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Theory of Dosha Dhatu Mala
Dr. Sujit Kumar (3rd Year PG Scholar)
Guided By –
Professor. Dr. Vaidehi V. Raole
Parul Institute of Ayurveda,
• Ayurvedic concept of physiology, pathology, diagnosis, prognosis,
medicine, and Therapeutics are based on the doctrine of dosha.
• Definition of Dosha
• That which is responsible to vitiate the other substances is called
Doshas. That’s which vitiates the body as well as the mind is also
called Doshas. The actual definition of doshas is that which is
forming the temperament or prakriti of an individual by birth and
also having the independent power of producing diseases is called
• Dosha Indicates – Dosha is responsible for formation, maintenance
and protection of the body during its physiological condition, thus
it is otherwise known as Dhatu.
• Independently production of disease during its abnormal states of
functioning. Thus its name is so called “Dosha”.
History of Dosha
• Dosha has been considered as an important factor for formation
and maintenance of body.
• The Doctrine of Tridosha theory is available since the Vedic
• In Atharva Veda, the terminology like – Vataja, sushma etc., refers
to Vata, pitta and Kapha theory of Ayurveda.
• Besides in Rigaveda , the terminology like “ Tridhatu” which
refers to Vata, Pitta and Kapha System of body.
Number of Dosha
• Two types of Dosha –
1. Manasika Dosha (Psychic Dosha)
2. Shaeereka Dosha (Somatic Dosha)
VATA PITTA KAPHA
Relationship of Dosha & Dhatu
Dosha RelatedDhatu Relationship
Kapha Rasa,Mamsa,Meda,Majja,Shukra Direct
Pitta Rakta Direct
Vata Asthi Inverse
• Manasika Dosha means which is psychic in nature
1. Rajas Dosha
2. Tama Dosha
Importance of Tridosha
Dosha has been considered as an important factor of the body which is
responsible for the support, maintenance and protection to the body.
The normal functioning of dosha produces health of the body whereas the
abnormal states of dosha is responsible for the production of disease.
• These three doshas are also known as Dhatus as they support the
body in their state of equilibrium which represent normalcy
whereas they are spoken of as doshas during their disequilibrium
state as they vitiate other structural and functional elemental
elements of the living body.
Genesis of Dosha from Pancha – Mahabhuta
• As already discussed earlier, there are mainly 3 dosha exist in the
body, viz, vata, pitta, kapha.
• These 3 Doshas (Biological elements)
• Which constitute the Structural and functional units of all the
living cells, Tissue, organs and the body as a whole.
• All the inanimate objects in the universe and bodies of living
creation including man are composed of the permutation and
combination of the five basic elements –viz- akash, vayu , teja,
• The three doshas viz vata, pitta and kapha originating from the
above 5 basic elements. The biological combination of vayu and
akash Mahabhuta gives rise to vata dosha, like wise the
combination of prithvi and jala Mahabhuta gives rise to kapha
dosha. Whereas the pitta is due to tejas Mahabhuta only.
Summary of Tridosha
• Vata, pitta and kapha are the constituents of all the cells including
sperm and ovum which unite and give birth to a new individual.
When normal, they constitute the three way tissues or pillar
termed as “tridhatu” which stablised life, but when abnormal the
same 3 elements are responsible for aging, disease and death. In
abnormal state vata, pitta and kapha are capable of vitiating the
Dhatu i.e.tissues and malas i.e. waste products. Hence they are
termed as “doshas”. When excreted from the body, they are
termed as “Mala”
Role of Dosha in causation of disease
• Ayurveda has envisaged the tri- sutra
• Hetu Sutra
• Linga Sutra
• Aushadhi Sutra,
for the maintenance of health and also the production of disease.
• Vata dosha is one of the most important dosha of the tridosha. The other two
dosha viz pitta and kapha has been considered as dumb or lame who have no
leg or movement in the body.
• The vata dosha carries them towards different places of the body to perform
their natural function.
• In the universe vata, is responsible for all the movements so also the vata in
the body control all th activites of body.
• Ethymology and definition of vata
• the term vata is derived from the root means to move, to make known, to
become aware of.
Site of Vata in the body
• General Site – vasti,(urinary bladder), kati (pelvic region), skathi (thigh),
pada (feet), Asthi (bone), sroni (pelvis), guda ( rectum), pakvashya (large
intestine), srotra (ear).
