By Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay)
Medhovaja srotas – The fat carrying channels, as their names indicate, do not carry fat in them. They transport materials needed for the formation and balance of fat tissue. When these channels get contaminated / vitiated or damaged there is excessive or deficit formation of fat.
Medo / meda = fat tissue
Vaha = carrying
Srotas = channels / ducts of transportation or conveyance
Read – Srotas: Body Channels and Duct systems – Easy Explanation
Medovaha Srotas – channels of transportation of fat tissue
According to Sushruta
a. Roots of the channels
The channels carrying fat tissue are two in number. They have their roots in –
Katee – pelvic region or around hips
Vrukkau – both kidneys
b. Symptoms of injury or damage to the channels
Sweda agamanam – excessive sweating
Snigdha angataa – excessive oiliness of the body and body parts
Taalu shosha – dryness of the palates
Sthula – obesity
Shophataa – swelling of the body parts / edema
Pipasa – thirst
According to Charaka
a. Roots of the channels
The roots of origin of channels conveying the fat tissue lie in –
Vrukka – Kidneys and
Vapavahanam – Peritoneum or omentum (layers covering and protecting the abdominal organs)
b. Symptoms of vitiation of Medovaha srotas
Ashta nindita purushas – The vitiation of fat carrying channels will result in 8 kinds of people with socially unfit personalities / body frames. They are –
|Sl No||Kind of socially unfit personality||Meaning|
|1||Atisthula||Excessively fat / obese / severe overweight|
|2||Atikrisha||Excessively thin / emaciated|
|3||Atiloma||Having excessive body hairs|
|4||Aloma||Having deficit / scanty / no body hairs|
|5||Atigaura||Excessive white complexion|
|6||Atikrishna||Too dark / black complexion|
|7||Atideergha||Exceedingly tall / gigantic|
|8||Atihrisva||Too short in stature / dwarfism|
Read – Obesity: Pathology, Signs And Symptoms As Per Ayurveda
All these conditions appear like the diseases / body frames related to and resulting from hormonal imbalances of various kinds.
Prameha purvarupas – When the fat transporting channels are contaminated, the premonitory symptoms of prameha – diabetes / urinary disorders are manifested. People in whom the fat metabolism gets disturbed will be prone to get diabetes in future. This is in sync with the explanation given in modern medicine. This also reflects the ancient knowledge and wisdom about the inter-relationship between obesity and diabetes which is also very much evident in the modern era.
Read – Prameha: Ayurvedic Approach To Urinary Disorders
Causes for vitiation of Medo vaha srotas
Avyayama – Lack of exercise, sedentary life
Diva swapna – sleeping during day time
Medhyaanaam cha ati sevanam – excessive eating of fatty, fried and caloric foods
Varuni – excessive consumption of Varuni – an alcoholic product
Management of vitiation of fat transporting channels
The contamination of fat carrying channels and the resultant diseases should be treated on the lines of treating fat related disorders as elaborated in chapter 21 of Charaka Samhita Sutra Sthana section (Name of the chapter = Ashtau Ninditiya Adhyaya).
Two kinds of people are always prone to get diseases. They are –
They should always be treated using antagonistic therapies –
Karshana or thinning therapy for obese people and
Brimhana or stoutening therapy for thin / emaciated persons
Thus thinning therapy is the best for treating the diseases caused by vitiation of fat carrying channels.
Guru cha apatarpanam – Obese persons should be given with heavy to digest food while administering under-saturating (thinning) therapies, medicines and food.
The below mentioned measures should be adopted to treat diseases caused due to vitiation of fat carrying channels –
1. Vyayamam – regular exercise / physical activities
2. Vyavayam – regular indulgence in sexual intercourse
3. Chinta – Mental strain
4. Prajagaram – awakening at night times
5. Bheshaja – use of the below mentioned medicines and formulations on regular basis –
Guduchi – Tinospora cordifolia
Musta – Cyperus rotundus
Triphala – fruits of Terminalia chebula, Terminalia bellirica, Emblica officinalis
Takrarishta – fermented product / alcoholic preparation prepared from buttermilk and medicinal herbs
Vidanga – Embelia ribes
Kshara – alkali
Loha – ash of black iron mixed with honey
Powders of barley and Indian gooseberry
Bilwadi Panchamula – powder of roots of Aegle marmelos, Clerodendrum phlomidis, Oroxylum indicum, Stereospermum suaveolens and Gmelina arborea mixed with honey Shilajatu should be used along with decoction of Clerodendrum phlomidis
Analysis of fat carrying channels and their roots
Excessively formed fat may accumulate at different places of the body in an abnormal way and cause many diseases. They may also block many channels including the blood vessels and hamper free flow of nutrition and oxygen to the body parts. Overweight and obesity can cause a wide array of dangerous and complicated diseases. On the other hand, deficit fat too causes many diseases because the fat tissue is needed for smooth functioning of the cells and tissues of the body in balanced proportions.
The Roots – Master Sushruta has mentioned pelvis and kidneys as roots of fat carrying channels. Master Charaka has also mentioned kidneys but instead of pelvis he has mentioned omentum / peritoneum as roots of these channels. It is possible that the Ayurveda masters, after observing maximum fat accumulation around the pelvis / hips, kidneys and omentum, have considered these regions as the roots of fat carrying channels. The thought might also have been that the bulk of fat in these regions support and nourish the fat in other parts of the body through channels originating from them. Though such channels cannot be anatomically demonstrated we can infer the understanding of feedback mechanism. Ayurveda wisdom was rich enough to understand that the seats of maximum accumulation / depots of fat might nurture small fat representations at various parts of the body through the feedback mechanism or through small or microscopic channels which are unseen. Master Charaka has also said that the srotas vis-à-vis channels of the body might be minute and microscopic too.
Read – Raktavaha Srotas: Description, Vitiation Symptoms, Treatment
Analysis of symptoms of vitiation of rasa transporting channels
Symptoms mentioned by Master Sushruta are caused by damage to the fat carrying channels pointing towards increased accumulation of fat due to imbalance in fat metabolism. Sweat is an excreta of fat and hence excessive sweating can be seen when there is more accumulation of fat in the body. Fat is causal for unctuousness of the body (property and function of balanced fat). When the body has more fat, the body looks oilier. Obesity and swelling of the body is also due to accumulation of fat and its pressure on the tissues and organs of the body. Dryness of the palates and thirst are consequences of fat blocking the water conveying channels of the body.
The symptoms explained by master Charaka points towards a higher understanding of the mechanism and consequences of erratic fat metabolism. Master Charaka has established the relationship between contamination of fat and subsequent contamination of fat carrying channels and manifestation of pre-diabetes by mentioning the ‘premonitory symptoms of diabetes’ among the symptoms of contamination of fat and fat carrying channels. Later Charaka has also classified diabetics as obese and non-obese types. This theory is accepted by modern medicine too. Apart from this, by mentioning the 8 physical disfigurements as symptoms of contamination of fat carrying channels, master Charaka has shown mastery over the subject by linking errors of fat metabolism with endocrine dysfunctions of various kinds. Modern medicine has also proved the bad impact of increased fat and obesity on different endocrine systems.
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