Article by Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay) & Dr Manasa, B.A.M.S
Asthi Dhatu means bone tissue. Bone tissue supports the body by forming the skeletal framework of the body. Along with its joints and in association with muscles, tendons and ligaments it takes part in the movements of the body parts and in locomotion.
Bone tissue is the fifth tissue to be formed in the sequence of tissue formation according to Ayurvedic literature. It is formed from its previous tissue i.e. meda dhatu or fat tissue.
When the fat tissue is acted upon by normal tissue fire of fat tissue located in the fat, a part of it forms fat tissue, and another part forms the bone tissue while body hairs and nails are formed as tissue excreta.
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If the bone tissue is to be formed in its optimum quality and quantity, its predecessor tissue i.e. fat tissue should have been formed in its best quality and quantity. Hence, for the formation, maintenance and balanced status of bone tissue it is very important that the fat tissue should be at its healthiest best.
When the bone tissue is contaminated by the doshas or ama it leads to the manifestation of many diseases. These diseases are called asthi pradoshaja rogas.
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Asthi pradoshaja rogas
Asthi Pradoshaja Rogas – Diseases caused by pathological bone tissue
Adhyasthi – extra bone, bone overgrowth, malformation of bone, extra bony projections, superadded bone
Adhi danta – extra tooth, tooth over tooth, malformation of tooth
Danta bheda – splitting pain in the tooth, cracks in the tooth
Asthi bheda – splitting pain in the bones
Danta shula – pain in the tooth
Asthi shula – pain in the bones
Asthi toda – pricking pain in the bones
Vivarnata – discoloration of body
Kesha doshaah – disorders of hairs
Loma doshaah – disorders of body hair
Smashru doshaah – deformities of moustache
Kunakha – infection of nail bed
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Key points to be observed
Simultaneous vitiation of asthi and vata in asthi pradosha leads to many types of bone related pathologies and malformations – according to the concept of ashraya ashrayi relationship explained in Ayurveda, bone is the only tissue of the body in which vata resides with the authority. As vata and bone tissue are closely related, they always tend to contaminate each other easily i.e. when vata gets contaminated it causes bone related morbidity. Similarly when the bone tissue undergoes pathological increase or decrease it disturbs the vata.
Bone tissue and vata also share reverse relationship unlike other tissues and their related doshas. This means to tell that when vata increases, the bone tissue decreases in quantity and density while when vata decreases; there is an increase in quantity of bone tissue.
When we see the other tissues, their relationship with their related doshas is proportional.
Example, when pitta increases, the blood tissue increases, likewise when kapha increases, its tissues i.e. muscle, fat etc gain increase.
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Different types of bone pain, malformations of bone like in superadded bone etc are examples of mutual contamination of bone tissue and vata.
Contamination of bones lead to deformities of its sub-tissues – since body hairs and nails are the sub-tissues of bone tissue, the contamination of bones also leads to deformities of these sub-tissues including deformities and disorders of hairs of the body and nail bed infections and other type of nail deformities.
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Contamination of bones will cause deformities and diseases of tooth, nails and skin due to genetic connectivity – all hard tissues of the body are said to be having a paternal lineage i.e. they come from the genes of the father i.e. pitruja bhavas. Thus bones are connected to the hard tissues like hairs, body hairs, nails and tooth genetically.
Therefore pathology in one element will lead to the deformity and pathology in the other.
Example – pain and cracks in tooth, pain and cracks in bones, deformities of body hair, hair and moustache, deformities of tooth etc.
Contamination of bone tissue by pitta will cause various bone related deformities and diseases – Infection of nails and nail bed takes place due to contamination of bones and nails by pitta resulting in inflammation and suppuration. Involvement of vata and pitta will also cause discoloration of tooth and nails.
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