Fourth Dhatu – Meda Dhatu (Fat tissue)

Meda is adipose tissue, a loose connective tissue that includes fat, phospholipids, steroids, cholesterol, hormones, and other types of lipids. Fat serves as a building block of every cell in the body, as a source for energy, lubricates surfaces to enable the freedom of movement, and covering internal organs for protection. Meda is also found beneath the skin as subcutaneous fat, the insulating material that maintains body temperature. Fat molecules have similar properties to those of Kapha Dosha, and are predominantly Water and Earth element. A person with a superfine quality of Meda Dhatu, called Meda Sara, has beautiful eyes, beautiful hair, and a melodious voice. The skin is soft and shiny, the joints are flexible with no cracking or popping, and there is good endurance, energy, vitality, and longevity. Such a person will rarely develop arthritis or osteoporosis.

Purpose: lubrication

Element: Water

Attributes: Soft, Smooth

Action: anointing, endurance, sweat

Superior by products: ligaments

Inferior by product: sweat

Decreased Meda Dhatu (Meda Kshaya):

Deficient Meda Dhatu, on behalf of a low fat diet or if Meda Agni is too strong and the fat molecules are quickly utilized by the body, will cause Meda Kshaya. When a person is engaged in excessive physical activity but does not consume sufficient protein and lubricating oils, the person loses fat. The fat loss will lead to stiff muscles and pain in the joints. In the long run, osteoarthritis (degenerative arthritic changes) and osteoporosis may develop. Other signs are hair loss, hoarse voice, insomnia, menstrual pain, insecurity, fear and anxiety.

Signs of Meda Kshaya:

  1. Dry skin
  2. Cracking joints
  3. Emaciation
  4. Osteoarthritis
  5. Osteoporosis
  6. Lumbago
  7. Overactive thyroid

Increased Meda Dhatu (Meda Vruddhi):

Excess Meda Dhatu accumulates once the consumption of fat exceeds the capacity of Meda Dhatu Agni to metabolize and process the fat properly. This causes excess unprocessed Meda Dhatu. The skin becomes too oily, the teeth are covered with more tartar, and fatty growth such as Lipoma appears under the skin. It is also a cause of fibrocystic changes in the breasts, and very often is the cause for obesity and diabetes. Obese people may have a large appetite. Why does this happen? It is a result of a strong Agni (digestive fire) in the stomach, and a very low Meda Dhatu Agni, therefor fat metabolism is slow which leads to excess accumulation of fat under the skin and yet again, obesity.

Causes of Meda Vruddhi:

  1. Excess sugar, sweets, or simple carbohydrates
  2. Excess salt
  3. Excess dairy products
  4. Cold drinks
  5. Excess consumption of meat
  6. Oily or fried food
  7. Lack of good quality fats in the diet
  8. Incompatible food combining
  9. Excess water consumption
  10. Frequent emotional eating, stress and unresolved emotions resulting in overeating
  11. Sedentary lifestyle and daytime sleeping
  12. Insufficient exercise

Signs of Meda Vruddhi:

  1. Obesity
  2. Lethargy
  3. Breathlessness on exertion
  4. Slow metabolism
  5. Underactive thyroid
  6. Lipomas (fatty tumors)
  7. Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  8. Gallstones
  9. Low libido
  10. Excess thirst and sweet taste in the mouth
  11. Diabetes


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