Role of Basti (medicated enema) in Pregnancy
Pregnancy is a very significant part of any woman’s life. Although it is a period of joy and excitement for all women, many times it also brings along pain, discomforts and various complications during and after delivery. A woman might experience sleep deprivation, backaches, severe constipation and various other issues during pregnancy.
The three things that regulate all the vital processes of the human body are Dosha-Dhatu-Mala. The body of a pregnant woman undergoes a series of physical and psychological changes during the course of pregnancy and vitiation.
Vāta dosha is the prime reason for any abnormality in a woman during pregnancy. A spike in vāta dosha is responsible for premature delivery, membrane rupture, low birth weight of the baby, IUGR,etc. The physiological condition of a pregnant woman is also affected by this, which leads to a decline in sattvic guna and an exponential increase in rajas and tamas guna. The increase in rajas guna is responsible for the development of fear, anxiety, and a decrease in pain tolerance. On the other hand, an increase in tamas guna is responsible for the manifestation of negative thoughts, depression, and tokophobia. Hence, in order to maintain the normal state of vāta dosha, the Ayurveda acharyas have recommended the use of basti therapy in garbhini paricharya.
Basti Given during Pregnancy: Any type of Basti (medicated enema therapy) should only be given to a pregnant lady during the fifth, eighth, and ninth months of her pregnancy, under the supervision of an Ayurveda practitioner who can inform her about the procedures and help her avoid complications.
- Fifth month: If there is a manifestation of any disease during pregnancy, "asthapana basti"(decoction basti) of lavana drugs and amla, and "anuvasana basti" of sneha(oil/ghee) infused with madhura drugs should be given in the fifth month.
- Eighth month: According to sushruta samhita, “asthapana basti'' involves giving pregnant woman a mixture of badar (ziziphus jojoba) kashaya, mastu (watery portion of curd), atibala (abutilon indicum), bala(sida cordifolia) oil, madanaphala(emetic nut), ghrita and honey. This basti is performed to facilitate elimination of remaining faeces from the body, which is also responsible for vātanulomana (vāta imbalance).
- As per ashtanga hridaya, “asthapana basti'' and “anuvasana basti'' contain amla drugs kashaya(decoction), and badar(ziziphus jojoba) along with ghrita and oil. It is given to help in the elimination of retained faeces from the body. It is also known to increase lubrication to ease the process of delivery of the baby and decrease the possibility of a C-section delivery.
- Ninth month: “Anuvasana basti” is given with medicated oil and madhura medicines. This is known for snehana(oiling) of the uterus (grabhasthana), cervix and vagina (garbh marga). Moreover, anuvasana basti when given with oil infused with medicines along with masha (phaseolus mungo) and kadamba(neolamarckia cadamba) is reported to push the stockpile of faeces towards the lower excretory system and hence is very helpful in the delivery of the baby without any complications.
- Basti for foetal growth and development—Basti is given with milk, ghrita, and sweet-drugs in this case. Madhura, sheeta, and brimhana aushadha are used to treat milk. As a source of calcium, lactose and butter fat, milk is an excellent addition to a pregnant woman's diet. Milk also contains a moderate quantity of protein with anabolic properties that help you gain muscle mass. Madhura herbs, grouped with milk and medications are recommended to be consumed during the entire pregnancy period. Milk is a complete food and a good source of calcium. As the drugs of the madhura group are anabolic, vāta-pitta shamak(dosha pacifying qualities) their administration will aid in the good health of the mother as well as the growth and development of the unborn.
The samhita describes a number of Ayurveda treatments that can help a woman have a healthy pregnancy. Under the cover of panchakarma and upakarmas, holistic therapies are bundled together for various stages of pregnancy and delivery. These therapeutic methods are recommended to ensure the highest level of obstetric care, including fertility, pregnancy management and obstetric issues prevention. It is advised that you undergo these treatments only with the guidance of an Ayurveda practitioner.