Rasa dhatu is the first amongst the seven dhatu. ' Rasa' literally means 'one which
moves continuously'. Rasa dhatu is the essence of the ingested food, which continuously
circulates in the body and provides nourishment. Su. Ss. 14/13. In human body, when
food gets properly digested with the aid of secreted digestive fluids, and the nutritive
substance is known as Rasa. Ch. Chi.15/36, Su. Ss.46/528.
Ayurvedic point of view the origin of body is from anna (food substance that the
people or animals eat or drink or that plants absorb to maintain life and growth).
As per metabolism process, the food material which is taken, after digestion is
divided into two parts – useful part and unuseful part. The unuseful parts are eliminated
from the body in the form of sweat, urine and stool and useful parts is known as
anna-rasa, or Adhya rasa, which helps in the formation and nutrition of the other
dhatus of the body.
Acharaya Sushruta explain that the shareera/body is the "pancha maha bhuta vikaara
samudayatmakam" –it means that the dosha, dhatus and malas contribute
for the formation of different organs and tissue of the body. All these are made
up of panchabhutas and hence are known as “pancha maha bhuta vikara”. Main bhuta
of rasa dhatu is jala (aap) and due to this predominance, rasa dhatu has tendency
to circulate in whole body. Su. Ss. 14/3.
In its course of circulation, it executes the functions of tarpan (nourishing),
vardhan (to grow - as in case of a child), dharan (to hold - as in case of youth),
yapan (to maintain - as in case of aged person) of the body, by adrushta hetukena
karmana (the action that cannot be perceived).A.H.Su.11/4
FORMATION OF RASADHATU
In Ayurvedic point of view, the food substances which is composed of the five primordial
elements, is of four type (masticable, potable, electuaries and eatables), contain
six rasa, posses either the two or the eight types of potencies and has many properties,
when eaten, digested and metabolised property and later nutritious essence of food
which is absorbed from intestine after digestion which is extremely fine, is called
rasa . So the main role for the formation of rasa and mala, is agni, which has resides
in the stomach. In Ayurveda the concept of agni is described in brief. There are
three types of agni – namely jatharagni, bhutagni and dhatwagni. Aggravation or
diminution of jatharagni results in aggravation or diminution of bhutagni and dhatwagni.
Therefore by all means one has to protect jatharagni by consuming suitable dietetics
and behaviour because power of agni or normal condition of agni is responsible for
strength, health , longevity and vital breath . Liver which is main seat of bhutagni?
As we earlier say that body is made up of pancha mahabhuta vikara and all the dravya
present in the earth is panchabhautica. So material which we have taken in the form
of food is also panchbhutica material. Because of presence of bhutagni, the proper
digestion and metabolism of food material firstly occur in the liver. Ch.Chi.15/12
RASA V/S TISSUE FLUID
Rasa or fluid present in the body contains 60-65% of water and 35-40% solids (organic
and inorganic). According to Chakrapani , "Dwividho rasah sthayi poshakashcheti"
that means rasa dhatu is divided into two parts, one is static i.e sthayi dhatu
like the tissue fluid and intestinal fluid and another is flowing i.e. poshaka dhatu
just like plasma and lymph, which help the nutrients to reach the whole body tissue.Ch.
Chi.15/17 In Ayurvedic context, this nutritive fluid helps in nourishing the cells
and tissues of the body. Rasa is equivalent to extra-cellular and intra-cellular
body fluids. Rasa Dhatu provides sustenance to body`s every part by thorough circulation
STHANA OF RASA DHATU – SEAT OF RASA DHATU
Heart has been the main place of rasa dhatu. It may be so because all the nutrients
of anna (food) after metabolism are absorbed from intestine via portal vein and
this reaches into heart. Then after purification of blood, oxygenated blood with
nutrients circulates into the whole body via systemic circulation. Again deoxygenated
blood comes back into and through veins and reaches the heart. This process remained
continue like a chakra. Sushruta says that rasa circulate into the body whole time
i.e day and night which nourishes, develops, maintains and keeps the entire body
functioning constantly. Su. Ss.14/3
RASA V/S HEALTH
The factors that lead the ingested food to the formation of ahara rasa and beyond
are collectively known as Ahara Parinamakara Bhavas. If the process is impaired
at any stage, ama (toxins produced on account of undigested food entering the body)
is produced instead of ahara rasa. Too much of ama within the body is too many diseases.
Ayurveda says that normal rasadhatu brings skin texture smooth and soft; person
becomes full of happiness along with proper functioning of sensory faculties. Similarly
the body fluid helps to maintain homeostasis, temperature of the body and nourish
all body tissue by transport mechanism so it’s proper functioning is very necessary
for characteristic form & texture of various body tissues.
Symptoms of Rasa Dhatu kshaya
"Rase roukshyam shramassoshoglani shabdaasahishnutha" A.H. Su.
11/17. Dry skin ( twak rukshata), tiredness (shrama), Dehydration ( Shosha), Malaise
(glani), Intolerance to sound (shabdaasahishnuta)Ch.Su.17/62,64; Su.Ss.15/9
Symptoms of Rasa Dhatu vriddhi
"Rasopi sleshmavat sleshmaagni sadana praseka aalasygouravam shwaitya shaitya
sladhangatvam shwaasa kaasaati nidrata" A.H. Su. 11/7. Indigestion
(agnimandya), Excess salivation (praseka), Lethargy (Aalasya), Pallor (shweta varna),
Weakness (shaithilya), Gasping for breath (shwasa), Cough (kaasa), Increased sleep
Symptoms of improperly formed Rasa Dhatu
Inactiveness, Loss of appetite, Nausea, Heaviness of body, Increased salivation,
Feeling of tiredness, Fever, Body pain, Inability to perform sex or temporary erectile
dysfunction, Emaciation, Premature hair loss and premature graying
Importance of Rasa Dhatu in the Body
Rasa is the main dhatu in the body which produce directly from annarasa and it is
one of the vital tissues for the nourishment and development of body. Because of
this remaining dhatus are formed, nourished and it helps for the overall development
of the body. Many diseases occur in the body due to rasadusti. So the fluid present
in the body, is rasayukta and this is main factor for the development & origin
of diseases in the human body. A.H.Su.11/4, Su.Ss.14/19, Ch.Chi.15/16,17; Ch.Su.28/6