• Specific Site - sroni (pelvis), guda ( rectum), pakvashya (large intestine),
below umbilical region.
• Various types of vata in the body –
Physiological action of Vata
• Controlling the different activities of the living body.
• Psycho- somatic activities in the body (voluntary and involuntary activities
in the body.
• Controller and activator of the mind
• Sensory and motor impulses and employ them to get knowledge of different
• Moderators of all the sense objects
• Organizer of all the tissues of body in its proper places.
• coordinator or conjoiners of the different organs in the body.
• Producer of speech.
Explanation of Subtypes
• Each of the doshas have five (5)
• Subtypes with specific actions within the physiological structure.
• They effect and govern the emotional and mental faculties as well
as specific organ functions and operations. Vata and its Subtypes
create and sustain physiological functions related to Vata, such as
action, transportation, movement and inspiration. Pitta and its
Subtypes create and sustain physiological functions related to
transformation, conversion, digestion, heat and radiance. Kapha
and its Subtypes create and sustain physiological functions related
to construction, lubrication, nourishment, cohesion and
Subdosha Location Action Movement Signs of
Prana Vayu Brain, lungs,
Sensory perception, inhalation,
nervous control of heart,
ingestion of food, coughing,
spitting, sneezing, belching,
thinking and mind control: Joy,
Udana Vayu Mainly in the
navel to the
Energizes mind, awakens
intelligence, controls speech, self-
expression, exhalation, memory
recall. Gives strength to the body
and glow to the skin.
s, difficulty in
Kindles Agni (helps digestion),
separates nutrients and wastes
from the food “juice.” Absorbs
nutrients and water, maintains
peristalsis, and controls the
secretion of digestive enzymes.
Converts the intelligence in the
food into our consciousness.
Represents the meeting point of
Prana and Apana. Governs the
physiological and psychological
functions of the Manipura or
TYPES OF VATA DOSHA
Vyana Vayu In theheart;
Representsthe seat oflife,
love. CirculatesRasa Dhatu
(nutrients), Rakta Dhatu (blood),
thoughts, emotionsand energy
to therest ofthebody. Releases
contraction and relaxation.
Anahata or Heart Chakra.
center to the
Apana Vayu Colon, pelvic
Supports and strengthens
intestinal walls. Maintainsthe
pelvic organs. tone of the tissues and muscles in distension, Ajwan
the pelvis. Absorbs nutrients, lower
eliminates urine and feces, starts abdominal
menstrual flow, ejaculation of pain. Irritable
semen and sperm and assists bowel
with conception. Induces labor, syndrome,
contracts uterus and assists with incontinence,
childbirth. Nourishes the other hyperactive
Vayus. Governs physiological and bladder.
psychological functions of Prolapsed
Muladhara or Root Chakra and uterus,
Swadhisthan or Sacral Chakra. vagina,
• The Dosha pitta has been considered in second number in the
dosha triad after vata dosha. it is primal constituents of the living
body who performs fire like actions (catabolic process) in the
•Etymology and definition of pitta dosha-
• Pitta is derived from the root (tapa Santapa) which means to heat
or to burn, to warm. Thus pitta represents energy, heat or fire in
• Synonyms of Pitta –Agni, Anala etc.
• Panchabhautik constitution of Pitta-Dominance of Agni
Panchabhautik constitution of Vata
Qualities of Pitta -
• Ishatsnighdha Ushna
• Teekshna Drava
• Amla Sar
• Katu Visra
• Rukshya Neela
Location of Pitta in the Body
• Sweda (Sweat)
• Nabhi(Umbilical region)
SPECIFIC SITES OF PITTA
• Amashaya(Stomach) According to Acharya charak
• Pakwashaya Madhya (in between large intestine and stomach)
according to sushrut
• Nabhi (Umbilical region )According to vagbhatta
• Physiological functions of pitta in the body-
• Visual perception
• Production of hunger, appetite digestion and thrust is due to pitta
dosha in the body.
• Heat production and body temperature
• Color complexion and luster of skin.
