PDF | Nearly two hundred Ayurvedic drugs of plant origin have bee introduced in he Unani material medica, the names of most of the drugs have been adopted. 5 days ago Request PDF on ResearchGate | The materia medica of ayurveda | Traditional systems of medicine make use of a wide spectrum of natural. DR. K. M. NADKARNI'S. INDIAN. MATERIA. MEDICA. With Ayurvedic, Unani- Tibbi, Siddka,.4ttopathic,. Homeopathic, Naturopathic &- Home Remedies.
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AYURVEDIC DRUGS IN UNANI MATERIA MEDICA. M. Ali Full Text. The Full Text of this article is available as a PDF (K). Materia Medica of Ayurveda - Ebook download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read book online. Some idea about the depth of knowledge the system possesses in the field of mineral, materia medica can be formed from the detailed drug.
Directory of Indian Medicinal Plants. Anonymous Chopra, Chopra, Handa 9. Indigenous Drugs of India and. Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants. Chopra, Nayar and. Dravyaguna Siddhanta Dhayani The Wealth of India Krishnamurthy Drug Plants of India Agarwal Encyclopedia of India Medicine Rao Indian Materia Medica Nadkarni Indian Medicinal Plants Kirtikar and Basu The Wealth of India Anonymous Classical use of Medicinal Plants Sharma A Handbook of Dravyaguna Ojha Dravyaguna Siddhanta Dhyani Materia Medica of Ayurveda Dash Pharmacographia Indica Dymock, Warden and Hooper It shows recent work on Indian medicinal plants.
Nomenclature of medicinal plants in Ayurveda Medicinal plants in Ayurveda have several Sanskrit names and synonyms ranging from two to many. The scholars classified medicinal plants mostly on basis of morphological and organoleptic characters. Ashwagandha, the name has been derived from smell of the plant resembling that of horse stool.
Sarpagandha has been derived from serpentine shape of roots. Dughdpheni has been derived because of the milky latex present in the drug. Some drugs used in Ayurveda are of controversial origin and the ancient knowledge can be of great help in naming the plants according to taxonomic standards.
Even the phytochemicals derived from medicinal plants are named according to its biological source; examples are jatamansone and shankhpushpine. Groups of drugs used in Ayurveda In Ayurveda, medicinal plants have been classified according to pharmacological action. Charaka has described drugs in group for alleviating diseases. Like arshoghana contains ten drugs having beneficial effect in hemorrhoids See Charaka Samhita or Text book of Dravyaguna for details.
Another method adopted by Charaka, is based on collection of three or more plants having identical properties in one group. Gana in Ayurveda signifies groups. Major drug groups of Ayurveda are discussed below: Brahatpanchmula: It is combination of roots of five medicinal plants including Bilva Aegle marmelos , Agnimantha Premna integrifolia , Shoynaka Oroxylum indicum , Gambhari Gmelina arborea , and Patla Sterospermum suaveolens.
Laghupanchmula: It is combination of roots of five medicinal plants including Shalaparni Desmodium gangeticum , Prishparni Uraria picta , Brahati Solanum indicum , Kantkari Solanum xanthocarpum , and Gokshura Tribulus terrestris. Triphala: It is combination of fruits of three medicinal plants including Haritaki Terminalia chebula , Vibithaka Terminalia belerica , and Amalaki Emblica officinalis.
Trikatu: It is combination of three medicinal plants including Pipali Piper longum , Maricha Piper nigrum and Sunthi Zingiber officinale.
Chaturushana: It is combination of Trikatu and Pipalimoola roots of Piper longum. Shadushna: It is combination of Panchkola and Maricha Piper nigrum. Chaturabeeja: It is combination of seeds of four medicinal herbs. Jivnayagana: It is combination of Ashtavarga, Masaparni Teramnus labialis , Mudgaparni Phaseolus trilobus , Jivanti Leptadenia reticulata and yastimadhu Glychyrrhiza glabra.
