Kha vaigunya

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Kha vaigunya means defect in channels of transportation and transformation.
Ayurvedic practitioners are trained to identify changes in micro-tissues that predispose to disease and this phenomenon is called Kha vaigunya. These changes are not sufficient to produce the disease, however, they form the essential base for possible diseases in near future. They may be at genetic level, micro cellular level, chronic inflammation in the tissues, defects due to previous treatment, or untreated toxins in the tissues. Kha vaigunya is an important milestone in the six-stage pathogenesis of disease progression (shatkriyakala). The vitiated dosha are localized at the defective body system leading to the formation of disease.
Occurrence and recurrence are two terms used in medical systems to understand the basic pathogenesis of the disease. Occurrence is the first occasion when a disease manifests due to the first event of disequilibrium of tissues. Whereas recurrence is a repeated occurrence of disease due to many factors including lack of proper treatment or elimination of the disease. However, the patient is a common sufferer in both processes. The events can be viewed as a ‘defective body system’.

Section/Chapter/topic Concepts and Contemporary Practices -Nidana / Vyadhi / Kha Vaigunya
Author Khandel S.K.1,Baghel M.S.1
Reviewer Basisht G.2
Editor Deole Y.S.2

1Director, ArogyaLaxmi, Jaipur, India

2Charak Samhita Research, Training and Development Centre, I.P.G.T.& R.A., Jamnagar, Gujarat, India
Correspondence email:
Publisher Charak Samhita Research, Training and Development Centre, I.T.R.A., Jamnagar, India
Date of first publication: August 15, 2020
DOI 10.47468/CSNE.2020.e01.s09.027

Causes for occurrence and recurrence of diseases

Disease occurrence is a multi-factorial phenomenon. A number of causes play role in it. Disease producing causes (DPC) (utpadak hetu) differ from Disease manifesting causes (DMC) (vyanjak hetu). Kha vaigunya (defective channels of transport and transformation) is one of the most important disease-producing causes (DPC) and is a prerequisite for all diseases. ‘Kha’ literally means ‘empty or vacant space’. In view of Ayurveda's physiology and pathology, it refers to the body channels of transport and transformation. Vaigunya means defect or deformity. It can also be viewed as a factor responsible for the opportunistic process of disease.

Disease producing causes

DPC’s are remote and nonspecific or common causes for various diseases. These can be understood by the following points:

  • May not be detected on laboratory investigations.
  • Act as silent factors destabilizing the physiology
  • They are latent, dormant, feeble in nature, but by the time they get the support of trigger factors or DMC’s become cause of the sudden onset of diseases
  • Often unnoticed by patients and doctors both

Managing only the disease-specific causes, observed on laboratory evidence, immediate and manifesting causes is not a wise step. It indicates an inefficient use of medical knowledge.

Physiology of fluid circulation

In order to understand, the deformity in body channels, one shall first understand the normal basic physiology according to Ayurveda. Good composition of srotas or microchannels is important for the circulation of body constituents. Akasha or space, one of the mahabhuta among 5 primordial components of nature, is an important constituent of microchannels. It allows all body constituents to flow without obstruction (apratighata). It provides space required for all activities of cells, tissues, and organs, with effortless ease and zero resistance. This process is continuous in living being with the least or zeroes consumption of energy in the transportation of biofluids.

Space is also a basic requirement for uninterrupted movements of biofluids, and functions such as:

  • Sravana: Permeation, infiltration of duly formed dhatus or tissues
  • Ayana: Transport of transforming nutrients (Rasa) – enforced by vyana vata
  • Mokshana: elimination of non-convertible byproducts of transformation called Excreta – the mala

Srotas or Microchannels

Thus, in view of the above functions, the ‘kha’ or ‘srotas’ can be understood as:

  • Receivers of the matter from the surrounding environment in the form of food, drinks, and breath
  • Transformers of this mega energy into 7 dhatu or tissues
  • Nature travels and transcends in the form of biofluids in srotas after metabolic transformation of food- drinks and breath. It is converted into physical and mental energy first, and then in knowledge and finally in bliss.
  • Dispensers of life or vitality to trillions of cells simultaneously and consistently for lifetime
  • Eliminators of the metabolic wastes mainly in the form of urine, stool, and sweat

Scope of Kha Vaigunya

Therefore, the defects in the body channels can be observed as a loss of aforesaid physiological performance due to loss of patency of microchannels. It is a prerequisite for functional deformities.

However, it is different from the vitiation of body channels (srotodushti), which is an outcome of admixture of dosha and dushya. This process of vitiation takes place at the site where Khavaigunya already exists.

Kha vaigunya is a silent process with a general cause for abnormalities in the vasculature. It is a gradually progressing chronic phenomenon. The interrupted circulation of fluids causes the physiological arrest of metabolism and the elimination of metabolic wastes.

