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  • Grazie Prokopetz

How to know if you have blood deficiency

Updated: 5 days ago

First I'd like to introduce the concept of tissue formation in ayurveda. There are a total of 7 tissues and they're formed in this order: rasa (lymph), ratka (blood), mamsa (muscle), medda (fat) asthi (bone), majja (nerves) and shukra (reproductive). In simplified terms, the food we eat will form and nourish each of of those tissues in the order listed above. So if you have a deficiency in ratka, or blood, all the other 5 tissues formed after it will be deficient as well. In western medicine terms, a blood deficiency literally means reduced amount of red blood cells. 


❓This happens because of poor nutritional habits, excessive bleeding and in some diseases. Mental, physical, and emotional stress, excess worry, will cause and exacerbate this condition. In this post we will only cover the causes that pertain to diet and lifestyle. We will also not cover iron deficiency anemia as it is covered in another post (read about iron deficiency here). Excessive menstrual flow is also covered in another post (read here). Iron deficiency and blood deficiency anemias may be related or may be distinct issues. Some of the symptoms are shared in both conditions.  

A deficiency in kapha dosha, which is part of our structure, can also be the root cause or contribute to blood deficiency.


🔥 Low pitta dosha, which manifests as a decreased in the following: apetite, libido, stamina, cognition, focus, drive, energy, and more.

💅🏾 The half-moon shape in your nails, (located near the root of the nail) is not present in all 10 fingers 

👅 Your tongue is paler than usual. In deep anemia the tongue turns purplish

👁️ When you pull and look at the the inside your lower eyelid and it is more paler than usual

🥱 You are constantly tired and fatigue easily 

🥴 You feel dizzy and lightheaded and lack focus

🔥 Your digestive strength is weak and apetite is low or variable 

🩸 Delayed or absent menstruation

❄️ Cold hands and feet

🫁 Shortness of breath and heart palpitations

💉 Your red blood count is low in your bloodwork 


🌿 Licorice, amalaki, spirulina, arjurna, shilajit, shatavari, and angelica are very helpful in blood deficiency, but I will have to caution not to make continuous use of any herb without proper guidance, especially the last 3 on this list. Avoid bitter alteratives.

🫘 The most important thing you can do is eat blood-forming foods such as: black beans, beets, red meat, beef liver, bone broth, roots (especially yams) goji berry, red grapes.

🪫 Doing too much, as in physical or mental work will deplete your scarce resources, so pay attention to your energy levels, take it easy and rest as needed. Managing mental, physical and emotional stress is of the utmost importance.

🔥 Improve your agni (read more here). The irony here is that a low agni may result in blood deficiency and blood deficiency may result in low agni, so it becomes a vicious circle and tricky to treat, especially if we have to balance kapha dosha as well.

To a balanced life!


Grazie Prokopetz, Doctor of Ayurveda

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