By Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay)
Svedavaha srotas – The channels of transportation of sweat seem to be the sweat apparatus including the sweat glands and sweat pores in the skin.
Sveda = sweat
Vaha = carrying
Srotas = channels / ducts of transportation or conveyance
Read – Srotas: Body Channels and Duct systems – Easy Explanation
Table of Contents
Introduction to Swedavaha Srotas
Master Sushruta has not explained the channels of transport of sweat.
According to Charaka –
a. Roots of the channels
The roots of sweat carrying channels are located in –
Meda – fat tissue – sweat is considered to be the excreta of fat
Loma Koopa – minute pores of the skin located around the base of hair follicles of the skin
b. Symptoms of vitiation of sweat carrying channels –
Aswedanam – lack of sweating
Ati Swedanam – excessive sweating
Parushyam – roughness of the skin
Ati shlakshnata – excessive smoothness of the skin
Paridaha – burning sensation
Lomaharsha – horripulation
Read – Sweat – Importance, Formation, Disorders in Ayurveda (Sweda Mala)
Causes for vitiation
Svedovaha srotas – Dushti Karana:
Vyaayaama – excessive exercise
Ati santaapaat – exposure to heat
Sheeta ushna akrama sevanaat – non-judicious intake of cold and hot foods and comforts, at a time
Krodha – excessive anger
Shoka – excessive grief
Bhaya – excessive fear
Treatment of vitiation
swedavaha srotodusti Chikitsa
The vitiation of sweat carrying channels should be managed on lines of treatment of fever.
The roots –
a. Fat as the root of the sweat carrying channels – Sweat has been said to be the excreta of fat tissue. Excessive sweating has been said to be one of the symptoms of obese and overweight people in Ayurveda texts. This idea has probably made them to consider fat as the root source of sweat and origin of sweat carrying channels in the body.
b. Loma / Roma Kupa as root of sweat transporting channels – These are the pores in the skin through which the sweat is excreted out of the body and hence considered as root of sweat transporting channels.
Read – Excessive Sweating: Ayurvedic Medicines, Home Remedies, Tips
Analysis of symptoms of damage / contamination of sweat transporting channels
Both contrasting symptoms i.e. lack of sweating and excessive sweating has been mentioned among the list of symptoms of contamination of sweat transporting channels. This may happen due to less or excessive stimulation of sweating apparatus leading to reduced or increased functioning of this system. This may happen in many pathological conditions. When there is lack of sweating the skin gets rough and when there is excessive sweating the skin appears excessively smooth. Proper sweating keeps the skin healthy and is a natural process. When the skin health is destroyed due to an imbalance in sweating mechanism, the skin loses its immunity and is exposed to a wide array of problems. Pitta, especially bhrajaka pitta gets vitiated in the skin and may cause inflammation and burning sensation of the skin. Horripulation is due to vata vitiation in the skin or sweat channels being contaminated by vata.
Etiological factors of contamination of sweat channels gives clearer ideas about different ways these channels are contaminated. Exercise, seasonal impact, certain foods, stress and mood variations and mental components like anger and grief have stronger impact on these channels. Excessive exercise, grief and fear would vitiate vata – this would cause dryness and horripulation. Excessive exposure to heat and anger would aggravate pitta which would in turn cause burning sensation and more sweating. Non-judicious foods in a mix of cold and hot things would vitiate both vata and pitta and they would cause symptoms related to their aggravation after contaminating sweat carrying channels.