Raktavaha Srotas

Starting with Rakta Dhatu – its main role is Jeevana – giving life.  Because it is the vehicle for Prana – carries it through the body.  The chief organs are Yakrut and Pliha – the liver and spleen.


Yakrut is the place where Ranjak Pitta gives color to the rasa dhatu and rakta is formed.  Pliha is defined because it is a big storage of rakta dhatu.  Just to understand what is the role of the platelets and monocytes.  Platelets are important for clotting of blood.  This is part of rakta dhatu.


Spleen is the main organ where platelets are stored.  According to modern physiology, red blood cells are manufactured in the bone marrow.  Ayurveda has not given any reference of that.  Rather, Ayurveda says that up to a specific age the sternum is the place where the rakta dhatu is prepared.  And in modern physiology, there has been notice made that up to a certain age, the sternum bone marrow specifically plays a for the development of red blood cells.  That reference is also in the granthas.


The third organ is Raktavahini dhamani – the arterial vessels or blood vessels.

Dhamani means only arteries.  Separate terms used for arteries and veins.  Dhamini means “which pulsates” – so arteries are pulsating blood vessels.  Veins are called Sira.  No other specific word translation.  Just the empty vessels.


The Kshaya of rakta dhatu creates a desire of amla and cold, loosening in the vessels and rukshata.  The decrease of Rakta dhatu creates loosening in the vessels and the arteries, meaning elasticity and volume in vessels is reduced so circulation is sluggish.  Not  relaxing and expanding of vessels, but rather poor circulation.  Shaytriya means lack in circulation/good functioning.  Loosening would only be for the muscle wall.  Shaythilya.  Rukshata can be reflected in the skin as well.  Because of poor circulation and poor rakta dhatu, the skin will become dry.


Vruddhi Lakshadas – increase in rakta dhatu lakshanas can lead to diseases like skin diseases.  Khushta – meaning a broad term for all skin diseases of which 18 types are mentioned in the scriptures.  Khushta can lead to jaundice/k    aamala.  Why jaundice?  Because rakta is the seat of Pitta, so if there is excess blood, there will be excess pitta also which can lead to jaundice.  Jaundice may come from either obstruction, or increase in only pitta guna, or breakage in rasa and rakta dhatu.  Bile is formed when the red blood cells are dead and then broken down, from there the yellow color/bilirubin is made, this bilirubin is increased in jaundice.  So the excess breakage of red blood cells will also lead to jaundice.  Rakta moksha would be a treatment here. So here, excess rakta would lead to excess breakage of red blood cells, excess bilirubin and here it is mala for pitta.  Bilirubin is nothing but pitta generated from break of red blood cells.  So that is why pitta increases and leads to jaundice.

When you see excess bilirubin, you see excess pitta.  It can be thrown out from body in urine, stools, skin etc.  everywhere it is reflected.  Just liver is involved.  Kidney is not effected with higher bilirubin.


Vatarakta – gouty arthritis.  Gout.  Symptoms are the deposition of uric crystals in small joints like toes and occasionally knees.  Why the toes and not fingers?  The explanation of this isn’t given in the granthas, but one author says that because the joints which are very small like toe phalanges are very small, because tendency of circulation is downwards, it deposits more in feet.  Sometimes skin ulcers are formed when the deposition of uric acid is very high and can be seen on skin.  So much uric acid is formed that it comes out in ulcerative form on skin.   Uric acid is simply a form of pitta – the one which has to be thrown out from body and is not properly filtered by the kidneys.  It remains in the blood, it travels and gets deposited in the joints.  Again it is pitta related blood disease.


Pliha Vruddhi – Splenomegaly – increase in size of spleen.  Spleen is the organ where the rbc’s are broken after 120 days of life.  They are broken down here.  If it is in excess it will require extra work from the spleen to break down, and there will be swelling of the spleen.


Rakta Pitta – Bleeding or hemorrhaging from outer orifices – stools, urine, nose, phlegm etc.  Broad terminology for any bleeding in the body.  Eyes, ears, nose – any external opening where blood can come out.  Also from lungs and in phlegm or vomit. Inflammation in pharynx also.  This rakta pitta primarily happens because of increase of pitta in blood which leads to breakage of small capillaries.  There is so much heat/daha because of pitta, that they break.  There are 8 or 9 conditions in which this can happen, but primarily it is because of increase in pitta/ dushti of raktavaha.  Internal bleeding including ulcerative bleeding coming out of stools.


Bhyanga – hyperpigmentation.  Vruddhi symptoms also seen in dushti lakshadas/ imbalanced lakshadas.  Agninash – how will agni be reduced when pitta is so high?  Agni that is increased is not of good quality, not helpful to digestion but rather eats the other dhatus.  That is why it is mentioned as another quality.  Nash means destruction.

Have you learned the 10 vital organs in the body?  How about 108 marmas or vital points.  Like acupuncture they mention points – not completely correlated.  These 108 points have a union of blood vessels, bones, cartilage – very delicate and vital.  If any injury to these parts occurs, chance of death or major illness is likely.  In the same way, there are 10 organs in body where prana is at maximum level/ or very high levels. These 10 organs are called Dasha(10) Prana Ayitan (seat of prana) – 10 vital seats of prana in the body.

Shankar – this area – temporal lobes – very harmful

Hyrdiya – heart

Basti – bladder – reason why enema in PK is called basti is because liquid given was given in buffalo bladder – that use of the basti organ is why the action is called that.  Around 4 inches of gold or silver inserted as a nozzle and no more.  Quantity should be about 1 liter, which is why a big bladder is used.  Also related to rasa dhatu.