Common causes of occurrence and recurrence by Kha Vaigunya

  • Genetic : hereditary factors observed in parents and families [Cha.Sa.Chikitsa Sthana 6/32]]
  • Dietetic : Ignoring the rules for conscious eating [Cha.Sa.Chikitsa Sthana 1/2/3]
  • Malformation of tissues [Cha.Sa. Sutra Sthana 28]
  • The debility and remnant toxicity caused by past diseases [Cha.Sa. Chikitsa Sthana 30]
  • Mental emotional and Physical over exertion/ trauma [Cha.Sa. Chikitsa Sthana 1(2)/4]
  • Less physical exercises
  • Suppression of natural urges
  • Immune compromised diseases
  • Repeated recurrences
  • Non adaptations and allergens (Dushi visha)
  • Micro channels are vulnerable with remnant morbidity
  • Air/ water / sound/ smell/ pollen born pollution
  • Grains/ pulses/ vegetables and fruits allergens
  • Wrong treatments
  • Radio activities/ chemical/ pesticides

Specific causes of occurrence of diseases

All morbidity arises due to hastily taken urbanized food such as:

  • Eating sour, saline, pungent, alkaline, dried foods vegetables, meat.
  • Sesame, sesame paste and preparation of (rice) flour.
  • Germinated or fresh, leguminous cereals.
  • Incompatible, unsuitable, rough, alkaline & channel blocking substances.
  • Decomposed, heavy, putrefied, and stale food items.
  • Indulging in irregular diet or eating while the previous food is undigested.
  • Unnecessary daytime sleep.
  • Excessive indulgence in sexual intercourse and alcohol.
  • Performing irregular and excessive physical exercise.
  • Affected with fear, anger, grief, greed, confusion and exhaustion.

Tripods of disease prevention and occurrence

Figure 1: Tripods of disease process

The process of occurrence of disease and factors for its prevention can be understood as shown in figure 1:

  • The red triangle denotes the pyramid of diseases caused by etiological factors which produce morbidity in bio fluids and damage the defense mechanisms of tissues and channels. They are called Nidana, Dosha & Dushya respectively.
  • The blue triangle represents homeostatic maintenance by ingested foods, digestion and elimination of the wastes which are not convertible into energy. These processes are maintained by Prana, Samana & Apana type of vata dosha respectively.
  • In balance state of all these three defensive physiological elements are capable of turning the pathological process upside down.
  • The digestion and metabolism (13 types of agni) help and promotes the defense mechanism.
  • Weaker agni produces metabolic toxins (aam) which causes disease.
  • Occurrence & non-occurrence depends upon these two tripods.

Management of disease occurrence and recurrence

Guidelines to restrict kha vaigunya

  • Withdrawal from above said causes (nidana parivarjan)
  • Timely detoxification of body and mind (ritukalina shodhana)
  • Release of natural urges is basic purification method on daily basis
  • Good practices/ good company repair the epigenetic mechanism
  • Strict observation of dietary guidelines and conscious eating
  • Good emotions, mental balance, cheerful, enthusiastic living
  • Good daily regimen/ good sleep/ physical activities
  • Rejuvenation therapies (rasayana)
  • Aphrodisiacs (vajikarana) as and when needed

Factors responsible for the prevention of occurrence of diseases

These factors may also be seen as natural immunity or strong defense mechanism.

  • Birth in a geographical region where people are naturally strong
  • Birth in a race of strong people
  • Birth at a time when people naturally gain strength
  • Favorable disposition of time
  • Excellence of beeja (sperm / ovum) kshetra (uterus) qualities
  • Excellence of ingested food
  • Excellence of physique
  • Excellence of satmya (adaptability to various factors responsible for the maintenance of the body)
  • Excellence of mind qualities
  • Natural tendency
  • Youth
  • Exercise daily
  • Cheerful nature

Requirement for a hundred years of healthy life

At last, the essential factors for longevity and health can be summarized. The uninterrupted continuous movement of all bio- psycho-emotional- spiritual energies produced by food –drinks- breath - sensorium & thoughts within the designated channels and sites and for designated functioning is mandated for health (veetaroga iti niroga) [Cha.Sa.Chikitsa Sthana 28/4]



Cha. = Charak, Su. = Sushruta, Sa. = Samhita

Related links



  1. Charak. Charak Samhita. Edited by Jadavaji Trikamji Aacharya. 1st ed. Varanasi: Krishnadas Academy;2000.
  2. Sushruta. Sushruta Samhita. Edited by Jadavaji Trikamji Aacharya. 8th ed. Varanasi: Chaukhambha Orientalia;2005.

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