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Dhatus (धातवः)  
 
Dhatus (धातवः)  
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The term Dhatu is used in Ayurveda in 2 different contexts. With reference to the [[Sharira (शरीरम्)|Sharira]] (body), Dhatus refer to those vital body tissues that are responsible to hold and sustain life. These are the basic building blocks of the physical body and they are 7 in number. On the other side, with reference to the pharmacology, Materia medica and Iatrochemistry in Ayurveda, Dhatus indicate ‘Metals’ like gold, silver, copper.  
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The term Dhatu is used in 2 different contexts in Ayurveda . With reference to the [[Sharira (शरीरम्)|Sharira]] (body), Dhatus refer to those vital body tissues that are responsible to hold and sustain life. These are the basic building blocks of the physical body and they are 7 in number. On the other side, with reference to the pharmacology, Materia medica and Iatrochemistry in Ayurveda, Dhatus indicate ‘Metals’ like gold, silver, copper.  
    
== Sharira Dhatu (Vital body tissues) ==
 
== Sharira Dhatu (Vital body tissues) ==
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=== Introduction ===
 
=== Introduction ===
Ayurveda states that 7 dhatus constitute the physical body of an individual. They have specific function in maintenance of life and they also perform the important task of nourishing the entire structure of the body. It is believed that, living body can not afford to loss of any of these 7 dhatus to any extent and if it occurs leads to serious damage to the body.  
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Ayurveda states that 7 dhatus constitute the physical body of an individual. They have specific function in maintenance of life and they also perform the important task of nourishing the entire structure of the body. It is believed that, living body can not afford loss of any of these 7 dhatus to any extent and if it occurs, it leads to serious damage to the body. This damage could be either in the form of development of a disease or poor immunity leading to repeated episodes of ill health. 
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=== Etymology ===
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The word ‘Dhatu’ is derived from the verb ‘Dha’ which means to hold.
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The matters which hold the body are termed as Dhatu.
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In general, it is a term signifying bodily fluids and tissues.
    
=== Significance of Dhatus ===
 
=== Significance of Dhatus ===
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=== 7 dhatus ===
 
=== 7 dhatus ===
7 Dhatus described in Ayurveda compendium are as follows,
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It is important to know that, the dhatus in Ayurveda are correlated with body tissues for easy understanding for the first step. However, they are not similar. Ayurveda has identified various body tissues majorly on the basis of their unique function in the body than their morphological characteristics. Thus, Dhatus are also defined and described on the basis of their exclusive function. to some extent some of them can be roughly correlated with currently known body tissues but they are not totaly comparable. 7 Dhatus described in Ayurveda compendium are as follows,
# Rasa- essense of nutrition, roughly correlated with lymph or plasma
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# Rasa- The dhatu in liquid state, which is in the form of essence of nutrition and performs the function of providing nousrishment and nutrition to the rest of the body. It is roughly correlated with lymph or plasma fluid.
# Rakta
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# Rakta - The dhatu in liquid state, which is called as Prana or life. Praised as the
# Mansa
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# Mansa - The dhatu in more solid state, which performs the the function of covering the body and protecting from external environmental conditions. The term 'Mansa' literally means, flesh or meat thus it is usually correlated with the muscle tissue of the body.
# Meda
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# Meda - The dhatu in semi solid state, which performs the function of oleation and lubrication. The term 'Meda' refers to fat thus, this dhatu can be roughly correlated with fatty tissue of the body.
# Asthi
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# Asthi - The solid tissue in the body which forms the basic function of holding the entire body and performing various movements. It forms the basic architecture of the body. Hence it is usually correlated with bony tissues in the body.
# Majja
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# Majja - The dhatu which is contained within and protected by the framework of Asthi dhatu. It is commonly correlated with bone marrow and nervous tissue in the body.
# Shukra
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# Shukra - Shukra means bright, pure, and radiant. It can also mean the “essence” of something. In Ayurveda, the term is commonly used to describe both the male semen and the female egg, as they contain the essence of all of the other dhatus (tissues) of the body. Shukra is the seventh and final dhatu in the dhatus formation cycle.
Traditional texts often refer to the above as the Seven Dhātus (Saptadhātus). Ojas is known as the eighth Dhātu or quintessence of these 7 dhatus.
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Traditional texts often refer to the above as the Seven Dhatus (Saptadhatus). Ojas is known as the eighth Dhatu or quintessence of these 7 dhatus.
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=== Pathological states of Dhatus ===
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There are three types of pathological changes in these Dhatu viz. Kshaya (decrease), Vṛddhi (increase) and Dushti (vitiation). The Kshaya of the one and Vrddhi of other may be simultaneous in the same disease and in the same patient. Vrddhi and Kshaya symptoms are explicitely mentioned i Ayurveda classical treatises. However, the clinical features of Dushti (vitiation) are understood by studying the features of disturbed function of the Srotas (physiological system) pertaining to the individual Dhatu. In this condition, the Dhatu increases at one place at the cost of other.
    
== Dhatu in Rasashastra (Metals in Ayurveda Iatro-chemistry) ==
 
== Dhatu in Rasashastra (Metals in Ayurveda Iatro-chemistry) ==
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