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Purishavaha Srotas Description, Vitiation Symptoms, Treatment


Purishavaha Srotas Description, Vitiation Symptoms, Treatment

By Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay)
Purishavaha srotas – The channels conveying feces consist of large intestine wherein the feces is formed, the rectum which stores the feces until there is an urge to defecate and anus through which the feces is excreted out of the body. Purisha = feces, Vaha = carrying, Srotas = channels / ducts of transportation or conveyance
Read – Srotas: Body Channels and Duct systems – Easy Explanation


Pureesha Vaha Srotas – Channels of transport of faeces / stools
According to Sushruta –
a. Roots of the channels
The channels carrying feces are two in number. They have their roots in –

  • Pakwashaya – Large intestine
  • Guda – Anus

b. Symptoms of injury to feces carrying channels

  • Aanaha – flatulence
  • Durgandha – foul smelling feces
  • Grathita antrata – hard feces in the intestines, difficult to excrete feces

According to Charaka –
a. Roots of the channels
The roots of feces carrying channels are located in –

  • Pakwashaya – Large intestine
  • Sthula guda – Rectum and Anus

b. Symptoms of vitiation of feces carrying channels –

  • Kruchrata – difficulty in excreting stools
  • Alpam alpam – feces excreted in small quantities
  • Sa shabdam – sounds during defecation
  • Sa shulam – painful excretion of feces
  • Ati dravam – liquid stools
  • Ati gratitham – solid, hard stools, feces excreted in the form of pellets,
  • Ati bahu – frequent defecation
    Read – Importance of Stool (Feces) in Ayurveda – Physiology, Pathology

Causes for vitiation

Purishavaha Srotodushti Karana:

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  • Sandhaaranaat – Regular habit of withholding / forceful obstruction of the urge for defecation
  • Ati ashana – excessive eating
  • Ajeernaat – indigestion
  • Adhyashanaat – repeated eating / taking food before the previously consumed food has been digested
  • Durbala agni – weak digestion / digestion power
  • Krusha – in emaciated persons
    Read – Stool Examination In Ayurveda


The vitiation of feces transporting channels should be managed on the lines of treatment of diarrhea
Read – 37 Ayurveda Home Remedies For Diarrhea And Dysentery

Sanskrit Verses


a. Large intestine / colon as the root of Pureeshavaha Srotas (feces carrying channel) – According to Ayurveda, feces is formed in the large intestine. The digested food when reaches the colon, the drying colon fire located therein dries up the feces. This means to tell that the digested food reaching the colon gives away most of the water and important salts in it, which are useful for the body, so that they are held back. This happens due to the absorption of water and salts in the large intestine. When this happens, the feces attain dryness (with little moisture). The action of absorption of these useful things has been said to be done by the action of colon drying fire in Ayurveda. The feces is now said to be completely formed and ready to be excreted. The feces also gets the shape of a bolus so that it is eliminated in single excretion process. A pungent environment is prepared due to all these functions in the colon. This environment helps in the formation of vayu and also nurtures the vayu therein. Colon is also said to be the chief seat of vata. Therefore colon is considered as one of the roots of feces carrying channels.

b. Rectum as the root of feces carrying channel – Once the matured feces is formed in the colon, it is pushed to the rectum. Rectum holds the feces for a while until it can sufficiently create a pressure for evacuation of bowel. Therefore it is also included in the roots of feces carrying channels.

c. Anus / anal canal as the root for feces carrying channel – finally the feces is excreted from the anus. Therefore anal canal and anus are considered as part of roots of feces carrying channels.
Read – Role Of Doshas In Gastro Intestinal Tract

Analysis of symptoms of contamination of feces transporting channels

Flatulence and foul smelling feces points towards the faulty mechanism of feces formation, probably due to stagnation of feces for long time leading to its fermentation. This may happen on the backdrop of long standing practice of withholding the urge of defecation. Hardness of feces, formation in small quantity, pellet like stool shows increased / hyper-functioning of apana vata and drying fire i.e. excessive absorption of water and salts leading to excessive dryness of feces. This will eventually cause difficult and painful defecation and also give rise to constipation and related complications on long run. Liquid stools indicate diarrhea as a consequence of contamination of feces carrying channels. Thus, both contrasting symptoms i.e. constipation and difficulty in defecation and diarrhea / fecal incontinence have been mentioned as symptoms of contamination of these channels. Diarrhea may be due to non-absorption or improper absorption of water and salts by the colon.
Click to Consult Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ayu)

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