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What are Saptdhatus?

Dhatus have an important place in the elements that make up our body. They nourish and build the body as well as help in the structure of the body. That's why they are called "Dhatu". Seven types of Dhatu have been mentioned in Ayurveda and they are placed in a certain order.

The Sanskrit word, "Saptadhatus" means "Seven Constituent Elements" or "Seven Tissues". These are the reason for structuring the entire body. It further maintains and supports the functions of systems, organs and other vital parts. It is a significant part of developing and nourishing the entire body and the mind.

Each of these has its own importance. Like all the three doshas, this seven dhatus are also made up of five elements (Panch Mahabhutas). Every dhatu has an excess of one element.

The Seven Elements (Saptdhatus)

  • Rasa: Plasma
  • Rakta: Blood
  • Mamsa: Muscles
  • Meda: Adipose Tissue
  • Asthi: Bone & Cartilage
  • Majja: Bone marrow
  • Shukra: Reproductive Tissue

Formation of Dhatus

Whatever food we eat, after being digested, goes through many processes and turns into these tissues. The food you eat is further broken down into two parts: essence and faeces. Essence is the nutrients and the energy from food so that our body can function properly. On the other hand, faeces means that the waste which is formed after digesting food, which does not contribute to the body, goes out of the body in the form of stool. The nutrients of food reach the blood with the help of air and then through the blood, it spreads throughout the body to form dhatus or tissues.

All these dhatus are in a sequence and each after being digested gets converted into the next dhatu. For example, the food that you eat, after being digested, first turns into rasa i.e. plasma. After this plasma is in the blood and then Mamsa (Muscles) is formed from the blood. Similarly, this sequence continues. Lastly, Shukra i.e. reproductive tissue like semen, sperm etc. is formed. That is why it is said that it is very important to cure the digestive fire in the body. Ras dhatu (plasma) is the basic element in the manufacture of all the other dhatus.

Rasa Dhatu (Plasma)

Location:Stomach, Intestines, Heart, Blood Vessels, Lymphatics, Skin

The three doshas, ​​the seven tissues, the five elements, the body, the senses and all the functions of the mind are done by this Rasa Dhatu. It is formed in the digestive system and then this rasa spreads throughout the body through the blood. Due to disturbances in the doshas, ​​the level of dhatu also starts to change. If the imbalance in the dosha affects the dhatu, then disease arises. The disease which arises due to contamination of the Dhatu is said to be associated with its name. Like Rasaj disease due to contamination of Ras dhatu.

  • Its dominant element is Water or Jala.
  • It is supported by the Kapha Dosha.
  • It is the first tissue which gets nourished.
  • It circulates the entire body by Vyana Vata (pumping of the heart).
  • Rasa formed in 24 hours.

Functions of Rasa Dhatu

Main Function - Preenana (Nourishment of body tissues)

  • It transports body-plasma fluids.
  • It is responsible for the circulation of nutrients, hormones and proteins in the whole body.
  • It nourishes tissues and organs.
  • It contains minerals which replenish the parts of the body.
  • It further offers nourishment to Rakta Dhatu (Blood).

Symptoms of Increased Rasa Dhatu

  • Lack of Digestive Power
  • Nausea
  • Excessive Salivation
  • Vomiting
  • Respiratory Diseases
  • Cough

Symptoms of Deficiency in Rasa Dhatu

  • Dry Mouth
  • Tiredness
  • Dryness
  • Heart Pain
  • Rapid Heartbeat
  • Fast Breathing

Diseases Caused by Imbalanced Rasa Dhatu

  • Loss of Appetite
  • Mood Swings
  • Bad Taste
  • Fever
  • Dizziness
  • Impotence
  • Slow Digestive Power
  • Wrinkled Skin


  • Intaking Rasa-Enhancing Foods

    Brown Rice, Milk, Ghee, Lentils, Hand Pound Rice, Mung Beans, Fresh Fruits and Honey are considered the best to boost Rasa Dhatu.

