Pakvashya Gata Vata- Understanding the condition and its management

Pronounced as: Puk-vah-sh-i-yah  Gah-tah  Vah-tah

Vata dosha affects the different tissues and organs of the body and can cause various diseases.

To understand the condition of Pakvashya Gata Vata, we need to understand the meaning of  ‘Pakvashya’, ‘Vata’, and ‘Gata-Vata’.

‘Ashya’ in Sanskrit means ‘an abode’. The word ‘Pakvashya’ has been derived from this Sanskrit word, eventually meaning “where the ‘Pakva’  (or the digested food) ‘resides’”.

Obviously, this location would be the lower part of the abdomen starting from the terminal part of the small intestine to the end of the large intestine (the colon). However, in Ayurveda, this is also a functional unit rather than just a standalone anatomical organ. Hence, all organs that are present below the umbilicus fall under the umbrella term of ‘Pakvashaya’.

Vata is one of the three forces (doshas or body humors) involved in the physiological functioning and disease conditions in our body. Vata, as mentioned in Ayurveda, is a governing and principal force which is responsible for movement, communication, transportation, respiration, circulation, elimination and thinking.

The seat of Vata is which principally found in the nervous system. This includes the central nervous system (CNS) as well as the peripheral nervous system (PNS), all of which come under the purview of Vata and indicate its functional aspect. Due to the importance of these functions, Vata is known as the principal force. The physical manifestation of this dosha is through its constituent elements, namely ‘Space’ and ‘Air’. These elements give certain properties to Vata through which its physical presence can be identified. These properties are dryness, lightness, coldness, subtlety, roughness, mobility and clarity, which when discovered in any part of the body, warn us about the presence of Vata.

In the condition of ‘Pakvashya Gata Vata’, these manifestations can increase manifold within the area demarcated as ‘Pakvashya’ due to various causative factors, thereby giving birth to health conditions.

What are the causes of Vata aggravation?

Out of the several reasons behind this doshic imbalance, given below are the primary ones: 

  • Excessive consumption of cold and dry foods
  • Excessive consumption of astringent, bitter and pungent foods
  • Suppression of natural body urges like passing of flatus, stools and urine
  • Excessive activity without adequate rest
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Living under fear and/or anxiety etc.

What are the symptoms of Pakvashya Gata Vata?

The symptoms of  Pakvashya Gata Vata seem to arise from a combination of the local increase of Vata properties (that manifest in the formation of ailments like formation of urinary stones) and a diminished Vata (that can cause issues like impotence).

Other symptoms of this doshic aggravation includes borborygmi (rumbling sound of the intestines), colicky pain, swelling of abdomen, inability to defecate, pain, rigidity in lower back (referred pain due to swollen abdomen), stiffness of the back, impotency, pain around the umbilicus, painful urination, precipitation of the formation of urinary stones, hernia etc.

How can Pakvashya Gata Vata be managed?

Pakvashya Gata Vata can be managed by improving digestion, pacifying the local aggravation of Vata, and restoring the natural flow of urine, stools and flatus.

The process includes: 

  • Using suppositories and enemas to clear the colon and promote the release of flatus and stools.
  • Local warm oil massages and heat packs to decrease pain and pacify Vata.
  • Using spices like asafetida, garlic, and caraway seeds in food to aid digestion and to release flatus.
  • Eating semi-solid, soft foods like porridge prepared in ghee and made a little sour by addition of dried pomegranate seeds or tamarind.
  • Drinking only hot water throughout the day.
  • Strictly avoiding cold drinks and foods as well as the other causative factors mentioned above.
  • Specific measures to take care of diseases like hernia, urinary stone should be initiated simultaneously.

DISCLAIMER: Nothing in this document may be viewed as the diagnosis or treatment of any medical disease whatsoever. The contents of this document are the opinions of the author based on his/her learning and experience. This document is meant only for educational purposes. The Ayurveda Experience is not liable or responsible for the suggestions made herein.

Please consult your primary care physician before implementing any change in your diet or lifestyle.

mm
Deepak Bhanot, BAMS is a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner with 20 years of experience. He specializes in dietary and lifestyle consultation as per one's Prakriti. He has an advanced specialization in Nutrition and Health Education as well as Preventive and Promotive Health Care. He is a certified Panchakarma and Ayurvedic Acupressure therapist.

3 comments

  1. I am suffering from vasculitis/ ulcers in the ankle region. kindly suggest some remedy

  2. Thank you for the information. If I am upset my stomach is the first thing that responds the gut is very perceptive! (Second is my facial skin). Both are at peace right now.

    • mm

      Hi Colleen, Yes you are right that the mental state has profound effect on the functioning of the gut. So, if we take measures to calm the vata on the physical level through right food and lifestyle and at the mental and emotional levels through different means like pranayama, meditation, socializing etc, etc. we ultimately will be taking care of this condition.

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