Srotas: Body Channels and Duct systems – Easy Explanation

Article by Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay)
Transportation has been one of the keys for evolution of mankind. In search of food, shelter and basic necessities to live, man wandered from place to place; exploring the unseen part of creation.

To achieve that, he learnt to pave his pathway to various destinations, made colonies, built cities, created jobs and got credited for being the most intelligent and privileged part of creation.

When he had to travel for long distances knowing that the universe is more than what he knew it to be; he invented vehicles for the purpose of travelling and transportation.

A cleanly crafted pathway, a well equipped vehicle and a basic intelligence of travelling the path all along its distance and back on the part of man has connected different corners of the world and has led to super-evolution.

Where would have the man got the idea from?
May be he had got that idea from a mechanism which already exists within his inside, which he is unaware about; but has its collective intelligence which has been installed within him as a hidden memory. We generally don’t explore or get an idea of doing so about the things we already have!!

Man probably did not know that he was made of similar pathways within self until medical science announced it!!

The pathways within the human body which communicates and links the different corners,
The pathways which help in manufacture and transportation of essential ingredients which support the life entity, the basic amenities needed to manufacture and create the tissues of the body and to flush out the unnecessary things which contaminate the inner sanctum,
The pathways, the sterility and healthy existence and proper functioning of which defines our existence, health and immunity status,
The pathways, when get blocked, chocked, clogged or contaminated leads to serious damages, diseases and also death,

The creation’s most sophisticated, complex and most intelligent, self-monitored pathways and channel system…
The channel, tubular, transportation and duct system of our body!!

Yes, in this article we are about to discuss about those millions of ducts, tubes and channels which make what we are, which keeps us connected to the interior and exterior worlds, which connects us to selves, which binds the body, mind, senses and soul under one roof, which makes and breaks us, which phenomenally carry out all the life activities and functions effortlessly and selflessly, they are called ‘Srotas’ (plural Srotases).

body channels srotas

Yes! Ayurveda was the first medical system to announce and describe the existence of these millions of pathways within the human body. They called these ducts or channels or tubular or transportation systems of the body as ‘Srotas’.
This ‘Srotas’ will be the topic of our discussion in this article.

What is Srotas?

Sravanaat srotaamsi (Ref – Charaka Sutra 30/12)
Sravanaat iti rasaadihi iva poshakasya sravanaat (Chakrapani, commentary on Charaka Sutra)
Sravanaat rasaadi sraava pathatvaat srotaamsi (Gangadhara commentary on Charaka sutra)
Those from which Sravana or flow of body substances take place or those through which the materials flow in the body are called Srotases

Thus Srotases are the channels of the body through which the materials needed for tissue building, nutrition and other nutrients flow from one corner of the body to the other. We can tell that the materials are transported through the channels from the place of production to place of need.

Gangadhara, the commentator of Charaka explains that the pathways through which Rasa, rakta etc tissues are transported or the pathways through which the tissues flow are called Srotas

According to Chakrapani, the commentator of Charaka Samhita, the channels which transport the Poshaka dhatus (the part of the rasa etc tissues which flow to provide nutrition to the successive tissues) are called Srotas.


Poshaka Dhatu

Dhatus or tissues are of 7 types according to Ayurveda. They are:
Rasa (Lymph, plasma or serum)
Rakta (blood cells)
Mamsa (muscles or flesh)
Meda (fat)
Asthi (bone)
Majja (bone marrow)
Shukra (semen)

All these tissues are a product of Ahara rasa or nutrient essence of food.
First of all the food is properly digested in the stomach and intestines. The essence of the food is called Ahara Rasa or Poshaka Rasa Dhatu. This is the first tissue. This comes to the heart and is circulated all over the body to provide nutrition to all the dhatus or tissues.

Each dhatu has a dhatvagni or tissue fire. When the nutrient juices or essence of food in circulation comes to them, they take the materials or portions needed by them according to law of selective absorption.

Tissue fire of Rasa dhatu, Rasa Dhatwagni acts on the nutritive Rasa and breaks it into Poshya or sthayi rasa dhatu (the rasa dhatu proper). Thus the Poshaka (that which provides nutrition) rasa gets converted into Poshya or sthayi rasa (that which is nourished).

The sthayi rasa dhatu nourishes the rasa dhatu components all over the body. The other part of the nutritive essence gets converted into Poshya Rakta dhatu which moves ahead to nourish Rakta dhatu (blood tissue).

In Rakta dhatu, the tissue fire of blood tissue, Rakta Dhatwagni acts on the Poshya Rakta dhatu and converts it into sthayi rakta dhatu (local blood tissue) and another part becomes poshaka Mamsa dhatu, the portion which nourishes the next tissue i.e. Mamsa dhatu or muscle tissue.

This procedure continues until the final tissue Shukra dhatu or semen is formed.

Note – According to Ayurveda, the tissues are formed one after the other in that successive order. The predecessor dhatu will form the successive dhatu. Thus, Rasa forms Rakta, Rakta forms Mamsa, Mamsa forms Meda, Meda forms Asthi, Asthi forms Majja and Majja forms Shukra dhatu in that order.

Finally after Shukra dhatu, Ojas (essence of all the tissues) is formed, which determines the immunity and healthy life span of an individual (in a condition wherein its quality and quantity is balanced).

Thus the flow of Poshaka dhatu (the part of tissue which nourishes the successive tissue) flows in the channels called Srotas. (The sthayi dhatu or the local tissue will not flow because they stay at their places and support the

Srotaamsi khalu parinaamam aapadhyamaanaanaam dhaatoonaam abhivaahini bhavanti ayana arthena (Ref- Charaka Vimana 5/3)
The Srotases are the channels in the body which are involved in the uninterrupted transportation of tissues which are in the process of transformation or converting themselves so as to be suitable for forming their successive dhatus or tissues. (This definition also gives the similar meaning of Srotas as explained above in elaboration)
Praana anna vaari rasa shonita maamsa medo vahatvam srotasaam (Ref- Sushruta Shaareera 9, Dalhana commentary)
Those which carry or transport materials like Prana (life element or oxygen or air), anna (food), vaari (water), mamsa (muscle tissue), meda (fat) etc are called Srotases

Structure of Srotas

Structure (characteristics and qualities) of Srotas –

Moolat khaadantaram dehe prasrutam tu abhivaahi yat
Srotaha tat iti vigneyam siraa dhamanee varjitam (Ref – Sushruta shaareera 9)
Srotases are distributed from the root to any terminal portion of the structure or body.

Srotases are located within the spaces of the body; they spread all through the body and carry essential materials. They are totally different structures from Siras (veins, lymphatics etc) and dhamanis (arteries, nerves?).

Swa dhatu sama varnaani vrutta sthoolaani anooni cha
Srotaamsi deerghaani aakrutyaa prataana sadrushaani cha (Ref – Charaka Vimana 5/25)
The srotas has the color of the dhatu (tissue) that they are carrying or transporting. They are of different shapes and sizes viz, round, thick, large, small, microscopic, elongated and form network and branches.

