It is one of the sapta dhatus. This dhatu comes after the Ras Dhatu.It is considered as one of the most important amongst all the dhatus. The prasada portion of ras dhatu , when enters to yakrit , pleehawith help of Ranjak pitta it turns to red coloured liquid and is called as rakta.
Amarkosh Kar has given many synonyms of rakta dhatu, they are –
- Shonita etc
DERIVATION OF RAKTA DHATU–
The word rakta is derived by the combination of ‘रञ्ज’ dhatu and ‘क्त’ pratyaya.
LOCATION OF RAKTA DHATU-
Rakta is found in the rakta vaha srotas
PROPERTIES OR GUNAS OF RAKTA DHATU-
तपनीयेन्द्रगोपाभं पद्मालक्तकसन्निभम् | गुञ्जाफ़लसवर्ण च विशुद्धं विद्धि शोणितम् || (च.सू.24/22)
According to Carak Sutrasthana, the blood resembles the following- heated gold, an insect called indragopa, red lotus, laksha, gunja phala (fruit of vatti plant). These are the properties of visuddha shonita.
मधुरं लवणं किंचित् शीतोष्णमसंहतम् | पद्मेन्द्रगोपहेमाविशशलोहितलोहितम् || (अ.ह्र.सू 27/1)
Pure blood is slightly sweet and salty in taste and is neither hot nor cold in nature and is liquid in nature. It also resembles red lotus flower, Indragopa insect or blood of rabbit.
इन्द्रगोपकप्रतीकाशमसंहतमविवर्णं च प्रकृतिस्थं जानीयात् | (सु.सू 14/22)
Acharya Susruta compared the olour of the blood with indragopa. According to Dalhana it is ‘Asamhat’ which is neither dense nor light. It does not stain any cloth when washed.
FUNCTION OF RAKTA DHATU –
रक्तं वर्णप्रसादं मांसपुष्टिं जीवयति च || (सु.सू 15/5(1)
Blood when it is pure it give strength colour and complexion, it increase life span. It provides nourishment to mamsa dhatu.
देहस्य रुधिरं मूलं रुधिरेणैव धार्यते | तस्माद् यत्नेन संरक्ष्यं रक्तं जीव इति स्थितिः || (सु.सू. 14/44)
Blood is vital component of body and life is considered to be present in it, hence it is protected inside, when compared with other components of the body.
रक्तं सर्वशरीरस्थं जीवस्याधारमुत्तमम् || (शा.उ. 6/9)
तद्विशुद्धं हि रुधिरं बल्वर्णसुखायुषा | युनक्ति प्राणिनं प्राणः ह्यनुवर्तते || (च.सू. 24/4)
Rakta circulate all over the body through siras and dhamanis and nourishes all over the body. Rakta give good colour and complexion. Pure rakta also bears the prana. Hence from all these functions it is clear that rakta is the root of the body.
PRAMANA OF RAKTA–According to Charak it is 8 anjali.
PANCHABHAUTIKATVA OF RAKTA DHATU-
विस्रता द्रवता रागः स्पन्दनम् लघुता तथा | भूम्यादीनां गुणा ह्येते दृश्यन्ते चात्र शोणिते || (सु.सू 14/9)
These are the mahabhoot dominances present in the rakta according to Sushruta-
- विस्रता- foul smell like meat due to prithvi mahabhoot.
- द्रवता- liquid property due to apya mahabhoot.
- रागः – colour due to agni mahabhoot.
- स्पन्दन- pulsation due to vayu mahabhoot.
- लघुता- lightness due to aakash mahabhoot.
Hence these are the panchamahabhoot predominances in the rakta dhatu by acharya Susruta.
आर्तवं शोणितं त्वाग्नेयम् | (सु.सू 14/7)
Acharya Sushruta has accepted that rakta dhatu has the predominance of the agni mahabhoot.
PHYSIOLOGY OF RAKTA VAHA SROTAS –
रक्त वहे द्वे, तयोर्मूलं यकृत्प्लीहनौ रक्तवाहिन्यश्च धमन्यः | (सु.शा 9/12)
Channels of blood are two; the moolas of rakta vaha srotas their are two organs yakrit (liver) and pleeha (spleen) and rakta vaha dhamani (arteries carrying blood); when these are injured blue colouration of the body, fever, burning sensation.
But according to Carak their are only two moolas and they are yakrit and pleeha but not the rakta vaha dhamanis. Ayurveda chikitsa shastras also accepted that the moolas of rakta dhatu are yakrit and pleeha.
FORMATION OF THE RAKTA DHATU –
According to ayurveda formation of rakta takes place in yakrit and pleeha and amashaya according to various acharyas.
According to Sushruta the formation takes place in yakrit and pleeha while according to Vagbhatta amashaya is the site for the formation of rakta and according to modern theory red bone marrow is the site.
RANJANA OF RASA BY RANJAK PITTA –
यत्तु यकृतप्लीन्होः पित्तं तस्मिन् रञ्जकोअग्निरिति संज्ञा, स रसस्य रागकृदुक्तः | (सु.सू 12/10)
All the acharyas accepted that the function of the ranjak pitta is ranjan of the rasa. Ranjan of rasa is not a physical process but a chemical process. Rasa is a dhatu and the meaning of ranjan is to produce ranjak dravya for it by which red colour blood can be produced. The main function of this pitta is to produce ranjak dravya for the conversion of rasa to rakta.
Like this for the formation of the rakta dhatu three dravyas are required that is teja of ahar rasa, ranjak pitta and rakta agni