From Herbs and Ayurveda

Dhatu is a Sanskrit (which binds together) word for tissues. The human body consists of seven basic tissues known as “Sapta Dhatu”. According to Ashtanga Ayurved, the seven Dhatu constitute the anatomy and physiology of the human body. They play a major role in the chain of bodily activities, ultimately ensuring a healthy body and a healthy mind.

There are seven Dhatu in all which forms the different organs and different body systems. These are Rasa, Rakta, Mansa, Meda, Asthi, Majja and Shukra. [Each] human tissue is derived from the previous tissue in ascending order of complexity. These Dhatu are composed of the five Mahabhoota (supreme powers): Earth (Prithvi), Water (Aap), Divine Fire (Tej), Air (Vayu), and Universal Space (Akash).

These Dhatu remain within the human body in the right proportion so that the body can function properly but any disturbance in their equilibrium causes disease. Disorders in the Dhatu should be immediately taken care of to prevent further degeneration of the body.

Lymph, Serum
Flesh, Muscles
Adipose tissue (fatty tissue)
Bone & Cartilages
Bone marrow
Dhatu responsible for reproduction (Sperm and ovum)



Sapta Dhatu

1. Rasa:
The food that we eat is assimilated in our body in the form of Ahar Rasa which helps in survival, growth and fortification. From this Ahar Rasa originates the life sap or Jeevan Rasa which is the preliminary source of the Dhatu. Rasa provides nourishment to every part of the body by circulating nutrients. Increased Rasa leads to loss of appetite and other related complaints while its deficiency causes fatigue, loss of weight, dry skin and retarded perceptibility of the senses.

2. Rakta
From Rasa (life sap) the body builds up Rakta (blood). Rakta or Blood is a fluid connective tissue that serves many vital functions of the body, thus keeping us alive. The Rakta considered to be the basis of life, provides vigour and glow to the body by nourishing the muscles and intellect. It circulates through blood vessels and protects and nourishes all the cells and tissues of the body. Blood helps in gaseous exchange (oxygen and carbohydrate) and consists of many types of cells (e.g. red blood cells, white blood cells). Disorders in the Rakta Dhatu may cause a wide range of disorders like boils, tumors, high blood pressure, tiredness, anaemia. If the disease is chronic in blood, then it results as “Mehaprakopa” (disease due to the impurities in blood).

3. Mansa:
From Rakta the body develops Mansa (muscles) whose major function is to support and strengthen the Meda Dhatu or fat. Mansa (derived from blood) is concerned with providing physical strength and stamina to the body, muscular system of the body. There are several types of muscle tissue in the body: Hridya kandara (Cardiac muscle), Vartul kandara (Smooth muscle), Asti kandara (Skeletal muscle) etc. Abnormalities in Mansa are manifested in the form of tumors around the face, neck, abdomen, thigh or genitalia.

4. Meda:
From Mansa originates Meda (fat). According to Ayurveda it constitutes brain, spinal cord, nervous tissue and adipose tissue. Thoughts and body functions are based on stimuli which come from brain and spinal cord. The adipose tissue collects the energies and stores it to strengthen and insulates the body. In a diseased person, meda is responsible for conditions like dyspnoea.

5. Asthi:
From Meda the body developed Asthi (bones). Asthi or bony tissues and cartilages (hardest of all connective tissues) comprise the Asthi Dhatu. Asthi acts as a backbone to the muscular tissue which gives shape and support to the body. Abnormalities include weaker & bigger bones and brittle nails. According to Charaka it is difficult to cure any disease which is related to Asthi Dhatu.

6. Majja:
From Asthi the body generates Majja (Bone Marrow). Majja is the yellow and red bone marrow that fills the bone cavity. Majja (bone marrow tissue) serves the vital function of producing blood cells, nourishing the semen and providing viscidity to the body thus increasing survival and giving a shining appearance. When Majja Dhatu is affected by disease, it can’t produce healthy blood. Increase of Majja leads to swollen eyes or fingers, heaviness, oliguria and non-healing ulcers while a deficiency may cause osteoporosis and sunken eye.

7. Shukra:
The Shukra Dhatu [vital fluid] originates from the core of Majja. According to Ashtanga Ayurveda, Shukra is the most significant of the seven Dhatu because it has the potential to produce new life (offspring) by nourishing the reproductive systems of male and female. In male it is known as Sukra (sperm) and in female it is known as Sronita (ovum). Other associated functions include enabling intimate satisfaction and strengthening the body.

Source: https://herbsandayurveda.wordpress.com/2012/07/25/dosha-dhatu-and-mala/


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