In the present scenario, the available editions of Charaka Samhita contain eight Sthanas only. Charaka Samhita does not contain Uttara-Tantra like Sushruta Samhita and Samhitas of Vagbhata. On contrary, in the 12th chapter of Siddhi Sthana, Charaka has mentioned about Uttara-Tantra of Charaka Samhita. So, it is essential to emphasize on this issue, which was not explained in length by commentators of Charaka Samhita. Many controversies raised on the existence and recognition of Uttara-Tantra of Charaka Samhita. On the other hand, some scholars who belong to a later period have been mentioned certain references in their work, which are claimed to be from Uttara-Tantra of Charaka Samhita. After a thorough study and scanning of available literature, it is concluded that, Charaka Uttara-Tantra was existing up to the time of Nishchalakara (13th century AD). Nishchalakara has quoted a number of references in Ratnaprabha, which are from Uttara-Tantra of Charaka Samhita. Furthermore, there is a need to discuss about the existence of Uttara-Tantra of Charaka Samhita by further more detailed study and scanning of literatures of Ayurveda and allied literatures.
Chakrapanidatta; Charaka Samhita; Nishchalakara; Ratnaprabha; Tika; Uttara Tantra
Prameha (Diabetes) which has been a global problem is well described in the ancient Indian classics life the Vedas and the Ayurvedic works which ensued the Vedic period. In the present work, the authors have tried to focus the narrations on pramehas in Vedic literature with special reference to the “Kauchika Soothra” of Atharva Veda. A new hypothesis comparing the actions of pittatejas which is set free by the pitta dharakala with the actions of the hormones like insulin and glucagon is also discussed. The aetiopathogenesis of pramehas as described by the Ayurvedic authors with a glance to the therapeutic measures is also included in the study
History of medicine is a fascinating subject as it is a saga of man's struggle against disease. As the civilization advances and as the disease pattern changes, the medical science also changes. Ayurveda is the system of medicine that evolved in India with a rationale logical foundation and it has survived as a distinct entity from remote antiquity to the present day. The fundamentals on which the Ayurvedic system is based are essentially true for all times and do not change from are to age. These are based on human actors, on intrinsic causes. The origin of Ayurveda is attributed to Atharva Veda where mention is made several diseases with their treatments. Later, from the 6th Century BC to 7th Century AD there was systematic development of the science and it is called Samhita period, when a number of classical works were produced by several authors and during this period there is evidence of organized medical care.
Āyurveda, the science (ved) of life (ayu), owing its origin to Veda, the oldest recorded wisdom of human civilization written in 3500 BCE, contains extensive knowledge of various diseases and their therapeutic approaches. It essentially relied on nature and the immune system of an individual, and therapeutic interventions were introduced only to augment the immune system. Āyurveda had eight specialties, including psycho-neuroscience (a combination of psychology, clinical psychology and psychiatry) and a unique promotive therapy encompassing nutrition, rejuvenation and geriatrics. The symptoms of various brain disorders, including memory disorder, were well defined. The goal of Āyurveda was to help an individual to achieve his cherished goal of leading a healthy life of 100 years. To achieve this, great emphasis was laid on nutrition, diet and a good conduct by the two great exponents of Āyurveda viz. Carak and Suśruta. By following these regimens, an individual could lead a less stressful life free from emotional disturbances. Both Carak and Suśruta had believed that these in combination with rasayana (rejuvenating) plants could enable an individual to lead a healthy life of 100 years.
Āyurveda; nutrition; geriatrics; rejuvenation; Bacopa monniera; memory; Rasāyana
The practice of medical and surgical measures in the management of urological ailments prevailed in ancient India from the Vedic era around 3000 BC. Subsequently in the Samhita period, the two stalwarts - Charaka in medicine and Susruta in surgery elevated the art of medicine in India to unprecedented heights. Their elaboration of the etiopathological hypothesis and the medical and surgical treatments of various urological disorders of unparalleled ingenuity still remain valid to some extent in our contemporary understanding. The new generation of accomplished Indian urologists should humbly venerate the legacy of the illustrious pioneers in urology of our motherland.