Ashtavarga: Group of eight medicinal plants including Jivaka Melaxis mucifera , Rishbhaka Melaxis acuminata , Meda Botanical identity is not clear , Mahameda Polygonum verticillatum , Kakoli Roscoea purpuera , Ksihra-kakoli Paris polphylla , Riddhi Hebenaria intermedia and Vriddhi Hebenaria edegwothi. Panchtikta: It is combination of Brahati Solanum indicum , Giloy Tinospora cordifolia , sunthi Zingiber officinale , pushkarmula Saussurea lappa , and chirata Swertia chirata.
Dravyaguna in modern age Critical study of Dravyaguna is essential for exploring its full strength.
Drugs derived from Indian medicinal plants, either single or polyherbal, have been subjected to animal preclinical testing and promising results have been published in indexed journals.
Several coded formulations have been screened for large scale clinical trials. Dravyaguna has definite role to offer as far discovery of novel leads and hits are discovered. A fraction of plants described in Indian Materia Medica has been scientifically tested.
Scenario for Dravyaguna is changing and it has become an interdisciplinary rather than conventional subject. Recently bioinformatics tools have been applied for integrating Indian medical knowledge at one platform.
Dravyaguna has made significant contribution to the Herbal Materia Medica. One way of mapping the sovereignty of an alternate tradition is to trace the anomalies that creep into an alleged translation, and thenceforth to trace the recurrence of the same anomaly in later texts. Gangadhar Roy's41 Chorok Shomhita is held to be the first Bengali redaction of the text. But in , A. Hoernle42, an Orientalist scholar of Ayurbedic anatomy had pointed out that there were severe discrepancies between the number of bones described as comprising the human body in the available Sanskrit MSS of Chorok and the redaction of Gangadhar.
Comparing most of the late 19th Century Bengali translations to these lists, we find that despite minor differences there is a close adherence to Gangadhar's version. In fact most of the discrepancies in the Gangadhar translation re-appear in these later texts. Looking at Shotish Chondro Shorma's B. SholakaAsroyand Prishtho, instead of the single set in Chorok; there is also an anal bone called Gujhyo, which again is lacking in the original; similarly again a cluster of two bones called Kurcho are mentioned which are absent in Chorok's text; also present are 2 cheek bones called Gondo, three nasal bones called Ghonaland 17 breast bones, all of which though present 24 The Calcutta Historical Journal.
July - December in Gangadhar are absent in Chorok. Though Gangadhar's version appeared in , Obinash Chondro Kobirotno's44 edition in , Debendronath and Upendronath Sengupto's45 edition in , and subsequently another edition in , all restate the same figure. Clearly, the repetition of the same errors over and over again point to a significant degree of inter-textuality, if not the existence of an alternate and un-stated canon. In fact this alternate canon became so far hegemonic by the end of the nineteenth century that when Jibonanondo Bidyasagor, whose version of the text had been true to the original, released a second edition in , he changed it to match the set proposed by Gangadhar, apoligising for the errors in the earlier edition.
Another aspect of these texts which are of seminal importance but shows considerable variations are the renditions of the Tridosh pathology. In , Vaidyaratna Captain G. This became a sort of canon for all later committees appointed for similar purposes and was not only appended to the Report of the Government of India Committee in , but also got its author co-opted as a member of the said Committee. In the memorandum Murti outlines the fundamentals of the Ayurbedictradition.
While discussing the Ayurbedic theory of pathology, Murti writes, The three Dhatus knwon as Vata, Pitha and Kapha are the three elementary and fundamental units or principles on which the building and sustenance of the body depend When they are in normal equilibrium, it is healthy; and ill-health when they are not, in which case the Dhatus are technically known as Doshes literally Faults; this is because in this condition they give rise to Faults or ill-health in the body.
Also noteworthy here is the fact that Doshes and Dhatus are essentially identical. What in its normal condition of equilibrium is called a Dhatu, becomes a Dosh when it is in the unnatural condition of dis-equilibrium.
On the other hand in Shotish Chondro's text for example, it is said, Depending on the type of their actions, there are three types of substances. Some substances are such that, by their effect, they bring the three Doshes Doshthroy namely, Baayu, Pittwo and Kaaph into equilibrium.