With this description, each and every cell can be considered as a srotas since the transportation mechanism occurs within the cell and between cells.

Yaavanto hi moortimanto bhaava visheshaaha taavanta eva asmin srotasaam prakaara visheshaha (Ref – Charaka Vimana 5/3)
Describing the varieties of Srotas Charaka specified that as many solid structures are present in the body, the same number and types of Srotas are also present.

Synonyms of Srotas

Paryaaya – Srotaamsi, siraa, dhamanyaha, rasaayanyaha, rasa vaahinyaha, naadyaha, panthaanaha, maargaaha, shareera chidraani, samvruta asamvrutaani, sthaanaani, aashayaaha, niketaaha shareera dhaatu avakaashaanaam lakshya alakshyaanaam naamaani bhavanti (Ref – Charaka Vimana 5/9)
Srotases are available in different forms and shapes.

The below mentioned are the different names or synonyms of all the visible and invisible srotases available in the body –
Sira, Dhamani, Rasaayana, Rasa vaahini, Naadi, Panthaanaha, Maargaaha, Shareera chidraani, Samvruta-asamvruta
Sthaana, Aashaya, Niketa etc

Types of Srotas

Basically the Srotas are of two types,
Bahir mukha srotas (Mahanti srotas) – External openings or apertures
Antar mukha srotas (Sukshma srotas or Yogavahi srotas) – Internal channels of the body

Bahirmukha Srotas – external orifices:
Bahihi Mukha srotas –
Naasaa nayana karnaanaam dve dve randhre prakeertite
Mehana apaana vaktraanaam ekam ekam randhram uchyate
Dashamam mastake proktam randhraani iti nrunaam viduhu
Streenaam treeni adhikaani syuhu stanayoho garbha vartmanaha
Bahirmukha srotas (Bahi=external, mukha=opening, srotas=channels) – Bahirmukha srotas are those which have their openings on the outside (exterior) of the body. They are essentially large openings.

They are 10 in number:
2 each in nose (nostrils), ears (external ear openings) and eyes (orbital openings)
1 each in the penis, mouth (oral cavity) and anal orifice
The 10th one is located in the head

In women there are 3 more orifices – 2 in stana (breasts) and 1 in garbha vartma (cervical opening or opening of the birth canal)

Srotaamsi dwi vidhaani aahuhu sookshmaani cha mahanti cha
Mahanti nava jaaneeyaat dve cha adhaha sapta cha upari
Naabhihi cha roma koopaaha cha sookshma srotaamsi nirdishet (Ref – Jeevaka vichaya shaareera)
According to ‘Jeevaka vichaya shaareera’, Srotas is of 2 types – Sukshma srotas and Mahanti srotas

Mahanti srotas are of 9 types, two of them are located in the lower part of the body and 7 of them are located in the upper part of the body. The Nabhi (navel) and the orifices or millions of minute pores of the skin are considered as Sukshma srotas.

Shareera sookshma chidraani cha anyaani madaani tvachi janminaam (Ref – Shaarngdhara Prathama 5/64)
The small pores or minute orifices of the body are the sookshma srotases which take their origin in the skin

Antarmukha Srotas or Yogavahi Srotas – internal body channels
Yogo apoorva arthe sampraaptau sangati dhyaana yuktishu
Vapuhu sthairya prayoge cha niskambhaadishu bheshaje (Ref – Medinee Shaareera 3/18)
Antaha=internal, Mukha=opening, Srotas-channels
Antarmukha srotases are those channels which are present inside the body and also have their openings within the body.

They are also called by the name Yogavahi Srotas. The word Yoga means a dravya (matter or material a srotas carries) as the srotases carry Rasa and other dhatus.

According to Charaka there are 13 main Antarmukha Srotases.

They are:
Pranavaha Srotas – Channels carrying the vital life element or air
Annavaha Srotas – Channels transporting food
Udakavaha Srotas – Channels carrying water and controlling water metabolism
Rasavaha srotas – Channels carrying the nutritional essence
Raktavaha Srotas – Channels carrying the blood
Mamsavaha srotas – Channels carrying muscle tissue
Medovaha Srotas – Channels carrying fat tissue
Asthivaha Srotas – Channels transporting the bone tissue
Majjavaha Srotas – Channels carrying the bone marrow tissue
Shukravaha Srotas – Channels carrying the semen or reproductive tissue
Mutravaha srotas – Channels carrying urine out of the body
Purishavaha Srotas – Channels carrying stools out of the body
Swedavaha Srotas – Channels carrying the sweat

According to Sushruta, there are 11 pairs of Yogavahi or Antarmukha srotases. They are:
Pranavaha Srotas – Channels carrying the vital life element or air
Annavaha Srotas – Channels transporting food
Udakavaha Srotas – Channels carrying water and controlling water metabolism
Rasavaha srotas – Channels carrying the nutritional essence
Raktavaha Srotas – Channels carrying the blood
Mamsavaha srotas – Channels carrying muscle tissue
Medovaha Srotas – Channels carrying fat tissue
Shukravaha Srotas – Channels carrying the semen or reproductive tissue
Mutravaha srotas – Channels carrying urine out of the body
Purishavaha Srotas – Channels carrying stools out of the body
Artava Srotas – Channels carrying the menstrual blood (in women)

Pranavaha Srotas

Pranavaha Srotas – Channels carrying vital life element or air (oxygen)

Tatra Prana vahe dwe tayoho moolam hrudayam rasa vaahinyaha cha dhamanyaha
Tatra viddhasya aakroshana vinamana mohana vepanaani maranam vaa bhavati (Ref – Sushruta Shaareera 9/12)
Tatra Praana vahaanaam srotasaam hrudayam moolam mahaa srotaha cha
Ati srushtam ati badham kupitam alpam alpam abheekshnam vaa sa shabda shoolam uchchvaasantam drushtvaa praana vahaani asya srotaamsi pradushtaani iti vidhyaat (Ref – Charaka Vimana 5/7)
According to Sushruta –
Pranavaha Srotas are 2 in number.