History; India; urology
Origin of ancient Indian toxicology can be dated back to vedic literature. Toxins of both animate and inanimate world were very well understood during the era. Rig and Atharva vedic texts describe such details. After classifying such toxins, Charaka Samhitha, thebasic literature of Indian Medicine used gold and ghee as panaceas to counter act them. Ayurveda considers toxicology as one among the eight specialized branches of medical wisdom. Unfortunately, the available literature on this is very limited. Moreover, they have been discussed briefly in Charaka and Sushrutha Samhitha. Mangarasa I, a Jain scholar who lived on the foothills of the Western Ghats, in Southern India in 1350 A.D., felt this vacuum and composed an independent, elaborate Kannada text on toxicology. His less known text Khagendra Mani Darpana (KMD) is the first ever documented complete text on toxicology in the world. Medieval Indian wisdom on plant and animal diversities are very well reflected in this unique toxicological text. Centuries past to Linnean era, KMD gives vivid descriptions on zoological and botanical diversities of the time. This astonishing fact is an evidence of our ancestor's curiosities about the nature around them. A critical overview of the bio-diversity described in KMD text is discussed in this paper.
Biodiversity; Khagendra Mani Darpana; Toxicology
People in Indian region often apply Shankhpushpi and other Sanskrit-based common name to Evolvulus alsinoides, Convolvulus pluricaulis, Canscora decussata, and Clitorea ternatea. These are pre-European names that are applied to a medicinal plant. Before the establishment of British rule, like the other books, ayurvedic treatises were also hand written. This might be one of the reasons due to which ayurveda could not stand parallel to the western medicine and an ambiguity is reflected in the interpretation of names and description of drugs found in the books like Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita. The most widespread application of Shankhpushpi is for mental problems, but they have been considered for an array of other human maladies. The present investigation deals with the comparative pharmacognostical evaluation of four ethanobotanicals of Shankhpushpi. A comparative morphoanatomy of the root, stem, and leaves has been studied with the aim to aid pharmacognostic and taxonomic species identification. Various physicochemical, morphological, histological parameters, comparative high-performance thin-layer chromatography (HPTLC), and comparative high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), chromatogram of methanolic extract presented in this communication may serve the purpose of standard parameters to establish the authenticity of commercialized varieties and can possibly help to differentiate the drug from the other species. All the parameters were studied according to the WHO and pharmacopoeial guidelines.
Ethanobotanicals; HPLC; HPTLC; physiochemical; Shankhpushpi
Ayurveda the science of life, since its origin is serving the mankind throughout in health & disease state of life. Shalakyatantra, one of its specialized branch deals with the science of Ophthalmology, Otorhinolaryngology, Orodental surgery & Head; was contributed and developed by Rajrishi Nimi, the King of Videha, who was a colleague of Atreya, Punarvasu, Dhanwantri, Bharadwaja, Kashyapa etc. The available literature related to this speciality is reproduced from original text of Nimitantra in Uttartantra of Sushruta samhita. So Rajrishi Nimi deserves all the credit and regards for Shalakyatantra and for being the first eye surgeon on this earth. The fact regarding the technique of cataract surgery adopted by ancient surgeons is still a matter of debate. Most of the medical fraternity accepts cataract surgery of ancient surgeons as couching procedure but after going through forth coming pages, the prevailing concept will prove to be a myth. It started with extra capsular extraction through small incision during the period of Sushruta Samhita but later shifted to couching like technique by Acharya Vagbhatta. Secondly, the objective of this literary research paper is to find proper co-relation of the disease cataract to those mentioned in Ancient Ayurvedic classic. Linganasha has been inadvertently taken as cataract but this is neither logical nor in accordance with classics. We find detailed description of cataract's differential diagnosis, indications, contra- indications, pre/intra/post operative procedures and complication in ancient texts of Ayurveda. Not only this, vivid description of treatment of various complications of cataract surgery are also given. Needless to say, no other surgically treatable diseases & its complications except Kaphaja Linganasha are given this much attention.
