I am sure you all heard about the three doshas Vata, Pitta and Kapha.
But have you heard of the term Dhatus? Dhatus denotes the structural components of the body.
The definition of dhatu is:
Deha dharanat dhatavah- They support the body.
If the Dhatus/ body tissue get vitiated they are called as dushyas (as the get vitiated by the doshas).
We have to remember that there is no disease without a dosha (Vata/ Pitta/ Kapha) imbalance.
There are seven dhatus (Saptadhatus) in the body. They are:
1. Rasa – Plasma
2. Rakta – Blood
3. Mamsa – Muscle
4. Medas – adipose tissue
5. Asthi – bone and cartilage
6. Majja– bone marrow
7. Shukra – reproductive fluids
The seven dhatus are constantly formed, destroyed and reformed with nutrition derived from food from birth until death.
Today we will be looking at the first two dhatus – Rasa and Rakta (plasma and blood tissue).
Rasa dhatu (plasma)
Its inherent feature is ‘sara” guna that which moves constantly.
Rasa (plasma) is the essence of digested food. Proper digestion and absorption is so important as the Rasa dhatu will nourish all the other dhatus.
Bad diet, bad food absorption and digestion results in improperly nourished rasa dhatu which will then have a knock on effect on all other tissues in our body.
Rasadhatu circulates from the hridaya (heart) with the help of the Vyana vata (one type of the Vata dosha) throughout the body.
Its important function is to nourish (Prinana)
Rasa dhatu has close resemblance with the Kapha dosha as they have similar gunas (qualities). The qualities of rasa dhatu are drava/ liquid, snighda/ oily, sara/ flow, manda/ slow, shweta/ white and ap guna/ water.
The sites (sthana) of rasa dhatu are:
Skin, stomach, heart and dhamanis/ arteries
Symptoms of increased Rasa dhatu
1. Excess salivation
2. Anorexia (no appetite)
3. Distaste in the mouth, nausea
4. Obstructions of channels
5. Body ache
Symptoms of decreased rasa dhatu
1. Intolerance to noise
3. Involuntary movements
4. Wasting/ weight loss
5. Fear, anxiety
7. Premature greying of the hair, hair fall
9. Wrinkles around the eyes
Rakta dhatu (blood)
Rakta is produced by Rasa.
The name of the dhatu itself indicated its colour rakta/ red in colour.
Rakta dhatu performs jivanakarma which is the maintenance of life. It also imparts colour and complexion and nourishes the muscle tissue.
In modern terms we can consider the red blood cells including the haemoglobin component as Rakta dhatu.
The sites (sthana) of rakta dhatu are:
Liver, spleen, dhamani/ arteries and muscles.
Symptoms of increased Rakta dhatu
1. Skin disease
2. Dysfunctional uterine bleeding
3. Burning sensation
5. Rheumatoid arthritis/ gout
Symptoms of decreased Rakta dhatu
2. Dry skin
3. Desire for sour foods
4. Changes in the consistency of blood vessels
5. Low body temperature
I hope this will highlight the importance of wholesome food intake, proper digestion and absorption to maintain healthy dhatus.
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Your Lakshmi Ayurveda team