They have their roots of origin in –
Hrudaya – Heart and
Rasa vahini dhamanis – The vessels or channels or terminal branches of arteries which transport nutrition to various parts of the body

Symptoms of injury to Pranavaha Srotas:
Aakroshana – Screaming
Vinamana – Bending of body
Mohana – Perplexing
Bhramana – Giddiness
Vepana – Tremors
Maranam – Death

According to Charaka –
The roots of Pranavaha Srotas are located in:
Hrudaya – Heart and
Maha Srotas – Greater srotas which is the abode of Amashaya and Pakwashaya (stomach, small intestines and large intestines)

Symptoms of vitiation of Pranavaha srotas –
Atis srushta shwasam – too long (prolonged) breathing
Ati baddham – too short breathing (short of breathe)
Kupitam shwasam – difficult breathing
Alpam alpam shwasam – frequent and interrupted / intermittent breathing
Abheekshnam shwasam – highly disturbed breathing patterns looking scary
Sa shabda shwasam – abnormal sounds during breathing
Sa shula shwasam – painful breathing

Causes of Pranavaha Srotas vitiation:
Ref – Charaka Vimana 5/10
Kshaya – depletion of tissues
Sandhaaranaat – forcibly withholding the natural body reflexes or urges Example, those of stools, urine etc
Roukshyaat – intake of dry foods
Vyaayaamaat Kshudhitasya – excessive exercise in presence of hunger
Anya daaruna kaarya – doing many such activities which are beyond ones physical capacity

Management of vitiation of Pranavaha Srotas –
The vitiation of Pranavaha Srotas should be managed on the lines of treatment of Hridroga (heart diseases), Kasa (cough) and Shwasa (breathing disorders, dyspnoea).
Read related: Pranavaha Srotas: Channels Carrying Vital Life Element – Oxygen

Udakavaha Srotas

Udaka Vaha Srotas – Channels responsible for water transportation or centres controlling water balance in the body

Udaka vahe dwe tayoho moolam taalu kloma cha
Tatra viddhasya pipaasaa sadhyo maranam cha (Ref –Sushruta Shaareera 9/12)
Udaka vahaanaam srotasaam taalu moolam kloma cha, pradushtaanaam tu khalu eshaam idam vishesha vignaanam bhavati, tadhyathaa – Jihwaa taalu oshta kantha kloma shosham pipaasaam cha ati pravruddam drushtvaa udaka vahaani asya srotaamsi pradushtaani iti vidhyaat (Ref – Charaka Vimana 5/7)
According to Sushruta –
The Udakavaha Srotas or the channels responsible for water regulation and supply in the body are 2 in number. They have their roots of origin in –
Talu – palate
Kloma – is a controversial organ and has been compared to pharynx, pancreas, lungs, gall bladder and water regulating centers in the brain

Symptoms of injury to the Udakavaha srotas:
Pipasa – severe thirst
Maranam – death (when there is water deficit or imbalance for a longer duration and has not been compensated)

According to Charaka –
The roots of Udaka vaha srotas are located in Talu and Kloma (same as Sushrutas explanation)

Symptoms of vitiation of Udakavaha Srotas:
Jihwa shosha – dryness of the tongue
Taalu shosha – dryness of the palate
Oshta shosha – dryness of lips
Kantha shosha – dryness of the throat
Kloma shosha – dryness in kloma
Ati pravriddam pipaasaa – severe thirst

Causes for vitiation of Udakavaha srotas:
Aushnyaat aamaat bhayaat paanaat ati shushka anna sevanaat
Ambu vaaheeni dushyanti trushnaayaaha cha ati peedanaat (Ref – Charaka Vimana 5/11)
Ushna aahaara vihara – Hot foods and comforts
Aama – due to presence of products of undigested food or metabolic toxins in the body or in circulation
Bhayaat – fear
Paanaat – excessive consumption of alcohol
Shushka anna sevana – consumption of dry foods
Trushnaa peedana – habit of withholding the urge for drinking water or holding on to the urge of thirst frequently

Management of vitiation of Udakavaha srotas –
The treatment of vitiation of udakavaha srotas should be done on the lines of treatment of Trishna (thirst) chikitsa (line of treatment of thirst disorder)

Annavaha Srotas

Anna Vaha Srotas – Channels transporting food

Anna vahe dwe, tayoho moolam aamaashayaha cha anna vaahinyaha cha dhamanyaha
Tatra viddhasya aadhmaanam shoolo anna vidwesho chardihi pipaasaa aandhyam maranam cha (Ref – Sushruta Shareera – 9)
Anna vahaanaam srotasaam aamaashayo moolam vaamam cha paarshwam, pradushtaanaam tu khalu eshaam idam vishesha vignaanam bhavati, tad yathaa – ananna abhilaashanam arochaka avipaakau chardim cha drushtvaa anna vahaani asya srotaamsi pradushtaani iti vidhyaat (Ref – Charaka Vimana – 5/7)
According to Sushruta –
Annavaha Srotas or channels carrying the food are 2 in number and their roots are situated in –
Aamashaya – Stomach (with oesophagus and most part of small intestine)
Annavahini dhamanis – If dhamani is taken in the meaning of tubes or channels, oesophagus and small intestine can be considered as Annavahini dhamani. The blood vessels and nerves supplying the stomach and upper alimentary tract can also be considered as Annavahini dhamanis.

Symptoms of injury to Annavaha srotas:
Aadhmaana – flatulence
Shula – colic or pain abdomen
Anna vidwesha – aversion to food or anorexia
Chardi – vomiting
Pipaasaa – thirst
Aandhya – blindness
Maranam – death

According to Charaka –
The root of origin for Annavaha srotas are:
Aamashaya – stomach
Vama parshwa – left lateral side of the body (oesophagus and stomach can be taken as vama parshwa, stomach is located in the left lateral side of the abdomen)
Symptoms of vitiation of Annavaha Srotas –
Ananna abhilasha – aversion towards food (anorexia, loss of interest towards any form of food)
Arochaka – tastelessness
Avipaaka – indigestion
Chardi – vomiting

Causes for vitiation of Annavaha Srotas –
Ati maatrasya cha akale cha ahitasya cha bhojanaat
Anna vaaheeni dushyanti vaigunyaat paavakasya cha (Ref – Charaka Vimana 5/12)
Atimaatrasya akaale – untimely intake of heavy quantity of food
Ahita bhojana – unwholesome food
Vaigunyat paavakasya – disturbance or vitiation of the belly fire

Management of vitiation of Annavaha Srotas –
The disorders arising from the vitiation of Annavaha srotas should be treated on the lines of treatment of Ama pradosha (i.e. treatment of disorders arising due to the presence of improperly processed food and tissue toxins arising due to sluggish tissue metabolism, in short it should be treated on the lines of treatment of metabolic errors).

Thus Deepana (fire increasing medicines, metabolism increasing medicines and treatments, appetizers) and Pachana (digestants and medicines destroying ama) should be administered.

