Asthivaha Srotas Description, Vitiation Symptoms, Treatment

By Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay)

Asthivaha srotas – The channels of bone transportation do not convey bones but they convey the materials and building blocks needed to make and balance bone tissue in the body.

Asthi = fat tissue, Vaha = carrying, Srotas = channels / ducts of transportation or conveyance

Read – Srotas: Body Channels and Duct systems – Easy Explanation

Introduction

Master Charaka has mentioned and explained the channels transporting bones but master Sushruta has not explained the same.

According to Charaka
a. Roots of the channels  

The channels carrying bone tissue are two in number. They have their roots in –
Meda – fat
Jaghana – Hip bones

b. Symptoms of vitiation of bone carrying channels
Adhyasthi – Extra growth of bone tissue
Adhi dantau – Extra growth of teeth
Danta bheda – splitting pain in the tooth
Danta shoola – toothache
Asthi bheda – splitting pain in the bones
Asthi shoolam – bone pain
Vivarnataa – discoloration of the body
Kesha dosha – diseases of hairs
Loma dosha – diseases of body hair, also includes disorders of hair roots and skin pores
Nakha dosha – deformities / disorders of nails and nail-bed
Shmashru dosha – disorders of moustache
Read – Channels Of Circulation And Doshas

Causes for vitiation of Astivaha Srotas   

Vyayama – indulgence excessive exercise
Ati sankshobha – excessive irritation
Asthi vighattana – bones being crushed and subjected to repeated trauma
Vatala ahara – excessive consumption of vata aggravating foods
Read – Vata Dosha – Mastermind Behind All Body And Mind Activities

Treatment of vitiation

The vitiation / contamination of Asthivaha Srotas and the diseases resulting therein should be treated by the administration of –

1. Panchakarma – 5 cleansing measures / treatments skillfully administered as and when needed. They include –

Vamana – therapeutic emesis
Virechana – therapeutic purgation
Asthapana Vasti – decoction enemas
Anuvasana Vasti – oil enemas and
Nasya – nasal medication

2. Vasti – Medicated enemas
3. Tikta ksheera and sarpi – Milk and ghee processed with medicines having bitter taste should be administered

Sanskrit Verses

Analysis

The bone related disorders are manifested when ashtivaha srotas get vitiated or contaminated. These pathological events, as evidenced from the symptoms of vitiation of these channels, cause increased deposition of bone tissue or the substances taking part in building the bone tissue.

Read – Asthi Shareera – Definition, Anatomy, Types Of Bones

The Roots – Master Charaka has mentioned fat tissue and hip bones as the roots of bone carrying channels.

a. Fat as the root of bone carrying channels – Bones are formed after and from fat tissue in the chronology of formation of tissues as explained in Ayurveda. The bone gets its building blocks and materials for it to form and get sustained from fat tissue. Since fat is the origin of bone tissue anatomically (according to Ayurveda), it could have been considered as the root of bone carrying tissues.

b. Hip / pelvic bones as root of bone carrying channels – Hips / pelvic bones form the central axis of the skeletal framework of our body. It appears as if these large bones have taken the responsibility of carrying the entire bony frame of the body on them and supporting them apart from keeping them in position. The spine with bones of the limbs and cranial vault and the chest bones at the top and the bones of the lower limbs appear to be taking their origin from the pelvis / hip bones. Hence master Charaka might have considered these bones as the root of bone carrying channels.

Read – Diseases Due To Pathological Bone Tissue – Asthi Pradoshaja Rogas

Analysis of vitiation of bone transporting channels

The symptoms of vitiation of Asthivah Srotas include diseases and deformities of bones, teeth, hair and body hair and nails. Bone and vata dosha have a residence and resident relationship. When vata aggravates the bone, tissue is destroyed or damaged. This can cause diseases and symptoms pertaining to the bones like bone pain and splitting pain in the bones. This happens due to affliction of bone carrying channels by increased vata. Vata aggravating factors are mentioned among the etiological factors for contamination of bone tissue and its channels.

When bones are afflicted by vata, its metabolism and pattern of formation may be hampered. There will be structural deformities of the bones and teeth leading to extra bone and teeth growth, splitting of tooth and toothache.

Body hairs and nails are the excreta or appendages of bone tissue. Therefore, when bone tissue is vitiated or contaminated, the body hairs and nails are also afflicted.
Click to Consult Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ayu)

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