Dhatu: 7 Essential Body Tissues

The Dhatus are the basic bodily tissues. They are responsible for the entire structure of the body and the functioning of the different organs, systems, development and nourishment of the body. The Dhatus unfold successively as follows, starting with the nourishment derived from the product of digestion:

  1. Rasa (plasma or cytoplasm) contains nutrients from digested food and nourishes all tissues, organs, and systems.
  2. Rakta (blood) governs oxygenation in all tissues and vital organs and thus maintains life function.
  3. Mamsa (muscle) covers the delicate vital organs, performs the movements of the joints, and maintains the physical strength of the body.
  4. Meda (fat) maintains the lubrication of the tissues and serves as insulating material to protect the body’s heat.
  5. Asthi (bone and cartilage) gives support to the body’s structure.
  6. Majja (bone marrow and nerves) fills up the bony spaces, carries motor and sensory impulses, and facilitates communication among the body’s cells and organs.
  7. Shukra and Artava (male and female reproductive tissues) contain the pure essence of all bodily tissues and can create a new life.

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