Ayurveda categorizes herbs according to the dhatus or tissues upon which they work. It also contains a knowledge of special herbs and substances (minerals and metals) that work on the subtler tissues, including the nerve and reproductive tissues.
The semen or reproductive tissue is the essence of all bodily tissues and contains within itself not only the power of reproduction, but also that of rejuvenation. The essence of the semen, the cream of the body, is called Ojas, which means ‘that which invigorates.’ Ojas is thus the essence of the body, the substance of all hormonal secretions, and supports the auto-immune system.
The plant, like the human being, and the universe itself, is similarly composed of seven dhatus or seven planes. The juice of the plant is its plasma. The resin of the plant is its blood. The softwood is muscle. The gum is its fat. The bark is its bones. The leaves are its marrow and nerve-tissue. The flowers and fruit are its reproductive tissue. The flowering tree shows these tissues in their most developed state. The tree is to the plant world what the human being is to the animal kingdom.
The Dhatus of the plant work upon the corresponding Dhatus of the human body: its juice works upon our plasma; resin upon our blood; soft-wood upon our muscles; gum upon our fat; bark upon our bones; leaves upon our marrow/nerves; flowers/fruit upon our reproductive organs. The seeds of plants thus treat congenital diseases and dysfunctions by virtue of their affinity with our own seed and congenital root.
Plants similarly possess their own Ojas – the energy and love within their system. But, they can transmit Ojas when used with love. Remedies produced with love, even when not ‘therapeutically sound’, may work wonders. Love is the true healing force; herbs and other means are merely vehicles.
There are special herbs, like ashwagandha, which contain high amounts of Ojas, and special ways to prepare herbs which help to transmit them directly. Mantra and meditation are part of this process.
We can envision the plant as a human being and the human being as a plant, both composed of the seven Dhatus. In this meditation we harmonize the tissues of our body with great healing powers of nature.