Ayurvedic Approach to Mamsa (Muscles)

by Susan O Connor, ERYT, Ayurveda Wellness Practitioner
Founder of Haven Yoga
Teacher: Yoga Therapy (San Diego College of Ayurveda)

Mamsa dhatu like all things in nature is influenced by the mahabhuts. When muscle tissue is balanced the three elements of earth, fire and water are present. When mamsa is aggravated due to vitiation of the doshas it will reflect the qualities of the dosha causing the aggravation.

Vata in mamsa provides nutrients to the muscles through prana and contraction and relaxation of the muscles and of the heart through vyana. Udana provides expression through the facial muscles and samana vata allows the stomach muscles to contract for digestion.

When vata vitiation takes place in mamsa, pain in the joints along with tremor and dry skin will be present due to vata’s qualities of cold, dry, light and rough.

Pitta, with its qualities of hot, sharp, light and oily will vitiate with diseases like, fibromyalgia, abcess and burning of the skin.

Pachak pitta is considered responsible for the formation of the dhatus through digestion and bhrajak for the skin color while sadhak pitta governs the emotions in relation to storing emotions in mamsa. Vitiation of Pitta in these areas will present according to the dosha qualities of pitta.

Kapha vitiation because of its heavy, soft, slow, cold and oily properties will present with diseases such as fibroids and muscle hypertrophy.

Basic protocols to address the dosha imbalance of mamsa would require balancing the vitiated dosha along with appropriate cleansing, diet and lifestyle recommendations and herbs for the specific vitiation.

Vata would require more earth element once toxicity is removed through cleansing and a stoking of jatharagni and masagni through herbs like raw ginger and sweet, sour and salty tasting foods.

Pitta vitiation would require balancing the fire element with cooling foods and herbs like trikatu, and drying herbs like turmeric.

Kapha vitiation balancing would require, Pungent, bitter and astringent food to increase the agni. Herbs like trikutu, kutaki and ginger.

Blog Entry Number 2 - Nicole Gleave (Kallari Teacher), AWP 500 Student

Emaciation, and Weight loss are a symptom of inbalanced mamsa dhatu, or muscle tissue. It is a case of mamsa kshaya wich is caused by excess vata moving into the digestive kala present in mamsa agni. When mamsa agni is effected by excess vata we will see emaciation, and weight loss because of the mobile and light qualities that are found in vata.

If vata is showing up in mamsa dahtu agni, you will surley want to look at the rakta, and rasa, and treat the rasa. What is this person eating? when are they eating? Have they been exposed to a terrible virus where the digestive fire has become so strong to try to burn out the virus that it just burns all the food leaving no sara for development of dhatus.

In such a case it seems important to do some kind of a cleanse. "to wipe the slate clean" Something like panchakarma, or liver cleansing, and ama detoxifying herbs like, trikitu, amalaki, triphhala, compfrey, followed by shatavari, or ashwaganda for building tissue coupled with a kapha diet of heavy cooked warm foods with ghee!