Rasavaha Srotas

Rasavaha Srotas – Channels carrying the essence of nutrition

Rasa vahe dwe tayoho moolam hrudayam rasa vaahinyaha cha dhamanyaha
Tatra viddasya shoshaha praana vaha viddavat cha maranam tat lingaani cha (Ref – Sushruta Shaareera 9/12)
Rasa vahaanaam srotasaam hrudayam moolam dasha cha dhamanyaha (Ref Charaka Vimana 5/7)
Ashraddha cha aruchihi cha aasya vairasyam arasagnataa
Hrullaso gauravam tandraa sa anga mardo jwaraha tamaha
Paandutvam srotasaam rodhaha klaibyam saadaha krushaangataa
Naasho agnehe ayathaa kaalam balayaha palitaani cha rasa pradoshaja rogaaha (Ref – Charaka Sutra 28/9,10)
According to Sushruta –
Rasa vaha srotas or channels carrying the nutritive essence to every part of the body are 2 in number. They have their roots in –
Hrudaya – Heart
Rasa vahini dhamanees – the arteries carrying the rasa to every part of the body
Symptoms of damage

to Rasavaha srotas –
Shosha – emaciation
Pranavaha srotas viddha lakshana – symptoms similar to those occurring due to injury to Pranavaha srotas
Maranam – death

According to Charaka –
The root of origin of Annavaha Srotas lies in –
Hridaya – Heart and
Dasha Dhamanis – 10 great arteries taking their origin from heart and successively divide into small branches as they get distributed all through the body

Symptoms of vitiation of Rasavaha Srotas –
Ashraddha – lack of interest in the food
Aruchi – tastelessness
Aasya vairasya – feeling of weird tastes in the mouth
Arasagnata – failure to identify any taste
Hrullasa – watering of mouth, excessive salivation, nausea
Gourava – heaviness
Tandra – drowsiness
Angamarda – pain in body parts
Jwara – fever
Tama – feeling of darkness before the eyes
Pandutva – anaemia
Srotorodha – block in multiple channels of the body
Klaibya – impotence
Saada – fatigue, stoppage of working of organs and tissues
Krushangataa – emaciation
Nasho agnehe – destruction of agni, the metabolic fire
Vali – premature wrinkling of skin
Palita – premature greying of hairs

Causes of vitiation of Rasavaha srotas –
Guru sheetam ati snigdham ati maatram samashnataam
Rasa vaaheeni dushyanti chintyaanaam cha ati chintanaat (Ref – Charaka Vimana 5/13)
Guru aahara – heavy foods
Sheeta aahara – cold foods
Ati snigdha – excessive consumption of oily foods
Ati maatram – eating in excess
Ati chintanaat – excessive thinking (stress)

Management of vitiation of Rasavaha srotas –
Rasajaanaam vikaaraanaam sarva langanam aushadham (Ref – Charaka sutra 28/25)
In the management of vitiation of Rasavaha srotas and the disorders of their origin, all types of Langhana should be followed.

Langhana means lightening therapies (which produce lightness in the body). Langhana is of 10 types.

They are:
Vamana – therapeutic emesis
Virechana – therapeutic purgation
Shirovirechana (nasya) – nasal medications
Niruha vasti – evacuation or cleansing enemas
Pipaasa – not drinking water
Maruta – exposure to breeze
Aatapa – exposure to sunlight
Paachana – medicines or treatments which can digest and destroy ama (metabolic wastes)
Upavasa – starvation
Vyaayaama – exercise

Raktavaha Srotas

Raktavaha Srotas – Channels carrying or transporting blood

Rakta vhae dwe tayoho moolam yakrut pleehaanau rakta vaahinyaha cha dhamanyaha
Tatra viddasya shyaava angataa jwaro daahaha paandutaa shonita aagamanam rakta netrataa cha (Ref – Sushruta sutra 9/12)
Shonita vahaanaam srotasaam yakrut moolam pleehaa cha (Ref – Charaka Vimana 5/7)
Vakshyante rakta doshajaaha,
Guda medhra aasya paakaha cha pleehaa gulmo atha vidradhihi Neelikaa kaamalaa vyangaha piplavaha tilakaalakaha
Dadruhu charmadalam shvitram paamaa kotha asra mandalam
Rakta pradoshaat jaayante…(Ref – Charaka Sutra 28/11,12)
According to Sushruta –
Raktavaha Srotas or channels carrying blood are 2 in number and are rooted in –
Yakrut-Pleeha – Liver and spleen and
Rakta vaahini dhamanees – the arteries transporting the blood

Symptoms of vitiation of raktavaha srotas –
Shyaava angataa – blackish brown or greyish discolouration of body parts
Jwara – fever
Daaha – burning sensation
Paandutaa – anaemia or pallor
Shonita aagamana – bleeding from different orifices of body
Rakta netrataa – reddish discoloration of eyes

According to Charaka –
The roots of Raktavaha srotas are located in:
Yakrit – Liver
Pleeha – Spleen

Symptoms of vitiation of Raktavaha srotas –
Guda paka – inflammation and suppuration of anal canal and anal orifice
Medhra Paaka – inflammation and suppuration of penis
Aasya paaka – Ulceration of mouth and tongue, stomatitis,
Pleehaa – Enlargement of spleen
Gulmo – abdominal tumours
Vidradhi – Abscess
Neelikaa – bluish eruptions
Kamala – Jaundice
Vyangaha piplavaha tilakaalakaha – includes pigmentation and melanin related problems like freckles, mole, melano-derma, chloasma etc
Dadruhu – Ringworm or tines
Charmadalam – excoriation
Shvitram – leukoderma
Paamaa – Scabies
Kotha – skin eruptions
Asra mandalam – Reddish circular skin eruptions or patches

Causes of vitiation of Raktavaha srotas –
Vidaaheeni anna paanaani snigdha ushnaani dravaani cha
Rakta vaaheeni dushyanti bhajataam cha aatapa analau (Ref – Charaka Vimaana 5/14)
Vidaahee anna paana – foods and drinks which cause burning sensation after their consumption (corrosive foods and drinks)
Snigdha aahara – oily foods
Ushna aahara – hot foods
Drava aahara – liquid foods
Aatapa – exposure to sunlight
Anala – exposure to fire

Management of vitiation of Raktavaha Srotas –
Vidhi shonita adhyaaye raktajaanaam bhishak jitam (Ref – Charaka Sutra 28/25)
The diseases caused due to vitiation of Rakta vaha srotas should be managed on the lines of treatment and management explained in the chapter ‘Vidhi shonitiya’ of Charaka Sutra sthana.

Kuryaat shonita rogeshu rakta pitta harem kriyaam
Virekam upavaasam cha sraavanam shonitasya cha (Ref – Charaka Sutra 24/18)
The management includes:
Raktapitta hara kriyam – Treating on the lines of management of Raktapitta (bleeding disorders)
Virechanam – therapeutic purgation
Upavaasam – starvation
Rakta mokshana – bloodletting

Mamsavaha Srotas

Mamsavaha Srotas – Channels transporting muscle tissue

Mamsa vahe dwe tayoho moolam snaayu twacham rakta vahaaha cha dhamanyaha Tatra viddashya shvayathuhu shoshaha siraa granthayo maranam cha (Ref – Sushruta Shaareera 9/12)
Maamsa vahaanaam srotasaam snaayuhu moolam twak cha (Ref – Charaka Vimana 5/7)
…Shrunu maamsa pradoshajaan, Adhi maamsa arbudam keelam gala shaalooka shundike
Pooti maamsa alajee ganda gandamalo upajihwikaa
Vidhyaat maamsa aashrayaan…(Ref Charaka Sutra 28/13,14)
According to Sushruta,
Mamsavaha srotas are 2 in number. They have their roots in –
Snayu-twak – Ligaments and skin
Rakta vahini dhamanees – the arteries carrying blood

