Article by Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay)
Medo dhatu or fat tissue is one among the 7 dhatus (tissues) explained in Ayurveda. It is the 4th tissue in the sequence and is formed from Mamsa dhatu or muscle tissue. Medo dhatu is the precursor of Asthi dhatu or bone tissue.
When the Mamsa dhatwagni (tissue fire of muscle tissue) acts on the poshaka mamsa (nutrients of muscle tissue which form the fat tissue), the meda dhatu or fat tissue is formed. For this to happen, the Mamsa dhatu agni should be in a balanced state.
The Meda dhatu or fat tissue thus formed is further subjected to metabolism by Medo dhatu agni or tissue fire of fat tissue. This leads to the formation of poshya meda dhatu or fat tissue which nourishes the local fat tissue and enriches it. The other part becomes Poshaka medo dhatu i.e. the part of medo dhatu which further forms asthi dhatu or bone tissue. During this metabolism of fat tissue heat and wastes are also formed. The waste is generated in the form of sweat.
If the medo dhatwagni is balanced, the fat is formed in normal quantity and in best quality. This type of meda or fat tissue helps in protecting the body and participates in the lepana karma i.e. insulating and protecting the tissues and organs.
Fat provides the necessary lubrication and unctuousness to all cells and tissues. It prevents wear and tear in the body. As long as the fat is maintained in balanced proportions, it will have good essence and contribute towards constructive functions.
If there is imbalance in formation and maintenance of fat tissue and if it is contaminated by morbid doshas, they will first suffer from diseases related to fat.
These people are also susceptible to get diseases pertaining to tissues other than fat. People having good essence and richness of all tissues are exemption. But the richness of fat tissue is the guarding phenomenon for these persons.
When there is excessive fat in the body, it blocks the nutritional pathways of all other tissues. Only fat is nourished at the cost of other tissues. This will lead to imbalance of various tissues in the body disturbing the normal physiology. Therefore it is important to have good essence of fat tissue while taking care that the other tissues too are kept in balance. Or else it will not be called meda sara.
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Fat tissue is formed after muscle tissue in the chronology of tissue formation. Proper formation of fat tissue depends on the optimum nature and balance of its precursor tissue i.e. muscle tissue. Therefore these people should make sure to have good quality and quantity of muscles in their system. The health and balance of precursors of muscles i.e. blood and lymph tissues too should be taken care of. This will enable formation of good essence of fat tissue in these people.
The tissue fire of the muscle tissue too should be intact. If the muscle tissue fire is deficit, more immature muscle is formed. This leads to formation of immature fat. This is unhealthy fat. It doesn’t support the body functions. If the channels responsible for carrying muscle tissue and fat tissues are clogged by ama or other pathological materials, there will be inadequate or improper formation of fat tissue. If the tissue fire of the muscle is more, fewer muscles are formed. Subsequently less quantity of fat is formed. This leads to lower essence and poor quality of fat tissue. The imbalances and contamination of fat tissue will cause diseases related to fat i.e. meda pradoshaja vikara. This will lead to formation of low essence fat tissue in the body.
Fat imbalances in the form of pathological increase, decrease, or association of ama and contamination of channels carrying muscles may deplete the essence of fat tissue and make it susceptible to many disorders.
Related Article – Sara in relation to disease management