By Dr Raghuram Y. S. MD (Ay) & Dr Manasa B. A. M. S
Sandra Guna means solidity or density quality. It is present in some substances and those substances are said to be solid in nature.
Solidity is one of the 20 gurvadi qualities. It is opposite to drava guna i. e. fluidity quality. Solidity and fluidity are opposite qualities and are also mutually balancing. Density being bulky and stable would soothe the organs and tissues in the body and has a calming and healing effect. Liquidity quality by the virtue of its subtle and fine quality spreads all through the body and is responsible for the flow. Liquidity causes dampness and is capable of dissolving things in it.
Read – Substances, Qualities, Action – 9 Ashtanga Hrudaya Sutrasthana
Solidity is defined on the basis of the capability of foods, medicines and activities which soothes and calms the organs and tissues in the body. It also increases tissues in a healthy way contributing to stability of the body and maintenance of health. Being stable and solid it slows down the movement of things in the body and also contributes to the bulk of the body
Density is antagonist to liquidity quality. In spite of that they share certain common qualities in bestowing certain good features in the body. When liquidity in the body increases, it causes increase in liquid tissues of the body including plasma, blood and semen. In this aspect there is no opposite nature in relation to the solidity. Solidity on the other hand enables increase in solid tissues in the body including muscles, fat, bone and marrow. Both solidity and liquidity qualities increase kapha.
Read – Kapha Increase Symptoms – Kapha Vruddhi Lakshana
Liquidity also increases pitta. Increase in liquidity causes excessive expulsion of liquid excreta from the body. Excessive excretion of these substances is harmful to the body. Solidity, when administered in the form of foods and medicines causes stability in these excreta, makes them hard and checks their excessive loss. Hence solidity contributes to the stability and health of the body.
Both, solidity and liquidity are caused by increased kapha in the body. Solidity also increases kapha in the body. Since increase in solidity causes abnormal increase in kapha, it leads to blocks in the channels and stagnation of undue materials in the body hampering all activities. To counteract this effect of solidity, foods and medicines which are rich in liquidity quality should be administered.
Read – Channels Of Circulation And Doshas
At the same time increased liquidity will mobilise fluids and tissues from body and expels them in an abnormal way. This leads to manifestation of many diseases mainly due to dehydration and loss of tissues. In these conditions the antagonistic quality of liquidity i. e. solidity should be administered to counteract the bad effects of increased liquidity.
Since bulkiness and kapha increased by this quality are antagonistic to vata, this quality is used to counteract hyperactivity of vata and cure vata disorders.
Read – Symptoms Of Vata Dosha Increase And Imbalance – Vata Vruddhi Lakshana
In a state of balance, solidity antagonises the hyperactivity of liquidity quality, soothes and calms the organs and tissues. It solidifies faeces and prevents its excessive loss of the same. It enables formation of tissues in a healthy way. All these activities would eventually help in restoring all body functions, establish balance of tissues and doshas, provide integrity to the body and promote health.
Solidity in herbs, foods
Solidity in terms of substances medicinal herbs and food substances –
Solidity is a quality which can be perceived by touch. It is a feel when we touch a hard stone, metal or wood. Any solid in fact comprises of solidity. Thus, solidity can also be perceived through eyes.
Actions of increased solidity can be perceived in the form of increased kapha activities and kapha symptoms in the body. Slow and sluggish activities not hampering the health, good tissue and organ health, feel as if the interior of the body is serene and settled, lethargy, gain in body weight, slow metabolism, excessive sleepiness etc are the symptoms of increased solidity in the body.
Its actions can also be appreciated by its capacity of inducing solidity in the liquid components and preventing loss of excessive fluids from the body, its capacity to destroy hyperactivity of vata and pitta and its ability to increase tissues in a healthy way.
Read – Pitta Increase Symptoms – Pitta Vriddhi Lakshana
These events happen following the consumption of foods, medicines and treatments which have solidity quality in them.
सान्द्रः स्थूलः स्याद् बन्धकारकः।सु।
That which is large / stout and stable and induces stoutness and stability in the body in terms of increasing the body tissues in a healthy way is called saandra guna i. e. solidity. The substances having this quality are said to be solid in nature.
