Srotas: Body Channels

The word ‘srota’ has been used frequently in the preceding pages related to the channel systems of the body. Many of the srota systems are equivalent to the physiological systems of the body like the digestive, respiratory and nervous systems. It should be clear by now that a clean and healthy srota with the proper flow of energy is necessary for a healthy body. Srota systems are as important as the dosas, malas and dhatus. Srotas and their functions are briefly described in Table 10.

All body parts that are hollow (dominated by the space element), which carry water, food, mala, dhatu, sound and nerve impulses are called ‘srota. ‘They also transport essential materials like the dhatus from one part of the body to another. Since they circulate various substances throughout the body, they are termed ‘srotas’ or the channels’2*. These hollow body parts have different shapes and sizes. Some are tubes, others are long, thin and wide and others have a complex system of branches, much like creepers. Some srotas are visible to the naked eye, while many others are not. They are usually of the same color as the substances that they carry.

Table 10: Srotas – Causes of Vitiation, Symptoms and Treatment

 

S.No.

 

Name and Function

 

Controlling Organs

 

Cause of vitiation

 

Symptoms

 

Treatment

 

L

 

Pranavahu xrota (carries breath and life -force)

 

Heart and alimentary canal

 

Wasting, suppression of natural urges, eating dry foods in excess, exercising while hungry.

 

Obstructed, shallow or rapid breathing. Bronchial asthma also relates to it.

 

Treatment for respiratory problems such as bronchial asthma.

 

2.

 

Udakavaha srota (carries water and other liquids like juices of liver and pancreas)

 

Palate, pancreas

 

Exposure Lo heat, heat stroke, indigestion, excessive intoxication, eating extremely dry foods and remaining thirsty.

 

Dry lips, tongue, palate and throat.

 

Treatment for excessive thirst.

 

3.

 

Annavaha srota (carries food ingested from the mouth)

 

Stomach, left portion

 

Irregular eating habits, over-eating, eating unhealthy food and low digestive power.

 

Loss of appetite, anorexia, vomiting, indigestion.

 

Remedies for ama doxa and indigestion work well.

 

4.

 

Rasavaha srota (carries chyle, lymph, plasma)

 

Heart and the blood vessels connected with heart

 

Worry, diet comprising of excessively heavy, cold and greasy foods.

 

Anorexia, nausea, heaviness, drowsiness, syncope, anemia, impotency.

 

Fasting

 

5.

 

Raktavarui srnta (carries blood, especially hemoglobin)

 

Liver, spleen

 

Pungent, hot and oily food, exposure to excessive sun and heat.

 

Chronic skin diseases, intrinsic hemorrhage (bleeding), abscesses, inflammation in anus and genital organs.

 

Blood-letting   in diseased parts.

 

6.

 

Mamsavaha srota (carries ingredients of muscular tissues)

 

Tendons, ligaments and skin

 

Sleeping immediately after meals, frequent intake of heavy and gross foods in bulk.

 

Severe skin diseases, palate inflamation, g ran u lorn a, myoma, piles, goiter, adenitis, tonsilitis, cancers and non-malignant growths.

 

Surgery, heal therapy and ksara therapy (local application of alkalis). Pranayama to strengthen the life force, which can even cure cancer and other malignant growths.

 

7.

 

Medovaha srata (carries ingredients of adipose tissues)

 

Kidney, adipose (fat) tissue in the abdomen

 

Sleeping during the daytime, lack of exercise, excessive alcohol and oil- rich diet.

 

Severe urinary disorders, diabetes.

 

Weight reduction remedies or anti-obesity treatment, lightning therapy, fasting, yoga and exercise.

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8

 

Axthivaha am la

(carries nutrients that nourish bones)

 

 

bone and tissues

 

Excessive exercise involving friction of bones, intake of food that causes Vattt.

 

 

 

 

Cracking or distortion of nails and teeth, pain in bones, bones cancer, change in hair texture (because hair is the waste product of bone).

 

 

 

Pancakarma foasti (enema) using bitter herbal medicines processed with milk and clarified butter.

 

 

 

 

 

9.Majjavahu srota (carries nutrients of bones, joints and bone marrow)Bones and joints

 

Incompatible food (fish and milk, honey and hot foods),  injury to bone

marrow by crushing,

compression

 

 

 

Pain in joints, giddiness, fainting, loss of memory, blackouts, deep abscesses.

 

 

 

 

 

Using sweet and bitter substances, sexual activity, exercise, elimination of dosa on time and in right amount.

 

 

 

 

 

 

10.

 

Sukravaha srotu  Sex at improper

 

Impotence,

 

Virility and

 

 

 

(carries sperm,

 

 time, unnatural

 

infertility, abortion,

 

dhatu restorative

 

 

 

ovum and their

 

 sex, suppression or

 

defective pregnancy.

 

treatment. Use of

 

 

 

nutrients)

 

 excess of sex.

 

 

 

aphrodisiacs.

 

11.

 

Mtttravaha srota

 

 Food, drinks and

 

Excessive or no

 

Same treatment as

 

 

 

(carries urine)

 

 sex during urge

 

urination. Frequent

 

for dysuria (difficult

 

 

 

 

 

 for urination,

 

urination, viscous

 

urination).

 

 

 

 

 

 suppression of the

 

urine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 urge for urination.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 specially by those

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 suffering from

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 tuberculosis.

 

 

 

 

 

12.

 

Purisavaha srota

 

 Suppression of urge

 

I, ess or excessive

 

Treatment similar

 

 

 

(carries fecal matter)

 

 to defecate, intake of

 

excretion of fecal

 

to the one given

 

 

 

 

 

 food before digestion

 

matter, hard stool.

 

in diarrhea, using

 

 

 

 

 

 of previous meal,

 

 

 

laxatives and

 

 

 

 

 

 weak digestion.

 

 

 

purgatives, balanced diet and yogasanas.

 

13.

 

Svedavaha srota

 

 Excessive exercise,

 

Absence of

 

Treatment as for

 

 

 

(carries sweat)

 

 anger, grief, fear.

 

or excessive

 

fever, balanced

 

 

 

 

 

 exposure to heat.

 

perspiration, dryness

 

exercise, balanced

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

of skin. Horripilation

 

diet and drinks. In

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

(Hair erection).

 

excess perspiration

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

Burning sensation

 

drink juice of

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

on the skin.

 

tinospora (giloya),

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

leaves of Bengal

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

quince (hilva) and

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

Indian rosewood

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

tree (xisama).

 

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