Definition - What does Rakta Dhatu mean?
According to Ayurveda, the Sarira (body), Manas (mind), and Prana (life force) are all supported by tissues known as dhatu. Rakta Dhatu generally refers to the blood, but more specifically to the oxygen-carrying red blood cells. Other components of blood such as plasma, lymph and white blood cells are categorized separately as Rasa Dhatu.
Rakta Dhatu is primarily made up of the element of fire, with hot, clear and sharp qualities. It is responsible for invigorating the body and mind. When in balance, Rakta Dhatu creates a sense of being energized and passionate. The health of Rakta Dhatu is important for determining the health of the Pitta dosha.
Yogapedia explains Rakta Dhatu
In Sanskrit, the word Rakta means colored or reddened, referring to the quality this tissue gives to the blood. Excess Rakta Dhatu in the body may lead to inflammatory conditions, but it also provides intense focus and sharpness in the mind. When there is not enough Rakta Dhatu, heat in the body decreases, the tissues become cold or stiff, and the mind tends to be less clear.
As well as governing the health of red blood cells, Rakta Dhatu keeps the liver and spleen functioning optimally. In order to maintain healthy Rakta Dhatu, it is important to balance the fire element within the body. Hot and pungent foods can improve the circulation of Rakta Dhatu, as well as bitter tastes such as leafy green vegetables.