Some other are such that their effect give rise to Doshes in Dhatus such as Blood Rokto John Marshall, who visited Bengali Ayurbed: Texts and Practices 25 India in the 17th Century for instance is told by Nilkanth, a 'doctor from Hughli' that there are seven Dhatus which are distinct from the Doshes.
Yet elsewhere Marshall is told, that there are seven Dhatus and they are identical with the Doshes, since each Dhatu has a corresponding Dosh. Though usually Dhatus are rarely used as diagnostic indices, occasionally even this happens. Wise for instance, who asw we know depnded mainly on Bengali interlocutors such as, AbhaycharanTarapanchanan and Madhusudan Gupta, to arrive at a comprehensive view of mid-nineteenth century Ayurbed, notes that, When the principal humours dhatus are deranged, the disease is called by the name of othe humour affected; such as rasaja chyle Yet even here, when they are indeed used as diagnostic causes, they are no longer treated as being composed of other doshes.
Thus this much at least is safe to contend that, even those interpretations of classical theory that did in fact use the shoptodhatus as diagnostic causes, still continued to equate doshes and dhatus.
The distinction posited by Shotish Chondro, is hence completely novel as is the subsequent relationship of inherence of the dosh in the dhatu.
In the Bengali texts we repeatedly find this laxity in the use of technical terms. Yet there remains a second possible reading of Shotish Chondro's formulation i.
This reading too in fact has a genealogy of its own as can be seen from the following comments of T. Wise,49 who significantly collected his material, from Bengali interlocutors and even his footnotes are occasionally given in the Bangla script. According to Wise, The air vayu , bile pitta , and phlegm kofa , are the three pillars or supports of the system Could it be then that 'blood' as a humour was appropriated from Unani Tibb? Though a seductively easy solution, there are other facts to be considered.
Comparing the usage of Katyayana and Patanjali on the doshes with the usage to be found in the Buddhist Pali canon Hartmut Scharfe has mentioned that, "though Katyayana and Patanjali share the expressions vatika, paittikas, slaismika and sannipatika with the classical medical texts, the meanings of these terms do not match exactly those found 26 The Calcium Historical Journal.
Later still from around the middle of the 6th Century A. The manuscripts contain three medicinal tracts. While one might argue that phlegm and wind are undesirable intruders phlegm was not listed as part of the body in the older Vedic ritual texts, though it was in the Satapatha- brahmana and in Buddhist texts , this cannot be said about bile, which has always been considered part of a healthy body [i.
The ambiguous role of the blood - often lining up with the dosas while frequently listed as one of the bodily elements dhatus -has been discussed by several later Ayurvedic authors.
It is well beyond the scope of this paper to investigate if the divergence between the Pali canon and the conceptions of Katyayana and Patanjali, was caused due to the regional differences or difference in dialects. Yet the fact that there were alternative views available within the Ayurbedic tradition, which has strong similarities with the Unani tradition, may point towards a complex process of mimetic legitimation.
A unilinear developmental model is premised on there being discrete and unified traditions in contact with one another from which mutual borrowing may take place through various dialogic transactions. An alternate model to conceptualise similarities between different traditions which exist in close proximity to each other would be to see all traditions as being comprised of plural possibilities.
Locked in close proximity these traditions might then accent those readings which are common to both, in an attempt to derive legitimation from each other. The neighbouring traditions are thus locked into a mimetic vertigo, where each incorporate elements of each other's narratives thus mutually drawing legitimation from each other.
Elsewhere again, while discussing the action and growth of Baathic fever, one of the eight types of fevers recognised by the Ayurbedic tradition, Shotish Chondro writes, The effected Baayu then enters into the stomach amashoy and combines with the digestive fire jothoraagni , henceforthe it depends upon the first product of the digestive process i. Texts and Practices 27 What then is the relation posited between the Dhatu and the dosh?
