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The term Dhatu (Sanskrit: धातुः, Plural: धातवः) is used in 2 different contexts in Ayurveda. With reference to the [[Sharira (शरीरम्)|Sharira]] (शरीरम् 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 (Samskrit: धातुः, Plural: धातवः) is used in 2 different contexts in Ayurveda. With reference to the [[Sharira (शरीरम्)|Sharira]] (शरीरम् 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.  
    
== शरीर धातवः॥ Vital body tissues ==
 
== शरीर धातवः॥ Vital body tissues ==
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=== सप्तधातवः ॥ 7 dhatus ===
 
=== सप्तधातवः ॥ 7 dhatus ===
 
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,
 
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,
# रस धातु 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.  
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# [[Rasa Dhatu (रस धातु)|रस धातु Rasa]]- The dhatu in liquid state, which is in the form of essence of nutrition and performs the function of providing nourishment and nutrition to the rest of the body. It is roughly correlated with lymph or plasma fluid.  
# रक्त धातु Rakta - The dhatu in liquid state, which is called as Prana or life. Praised as the  
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# [[Rakta Dhatu (रक्त धातु)|रक्त धातु Rakta]] - The dhatu in liquid state, which is called as Prana or life. Praised as the  
# मांस धातु 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.
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# [[Mansa Dhatu (मांस धातु)|मांस धातु 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.
# मेद धातु 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.  
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# [[Meda Dhatu (मेद धातु)|मेद धातु 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.  
# अस्थि धातु 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.
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# [[Asthi Dhatu (अस्थी धातु)|अस्थि धातु 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.
# मज्ज धातु 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.  
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# [[Majja Dhatu (मज्जा धातु)|मज्ज धातु 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.  
 
# शुक्र धातु 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.
 
# शुक्र धातु 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 Dhatus (Saptadhatus). Ojas is known as the eighth Dhatu or quintessence of these 7 dhatus.
 
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.
    
=== धातुवृद्धिक्षय हेतवः ॥ Factors affecting metabolism of dhatus ===
 
=== धातुवृद्धिक्षय हेतवः ॥ Factors affecting metabolism of dhatus ===
 
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<blockquote>धातवः पुनः शारीराः समानगुणैः समानगुणभूयिष्ठैर्वाऽप्याहारविकारैरभ्यस्यमानैर्वृद्धिं प्राप्नुवन्ति, ह्रासं तु विपरीतगुणैर्विपरीतगुणभूयिष्ठैर्वाऽप्याहारैरभ्यस्यमानैः॥ (Char. Samh Sha 6.9)</blockquote>Meaning: Dhatus get increased by the habitual use of food preparations which are either of similar attributes or are dominated by such attributes. Habitual use of food having opposite qualities or having elements that are predominantly of opposing qualities reduces the dhatus.
धातवः पुनः शारीराः समानगुणैः समानगुणभूयिष्ठैर्वाऽप्याहारविकारैरभ्यस्यमानैर्वृद्धिं प्राप्नुवन्ति, ह्रासं तु विपरीतगुणैर्विपरीतगुणभूयिष्ठैर्वाऽप्याहारैरभ्यस्यमानैः॥ (Char. Samh Sha 6.9)
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Meaning: Dhatus get increased by the habitual use of food preparations which are either of similar attributes or are dominated by such attributes. Habitual use of food having opposite qualities or having elements that are predominantly of opposing qualities reduces the dhatus.
      
=== धातु विकृति प्रकाराः ॥ Pathological states of Dhatus ===
 
=== धातु विकृति प्रकाराः ॥ Pathological states of Dhatus ===
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