  • Spices

    Some spices are considered the best to improve Rasa Dhatu. These spices include turmeric, ginger, cardamom, coriander, and cumin.

  • Keep Your Mind Calm

    Our mind plays a crucial part in maintaining health. The state of mind impacts Rasa Dhatu. This means, that if the mind is not stable then Rasa may not be produced properly and if it is stable, then you will get the complete nourishment.

  • Ayurvedic herbs and rasayana

    Amalaki, Anantamul, and Shatavari are some of the ayurvedic herbs and rasayana beneficial in balancing the Rasa Dhatu.

  • Exercise Daily

    Daily exercise plays a pivotal role in managing the Rasa Dhatu. Walking, Swimming, Yoga, and Pilates are some of the fine exercises to balance your Blood Tissue.

Rakta Dhatu (Blood)

Location:Spleen, Liver, Blood Vessels, Muscles

The name suggested the colour of this tissue as "Red". The Rasa Dhatu gets coloured and then forms "Rakta Dhatu". It is a liquid that gets nourished by the nutrients in the body.

  • The primary element of Rakta is Agni (Fire).
  • Pitta is present in Rakhta Dhatu.
  • It contains Red Blood Cells (RBCs), White Blood Cells (WBCS) and Platelets.
  • It is responsible for skin complexion, immunity and strength of the body.
  • It is red in colour due to the presence of Pitta Dosha.

Functions of Rakta Dhatu

Main Function - Jeevana (Enlivening)

  • It transports oxygen and nutrition to the body.
  • It provides nourishments to Mamsa Dhatu and cells in the body.
  • It gives strength to the body.
  • The other organs get nutrition from Rakta Dhatu.
  • It enhances the complexion of the body.

Symptoms of Increased Rakta Dhatu

  • Redness in the skin and eyes
  • Feels Warm
  • Increased Bowel Movements
  • Loose stools
  • Frequent Urination

Symptoms of Deficiency in Rakta Dhatu

  • The weakening of Blood Vessels
  • Skin loses its glow
  • Dry Skin
  • The desire for acidic and cold food items
  • Dullness in Mind
  • Difficulty understanding
  • Confusion

Diseases Caused by Imbalanced Rakta Dhatu

  • Leprosy
  • Blood Cancer
  • Kushta (or Blood Disorders)
  • Tumours
  • Bleeding from Female Genitals
  • Mouth Ulcers
  • Enlargement of the Spleen
  • Abdominal Lump
  • Black Mole and Pimples on the Face
  • Shingles or Herpes
  • White Spot
  • Jaundice
  • Joint Disease


  • Iron-Rich Foods

    Iron-rich foods help in balancing Rakta Dhatu in the body. Some of these foods are beetroot, red cabbage, sweet black grapes, and cranberry.

  • Sunlight

    The morning sunlight plays a vital role in managing Rakta Dhatu in the blood. Soak daily into the morning sunlight to have a good flow of Rakta Dhatu.

  • Mildly Hot Spices

    Mildly hot spices like ginger, black pepper, long pepper etc improve the quality and quantity of this dhatu in the body.

  • Raisins

    Soak overnight 10-15 raisins in water. Eat the soaked raisins along with soaked water the next morning empty stomach. It will improve Rakta in the body.

  • Vrishya Ksheera

    Vrishya Ksheera or Dates with Milk are among the finest foods to strengthen Rakta Dosha. Eat dates at night with milk to strengthen this dhatu.

  • Ayurvedic Herbs and fruits

    Amla, Lemon, Giloy, and Turmeric are some of the important herbs and fruits that work in improving the quality of Rakta Dosha.

Mamsa Dhatu (Muscles)

Location:Skeletal Muscles, Visceral Muscles

The tissue or Dhatu, Mamsa covers all organs of the body and provides strength and stability.

