Article by Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay) & Dr Manasa, B.A.M.S
Majja Dhatu means bone marrow. The bone marrow fills in the bones. It is a site wherein blood cells are formed. Even the brain tissue is called as Mastulunga and is described as bone marrow like substance. Bone marrow, according to Ayurveda is one among the four types of best unctuous substances useful in treating many diseases (the other three unctuous substances are ghee, oil and muscle fat).
Bone marrow is the sixth tissue to be formed in the sequence of tissue formation according to Ayurvedic treatises and literatures. Bone marrow is formed from its predecessor tissue i.e. bone tissue.
When the bone tissue is acted upon by normal bone tissue fire located in the bone, a part of it forms bone tissue and another part forms the bone marrow tissue. On the other hand, the sebaceous secretions of the skin, thick eye secretions and mucus of the feces are formed as tissue wastes.
Read related: Dhatu – 7 Body Tissues As Explained In Ayurveda
If the bone marrow tissue is to be formed in its optimum quality and quantity, bone tissue i.e. bone marrow’s previous tissue should have been formed in its best quantity and quality and also should have been maintained in its optimum and healthy levels. Therefore, for the proper formation, maintenance and balance of bone marrow tissue it is mandatory that the bone tissue should be at its healthiest best.
When the bone marrow tissue is contaminated by the doshas or ama it leads to the manifestation of many diseases. These diseases are called majja pradoshaja rogas.
Majja Pradoshaja Rogas
Majja Pradoshaja Rogas – Diseases caused by contaminated bone marrow tissue
When the bone marrow tissue is contaminated by doshas or ama, it causes many diseases. These diseases are called Majja Pradoshaja Rogas.
Ruk Parvanaam – Pain in interphalangeal joints of the hands and feet
Bhrama – giddiness
Murcha – unconsciousness
Tama darshana – feeling as if entering into darkness
Arumshika – seborrhic dermatitis or boils on head, eruptions on scalp, dandruff
Sthoola moolaam parvajaanaam – enlargement at bony joints of fingers and toes
Netra abhishyanda – conjunctivitis
Read related: What is Ojas? How To Increase Ojas During Health And Disease?
Simultaneous vitiation of bone marrow tissue and kapha in majja pradosha leads to many types of bone marrow related pathologies and malformations – According to Ayurveda, the doshas and tissues of the body are connected by an inseparable ashraya ashrayi relationship in which the tissues form the abode in which the doshas reside.
Each dosha resides in particular tissue which shares common qualities and properties with it. In this instance, the bone marrow tissue and kapha dosha share such relationship wherein both are alike in nature.
Kapha resides in bone marrow (among many other tissues in which it resides). As kapha and bone marrow tissue are closely related to each other and share a relationship very closely they always contaminate each other easily. This means to tell that when kapha gets vitiated it causes diseases related to bone marrow.
Similarly when the bone marrow tissue undergoes vitiation in the form of pathological increase it causes disturbance in kapha. Example, giddiness, unconsciousness, feeling of darkness in front of the eyes, scalp boils etc
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Contamination of bone marrow by vata and pitta will produces symptoms related to those morbid doshas – apart from the resident dosha i.e. kapha, the bone marrow will also be afflicted by vata and pitta. When this happens, the symptoms of vata and pitta will be manifested in the conditions caused by contaminated bone marrow tissue.
Examples of such conditions are manifestation of pain and swelling in the interphalangeal joints of hands and feet, giddiness etc caused by contamination of bone marrow by vitiated vata, fainting, vertigo, unconsciousness, scalp boils and conjunctivitis caused by contamination of bone marrow by vitiated pitta etc.
Read related: Diseases Caused Due To Waste Products – Mala Pradoshaja Rogas
Bone marrow contamination chiefly afflicts small bones, bony joints, brain, eyes and scalp – contamination of bone marrow causes diseases related to
- Bones and bony joints of hands and feet – like pain in interphalangeal joints of hands and feet, swelling in interphalangeal joints etc
- Brain – fainting, giddiness, vertigo, unconsciousness, feeling of darkness in front of the eyes etc
- Eyes – conjunctivitis
- Scalp – scalp boils
This shows that the health of these structures is related to the health and balance of bone marrow tissue. This also shows that Ayurveda sees the brain as a representative of bone marrow.
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