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Role Of Doshas As Tissues and Waste Products (Dhatu And Malaroopa Of Doshas)

By Dr Raghuram Y. S. MD (Ay) & Dr Manasa, B. A. M. S

Body is made up of three components Dosha, dhatu and mala according to Ayurvedic basics.

Dosha – Dhatu – Mala

Doshas – three forces namely vata, pitta and kapha which run all activities of body, when in a state of balance. Among three doshas, vata is primary force which controls all elements of body including its counterparts i. e. pitta and kapha. When these doshas get vitiated, they damage other components of body and cause diseases. No disease is caused without aggravation of doshas.

Dhatus – tissues of body, which form anatomical composition and makeup of entire body. Their integrity and endurance spells health and immunity. They are made to protect us. When they get weak, they get susceptible to be attacked by vitiated doshas and contribute towards pathogenesis. Tissues need to be invaded and damaged by vitiated doshas for a disease process to set in.

Malas – excreta of body are metabolic wastes which are expelled from body on regular basis. They are feces, urine and sweat. They need to be eliminated daily to keep body clean and healthy. They contribute towards good health by getting eliminated regularly. Accumulation of excreta leads to manifestation of many diseases.

Dosha as tissue and waste

Role of doshas as dhatus and malas

In Ayurvedic treatises we can find terms dosha, tissues and excreta being used interchangeably depending on type of function they conduct. Doshas too are termed as tissues and excreta depending on their contribution towards body’s well being or disease, as per situation.
Read – Relation Between Doshas, Sense Organs And Perception

Doshas are considered as tissues

As already said, doshas control all activities in body. When doshas are in a state of balance, all activities take place without hindrance.

Doshas and tissues have an inseparable close-circuit relationship. Tissues form living places for doshas. Theirs is a relationship of symbiosis. Tissues are structural components and all functions of these tissues are carried out by doshas residing in them. When doshas are balanced, they complement tissues. When doshas are vitiated, they damage same tissues.
Read – Ayurvedic Panchakarma Treatment: Relation With Dosha

The balanced doshas conduct all activities in an uninterrupted way. They carry on functions including circulation of blood, nutrition and oxygen, easy breathing, good digestion and utilization of nutrition, excretion of body wastes, nerve conduction, movements of body, perception of sensory knowledge, thought, decision making, intelligence, memory and lot more.

Since doshas support body and mind and contributes towards comprehensive well being, health, immunity and endurance, they serve purpose of tissues. When in a state of balance, doshas are ‘tissue like’. They wear, guard and protect body just like tissues. Therefore ‘doshas in a state of equilibrium’ are called as dhatus.
Read – Abnormal Vitiation Of Doshas – Vaikruta Dosha Dushti

Doshas considered as excreta

When doshas get vitiated, they contaminate body elements, mainly tissues. They become auto-immune and attack their own tissues; they also contaminate excreta. After contaminating body elements, they cause various diseases in body.

In this role, doshas act like excreta. Just like excreta of body should be eliminated on daily basis to keep body healthy, doshas too which are damaging body being ‘excreta like’ too need to be expelled out of body in order to restore health and prevent further damage of body. This can be achieved by administration of cleansing treatments in form of panchakarma therapies.

Classical evidences to justify role of doshas as tissues and excreta

Vata, pitta and kapha are called as

  • Doshas – when they vitiate body elements
  • Dhatus – when they adorn body and protect it
  • Malas – when they contaminate body (Ref – Sharangdhara Samhita Purva Khanda)

Sanskrit verse


Vata, pitta and kapha are reasons behind existence of body. Same doshas when balanced and not vitiated are located in lower, middle and upper zones of body, adorn and protect body. Doshas are called as tri sthunas which means three pillars. Just like pillars support body, three doshas too support body and are hence pillars of body.

Same doshas when vitiated cause destruction of body. Body cannot exist without three doshas and blood tissue because they wear and support body every day, every moment, throughout our life. (Ref – Su. Su. 21/3, 4)

The doshas three in number namely vata, pitta and kapha when in a state of normalcy are beneficial for body. At same time when these doshas get abnormal, trouble body by producing many kinds of diseases. (Ref – Cha. Vi. 1/5)

The doshas roam about in entire body. Travelling so, they bestow beneficial impact when they are balanced and not vitiated. At same time, they impart harmful impact on body when they are in a vitiated state. Benefits bestowed by normal doshas include development of body, strength and endurance, color and complexion. Harmful impacts of vitiated doshas come in form of various diseases. (Ref – Cha. Su. 20/9)

The effect and fruits of ‘doshas in a state of balance’ is comprehensive health. (Ref – Charaka Shareera 6/18)

Just like moon, sun and wind supports world during winter, summer and airy seasons, kapha pitta and vata supports human body by their cooling, heating and balancing impact. (Susruta Samhita Sutrasthana 21/8)
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Flatus, Bile, Phlegm

Are flatus, bile and phlegm, comparable to Vata, Pitta and Kapha Doshas?
Dr JV Hebbar 
The Doshas – Vata, Pitta and Kapha are innately present in our body. We are born with it. They control all the body functions – nerve signal conduction, respiration, cell division, tissue regrowth, bone growth, sexual activity etc. If the body tissues can be compared to hardware, the three Doshas (Tridoshas) are the softwares.

Read: Tridosha Theory in Ayurveda
Beyond these, there are byproducts that are produced as a result of digestion, respiration etc. processes that are often compared and confused with Vata, Pitta and Kapha.
Flatus, bile and phlegm are the most important of such confused byproducts.

These are not the software Doshas, but these are called Malaroopi Doshas, i.e., Doshas in the form of waste products.

These are produced in the body as a by-product of various body functions and are to be expelled out in a timely fashion.

Flatus – While, Vata Dosha aids in the process of digestion, flatus is produced as a by-product of digestion, which is to be expelled out. Hence, it does not have any significant role in digestion. Hence, it is not comparable to Vata Dosha.

Bile – Some part of bile, honestly can be compared to Pitta Dosha. Some parts of bile helps in the digestion of fat. So, this and all other components of bile that help in digestion are considered as part of Pitta. (Remember, the main function of Pitta dosha is digestion.) The rest of the bile contains waste products containing worn out red blood cells and the toxins of the body. Liver helps to remove toxins out of the body through bile. Liver also expels worn out red blood cells through bile. This part is Malaroopi Pitta or waste byproduct of Pitta dosha, which is thrown out through colon.
Read: Tri Malas – The Three Major Waste Matters Of Body

Phlegm – is a medium produced under the influence of Kapha dosha to expel out the dust, viruses, cell debris, etc. It helps to trap these waste products and expels them out. So, it also a byproduct but cannot be compared to Kapha Dosha.
Read: Qualities Of Vata, Pitta and Kapha Dosha – Easy Explanation Like the above, there were many efforts to compare the Doshas with the specific components of the body, but have failed or only partially succeeded. The best way to understand the Tridoshas is by their qualities and their functions.
Read: How To Understand Tridosha Easily By Its Functions?


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