• Mental and intellectual power of brain
• Maintain health by improving digestion and celluar
Types of pitta in the body
• Ranjaka pitta
• Pachaka pitta
• Alochaka pitta
• Sadhaka pitta
• Bhrajaka pitta
Subdosha Location Action Signs of
Brain and heart Digestion of ideas, thoughts;
Controls thinking, learning,
understanding. Moves in the heart
as compassion and love. All
thoughts like desire, goals and
determination are the function of
All parts of the
Maintains visual acuity, absorbs
different images, colors, and
processes visual images. At subtle
level it gives clarity, light and
Poor eye sight,
foggy vision, near-
Small intestine &
lower part of
Creates hunger and thirst; Aap part
of Pitta liquefies food and agni part
cooks the food. Digests sour,
pungent and bitter foods. Moves
food through different parts of
digestive tract with the help of
Samana Vayu; The essential part of
the food is absorbed and the
remaining part is passed to the
colon. When the digestive fire is
strong we experience
contentment, strength, energy and
clarity of mind.
Skin Controls the color & luster of the
skin, maintains blood flow and
body temperature, controls sweat
glands and absorption of sunrays
to form nutrients. Absorbs
medication patches. Forms the
barrier between the internal and
melanoma, and skin
ulcers, also eats the
stomach lining and
Ranjaka Pitta Liver, spleen, and
Gives color to blood, urine and
feces. In the liver, the absorbed
food (Ahara Rasa) is cooked and
digested again. Represents the seat
of Panchamahabhutagni where the
food particles are separated into
Panchamahabhutas. The liver also
Physiological Action of Kapha
• Viscous quality for keeping unctuousness of the body
• Binding nature particularly the joints
• Prithvi Mahabhuta
• heavy and Stable quality
• Process of healing and repair active
• Formation and maintenance of different body fluids in
intracellular and interstitial and intravascular components.
Subdosha Location Action Signs of
Tarpaka Kapha Brain and spinal
Protects nervous system,
nourishes nervous tissue,
lubricates brain cells,
regulates the action of the
nervous system, works as a
shock absorber against
injuries, and creates calmness,
compassion, caring, love and
Dull mind, lack of
memory recall, MS
Bodhaka Kapha Mouth, tongue
Keeps the oral cavity moist,
interprets taste, lubricates the
mucus membrane, liquefies
the food for better chewing,
digestion (carbohydrates) and
swallowing, and protects the
mouth against acidity and
cavities. Lubricates the throat
for softer and clearer voice. Is
very sensitive to emotions.
When we experience anxiety,
fear, depression, Bodhaka
Kapha decreases. With a
smell, look or thought of good
food, Bodhaka Kapha is
plaque. See notes on
Lubricates all the organs in
the lungs and provides
nourishment. Carries love and
compassion from the heart to
the rest of the body. Every
thought and emotion affects
Avalambaka Kapha. For a long
healthy life, Avalambaka
Kapha is essential.
Pleurisy, heaviness in
Kledaka Kapha Stomach (upper
Moistens food for better
digestion and movement of
food in the stomach. Protects
and nourishes stomach lining
(mucus membrane), prevents
ulcers. Represents the alkaline
secretion in the stomach.
ama formation, mucus
If Decreased: Ulcers,
burning in the
Shleshaka Kapha Joints Lubricates joints for smooth Arthritis, swollen To Decrease:
action, provides nourishment joints, water Punarnava,
to the bones, ligaments and retention, edema. Ginger, Guggulu
cartilages. Works as a shock To Increase:
absorber. Lubricates the skin. Licorice
• The Universe is made up of energy and matter. Energy needs matter to mobilize
and serve its function. Matter doesn’t move without energy. For this purpose, the
Doshas represent energy and the Dhatus represent matter. They are both close
friends who cannot live or function without each other. The doshas work through
1. Each Dhatu has a primordial vibration and is an expression of consciousness.
2. The Dhatus hold (support) the body together.
3. The Doshas do the function and Dhatus provide the site to do the function.
4. The Dhatus are developed from and nourished by food.
5. There are seven Upadhatus, or secondary tissues, developed as a byproduct of
6. The Malas, or waste products are also produced during each Dhatu digestion.
7. The Dhatus support the body and provide nutrition to the more
subtle Dhatus. The Upadhatus support the body but do not provide
8. In the disorder process the Dhatus become affected, which is called
9. The Dhatus are measured in Anjali pramana. Anjali is a measure
created by cupping the palms together to equal roughly 8 fluid
10.The grosser Dhatus nourish the subtler Dhatus and subtler the
Dhatus protect the grosser Dhatus
Rasa Dhatu - Plasma, Serum, Lymph
• 1. Rasa is the grossest of all the Dhatus; it is plasma, serum,
• 2. Rasa is a juice or liquid (the juice of life) with nutrients for all
the other Dhatus.
