be administered. The Teekshn`a Basti cannot retain for more than, at a time, a hundred Maatraa_s and brings out the previous retained one along with it also.

Complications of Excessive Yaapana Basti:

Yaapana Basti_s being mild in potency neither produces any distress or discomfort nor excessive reaction or under action (C.Si.12: 29). But the long-term excessive use of these enemas causes S`hotha, loss of AgniPaan`d`uS`hoolaArs`haParikartikaaJvara and Atisaara. (C.Si.12: 30; A.S.K.5: 16). Bhela has added Vibhrama in the list ofcomplications(Bhel. Si. 8)

To combat these complication Deepaneeya drugs in the form of Arisht`aKsheeraSidhu etc. should be used. Therefore one should take recourse to these Basti_sjudiciously and not as a matter of habit.

Significance of various contents of Yaapana Basti:

Various contents of Yaapana Basti are as follows:

SaindhavaMadhuGhritaKalkaMadanaphalaKsheeraKvaatha and Maamsarasa. Each of these plays a certain role in the action of the Basti and hence is mixed in a certain fixed proportion.

The action of Saindhava and other contents of Basti can be divided under two headings viz. outside the body and inside the body i.e. action of one content with that of another, outside the body which may produce some changes in the physio-chemical properties of Basti; and another is the action of those contents on the body.


All salts (Lavan`a) are VishyandiSookshmaTeekshn`aUshn`a and Vaataghna, in nature. They promote evacuation of the bladder and the rectum (A.H.Su.6:143)

All these properties exist in Saindhava also. Besides, it is Madhur in trace, Vrishya, and eliminates all the three Dosha_s, it is Laghu and slightly Ushn`a, but doesnt cause Vidaaha and is Deepana.

Action on the body: Because of its Vishyandi property it separates the particles and thus reduces the compactness and density (Samghaata) of Styaana Kapha (A.H.Su.6: 143)

On account of its Sookshma property it can go into the micro-channels of the body. Thus the molecules of the other contents of Basti if bound with Saindhava may also reach Up tocarrier, and helps to reach the Basti to a deep level. Saindhava liquefies and segregates the Kapha in the body (C. K.1: 15). It also liquefies the accumulated morbid matter therein by virtue of its Ushn`a property and breaks it up by its Teekshn`a property. As it promotes the evacuation the broken and liquefied morbid matter is expelled out (C. S. 25:43) and hence Basti isnt retained inside and come out after a certain time

The role of Saindhava outside the body: while preparing the BastiSaindhva destroys the PicchilaBahula and Kashaaya properties of Madhu and produces a close union with it (K.Khi.8: 41)

Importance of Quantity of Saindhava:

Absence or less quantity of Saindhava is responsible for Ayoga i.e. under action of Basti whereas in excessquantity it produces Daaha (burning sensation) and Atisaara (A.H. 19:42, Hridaya Bodhikaa Comm.)

Madhu (Honey):

Honey is both sweet and astringent in taste: Rooksha, S`heeta, Laghu in Gun`a and is DeepanVarn`yaSvaryaLekhanaHrudyaVaajikaran`aSandhaanakaraS`hodhanaRopan`a and Prasaadana in properties. It has the capacity to go through micro channels. Because of its Laghu Gun`a it eliminates Kapha. By virtue of its Pichchhila Gun`a and sweet and astringent tastes, it eliminates Vaata and Pitta. Thus it is Tridosha Prashamana in nature (S.Su.45: 132) According to Charaka, honey is the provocative of VaataGuruS`heeta, curative of Rakta Pitta and Kapha disorders.

As honey is composed of various substances, it is the smoothest vehicles (C.Su.27: 249)

Role of honey in the body:

Honey being the best vehicle and possessing the capacity to go through micro channels, increases the potency of the Basti drugs. This also carries the drug to the molecular level. Basti when combined with honey makes a man extremely virile. Basti with honey does not lead to over actionor under action (C.Si. 12).

Ghrita (Sneha):

Ghrita is Saumya in its essence and potency and is Mridu and Madhura. It doesnt cause defluxions. It is Agni Deepana and subdues Vaata and Pitta. It improves memory. Intelligence, complexion, voice, personal beauty and Ojas in the body. It is Vitalizing, Rejuvenating, Vrishya Medhya and Promoter of long life(Vayasthaapana). It eliminates toxic substances from the body (S.Su.45: 96). It is the best of the unctuous substances. There is no other such material, which imbibes the quality of drugs to the extent that Ghee does (Samskaaranuvartana) and is Yogavaahi. It is the best Rasaayana. Addition of Ghrita or any Sneha makes for a homogenous mixture.

Thus these three Saindhava_sMadhu and Ghrita together act to make Basti a homogenous mixture. They promote, the qualities of the drug and carry it to the micro channels. Sometimes the drug by itself cannot reach to the molecular level. At that time the Virya or qualities of the drug are carried by Ghrita because of its Samskaaranuvartana property.

Kalka Kvaatha and Aavaapa:

These are selected according to the conditions of Dosha and Dhaatu_s and with certain anticipation

Regarding the functions of Basti.

Kalka serves the functions of Utkles`hana or Doshaharan`a or Sams`haman depending on its contents and are thus selected accordingly. It also gives the required thickness to the Basti material. Less quality or absence of Kalka makes Basti too thin, which cannot be retained in the body for a longer period of time. Excess quantity of Kalka makes Basti viscous and difficult to administer. Thicker Basti cannot be ousted in the expected time.

