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Dr. Vikram Chauhan - MD (Ayurveda)

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Grahani Roga & its relation with Intestinal Diseases in Modern Language?

Do you often get disappointed because of unexpected gut symptoms? Do you often experience pains and cramps in the abdomen? Do you frequently get exposed to changes in bowel habits? Do you often feel a sudden and urgent need to use the bathroom? Well, you may be confronted with Grahani roga which can be pretty irritating. From having to backtrack your diet to the awkwardness of explaining your situation to others, no one understands your situation except for the ones who have already acquainted with them.

Most people today follow a sedentary lifestyle that leaves them at the stake of irregular diet and diet timings. Added to that is the tremendous mental stress that people undergo in these modern days. All these eventually lead to a diseased state of body and mind. Disorders of the digestive system play a major role among them.

Grahani Roga, Intestinal Diseases, IBS, Ulcerative colitis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome


Agni, the body fire is solely responsible for our lifespan, health, immunity, energy, enthusiasm, vital breath, luster, corpulence, and heat processes. When the body fire functions properly, one lives long and free from disorders. Diseases occur when this fire is deranged and death occurs when this fire is extinguished. Hence the root cause of all is Agni. - Charaka Samhita

Within the process of digestion lies the root cause of all the diseases. When the digestive system is working at its optimum supported by the correct lifestyle and correct quantity and quality of food as per our individual constitution, the food we ingest is broken down into its constituents, nourishes our tissues, and supports our everyday functions.

Agni is a unique concept of Ayurveda and is solely responsible for the physiology of digestion. Following an incorrect diet and food habits can derange our digestive fire which ultimately affects the digestive process, thereby leading to the formation of toxins.

Grahani may be related to the seat of this digestive fire. According to Ayurveda, Grahani is accountable for the ingestion, digestion, absorption, and assimilation of food. Grahani is among the major causes of digestive illness globally, especially in developing countries, and is often constituted because of improper diet and lifestyle habits.

To put it another way, Grahani is caused by the incompatibility of factors that are related to digestion and metabolism. Ayurveda insists that Grahani is the site of Jatharagni (digestive fire). Accordingly, any factor that may cause derangement of this Jatharagni can potentially lead to Grahani Roga.


  1. Vataja Grahani Roga results from increased Vata. It may be due to a variety of causes that include suppression of natural urges, intake of fermented foods, intake of contaminated, pungent, bitter, astringent, and dry foods. Symptoms being the absence of hunger, noise in the ears, pain in the flanks, thighs, and neck, vomiting, depression.
  2. Pittaja Grahani Roga results from increased Pitta. It may be due to the intake of too many raw foods that are pungent and sour in taste. The patient may eliminate foods that are not properly digested, stools may be deep yellow in color, and may experience burning sensations in the chest or throat.
  3. Kaphaja Grahani Roga results from increased Kapha. It may be due to the increased use of fatty, heavy, cold foods. Also sleeping right after meals results in improper digestive function. Patients may experience excess coating in the mouth and tongue, sweet taste in the mouth, heaviness in the abdomen, elimination of mucus along with feces.


When the process of digestion is affected, diseases arise in the gastrointestinal tract. According to Ayurveda, the function of the duodenum is twofold. It takes part in the digestive process and it also holds on to the food until it is digested. Once the digestion is completed, the duodenum releases the food into the colon from where it gets excreted under the influence of Apana Vayu.

Grahani is caused by the derangement of digestive fire and causes weakness in the duodenum. As the digestive fire remains deranged, the functions of the duodenum are inhibited. The duodenum will either release its contents earlier than normal into the colon or it will retain its contents for longer periods. This eventually results in the food released into the colon either being uncooked or overcooked.

In response to this condition, one may experience loose bowel movements alternating with constipation. Since these are the cardinal symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Grahani Roga can be related to Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Ulcerative Colitis, and other Intestinal Diseases, the symptoms of Grahani roga being more or less similar to the symptoms of these diseases.


Following the general principle of treatment, the offending dosha must be brought into equilibrium foremost. The management of Grahani should ultimately aim at correcting Agni and strengthening the duodenum. Consumption of buttermilk is considered to be effective towards treating all types of grahani as buttermilk is easy to digest. It is also known to balance the three doshas and strengthen the digestive fire.

Digestive and carminative agents can be given to stimulate the digestive fire. Once the digestive fire is strengthened, the next concern must be to get rid of the toxins. This can be made possible through reducing therapies and elimination therapies that include emesis, purgation, enema, and other detox therapies. 

The preventive measures include avoidance of causative factors of Grahani Roga. Avoid intake of katu (pungent), tikta (bitter), kashaya (astringent), and rasa pradhana ahara (taste dominant food). Excessive guru (heavy), sheeta (cold), snigdha (oily) foods must also be avoided. Sleeping during the day and suppression of natural urges are also to be avoided.

In a nutshell, by following a healthy and balanced diet and lifestyle, all digestive disorders including grahani can be avoided. By every effort, the digestive fire of a person must be protected because when the fire is lost, death occurs. When the fire is deranged by doshas, diseases occur. When the fire is well maintained, the person leads a healthy and happy life free from diseases. Agni is responsible for the health of an individual. - Ashtanga Hridaya

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