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Srotas or Body Channels in Ayurveda

Srotas or channels are present in all living things. These srothas or channels carry food, minerals, water, air and thoughts. A block in the srotas is the beginning of diseases. Another definition of health is here – the unchecked flow of physical elements, thought and knowledge.

Only three srotas or channels are recognized by modern medical science – they are the anna vaha srotha (the digestive system), rakta vaha srota (circulatory system) and the prana vaha srota (respiratory system).

Charaka, the ancient Ayurveda acharya lists thirteen srothas in his book, the Charaka Samhita. Three srotas for food, air and water, seven srotas associated with sapta dhatus, and three srotas for excretion. Presently there are sixteen srotas identified.
The first three srotas are:
Prana vaha srota carries breath
Anna vaha srota carries solid and liquid food
Udaka vaha srotas carry water in the body

The seven srotas associated with sapta dhatus are:
Rasa vaha srota carries plasma and lymphatic liquid
Rakta vaha srota carries blood – circulatory system
Mamsa vaha srota carries nutrients to muscles and wastes from muscle tissue
Meda (medha) vaha srota supplies fat to adipose tissues
Asthi vaha srota supplies nutrients to bones
Majja vaha srota supplies nutrients to bone marrow, nervous system and the brain.
Sukra (shukla) vaha srota supplies nutrients to sexual organs and carry reproductive cells and liquids.

The three srotas associated with malas are:
Purisha vaha srota carries feces
Mutra vaha srota carries urine
Sveda vaha srota carries sweat

The three additional srotas that are not described in Charaka Samhita are Artava vaha srotas (the menstrual channel) stanya vaha srotas (the channel that carries breast milk) and mano vaha srotas (the channel that carries all mental activities).

Two women-only srotas are:
Artava vaha srotas carry menstrual fluids
Stanya vaha srotas carry breast milk

One srota associated with mind is:
Mano vaha srotas carrying thoughts, and wisdom

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