Ivory enema syringe, Sri Lanka, 1750-1799

Syringe, Sri Lankan, 16th century.
An ivory enema syringe from Sri Lanka dating from the late 1700s. An enema (vasthi) introduces fluid into the lower bowel via the anus. A single Ayurvedic treatment might involve several enemas using oils mixed with different medicinal herbs – depending on the patient’s condition. Some enemas remain inside the patient and have a direct medicinal effect, others actively remove waste products from the body.
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