Dosha, Dhatu and Mala

Dosha, Dhatu and Mala


The concept of ‘Dosha Dhatu Mala’ theory is the basic philosophy of Ayurveda, which deals about ‘Tridoshas’. 
The basic concept of diagnosis, treatment, prognosis and drug development of every disease in Ayurveda is based on Tridosha theory which includes Vatta (wind), Pitta (fire) & Kapha (water). Ayurvedic principles of treatment are based on natural laws. 
Vatta (wind)
Pitta (fire)
Kapha (water)
Functions of Dosha in Detail

The Vatta dosha is believed to be a combination of the elements space and air. One of them is the working force and another provides the space for that force to be functional. But when there is less working force and space is greater, the change will hard to notice. While greater force in less space will result in destruction. So Vatta is that force which maintains the balance between elements space and air. It is considered the most powerful dosha because it controls very basic body processes such as cell division, the heart, breathing and the mind. It explains the entire biological phenomenon, which are controlled by the functions of central and autonomous nervous system. The malfunction of Vatta is a major factor in developing diseases either by itself or coupled with other functional disorders due to Pitta and Kapha. Vatta can be thrown out of balance by, for example, staying up late at night, eating dry fruit, or eating before the previous meal is digested. People with Vatta as their main dosha are thought to be especially susceptible to skin, neurological and mental diseases.
Pitta is considered to be composed of water and fire elements which manifest the energy in the living organisms that helps digestion & assimilation of food, tissue building, heat production, blood pigmentation, activities of the endocrine glands, etc. Many of these processes are thermogenic and metabolic. Pitta is said to control hormones and the digestive system. When Pitta is out of balance, a person may experience negative emotions (such as hostility and jealousy) and have physical symptoms (such as heartburn within 2 or 3 hours of eating). Pitta is upset by, for example, eating spicy or sour food; being angry, tired, or fearful; or spending too much time in the sun. People with a predominantly Pitta constitution are thought to be susceptible to heart disease and arthritis. 
Kapha consists of element water and earth which implies the function of heat regulation and also the formation of various preservative fluids e.g. mucus, sinovial fluid etc. the main function of Kapha is to provide nutrition to body tissues to bring about coordination of body system and regularization of all the biological processes. Kapha is thought to help keep up strength and immunity and to control growth. An imbalance in the Kapha dosha may cause nausea immediately after eating. Kapha is aggravated by, for example, sleeping during the daytime, eating too many sweet foods, eating after one is full, and eating and drinking foods and beverages with too much salt and water (especially in the springtime). Those with a predominant Kapha dosha are thought to be vulnerable to diabetes, gallbladder problems, stomach ulcers, and respiratory illnesses such as asthma. 
Characteristics of Doshas 
Mal odorous
Above table depicts that these Doshas share some characteristics with one another and differ in some. It is also clear that dryness is the characteristic feature of Vata heat that of Pitta and heaviness, that of Kapha. 
Doshas effecting body 
Body stature
Not normal, either giant or small
Heavy with well built
Fluctuates, easy to reduce and gain weight
Moderate weight
High weight and can’t reduce weight if gains once
Fluctuates, not a regular pattern
“Always hungry”
Low appetite
Slow and irregular
Good and regular
Weak and slow
Catabolic when aggravated but anabolic when it is less in percentage
Catabolic, produces energy by consuming foods
Anabolic, tendency to store the food
Stool and urine
Constipated, hard stools with less urine
Normal but burning sensation in urine and stool
Normal flow
Dry, rough and reddish-black skin
Smooth, reddish and glowing
Smooth, whitish and cold
Curly-dry, easy to break and scanty of hairs
Shining good hairs but prone to early graying and baldness
Curly-smooth, shining and strong hairs
Grasps quickly and forgets easily
Quick memory
Grasps slowly but never forgets
Forgetfulness hampers it, when it is for quick response it is good!!
Can’t stay at one place for long
Sharp and specific
Irregular and disturbed sleep
Sleeps for few hours is enough
Heavy sleepers, none can disturb
Cloud, air and sky are common, excessive dreams
Fiery dreams
Rare dreams
Knotty joints with sounds from early age
Smooth and hot joints
Good shaped, rounded joints
Sweats hardly and rarely
Can sweat anywhere in any season
Sweats rarely but when it occurs it is more always
Socio-economic behavior
Impulsive and irregular
Good, known as social animals,
Cool, calm but hardly allows anyone to peep into their life
Shoots up suddenly
Effective age
Effects in old age
Adolescence and young age is ruled by Pitta
Early age …childhood
System governed by-
Nervous and musculoskeletal system
Digestive system and skin
Immune system and respiratory system
These are few traits governed by Doshas. Every one of us has these traits, in different ratios, few of Vata, few of Pitta and Kapha. These three Doshas interplays with each other and make our bodies lively and working. In a body these all three will be there. One Dosha alone can’t do all. So it is important to know about the percentage of each Dosha inside body and how to control these. For this you should know your Prakruti!! 
Bio-Rhythm of Doshas

