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The 7 Dhatus, the tissues of the body

One of the ways to observe the balance of health in Ayurveda is to study the quality of the tissues that make up our body. The Dhatus are the seven body tissues that make up the body: plasma, blood, muscle, fat, nerves, bones, and reproductive tissues. They multiply during the formation of the body and then are perpetually renewed throughout existence.

Tissue formation begins with the process of nutrient digestion. Each assimilable nutrient participates in the formation and regeneration of one of the seven Dhatus. And each Dathu has its own Agni, that is, its own metabolizing capacity to transform nutrients. Thus, the production of fabrics is done sequentially. The first tissue which is the plasma regenerates then provides supplements to the next tissue which is the blood, and the chain follows its course.

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Sapta Dhatus, the seven tissues:

1) Rasa Dhatu corresponds to blood plasma. It is formed from the digestion of food and is responsible for the nutrition of other Dhatus.

2) Rakta Dhatu is the blood. It carries oxygen, nutrients, and hormones throughout the body.

3) Mamsa Dhatu represents muscle tissue. It provides strength and movement capacity.

4) Meda Dhatu corresponds to fatty tissues. It is responsible for thermal insulation, organ protection and tissue lubrication.

5) Asthi Dhatu represents the bones. It gives structure and support to the body.

6) Majja Dhatu is the bone marrow. It plays an important role in blood formation and nerve support.

7) Shukra Dhatu is related to reproduction and fertility. In men it corresponds to the sperm, while in women it is associated with the egg

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Dhatus and cell renewal

The Ayurvedic concept of the Dhatus’ formation of is largely like the modern understanding of cellular reproduction.

Our body has approximately 100,000 billion cells of different types (blood cells, muscle cells, etc.). Every day, around 20 billion cells die and are replaced. All our organs are renewed one or more times in our life.

The renewal of cells on the surface of the intestine occurs in five days. Liver cells require 400 days to renew themselves and lung cells 500 days. Only the renewal of neuronal and cardiac cells is almost non-existent.

All Dhatus are regenerated by the consumption of foods and plants with properties like the tissues we wish to strengthen. Conversely, they are destroyed using elements with properties opposite to the Dhatus. Three major conditioners promoting tissue balance commonly cited in Ayurvedic texts are milk, honey, and ghee (clarified butter), basic ingredients in the human diet since the dawn of time.

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