A Darkfield Perspective of Rasa and Rakta Dhatus with Reference to Ayurvedic Rasayana Herbs


The Microscope

Darkfield microscopes use a special condenser that splits the light so that the edges of objects are silhouetted against a dark background. By angling the light, tiny objects as well as transparent objects become visible, revealing the unpleasant fact that blood is not sterile.

In the experience of the author, there is a truly extraordinary range of organic and inorganic objects in the plasma. The darkfield microscope gives us a method for observing not just live blood but also the details of both rasa and rakta dhatus. Of course, it also allows us to observe the action of the herbs and alchemical remedies on the various components of the blood.

Rasa Dhatu

It can probably be agreed that the plasma should be pure as well as a rich source of nutrients for rakta dhatu. This is a basic premise of our understanding of the sapta dhatus. If we combine our Ayurvedic knowledge with modern scientific theories, we would include pH balance with our concept of the ideal.

The darkfield microscope allows us to observe the blood in an absolutely fascinating manner. From the outset, it is clear that there are many potential problems in the plasma. These include microorganisms, such as bacteria, parasites, and spirochetes; viable fungi like yeast and mold; chemical and metallic toxins from an enormous range of sources: prescription medications, additives to drinking water, preservatives and other unnatural components in our food as well as mercury, lead, aluminum, and even radioactive particulates – to name a few.

Due to the way in which observations are made, it is rarely possible to be specific about the precise threats in the plasma, such as whether a problem is due to mercury or aluminum, but, as an example, most can be generally deduced by reference to a good medical history that includes questions about such matters as dental amalgams, vaccines, and cookware.


Dhatu: Ayurveda teaches that there are seven fundamental  tissue types that are used to build the body.

When repairing or regenerating the body, the sequence starts with rasa which can be broadly translated as plasma but it includes more than just plasma.  This can be considered a sort of nutrient soup for the blood cells, the second dhatu, which is called rakta.

The next dhatu can be loosely referred to as muscle.  The fourth is adipose tissue.  After this, there is hard tissue like bones, teeth, but also skin and hair.  The sixth includes the brain and nervous system.  The last is very difficult to translate.  It is called shukra and is believed to be a highly refined substance that can be used to rejuvenate the body.


For instance, the author has observed a variety of parasites in the plasma and has often been able to categorize them by their probable place of origin as well as behavior, meaning that some parasites are very selective and only eat damaged or crenated erythrocytes. Other parasites devour almost everything in sight, and some seem to be very toxic: they poison their prey before eating the erythrocytes. A few prefer platelets to erythrocytes.

My reference to places began by studying parasitology textbooks and then asking patients where they have traveled, whether they have lived in the tropics, and through this line of questioning, I have sometimes been able to recognize the parasites that are unique to certain places, such as strange flagella on some Sri Lankan parasites.

Like snakes, parasites come in many colors and often have patterns on the membrane. They are relatively easily destroyed by anthelmintics, but the reinfection rate can be quite high since parasites may lay tens of thousands of eggs a day, making it very difficult to clear the infection in a single round of treatment.

Here again, we see the advantage of microscopy because we can retest patients to determine whether or not there are still parasites in the blood.

Rakta Dhatu

In darkfield microscopy, careful observers are forced to conclude that blood cells are sentient. They are aware of their environment, capable of organizing and instructing, and they can even be playful. They are sensitive to thought and sound, but to stay within the bounds of provable science, we can easily observe the quality and efficiency of the cells.

Red blood cells should be a uniform size, 7-8 microns, and variations, such as microcytes and macrocytes are easily noted as are serious conditions such as electroperforation of cell membranes, compromised lipid structures, low zeta potential, crenation, deformity of shape, malnutrition, and countless other potentially pathological conditions.

Clinical Observations

The beauty of serious clinical research is that an herb or alchemical substance can be administered that goes into the blood stream quickly and the patient can be retested after 20-30 minutes so that the precise action of the remedy can be observed.

By constant retesting, not only can we arrive at a deeper understanding of the myriad substances in our materia medica, but we also know precisely when to modify our protocols based on changes that we have observed.

There are many common conditions that have potentially catastrophic consequences, such as anemia; but by using darkfield microscopy, we can determine the underlying cause of the anemia. Again, to use examples, the author has seen a deficiency of red blood cells due to parasites as well as toxicity, such as ingestion of mushrooms, even so-called edible mushrooms for which a variety of nutritional claims are made, or due to a drug with severe side effects; but she has also seen death of erythrocytes due to radiation exposure.

Where white blood cells are concerned, they are very fragile compared to red blood cells and often cannot live more than a few minutes on the slide, but as rasa dhatu is improved and the proper nutrients are provided for the white blood cells, their resilience and longevity improve, often far exceeding the stated life expectancies in textbooks. In fact, it is tempting to speculate that all cells are designed for immortality IF the proper conditions for survival are maintained, often, of course, by use of rasayana protocols.



Finally, recognizing that time is running out, one of the very important peripheral effects of the use of darkfield microscopy is that the microscope camera can be connected to an external monitor or computer so that patients can see the conditions in the blood that require correction. This has a tendency not only to foster a body-mind connection but also to improve compliance. This, at any rate has been the experience of the author. Patients are sometimes shocked when they realize how suboptimal their blood is, and they become eager to reverse potentially degenerative conditions in order to be healthy and free of debilitating disease.


Dr. Ingrid Naiman is an author and herbalist as well as darkfield microscopist with more than 45 years experience working in clinics.  She has her own line of herbs, about 50 web sites, and is the author of Cancer Salves: A Botanical Approach to Treatment.  She is the author of the abstract and paper and supplied the images and text for the poster. In addition, she hosts a membership site for researchers called DarkfieldStudies.com.  For additional information on the 50-year journey from seeker to author, please read the linked pdf.

Poster Credits:


Damien Francoeur


Ingrid Naiman

Photo Credits:
All photomicrographs were taken by Dr. Ingrid Naiman in Orselina, Switzerland, in August 2005 using a Nikon Eclipse 600 microscope and Sony DXC-S500 camera.


Second International Conference on Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha and Traditional Medicine, Institute of Indigenous Medicine, Colombo, Sri Lanka, 16-18 December 2014.


Dr. Indunil A. Weerarathne is a Sri Lankan Ayurvedic doctor with degrees in counseling as well as Ayurvedic medicine. She gave the presentation based on this paper at the above-mentioned conference.


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