यस्य प्रसादने शक्तिः स सान्द्रः।हेमाद्रि।
‘That which on going inside the body and coming in contact with tissues and organs brings about soothing and calmness in them is called sandr guna i. e. solidity’
Read – Dravya: Meaning, Ayurvedic Explanation
Solidity is predominantly formed from earth element.
Kapha dosha is made up of earth element. Therefore solidity which is made up of and dependant on the earth element also increases kapha dosha in the body.
Read – Relationship Between Doshas And Basic Elements (Pancha Mahabhuta)
Earth element is solid and heavy in nature. Therefore it is stable and difficult to move. We can see that any solid thing which is formed by predominance of earth element would be stable, grounded and stagnant unless mobilised and moved by a stronger force. Earth element bestows the same qualities to the solidity quality. Foods and medicines rich in earth element are slow acting but produce a stable and permanent relief.
Due to the presence of earth element, the solidity quality does not move easily in the body. Being heavy, large and stable, it undergoes delayed transformation and slows down the metabolism. As a result it tends to increase kapha. This kapha which has similar qualities as that of solidity blocks in channels of transportation . This leads to stagnation of substances, unwanted cell debris, excreta and toxins in the body adding to the bulk of the body.
Read – Panchamahabhuta: Application, Areas of Utility in Ayurveda treatment
Medicines and foods rich in earth element will naturally induce solidity in the body parts.
Effect on doshas
Solidity quality increases kapha and also mitigates vata. Since kapha is made up of earth element, it naturally carries the solidity in comparison to the other doshas of the body. Thus, kapha induces solidity in the body. Anything which increases solidity in the body also increases kapha. Similarly anything which increases kapha also increases solidity.
Solidity increases kapha. Kapha being antagonistic to vata helps in combating high vata conditions. Pathological increase in vata would destroy the tissues. Kapha increased by solidity quality repairs the tissue damage caused by vata and restores them. When tissue balance is restored, strength, integrity, stability, endurance and immunity are also restored.
Effect on Tissues
Solidity increases the tissues in a healthy way and restores their balance. Since Sandrata provides stability, the tissues get stable and strong and in turn support the anatomical structure of the body. Most of the tissues in the body are related to kapha by means of abode-resident relationship. Muscle, fat and bone marrow are the solid tissues which belong to the kapha group since they have similarity with kapha and kapha resides in these tissues.
Solidity increases kapha. Both together increase tissues and provide them with solidity and stability. By increasing these tissues in its state of balance, solidity contributes towards stability and endurance. Balance of muscle tissue is one of the determinants of health. Solidity also helps in providing stability and structure to the bone and other hard tissues of the body.
Read – Lifestyle, Food And Factors That Cause Increase Of Kapha Dosha
These functions are possible when the solidity and the kapha increased by that quality are in balanced proportions.
Solidity also restores and replenishes the tissues which have undergone destruction and damage owing to the increase in vata. Solidity also counteracts the hyperactivity of vata and thus prevents further destruction of tissues. This is also because solidity increases kapha which is antagonistic to the activities of vata.
Abnormal increase of solidity increases kapha to pathological proportions. This increased kapha hampers metabolism at both gut and tissue levels. In such conditions, the tissues are formed in slow manner.
There is also severe accumulation of unwanted tissues and waste products owing to weak gut and tissue metabolism. Waste products get stagnated in the tissues causing tissue swelling and inflammation. The materials which get stagnated become toxins over a period of time and gradually damage the tissues, channels and organs of the body paving way to wide array of diseases.
Read – Kapha Increase Symptoms – Kapha Vruddhi Lakshana
All these events happen due to blocks caused in various channels of transportation and tissues caused by severe increase of kapha owing to increased solidity in the body.
Both kapha and solidity are antagonistic to vata. When vata builds up in the body, it causes undue destruction of tissues. Tissue destruction takes place in quick time leading to manifestation of many diseases. There is deterioration of strength, endurance and immunity. Solidity controls vata and prevents destruction of tissues. It also forms tissues and restores their balance. Following this, strength and stability of the body and tissues are restored.
