Medha Dhatu or Body Fat in Ayurveda
Medha dhatu or meda dhatu is 4th among ayurveda dhatus. Dhatus are body tissues as explained in ayurveda. Medha dhatu is body fat.
“Swatejombu gunaasnigdho drktam medhobhijayate”
Medha dahtu (body fat) gets nutrients from mamsa dhatu (muscles). The nutrients required to form medha dhatu are present in mamsa dhatu. These nutrients get metabolized with water and form medha dahtu or fat tissue. Medha dahtu is snigdha (oily) and soft .
Functions of medha dahtu
“medah snehaswedou pustimastnanncha karoti ”
The function of meda dhatu is lubrication. Ayurveda acharyas compare this tissue to ghee. As ghee is used for oleation body uses medha dhatu to run the body function smoothely.
This tissue makes body look soft and glowing. A balanced medha dhatu makes person look healthy.
Normal amount of this tissues gives a good shape to body.
It is the reason for production of sweat and keeps the skin moist. This prevents drying of skin.
In balanced condition this dhatu strengthens body, provides energy and nourishes its next dhatu , that is asthi dhatu or bone tissue.
This tissue protects internal organs by providing them a cushioning effect and also provide an insulation to body.
It controls body temperature and provides energy to body functions.
Doshas and Medha dhatu
Kapha dosha controls increase and decrease of this dhatu. When kapha dosha increases medha dhatu increases. When Kapha dhatu decreases medha dhatu decreases.
What Happens when medha dhatu decreases ?
Decrease in medha dhatu dcreases body weight. When it is decreased than normal limit it causes crackling of joints, tiredness and fatigue, loss of glow in eyes, tiered eyes, thinning of abdomen.
What happens when meda dhatu increases? ( Increase in body fat )
Increased meda dhatu increases body weight. It leads to fatigue or tiredness. Even a slight exertion like walking or climbing stairs leads to dyspnoea or gasping for breath (panting).
Increased medha dhatu destroys good appearance of body. It gets deposited in buttocks, thighs, breasts, abdomen and arms. These body parts become enlarged and pendulous. This condition is known as sthoulya or Obesity in ayurveda.
Imbalance in this dhatu reduces lifespan. According to researches obesity leads to diabetes, heart attacks and increased lipid levels or cholesterol in blood
Obesity or sthoulya reduces body immunity. Man becomes more susceptible to diseases.
This condition also leads to increased appetite and thirst. Increased appetite leads to more consumption of food which once again get deposited as body fat. It becomes a vicious cycle.
Athisthoulya or Imbalances in meda dhatu prevents nourishment of successive dhatus. That is ashthi dhatu (bone tissue), majja dhatu (bone marrow) and Shukra dhatu (semen) suffer under nourishments. This leads to osteoporosis, weak joint, obesity related erectile dysfunction, infertility in men and PCOS in women.
What Causes Increase in Body Fat or Medha Dhatu ?
Overeating of high calorie foods like sweets, oil or fat, carbohydrates, processed foods, fast foods, junk foods etc through kapha off balance and lead to increase in medha dhatu.
Sedentary works like sitting for a very long time and lack of physical mobility also lead to increase in meda dhatu.
Sexual inactiveness or not having sex regularly can also lead to increase of body fat tissue.
Increased Stress also causes accumulation of body fat. Other causes for this are hereditary.
Sleeping for very long hours and sleeping in afternoon leads to sthoulya.
The first principle to balance meda dhatu is to balance Kapha. Cutting on high calories foods like sweets, ice cream, chacolates, bakery foods, junk foods etc help to prevent kapha increase. Eating plant proteins like beans specially horse gram , raw salads and high fiber diet also aids in reducing kapha. Regular exercises help to dissolve accumulated medha dhatu. A brisk walk for 45 minutes is an ideal exercise to reduce body fat. Having sex frequently also reduces meda dhatu. Follow ayurvedic daily routine or dinacharya to keep the doshas and dhatus in balance.
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