Symptoms of damage to Mamsavaha srotas –
Shwayathu – swelling / oedema
Mamsa shosha – wasting of muscles
Sira granthi – tumours or clots in the blood vessels

According to Charaka –
The roots of origin of Mamsavaha srotas are situated in –
Snayu – Ligaments and tendons
Twak – Skin

Symptoms of vitiation of Mamsa vaha srotas –
Adhi maamsa – Excessive growth of muscle tissue
Arbudam – tumours
Keelam – Tonsillitis?
Gala shaalooka – Adenoids
Gala shundike – elongated uvula
Pooti maamsa – muscle necrosis
Galaganda – Goitre
Gandamala – cervical lymphadenitis
Upajihwikaa – Epiglottitis

Management of disorders caused due to vitiation of Mamsavaha srotas –

Maamsajaanaam tu samshuddhihi shastra kshaara agni karma cha (Ref – Charaka Sutra 28/26)
The below said treatments can be administered to effectively handle the diseases caused due to Mamsavaha srotas vitiation –
Samshuddhi – Body cleansing treatments or evacuation treatments like Vamana (therapeutic emesis), Virechana (therapeutic purgation) etc
Shastra karma – surgical methods
Kshaara karma – application of alkalis
Agni karma – cauterization

Medovaha Srotas

Medovaha srotas – Channels carrying fat tissue

Medo vahe dwe tayoho moolam katee vrukkau cha
Tatra viddasya sveda aagamanam snigdha angataa taalu shoshaha sthoola shophataa pipaasaa cha (Ref – Sushruta Shaareera 9/12)
Medo vahaanaam srotasaam vrukkau moolam vapaavahanam cha (Ref – Charaka Vimana 5/7)
– Medaha samshrayaam tu prachakshmahe
Ninditaani pramehaanaam poorvaroopaani yaani cha (Ref – Charaka Sutra 28/15)
According to Sushruta –
Medovaha srotas or the channels carrying the fat tissue are 2 in number. They have their roots in –
Katee – pelvic region or around hips
Vrukkau – both kidneys

Symptoms of injury or damage to Medovaha srotas –
Sweda agamanam – excessive sweating
Snigdha angataa – oily appearance of the body
Taalu shosha – dryness of the palates
Sthula – obesity
Shophataa – oedema
Pipaasaa – thirst

According to Charaka –
The roots of Medovaha srotas are located in:
Vrukka – Kidneys and
Vapavahanam – Peritoneum or omentum (layers covering and protecting the abdominal organs

Symptoms of vitiation of Medovaha srotas –
Ashta nindita purushas – The vitiation of Medovaha srotas will lead to the manifestation of 8 types of socially unfit body frames. They are – Atisthula (obese or excessive fat), Ati krusha (thin and emaciated), Ati loma (lot of body hairs), Aloma (lack of body hairs), Ati gaura (excessive white complexion), Ati Krushna (too dark complexion), Ati deergha (tall or gigantic) and Ati hrusva (short or dwarfism). All these seem to be the diseases or body frames related to hormonal imbalances.

Prameha purvarupas – Premonitory symptoms of Prameha (urinary symptoms, diabetes) are manifested when there is vitiation of Medovaha srotas. This means to tell that when the fat metabolism is disturbed, one can be susceptible to hire diabetes and many other urinary disorders. This reflects the knowledge of ancient authors regarding the link between obesity and diabetes which is clearly evident in this modern era.

Causes for vitiation of Medo vaha srotas –
Avyaayaamaat diva svapnaat medhyaanaam cha ati bhakshanam
Medo vaaheeni dushyanti vaarunyaaha cha ati sevanaat (Reference – Charaka Vimana 5/16)
Avyaayaama – Lack of exercise
Diva swapna – sleeping during day time
Medhyaanaam cha ati sevanam – eating luxurious, fat rich, fried and caloric foods in excess
Vaaruni – excessive consumption of an alcoholic product called Varuni

Management of diseases caused due to vitiation of Medovaha srotas –
Ashtau ninditike adhyaaye medojaanaam chikitsitam (Ref – Charaka Sutra 28/26)
The vitiation of Medovaha srotas and the diseases caused therein should be managed on the lines of treatment of Medoja rogas (fat related disorders) mentioned in Ashtau ninditeeya chapter (chapter 21 of Charaka Sutra Sthana).

Satatam vyaadhitau etau ati sthoola krushau narau
Satatam cha upacharyau hi karshana brumhanaihi api (Ref – Charaka Sutra 21/16)
Guru cha apatarpanam cheshtam sthoolaanaam karshanam prati
Krushaanaam brumhanaartham cha laghu santarpanam cha yat (Ref – Charaka Sutra 21 / 20)
Vaataghnaani anna paanaani shleshma medo haraani cha
Rooksha ushna vastayaha teekshna sookshani udwartanaani cha
Guduchi bhadramustaanaam prayogaha traiphalaha tathaa
Takraarishta prayogaha cha prayogo maakshikasya cha
Vidanga naagaram kshaaraha kaala loha rajo madhu
Yava aamalaka churna cha prayogaha shreshta uchyate
Bilwadi panchamulasya prayogaha kshaudra samyutaha
Shilaajatu prayogaha cha sa agnimantha rasaha paraha (Ref – Charaka Sutra 21 / 21-14)
Prajaagaram vyavaayam cha vyaayaamam chintanaani cha
Sthoulyam ichchan parityaktum kramena abhi pravardhayet (Ref – Charaka sutra 21 / 27)
The persons who are obese and emaciated are always prone to get diseases. They should always be attended by Karshana (thinning) and Brimhana (stoutening or bulk promoting) therapies.

Thus Karshana or thinning therapy is the best in combating the diseases related to vitiation of Medovaha srotas.

The person who is obese should be given guru ahara (heavy to digest food) at the same time administering Apatarpana (under-saturating or thinning treatments and medicines) chikitsa.