It is definitely not one of the former being constituted or made up by the later. For then how can the dosh 'depend' upon the dhatu? Not only do we have yet another example here of the extremely loose usage of the word Dhatu, but more importantly there is talk of the disease causing the effected or polluted Baayu actually "entering' the stomach and then moving to different places in the body from thereon.
But as we have heard Murti tell us, Vayu is supposed to be an elementary and fundamental building block of the body. What then does it mean to talk of its as entering here or leaving there? Is it not then being visualised as a localised agent causing disease?
We do not wish to argue here that the idea of a motile Baayu was novel to Ayurbed in the late 19th century, indeed Dr. Arthur Ewing had spokent of five vital breaths mentioned in the Yajur and Atharva Veda way back in What was novel was the attempt to use the language of plural winds to communicate ideas of a localised malady within the body, rather than a generalised malady caused by an imbalance of the three doshes.
Instead of speaking terms of ill-health caused by an imbalance in the body's constituents, it suggests a series of mobile but definitely localised sites that are stimulated to an extent whre their potential malevolence becomes activated and then circulates through various paths to different parts of the body causing ill-health. Consider for example this archetypical formulation from Saroda Choron Sen's B.
Since it is when they get mischievous taht the body is polluted. When they are mischievous to the point whre thay can cause disease the three doshes travel by various paths to different pahs of the body, and give rise to ill-health and suffering While this might be true for the Ayurvedic practices studied by her, it is in need of the Ayurbedic discourse of colonial Bengali Ayurbed to localise pathogens in an anatomical space i.
Further this anatomical space was not identical to the 28 The Calcutta Historical Journal. July - December anatomical space of the bio-medical tradition. Another important qualification to keep in mind in this regard is the fact that denotative speech which localises its referent in an anatomical space can still be metaphorical in describing its referents, such as, for example, in the case of the pulse, where while the three doshes to be felt in the act of diagnosis are clearly described metaphorically, the language is still denotative in giving detailed and localised directions as to where and how to feel for the doshes.
In fact the large-scale use of birechon purges and bomon vomiting , further suggests a clear division between the anatomical space and the outer space.
In fact, zysk commenting on the development of anatomical knowledge in Ayurbed has mentioned that despite efforts of scholars such as Hoernle and Filliozat, it is difficult to identify the exact organs known to the authors of the Sutras B. Though the Charok Shomhita technically predates the Shushruto, yet the extant versions of the Chorok are mostly held to be dating at best from the 8th Century, when Dhrirabal62 redacted and substantially added to the original, further we have already seen that the Chorok used in Bengal was Gongadhor Ray's version which displayed defintie evidence of having been shaped and influenced by someone who was conversant with the Shushruto text.
Such a conclusion is supported by the use of reletively specialised Shushrotoisms such as the word Kurcho to designate a cluster of bones. Langford has argued that, the division betweent he inner anatomical space of the body and the external space is not only central to the bio-medical discouse but also allegorical of the sort of spatial arrangement that marks the modern nation-state with defintie boundaries.
Unfortunately, in this case Langford seems to have fallen prey to the impulse towards describing Ayurbed as an absolute and diametric opposite of bio-medicine. Though admittedly Ayurbedic bodies are indeed often fluidly connected to their environments, an absolute difference at the conceptual level between all forms of Ayurbed and bio-medicine seems to warrant some qualification. In fact insinuating perhaps what we have called 'mimetic legitimation' Langford too has spoken of the attempts to translate Ayurbed as 'science,' thus stressing the continuity with bio-medical forms at one level.
What she seems to be describing when she, Bengali Ayurbed: Texts ami Practices 29 after compairng the practices of three contemporary practitioners of Ayurbed in enframing the body mentions that "each of these physicians resist modern forms of knowledge at different levels What we designate as 'dialectic legitimation' is a mode of presentation of a medical praxis that draws legitimation by asserting its radical opposition to another medical praxis.
Both 'dialectic' and 'mimetic' forms of legitimation are then tied into a relationship of mutuality with proximate alternative praxes.
