Putraghni – Jataghni Causes, Symptoms, Pathogenesis, Treatment

By Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay) & Dr Manasa, B.A.M.S

Putraghni is one among the 20 gynaecological disorders. It is a condition in which the aggravated vata repeatedly destroys the fetuses, mainly male fetuses. While master Charaka has named it as Putraghni, both Vagbhatas have named it as Jataghni which means death of neonates, i.e. the infant immediately after birth.
Read – Anomalies, Defects In Fetus, Ayurvedic Treatment

Causes, pathology

Causative Factors

Predominance of excessive dryness in a pregnant woman, caused due to excessive consumption of dry foods and mode of life which causes increase of dryness in the body. Increased dryness causes aggravation of vata.
Read – Ayurvedic Diet And Lifestyle For Pregnant Woman

Pathogenesis

Vata aggravated due to the presence of extreme dryness in the body of a pregnant woman, repeatedly destroys the fetuses conceived with vitiated shonita / ovum (abnormalities of ovum caused by vitiated vata).

Putra = son, male child
Ghni = destroys, kills

Putragni is a condition in which the fetuses are continuously destroyed by vitiated vata. Though fetuses of both sex are destroyed, destruction of male fetuses predominate. Therefore it is called as putragni.
Read – Factors That Harm Fetus, Avoidable Food And Habits In Pregnancy

Symptoms, Sushruta’s opinion

Symptoms

Garbham jaatam jaatam vinaashayet – repeated destruction of fetuses by vitiated vata

Putraghni – as explained by Master Sushruta

The fetuses after attaining stability are repeatedly destroyed due to bleeding. Apart from this, there are other clinical features of pitta vitiation like burning sensation, increased heat etc.
Read – Bleeding During Pregnancy: Causes, Ayurvedic Treatment

Madhava Nidana and Yogaratnakara have explained similar to Sushruta. They have said that loss of blood or menstrual blood by vitiated vata as causal for manifestation of putragni.

Jataghni gynecological disorder

Etiological factors of Jatagni

Vitiation of vata on the backdrop of increased dryness in a pregnant woman, especially at term causes Jataghni.
Read – Gynecological Disorders Causes, Types As Per Ayurveda

Pathogenesis of Jataghni

Vata aggravated due to increased dryness, repeatedly kills the neonates immediately after birth which have been conceived and developed from vitiated / contaminated artava (ovum). This entity is called jataghni.

Jata = born
Ghni – to kill, to destroy

Jataghni is a condition in which the neonates are killed immediately after birth, by vitiated vata.
Read – Ayurvedic Care Of The Newborn Baby: Jatamatra Paricharya

Symptoms – Jaatam Jaatam sutam hanta – death of neonate, immediately after birth

Sanskrit verse

Correlation, habitual abortion

Modern correlation & comparative study

Looking at the Ayurvedic explanation of both putraghni and jataghni gynaecological disorders from a modern lens, the below mentioned conditions can be brought into comparison.

habitual abortions

All authors except Vagbhata have mentioned repeated abortion of fetus after they have attained stability as the main feature of jataghni. This depicts the abortion occurring during the second trimester of pregnancy wherein the fetus would have attained stability.
Read – Herbs Useful For Maintenance Of Pregnancy

Almost all kinds of abortions are associated with blood loss. Ayurveda too has mentioned abnormalities of blood / bleeding per vaginum / loss of blood (Madhava Nidana).

Term Artava also covers ovum and ovarian hormones. In abnormalities of ovum i.e. chromosomal or genetic defects, abortion occurs in 8th – 10th week (first trimester). In hormonal imbalance abortion can occur at any time.

Second trimester onwards, most hormones are formed by placenta. When there are deficient placental functions, the level of hormones produced by placenta too will decline. Besides that, the fetal nourishment too will be influenced resulting in loss of its blood i.e. inadequate haemopoisis.
Read – How Endocrine System And Hormones Are Governed By Tridosha?

Syphilis cause

Placental insufficiency and repeated abortions caused by syphilis

Syphilis is one condition which causes placental insufficiency.

Syphilis reaches placenta through maternal blood. This can be compared to abnormality of blood as mentioned by Ayurveda.

Placenta afflicted with syphilis doesn’t produce required amount of hormones. This can be compared to artava dosha explained in Ayurvedic texts.

Affliction of placenta by syphilis also influences the supply of nutrition to the fetus leading to nutritional deficiency to the fetus. This can be compared to the raktakshaya explained by Ayurveda.

All these events lead to repeated abortions.
Read – 15 Precautions And Benefits Of Massage In Pregnancy

Nutritional deficiency

Repeated abortions due to nutritional deficiency

In Madhava Nidana, we can find the loss of blood being mentioned as the cause of putraghni. We can correlate it with a condition wherein there is loss of blood of mother leading to repeated abortions due to nutritional deficiency.
Read – Conception And Formation Of Fetus As Per Ayurveda

Repeated neonatal deaths caused by syphilis

When the sperms or ovum are afflicted by syphilis various congenital deformities of the fetus are caused. It also causes death of neonate immediately after birth. This holds well with the explanation given by master Vagbhata.

Rh incompatibility

Abnormality of blood as a cause of putraghni gynaecological disorder as mentioned by Ayurvedic treatises can be considered as Rh incompatibility which is an important cause for repeated abortions and neonatal deaths.
Read – Rakta Pradoshaja Rogas – When Blood Is Vitiated By Doshas

Treatment of Putraghni

Uttara basti – Ghee processed with Stereospermum suaveolens and Holarrhena antidysenterica should be used for giving vaginal enema.

Rakta Uttara Basti – Blood of deer, goat, sheep and hog mixed with sour substances, curds, honey and ghee should be used to administer intra-uterine / intra-vaginal enema.

Vatahara krama – all measures capable of mitigating the vitiated vata should be adopted

Utkarika – poultice prepared with barley, wheat, yeast, Saussurea lappa, dill seeds, Sida cordifolia, Callicarpa macrophylla and Ipomea reniformis should be done, introduced inside the vagina

Phalaghrita – Since the disease is characterised by repeated abortions or neonatal deaths / still-births, phalaghrita is indicated for these symptoms can be used.

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