By Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay) & Dr Manasa, B.A.M.S
Doshas are constantly moving from one place of the body to other. This is because they are basically functional entities. Therefore they do not have a fixed channel to travel in body. They travel in all the passages. The most famous journey of doshas is made between tissues and visceral organs. This is a cyclic process and takes place on daily basis.
Shakhas means tissues.
Koshta means visceral organs. (usually Koshta anga term is used).
The visceral organs are made up of tissues. That is how they are connected structurally. Example, stomach is a koshta which is lined by muscles which is shakha. The doshas are located in these tissues. Thus shakhas are home for one or other dosha.
Example, kapha resides in muscle, fat, lymph, bone marrow, semen and feces. Likewise pitta resides in blood and vata resides in bones. They are the natural and destined homes of these doshas. This relationship is called ashraya ashrayi sambandha.
The doshas travel from tissues to visceral spaces to render their activities and go back to their places after their job is done. This is natural.
Movement of doshas between tissues to visceral spaces can be viewed from physiological, pathological and therapeutic angles.
Dosha Gati: Normal And Abnormal Movements Of Doshas
Cyclic movement of Doshas from tissues to viscera and vice versa.
Also called shakha gati is when doshas have unidirectional movement from visceral organs (Koshta) to tissues like bones, muscles etc. Doshas do not come back to visceral spaces.
Therefore normal functions in visceral organs are hampered.
On the other hand, on the availability of etiological factors, the doshas stagnated in the tissues get further aggravated, damage the tissues and cause various diseases.
Therapeutic movement – from tissues, back to visceral organs:
To resolve pathological movement and stagnation of doshas in tissues and to abort disease pathogenesis, the stagnated doshas need to be dissolved and released i.e. made to flow or move towards visceral spaces yet again. This, in simple terms is called koshta gati i.e. normal and natural flow of doshas towards visceral spaces.
Read related: Koshta – Large anatomical Body Cavities
Movement of Doshas from tissues to viscera – Therapeutic mobilization of stagnated doshas from tissues to visceral lumen
Doshas stuck in tissues can cause disease. For example, Vata in bones and muscles causes arthritis pain. They need to be brought back to visceral organ and should be expelled out of the body.
In this example, imbalanced Vata from bones should be brought back to colon and should be expelled out through enema treatment. Thus, arthritis gets treated.
Movement of doshas from tissues to viscera is a normal phenomenon when it happens with other half of cycle i.e. movement of doshas from viscera to tissues. Both these half cycles complete a physiological function comprehensively.
But when doshas get blocked in tissues and are not released into viscera, the functions of that organ are disturbed. On other hand there is pathological stagnation of doshas in tissues. When the etiological factors for aggravation of these Doshas stagnated in tissues are available, these doshas undergo severe vitiation and cause damage to the tissues and also organs which are layered by these tissues.
Read – Abnormal Vitiation Of Doshas – Vaikruta Dosha Dushti
What is the remedy for this?
As a remedy, these stagnated doshas should be liquefied and made to flow towards viscera. From viscera, mainly the stomach and intestines, these doshas can be eliminated by cleansing treatments, mainly therapeutic emesis and purgation.
In short mobilization of stagnated doshas from tissues towards visceral organs by administration of suitable cleansing treatments is called koshta gati and is therapeutic in nature.
Thus, mobilization of doshas from tissues to organs has therapeutic value.
How to bring the doshas from shakha to koshta?
The below mentioned methods should be adopted to bring the doshas from tissues into the gut i.e. stomach and intestines. They are –
Vriddhi – Temporary increase of doshas in tissues
Here vriddhi means increasing the quantity of doshas in tissues by administration of foods and life activities which have similar properties as those of doshas impacted in tissues.
Here the intention is to cause temporary increase in doshas and not to aggravate the doshas further.
Examples – administration of cold, astringent, pungent, bitter and dry foods and exercise to enhance vata, giving foods which are heavy to digest, cold, sweet in taste and unctuous to increase kapha and foods which are hot, intense, corrosive, pungent and sour to increase pitta.
When, after consumption of these foods the doshas get enhanced in tissues would tend to overflow and leave the cells.
Thus intention of increasing doshas is to swell them up in tissues and prepare them to exit the cells.
Vishyandana – dissolution of doshas in tissues
Doshas which have been blocked in tissues should flow from tissues into stomach so that they could be expelled from there through cleansing treatments.
