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The seven fundamental principles (elements) that support the basic structure (and functioning) of the body. Dhatu are basically the body tissues which are responsible for the functioning of the systems and organs and the structure of the body.

The most important elements that make up our body are the Dhatus. They are the tissues which form the body structure, nourish and sustain it. There are seven types of Dhatus.[1]

They consist of:

  1. Rasa dhatu (Lymph)  : Water
  2. Rakta dhatu (Blood)  : Fire
  3. Mamsa dhatu (Muscles)  :Earth
  4. Medha dhatu (Fat)  :Earth
  5. Asthi dhatu (Bone) Air ans Space
  6. Majja dhatu (marrow (bone and spinal)) : Fire
  7. Shukra dhatu (Ovum in female)(Sperm in male)  : Water

Brief explanation of Dhatus

According to Ayurveda the human body is primarily made up of Saptadhatus. “Saptadhatus” is a Sanskrit word, which means seven constituent elements [Sapta=seven, dhatus=tissues]. These seven dhatus are responsible for the entire structure of the body. The dhatus maintain the functioning of different systems, organs and vital parts of the body and play a significant role in the development and nourishing of the body.[2]

The dhatus are also part of the body’s protective mechanism. With the help of agni (fire), they are responsible for the immune processes. Each tissue or dhatu is primarily governed by one of the tridoshas – vata, pitta & kapha.[ii] When one dhatu is defective, it affects the successive dhatu, as each dhatu receives its nourishment from the dhatu preceding it. The seven most important dhatus are presented here in serial order:

1) Rasa (Plasma) which is the first dhatu which contains nutrients & minerals from digested food and which nourishes & replenishes all the tissues and organs.

2) Rakta (blood) which transports oxygen to all tissues and vital organs and maintains life.

3) Mamsa (muscle) which covers the delicate vital organs, and enables movements of bones & joints and maintains the physical capacity and strength of the body.

4) Meda (Adipose tissue) maintains the lubrication and oiliness of all the tissues.

5) Asthi (bones and Cartilage) gives support to the body structure.

6) Majja (bone marrow) fills up the bony spaces 7

7) Shukra which are the reproductive tissues responsible for reproduction. Sperm in males and Ova in females

Any disease where vata-pitta-kapha are involved, the vitiated doshas directly affect the dhatus. With insight into the governing dosha, the cause of a diseased dhatu is accurately determined. The disturbed dosha ( vata, pitta or kapha ) and improper dhatus are always directly involved in the disease process. Once the root cause of the illness is known, the corresponding therapies are used to balance the system through reducing the excess element(s) and increasing the deficient one(s). Balance of the dhatus can be maintained by taking steps to keep the tridoshas in balance through a proper diet, exercise and recovery program.

Traditional texts often refer to the above as the Seven Dhātus (Saptadhātus). Ojas is known as the eighth Dhātu, or Mahādhātu (superior, or great dhātu).

  • Blood tissue includes blood vessels and all tissues connected with the blood system. like the three Doshas the seven Dhatus also composed of five elements and one or two elements dominate the dhatus.
  • The dhatus are formed as a result of the action of the digestive fire that breaks down the food in the stomach and gastro-intestinal tract.
  • The digestive enzymes break food down into two parts - the saar- which is nourishing ans mala - which is the waste product that need to be excreted. The saar is carried to different parts of the body by vyanvayu, where it nourishes and replenishes the Rasa and Rakta dhanu.
  • Conversion of food into the building blocks of the body, i.e., the dhatus, takes place in a definite order. FOOD IS FIRST Converted into Rasa dhatu, which then is transformed into rakta, then converted into mamasa, mamasa to med, med into asthi, asthi into majja and finally majja is converted and processed into shukra.
  • The by-products are tissues or substances that are either used in the body or expelled by it, once they have served their purpose.
  • The sequence of tissue formation is a series of processes each generating one of the tissue types and the raw material for the next product. Under this system, the product of the seven processes is most refined as its raw materials have already undergone a series of transformation. Many days go by processing of the first product to the last product in refined ojas.
  • The end product is dependent on the previous product. It is a chain effect. The first workshop produces plasma of the blood. The seventh workshop produces reproductive tissue. As per Charaka Samhita, it is a chain system, as well as a circuit system.


  1. The above mentioned information is added from the book called "MUDRAS & HEALTH PERSPECTIVES" by "SUMAN.K.CHIPLUNKAR".
  2. Referred by Dabur Aarogya