By Dr Raghuram, MD (Ay) and Dr Manasa, BAMS
Apana Vata is one of the five subtypes of vata. Located in lower parts of body and governs the activities of these parts.
Meanings of Apana
- One of the five vital air which moves downwards and exits through anal opening
- Air going downwards or
- Air passing through anus
Apana means anal region or lower portion of the body.
Read – Sub Types Of Vata Dosha: Importance, Salient Features
Site of Apana Vayu
- Lower abdomen, pelvis
- Anal region or lower portion of the body
- Large intestine
Lower portion of physical body in which Apana vata resides, includes all anatomical structures in lower abdomen and pelvic cavity.
Read –Diet And Lifestyle Advice For Vata Dosha Body Type
Areas of circulation of Apana Vata
- Scrotum and testes
- Urinary bladder, urinary system
- Navel region
- Anus and rectum, lower intestines
Read – The Easiest Way To Understand Doshas
Thus Apana Vata moves and circulates in lower part of colon and intestines, navel region, urinary (bladder) and genital system. Functions of these body parts are also monitored by normal Apana vata. When the same Apana vata gets vitiated they cause diseases pertaining to these organs.
Read – Types Of Doshas And Their Functions
Functions of Normal Apana Vata
Shukra nishkramana kriya – Responsible for ejaculation of semen during sex.
Since it is located in testes and penis, it also controls sexual arousal and ejaculation.
If Apana vata is increased or decreased pathologically, the person suffers from sexual dysfunctions including erectile dysfunctions, loss of libido and deficit or premature ejaculation etc.
Thus, Apana vata when functioning normally helps in conception.
Artava nishkramana kriya – Responsible for normal menstruation in women.
This function is also related to proper ovulation.
Normal ovulation reflects good fertility and ability of the women to conceive.
Normal menstruation is one of the important contributory factors which are responsible for comprehensive wellness of women.
Deficit or increased functioning of apana vata causes many disorders related to menstruation and fertility in women, like dysmenorrhea, oligomenorrhea, infertility etc.
Thus Apana vata governs menstruation, ovulation, conception and reproduction in women.
Read – Physiology Of Menstruation, Menstrual Cycle – Ayurvedic Perspective
Shakrut nishkramana kriya – Helps in proper and timely defecation.
This vata being located in large intestine, enables absorption of water and useful contents from the digested food and helps in proper formation of feces. Consequentially it helps in timely excretion of fart and feces.
This not only keeps the intestine clean and healthy but also reduces pressure over the abdomen and chest. As a result the functions of abdominal and chest organs would keep light, healthy and going.
When this subtype of vata gets imbalanced it causes disorders related to defecation including constipation, loose stools, irritable bowel etc.
Read – Pakwashaya Shodhana Basti: Medicated Enemas For Colon Cleanse
Mutra nishkramana kriya – Controls proper and timely voiding of urine.
Thus, Apana vata controls the functions of urinary bladder.
Excessive or deficit functioning of Apana vata located in urinary bladder would lead to many disorders of urinary bladder. As a result, one may develop disorders like increased urination, stagnation of urine, frequent urination etc.
Read – Urine In Ayurveda – Functions, Importance, Pathology, Treatment
Garbha nishkramana kriya – Helps in easy delivery of child.
It is located in uterus and helps in causing contractions and relaxation of uterus. Thus it helps in pushing the infant along with navel cord and membranes down the uterus at term and effect normal parturition.
The same apana vayu helps in maintaining pregnancy by holding the fetus till the term.
If this vata functions in excess or deficit, it leads to abortion, miscarriage or difficulty in normal delivery of child.
Read –Bleeding During Pregnancy: Causes, Ayurvedic Treatment
To sum up –
Important thing to note about Apana vata functions is that when there is an urge for elimination of urine, feces, menstrual blood, semen or fetus, this sub-type of vata helps in expelling them. But when there is no urge, the same Apana vata helps in holding them in body until proper time for elimination has appeared.
Read – Effects Of Suppression Of Urge To Defecate, Treatment
Effect of Vitiated Apana Vat
It causes various dreadful diseases of urinary bladder and anus (rectum).
Apana Vata is connected with Earth element and is the energy of Muladhara Chakra or Root chakra. Health of Apana vata helps in balancing the energy in this chakra and well being of root chakra positively influences on the Apana vata functions. Thus they complement and supplement each other’s functions.
Apana Vata treatment:
The treatment largely depends on the nature of the disease.
Rectal enema, urethral enema, laxative / anti diarrheal treatment, oil massage etc treatments are usually adopted.
All therapies, diet and medicines for Vata dosha are also useful for Apana vata treatment as well.
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