Linganasha; Shalaka; Vedhana; Daivakrita; Lekhana; Aschyotana; Lepa; Seka
Iron is one among the major metals present in the earth's crust and is essential for sound sustenance of human body. Its deficiency leads to various health ailments. Contemporary medicine advises iron supplements in iron deficiency anemia. Ayurvedic classics also quote significant information about administration of iron. Lauha Kalpas are the unique compound herbo-mineral formulations where iron (Lauha) is used as a major ingredient. Relevant literature (Bhaishajya Ratnavali, Charaka Samhita, Rasendra Sara Samgraha etc.) reviewed to gather information about Lauha Kalpas. Critical analysis of these Lauha Kalpas reveals that ancient seers administered iron in a better acceptable form. Unlike popular understanding these are not only Khalviya preparations; but Churna (powders), Avaleha (confectionaries), Rasakriya (solidified decoctions), and Putapaka (incinerated) form of preparations are also found. Apart from solid dosage forms, semisolid dosage forms mentioned in classics are very much useful. Unfortunately most of the formulations are not found in the market. Hence Pharmaceutical firms may bring these unique dosage forms in to the market to supply the healthcare needs of the community. It is interesting that iron preparations are used in Ayurveda in different medical conditions apart from anemia (Pandu). This leaves a scope for further researches on different dosage forms of iron and their indications.
Ayurveda; Bhasma; Hematinics; Iron; Lauha Kalpa; pharmaceutics; Rasaushadhi
AGNIHOTRA is a simple vedic ritual of lightening a pyramid of fire in a small copper pot and giving offering of Ghee & Rice on this fire at the time of sunset and sunrise with enchanting of two mantras. It is reported to enhance the state of tranquility of mind and is reported to be of benefit to those addicted to various types of intoxicants. We used Agnihotra in a young smack addict who was poorly motivated and resisted all efforts to help him even when he got over the physical withdrawal features. The results were encouraging. Over a period of 4 weeks, we found him to be a totally changed man who could go back to his work without any drugs. Follow up for more than a year, revealed no recurrence and positive achievements in his work performance. The paper presents practice of Agnihotra, also known as homa therapy, and discusses its role in drug addiction.
The Ayurvedic system of medicine has stood the test of time for four millennia or more. The ancient seers found that drugs of different origin (herbal, metal or animal) in addition to codes of conduct and dietary regulations are suitable tools to maintain health in healthy and eradicating diseases in diseased. Use of metallic preparations in healthcare is a unique feature in this system. Processed metals including Mercury, Gold, Silver, Lead, Zinc, Copper etc. were used very frequently by seers of the Indian tradition in different disease conditions with great authority. It is generally claimed, that these metals are detoxified during the highly complex manufacturing processes described in Ayurvedic, especially Rasashastra texts. Charaka Samhita, one of the scheduled books of Ayurveda also holds ample of references regarding the use of metals for different purposes, which are summarized in the current paper.
Ayurveda; Charaka Samhita; lead; mercury; metals
This review focuses on a comprehensive and sophisticated system of natural medicine that appears to hold promise for prevention of chronic diseases and disabilities, loss of independence, suffering, and enormous health care costs often associated with ‘usual’ aging. We first discuss the negative impact of usual aging on our society, with its rapidly-growing percentage of elderly, and the challenge of how to promote “successful aging”. Emphasis is given to the research literature suggesting that Maharishi Vedic Medicine (MVM) is particularly effective in retarding ‘usual’ aging. Proposed mechanisms for the anti-aging effects of MVM include reductions in physiological and psychological stress and enhancement of homeostatic and self-repair processes. We conclude that this set of innovative strategies may help society achieve recommended health objectives for disease prevention and health promotion in older adults, and that wide-spread implementation of this self-empowering, prevention-oriented approach in the elderly is feasible, cost-effective and timely.
usual aging; successful aging; Vedic Medicine; health promotion; disease prevention
Calamus (Acorus calamus Linn., Araceae) rhizome synonymously called sweet flag or Vacha is an aromatic herb indigenous to Central Asia and Eastern Europe. It has been used by the Ayurvedic practitioners since time immemorial for diseases ranging from weakness of memory to being used as an anthelminthic. Reports of its use have been found in books like Charak Samhita, Sushruta Samhita, etc., The major constituent of the oil of Vacha is a phenyl propanoid called β-asarone, which is reported to show carcinogenic properties. Due to the toxic effects of β-asarone, sodhana prakriya (detoxification process) has been prescribed for Vacha before its inclusion in the Ayurvedic medicines. Shodhanaprakriya (S. prakriya) of Vacha has been mentioned in the Ayurvedic texts.