Shira – head

Khanta – throat

Rakta dhatu –

Shukra dhatus – semen

Ojas – the essence of all 7 dhatus, without which we have no immunity – therefore important substance  – whole body and the one in the heart



Dushti Vidahi – which takes more time to digest and creates daha – for example, chilis.  The seeds take a LOT of time to digest and continue to irritate all throughout its passage.  May not digest completely.  Alcohol is vidahi also.  A very new wine is vidahi.  All fermented things are slightly vidahi – bread, paneers, south Indian dosas etc.  so all increase pitta.


Arthi Snighda, Arthi Ushna, Arthi Drava – alcohol, caffeine, coffee.  All can lead to rakta dhatu increase.  Here also drava refers to fruit juices which are saar in taste in juices like orange and pineapple.  Breaking out in mouth sores can come from papaya and pineapple both no no’s for pitta.  Most hot fruits.


Arthi Guru – heaviness – bad for rakta dhatu from a panchmahabhutic perspective, because it is full of pruthvi and teja – so any guru things will increase rakta and create rakta imbalance.


Arthav and Vayu Snehan(?)– excess exposure to sun and wind – mostly laborers who work in fields and on farms have more chance of affliction


Arthi Sevan of Tikshna – Tikshna is the one who does shodhan/cleansing effect of malas in both directions – upwards and downwards.  Also creates a daha – burning sensation and paka – digestion or putrefaction.  All tikshna druvas has effect of putrefaction/rotting.  Because of its properties, tikshna can clean the body in upwards and downwards directions, but in excess, tikshna arsthav will scrape the dhatus – the mucous linings of intestines or stomach – that is how ulcers develop.  Chilis, fermented stuff, pickles, vinegar, lime, excess salt, chutneys.  Garlic with milk has both tikshna and snighda and a vipaka of madhur, so given as a treatment for ulcers.  Unique thing, garlic.


Madhya – alcohol.  Visha dravya sevan – toxic things like tobacco, drugs, opium, cannabis – all lead to rakta dushti.  All types of toxins lead to ill health because all are vidahi – hot.  All heat rakta dhatu and the most important thing is that they all have vyavahi and vikashi guna – apart from the 20 gunas in that they only exist among these things.  Vyavahi means spreads VERY fast – its on the tongue and you get the feeling of the drug within seconds.  Very sukshma, immediate effects.  Vikashi means that it reaches the smallest cells in the body and makes them loose and lax.  A bad effect.  Loosening and weakening of all cells and joints.  Vyavahi is not harmful in and of itself, but Vikashi always has a negative quality.  This guna is only in reference to these toxic substances.  Datura also this way, Digitalis, Supari/nitroglycerine.


Stale food – what defines a good food is freshly prepared – 2-3 hours only.  Before refrigeration this meant anything stale.


Things that are high in Amla, Lavana, Katu, and Kshara/alkaline things like tobacco with calcium carbonate/lime – which is why mouth cancers higher in people that chew tobacco.  The big thing now is alkalizing the body with water and foods because diseases and bacteria can’t exist in alkaline environment.  But needs to be a balance.


Urad dal, toor dal in excess according to one’s constitution.  To a kapha person, having one of these a couple times a week ok, but for pitta constitution not good at all.


Tila/Sesame in excess.  Generally not a food item – not used much in recipes only in ladoos in winter.  Every day or in summer would be bad.  Seeds specifically taken internally.  Using a teaspoon of seeds chewed in morning is not in excess.  1-2 grams ok, more than 3 grams may be in excess.  In summer, depending on climate and constitution, lessen intake.  For strong teeth and good hair, used black sesame seeds which are stronger than white.  Heat factor only difference.  Safer to advise white.


Khulukta – horse gram.  Very useful in ayurvedic medicines for heat and in weightloss and breaking kidney stones down .



Danyamla – vinegar – Excess Chinese food every day – vinegars heat etc.  every day eating vinegar is too much.  Drinking apple cider vinegar every day like a probiotic would be too much.  Maybe if your food was guru or rich it would be ok, but not for anyone eating light/healthy.


Anything in excess is wrong!  Shadrasa – 6 tastes is very important for this.


Dadhi Mustu – curd/whey.  Very good if used appropriately, increases kapha and agni.  If used when agni is bad – 20-30ml (standard dosage for liquid medicines)


Fermented foods like curd, tamari, tempeh, paneer, south Indian foods etc., some teas like puer, anything fermented.


Virudh ahar – a big range from sense of virya, quantity, combination of different foods


Diwa Svapana  Daytime sleeping – short naps are ok, but not lying down.  Relaxing ok, but not lying down.  You can have a rest in a reclining chair, but don’t lay down completely.  Regarding sleep, if you don’t have 6-7 hours per night, you can sleep for 1 hour after lunch.  How much you can sleep in day is talked about.


Athi Krodha – excess anger leads to rakta dushti – an emotional indigestion – aamavat – both expressed and unexpressed.


Vamana Vegarodh – forcefully suppressing vomiting.  In particular vomiting is mentioned in case of rakta dushti.  Vomiting to lose weight is also not good.


Excessive exercise/physical exertion.  Your body in pain.  Overexerting is sweating and breathing through mouth.  Athi exertion.


External injury/physical – refers to wounds which lead to blood dushti or rakta dushti meaning leading to infections of the wound.  Infection is nothing but rakta dushti


Sharadh ritu – after rainy season – humidity.


Excess intake of food at one time.  Adhyashana – too much food at one time.


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