One of the seven “dhatus” or tissues; consists of blood/ red blood cells. Also involves blood vessels, liver and spleen. Contains the fire element; invigorates tissues and the mind.
Rakta dhatu is one of the important dhatus mentioned by Ayurveda which is
the principle and functional element by keeping the whole functioning of body in a
proper manner. It may be the reason why Acharya Sushruta has mentioned rakta as
fourth dosha (6). According to Ayurveda, rakta has unique and exclusive function
i.e. jeevanam (7). Rakta dhatu carries the oxygen and nutrients with itself and
circulate through the whole body to provide nourishment. The ‘jeevanam’ is an
inclusive term comprising additional functions specified below
1. Uttardhatu poshan: Formation and nutrition of next forming dhatu
2. Dhatunam puranam: Purana and tarpana.
3. Varna prasadan: To provide normal complexion.
4. Avyahat paktruvega : Digestion of pitta.
5. Sparshadnyanam asanshaman: Proper circulation and normal sensation.
6. Bala and oja vruddhi: Proper growth of bala and oja.
The important rakta dhatu is dependent on raktavaha srotasa for its formation, transformation and distribution. The yakruta (liver) is supposed to be one of the mulasthana of raktavaha srotasa (9). Ayurveda believes that the raktadhatu is formed as an outcome of different processes on ahar-rasa with the help of raktagni and ranjak pitta. From here only the raktadhatu is distributed and circulated through raktavaha srotasa (9). Acharya Sushruta has mentioned the presence of raktadhatu in raktadhara kala which is predominantly present in yakruta (liver) (10)