• 3. Rasa takes 5 days to form after food ingestion.
• 4. It measures 9 anjali.
• 5. Its Upadhatu is breast milk, menstrual fluid
and the superficial layer of the skin.
• 6. Its Mala is Kapha.
Composition Made up of all Mahabhutas, but primarily Aap (jala, water)
Sites Pervades in the whole body but main sites are heart, lymph channels, and venous
Functions 1. Preenan: Nourishes all Dhatus. Due to process of catabolism, Dhatus break down
and become deficient. Rasa Dhatu replenishes those, to maintain balance.
2. Ahara Rasa (Digested Food) is absorbed by blood vessels and carried to Liver. Liver
contains Panchamahabhutagnis, which further digest Ahara Rasa. Dhatu agnis do
further digestion to develop particular Dhatus. First, Rasa is created, which has all
Bhutas for other Dhatus. Thus, it provides nourishment to others.
3. The intelligence and the subtle energy of Rasa, which comes from food, gives
contentment to other Dhatus. This energy maintains strength, love and
4. It maintains body temperature and pH through sweat glands. Coagulates blood due
5. Responsible for lactation and menstruation.
Signs of Rasa
1. A person is happy, strong, healthy and has good memory
2. Skin is soft, smooth and glowing
3. The hair (on the body and head) is oily, soft and silky
Rakta Dhatu - Red Blood Cells
• 1. Rakta Dhatu represents the Red Blood Cells in the body.
• 2. It is the second Dhatu in the body.
• 3. It is named due to its color. Rakta means red.
• 4. Rakta Dhatu requires 10 days to form after food ingestion.
• 5. It measures 8 anjali.
• 6. Its Upadhatus are tendons and blood vessels.
• 7. Its Mala is Pitta.
Composition All the Mahabhutas but mainly Teja and Aap.
Sites Bone marrow, liver, spleen, red blood cells, heart and uterus.
Functions 1. Jeevana: Gives life by carrying Prana.
2. Provides strength, energy, luster,happiness.
3. Carries Prana to all thecells.
4. Nourishes subtle Dhatus.
5. Provides enthusiasm, compassion, creativity and ambition.
6. Emotionally connected to anger, irritability, and jealousy (because related to
Signs of Rakta
1. Person is bright, brilliant, and happy.
2. There is vitality and strength.
3. Skin is reddish and lustrous, eyes are bright.
4. Pink lips, nails,conjunctiva.
5. Body always feels warm and desires coolerthings.
Mamsa Dhatu - Muscle Tissue
• 1. Mamsa Dhatu represents the muscles in
• 2. It takes 15 days to form after food
• 3. The quantity of Mamsa Dhatu is variable
depending on the individual, their
Prakruti and their personal habits.
• 4. Its Upadhatus are subcutaneous fat and
• 5. Its Mala is ear wax, nasal crust and navel
Composition Mainly Prithvi, teja and Aap
Sites Muscle tissue, organs of the body; Over the bones.
Functions 1. Lepana: Plastering of thebody.
2. Many organs are made of MamsaDhatu.
3. Regulates activities, moving joints and bones, coordination,power.
4. Gives strength to our bodyframe.
5. Keeps skin smooth.
6. Gives confidence, courage andstrength.
7. Emotions are stored in fascia and connective tissue.
8. Nourishes MedaDhatu.
Signs of Mamsa
1. Muscular body, with a good tone.
2. Great strength and stamina.
3. Strong joints and co-ordination.
4. Person looks strong, healthy, confident, rich, and intelligent.
Meda Dhatu - Adipose Tissue
• 1. Meda Dhatu represents the fat, lipids, adipose tissue
and cholesterol in the body.
•2. It takes 20 days to form after food ingestion.
•3. It generally measures 2 anjalis, depending on the
•4. Its Upadhatu is ligaments.