Vata – Old age, last 1/3 rd of day and night and last period of digestion of our foods
Pitta – Middle age, mid of the day and night and just in the middle of our food
Kapha – Starting age, first 1/3 rd of the day and night and just in the start of the digestion of food
Name of the Dosha
Early winter
Late Winter
Keep your Doshas in harmony for positive health & happiness.

Faulty food and lifestyle can disturb the balance of Doshas thereby upset the whole internal system of the body. That doesn’t mean these are not bad only but important for the better health is to balance Tridoshas. Need is to select the best for your body without disturbing these Doshas. Food and lifestyle are two things, to which we all are exposed at maximum. So these should be take care properly. Doshas are of dual nature, on one side, these are Heroes, deciding all good for the body o the same of these are hurt repetitively, these Heroes change into villains. So maintain your Doshas by following ways-

• Eating and living style & Quality should be accordance to your Doshas depending upon the Prakruti
(nature of your body) without upsetting these. This can better understand your Ayurvedic physician
• By selecting best herbs to nourish the body.
• Through regular detoxification of body.
• Performing right kind of Yoga, Pranayam.
• Selection of best Rasyanas for you.


Dhatu is a Sanskrit (which binds together) word for tissues. The human body consists of seven basic tissues known as “Sapta Dhatu”. Generally Dhatu gives support to the body or maintains it. According to Ashtanga Ayurved, the seven Dhatu constitute the anatomy and physiology of the human body. They play a major role in the chain of bodily activities, ultimately ensuring a healthy body and a healthy mind. There are seven Dhatu in all which forms the different organs and different body systems. These are Rasa, Rakta, Mansa, Meda, Asthi, Majja and Shukra. One unique feature of Ayurvedic physiology is that each human tissue is derived from the previous tissue in ascending order of complexity. These Dhatu are composed of the five Mahabhoota (supreme powers) Earth (Prithvi), Water (Aap), Divine Fire (Tej), Air (Vayu) and Universal Space (Akash). These Dhatu remain within the human body in the right proportion so that the body can function properly but any disturbance in their equilibrium causes disease. Disorders in the Dhatu should be immediately taken care of to prevent further degeneration of the body.
Lymph, Serum
Flesh, Muscles
adipose tissue (fatty tissue)
Bone & Cartilages
Bone marrow
Dhatu responsible for reproduction (Sperm and ovum)
1. Rasa:
The food that we eat is assimilated in our body in the form of Ahar Rasa which helps in survival, growth and fortification. From this Ahar Rasa originates the life sap or Jeevan Rasa which is the preliminary source of the Dhatu. Rasa provides nourishment to every part of the body by circulating nutrients. Increased Rasa leads to loss of appetite and other related complaints while its deficiency causes fatigue, loss of weight, dry skin and retarded perceptibility of the senses.
2. Rakta
From Rasa (life sap) the body builds up Rakta (blood). Rakta or Blood is a fluid connective tissue that serves many vital functions of the body, thus keeping us alive. The Rakta considered to be the basis of life, provides vigour and glow to the body by nourishing the muscles and intellect. It circulates through blood vessels and protects and nourishes all the cells and tissues of the body. Blood helps in gaseous exchange (oxygen and carbohydrate) and consists of many types of cells (e.g. red blood cells, white blood cells). Disorders in the Rakta Dhatu may cause a wide range of disorders like boils, tumors, high blood pressure, tiredness, anaemia. If the disease is chronic in blood, then it results as “Mehaprakopa” (disease due to the impurities in blood). 
