Ayurveda Treatment (Virechana and Basti) and Changes of Intestinal Microbiota at Phyla and Species Level

*Shaw Watanabe
Department Of Integrative Medicine, Lifescience Promoting Association, Japan

*Corresponding Author:
Shaw Watanabe
Department Of Integrative Medicine, Lifescience Promoting Association, Japan

Published on: 2020-12-21


Introduction: Ayurvedic therapies and medical practices have been elaborated for some patients in Japan. The characteristic of Ayurvedic treatment is a detoxication with a large amount of oil treatment by body surface oil massage and purgation therapy with ghee or specially arranged herbal oil. Changes of intestinal microbiota during these treatments have not been well studied.
Method: Participants were recruited from Hatai Ayurveda Clinic in Tokyo. Virechana therapy, a purification therapy, or Basti therapy (decoction and oil enema) was carried out on 13 patients with various manifestations. All participants provided lifestyle, dietary habits, past, and present illness by the questionnaire, and precise condition was recorded during admission to the end of camp. Fecal samples were taken at the entry, during treatment, at the discharge, and three weeks later for analyzing intestinal microbiota by seqyebcubg 16srRNA gene.
Results: Body weight decreased by about 5% by Virechana therapy, while it did not occur by Basti, but body fat increased 4% (2.2 kg) on average in both groups. Various clinical manifestations of participants became improved, especially on a skin rash and atopic change.
The depressed patient also revived with a will of living. They are mostly vegetarians and had more Bacteroidetes (48.09±7.51%), Firmicutes (38.27±10.82%), and Actinobacteria (3.30± 3.58%) than omnivores who had more Proteobacteria (10.73±4.75%), Fusobacteria (2.40±6.25%) and Cyanobacteria (0.09± 0.24%). When the groups were divided by oil consumption, ghee users showed higher Fusobacterium and less Firmicutes and Actinobacteria. Virechana therapy caused remarkable microbiota changes after the pretreatment, such as the decrease of Firmicutes and increase of Proteobacteria. At the genus-species level, the increase of Enterobacteriaceae and loss of Akkermansia municiphila were noteworthy. Niruha Basti and Matra Basti decreased Firmicutes and increased Proteobacteria (p=0.096). Fusobacterium also increased. After the discharge, Proteobacteria remained high, but Firmicutes returned to 30% on average, ranging from 25% to 50%. Three weeks later, the variety increased by Fusobacterium, Verrucomicrobia, Tenericutes, and Lentisphaerae. The variety of species also increased three weeks later.
Conclusion: Various complaints of the participants improved by the Ayurvedic treatment with a large amount of oil treatment by body surface oil massage and purgation therapy. It caused changes in intestinal microbiota, and bacterial metabolites may affect skin lesions and mental health like depressive feeling.


Ayurveda; Virechana; Niruha Basti; Matra Basti; Intestinal Microbiota; Bacteroidetes; Firmicutes; Actinobacteria; Fusobacterium; Verrucomicrobia; Tenericutes; Lentisphaerae; Purgative; Case Study


Ayurvedic therapies and medical practices have been elaborated for some patients in Japan. Ayurveda means the science of life in Sanskrit, emphasizes the adoption of many healing therapies, which can purify and rejuvenate the body, mind, and soul [1-4]. The medicinal form of science is not just a healing system but also an art of appropriate, healthy, and disease-free living [5-7].
Ayurvedic medicine’s central concept is the theory that health exists when there is a balance between the three fundamental bodily bio elements, called Dosha, which is composed of Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Doshas are the forces that create the physical body. They determine conditions of growth, aging, health, and disease. Typically, one or two of the three Doshas predominates and picks a constitution or mindbody type. By understanding individual habits, emotional responses, and body type, practitioners can adapt their practice accordingly.
A traditional Ayurvedic detoxification program referred to as Panchakarma (consisting of five varieties of purificatory therapy) aims to help the body re-establish a healthy metabolic system and immunity [8].
The characteristic of Ayurvedic treatment is detoxification with a large amount of oil treatment by body surface oil massage and purgation therapy (or eliminating therapy) with ghee or specially arranged herbal oil [9]. Virechana therapy is an effective Ayurvedic treatment that can cure many health problems naturally. The Virechana therapy detox program, which may take seven to 14 days, is reported safe from any side effects.
Ayurveda treatments focused on alleviating any excesses Dosha (illness) via powerful herbs and/or through the improvement of general lifestyle practices such as Dinacharya (daily Ayurvedic rituals practiced regularly, help to support a life of optimal wellness through routine), Pranayama (the regulation of the breath through certain techniques and exercises) and Meditation [3].
Panchakarma therapy encompasses five treatments that can prevent and heal a number of illnesses. Virechana therapy is defined as the medicated purgation therapy, which cleanses the excess Pitta, leading to purifying blood by clearing the toxins from the body [10]. The treatment concentrates on the lipophilic toxins that are accumulated in the liver and gall bladder. The gastro-intestinal tract is also cleansed by Virechana therapy. Virechana, a purification therapy, causes severe diarrhea, but the effects on intestinal microbiota have not been well studied yet. In this study clinical products and changes of intestinal microbiota during 11 days of Virechana therapy and 5 or 6 days change by Basti Therapy (alteration of decoction and oil enema) are reported.

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