Majja Dhatu (मज्जा धातु)

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Majja Dhatu is one of the 7 dhatus described in Ayurveda. It is 6th in order of dhatu sequence. The word majja literally means marrow. Thus majja dhatu is equivalent to the soft bone marrow tissue described in western medicine.

Meanings in different contexts

In physiology, the word denotes structural and functional components mainly of bone marrow.

In the contexts of drugs, the word majja is used to denote the pulp, fleshy parts of fruits.Ex. Pulp of Indian jujube (kola)[Cha. Sa. Chikitsa Sthana 20/29]

It is included as an animal product(jangama dravya).[Cha. Sa. Sutra Sthana 1/68] and considered as one among the four unctuous substances(maha sneha) for therapeutic purposes. [Cha. Sa. Sutra Sthana 1/86]

Etymol0gy and definition

Majja- to be immersed, drowned, submerged into something.

It is derived from the Sanskrit dhatu “majjan” meaning that which is sunken, or seated within, which denotes the marrow of bones and flesh, pith of plants etc.

Definition

Majja dhatu is the body component similar to bone marrow, the soft organic material that fills the cavities of the bones.(SAT-B.443)

Panchabhoutikatwam

Sneha dominant hence the mahabhuta having sneha dominant quality i.e. jalam is in abundance in majja dhatu

Location of majja dhatu

Inside asthi dhatu, eyes, joints

The channels of transportation and transformation of meda dhatu originate from bones and joints. [Cha. Sa. Vimana Sthana 5/8].

Formation or utpatti

During metabolism, vata dosha produces hollowness inside the asthi dhatu. These hollow cavities are filled by adipose tissue(meda dhatu). The adipose tissue in hollow cavities of bones is known as majja dhatu (bone marrow).[Cha. Sa. Chikitsa Sthana 15/31-33]

Upadhatu of majja dhatu

Sharangadhara considered hairs (kesha) as metabolic byproduct of majja dhatu. [Sha.Sa. Purva Khanda chapter 5]

Mala of Majja dhatu

Unctuousness in eyes, skin and stools (akshi-twacha-vit sneha) are metabolic waste of majja dhatu. [Cha.Sa. Chikitsa Sthana 15/20]

Majja sara characteristics

The persons having superior quality of majja dhatu are endowed with soft body parts, strong, unctuous complexion, and sweet voice. They have prominent (sthula), long (dirgha) and rounded joints. [Cha. Sa. Vimana Sthana 8/108] (https://www.carakasamhitaonline.com/index.php/Majja_dhatu)

Function

The functions of majja dhatu are providing unctuousness(snehana), strength(bala), filling of bone cavity (asthi poorana) and nourishment of its successor shukra dhatu (shukra pushti). [Su. Sa. Sutra Sthana 15/5]

Causes of vitiation

The channels of transportation and transformation of majja dhatu are afflicted due to the following causes[Cha. Sa. Vimana Sthana 5/18]

Dietary causes

Excess and frequent consumption of incompatible food (viruddha ahara)

Exogenous causes

  • crushing injury
  • excessive discharge causing pressure
  • trauma
  • compression

Importance in the preservation of health and prevention

  • Majja dhatu is specifically important for providing strength to bones and nourishment to reproductive tissues.
  • Longevity, strength, learning ability, wealth, understanding, progeny, and social respect depend upon superior quality of majja dhatu. [Cha. Sa.Vimana Sthana 8/108]