Yet while 'dialectic' forms of legitimation seem more symptomatic of the post-colonial contemporary praxes that Langford studies and which cater increasingly by her own affirmation to a growing niche for 'alternative' medicines; 'mimetic legitimation' seems more typical of the colonial period.
It is cogent though to remind ourselves how easy it is to over-estimate the role of the Tridosh pathology in Ayurbed. In fact in certain ways it is this over- estimation that has largely contributed to the reading of Ayurbed at text rather than as practice. Wilson, for instance, wrote in the Transactions of the Medical and Physical Society of Calcutta in that 'treatises on individual diseases were unknown to Hindu medicine' and that they always sought to construct a system.
The first are a set such as Horolal Gupto's67 Ayurbed Bhashabhidan which attempts to establish a common language of nomenclature for the various drugs and drug substances while the second are typified by Nogendronath Sengupto's Drobyoguun Shikkha and sought to exhaustively list all elements that one was likely to come into contact with and acquaint one with their Ayurbedic composition in terms of three Ayurbedic quasi-humours i.
Baath, Pittwo and Kaaph.
Both genres share at least a morphological similarity with the Materia Medicas of the West'. Gupto's text was first published in B. In the preface to his first edition, Gupto had written that, These days most Auyrbedic texts tend to follow the language in use in Calcutta. This is usually the cause for great constenation for the lay practitioner of Ayurbedic 30 The Calcutta Historical Journal.
July December medicine. They tend to get their training in one particular district and learn the names of the herbs in that district's language, but then because of various exigencies have to move to another district where the herbs are known by another name.
The translations available are not always accurate, and it is to eradicate this grave impediment that I have undertaken to write this book.
Clearly then the material trappings of modernity i. But more importantly for us, it also pointed towards the hegemonic gesture made by a Calcutta- based nomenclatorial system towards a plethora of localised registers of names. In the third edition of his text Gupto includes a strikingly modern classificatory system for arranging herbs, according to whether they bear flower or not, the type of roots, the type of leaves etc.
There are lists of names, in different languages, followed by a physical description of the plant in terms of the type of leaves, flowers, appearance, height etc. Of course the names in the English texts are given in provincial languages such as Bengali, Tamil, Hindi etc.
Similarly, the texts referred to in the former are those of a host of earlier writers such as de O'rta, Royle, O'Shaughnessy etc. Michel Forcault, while recounting the defining moment of 'natural history'promulgated by scholars like Linnaeus,68 described its arangement of discourse according to the following plan: All the language deposited upon things by time is pushed back into the very last category, in a sort of supplement in which discourse is allowed to recount itself and record discoveries, traditions, beliefs, and poetical figures.
The difference between the earlier English texts and the Bengali ones lay only in the fact that, the litteraria had diferent referents. A case perhaps not only of mimetic legitimation but also of a form of culture politics similar to nationalism, which, while sharing its form with the colonial project, sought to invoke other pasts and differnt memories. Interestingly Gupto further writes, The number of pollens in each flower vary.
Some experts on plants have attempted to classify them according to the number of pollens in each. Even some Aryan seers are said to have attempted to have done this. Today though such practices are hardly deemed necessary, and hence I too have decided against including them here.
Hengali Awtrhed. Texts anil Tim li, es 31 A clear indication of the debate in botany about the natural and the Linnaean systems of plant classification, which is once again mimetically incorporated into an 'Aryan' past. Significantly though this past is one which can apparently be selectively used, and the selection further can take place along a simple criterion of 'current usage'.
Both these figures are easily discerned in Nogendronath's70 text as well. Though perhaps, Nogendronath is even bolder than Gupto in articulating the need for innovation. This text was first published ten years after Gupto's in B. In the preface to the first edition, Sengupto writes, There is enough advice regarding the qualities that constitute various substances, in the classical texts of Ayurbed.
Not only a blade of grass but also precious gems of all kinds and even rice, lentils, loochis and shondesh i. Yet the things that modern science have brought to our doorstep today, were not known at the time of the last compilation of the classics, and henco are not dealt with. Hence, our curiosity today can no longer be sateisfied by merely studying the ancient texts. There is both the attempt to establish an alternate tradition as well as a selective and eclectic use of older traditions to do the same, though both attempts are, as in Gupto's text couched in an idiom of revival and retrieval from ancient Ayurbed.