3. Mansa:
From Rakta the body develops Mansa (muscles) whose major function is to support and strengthen the Meda Dhatu or fat. Mansa (derived from blood) is concerned with providing physical strength and stamina to the body, muscular system of the body. There are several types of muscle tissue in the body: Hridya kandara (Cardiac muscle), Vartul kandara (Smooth muscle), Asti kandara (Skeletal muscle) etc. Abnormalities in Mansa are manifested in the form of tumors around the face, neck, abdomen, thigh or genitalia. 
4. Meda:
From Mansa originates Meda (fat). According to Ayurveda it constitutes brain, spinal cord, nervous tissue and adipose tissue. Thoughts and body functions are based on stimuli which come from brain and spinal cord. The adipose tissue collects the energies and stores it to strengthen and insulates the body. In a diseased person, med is responsible for conditions like dyspnoea. 
5. Asthi:
From Meda the body developed Asthi (bones). Asthi or bony tissues and cartilages (hardest of all connective tissues) comprise the Asthi Dhatu. Asthi acts as a backbone to the muscular tissue which gives shape and support to the body. Abnormalities include weaker & bigger bones and brittle nails. According to Charaka it is difficult to cure any disease which is related to Asthi Dhatu.
6. Majja:
From Asthi the body generates Majja (Bon Marrow). Majja is the yellow and red bone marrow that fills the bone cavity. Majja (bone marrow tissue) serves the vital function of producing blood cells, nourishing the semen and providing viscidity to the body thus increasing survival and giving a shining appearance. When Majja Dhatu is affected by disease, it can’t produce healthy blood. Increase of Majja leads to swollen eyes or fingers, heaviness, oliguria and non-healing ulcers while a deficiency may cause osteoporosis and sunken eye.
7. Shukra:
The Shukra Dhatu (semen) originates from the core of Majja. According to Ashtanga Ayurveda, Shukra is the most significant of the seven Dhatu because it has the potential to produce new life (offspring) by nourishing the reproductive systems of male and female. In male it is known as Sukra (sperm) and in female it is known as Sronita (ovum). Other associated functions include enabling intimate satisfaction and strengthening the body. 

Mala are the third in the trinity of the body; the other two are Dosha and Dhatu. Mala are the substances or waste matter to be thrown out of the body. Mala are excretory by-products formed as a result of various physiological activities going on in the living body. Ayurveda lists two main types of Mala (waste products) Ahar Mala (waste products derived from food) and Dhatu Mala (waste products expelled from cells and tissues). Ahara Mala includes purisha (feces), mutra (urine), and sveda (sweat). Dhatu mala are secretions from nose, eyes, ears, and elements like carbon dioxide, lactic acid, hair, skin and nails. These are known as Mala due to its principle property of Malinikaran i.e. Toxification.

According to Ayurveda only a balanced condition of Dosha, Dhatu and Mala is Aarogya (good health or disease free condition) and their imbalance causes ill health or disease.

The Mala too are composed of Panchabhoota, the five principle elements of nature. Purisha or feces is composed mainly of the element Bhoomi (Earth). Its increase can cause abdominal unrest, heaviness, etc. Its decrease can lead to abdominal pain, back pain, asthma, hypocalcaemia, bloating and other conditions. Mutra or urine is composed mainly of Jal (water) and Agni (fire). Its increase can cause infections to urinary tract and bladder dysfunction. Reduced urine production can lead to kidnPanchmahabhuta.

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