By Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay) & Dr Manasa B.A.M.S
Sthira Guna means ‘immobility or stable’ quality. It is present in some substances and those substances are said to be stable in nature.
Immobility is one of the qualities included in 20 gurvadi qualities. It is opposite to sara guna i.e. mobility quality. They are mutually balancing. Immobility is defined on basis of capability of things having that quality to produce stability in the components of the body. Therefore, foods and medicines which stabilize the components of body, bring about immobility are considered as having immobility quality.
Excessive consumption of foods or medicines causing mobility depletes the body of essential components. Example – excessive loss of water component of the body in diarrhoea, urinary disorders etc.
To combat excessive mobility and its ill-effects medicines in body, foods and activities which stabilize the components in motion should be administered as a part of intervention. This will enable the body to retain components which are in process of being lost. This action of immobility quality to hold things back is also called as stambhana.
Mobility is caused due to excessive increase of vata or pitta dosha or both. Immobility increases kapha. Kapha is antagonistic to vata. Kapha increased by immobility quality controls vata. When vata and pitta are under control things do not mobilize from the body and are held back for the betterment of the body.
Salient features of immobility quality
Immobility in terms of substances medicinal herbs and food substances –
Immobility is a quality which can be known by the virtue of its action.
यस्य धारणे शक्तिः स स्थिरः।हेमाद्रि।
‘That which has the capacity and strength to hold things back, i.e. capacity to bring about retention of things is called sthira guna i.e. stability or immobility quality’
Stability quality may be introduced in the body by administering medicines, food or activities having immobility quality predominantly.
केश श्मश्रु लोम अस्थि नख दन्त सिरा स्नायु धमनी रेतः प्रभृतीनि स्थिराणि।सु.शा.३।
This quality is said to be stable for long lasting periods unless interfered by its opposite quality. It is also said to be motionless and also produces the same quality when applied. Examples of body components which have immobility quality and hence stable are – hairs, moustache, body hairs, bones, nails, teeth, veins, nerves, ligaments, tendons, arteries and semen.
Stability is the quality of earth element. All things which are solid are made up predominantly of earth element. We would see that the solid materials are in a state of rest, immobile and stable unless mobilised by outward pressure or force greater than their weight or displaces them from their static position.
Medicines and foods rich in earth element will naturally tend to bring about immobility to greater extent.
Effect on doshas
स्थिरो वात मल स्तम्भी।भा.प्र।
Immobility quality increases or balances kapha in the body. Since it increases kapha, it is antagonistic to vata. Therefore immobility decreases vata. Kapha increased by stability or stability quality alone will also help in mobility quality in pitta. Thus, immobility quality helps in controlling excessive mobility caused by increased vata and pitta, apart from controlling the hyper-activity of the said doshas.
Effect on Tissues
Stability quality increases the tissues. Since it increases the tissues, this quality also bestows strength, endurance and immunity in the body. As already said immobility increases kapha. Kapha, in a state of balance is said to be bala. Bala means strength or tolerance power. Since immobility increases kapha, the strength is naturally increased or restored. We also should remember that kapha is responsible for integrity and binding the body components. Majority of body tissues also belong to kapha group.
s strength, endurance and immunity in the body. As already said immobility increases kapha. Kapha, in a state of balance is said to be bala. Bala means strength or tolerance power. Since immobility increases kapha, the strength is naturally increased or restored. We also should remember that kapha is responsible for integrity and binding the body components. Majority of body tissues also belong to kapha group.
Effect on Excreta
Immobility quality blocks the passage of morbid doshas, excreta and fart. This causes retention of doshas inside the body, constipation, retention of urination, dysurea, loss of sweating, retention of heat inside the body, disorders of colon, urinary tract and skin. While it may cause constipation, it can also be used as treatment for conditions like diarrhoea etc wherein there is excessive voiding of excreta.
Effect on systemic functions
This quality can be used to stop or arrest anything put into flow. It is also used to treat those conditions wherein the body is losing its important life sustaining components as happens in loss of body water in diarrhoea and blood in haemorrhage. Immobility causes stoppage of things in motion establishes their stability in the body. Since it increases tissues in the body and strength and endurance of the body depends on balance of tissues. Stability quality helps in inducing strength and immunity in the body.
Effect of excessive consumption
If immobility quality foods are consumed in excess, it leads to excessive stoppage of elements in flow. Immobility quality, when increases beyond limitations causes constipation and excessive accumulation of doshas, unwanted fluids, fart, excreta and toxins in the body which is responsible for many systemic disorders. In such conditions, treatment is administered to enable flow of obstructed things by using medicines and foods which have sara guna i.e. mobility quality.
Examples of foods and medicines having immobility quality