The below mentioned are the best in the business of dealing with the disorders taking origin from vitiated Medovaha srotas –
Use of Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia), Musta (Cyperus rotundus), Triphala (fruits of Terminalia chebula, Terminalia bellirica, Emblica officinalis), Takrarishta (alcoholic preparation prepared from buttermilk), Makshika (honey), Vidanga (Embelia ribes), Nagaram (ginger), Kshaara (alkali), Ash of Kala loha (black iron) with honey, Powders of Yava (barley) and Amalaki (Indian gooseberry), Bilwadi panchamula (5 roots beginning with Aegle marmelos) with honey, Use of Shilajatu with decoction of Agnimantha

Prajaagara – awakening at night times
Vyavaayam – sexual intercourse (frequent)
Vyaayaamam – Exercise (frequent)
Chinta – Mental strain

Asthivaha Srotas

Asthi Vaha Srotas – Channels carrying the bone tissue

Asthi vahaanaam srotasaam medo moolam jaghanam cha (Ref – Charaka Vimana 5/7)
Adhyasthi adhi dantau danta asthi bheda shoolam vivarnataa
Kesha loma nakha shmashru doshaaha cha asthi pradoshajaaha (Ref – Charaka Sutra 28/16)
Sushruta has not mentioned Asthivaha srotas in his list or srotases.
According to Charaka,
The roots of Asthi vaha srotas are located in –
Meda – fat (since in the chronology of formation of dhatus, asthi is formed after meda and the building blocks for the bone tissue come from fat tissue)
Jaghana – Hip bones (they represent large bone mass in the body)

Symptoms of vitiation of Asthivaha Srotas –
Adhyasthi – Extra growth of bone tissue
Adhi dantau – Extra growth of teeth
Danta bheda, shoola – Toothache, splitting or splitting pain in tooth
Asthi bheda shoolam – Bone pain, splitting pain in bones
Vivarnataa – discoloration of body
Kesha dosha – deformities and diseases of hairs
Loma dosha – deformities and diseases of body hair, hair rood disorders, disorders of skin pores
Nakha dosha – deformities and disorders pertaining to nails and nail bed
Shmashru dosha – Deformities and disorders of mustache

Causes for vitiation of Asthi vaha srotas –
Vyaayaamaat ati sankshoobaat asthnaam ati vighattanaat
Asthivaaheeni dushyanti vaatalaanaam cha sevanaat (Ref – Charaka vimana – 5/17)
Vyaayaama – excessive exercise
Ati sankshobha – excessive irritation
Asthi vighattana – repeated traumas, crushes over the bones
Vaatala aahara – excessive consumption of vata aggravating foods

Treatment of vitiation of Asthi vaha srotas –
Asthi aashrayaanaam vyaadheenaam panchakarmani bheshajam
Vastayaha ksheera sarpishi tikta kopa hitaani cha (Ref Charaka sutra 28/27)
The diseases getting their origin from the vitiation of Asthivaha srotas should be managed by the administration of –
Panchakarma – 5 cleansing measures / treatments, including Vamana (therapeutic emesis), Virechana (therapeutic purgation), Asthapana Vasti (decoction enemas), Anuvasana Vasti (oil enemas) and Nasya (nasal medication)
Vasti – Medicated enemas
Tikta ksheera and sarpi – Milk and or ghee processed with medicines having bitter taste

Majjavaha Srotas

Majja vaha srotas – Channels carrying bone marrow tissue

Majjaa vahaanaam srotasaam astheeni moolam sandhayaha cha (Ref – Charaka Vimana 5/7)
Ruk parvanaam bhramo moorchaa darshanam tamasaha tathaa
Arooshaam sthoola moolaanaam parvajaanaam cha darshanam
Majjaa pradoshaat – (Ref – Charaka Sootra 28/17)
Sushruta has not explained Majja vaha srotas
According to Charaka –
The roots of Majjavaha srotas are located in –
Asthi – Bones
Sandhis – Joints
Symptoms of vitiation of Asthivaha srotas –
Parva ruk – pain in the inter-phalangeal joints
Bhrama – Giddiness
Murcha – fainting, loss of consciousness
Tamo darshana – feeling of darkness in front of the eyes, blurring of vision
Aroomshi – Seborrhoes or Pityriasis capitis
Sthoola mula of Parvas – The interphalangeal joints look big and large

Causes of vitiation of Majjavaha srotas –
Utpeshaat ati abhishyandaat abhighaataat prapeedanaat
Majjaa vaaheeni dushyanti viruddhaanaam cha sevanaat (Ref – Charaka Vimana 5/18)
Utpeshaat – being crushed
Ati abhishyandana – being filled with wet components or kapha
Abhighaataat – accident / trauma
Prapeedanaat – compressed
Virudda ahara – consumption of incompatible and unwholesome foods

Management of vitiation of Majjavaha and Shukravaha Srotas –
Majjaa shukra samutthaanam aushadham svaadu tiktakam
Annam vyavaaya vyaayaamau shuddhihi kale cha maatrayaa (Ref – Charaka Sutra 28/28)
The treatment of vitiation of Majjavaha and Shukravaha srotas are done on the same principles. The below said are the methods –
Madhura tikta anna – foods which are predominant in sweet and bitter tastes
Maithuna – indulgence in sexual activities (intercourse)
Vyaayaama – indulgence in exercises
Shodhana – evacuatory treatments like Vamana (therapeutic emesis), Virechana (therapeutic purgation) etc should be administered in proper dose in proper time or season (like administration of Vamana in Vasanta or spring season, Virechana is Sharad or autumn period etc)

Shukravaha Srotas

Shukra Vaha Srotas – Channels carrying semen or reproductive tissue

Shukra vahe dwe tayoho moolam stanau vrushanau cha
Tatra viddasya kleebataa chiraat praseko rakta shukrataa cha (Ref – Sushruta Shaareera 9/12)
Shukra vahaanaam srotasaam vrushanau moolam shephaha cha (Ref – Charaka Vimana 5/7)
– Shukrasya doshaat klaibyam aharshanam
Rogee vaa kleebam alpa aayuhu viroopam cha prajaayate
Na cha asya jaayate garbhaha patati prasravati api
Shukram hi dushtam sa apatyam sadaaram baadhate naram (Ref – Charaka Sutra 28/18, 19)
According to Sushruta –
Shukra vaha srotas or channels carrying the semen or reproductive tissue are 2 in number.

They have their roots in –
Stanau – breasts (the formation of breasts or not are under the control of Shukra, not forming stana is the property of shukra or semen, presence of shukra marks absence of stana)
Vrushanau – Testes

Symptoms of injury to Shukra vaha srotas –
Kleebataa – impotence
Chiraat praseka – delayed ejaculation
Rakta shukrataa – blood mixed semen

According to Charaka –
The roots of Shukravaha srotas are located in –
Vrushana – Testes (scrotum) and
Shepha – Penis

Symptoms of vitiation of Shukravaha Srotas –
Klaibyam – Impotence
Aharshanam – lack of erection or dis-interest in sex
Na cha jaayate garbhaha – no progeny
Rogee vaa kleebam – the child born to the person having shukravaha srotas vitiation will have a less lifespan, will have ugly appearance and will not be able to produce a child
Garbhaha patati, prasravati – Even if the shukra produces garbha (foetus), the foetus will not live long due to occurance of abortion or miscarriage, i.e. vitiated semen or sperms will either not help in conceiving or will cause abortion or miscarriage after conception

The contaminated semen or sperms will not only prove troublesome to the woman (wife) and child but also will physically and mentally cause trouble to the person who has Shukravaha srotas vitiation