  • It is influenced by Kapha Dosha.
  • Mamsa is made up of Earth element.
  • Rakta Dhatu nourishes the Mamsa Dhatu.
  • Kapha Dosha is responsible for the composure and strength of muscle tissue.
  • Mamsa is a highly metabolic tissue.

Functions of Mamsa Dhatu

Main Function - Lepana (Smearing or Building of Muscles)

  • It provides protection to the whole body.
  • It is responsible for Locomotion.
  • It maintains the physical strength and capacity of the body.
  • It is responsible for the functioning of various organs, like, blood vessels, kidney, stomach, small intestine, urinary bladder, etc.
  • It provides movement to the body's muscular system.
  • It is the physical support of the Meda Dhatu.
  • Mamsa builds muscle tissue in the neck, shoulder and thighs.

Symptoms of Increased Mamsa Dhatu

  • Obesity
  • Enlargement of Lymph Glands
  • Tumours
  • Fat in cheeks, thighs, abdomen, etc.

Symptoms of Deficiency in Mamsa Dhatu

  • Joints Pain
  • Dryness in the Body
  • Weakness in the Limbs
  • Blood Vessels start appearing over the skin
  • Debility of Sense Organs
  • Emaciation of Cheeks, Thighs, etc

Diseases Caused by Imbalanced Mamsa Dhatu

  • Lumps in Tongue, Soles, and Throat
  • Goitre
  • Myoma
  • Lymphadenitis
  • Sarcoma
  • Arthritis


  • Avoid Heavy Foods

    Heavy Foods like grains, nuts, and legumes should be avoided in order to restore the Mamsa Dhatu

  • Switch to Light Foods

    Light foods like vegetables and seeds should be increased in your diet. It will maintain the balance of Mamsa Dhatu in the body.

  • Herbs & Spices

    Eating herbs like Shatavari, Ashwagandha, Licorice, and Slippery Elm by mixing with warmer spices like Cumin, Ginger, or Cinnamon is the best to manage Mamsa Dhatu in the body.

  • Exercise

    Regular exercise is recommended for proper nourishment. When performed in the right proportion, it regulates digestion properly.

  • Pranayama

    Pranayama or Nostril Breathing is the finest practice to balance Agni (or Fire element). It is also beneficial to overcome the diseases caused by the irregularity of Mamsa Dhatu.

Meda Dhatu (Adipose Tissue)

Location:Buttocks, Abdomen, Kidneys, Bones, Chest Region.

Meda Dhatu refers to the fat present in our bodies. Fat has an important role in our body. "Meda" is a Sanskrit word that means to apply oil. It is an unctuous dhatu.

  • The dominant elements of Meda are Jala (Water) and Prithvi (Earth).
  • It gets nourishment from Mamsa Dhatu.
  • Meda is influenced by Kapha Dosha.
  • Oily and Soft foods produced Meda in the body.
  • The property of Meda is defined as solid and firm.
  • Meda is the site for the storage of excess fat in the body.

Functions of Meda Dhatu

Main Function - Snehana (Lubrication)

  • It gives strength, protection, firmness and stability to the body.
  • It brings lubrication and heat to the body.
  • It collects energy and stores it. This energy is later used in providing strength to the body.
  • Meda also stores fat to prove lubrication and support to bones.
  • It maintains the lubrication of all the tissues.
  • Meda Dhatu is actually an insulating layer that helps to reduce heat loss.
  • It provides protection and support for some of the organs, like the Kidney.