Yet there is another interesting aspect in which Nogendronath's text points to the emerging local tradition of Ayurbed. We have already seen how in the more philosophically oriented 'so-called' translations there were two different forms of humoural theory available.
While the one saw all reality to be constituted of the same basic elements and an imbalance in their composition led to ill-health, there was on the other hand a quasi-humoural theory in which the diseases were themselves a sort of exrternal contagion that intruded the individuated body and thereby caused illness, through the circulation of mobile but localised agencies of malevolence.
In the latter too, there is talk of the same three humours Baath, Pittwo and Kaaph, but the meanings given to them are quite different. In Nogendronath's text too we find this discrepancy. He does not describe in practice what he promises to do in the preface, viz. What he actually does is in fact state what effect these have on the individual patient's humours.
Consider for example his description of Othibisha Acontium Heterophyllum. This Acontium Heterophyllum yields a strong bitter juice, which raises body heat, and is effective in Kaaph. Diarrhoea, Cough, Puking, Poisoning and Sleshmic complaints July December 21X15 texts in merely a synonym of Kaaph Phlegm.
Further the use of medicines in Nogendronath's text is not as agents that redress humoural imbalances but much rather as curatives that address a contagion marked by complaints such as fever, diarrhoea, cough, vomiting etc. Yet diseases caused by causes other than 'humoural imbalance," are not new to Ayurbed. Scharfe commenting on Zysk's views on the matter state that, "Zysk rightly stresses the continuity between early Buddhist and early Ayurvedic medicine, in that wind, bile and phlegm - or a combination of these - are causes of many ailments, though in several instances ailments are not traced to any of these three.
Though obvisoiusly Nogendronath's disease categories are not derived from these ancient non-humoural diseases, it points once again to the existence of various conceptual strands within the Ayurbedic tradition, which allowed for variant localized readings to emerge in keeping with the dynamics of mimetic legitimation. It also serves to pre-empt us from construction of hasty lineages whereby concepts and ideas were 'borrowed' in a linear movement from an 'other'tradition.
There is another third set of texts, which sits somewhat awkardly with the preceding two sets of lists. The corpus of texts known as Bhoishoj Rotnaboli, claim both to be translated from an older Sanskrit work, and yet it is largely a list of prescriptions, with hardly any discussion of the theorty of disease or symptomatology as such.
In the preface to his B. Umesh Chondro Bhottacharjyo writes about the text, A renowned ancient Kobiraj by the name of Gobindo Das had written this text. By the strength of his erudition, he had written the work entirely in Bengali, since then this work has been the favourite of all Boidyos. It has been passed down from Gurus to their disciples in hand written form. Perhaps it is because of this and mistakes made while copying it out, that there are several discrepancies about the true contents of the text What is noteworthy here is the existence of local texts which too were occasionally incorporated within the emerging canon through print.
There are a large number of prescriptions in the text that openly refute the humoural or indeed quasi-humoural pretensions of the Ayurbedic tradition. The fevers are here not divided into the eight types listed according to humoural theories of Ayurbed, instead they are split into old, new and middling fevers, depending on how long ago one contracted it.
Further there are a host of prescriptions which are like elixirs; that is that they are said to work on a host of complaints, regardless of the cause or specificity of the malady, somewhat like the patent medicines of the day. About the Mrityunjoy Rosh, a particular prescription for instance it is said, The Mrityunjoy Rosh is effective for all diseases withoiut exception.
Therefore it is the cause of the name and fame of the physician who uses it. Hennali Ayurbed l-'rames. II in most unqualified acclaim though is reserved fro Mercury.
Baayu, Pittwo, Kaaph; or indeed the ilit. I or a medic who despite having studied all the systems of medicine, if he does not know the use of mercury, is like a priest who does not have a faith. Yet the striking aspect of the text is in the theory that underlines it. It is clearly an empirical text, and obviously influenced by neighbouring systems, for mercury is generally believed to have entered Ayurbedic practice in the fourteenth century through such texts as the Sharongodhor Shomgroho and the Jogo Rotnakor, which texts themselves were surely influenced byTantric and Unani ideas.