Causes for vitiation of Shukravaha srotas –
Akaala yoni gamanaat nigrahaat ati maithunaat
Shukravaaheeni dushyanti shastra kshaara agnibhihi tathaa (Ref – Charaka Vimana 5/19)
Akala maithuna – indulgence in sex at abnormal or restricted time periods
Ayoni gamana – sex with women having contaminated vagina or having sex in an abnormal vagina or passages (unnatural practices like anal sex or sex with animals etc)
Nigraha – regular practice of withholding the ejaculatory responses or urge
Ati maithuna – excessive indulgence in sexual activities
Shastra – injuries by instruments, weapons
Kshaara – application or exposure to alkalies
Agni – fire burns

Management of vitiation of Shukravaha srotas –
Same as management for Majjavaha srotas vitiation (Refer above)

Mutravaha Srotas

Mutra Vaha Srotas – Channels carrying or excreting urine

Mutravahe dwe tayoho moolam vasti medhram cha
Tatra viddasya aanadda vastitaa mootra nirodhaha stabdha medhrataa cha (Ref – Sushruta Shaareera 9/12)
Mutra vahaanaam srotasaam vastihi moolam vankshanau cha
Ati srushtam ati baddham prakupitam alpam alpam abheekshnam vaa bahalam sa shoolam mootrayantam vidhyaat (Ref – Charaka Vimana 5/7)
According to Sushruta –
Mutravaha Srotas are 2 in number and have their roots in –
Vasti – Urinary bladder
Medhra – Penis (urethra to be precise as it also covers the female part of urine excretion)

Symptoms of damage to Mutravaha Srotas –
Aanadda vasti – expansion or dilatation of urinary bladder
Mutra nirodha – obstruction to urination
Stabdha medhrataa – erection of penis (and sustenance of erection)

According to Charaka –
The roots of Mutravaha Srotas are located in –
Vasti – Urinary bladder
Vankshana (groins or loins) – Ureters

Symptoms of vitiation of Mutravaha srotas –
Ati-srushtam – excessive urination
Ati-baddham – scanty urination
Prakupitam – obstructed urination
Alpam alpam – frequent urination
Bahalam – thick or excess in quantity
Sashulam – painful urination

Causes for vitiation of Mutravaha srotas –
Mootrita udaka bhakshya stree sevanaat mootra nigrahaat
Mootra vaaheeni dushyanti ksheenasya abhikshatasya cha (Ref – Charaka Vimana – 5/20)
Mootrita udaka bhakshya stree sevanaat – Drinking water, taking food and having sex in the presence of urge for urination (urine should be voided before eating, drinking or having sex)
Mutra nigrahaat – habit of holding the urge of voiding urine as a regular practice
Ksheena – body getting emaciated or tissue depletion, consumption
Abhikshata – injury or damage to the passages carrying urine

Pureeshavaha Srotas

Pureesha Vaha Srotas (Channels helping in excretion of faeces / stools)

Pureesha vahe dwe tayoho moolam pakwaashayo gudam cha
Tatra viddasya aanaaho durgandhataa granthita aantrataa cha (Ref – Sushruta Shaareera 9/12)
Pureesha vahaanaam srotasaam pakwaashayo moolam sthoolam gudam cha (Ref – Charaka Vimana 5/7)
Kruchchrena alpam alpam sa shabdam shoolam ati dravam ati grathitam ati bahu cha upavishantam vidhyaat (Ref – Charaka Vimana 5/7)
According to Sushruta –
The Puresha vaha srotas or the channels carrying stools or faeces out of the body (excretion of wastes) are 2 in number.

They have their roots in –
Pakwashaya – Large intestine
Guda – Anus

Symptoms of injury to Pureeshavaha Srotas –
Aanaha – flatulent disorders
Durgandha – foul smelling faeces
Grathita antrata – hard faeces in the intestines (difficult to excrete)

According to Charaka –
The roots of origin of Pureeshavaha srotas are located in –
Pakwashaya – Large intestine
Sthula guda – Rectum and Anus

Symptoms of vitiation of Pureesha vaha srotas –
Kruchrata – difficulty in excreting stools
Alpam alpam – faeces getting expelled in small quantities
Sa shabdam – lot of sounds during defecation
Sa shulam – painful excretion of faeces
Ati dravam – liquid or loos stools
Ati gratitham – solid, hard stools in the form of pellets,
Ati bahu – excess formation of faeces or frequent excretion

Causes for vitiation of Pureeshavaha srotas –
Sandhaaranaat ati ashanaat ajeernaat adhyashanaat tathaa
Varcho vaaheeni dushyanti durbala agnehe krushasya cha (Ref – Charaka Vimana 5/21)
Sandhaaranaat – Regular habit of withholding the urge for defecation
Ati ashana – excessive eating
Ajeernaat – indigestion
Adhyashanaat – repeated eating (eating before the food taken before is digested)
Durbala agni – weak digestion
Krusha – in emaciated persons

Swedavaha Srotas

Sweda Vaha Srotas – Channels carrying Sweat

Sweda vahaanaaam srotasaam medo moolam loma koopaaha cha
Aswedanam ati swedanam paarushyam ati shlakshnataam angasya paridaaham lomaharsham vidhyaat (Ref – Charaka vimana Sthanam 5/7)
Sushruta has not explained Swedavaha srotas
According to Charaka –
The roots of Sweda Vaha Srotas or channels carrying the sweat are located in –
Meda (fat tissue) – Sweda is considered to be the excreta of Meda or fat
Loma Koopa – Minute pores of the skin located around the base of hair follicles of the skin

The symptoms of contamination of Sweda Vaha Srotas are:
Aswedanam – Lack of sweating
Ati Swedanam – Excessive sweating
Parushyam – Roughness of the skin
Ati shlakshnata – Excessive smoothness of the skin
Paridaha – Burning sensation
Lomaharsha – Horripilation

Causes of vitiation of Swedavaha srotas –
Vyaayaamaat atisantaapaat sheeta ushna akrama sevanaat
Svedavaaheeni dushyanti krodha shoka bhayaihi tathaa (Ref – Charaka Vimana 5/22)
Vyaayaama – excessive exercise
Ati santaapaat – exposure to heat
Sheeta ushna akrama sevanaat – non-judicious intake of cold and hot foods and comforts, at a time
Krodha – excessive anger
Shoka – excessive grief
Bhaya – excessive fear

Management of vitiation of Malavaha Srotas (Mutravaha, Pureeshavaha and Swedavaha) –
Mootra vit sveda vaahaanaam chikitsaa moutra kruchrikee
Tathaa atisaarikee kaaryaa tathaa jwara chikitsikee (Ref – Charaka Vimana 5/28)
The vitiation of Mutra vaha srotas should be managed on the lines of treatment of Mutrakruchra (dysuria)
The vitiation of Pureesha vaha srotas should be managed on the lines of treatment of Atisara (diarrhoea)
The vitiation of Sweda vaha srotas should be managed on lines of treatment of Jwara (fever)

(I have just mentioned the principles of treating the malavaha srotas, the details of treating Mutrakrichra or atisara or jwara are elaborate and cannot be discussed here due to unnecessary expansion of the article. By touching these topics, I would be covering 3 elaborate chapters and it is out of context of our discussion. They will be covered elsewhere in future articles)

Aartavavaha Srotas

Aartava Vaha Srotas – Channels which carry the menstrual blood

Aartava vahe dwe tayoho moolam garbhaashayam aartava vaahinyaha cha dhamanyaha
Tatra viddasya vandhyatvam maithuna asahishnutaa aartava naashaha cha (Ref – Sushruta Shaareera 9/12)
Rajo vahaa siraa yasmin rajaha pravisujyanti ataha
Pushpam bhootam hi tat daivaat maasi maasi pravartate (Ref – Kaashyapa Samhitaa Rakta Gulma Adhyaaya)
The Artava vaha srotas or channels carrying the menstrual blood out of the body during monthly menstrual cycle in women are 2 in number.

