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Review on physiological functions of prana vayu w.s.r. to neurophysiology of anna-pravesha

Author: 
Anu Saini, Dr. Kalyani Nanaji Umate, Gugulothu Ramesh and Jadhav Suchita Tanajirav
Subject Area: 
Life Sciences
Abstract: 

In Ayurveda, Tridosha is a unique concept and has summarized all the bodily functions and phenomenons in three biological entities called Vata, Pitta, Kapha. Doshas are considered as forces or entities which cannot be equated with specific cell type, organ, biological system or signaling pathway. Among Tridosha, Vata is undoubtedly the most fundamental and crucial Dosha for survival. It is derived from the root word ‘Gati’ means movement and ‘Gandhaya’ means senses, knowledge perception. Among five types of Vata, Prana Vata is of utmost importance as it functions for sustainance of life (Prana). The general function of Vata as ‘Tantra Yantra Dhara’ mentioned in Charaka can be attributed to Prana Vata as it is Harshotsaaha Yoni, helps in Sarvendriya Udyoga and is Shareerasya Pravartaka. It is written that the seats of Prana Vayu are Murdha, Urah which moves in Kantha, Jihwa, Asya and Nasika and supports Buddhi (intelligence and judgement), Hridya ( heart) and Chitta (mind). Having seated in above locations they do the functions of Drik, Stheevana, Kshavathu, Udgara, Nishvasa and Annapravesha .If we compare it to modern science, Murdha(head) refers to the brain and brainstem which controls all these functions. Anna Pravesha(Deglutition) as very much needed step in Ahara Pachan is conducted by Prana vayu. Acharya Charaka in Grahnidosha Adhayaya mentioned that PranaVayu takes food from mouth to stomach that is nearer to the Jathragni for digestion. Control center of swallowing of medulla oblongata can be related to Anna Pravesha function of PranaVayu. In this article, an effort has been made to review physiological functions of PranaVayu with special reference to neurophysiology involved in AnnaPravesha (deglutition) for better understanding of Ayurveda with contemporary science which is need of the present era.

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