This study was undertaken with an aim to find out the mechanism involved in the S. prakriya of Vacha and also to suggest an alternate method for the conventional one.
Materials and Methods:
The conventional method was studied in the laboratory and equivalent alternate methods were designed based on the mechanism involved. Vacha samples were subjected to the conventional method as well as the alternate methods and the content of β-asarone in the different samples was monitored using Gas Chromatography technique.
Various alternate methods have been devised based on the mechanism involved in the S. prakriya which have given results comparable with those of the conventional method.
The scientific mechanism involved in the S. prakriya of Vacha has been established and alternate methods have been proposed.
Acorus calamus; β-asarone; Sodhana; Vacha
A Pilonidal sinus (PNS) occurs in the cleavage between the buttocks (natal cleft) and can cause discomfort, embarrassment and absence from work. It is more common in men (as they have more hair) than in women. The most commonly used surgical techniques for this disorder include excision and primary closure and excision with reconstructive flap. However, the risk of recurrence or of developing an infection of the wound after the operation is high. Also, the patient requires longer hospitalization, and the procedure is expensive. There is a similarity between Shalyaj Nadi Vran described in Sushruta Samhita and Pilonidal sinus. Sushruta has advocated a minimally invasive para-surgical treatment, viz., Kshar Sutra procedure, for nadi vran. Hence this therapy was tried in Pilonidal sinus, and is described in this case report. Kshar Sutra treatment not only minimizes complications and recurrence but also enables the patient to resume work quicker and with less discomfort, impact upon body image and self-esteem as well as reduced cost.
Pilonidal sinus; Shalya Tantra; Nadi Vrana chikitsa; Kshar Sutra
The ancient Vedic texts Provides us with valuable information and guide lines on various multi-faced aspects of human life. The present discussion is limited to the medical treatment and medicinal charms mentioned in the Atharvanic literature with specific consideration to Kausikasutra for better understanding of the rites and actions mentioned in Atharvanaveda.
Pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) is an age old disease described in Vedic Medicine as ‘Yakshma’. Later on, in Ayurveda it earned a prefix and found way into mythology as ‘Rajayakshma’. After the discovery of streptomycin, the therapeutic management of PTB received a major breakthrough. The treatment module changed remarkably with the formulation of newer anti-tubercular drugs (ATD) with appreciable success. Recent resurgence of PTB in developed countries like United States posed a threat to the medical community due to resistant strains. Consequently, WHO looked toward traditional medicine. Literature reveals that Ayurvedic treatment of PTB was in vogue in India before the introduction of ATD with limited success. Records show that 2766 patients of PTB were treated with Ayurvedic drugs in a tertiary care hospital in Kolkata in the year 1933-1947.
To evaluate the toxicity reduction and early restoration by adjunct therapy of Ayurvedic drugs by increasing the bio-availability of ATDs.
Materials and Methods:
In the present study, treatment response of 99 patients treated with ATD as an adjunct with Aswagandha (Withania somnifera) and a multi-herbal formulation described in Chikitsa-sthana of Charaka samhita i.e. Chyawanprash were investigated. Hematological profile, sputum bacterial load count, immunoglobulin IgA and IgM, blood sugar, liver function test, serum creatinine were the assessed parameters besides blood isoniazid and pyrazinamide, repeated after 28 days of treatment.
The symptoms abated, body weight showed improvement, ESR values were normal, there was appreciable change in IgA and IgM patterns and significantly increased bioavailability of isoniazid and pyrazinamide were recorded.
This innovative clinical study coupled with empowered research may turn out to be promising in finding a solution for the treatment of PTB.
