Ayurveda Notes on Rasa and Dhatu

Signs and Symptoms of vitiated tissues (Dhatus)

Restlessness, palpitation, cardiac pain, exhaustion without cause, irritation by loud noises, haemoglobin deficiency, roughness and dryness of skin.
  • Muscle (mamsa) - cracking joints, eye
  • Fat (medas) - lassitude, overly thin constitution, exhaustion, falling hair, nails, teeth, loose joints
  • Bone (asthi) - thinness, weakness, bone, lightness, Vayu bone diseases weakness, and dry mouth
  • Marrow (majja) - pallor, lassitude
  • Reproductive - exertion, impotence, non-ejaculation of semen
  • Essence (ukra)
Sapta (Seven) Dhatus and their functions:
  • Rasa (fluid) Dhatu -Derived from the digested food, it nourishes each and every tissue and cell of the body and is analogous to the plasma.
  • Rakta (blood) Dhatu - Regarded as the basic of life, it is analogous to the circulating blood cells. It not only nourishes the body tissues, but provides physical strength and colour to the body.
  • Masma Dhatu - The muscle tissue, its main function is to provide physical strength and support for the meda dhatu.
  • Meda (fat) Dhatu - Consists of adipose tissue providing support to ashti dhatu. It also lubricates the body.
  • Ashti Dhatu - Comprising of bone tissues, including cartilages, its main function is to give support to the majja dhatu and provide support to the masma dhatu.
  • Majja Dhatu - Denoting the yellow and red bone marrow tissue, its main function is to fill up the ashti and to oleate the body.
  • Shukra Dhatu - The main aim of this reproductive tissue is to help reproduction and strengthen the body.
  • Blood (rakta) - cracks, loss of luster, emaciation (especially of buttocks, neck and abdomen)

Table 1: Dhatus. The information presented here is derived from Principles of Pharmacology in Ayurved by Dr. Kulkarni.

Indian Name Modern Translation of Meaning Indications of Favorable Condition
Rasa nutrient portion of the blood good skin quality, vitality
Rakta blood (e.g., blood cells) good coloration of the cheeks, lips, ear lobes, tongue, tip of nose; warm palms and soles
Mamsa muscles and soft tissues muscles of chest, arms, and legs are strong; facial muscles yield good expression and eye movements, speech is clear
Medas lipids (fats, membranes) proper moisture of skin, eyes, lips, and hair; normal sweating without bad odor; no excessive accumulation of fat in the area of abdomen, hips, back, and neck
Asthi bones, cartilage well-proportioned body, strong teeth and nails, thick hair; joints are supple and freely mobile
Majja marrow glowing face, healthy skin, soft voice
Shukra vital fluid, semen eyes are bright, teeth are white, skin is soft, voice is pleasant, sexual vitality is strong but controlled


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