•5. Its Mala is Sweda or sweat.
Asthi Dhatu - Bone
• 1. Asthi Dhatu is the hardest Dhatu in the body.
Stha- means to stand or endure. It represents the
bone marrow in the body.
• 2. Asthi Dhatu is one of the seats of Vata.
• 3. The junction of the bones is a Sandhi or joint,
which is filled and lubricated by Shleshaka
Kapha to prevent friction during movement.
• 4. It takes 25 days to form after food ingestion.
• 5. Its Upadhatu is teeth and cartilage.
• 6. Its Malas are hair and nails.
Composition Mainly Prithvi, Akash and Vayu.
Sites All the bones in the body.
Functions 1. Dharana (To support): It supports the
other Dhatus in the body.
2. Provides the skeleton to the body, and
give shape, and stability to the body.
3. Provides attachment to muscles.
4. Protects vital organs (brain, spinal cord,
pelvic organs) within.
5. Assists in self-defense and protects the
6. Carries sound (bones in the ears).
7. Retains memory of pain, pleasure,
sadness and happiness, subconscious
8. Many bone disorders are caused by old
7. It nourishes Majja Dhatu.
Signs of Asthi
1. Long and strong bones, big and strong
2. Strong nails, hair, teeth.
3. Is hardworking, energetic, and has great
strength and stamina.
Majja Dhatu - Bone Marrow
• 1. Majja Dhatu represents the Bone Marrow in
the body, as well as anything within the
bone, the brain, spinal cord, red bone marrow
or nerve tissue of body.
• 2. The nourishment of Majja begins 30 days after
• 3. It measures 2 anjali.
• 4. Its Upadhatu are lachrymal secretions or tears.
• 5. Its Malas are the oily secretions in the eyes,
skin and feces.
Composition Mainly Vayu, Aap and Prithvi.
Sites Within the bones, nerve tissue and endocrine glands.
Functions 1. Poorana: Filling and strengthening the bones.
2. Strengthening the body.
3. Nourish Shukra Dhatu.
4. Communication, Sensory and motor function.
5. Majja is related to feelings, thoughts, and emotions in the past,
present and in the future.
Signs of Majja Kshaya 1. Weak bones.
3. Dryness of skin, eyes, hair, feces.
4. Deficient Shukra Dhatu.
6. Darkness on the surface of the eyes.
7. Lack of understanding, poor communication.
9. Sexual debility.
Signs of Majja Vriddhi 1. Heaviness in the body.
2. Heaviness in eyes.
3. Irregular transmission of nerve impulses.
4. Brain tumors, Pituitary tumor.
Signs of Majja Sara 1. Body is strong but supple.
2. Skin and voice are soft.
3. Joints are strong and well built.
4. Eyes are big and lustrous.
5. Person is strong, intelligent and respectable and lives longer.
Shukra/Artava Dhatu - Reproductive
• 1. In males, Shukra Dhatu represents the
sperm and in females it represents the
ovum in the body.
• 2. It is the most subtle Dhatu in the body.
• 3. It is the essence of all the Dhatus.
• 4. Shukra is cool, white, oily, sweet, liquid
• 5. Artava is hot, astringent, sour, and acidic
• 6. It takes 35 days to form
• 7. It measures ½ anjali.
Composition Mainly Aap.
Sites Male/female reproductive system.
Reproduction and procreation.
Provide vigor and vitality.
Is the seed potential of all Dhatus.
Signs of Shukra Sara 1. Strength, stamina, vitality.
2. Strong bones, eyes, nails and hair.
3. Enjoys physical intimacy with a partner.
4. Many children.
Why is Shukra Dhatu so 1. It increases the immune system, vigor, and vitality.
Important? 2. In spirituality, controlling all the desires (especially sexual) is very
important. The goal is to close the lower chakras so that the life energy
is moved upwards (Kundalini).
3. Mental calmness and clarity is increased by Shukra.
4. Shukra keeps body very strong and free from disorder, and the
intellect very sharp.
• 1. The essence of all the Dhatus.
•2. The Prime energy reserve of the body.
•3. The immune system.
•4. A link between the body and mind.
•5. Superior to Shukra.
• Dosha Dhatu and ,Mala is also an important & third member of the trinity of
the living body.
• Definition of Mala-
• Dirty or Unclean.
