By NS Desk | Vaidya Corner | Posted on :   27-Apr-2020

Significance of: Chest is the seat of two important systems cardio-vascular and respiratory system. In Ayurveda Pranavaha srotasa parlance this combo of heart and lung system is called Pranavaha srotas.  Respiratory system is concerned with absorbing oxygen from the environment into blood and heart is connected with its transport throughout the body. As it begins from mouth and nose, it has a fair connectivity with the outer world and can be easily affected by any change in the composition of the air in terms of moisture, temperature, chemical and physical pollutants and microbes. This makes it a good entry point into the body.






Dust particles, Smoke, Smogs, Chemical fumes, Seasonal Allergens, Cold humid air, Low temperatures, Air conditioning at very low temperatures. Cigarette Smoking



Excessive Physical exertion beyond one’s capability and exercise tolerance, Excessive Gym work-outs, Excessive atheletic sport activities running etc.wrestling , Excessive sexual activities. Vega dharana i.e. Supression of natural urges of Shrama shwasa (Stress of Excercise), Bashpa (Emotional Stress), Udgara (Eructation, Belching) and Cigarette Smoking.



Food Factors

 Dry, Low calorie diets, Red beans, Black beans, Sesame pastes, Fat rich foods, Deep fried pastries, Meats of animals from aquatic origin or farm animals, unpasteurized milk, Cold Milk, Milk shakes, Water chestnuts.


Dietary Practices

Fasting, Eating less, Eating More, Consuming incompatible diets, Poor digestion and Ama formation, Regular heavy diets, Food allergens.


Disease Conditions

As a complication of Raktapitta, Udavarta, Visuchika and Alsaka, Paandu Roga, Poisoning, Other conditions in which body fluids and tissues are lost including consumption disorders.  Upper and Lower Respiratory tract infection with various microbes and other pathogens.  Congenital and Acquired structural abnormalities.


Trauma/ Injuries

Head, Neck, Thorax and Pelvic trauma, Surgery. Injuries on the vital visceral organs  and/or Marma.



Due to choking, congestion, inflammation or other obstructive pathologies including tumors causing the obstruction of the cardiorespiratory tract. It also includes choking, smothering, mugging, compressing etc.


Nosocomial/ Treatment Related

Excessive loss of body fluids during Panchakarma treatment. Excessive and aggressive use of Shodhana procedures without considering patient factors.


Psychological Factors

Many mental states like fear, lust, mental stress affect the functioning of Pranavaha Srotasa.


Signs of Disorders in Pranavaha Srotasa:    As the main function of the Pranvaha srotasa is to deliver oxygen to each unit component of the body. The most significant sign of the Pranavaha Sroto dushti is the change in the breathing pattern. If a person becomes short of breath even after doing little exertion,  effortful breathing, chest pain, cough, hiccoughs, whistling in the chest or other sounds from the chest. These are indications of one or the other disorder of the chest which must be investigated by consulting a physician.In classical texts of Ayurveda,  Peenasa (Rhinits) Shwasa (Respiratory Disorders of various origins), Kasa (Cough  of various origins). Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Lung fibrosis, Bronchial Asthama, Pulmonary Embolism, Pulmonary Koch’s,  Lung Carcinoma,  Congestive Cardiac Failure, Myocardial infarction etc. are some of the prevalent disorders of Pranavaha Srotasa.


Promotive and Preventive Treatment: Ayurveda supports the idea of maintaining body in such a condition so that state of health remain a continuous phenomenon and diseases and disorders do not interrupt it. It is called as Vikaranaam Anutpattikara Bhava or Swastha Vrutta.  In our daily life style we may inculcate such  healthy habits in the form of  Dincharya which can save us from the burden of many diseases. These include:

