A Beginner’s Guide to the Mamsa Dhatu

Mamsa means the flesh or meat. The mamsa dhatu is the muscle tissue that provides structural and protective covering to the body structures like bones, joints, blood vessels, tendons, and ligaments.

This is the third dhatu in sequence to be formed and nourished after raktha dhatu. The body mass is enhanced by mamsa dhatu, which provides covering and is helpful in the movements of joints. Pishita, Kravya, Tarasa, Amisha, Palala, Rakthateja, Rakthodbhava, Medaskrut are the synonyms of Mamsa dhatu. It is formed after the metabolism of raktha dhatu.

Bhautika composition and its guna (qualities)

Prithvi Mahabhuta is the main Bhautika composition of Mamsa Dhatu. 

It has properties like sthula (bulky), sthira (stable), guru (heavy), kathina (hard), shlakshna (smooth) as per the classical texts of Ayurveda.

Formation of mamsa dhatu

The Aahara rasa is converted into rasa dhatu. Rasa dhatu then gets converted into raktha dhatu. The poshaka amsha (nutrient portion) of raktha dhatu forms the mamsa dhatu. The factors responsible for the formation of mamsa dhatu are the Mamsadhatwagni, the MahabhutasVayu, Jala, Agni. From the Prithvi Mahabhuta, it attains the shulata (bulkiness), guruta (heaviness) and kathinata (hardness).

Seat of mamsa dhatu

Snayu (ligaments) and twak (skin) are the main structures where the mamsa dhatu is formed. The mamsavaha srotas (transporting channels of mamsa dhatu) have their roots in the snayu and twak.

 Mamsadhara kala – the sheath-like structure covers the mamsa, sira (veins), snayu (ligaments), and dhamani (arteries).

Quantity and duration taken to form mamsa dhatu

The total quantity of mamsa dhatu in the shareera (body) is three Anjali. The duration to form mamsa dhatu is eleven days.

Mamsa dhatu in garbhotpadana (embryogenesis)

Mamsa dhatu is formed during the fifth month of intrauterine life. It is formed from the shukra dhatu during the fetal life. 

Byproducts and the waste metabolites

Twak (skin) and Vasa (muscle fat) are the byproducts while the secretions from the eyes, ears, and nose are the waste products of the metabolism of the mamsa dhatu.

Functions of mamsa dhatu

  • It does lepana karma– provides the protective and structural covering to the inner organs and other structures of the body.
  • Does the nourishment of the succeeding dhatu – meda dhatu.
  • Because of the stability, bulkiness, and heaviness, the body gets strength from the mamsa dhatu.

Mamsasara purusha lakshana (Characteristics of an individual who has ideal mamsa)

  • The person has well-built muscles over the chest, abdomen, arms, calf muscles, thighs, shoulders, temporal regions, forehead, neck, jaws, and cheeks.
  • Stable bones and joints.
  • Good appearance
  • Has good strength and long life.
  • Endowed with characters like happiness, Kshama (forgiving nature), Dhruti (decision making), Alaulya (benevolent – the who has no greed), Arjava (humble), etc. 

Vital points composed of mamsa dhatu

There are a total of eleven vital points made up of mamsa dhatu. These vital points when undergoing any trauma, lead to diseases or even death.

  • Four are in the mid-point of palms and soles. These are named Talahridaya marma
  • Four in the mid of forearms and calf regions in the legs respectively and are known as Indrabasti Marma
  • Guda marma – the vital point in the rectum and anal canal.
  • Two vital points are in the upper part of the nipples of the breasts. These are stanarohita marma.

Causes of mamsa dhatu vitiation

Excess use of heavy digesting foods, over-eating, untimely eating, daytime sleep, lack of physical activities, etc.

Mamsa vriddhi lakshana (increased mamsa dhatu symptoms)

  • There is an increase in the size of the lips, cheeks, arms, and chest.
  • Heaviness in the body
  • Restricted movements

Mamsa kshaya lakshana (decreased mamsa dhatu symptoms)

  • Decrease in the size of hips, neck, thighs, abdomen, lips, cheeks, arms, chest
  • Dryness of skin
  • Debility
  • Fatigue
  • Painful movements of the joints
  • Desire to have meat and meat soup

Diseases caused due to vitiation of mamsa dhatu

  • Adhimamsa (granuloma / polyp)
  • Arbuda (tumour)
  • Galashaluka (uvulitis)
  • Galashundika (tonsilitis)
  • Gandamala (cervical lymphadenopathy)
  • Galaganda (goiter)
  • Kila (warts)
  • Upajihvika (epiglottitis), etc.

Treatment for the diseases caused by vitiated mamsa dhatu

Shodhana therapy (purificatory procedures), shastra karma (surgical treatment), kshara karma (application of caustic alkaline paste), agni karma (cauterization) cab done in case of increased mamsa dhatu or when the diseases are due to mamsa dhatu, depending on the dosha involved.

In case of decreased mamsa dhatu, meat, and meat soup can be given. 


The third dhatu in the sequence to be formed is the mamsa dhatu. It is predominantly made up of Prithvi Mahabhuta and thus qualities like sthirata, sthulata, guruta are attained. It forms the covering of the internal structures like organs, blood vessels, ligaments, tendons, etc. Twak and Snayu are the byproducts. The formation takes place during the fifth month of gestation. There are eleven vital points in our body that are made of mams dhatu, and their injury can cause diseases. Galaganda, Adhimamsa, Kila, Arbuda, Upajihvika are some of the diseases caused when mamsa dhatu is either increased or decreased in the body either quantitatively or qualitatively. Surgical procedures, purificatory procedures, cauterization, etc. are some of the treatment modalities. Decreased mamsa dhatu can be treated with a diet containing more meat and its products.


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