Article by Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay) & Dr Manasa, B.A.M.S
Meda Dhatu means fat tissue. Fat forms insulation to many tissues and organs and thus provides protection from wear and tear. Excessive accumulation of fat tissue in the body tissues and tummy leads to overweight and obesity. Both these conditions are dangerous for health. They are root causes for many systemic and autoimmune diseases.
In a pathological condition called as Medo Roga, it is quoted as ‘Medasa avruta maargatvaat pushyanti anye na dhatavah’ i.e. when the fat obstructs the passages and channels of transportation of the body, other tissues will not be nourished. This leads to abnormal decrease and imbalance of tissues leading to loss of strength and immunity. This provides an ideal platform and backdrop for manifestation of many systemic diseases.
Atisthula i.e. excessively obese person is one among the ashta nindita purushas i.e. 8 categories of despicable people in the society.
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At the same time when the fat deteriorates in the body, the defensive mechanism of the body takes a beating. This leads to emaciation and degeneration of tissues with increased susceptibility for inflammations and degeneration.
Fat tissue is the fourth tissue to be formed in the sequence of tissue formation according to Ayurvedic literature. It is formed from its previous tissue muscle tissue.
When the muscle tissue is acted upon by normal muscle tissue fire of muscle tissue located in the muscle, a part of it forms muscle tissue, and another part forms the fat tissue while sweat is formed as tissue excreta. Along with this the sub-tissues of fat tissue i.e. ligaments, tendons and bone joints are formed.
The fat tissue is formed in its best and optimum quantity and quality only if its previous tissue i.e. muscle tissue is properly formed in terms of its quality and quantity. Therefore for the formation, maintenance and balanced status of fat tissue it is very important that the muscle tissue and its health be in best status.
When the fat tissue is contaminated by the doshas or ama it leads to the manifestation of many diseases. These diseases are called medo pradoshaja rogas.
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Medo Pradoshaja Rogas
Medo Pradoshaja Rogas – Diseases caused by contaminated fat tissue
Granthi – cysts
Vriddhi – hernia, enlargement of organs and tissues, hydrocele,
Galaganda – goiter
Arbuda – tumor
Medoja oshtakopa – lip disorders caused by contaminated fat tissue
Madhumeha – diabetes, urinary disorders
Ati sthoulya – excessive obesity
Ati sweda – excessive sweating
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Ashta Nindita Purushas – Eight types of despicable people of the society are considered to be the conditions caused by contamination of fat tissue by the doshas. They are –
- Ati sthula – excessive obesity
- Ati krisha – excessive emaciation
- Ati deergha – gigantism
- Ati hrisva – dwarfism
- Ati loma – excessive presence of body hairs
- Aloma – deficit or absence of body hairs
- Ati Krishna – excessively dark complexion
- Ati goura – excessively fair complexion, albinism
Prameha Purvarupas – the premonitory symptoms of diabetes or urinary disorders are also categorized under the diseases caused by contaminated fat tissue. They are as enlisted below –
- Jathila kesha – matting of hairs
- Aasya maadhurya – feeling of sweet taste in the mouth in spite of not having consumed sweets
- Kara pada daha – burning sensation in the hands and feet
- Kara pada supti – numbness in the hands and feet
- Mukha shosha – dryness in the mouth
- Talu shosha – dryness of the palate
- Kantha shosha – dryness of the throat
- Pipaasa – excessive thirst
- Aalasya – excessive tiredness
- Mala adhikya – excessive formation of excreta in the body
- Kaaya chidreshu upadeha – coating of fat and blocks in the body tissues, channels and orifices
- Angeshu paridaaha – severe burning sensation in the body parts
- Suptataam angeshu – numbness in the body parts
- Shatpada pipeelikaabhih cha shareera mutra abhisarana – flies and ants will be attracted towards the body and urine
- Mutre cha mutra doshaan – contamination and infection of urine
- Visra shareera gandha – foul smell from the body
- Sarvakaalam nidraa – always feeling to sleep
- Sarvakaalam tandra – always feeling drowsy
Key points to be observed
Simultaneous vitiation of meda and kapha in meda pradosha leads to many systemic disorders – the fat tissue and kapha share ashraya ashrayi relationship i.e. the fat tissue in one of the tissues of the body in which kapha resides.
Being closely related to each other they always tend to contaminate each other i.e. when kapha gets vitiated it contaminates the fat and when the fat tissue contaminates it contaminates kapha. Therefore in comparison to other doshas the fat tissue always is susceptible to be made morbid by the company of vitiated kapha.
Kapha increase will also lead to increase in fat and thus cause many diseases related to fat contamination. Similarly ama is another element which has similar qualities as that of kapha and meda. Therefore ama too can cause fat contamination.
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Many kapha related symptoms are seen in meda pradosha, like those seen in premonitory symptoms of diabetes like excessive sleep and drowsiness, excessive sweetness in the mouth, matting of hairs and excessive body hairs, gigantism, albinism, excessive tiredness, blocks in cells and channels, etc
Contaminated fat causes abrupt, abnormal and scattered fat deposition in the body – the contaminated fat deposits at abnormal sites and in an abnormal way causing disfiguration due to imbalanced scattering of fat tissue. This causes diseases like fatty lips, overweight, obesity, neck swelling and goiter, lipoma, fatty coating and blocks in cells, orifices and channels of the body etc
Fat contaminated with kapha and pitta causes accumulation of unwanted material, fluids and tissues in the body – and causes certain pathological conditions like cysts, tumors, hydrocele, hernia, urine stagnation, obesity etc.
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Contaminated fat when contaminates the excreta causes many diseases related to them – when the contaminated fat vitiates urine it causes urinary infections, excessive formation of urine, retention of urine, urinary disorders, diabetes and premonitory symptoms of diabetes, insects, flies and ants attracted towards the body and urine etc conditions. Similarly when it contaminates the feces it causes excessive formation of feces. Since sweat is the waste byproduct of fat, fat contamination leads to excessive sweating.
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Contamination of fat by vata and pitta causes serious symptoms – it is not essential that only kapha should contaminate the fat tissue. Pitta and vata too contaminate fat tissue and cause serious symptoms.
When fat tissue is contaminated by morbid vata, one would have symptoms and diseases like numbness of hands, feet and body parts, dryness of mouth, palate and throat, thirst, excessive tiredness, emaciation, excessive darkening of body, emaciation, deficit hairs on the body etc. similarly contamination of fat tissue by pitta leads to pathological symptoms like burning sensation of hands, albinism, feet and body parts and foul smell from the body.
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