Adjunct therapy; anti-tubercular drugs; Ayurveda; tuberculosis
Soil compaction adversely influences most terrestrial ecosystem services on which humans depend. This global problem, affecting over 68 million ha of agricultural land alone, is a major driver of soil erosion, increases flood frequency and reduces groundwater recharge. Agricultural soil compaction has been intensively studied, but there are no systematic studies investigating the extent of compaction in urban ecosystems, despite the repercussions for ecosystem function. Urban areas are the fastest growing land-use type globally, and are often assumed to have highly compacted soils with compromised functionality. Here, we use bulk density (BD) measurements, taken to 14 cm depth at a citywide scale, to compare the extent of surface soil compaction between different urban greenspace classes and agricultural soils. Urban soils had a wider BD range than agricultural soils, but were significantly less compacted, with 12 per cent lower mean BD to 7 cm depth. Urban soil BD was lowest under trees and shrubs and highest under herbaceous vegetation (e.g. lawns). BD values were similar to many semi-natural habitats, particularly those underlying woody vegetation. These results establish that, across a typical UK city, urban soils were in better physical condition than agricultural soils and can contribute to ecosystem service provision.
soil compaction; urbanization; greenspace; ecosystem services; urban ecology; land-use change
The Blue Nile (Abay) Highlands of Ethiopia are characterized by significant interannual climate variability, complex topography and associated local climate contrasts, erosive rains and erodible soils, and intense land pressure due to an increasing population and an economy that is almost entirely dependent on smallholder, low-input agriculture. As a result, these highland zones are highly vulnerable to negative impacts of climate variability. As patterns of variability and precipitation intensity alter under anthropogenic climate change, there is concern that this vulnerability will increase, threatening economic development and food security in the region. In order to overcome these challenges and to enhance sustainable development in the context of climate change, it is necessary to establish climate resilient development strategies that are informed by best-available Earth System Science (ESS) information. This requirement is complicated by the fact that climate projections for the Abay Highlands contain significant and perhaps irreducible uncertainties. A critical challenge for ESS, then, is to generate and to communicate meaningful information for climate resilient development in the context of a highly uncertain climate forecast. Here we report on a framework for applying ESS to climate resilient development in the Abay Highlands, with a focus on the challenge of reducing land degradation.
climate change; adaptation; resilience; land degradation; erosion
Amorphophallus paeoniifolius is used for long period in various chronic diseases therapeutically. Aim of the current review is to search literature for the pharmacological properties, safety/toxicity studies, pharmacognostic studies and phytochemical investigation of Amorphophallus paeoniifolius tuber. The compiled data may be helpful for the researchers to focus on the priority areas of research yet to be discovered. Complete information about the plant has been collected from various books, journals and Ayurvedic classical texts like Samhitas, Nighantus etc. Journals of the last 20 years were searched. Particulars of pharmacological activities, phytochemical isolation, toxicity studies etc. were extracted from the published reports focussing on the safety profile of the plant. Safety of the whole plant was concluded in the review.
Amorphophallus paeoniifolius; areaceae; phytopharmacological review; safety
Polyhedral formulations based on Rasayana therapy described in Charaka Samhita showed remarkable improvement in quality of life of various cancer patients who have been found to be refractory or poor responders to modern chemotherapy and radiation treatment. One of the most recent novel herbomineral preparation, Las01 prepared absolutely as per the instruction given in the ancient Ayurvedic literature has been found to be effective as a potent anticancer drug in the human cell lines, the MCF-7 and Hela cancer cell lines. This novel preparation of Las01 is also found to be devoid of toxicity both in animals as well as in human subjects, which is the main drawback of chemotherapeutic agents used in modern system of medicine. Our results warrant multicentric clinical trials on a large scale which seems to be a future promising drug to cure incurables cancer patients.
Ayurveda refers to bronchial asthma as Tamaka Swasa and it is well explained in Charaka Samhita. It contributes several modalities of the treatment for Swasa roga(asthma). Among all modalities of treatment, polyherbal combinations are said to be well-accepted, safe and effective in asthma. A study was carried out in 40 patients of either sex in between the age of 15-65 years to assure the clinical response of Padmapatradi yoga in bronchial asthma (Tamaka Swasa) at P.G. department of Kayachikitsa, D.G.M. Ayurvedic Medical College, Gadag, Karnataka. The sum total properties of Padmapatradi yoga is tikta katu rasa, laghu and tikna guna (light and penetrating properties), ushna virya (hot potency) and vatakaphagna (decrease vata and kapha dosa) Padmapatradi yoga is effective in increased peak expiratory flow rate, breath holding time, and reduces the absolute eosinophil count of studied cases and also found statistically highly significant at p<0.001 level. The drug is quite safe and acts as a bronchodilator, antihistaminic and anti-inflammatory.