Symptoms of Increased Meda Dhatu

  • Tiredness
  • Increased Thighs and Neck Fat
  • Shortness of Breast
  • Dangling of Stomach & Breasts
  • Body Odour

Symptoms of Deficiency in Meda Dhatu

  • Dryness in Hair and Ears
  • Enlargement of Spleen
  • Difficulty in Joint Movements
  • Emaciation at Abdomen
  • The desire for Fatty Food
  • Losing fat from the stomach and other parts of the body
  • Dull Eyes

Diseases Caused by Imbalanced Meda Dhatu

  • Urinary Tract Disorders
  • Sweating Profusely
  • Burning Sensation
  • Numbness
  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Gallstones
  • Liver diseases
  • Anorexia
  • Gastrointestinal Issues
  • Hypercholesterolemia


  • Sweet and Healthy Food

    Taking sweet and healthy foods such as wheat, sugar, dairy products, nuts, ghee, olive oil, and coconut oil help in building Meda Dhatu.

  • Adaptogens

    Adaptogens work in maintaining the strong Meda Dhatu. Some of the Adaptogens are Shatavari, Ashwagandha, and Licorice.

  • Cholagogues

    Cholagogues are the drugs that cleanse the liver by releasing bile. Raw Beets, Dandelion Greens, Grapefruit, Lemons, Vinegar releases the bile. Some of the herbs like Aloe Vera, Bhumyamalaki, and Guduchi also act as Cholagogues.

  • Yoga Poses

    Some of the yoga asanas especially twisting postures wring out toxins from the liver and promoting healthy liver growth.

  • Hydration

    Remaining hydrated from time to time is the best way to build a healthy Meda Dhatu.

Asthi Dhatu (Bone & Cartilage)

Location: Extremities, Waist, Pelvis, Back, Chest, Head

Asthi is compared to bone & cartilage tissue. Our body is made up of bones. On the basis of this, the shape and parts of the body are determined and the body gets support.

  • It gets nourishment from Meda Dhatu.
  • Ashti is influenced by Vata Dosha.
  • It is the hardest and also the firmest dhatu of the human body.
  • It has the element, "Pruthvi Mahabhuta", i.e. earth.
  • It is the main site of Vata Dosha.
  • Ashti is dry, rough, strong and hard.

Functions of Asthi Dhatu

Main Function - Dharana (Holding up the body straight)

  • It provides shape to the body.
  • Asthi is the support system of the body.
  • This dhatu provides stability and good structure.
  • It nourishes Majja Dhatu.
  • It covers soft structures of the body like Muscles, Nerves, and Vessels.
  • It protects vital organs of the body such as the Heart.

Symptoms of Increased Asthi Dhatu

  • Excessive Bone Growth
  • Development of extra bones and teeth over another
  • The rapid growth of hair and nails
  • Pain in Bones & Teeth

Symptoms of Deficiency in Asthi Dhatu

  • Bones become porous
  • Pain in Bones & Joints
  • Dryness & Cracking of Nails and Teeth
  • Loss of Hair or Beard Hair

Diseases Caused by Imbalanced Asthi Dhatu

  • Hypercalcinosis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Rickets
  • Fatigue
  • Extra teeth formation


  • Panchakarma

    Panchakarma treatment especially with Basti (Enema) using Ksheera (Milk), Sarpi (Ghee) and other bitter herbs is believed to be much useful in managing Asthi Dhatu.

  • Calcium-Rich Diet

    Milk, Cheese, Buttermilk, Soya, Leafy Green Vegetables and Dry Fruits are some of the calcium-rich diets that should be taken to cure weak bones.

  • Sunbath

    Taking sunlight daily is a very good option to strengthen the bones. Walk daily in the sun or lie down under the sun to make bones strong and healthy.

  • Seeds & Nuts

    Seeds & Nuts which are rich in minerals like Sesame Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Brazil Nuts, Almonds, and Macadamias will nourish the bones.

  • Ayurvedic Herbs & Medicines

    Praval Panchamrit, Ashwagandha, Triphala, Gentle Laxative Tea, and others are the important ayurvedic herbs & medicines to maintain Asthi Dhatu.

Majja Dhatu (Bone Marrow)

Location: Inside Bones

The meaning of Majja Dhatu is the bone marrow present in the body. Bone Marrow is filled in the empty spaces and holes inside the bones present in the body.

