A dhatu is tissue or element in the body that is responsible for a particular function. There are seven primary dhatus, and each one has an important role in keeping the body healthy. The dhatus are:
1. Rasa (fluids)
2. Rakta (blood)
3. Mansa (muscle)
4. Meda (fat)
5. Asthi (bone)
6. Majja (marrow)
7. Shukra (reproductive tissue)
Each dhatu is made up of a particular combination of the five elements: earth, water, fire, air, and ether. The balance of these elements in each dhatu is essential for its proper functioning. When one or more of the elements is out of balance, it can lead to health problems. For example, if the element of fire is out of balance in the rasa dhatu, it can lead to excess heat in the body and inflammation.
The Ayurvedic system of medicine recognizes that the health of each dhatu is essential for overall health. Ayurveda aims to maintain the balance of the dhatus and restore them when they are out of balance. This approach to medicine is holistic, meaning that it considers the whole person, not just individual symptoms. By keeping the dhatus in balance, Ayurveda can help to prevent and treat a wide range of health problems.
What are Dhatus?
Dhatu, this word stands for a character- which holds and nourishes. So the attribute in the body which holds the body together and which provides nutrition to the body is known as Dhatu. These Dhatus are seven in number and all are interdependent on each other. Before understanding the concept of these Dhatus let’s be familiar with their names-
These are seven- Rasa, Rakta, Mamsa, Medas, Asthi, Majja, Shukra! This is the final order. These Dhatus, nourish the body in the same pattern and order, as these are written above.
This is the original state of the food. Whatever we eat undergoes transformation to this initial stage after the Agni in our bodies performs various activities. So it’s high in nutrients and now the Rasa has been tasked with transporting that nourishment to other levels – the next level.
The courier, Rakta, receives all of these nutrients from Rasa. The transportation system known as Rakta is in charge of delivering the various nutrients to the body. Rasa revitalizes and sustains the Rakta while also providing nutrition to the other four Dhatus.
Mamsa Dhatu is responsible for keeping the body together, therefore all sorts of muscles, ligaments, and tendons are connected to Mamsa Dhatu. This is fed by Rakta and makes the Medas Dhatu stronger.
This is the fatty part of the body, which is similar to the adipose tissue. But this is not only fatty tissue, all kinds of fatty content- it might be the Myelin sheath of the nerves all such parts are involved with this Dhatu. This, later on, transforms in to the Asthi Dhatu.
This is fed by Medas Dhatu, which has the responsibility of keeping the body upright in a posture. We would all be just meat if it were not for this Dhatu. This is symbolized by the skeletal system, which includes bones, cartilage, and other elements.
This is known to modern writers of Ayurveda as bone marrow, since it exists in the bones’ marrow. This is fed by a bone, which is why this may be considered to be nourished by the Asthi. Nonetheless, when we look at this again with pathology and its role in the body, we’ll notice that it isn’t alone Bone Marrow that represents the Majja; there are several more parallels.
This is told as an essence of the food and Dhatus. This is mainly associated with the reproductive system of the body and there are certain confusions about this. This is main- because for every human being this is the main thing to continue the life on this planet for his/her species.
So these are seven Dhatus, which are nourished by food we eat one by one. You will be amazed to see that there is a particular order of these Dhatus to nourish each other one by one. So if there will be a problem at one level of this nourishment chain, the whole chain will be distorted, once we will discuss the diseases one by one, we will find that different Dhatus are involved in different diseases, similar to Doshas. This is really an important factor to understand the treatment of different diseases.
Nowadays we can see that cases of obesity are increasing day by day and along with this the following conditions are also increasing all over the world- Osteoporosis/ Osteoarthritis (Asthi Dhatu), Blood related disorders (Majja Dhatu) and obviously the cases of the infertility as well as the diseases of the reproductive system (Shukra Dhatu). So this is a very practical and clinical oriented description of the things in Ayurveda.
So whatever you eat for your body, it passes the seven steps to bring elixir and vigor, what we call Life or the same is Ayu in Ayurveda! Just to fill the stomach is not enough for complete health. Health is an achievement, what we can get from continuous efforts.