Aavaapa drugs are used to make the Basti either more strong or mild. They are mixed by considering the expected action on Dosha e.g. Amlakaanjee is mixed to eliminate Nirupasthambhi VaataKshaara makes Basti strong and effective in eliminating the KaphaAavaapa drugs should not be harmful to the Dhaatu_s.

Kvaatha drugs are the main part of the Basti and are selected to serve specific functions e.g. drugs of Vidaareegandhaadigan`a are used for Brimhan`aVyaadhipratyanika drugs should be used in the Kvaatha.

Pakvaas`haya is the seat of Basti drug. It spreads all over the body, eliminates Dosha_sand performs its functions by staying in Pakvaas`haya. Hence a few drugs in Kvaatha and Kalka are added to give strength to Pakvaas`haya and to enable it in promoting the action of the Basti drug. A weak Pakvaas`haya cannot retain the Basti. So while selecting the drugs, status of Pakvaas`haya like Mridu etc. should be thought of.

Contents of Raajayaapana Basti:

Raajayaapana Basti is a homogenous mixture of milk decoction, Rock salt, honey, ghee, Kalka and Mutton soup.


The ingredients of Kvaatha are Mustaa, Paathaa, Gud`oochi, Eran`d`a, Balaa, Raasnaa, Punarnavaa, Manjisht`haa, Aaragvadha, Us`heera, Traayamaan`a, Laghupanchamoola, Bibheetaka, and Kut`akee. Each one should be onePalain quantity.Madanaphalaeight in number, are also added to the decoction.


Kalka contains Yasht`imadhuMishreyaaTrivrutaIndrayava and Rasaanjana.

Method of preparation:

Sus`hruta has described the method of preparation in detail, which is further explained by D`alhan`a. The method is as follows:

One Pala (40 gms) of each of the ingredients of Kvaatha and eight fruits of Madana (8fruits =12 Pala) should be boiled in an Aad`haka (512 ml) of water down to its quarter part. As the quantity should be doubled in cases of fresh vegetables and fluids (Su.Chi.31: 17), D`alhan`a has counted an Aad`haka equal to a hundred and twenty eight Pala (5120 ml) i.e. exactly double its normal quantity (S.Chi. 38:106-111 D`alhan`a Comm.) The decoction thus prepared, comes to thirty-two Pala (1280 ml). This should again be boiled with the admixture of half Aad`haka i.e. sixty-four Pala_s (2560 ml) of milk. The boiling should be continued till the watery part has completely evaporated and the quantity of milk alone has left. It should be strained through a piece of cloth. Quarter Prastha i.e. eight Pala_s (320 ml) of Maamsa Rasa is added to it. Thus the total mixture comes to seventy-two Pala_s (2880 ml). Yaapana Basti is a type of Nirooha Basti, therefore for one Put`a of Basti, twenty four Pala_s out of seventy two should be taken.

Karsha (10 gms) of Saindhava and one and half Prasrita_s (3Pala i.e. 120 ml) of Madhu should be taken, separately and mixed well with the help of pestle and mortar so that it should become a paste. Ghrita in an equal quantity of Madhu should be admixturedwith it.

Kalka is prepared with the earlier said ingredients in quantity of one Karsha each. One and half Pala (60 gms) of the Kalka and half Pala (20 GmsMadanphala powder should be mixed in a mixture of Ghee and honey. The total mixture should be then mixed thoroughly with the mixture of milk decoction and Maamsa Rasa. This final product is termed as Raajayaapana Basti. The maximum dose of this Basti, at a time, is thirty-two Pala_s i.e. approximately one litreand two eighty ml. According to Paaraas`hara (Quoted by D`alhan`a on S.Chi. 38:106-111) the lowest dose of Nirooha is three Kud`ava, i.e. forty-eight Tola_s. This is the quantity of mixture of the milk decoction and Maamsa Rasa. Honey, Ghee and Kalka are added proportionately which in total becomes six hundred and forty ml. Hence in this study we administered a total six hundred and forty ml quantity of Basti at a time, which is the lowest measure for this Basti.

Indications for Raajayaapana Basti:

The application of this Basti cures Vaata Rakta, Prameha, S`hotha, Ars`ha, Gulma, Purishaand Mootravibandha, Visarpa, Jvara, Raktapitta. It is Balya, Vrishya and rejuvenating to the body (S.Chi.38:106-111). It is a promoter of Agni, Maamsaand S`hukra. It cures Moha, Vardhma, Aadhmaana, Pravaahikaa, and relieves pain in Kat`i, Manyaa, S`hira, S`hrotra, Vankshan`a, Uraand Kukshi. It also cures Asrigdara, Unamaada, Kaasa, As`hmareeand Bastikundala. It is the king of Yaapanaand is the best Rasaayana(A.S.K.5)

Characteristics of a well-prepared Basti:

Chakradatta has described the characteristics of a well-prepared Basti as follows: A well-prepared Basti should not run quickly out of the hand, nor should it coat or stay on the hands. It should be a uniform mixture without separation or partition (Simanta), between its contents (Chakradatta with S`hivadaasa Sen Comm.)

Dr.Manoj Nesari
Sr.Scientist AyuSoft. Pune

Last updated on March 31st, 2021 at 04:57 am

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