Asthi Dhatu-The bones of the body in Ayurveda vision

What is Asthi Dhatu?
The meaning of Asthi Dhatu

The asthi dhatu refers to the bones which give a solid structure to the body.

It is also the densest dhatu, made up to 80%of earth, 15% air, 5% water, provides internal support, gives shape to the body, including the face, protects all organs including heart, brain, and reproductive system. 

In conventional medicine, bone health is viewed as a product of calcium and vitamin D absorption, as well as healthy hormone levels which contribute to the proper function of the cells that build the bones (osteoblasts) and break down the bones (osteoclasts). But the bone health is a complex of many nutrients including vitamin K and magnesium.

Ayurveda says that the membrane of the colon (purisha dhara kala) is directly connected to the layer of the bone (asthi dhara kala), and enema (basti) being widely used in Ayurveda to help in the health of bone tissue (asthi dhatu). 
A healthy colon leads to healthy bones.

The purisha (feces) dhara kala is the membrane that holds the asthi Agni, it is also the term used to describe the large intestine which is the ``home`` of Vata Dosha and reveals the Vata disorders. 

When a pathology in the large intestine occurs such as gas, bloating, constipation, is transferred to the bones which become more porous and air-filled (osteoporosis).

Bones has a matrix structure, looks like the letter X, and the lines that form the letter are solid and made of the earth element.

Space between is filled with air which creates a solid but light structure, allowing the body to quickly move.
Bones are filled with hematopoietic tissue, an aspect of the majja dhatu called the marrow.

In Ayurveda, asthi dhatu is considered dense, cold, hard, stable and rough, similar to Kapha and a little of Vata.

When asthi dhatu is produced in excess, the tissue produced is denser; is Kapha nature with low Agni, thicker and dense bones.

A pitta person has higher Agni, the bones are not as dense, but are more metabolically active and lead to narrowing, inflammation and weakness in the bones, when pitta becomes vitiated. 

Vata nature has a variable Agni, produce a less and poor quality of asthi dhatu, with thinner and more fragile bones.

For a healthy asthi dhatu, adequate earth, and air products must be consumed in proper balance. 

Earth is represented by sweet foods such as grains, nuts and astringent foods such as beans. 
Air is found in bitter and pungent foods such as most vegetables and consumption alone does not guarantee that good asthi will be formed. 

The two elements must be digested adequately so that their qualities can be used to build bones. Thus jatharagni (central digestive fire) should be healthy. 
With a weak digestive fire, rather than forming healthy bones, the same foods will produce ama and toxify the body and mind.

Psychology, the Asthi Dhatu, allows people`s motion and not the size but the quality is essential. 

The fifth tissue layer provides support (Dharana), giving a sense of confidence, stand up for yourself and firm in own beliefs, stability, and security. 

The wastes products (mala) of asthi dhatu are directly connected to the nails and hair, and the upadhatu (supporting blocks of dhatu) of the bone tissue is related to the teeth, and you can quickly identify the signs. 

When asthi dhatu is weak, brittle nails and hair, hair loss, joint pain, arthritis, osteoporosis, scoliosis, cracked teeth, and fractures easily occur.

When asthi dhatu is deficient, it is caused by excess Vata in the system, responsible for deficiencies; lack of calcium or protein, and/or malnutrition. 

When asthi dhatu is healthy, there is self-confidence; teeth, nails, hair with a strong bone structure. 

When asthi dhatu increases and/or becomes excessive, the qualities of the earth element which are caused by too much Kapha increase, the person becomes overly attached, obstructive, stubborn, trying to make changes; extra teeth, excess hair growth, bone fusion. 
Excessive asthi is also due to the overconsumption of calcium.

When asthi dhatu is deficient, it is caused by excess Vata in the system, responsible for deficiencies; lack of calcium or protein, and/or malnutrition. 

The health of the asthi dhatu also dependent on prana flowing the Muladhara chakra which carries the qualities of the earth element and creates a solid sense of self; the flow of prana through Anahata and Vishuddha chakras moves the conditions of air and ether. 

As we know, asthi is heavy, gross, stable, and dense, mainly composed by the earth element and is nourished by mineral-rich foods and herbs.
The bones are the body's storehouse of minerals like calcium, phosphorous, magnesium and the highest percentage of calcium is in the bones.

Calcium is also needed for functions like nerve signaling, blood clotting, and muscle contractions, and when these essential nutrients are low, the body dips into the bones' storage.

If you like salty seaweeds, well is a good source of potassium, iron, calcium, iodine, magnesium and the bones love seafood in general but seems that oysters have high calcium content.

Praval Panchamrit mainly known for its high calcium content and capacity to strengthen the bones can be added in the diet.

Note: Praval Panchamrit-Praval means coral; Panchamrit literally means: five nectars-the old classical Rasayana formula with coral is the sum total of 5 life-ingredients.

Calcium-rich foods, and also sesame, pumpkin seeds, almonds, macadamias, and Brazil nuts are all rich in minerals which nourish the bones.

Root veggies, Ashwagandha's roots are another great source of minerals and at the same time nourish the earth element from the bones, allowing to absorb these bone-building nutrients from the earth.

From the Ayurvedic perspective, bone health is directly related to colon health, because the mineral absorption takes place primarily in the colon.

The foods that cause gas should be reduced to nourish bone tissue; gas and bloating lead to acidity in the blood because the depletion of the bone tissue.

If you want to alleviate constipation, use gentle laxatives like Triphala or Praval Panchaarit Ras(bloating, indigestion, burping, and all digestive disorders), specially formulated.

Ayurveda also recommends periodic colon cleansing enema with plain water or medicated to ensure optimal colon function and health.

Yoga posture also strengthens the bones such as Utakatasana(chair pose), Ardha Setu Bandhasana(half bridge pose), Dhanurasana(bow pose), Vrkshana(tree pose); walking in nature is also ideal because you get the benefits when you connect with earth, and you can take a healthy dose of bone-nourishing of vitamin D via sunshine.

The correct and good posture even you are standing or walking supports the bone health, and you can correct them through yoga, and/or easy exercises.

Also read:

***Kapha-Pitta-Vata dosha

***What is Prana and its benefits

***Yoga Posture for to improve digestion

***What is Triphala and its benefits