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Dr. Roshni K. P.*


Human being has emerged as a very specialized species in the process of evolution. Ancient seers of Ayurveda have classified the elements of the body under three fundamental components Dosa, Dhatu and Mala. For the existence of body, two elementary factors are there, one that form structural configuration and second which control physiological aspects. Dosa and Mala are the principal physiological entities. These two elements are not structural one and stable. The basic structural architectures of the body are formed by Dhatus. They are most stable constituents of the body. Dhatu form the substratum, which bear and nourish other constituents of the body. Even though the basic elements are categorized under these three groups, some elements are left out which were not defined. Ancient seers found it difficult to attribute their functions to the group of dhatus. Hence, they further defined specialized groups of entities termed as Upadhatu. According to Sanskrit grammer, 'Upadhatu' consists of two parts prefix 'Upa' and the word 'Dhatu'. Upa is explained as 'proximity' to something. So, in nutshell, it can be explained that Upadhatu is derivative of Dhatu and has some resemblance in terms of structure, function and nature. They are important physiological units and engaged to design the structural composition of the body. Dhatu form the basic structure of the body, they are not able to execute the functions of body without the support of Upadhatus. Upadhatu act as a bridge between these fundamental entities. Upadhatus are also involved in emergence of diseases and the knowledge is necessary to understand the pathological conditions.

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