Monday, December 22, 2008

Eight parts of Ayurveda


Dear Readers,

Radhekrishna to all!

Let us see the link between the discussion in our previous post with a western reference.

Hippocrates Aphorism (460 BCE)

“In every disease, it is a good sign when the patient’s intellect is sound and he enjoys his food; the opposite is a bad sign.”

This clearly shows the similarity in thinking between the eastern and western cultures in the field of medicine as far as the tests of cure are related. In the previous post we had mentioned about passage from Astanga-hrdaya, a book written by Vagbhata which also lays emphasis on the same point.

Now we shall take a look at some Sanskrit shloka’s which are from Indian books written on medicine and related topics. In this post let us look at a sloka which describes the “Eight Specialities in Ayurveda”:

Tasyaaurvedasyaangaanyastau tadyathaa
kaayachikitsaa saalaakyarn salyaapahartrkam
visagaravairodhikaprasamanam bhutavidya
kaumaarabhrtyakam rasaayanam vajikaranamiti

The parts of this Ayurveda are eight, they being internal medicine, relating to the upper branches of the ear, nose, throat and eye, surgery, toxicology, psychiatry, paediatrics, science of rejuvenation and the science of aphrodisiacs.

Source: Caraka-samhita, Sutra-sthaanam, Adhyayah 30, Paragraph 28 (1st Century BCE)

We will continue this thread in the next post.

Section II: Information on Indian herbs:

A herb that grows in Kashmir called as Gul Banafsha (Hindi) also known as Violet flowers in English and Viola Odorata (Latin). Its dried flowers are available everywhere in the country.

1. It is effective in fevers, catarrh, pleurisy, pneumonia and cough

2. A paste of flowers applied to the forehead also relieves headache

That concludes this post. Till the next forthnight Radhekrishna to all….

Sarvam Guruvaarpanam

Saturday, December 06, 2008

The test of cure in Ayurveda



Dear Readers,

We concluded the discussion on the five types of prana in our previous posting. This topic on the five types of pranas has been explained to our readers in a very detailed and simplified manner over the last 17 weeks. Hope the readers have enjoyed this topic.

Before we began the topic on “the five pranas”, we were explaining the tests in Ayurveda by which a physician used to ascertain whether a person had been cured of his illness or not. The Ayurveda test is simply what every single patient looks for and understands as relief from illness. These tests are health-centric and match well with the patients understanding of well being. The nature of the tests warrants the attending physician eliciting the status from the patient, as he cannot declare the patient cured through measurable parameters like temperature or blood pressure. 2000 yrs ago, at least in this land; our Bharatha Bhoomi, the doctors understood cure the same way as the patients did. These tests for discharging a patient as cured are relevant for illness of any kind.

Let’s begin a fresh topic for this fortnight. But before that let’s take a look at the paragraph below.

[A passage from Astanga-hrdaya, a book written by Vagbhata]
Handling the root cause:

“Sages know man as having his root in his mind and the branches below (i.e. the body is controlled by the mind). Therefore, a physician who strikes at the very root i.e. the mind, the crucial factor, in any disease whatsoever; would conquer the diseases more quickly.”

Source: Bhela-samhita.

From the above paragraph, it can be concluded that the test to check whether a patient has been cured of his illness was very simple and logical; unlike the tests carried out today.
We will look at a western reference to the above paragraph in our next post and then begin with a fresh topic.

Section II: Information on Indian herbs

The herb we will tell you about in this post is called as Bhinaula (Hindi) also known as Cotton seed in English and Gossypium Indioum in Latin. Its uses are as follows:

1. It is used as a part of cattle feed
2. It enhances milk yield
3. It is very good in cases of general debility, cough and asthma
4. It is an antidote for opium and dhatura poisoning

Till the next forthnight, radhekrishna to all the readers.

Sarvam Guruvaarpanam


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