Principles and Practice of Vasti

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Item Code: NAK514
Author: Dr. M.R. Vasudevan Nampoothiri
Publisher: Ayurvedic Educational and Charitable Trust
Language: English
Edition: 2014
Pages: 336
Cover: Paperback
Other Details 8.5 inch x 5.5 inch
Weight 360 gm
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Book Description

About the Author


Dr. M.R. Vasudevan Nampoothiri, has completed BSM., with rank from Kottakkal Ayurveda College in 1977 and M.D. (Panchakarma) from Trivandrum Ayurveda College in 1981. Entered as tutor in Government Ayurveda College service in 1981. Guided more than 60 postgraduate thesis. Presented many papers in National and International seminars. Published more than 100 articles. He was former director of Ayurveda Medical Education, Govt. of Kerala. Currently working as principal in Amrt School of Ayurveda, Vallikkavu, Kollam.




I am very happy to introduce and recommend the book "Principles and Practice of Vasti" to you.

Many books are available in this topic. But most of them explain the theoretical aspects, because they are written by academicians. The authors of this book are experienced physicians and hence it deals with the important practical aspects of vasti excellently. Moreover the methods of vasti and possible mechanism of action are also dealt in detail.


The commonly done vastis like Ksira vasti, Vaitarana vasti, Madhutailika vasti, etc are explained well with their possible complications and management.


About the authors, Dr. M.R. Vasudevan Nampoothiri is my colleague and Dr. L. Mahadevan is my student.


This book will be highly useful to U.G & P.G students, teachers and also for Ayurvedic Medical Practitioners. I can assure that an Ayurvedic Doctor can do Vasti independently & effectively with the help of this book. It is stated that Vasti should be done in the presence of more than one doctor and that may be the reason, why this book is written by two doctors together.




The book "Principles and Practice of Vasti" written by us, is based on our experience covering every aspect of vasti karma. This includes wide coverage of theoretical aspects from most of the texts and their practical interpretations. There are practical ideas about commonly used vastis for diseases which we see in our day today clinical practice. Modern correlation, possible mode of action, collection of herbs and procedures of all the vastis are also added. The complications of vasti are critically analyzed and their practical management is stressed. There are certain issues which we do not know; in that context the textual aspect is dealt as such. We hope we will be able to answer those things in future or in the future editions. We have done more than ten thousand vastis in our practice and every word of this book is based on that experience. We are continuing our work on vasti and research on the applied aspect of the same, in various clinical conditions. Uttaravasti is also being practised. We have seldom seen complications if we do vastis with proper care and precautions.


In the end of the chapter of vasti in Cakradatta, he mentions that we could not do and practice all the vastis told in Caraka Samhita. If that is the case in the eleventh century, we cannot think about obtaining those materials and doing such elaborate vastis in current day practice. There are subtle variations of opinion among Acarvas regarding dosage, time, ingredients and utility of vastis. So discussing about the use of various vastis according to Acaryas will not be clinically useful. We should concentrate on what we can do practically. Most of the books available in the market, cover only the theoretical collection or compilation aspects of vasti. This adds confusion and lack of guidance among the practitioners and students regarding the practical application of vasti. This is the first time a book is written by practitioners for the purpose of practice. At the same time this book can be used as a reference guide for scholars, graduates and postgraduates of Ayurveda.


Even though the procedure is simple, we advise to follow the sastra and to do the kriya with dedication and commitment.


We are thankful to our teacher Dr. P. Sankaran Kutty, who is the teacher of most of the practitioners of vasti in this country, for his encouragement and guidance for initiating the procedures in Trivandrum Ayurveda College Campus. We are thankful to Dr. K. Sankaran, MD(Ay), Director of Ayurvedic Medical Education, Thiruvananthapuram for writing the foreword. We are thankful to Dr. K. Chidambaram, Dr. S.C. Jeyamookambigai, Dr.G.Harini Ramya, Dr. Roy. S. Devi Sahaya Mary, Dr. K. Sheik Farith, Dr. A. Selvakumar, Dr. S.G. Gireesh, Dr. S. Balammal, Dr. C. Muthunagai, Dr. Soonrita Manchanda, Dr. Bhusan Sarmandal for their valuable contribution, help in collecting the material and in proof reading. We are also thankful to Dr. P.S. Mahesh, Dr. Arun, Dr. Indulekha, Dr. Bindu (PG scholars from Thiruvananthapuram) for their help and suggestions.


We are thankful to Dr. G. Harini Ramya for her excellent contribution in writing a chapter on Uttaravasti for women.


We are thankful to Mr. R. A. Saju for his wonderful and neat documentation and presentation of the manuscript. We are thankful to Chuvadi, Chennai for publishing the book in a presentable manner. We are thankful to all our well-wishers and members of family for the support extended for our clinical and academic activity.


