The Gerson Institute of Ayurvedic Medicine

Scott Gerson, M.D., Ph.D. (Ayurveda) Medical Director, Jupiter Medical Center Dept. of Integrative Medicine Division of Education and Research

 

 

 

 

 

Lake Mary Clinic, Gerson Ayurvedic Spa, and Panchakarma Facility: at 635 Primera Blvd. Lake Mary, Florida 32746

Jupiter Medical Center at The Calcagnini Center for Mindfulness
1210 S. Old Dixie Highway, Jupiter, Florida 33458, Suite M-117.2

 

 

 

 Telephone: (561) 263-MIND (6463); option 2 (407) 549-2800

Basic Principles Of Ayurveda

Other Important Ayurvedic Concepts

The Seven Bodily Tissues--Sapta Dhatus

The dhatus are the basic varieties of tissues which compose the human body. The word “dhatu” comes from a Sanskrit word which means “that which enters into the formation of the body”; the root Daa (dha) means “support, that which bears”.

The primary Dhatus are seven in number. They are:

  • Sukra dhatu (reproductive tissues)
  • Majja dhatu (bone marrow and nervous tissues)
  • Asthi dhatu (bone)
  • Meda dhatu (fatty tissues)
  • Mamsa dhatu (muscle tissues)
  • Rakta dhatu (formed blood cells)
  • Rasa dhatu (plasma)

The most unique feature of Ayurvedic histology (concept of tissue formation) is that each human tissue is formed from the previous tissue in ascending order of complexity. Thus when food is ingested it is digested until, in the small intestines, it becomes a liquidy, chyme-like material known in Ayurveda as ahara rasa, or food essence. With the help of ahara rasagni (each dhatu has its own agni), this ahara rasa is converted into Rasa dhatu (blood plasma)--the first and most simple tissue.

Now, Rasa dhatu--catalyzed by Rasagni--is transformed into Rakta dhatu (formed blood cells), the second fundamental bodily tissue. Rakta dhatu in turn, with the help of raktagni, becomes mamsa dhatu (muscle), and so on.

Sukra dhatu (reproductive tissues)
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Majja dhatu (bone marrow and nervous tissues)
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Asthi dhatu (bone)
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Meda dhaut (fatty tissues)
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Mamsa dhatu (muscle tissues)
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Rakta dhatu (formed blood cells)
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Rasa dhatu (plasma)

Together, the dhatus and upadhatus make up the physical bulk of the body. The upa dhatus include hair, nails, ligaments, etc.; they are important structurally but usually are not implicated in disease conditions of the body.

Each dhatu consists of countless infinitesimal paramanus (cells) which are units of structure and function. Each paramanu contains innumerable suksma srotas (channels, pores) through which it receives nutrients and subtle energies and eliminates waste materials. Because dhatus are saturated with pores, the human body can also be said to be filled with pores (srotomaya). The srotas of each dhatu are unique in their structure and function and in the materials which move through them. The state of health of each dhatu as well as its relative vriddhi/kshaya (excess/deficiency; increase/decrease) is assessed by the physician.