Rakta dhatu or blood , is one of the 7 dhatus or tissues explained in ayurveda. Rakta dhatu performs vital activities needed for a healthy life.
Formation of rakta or blood an ayurveda view
Functions of Rakta dhatu or blood according to ayurveda
Rakta dhatu in balanced condition nourishes body. Its functions are explained as follows
“Raktam varna prasaadanam mamsa pushtim jeevayathicha”
Rakta dhatu enhances tone and complexion of skin. It strengthens and nourishes “mamsa dhatu” (Muscles). The whole physiology of body is dependent on this tissue. Rakta strengthens the body and keeps it healthy. It increases life span and keeps the person active.
When a person has pure and healthy blood in his body he exhibits following symptoms.
-He has attractive complexion and glowing skin
-His sense organs work perfectly.
-He has perfect digestive power.
-He is always healthy and happy.
-His other dhatus get good nourishment.
5 basic elements (Panchabhoutikatwa) in rakta dhatu or blood
Its fleshy odor indicates presence of earth element or pruthvi bhuta. Its fluid nature shows water element or jala bhuta. It is red in colour indicating presence of fire element or agni bhuta, Its pulsatile movement indicates air element or vayu bhuta, It is light in nature indicating space element or akasha bhuta.
Diseases caused by imbalance of Rakta dhatu or blood (increase or decrease of rakta dhatu)
Rakta dhatu can get imbalanced from 3 doshas (vata, pitta, kapha). When it gets vitiated various diseases surface. This is explained in ayurveda as follows.
“Raktam visarpa pleeha vidradheen kushta vaatasra pittasra gulmopa kusa kaamalaa vyangaagni naasha sammoha raktatwam netra mootrata”
Visarpa or herpes
This is caused due to vitiation of rakta. This can be herpes zoster or Genital Herpes or Oral herpes (HSV1 and HSV2)
Vidradhi – abscess
The root cause for Vidradhi or abscess is vitiation or imbalance of rakta dhatu due to tridoshas. This leads to pain, swelling and formation of pus.
Kushta – skin disorders
Skin disorders like acne, pimples, psoriasis, etc arise when rakta dhatu is thrown off balance due to vitiated doshas
Vata rakta or Rakta vata also called as rakta vadam in malyalam – gout
Vata rakta in ayurveda is the condition referred to gout or increased uric acid level. Rakta associated with vitiated vata affects joints leading to sandhi shoola or joint pain . Here blood also gets imblanced with high uric acid level.
Rakta pitta – hemorrhagic disorders
Rakta pitta is bleeding through orifices of the body like nose, mouth, anus, urethra, vagina etc. This occurs when rakta or blood is vitiated due to pitta.
Gulma – tumours
Gulma is the round elevated mobile or non mobile tumour which arise in the gastrointestinal region between the heart and the bladder.Tumours occur when rakta dhatu is associated with vitiated doshas specially vata. In women it can occur in garbhashaya or uterus.
Kamala – jaundice
Kamala or jaundice also occurs due to vitiation of blood and pitta.
Vyanga – pigmentation of skin
Vyanga is pigmentation of skin like melasma and dark circle. This occurs when imbalanced blood affects skin
Agni nasha – indigestion
Any variations in balanced rakta dhatu can cause weakening of body fire or agni. This leads to loss of appetite, indigestion and malabsorption.
Sammoha – syncope
A person feels tiered when there is a dip in quality of rakta dhatu. He can also lose conscious often .
Raktatwaknetra mootrata – Redness of eyes, skin and urine
blood shot eyes, redness on skin and passing red coloured urine all these symptoms show that there is an imbalance of rakta dhatu.
When there is reduction in quality of Rakta dhatu the following symptoms appear
“Raktemla sisirapreethi siraashaithilya rookshatha”
When the quality of rakta dhatu reduces , the person gets increased desire for sour foods and cold substances . He gets burning sensation in palms and foot. Blood vessels collapse and skin becomes dry ( Dry skin )
Features of a person who has balanced rakta dhatu (Raktasara purusha)
“Karnaakshi mukha jihva naasaushtta paada
tala nakha lalaata mehanam snigdha rakta varnam
srimad Bhraajishnu rakta saraanaam ,saa saarata sukham……”
The person who has completely formed, well balanced rakta dhatu, exhibits the following characters
His/her ears, eyes, face, tongue, nose, lips, palms, soles, nails, forehead, genital organ look brightly red and glistening. They have a healthy look with radiance.
He or she will be attractive and energetic.
These persons do not tolerate heat, stress or strain.
Ayurveda Diet and Lifestyle to balance and nourish rakta dhatu or blood (Ayurveda way of increasing blood)
Rakta dhatu is nourished by iron rich foods such as red meat, beets or beetroot, red cabbage, raisins, sweet black grapes and cranberry juice . These foods are rich in iron. Rakta dhatu is hot, sharp and pungent in nature. Rakta dhatu gets its colour from Ranjaka Pitta. Hence pitta stimulating lifestyles and herbs help to increase quality of rakta dhatu. Soaking in morning sunlight, using mildly hot spices like black pepper, long pepper, ginger etc help to improve quality of this dhatu.
Ranjaka pitta which colours rakta is closely associated with liver. Hence liver stimulating sour and bitter herbs like amla, lemon, guduchi or giloy, turmeric etc also contribute to increase quality of this dhatu.
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