• Important of Mala Primary cause of formation of the body, Malas are
• Important as dosha and Dhatu. In natural condition, all these 3 factors-Dosha
Dhatu, Malas, are named as Dhatus, The Malas are the outcome of the
different kinds in the body. The production of waste products are an index of
• The living body can never be without them, be without them .
(That Which bears the Kitta Bhaga (Waste product)
• 1. Malas can become toxins if not removed at the right time.
• 2. Malas support the body.
• 3. Cleanse the body.
• 4. Over-cleansing removes all the Malas. It aggravates Vata,
which breaks down Kapha and Pitta and weakens the
• 5. Doshas, Dhatus, and Malas all the three support the body.
• 6. There are many forms of Malas. Urine and Feces are Malas
of digested food. All the Dhatus after digestion create Dhatu
Classification of Types of mala
• Product Mala
• Ahara -Purisha
• Rasa -Kapha
• Rakta -Pitta
• Mansa -Kha Mala
• Medas -Sweat
• Asthi -Kesha &Loma
• Majja -Netra mala & Twak –Snehansha
Mutra - Urine
Composition Mainly Aap (and Prithvi)
Taste Amla, Tikta
Color Colorless, slightly yellowish
Quantity 4 anjali
Sites Mutravaha strotas. Blood, kidneys (vrukka), uretors (mutra gavini), bladder
(Basti), urethra (medhra).
Formation In the small intestine, the digested food is separated into Ahara Rasa
(digested food) and Malas (wastes). The digested food is absorbed in small
intestine and the wastes pass on to the large intestine. The water waste is
absorbed and the feces are carried into the descending colon. Water is
carried with Rasa and Rakta to rest of the body and the wastes are added to
this. When this blood is filtered through kidneys, urine is separated and
carried through ureters into the urinary bladder. When the bladder gets
full, Apana Vayu carries the urine through urethra, out of the body.
Function 1. To maintain moistness in the body
2. To remove wastes, salts and minerals from the body.
3. Helps to maintain fluid balance, thereby controls blood pressure
Signs of Imbalance 1. Formation of increased or decreased quantity
2. Frequency of micturition
3. Painful micturition
4. Change in color, smell or consistency of urine
Purisha - Feces
Composition Mainly Prithvi, little Aap
Odor Bad smell due to fermentation of food. In many digestive disorders, the
smell is worse, because food is not digested completely.
Color Yellowish, brownish. This is due to Ranjaka Pitta. (Bile salts form liver). (In
Jaundice, the stools are whitish, or gray, due to blockage)
Quantity 7 anjali (roughly). In vegetarian people the quantity is greater as there is
more undigested fiber from vegetables.
Sites Purishavaha strotas (caecum, ascending colon, transverse colon,
descending colon, rectum and anus)
Formation In Vata imbalance, if Samana Vayu did not absorb enough water content,
the stools become watery causing diarrhea, or if there is excess absorption
of water then the stools become very dry and may cause constipation.
Notes 1. Worms in stools is a disorder. The normal bacterial flora is different
from the amoebae, tapeworm, round worms.
2. Sensation of defecation: Due peristalsis the feces move forward. As it
starts entering in sigmoid colon, a person gets the sensation for
3. Repeated colonics causes weakness. Due to emptiness, Vata
Aggravates and causes chest pain, back pain, bloating, gurgling.
Function 1. Removes solid wastes from the body
2. Supports intestinal walls
3. Removes toxins from the intestinal tract
4. Slows down emptying
Signs of Imbalance 1. Constipation, hard, dry stools, hemorrhoids
2. Diarrhea, loose motions, Bloody diarrhea, colitis, diverticulitis
3. Irritable bowel syndrome, dysentery, parasites
Composition of Stool
• ¾ water, ¼ Solid
• Undigested and unabsorbed food stuff
• Intestinal Secretion and mucous
• Bile pigment and Salt
• Bacteria and inorganic material
• Epithelial cells, leukocytes
Sweda - Sweat
Function 1. Keepstheskinmoist,andpreventsfromcrackinganddrying
2. Maintains the temperature of the body. In hot temperature, Bhrajaka
Pitta aggravates and dilates the blood vessels in the skin. It also
body. In the cold environment, Vyana Vayu aggravates and constricts