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गुरुवार, 14 जून 2012

Concept of Shukra Dhatu in females

There are three important events that occur in every living organism, these are Utpatti, Sthiti and Laya i.e. birth, growth and death. Body as a whole is born and dies only once, but at Paramanu level this cycle of creation and destruction is going on continuously. Shukra Dhatu, the seventh and last among the seven Dhatu not only performs function of Dehadharan, as the definition of Dhatu suggests, but is also necessary for the propagation of species i.e for reproduction. Moolsthan of Shukravaha Srotas Regarding Shukravaha Srotas there are different opinions. According to Charakacharya, Vrishanau and Shepha are the Moolasthana of Shukravaha Srotas. Sushrutacharya describes Moolasthana of Shukravaha Srotas as Stanau and Vrishanau. These are more developed in females at puberty. While in males it is rudimentary. There are some reasons to consider breasts as Moolasthana of Shukravaha Srotas, these are as follows- 1) Stanya and Shukra both are present all over the body. 2) Shukra is responsible for reproduction and Stanya is responsible for the nourishment of the new born. 3) Acharya Kashyap has told to give Vajikar Dravya Siddha Kshira to Dhatri. This also shows relation between Shukra and Stanya. 4) Shukra Pravartan and Stanya Pravartan Hetu are mostly at the psychological level. 5) Considering Dalhanacharya’s opinion, that Artava is Stree shukra, and then the relation between Stanau and Shukra becomes clear. According to the classical texts, during pregnancy or Garbhakala, Artava is blocked and therefore it rises upwards and splits into 2 parts- One forms the Apara or placenta and the other nourishes the breasts. Shukra is a Dhatu and as said by Acharyas, there are seven Dhatus in the body both in male or female. There are different opinions related with existence and nature of Shukra Dhatu in females, these are as follows-  As Shukra is a Dhatu, necessary for sustenance of life, females also have Shukra Dahtu in their body.  In females, Artav performs the function of Gabhotpadan alike Shukra in males.  The secretions at the time of coitus (Madanavari) are said to be Shukra but unlike Shukra in males it doesn’t cause conception.  Chakrapani quoting opinion of others, writes that few erudite accept development of moustache as Mala of Shukra which is not accepted by Charaka, had this been the process, even women would have had the moustache due to presence of Shukra. Moreover Shukra of females does not take part in fertilization.  Artav is an essential factor for conception in females, gives strength to Shukra and is responsible for strength and complexion. This means that Artav and Shukra are different. Considering these points, Bhavamishra has presented the idea of eight Dhatus in females i.e. Artava as seventh and Shukra as eighth, but the exact description regarding location, characteristics etc. is lacking.  Sushrut commentator Dalhanacharya has considered Artav in females as Shukra, as it is meant for conception. If not considered so then females will have 6 Dhatu which is not correct. So he has considered Artav as Shukra in females. It is worth noting that during Shukrapradurbhav, some changes in mind and body also start to appear like hair growth on pubic and axillary region, shyness etc.  Charak commentator Gangadhar has explained that, even females have seven Dhatus as in males. Rasa produced from Ahar serially goes through Dhatuparinaman process, producing Shukra. Most of the part of this Shukra, transforms into Artava in females by Agni Sanskar of Shukragni and very small amount remains as Shukra Dhatu. This is how Artav is formed every month after previously formed Artav gets discarded. Consideration of Artav according to Modern View: Oogenesis- In the human embryo, the thousand of oogonia divide rapidly from the second to the seventh month of gestation to form roughly 7 million germ cells. After that oogonia enter the first meiotic division forming primary oocytes, and are maintained until puberty. With the onset of adolescence, primary oocyte divides, forming the first polar body, and the secondary oocyte. During the second division of meiosis, a similar unequal cytokinesis takes place forming the mature egg (ovum), and a second polar body. Functions of ovarian hormones- estradiol and progesterone  There are two types of ovarian sex hormones the estrogens and the progestins. By far the most important estrogen is estradiol and the progestin is progesterone. The estrogens mainly promote proliferation and growth of specific cells in the body that are responsible for development of most secondary characteristics of female while the progestins are concerned entirely with final preparation of uterus for pregnancy and the breasts for lactation. Synthesis  As both, estrogens and progesterone are steroids, they are synthesized in the ovaries mainly from cholesterol and slightly from acetyl co-a. During synthesis, progesterone and male sex hormone testosterone are mainly synthesized first; then, during follicular phase of ovarian cycle, almost all the testosterone and much of the progesterone are converted into estrogens by granulose cells. Also, about 1/5th as much testosterone is secreted into the plasma of the female by ovaries as is secreted into the plasma of the males by testes. Functions of estrogens  The principal function of estrogen is to cause cellular proliferation and growth of the sex organs and other tissues. Effect on uterus and sex organs  At pubertal age, estrogen is secreted 20times more than childhood. It results in increase in size of ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus and vagina. It causes change of vaginal epithelium from a cuboidal to stratified type and increases resistance against infection. It also causes marked proliferation of endometrium and endometrial glands. Effect on breasts  Primordial breasts of male and female are exactly alike. Under the influence of appropriate hormones, the masculine breasts also develop sufficiently to produce milk as in females. Estrogen causes, development of stromal tissues of breasts, growth of an extensive ductile system, and deposition of fat in the breasts. Along with progesterone and prolactin it causes the determinative growth and function of these structures. Effect on skeleton  It causes increased osteoblastic activity in bones. Therefore there is rapid growth in height in pubertal age and is much stronger than testosterone in males. After menopause there is almost no estrogen, which leads to osteoporosis in menopausal females. Effect on protein deposition  It causes increase in total body proteins. The same effect produced by testosterone but in more general and many times powerful. Effect on metabolism  It slightly increases whole body metabolic rate but only 1/3 that of male sex hormones. It also causes deposition of fats in the buttocks, thighs and breasts that is characteristic of feminine figure. Functions of progesterone  Effect on uterus  It causes secretary changes in the uterine endometrium during secretory phase of menstrual cycle, for preparation of uterus for implantation of fertilized ovum.  Effect on breasts  It promotes development of lobules and alveoli of the breasts, causing proliferation and enlargement of them. It causes breasts to swell and is due to secretary development in lobules and also due to increased fluid in the subcutaneous tissue. From above references it can be stated that, Shukra Dhatu is present in male and female both, but its expression is different. Author:*Dr. Shweta V. More **Prof. Dr. K.D. Sathe **Guide & Professor Dept. of Sharirkriya, Sumatibhai Shah Ayurved Mahavidyalay, Hadpasar. *PG (Sch.)

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