Vasti is a simple, useful and an effective procedure.

It is not an answer for all the disorders. But definitely, it has got a great role in Ayurvedic treatment modalities.


May Lord Dhanvantari shower all of us with health and prosperity.




In this modern era of medicine, the use of modern science as a research tool in Ayurveda has never been more promising and compelling than at the present time. Although Ayurveda has a vast tradition of knowledge and medicines which have a proven clinical background, this system of medicine still is deprived of the acceptance it truly deserves, due to lack of scientific and experimental evidence. Today scientific validation and analysis of the medicine and medical intervention procedures are important for the purpose of safety of treatment, standardization of medicines and procedures and thus acceptance in the medical field.


Strolling through history, in fact it was the Atharvavedic period (1500 BC) and the empiricism during Buddhist centuries that drove Ayurveda to become reason-based by the first century, when Charaka flourished. Because of its unique pro-nature Vision, Ayurveda has made developments through-the centuries and today is gaining global relevance. This new upsurge of interest in Ayurveda and its rapidly increasing public use has given rise to many newer issues and challenges. The public in general, as well as the scientific and professional community, seems to be largely convinced with the rationality and possible scientific validity of the principles and approaches of Ayurveda as a logical life science and as a healing modality. Traditional practices in Ayurveda such as Panchakarma have become so popular that Ayurvedic institutions regularly report waiting lists for patients not only in India but also from abroad.


Thus for the new Ayurvedic researcher, the evidence base of contemporary Ayurveda needs to utilized from a variety of sources including (1) Textual evidence and folklore claims, (2) Experience- based evidence, (3) Longstanding traditional use, (4) Mass acceptability and (5) New scientific evidence Ayurveda is not merely a science but it is a science of life. It states vyadhi as a condition in which the body and mind are subjected to pain and misery. This is a state of imbalance of three doshas which are the three basic constituents of the living body. The measure adopted to bring back equilibrium is called chikitsa. This chikitsa is of two types which are as follows:


1. Brihmana - Rasayana & Vajeekarana

2. Langhana - Shodhana & Shamana


Shodhana is a procedure which involves the elimination of vitiated doshas in a complete manner, and thus recurrence of diseases is avoided. Shamana is the palliative treatment as it does not eliminate vitiated doshas but only subsides them. It is believed that there is no possibility of relapse of the disease cured by shodhana chikitsa, where as the diseases cured by shamana may recur as Acharya has mentioned.


Panchakarma is a unique modality of treatment consists of vamana, virechana, anuvasana vasti, niruha vasti and nasya karma. Out of the above five karmas, vasti is the most important constituent of panchakarma due to its multifocal effects. As per the physiology of Ayurveda, vata is the main factor where as pitta and kapha are dependent on vata for their functions to be preformed.


Vasti alleviates the morbid vata from the root along with the other doshas and in addition to that, it nourishes the body tissues. It is considered as the best remedy for morbid vata, but according to Aacharya Sushruta it is beneficial even in kaphaja & pittaja disorders by using various combinations of ingredients. Further Dalhana says that karma, kala and yoga basti are vata, pitta and kaphahara respectively. Charaka says that vyadhi pratyaneeka aushadhies can be used in the form of basti to treat that particular vyadhi. This particular procedure cures diseases of all doshas of all the three margas namely, shakha, koshta and the marmasthi sandhi & it completely destroys the vitiated vata dosha by entering into its moolasthana which is responsible for all diseases, thus said to be ardha chikitsa.


Further it has both samshodhana as well as samshamana effects and even performs the function of restoration of shukra, brimhana in emaciated persons, karshana in obese persons, improvement of vision preventing ageing process, improvement in luster, strength and helpful for longevity. In diverse forms, it has a very wide application. According to ayurvedic principles, niruha vasti is a procedure by which medicines in the form of suspension are directly administered to the lower gastrointestinal tract using vasti yantra. Niruha vasti possesses a significant place among panchakarma as it is being used for curing or mitigating vata-predominant diseases. In the classical texts, we can observe elaborate descriptions on different aspects of vasti karma.






Anatomy – Ayurveda



Principles of Cikitsa



Sodhana Cikitsa and its Importance



Vasti- an Overview



Indications and contraindications of vasti






Niruha Vasti



Vasti Vyapat



Various Niruha Vasti Kalpanas



Yapana Vasti



Prasrta Yogika Vastis



Mode of action of vasti






Vasti Prayoga in Various Disorders



Pages from Experience



History of evolution of Modern Colon Therapy



Enema and Catheterisation Procedures



The Enteric Nervous System



Vasti Sandhanam



Glossary of Herbs Mentioned in this Book



Glossary of selected and commonly used Sanskrit Terms



Important medicines and their reference



Sample Pages

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