Breath holding time; bronchial asthma; dysponea; forced expiratory volume; Padmapatradi yoga; peak expiratory flow rate; Tamaka Swasa; vital capacity
Dhatryarishta has been described for the first time in Charaka Samhita, in the context of Panduroga. The same reference is available in Chakradatta, Bhaishajya Ratnavali, and Sahastrayogam too. Generally Dhatri Swarasa [Amalaki (Emblica officinalis Gaertn.)] is used in the preparation of Dhatryarishta as per classical reference, but fresh Amalaki is not available in every season, so in the present study, Amalaki Kwatha (decoction) is used instead of Swarasa. A total of 13 batches of Dhatryarishta were prepared, out of which nine batches were prepared with Dhatri Swarasa and four batches with Dhatri Kwatha. For Dhatryarishta prepared by using Dhatri Swarasa, three methods were applied and in Dhatryarishta prepared by using Dhatri Kwatha two methods were applied. The study revealed that Dhatryarishta could only be prepared by using Amalaki Swarasa as quoted in the classics and not by using Amalaki Kwatha.
Dhatri; Dhatryarishta; Kwatha; Panduroga; Swarasa
Bhattar Harichandra was the first commentator who wrote ‘Charakanyasa’ commentary on Charaka Samhita after completion of redaction process by Dridhabala. Two manuscripts of this commentary are available with number 9290 and 13092 in Asiatic Society of Kolkata and Government East Library, Chennai respectively. Yadavji opines that Bhattar Harichandra belongs to the period of Chandragupta – II (375 A.D. – 413 A.D.) while Acharya Priyavrat Sharma considers the period of Yashodharaman (6 A.D.) as the period of Bhattar Harichandra. As far as external evidence is considered Banabhatta another notable Sanskrit poet quoted Bhattar Harichandra in his work Harshacharitam. Banabhatta was contemporary to Chandragupta. Charaka Samhita enjoyed much reputation during Chandragupta Mourya – II period. Agnivesha Tantra was redacted during the period of Kanishka (2 A.D.) and then onwards it was referred by titles like Sahasanka and Vikramaditya. Among Navaratna (Nine gems), Shanku and Vaitala Bhatta are included. But in the authors opinion it should be commented as “Shankuvaitala” and “Bhatta”. The name Bhatta in his context may be referring to Bhattar Harichandra. Based on the external evidences it may be concluded that Bhattar Harichandra was contemporary to Chandragupta period i.e. 375 A.D. – 413 A.D. (4th to 5th century).
This paper was presented at the International Workshop on mantras and ritual diagrams in Hinduism, held in Paris, 21-22 June1984. The complete text in French, which appeared in the Journal asiatique 1986, p.203, is based upon an analysis of Ayurvedc literature from ancient times down to the present and of numerous Sanskrit sources concerning he specialized sciences: alchemy and latrochemisry, veterinary medicine as well as agricultural and horticulture techniques.
Many Pratinidhi Dravyas in Ayurvedic classics are mentioned and certainly are based on a methodical approach, which involves many aspects. These principles on which Pratinidhis were decided are quoted nowhere; so both to understand the established Pratinidhis and to find new ones a rational approach is the need of the hour. This article is an effort in the direction to study this concept meticulously in light of modern techniques for its better understanding and application. As there are very few established parameters, which help for selection and evaluation of Pratinidhi Dravyas. A rational technique like Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy may be incorporated to set a new dimension. As most of the routine analytical techniques are separation based, overall component load cannot be predicted. Thus, it is prime necessity to compare the drugs with a whole aspect, which goes in hand by hand with a holistic approach of Ayurveda “Treat the man as Whole – Take the drug as whole.”
Ayurveda; Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy; Pratinidhi Dravya