  • It is associated with the Nervous System.
  • Majja is made up of Water & Earth Element.
  • It is influenced by the Kapha Dosha.
  • It nourishes Majja Dhatu.
  • It fills the cavity of bones.

Functions of Majja Dhatu

Main Function - Poorana (To fill in the bone cavity)

  • It gives nourishment to the body.
  • Majja strengthens the body.
  • It acts as a lubricant between the joints of the bones.
  • It makes the bone strong.
  • It provides good intellect and memory.
  • It generates Red Blood Cells (RBCs) and White Blood Cells (WBCs).
  • Majja produces fat, cartilage and fibrous connective tissues.
  • It removes old cells from circulation.
  • Majja supports bone cells and blood formation.

Symptoms of Increased Majja Dhatu

  • Bulgy Eyes
  • Heaviness in the body
  • Boils and Pimples
  • Increase in size of the body joints
  • Ulcers

Symptoms of Deficiency in Majja Dhatu

  • Osteopenia
  • Osteoporosis
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Hollow Bones
  • Bones & Joints Fracture
  • Dizziness
  • Deficiency of Shukra Dhatu

Diseases Caused by Imbalanced Majja Dhatu

  • Bone Cancer
  • Blood Cancer
  • Pain in Finger joints
  • Dizziness


  • Panchakarma

    Timely elimination of the doshas is quite beneficial in managing Majja Dhatu. Abhyanga or Self Oil Massage with Brahmi oil is a good option.

  • Ayurvedic Herbs

    Brahmi, Ashwagandha and Tagar are some of the powerful herbs useful in maintaining Bone Marrow Tissue stronger.

  • Milk

    Milk is an important substance to nourish your bone marrow tissue or majja dhatu in the body.

  • Ghee

    Ghee is proven to be beneficial in restoring Majja Dhatu and offering you a healthy life.

  • Exercises

    Regular exercises especially Breathing exercises and some contemplative practices help in restoring Majja Dhatu.

Shukra Dhatu (Reproductive Tissue)

Location: In Men: Testicles; In Women: Ovaries, Genital Tract

It is considered to be the last, most powerful, and important Dhatu. It is directly related to the reproductive tissue present in our body. "Shukra" is formed from the Sanskrit word, "Shucha" meaning, "Pure".

  • It gets nourishment from Majja Dhatu.
  • It is supported by Kapha Dosha.
  • It spreads through the entire body.

Functions of Shukra Dhatu

Main Function - Garbhotpadana (Reproduction)

  • It nourishes the reproductive organs of an individual.
  • Shukra is responsible for life, energy, and vitality.
  • It functions mainly in the birth of a new ones.
  • It enhances the sexual strength.

Symptoms of Increased Shukra Dhatu

  • Excess Secretion of Shukra Dhatu
  • Stone in the Seminal Vesicles or Spermatic Ducts

Symptoms of Deficiency in Shukra Dhatu

  • Weakness in the Body
  • Dry Mouth
  • Anaemia
  • Fatigue
  • Impotence
  • Severe Pain in the Testicles

Diseases Caused by Imbalanced Shukra Dhatu

  • Impotence
  • Chances of Miscarriage
  • Problem in Delivery


  • Zinc Rich Foods

    Food items which are rich in zinc minerals are needed for healthy reproductive function. Some of these foods are pumpkin seeds, beans and nuts.

  • Honey

    Honey has boron in it that regulates hormone levels in the body and promotes reproductive growth.

  • Almond

    Almond is a great nut to maintain Shukra Dhatu. When mixed with milk and saffron, it shows the best result.

  • Ayurvedic Herbs

    Ashwagandha, Shatavari, Shatavari ghee, and Vidari are the Ayurvedic supplements to ensure hormonal growth and maintain Shukra Dhatu.

  • Reduce Stress

    Stress will imbalance the hormonal growth of the body. If you reduce stress and stay happy and calm, then Shukra Dhatu remains healthy.