For this to happen, doshas should be liquefied. Doshas tend to flow only when they are in liquid state.
This is achieved by medicines, diet and treatments which liquefy the doshas and enable them to flow i.e. sweating treatment – swedana therapy.
Paka – digestion of doshas
The doshas get swollen up in tissues and stick to the walls of cells therein. They make the tissue fire weak. This weak fire will not identify the nutrition entering the cells and will be weak enough to process nutrition fluids and convert them into local or successive tissues.
This nutrition which has not been absorbed and converted into body tissues will get fermented in cells and get converted into ama i.e. tissue toxins. This ama and also the ama put into circulation due to weak digestion in stomach will hit hard on tissues and tissue fire and further weaken them.
Tissue toxins gets mixed with stagnated ama and will become more stubborn and sticky. They will get adhered within the walls of cells and make difficult to expel them. If we try to expel these doshas which have adhered to walls of tissues forcibly, they would damage the tissues.
Therefore firstly tissue toxins and kapha should be digested. This can be achieved by administration of ama digestive herbs and medicines.
Once tissue toxins gets digested, doshas will lose their association with tissue toxins. They get detached from the walls of the tissues. These doshas devoid of ama can be easily liquefied by administering oleation and sudation therapies, and made to move towards koshta.
Once the doshas reach stomach, they can easily be eliminated from body by administering cleansing treatments.
Read: Dosha Paka Lakshanas Symptoms Of Digestion Of Doshas
Srotomukha vishodhana – opening up the blocked channels of body
The srotas or channels of the body are blocked when doshas get stagnated in tissues.
Improper and incompatible foods are responsible for blockage of doshas in shakhas.
The channels are also made up of tissues and are also comprise of organs.
Example, stomach is one of the roots of annavaha srotas or channels for transporting food. Thus it is a part of srotas. The stomach is made up of muscle tissue; therefore it is made up of shakha. Mathematically, the annavaha srotas is made up of muscle tissue which is shakha.
Thus, srotomukha vishodhana i.e. opening up the orifices and openings of channels of body will help to clear the blocks.
It will enable the free flow of movement of morbid doshas from tissues to kosta.
It will also avoid further formation of tissue toxin and doshas in tissue.
Opening up of channels facilitates treatment procedures.
This is brought about by administration of deepana i.e. digestion improving medicines and pachana i.e. ama digesting medicines and measures.
Oleation and sudation will further help in cleansing channels, facilitating movement of doshas towards visceral and reversal of pathology.
Vayu nigraha – control of vata
Hyperactivity of vayu is one of the factors responsible for movement of dosha into tissues and for them to get stagnated therein. Therefore it becomes very important to control vayu and its hyperactivity in order to get back morbid doshas which have been blocked in tissues.
This can be achieved by administration of foods and activities which control vata and also by avoiding the causative factors which cause vata vitiation.
Vayu is responsible for all activities in body.
When the hyperactivity of vata is controlled, it facilitates biphasic movement of doshas.
It facilitates easy movement of doshas from tissue to visceral organ. From here the morbid doshas can be thrown out through administration of emesis and purgation.
Read: Virechana Therapy – Right Method, Side Effects, Management
What to do after getting the Doshas into Koshta?
With the help of above mentioned measures, doshas should be mobilized from tissues to visceral organs. This means to tell that the doshas are now brought to the stomach. From here, doshas should be expelled from nearest possible route.
In case of kapha predominant doshas, morbidity is thrown out from the mouth by administering therapeutic emesis.
In case of pitta predominant doshas, morbidity is thrown out from the anal route by administering therapeutic purgation.
In case of Vata, enemas.
Need of knowledge of pathological transit of doshas from tissue to visceral organs
Koshta gati or movement of doshas from tissues to viscera, already has a therapeutic importance. This movement when induced by employment of one or more measures as explained above and when required will enable easy movement of morbid doshas from tissues to stomach.
From here the doshas will be expelled by administering emesis or purgation.
Thus, the physician should have a thorough knowledge of these methods of reversal of pathological stagnation of doshas. Knowledge of this will enable physician to take appropriate actions so as to pull morbid doshas from tissues into visceral organs.
This knowledge is a must for the Ayurvedic physicians for providing comprehensive treatment and also to achieve unparalleled success in clinical practice.
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