While most of the other texts that we have discussed till now have tended to at least pay lip service to the humoural pathology of the Ayurbedic tradition, the texts we now turn to are in open contradiction to it. That is not to say that they do not deploy the rhetoric of antiquity, but they hardly ever cite any particular texts from which they derive.
While others such as Durgadas Kor's Bhishok Bondhu , or Oghorchondro Shingho's Bhoishoj Prokash are merely compilations of prescriptions, drawn apparently from the recent advances made in 'western' medicine, without citing any particular textual source.
Yet since our primary focus in this paper has been on texts that have avowedly placed themselves within the Ayurbedic tradition, it is yet another set of texts that we shall turn to in this section. Most of these texts use the relatively ambiguous term 'kobiraji' or even'mushtijoge' medicine to describe themselves, rather than the more firmly traditional term Ayurbedic. Griho Mushtijoge Chikitsha. In the preface to the text, Boshak writes, Hereby I place before the public some medicines which are mentioned in the Shashtras, but which I have gained knowledge of, by personal experience.
For years I have used them to help the poor and now having procured letters of recommendations from a number of renowned medical men, I bring these before you. Even though Shashtric legitimacy is invoked the medicaments are not said to be derived from them but much rather from personal experience.
Yet since most of these texts avoid any lengthy philosophical discussions or erudite considerations of the origins of their medicaments, other than a paragraph or two at best on the age old knowledge that they are drawing upon, we have to depend mostly on their method of diagnosis and aetiology to arrive at any kind of considerations regarding their theoretical paradigm.
There are two striking features in the diagnostic strategies of these texts. First is the attempt ot re-create the human body as a legible visual code, that marked out ill-health and the second, perhaps more ubiquitous, is the centrality afforded to pulse examination. If it is caused by Pittwo, it shall be of yellowish hue.
If the disease is Sleshmic or even Sannipaathic origin, the eyes shall be of a watery appearance and if the disease is of Tridoshj i.
A yellowish tongue points to a disease caused by Pittwo. In a Sleshmic Disease the patients' tongue shall be whitish and he will appear somewhat tongue-tied. In a complaint of Sannipaathic origin, the tongue shall bear a blueish colour and be thorny as a cow's tongue. Over and above this for complaints caused by Pittwo, sores may also develop on the tongue. Of course the most obvious being once again the extremely lax usage of the Tridosh terminology.
While dealing with the ocular investigation for example here, Sannipaathic and Tridoshj are used as two separate categories, whereas in classical Ayurbedic literature they are one and the same thing, i. Bmfllfl Ayurbeil: Texts mid I'm, m e. As we have already noted, in Ayinhod maladies are actually clubbed together by symptoms than by aetiology.
II Is not the notion of a symptom that Foucault locates in modern bio-medicine, Hint in a visible metonymic mark located in the invisible domain. The Sky Ether Akash is known by its non-tactile but obstructive nature. There is no further talk of symptomatology. Pathak, M. There is no easy visual colour code, as is deployed by Kaliproshonno. Furthermore, such ideas are not exclusive to texts which remain within the Ayurbedic corpus alone.
In Kalipodo Bondopadhyay published a text called Prakritic Chikitsha [Natural Cure] which devoted one out of its three sections to 'Chromopathy. Ghose asserts that the five basic elements have a specific colour, and since all disease is caused by an imbalance in the three humours. The Calcutta Historical Journal. My December which in turn are constituted of the five basic elements, it can be cured by redressing the colour balance in the body. The issue of he pulse examination is more complex perhaps.
Not only in Kaliproshonno's text as in others, but there are separate pamphlets published in the late 19th and early 20th century, that are devoted to the proper mode of pulse examination. Though Kaliproshonno claims that there are thirty million different nerves, some of which were subtle i. Of the actual examination, it was said, Near the navel of man there lies a tortoise on its side.
