Vasti is a major treatment in Ayurveda. It is one among the panchakarmas and is known as ardhachikitsa, ie., half of the whole treatments by the great scholars. It is the main treatment procedure for all vatarogas. The word vasti means bladder. In ancient times, an animal’s bladder was used as the instrument to do this treatment.
Vasti is done both externally and internally. Externally, it is done by allowing the oil to stay on the head (shirovasti), lumbosacral region/low back (kativasti), chest (urovasti), below the neck on the back (greeva vasti) or knee (januvasti) for a particular time. Internally, the medicine is applied through a particular instrument called vastiyantra, through anorectal route (most common), urethral route or vaginal route and maintained for a particular period.
Vasti alone can cure many disorders by using different combinations of medicines. It acts as both immunomodulatory as well as immunosuppressive and it is used in infectious, immunological, autoimmune, degenerative, inflammatory, infertility, metabolic and endocrine disorders and prevents recurrence of diseases.