Dhatu – 7 Body Tissues As Explained In Ayurveda

Ayurveda explains about 7 body tissue components which form the physical body. The functioning of body tissue is regulated by Tridosha. Let us learn about each of them in detail. 

Dhatu - Body tissues

These seven body tissues are called as ‘Dhatu’ in Ayurveda.
They are –
Rasa Dhatu –
The Rasa is produced soon after digestion. It is the essence part of the food that circulates allover the body and nourishes all the body tissues. It is grossly compared to plasma part of blood. Its basic function is Preenana – to nourish all the body tissues.
It is controlled by Kapha Dosha. Usually Kapha Dosha increase causes increase of Rasa Dhatu. and Kapha decrease leads to Rasa dhatu decrease.

Rakta Dhatu – It is compared directly with blood and its component. It is formed by receiving the nourishment from Rasa Dhatu.  Its main function is Jeevana – enlivening. It is directly related with Pitta Dosha. Pitta Dosha increase leads to Rakta increase and vice versa.

Mamsa Dhatu – It is compared with muscle tissue. It gets its nourishment from Rakta Dhatu. Its main function is Lepana – It gives shape to the body parts and it sticks to the bones, helping in locomotor activities. It is controlled by Kapha Dosha. Usually Kapha Dosha increase and decrease leads to Mamsa Dhatu increase and decrease respectively.

Meda Dhatu – It is compared to fat tissue. It gets nourished by Mamsa Dhatu. Its main function is Snehana – lubrication. Its increase and decrease is influenced by Kapha Dosha. Hence, Kapha dosha dominant person is usually rich in fat tissue.

Asthi Dhatu – It is compared to bone tissue. It gets nourished by Meda Dhatu. Its main function is Dharana – to hold the body up straight. It is influenced by Vata Dosha. But Vata Dosha increase leads to Asthi Dhatu decrease and Vata Dosha decrease leads to Asthi Dhatu increase. This is why, in old age, when Vata is increased, bone tissue degeneration occurs.

Majja Dhatu – It is compared to bone marrow and all the tissue that fill bone cavity. For example, eye tissue is also considered as Majja. Some also consider brain tissue also as formed by Majja Dhatu. Its main function is Poorana – to fill in the bone cavities. Its increase and decrease is controlled by Kapha Dosha.

Shukra Dhatu – It is compared with male and female reproductive system and its secretions. Its main function is Garbhotpadana – reproduction. It is controlled by Kapha Dosha. It gets nourishment from Majja Dhatu.

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  1. caroline says:

    I like this article. Would like to know more about diseases when a dosha enters a tissue where they should not be.

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Hi Caroline,
      Thanks. I will cover that topic in detail in future articles.

  2. It is really a news. We always heard about 7 dathus but never knew it is only for men.

    From your article it is clear that females do not have seventh dathu and 7th is specifically for men only. There are also a few myths about 7th dadhu that is to say 80 drops of blood makes one drop of shukra. This myth is the route cause of many a problems among youngsters.

    Thank you for the information

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Hi, really sorry for the confusion.
      I did not mean to write that Shukra Dhatu is only for men. (corrected the sentence in the article now). Even in women, the reproductive system and all its components are considered as Shukra Dhatu.

  3. Nice article!Doesn’t it look like that kapha is anabolic and vata is catabolic in nature, pitta being in between these two? So, the kapha dosha dominant peoples are physically (bone/muscle/fat/semen) blessed whether the pitta dominant are mentally (intelligence/thought/clarity). Vata domimant peoples are weak in both physical and mental plane. But from common sense vata dosha should be superior than others as it is created by air plus Either, which is the origin of rest all 4 elements (air,water,fire,earth). What’s your opinion Sir?

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      It can be said that excess of Vata, abnormally increased Vata Dosha is catabolic, leading to depletion of muscle, fat, bone etc tissue and abnormally increased Kapha dosha is anabolic, especially when Gurutva – heaviness quality of Kapha dosha is increased.

      Even in normalcy, there is some truth to this anabolic (constructive) and catabolic (destructive) theory. This is why, it is said, in the first 1/3rd of life, Kapha is dominant, in second 1/3rd, Pitta and last 1/3rd Vata Dosha is dominant.

  4. Are the dhatus composed of the same vata, pitta and kapha elements that the entire body is made up of ?
    If yes then list the specific Ayurvedic herbs that target a specific dhatu ? Eloborate (in a new article) on the specific herbs for each of the dhatus for example how the VPK of asthi dhatu is regulated, i.e. how can the asthi pitta be lowered or raised so on and so forth ?

  5. Is this sequence of Sapta dhatu Ras-Rakt-Mans-Meda-Asthi-Majja- Shukra confirmed ?. In which literature and where this is described in detailed.

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