Read – Decrease Of Tissues – Dhatu Kshaya – Reasoning, Symptoms
When the opposite quality of solidity i. e. liquidity increases, the body tends to lose more fluid, even the fluid which is supportive and life sustaining to the body. Solidity checks this flow by solidifying or condensing the fluids and restores fluid balance in the body. Thus, solidity can be used as principle in treating diseases like excessive urination, diarrhoea, dysentery etc. In these conditions, foods, medicines and therapies having solidity quality should be administered to combat the ill-effects of increased liquidity.
At the same time, when solidity increases abnormally it increases kapha. Severe increase of kapha leads to excessive formation and accumulation of unwanted tissues and wastes in the body. This happens on the backdrop of sluggish metabolism caused by increased kapha and subsequent obstruction and stagnation caused by increased kapha. This leads to harmful consequences due to deficit nutrition to tissues and organs of the body. It also leads to accumulation of wastes in the tissues and channels which in due course of time become dangerous toxins. Eventually the body becomes susceptible to many diseases.
Read – 120 Remedies For Indigestion Caused By Specific Foods
Effect on Excreta
Solidity brings about solidification of excreta, mainly feces. This property is opposite to that of liquidity quality which enables excessive flow and loss of excreta. Solidity can be used as a principle for treating diseases caused by increased liquidity in the body like diarrhoea, dysentery, excessive urination etc.
On the other hand, when solidity increases beyond limits, it may cause excessive solidification and hardening of feces leading to constipation and urinary retention.
Read – Atisara – Charaka Chikitsa Sthana 19th Chapter
Effect on systemic functions
Solidity can be used to treat pathological conditions caused in the body due to increased destruction of tissues, loss of fluids and essential components of the body, increased vata and increased liquidity. Solidity antagonizes the bad effects of increased liquidity in the body.
Increased liquidity expels excreta in excessive proportions, mainly the liquid excreta like urine and sweat. Too much expulsion of excreta is also a dangerous scenario to the body. When liquidity increases, fluids may be added to the faeces leading to manifestation of diseases like diarrhoea, dysentery, sprue etc. Solidity quality antagonises these consequences caused by increased liquidity and restores fluid balance in the body by solidifying the excreta.
Read – IBS: Ayurvedic Treatment, Home Remedies, Lifestyle Tips
Similarly, solidity helps in formation of tissues in healthy way. It restores the tissues which have been damaged and destroyed by increased vata in the body. Thus, solidity is antagonistic to vata. Also, solidity increases kapha, which is antagonistic dosha for vata. Thus, solidity is beneficial in calming vat and treating vata disorders.
Solidity provides stability, strength and endurance to the body, replenishes and restores the tissues, and soothes the tissues and organs of the body. All these events help in restoring health and immunity of the body.
Excessive increase of kapha caused due to increased solidity in the body is also harmful for the body and tissues, because increased kapha would cause excessive obstruction in channels of transportation. This results in congestion and stagnation. The unwanted tissues and wastes piled up in the body pose threat to health and impair many functions in the body. Eventually there is decrease in strength due to deficit nutrition to tissues and organs.
Effect of excessive consumption
When foods having solidity quality are excessively consumed, they lead to excessive accumulation of unwanted tissues and waste products of metabolism. This leads to congestion and stagnation.
The stagnated materials get converted into toxins. Excessive solidity also causes excessive solidification of faeces leading to constipation.
Read – Sama Mala: Metabolic Wastes With Toxins (Ama) Of Improper Digestion
Excessive solidity also causes abnormal increase in kapha. Increased kapha consequentially causes obstructions at many areas of the body, channels of transportation, pores and tissues of the body leading to congestion and stagnation.
Pathological increase of kapha owing to abnormal increase in solidity quality will eventually slow down the metabolism. This creates a suitable environment for manifestation of many diseases. Many kapha disorders are also manifested. Excessive solidity may also totally destroy its antagonist property in the body i. e. liquidity which is essential for many body functions.
Read – Butter Benefits: Ayurveda Details
Examples of foods and medicines having solidity quality
Butter, protein rich foods, meat.