There are two main arteries, one in its mouth and the other in its tail.
For men the pulse must be read from the right arm. For Women it's the left arm. The reason for this is that the tortoise is inverted according to gender.
For those of indeterminate gender, the arm on which to read the pulse must be determined by either a physical investigation or by analysing the gender of their personalities. The pulse is supposed to vary according to the time of the day. Slow in the early morning, faster at midday, and fastest at night. It is supposed to vary according to age. Various diseases are then mapped out by their different pulse beats.
In a disease caused by Baayu the pulse will alternate from here to there. Here now, there then, somewhat like a snake, it twists and turns. In Baathic complaints, the pulse is strange and dis-harmonius, strong now.
For Pitlwic diseases, the pulse is like the gait of a goose or a stork. For Sannipaalhic disorders, it is like the walk of marsh snipe. For a Tridoshj Complaint similarly it alternates between fast and slow movement. Even more interestingly the earliest Ayurbedists do not seem to attach much importance to diagnosis by pulse. Most authors on the subject seem to believe that the Sharongodhor Shomhita written sometime at the end of the 13th Century was the text that catapulted fftology to its later day centrality.
The first section of the text which deals Dflth wniijhi'. Ironically though, the Hlmtongodhor affords merely eight verses to pulse diagnosis. Subsequently iRiln auch as the Bhabprokash from 16th Centrury and finally the Jogrotnakor Ifnm the beginning of the 18th Century add to the practice. These heterodoxies creatively combined elements of iMiitircism, Buddhism, Sufi Islam etc.
There are thus a plethora of possible origins and a multiplicity of tunics through which borrowings and incorporations from these sources of tradition may have been affected. Given this situation it would be wrong to assert merely on the basis of similarities that the diagnostic tool was borrowed from one particular tradition or the other. Further, as we shall see later, even in those extremely rare cases when we actually have an acknowledged borrowing In a pulse text, the ascription owes more perhaps to the dynamics of legitimation rather than a putative and exact borrowing of concepts and ideas.
As with the Inflections to the Tridosh pathology then, we have a similar situation where there is likely to have been a regional variation in a canonical tradition, which rather than borrowing from other proximate traditions can be thought of as mutually justifying and re-inforcing similar readings in proximate traditions.
This dynamics while mutually legitimising each tradition also drew upon and reinforced a set of images which enjoyed a degree of local cultural authority and intelligibility. Later we shall see how this process of mutual reinforcing and mimetic legitimation worked itself out in the colonial period with regard to sphygmology. A very similar dynamics may also be discerned in the 'fevers'that are spoken of in these texts. Modon Mohan85 and Sukhdeb,86 for instance, arranged their texts in terms of a series of fevers.
In Modon Mohan, there are ten Fevers listed viz. While the first six are to be found in traditional Ayurbed, the later are clearly an eclectic mix, including the last one, which is said to be produced by the misfortune of unfavourable planetary conjunction. Similarly, in Horimohan Boshak's text he elaborates upon eighty diseases, instead of the traditional forty eight types discussed in the Ayurbediccorpus.
It is neither that the diseases are always new ones, they are just classifed differently.
Shopnodosh and prameha are for instance, subsumed within the latter i. Again Mohanondo Chokroborty's87 text, Obhodhoutik Chikitsha, says about the types of diseases. July December Diseases are of three classes viz. Doshj, Dosh-Karmoj and Kormoj.
Disoasea bO due to eating of bad food, or other transgressions of the rules of good health, flfl called Doshj The diseases which are born due to trivial reasons, but then ncqulff a terrible form are called Dosh-Karmoj Diseases which are born without cautf and connot be cured even by repairing to an able and learned medical man, It called Karmoj.
Clearly then even a sweeping study such as ours cannot fail to discover tht traces of non-elite, non-classical and non-textual praxes within the medical literature of Bengal. Within the trinitarian frame we see these ghostly presences not merely as anachronistic survivors of an earlier epoch, but rather as rear guard fighters.