Their roots are located in
Garbhaashaya – Uterus
Aartava Vaahini Dhamanis – Fallopian or uterine tubes or the dhamanis (arteries) which take part in supplying the uterine bed and also in the menstruation process.

The cervix or the lower opening of the uterus and Vagina can also be taken as Aartava vahini dhamanis because the menstrual blood flows out through them during the monthly periods in women.

Symptoms of injury of Artavavaha srotas –
When the Aartava Vaahini Dhamanis are injured, they cause:
Vandhyataa – infertility
Maithuna asahishnutaa – Intolerance to sex, difficulty in sex or painful sex (dyspareunia)
Aartava naasha – Amenorrhoea or Dysmenorrhoea

Management of Artavavaha sroto dushti (vitiation of artava vaha srotas) –
The vitiation of Artava vaha srotas should be managed on the lines of treatment of Yoni vyapad (vaginal, uterine disorders) and Artava vyapat (disorders of menstruation)

Manovaha Srotas

Manovaha Srotas – channels carrying the mind and emotions

Mano vahaanaam srotasaam
Visheshena Hridaya aashritatvaat manasaha tat aashritaa dasha dhamanyaho mano vahaa abhidheeyante
Manovahaanaam poornatvaat doshaihi ati balaihi tribhihi
Srotasaam daarunaan swapnaan kale pashyate daarune (Ref – Charaka Indriya Sthana 5)
Mano vahaani srotaamsi yadhyapi pruthak na uktaani
Dasha dhamanyo mano vahaa abhidheeyante
Unmaargam aagataa vimaargam aagataa mano vahaa dhamaneehi anupraaptaa (Ref – Madhava Nidana 20)
Mano vaha srotaamsi aavrutya janayanti unmaadam (Ref – Charaka Chikitsa 7)
The site of Mano vaha srotas is Hridaya (heart) and the 10 dhamanis (arteries) taking origin from them. Though the Manovaha srotas has not been exclusively mentioned or listed among the Srotases, the dasha dhamanees or 10 great blood vessels taking their origin from Heart are considered as Manovaha srotas.

The mention of Manovaha srotas appears in the description of psychological disorders. When the Manovaha srotases are occupied by morbid doshas, one could experience bad dreams.

When the manovaha srotases are afflicted by morbid doshas and get obstructed, mental diseases like Unmada (insanity) are manifested.

Common causes for vitiation of all the Srotas –
Aahaaraha cha vihaaraha cha yaha syaat dosha gunaihi samaha
Dhaatubhihi vigunaha cha api srotasaam sa pradooshakaha (Ref – Charaka Vimana 5/23)

Foods and activities which have similar qualities as those of doshas.
Doshas are the factors in the body which cause morbidity. When qualities similar to them are provided to them in the form of food and activities, they undergo increase and later get vitiated.

They later contaminate the whole body, get lodged in the tissues, damage them and cause diseases. Since the doshas contaminate the dhatus or tissues they also vitiate the srotases because the dhatus are carried in the srotases.

Foods and activities which have antagonistic or opposite qualities as those of dhatus or tissues. Dhatus are the building blocks of the body and are the base of energy, health and immunity.

When we provide antagonizing qualities to them in the form of opposite food and activities, they tend to damage the dhatus. The srotases transport the dhatus.

When the damaged and or contaminated dhatus are flowing in the srotases, they contaminate and vitiate the srotases also leading to wide array of diseases.

Common symptoms of Sroto-Dushti (vitiation or contamination of srotas) –
Atipravruttihi sango vaa siraanaam granthayo api vaa
Vimaarga gamanam cha api srotasaam dushti lakshanam (Ref – Charaka Vimana 5/24)
All symptoms of srotas vitiation can be grouped into one of the below said categories.

The common symptoms of Srotas vitiation are –
Ati pravrutti – Excessive discharge or flow
Sanga – Obstruction
Sira Granthi – Formation of masses like tumours, cysts etc
Vimarga gamana – Going or moving in wrong or opposite directions
Chakrapani on Charaka Vimana, 5th chapter
विमार्गगमनं  यथा- मलस्य मूत्रमार्गगमनमित्यादि – Vimarga gamana example: fecal matter excreted through urethral route due to a complicated fistula tract.

Thus when vitiation of one or more srotases take place, one or more of the above said symptoms i.e. excessive flow, obstruction or decreased flow, formation of masses or movements of things in opposite direction will take place.

Need of study of Srotas

Extensive knowledge of the srotas is needed because; the whole body is made up of millions of srotases. When there is vitiation or block occurring in these transport systems of the body, there occurs stagnation of unwanted things, depletion of nutrition, and destruction of tissues and imbalance of body-mind health.

These in turn lead to many diseases. A physician knowing the srotases, their roots of origin, their end points, the materials they carry, the kind of deformity or damage or vitiation occurring in them will be the best in the business in identifying the disease and site of pathology.

He will be very efficient in aborting the disease process. Thus, the knowledge of Srotases not only helps in learning about the anatomy of transport system of the body but also to understand their physiology and pathology. Proper knowledge of physiology and pathology is the key for success in treatment.

Just before finish,
The article about the discussion of Srotas looks like a topic reserved for the doctors and for the knowledge of aspiring doctors, but it is not less worthy for a common man.

We all know about our exterior. We are happy looking into our mirrors and learn how beautiful or smart we are! But we are unaware about the beautiful world which exists within us.

That beautiful internal world is operating with its own intelligence and allowing us to enjoy our lives. We are not at all aware about many functions which are taking place in our interior throughout our life, like the heart beats, air exchange process in the lungs, flow of hormones, cellular metabolism, signals passing in the nerves and many more.

To keep a balance between the external and internal beauty which in total constitutes a comprehensive health, it is essential that we all have a brief knowledge of our body in totality.

The inner world is made up of these beautiful transport systems. Being updated about them will help us to keep a track of their condition of health or ill-health.

Like, when you have breathlessness you can think that your Pranavaha srotas is having a problem, when you have digestion related issues you can readily blame your annavaha or rasavaha srotas.

This will help you to properly explain your health issues to the doctor, so that he or she shall help you to get rid of those problems at the earliest.

Know about your inner beauty by learning about the srotases and the way they work!!
Article by Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ayu) – email:

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