  1. Avoidance of the Nidaana or etiological factors of Pranavaha sroto dushti kara bhava in our daily living. [See table 1].
  2. Waking up early in the morning,  daily use of Datun followed by tongue scraping, Practice of Pranayama and Yoga asana, Kavala Dharana  helps clean the cardio-respiratory tract from the pent up secretions and invigorates the cardio-respiratory tract.
  3. Moderate intensity physical activity or sports activity  at least for 30 minutes a day, as per one’s own capacity is a healthy habit to strengthen Pranavaha srotasa. Self capacity is assessed by the intensity of workout till he/she feels short of breath and sweating appears on the forehead.
  4. Abhyanga, massaging the chest region and head particularly helps in the smooth movement of Prana vayu. During shortness of breath one should massage the chest with mustard oil and salt followed by hot fomentation of the region will ease movement of breath.
  5. Pratimarsha Nasya, instilling drops of Anu Taila, Ksheer Bala or Chandan Bala Laksha aadi tailam, Ghee, Castor oil, Coconut oil or other non-irritating oil into nostrils help to keep away the dust and smoke from the nasal mucosa and do not let the allergens going deep down to lower respiratory tract.
  6. Prayogik Dhoompana with herbs like Tulsi, Sarshapa, Guggulu, Vacha, Haridra, Nimba patra, Raala, Jatamansi etc. is a good disinfectant measure and opens up the trachea-bronchial tract.
  7. To  follow the code of Aahara Vidhi, 12 steps  of how to consume foods. Many  incompatible and allergogenic foods to be avoided. Pursue healthy food habits. Warm foods should always be taken. Refrigerated, cold and frozen foods must always be avoided. Drinking only warm liquids through out the day. People who have some breathing problems should avoid taking heavy foods stuffs, icecream, cold-drinks, Kheer, Cakes, Deep fried stuffs, Curd, Yogurt, Shreekhand etc, before going to bed.
  8. Maintaining a distance from those who are afflicted with the one or the other kind of respiratory infections. Proper hygiene measures must also be adopted.
  9. Timely sleep and avoiding sleeping during daytime helps to keep Kapha and Vata in a good balance.
  10. To practice Ritu Shodhana, preferably Vamana Karma (Drug induced Vomiting Regimen) during Vasant Ritu/ Spring season.
  11. Use of Rasayana therapy to support and strengthen the Pranavaha srotasa like Chavyan prasha, Agastya Haritaki, Haridra Khanda etc.


Foods for Healthy Pranavaha Srotasa: Aged cereals, Red rice, Kulatha, Barley, Aged Ghee, Goat’s milk and Ghee, Honey, Greens of Bathua, Mooli, Chaulai, Parvala, Small Brinjals, Dodi, Lashuna, Dry fruits include Raisins must be taken,  Meats of farm animals and aquatic animals should not be taken, cream based products, dairy based products, bakery based products, rice should be avoided.


Home Remedies:

  1. Black pepper powder 1.5 to 2 gm with candy sugar or honey twice a day help relieve cough and breathlessness.
  2. Expressed juice of fresh ginger 3 to 5 ml with honey help relieve cough, cold and breathlessness.
  3. Powders of Belleric myrobalan (Bahera) and Long peper (Pippali) in the ratio of 2:1 with honey helps relieve cough.
  4. Panchkola powder 3 gm with honey help in relieving cough and congestion due to pent up mucous secretions in the chest.
  5. Harada Powder along with dry ginger powder in equal quantity 2 gm each with warm water relieve breathlessness due to over eating.
  6. Kulath Soup with dry ginger powder is helpful in the above conditions.


Dravya Kalpa

Swarasa (Expressed Juices): Adraka, Vasa, Tulsi,

Decoctions: Dashmoola Kwatha, Kullathadi Kwatha,  Kantkari Kwatha, Panchkola Ksheerpaka

Churna preparationsSitopaadi Churana, Taalisaadi Churan, Karpooradi Churna, Bhaarangi Churana,  Samsharkara Churana  and Vasadi Churana.

Vati (Tablet): Lavanagadi Vati, Vasadi Vati, Khadir Vati, Kanth sudharak vati, Sanjeevani Vati, Agnitundi Vati, etc.

Avleha:  Drakshadi Avleha, Chavyan prasha, Kharjooradi Leha,  Chitraka Haritaki, Kantakaryaadi avleha, Bhaarangi Guda.

Asava Arishta: Draksha arishta, Dasmoolarista, Kanakasava

Bhasma Preparation: Shrung Bhasm, Rasa sindoora, Abhraka Bhasma,

Rasa Preparations:   Tribhuvan Kirti Rasa,  Chandramruta Rasa,  Laghu Malini Vasant Rasa, Shwas kuthar Rasa,  Sameera pannaga Rasa, Shwasa Kasa Chintamani Rasa, Lakshmi Vilasa Rasa, Raja Mruganaka Ras, Sooth Shekhar Rasa, Arogya Vardhini Rasa, etc.

Conclusion:   Pranavaha srotas  is the seat of the life force, it’s healthy condition determines our stress tolerance and disease resistance. As it is continuously exposed to the environment through nose and mouth, one should adopt all the above mentioned measures to minimize the exposure and promote  the defence mechanism of this channel to enjoy lasting health.  Lets not forget, Life is breath, Lets take care of  our breath.

Read More - Preserving and Building long term Immunity amidst 'Corona-Crisis'

NS Desk

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