Wednesday, July 11, 2012



It is the essence of all dhatus, which gives strength to the body, improves immunity power and takes care of well being of the body. It is present all through the body like ghee/ butter exists in the milk or honey exists in the flower. 
Oja is the cumulative essence remaining after the cycle of dhatu nutrition is complete. Our physical, mental, and spiritual strength is totally dependent on oja. Our personal aura, the strength and glow we are meant to exude, is produced from an abundance of oja. This is our best safeguard against mental and physical disease. As oja thrives, so does the body’s natural immunity. Mental clarity and cognitive memories flourish. If, on the other hand, the body has insufficient rasa, the tissues become dry and contaminated, resulting in the depletion of oja. Decreased oja also fosters an increase in the aam, or wastes, produced by the body thus hampering the physical and mental capacity of an individual.
Thus, Oja is considered as essence, produced after the formation of the seven types of dhatus which are responsible for vitality in the body & for leading energy to make a person physically active.

Form of Oja

These are the various forms in which Oja exists:

·         Oily
·         Watery.
·         Transparent, slightly reddish, yellow in color.
·         Ghee/ butter like appearance.
·         Smell like “laja” (puffed rice).
·         Sweet in taste.

Dwelling place of oja

There are two places where Oja prevails:

Hridya - in the heart
Vyapi- all over the body. 

Functions of oja
The function of Oja can be summed up as to maintain the condition of the good health it nourishes all the body constituents and mind. Moreover, it controls or promotes all the physiological activities and is responsible for lively condition of the body and immunity power of the body.

In ayurveda it is believed that life cannot exist without Oja in the body. 
Types of oja

There are two types of Oja:

        1.Para Oja- is present in the hridaya in a quantum of eight bindu (drops). Its appearance is
                            Shudhan (clear or transparent)

        2. Apara oja- that prevails all over the body and its quantum is ½ anjali. (Quantity of liquid     
                                contained in one cupped palm.

Oja Vikriti

Oja can become abnormal in three ways:

1. Vistransa
It has its origin in the dwelling place itself. This has signs and symptoms of lax in muscles and bone joints, lethargy in organs, displacement of Vata. It also results in the impairment of physical, vocal and mental functions of the body.

2. Vyapad 
the condition in which oja is vitiated by doshas is called as oja Vyapad.  Following are the signs & symptoms that occur in this condition - heaviness in the body, freezing of joints like knee joint etc. swelling due to vata dosha impairment, discoloration, depression, drowsiness and sleep.

3. Kshaya
It is the decrease of the quantum of Oja.

Sign & Symptoms of Oja depletion

·         Fear
  • Physically and mentally weak
  • Discomfort in sense organ
  • Impaired color
  • Impaired mentally
  • Dryness
  • Impaired complexion
  • Unconsciousness
  • decrease of Mansa Dhatu
  • illusions and delusions
  • loss of senses
  • Delirium
  • death

Factor responsible for Oja depletion - for the effective cure of Oja Kashay it must be kept in mind that what factor leads to this diseased situation. Following are the factors that contribute for the arousal of this disease:
·         Trauma
·         Loss of Dhatus
·         Anger
·         Grief
·         Tension i.e. mentally hard working
·         Physically hard working
·         Fasting

Factor nourishing Oja - the quantum of Oja can be increased in the body by following activities:

 * Prohibition of activities, which give mental tension.

 * Foods or medicine which are sweet in taste, viscous, cold, lighter (easily digestible) and promotes health.

 * Life promoting medicine, milk, meat juice etc. 

Comparision of oja in modern science.

In the human body, there are some cells that are known as “Stem cells”. Stem cells are primal undifferentiated cells which retain the ability to differentiate into other cell types. This ability allows them to act as a repair system for the body, replenishing other cells as long as the organism is alive.

These cells are further divided into 2 major types as “embryonic stem cells” and “adult/somatic stem cells”.

Embryonic Stem Cells (Para Oja)*- The embryonic stem cells are tottipotent cells and remain constant throughout life. They are formed from embryos after fertilization. This very well explains why the content of embryonic stem cells or para oja remains constant throughout life as with only 1 gamete, more of it cannot be formed.

Somatic/Adult Stem Cells (Apara Oja)* - The adult stem cells are pleuripotent  cells which are present in the body in greater number than embryonic stem cells. These cells are not as potent as embryonic stem cells but have the capacity to multiply and specialize themselves to any tissue eg blood. Hence, the regeneration of the body depends directly on the amount of adult stem cells that the body has. Similarly the immunity or resistance to degeneration or to a disease is directly dependant on the amount of Oja the body has. This Oja is, as the name suggests, formed from shukra dhatu (only 1 gamete is involved)

Now, let us compare the parameters of oja to stem cells in the same order

  Stem cells is no energy or an abstract thought, but is a physical substance with physical features matching the description of Oja given by the respected Acharyas

  The relationship of Shukra dhatu with stem cells is obvious

  Stem cells is definitely superior to all tissue elements as it can specialize to any of them at will, hence it is the most excellent of cells to be present in the human body

  As this stem cell regenerates or replaces damaged organs or tissues by specializing itself to form the tissue, this acts as the best immunity provider in the body by providing strength and stability to the body

  Stem cells require a cold temperature to thrive in vitro and in vivo. Heat destroys these cells easily.

  The 2 types of stem cells have been discussed in short where the superior one being the embryonic stem cells and inferior being the somatic counterpart

  Embryonic stem cells remain constant throughout life and if depleted the patient dies as regeneration stops completely whereas somatic stem cells may increase or decrease

  Stem cells are used for delay in ageing processes as it stops degeneration by regenerating and substituting degenerated cells.

According to me, the Acharyas of ayurveda knew of the complete existence of these stem cells and they chose the word Oja to explain it.

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Dr Shahs Panchkarma Ayurveda Clinic

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