Kushtha, Kuṣṭha: 31 definitions


Kushtha means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Marathi, biology. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

The Sanskrit term Kuṣṭha can be transliterated into English as Kustha or Kushtha, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Ayurveda (science of life)

Cikitsa (natural therapy and treatment for medical conditions)

Source: Wisdom Library: Ayurveda: Cikitsa

1) Kuṣṭha (कुष्ठ) refers to “leprosy” and other skin diseases. The word is used throughout Ayurvedic literature such as the Carakasaṃhitā and the Suśrutasaṃhitā. It is said to be of eighteen types:

  1. Carmākhya,
  2. Vicarikā,
  3. Śatāru,
  4. Visphoṭa,
  5. Pāmā,
  6. Carmadala
  7. Dadru,
  8. Vipādikā,
  9. Alasaka
  10. Kiṭima,
  11. Ekakuṣṭha,
  12. Kākaṇa,
  13. Sidhma,
  14. Puṇḍarīka,
  15. Ṛṣyajihva,
  16. Maṇḍala,
  17. Uḍumbara,
  18. Kapāla.

2) Kuṣṭha (कुष्ठ) is a Sanskrit word referring to Saussurea lappa, a species of thistle from the Asteraceae (daisy) family of flowering plants. In English, the plant is known as “costus” or “kuth”. It is used throughout Ayurvedic literature such as the Caraka-saṃhitā. It is a robust perennial plant, growing up to 2 meters in height. It grows throughout the Kashmir between 2500 - 4000 meter altitude. Its leaves are membranous with bluish-purple flowers in the axillary and terminal heads. The fruits are compressed, surved achenes, having a penetrating characteristic odour.

This plant (Kuṣṭha) is also mentioned as a medicine used for the treatment of all major fevers (jvara), as described in the Jvaracikitsā (or “the treatment of fever”) which forms the first chapter of the Sanskrit work called Mādhavacikitsā.

Source: Ancient Science of Life: Botanical identification of plants described in Mādhava Cikitsā

Kuṣṭha (कुष्ठ) or Kuṇṭha refers to the medicinal plant Saussurea lappa C.B.Cl., and is used in the treatment of atisāra (diarrhoea), according to the 7th century Mādhavacikitsā chapter 2. Atisāra refers to a condition where there are three or more loose or liquid stools (bowel movements) per day or more stool than normal.  The second chapter of the Mādhavacikitsā explains several preparations [including Kuṣṭha] through 60 Sanskrit verses about treating this problem.

Kalpa (Formulas, Drug prescriptions and other Medicinal preparations)

Source: Shodhganga: Edition translation and critical study of yogasarasamgraha

1) Kuṣṭha (कुष्ठ) refers to “leprosy/skin disease” and is one of the various diseases mentioned in the 15th-century Yogasārasaṅgraha (Yogasara-saṅgraha) by Vāsudeva: an unpublished Keralite work representing an Ayurvedic compendium of medicinal recipes. The Yogasārasaṃgraha [mentioning kuṣṭha] deals with entire recipes in the route of administration, and thus deals with the knowledge of pharmacy (bhaiṣajya-kalpanā) which is a branch of pharmacology (dravyaguṇa).

2) Kuṣṭha (कुष्ठ) refers to the medicinal plant known as “Saussurea lappa C. B. Clarke” and is dealt with in the 15th-century Yogasārasaṅgraha (Yogasara-saṅgraha) by Vāsudeva: an unpublished Keralite work representing an Ayurvedic compendium of medicinal recipes. The Yogasārasaṃgraha [mentioning kuṣṭha] deals with entire recipes in the route of administration, and thus deals with the knowledge of pharmacy (bhaiṣajya-kalpanā) which is a branch of pharmacology (dravyaguṇa).

Veterinary Medicine (The study and treatment of Animals)

Source: Asian Agri-History: Paśu Āyurvēda (Veterinary Medicine) in Garuḍapurāṇa

Kuṣṭha (कुष्ठ) or Kuṣṭhacikitsā refers to the “treatment of cutaneous infections”, according to sections on the treatment of Horses (Gajāyurveda or Aśvāyurveda) in the Garuḍapurāṇa.—[Kuṣṭhacikitsā (treatment of cutaneous infections)]—In any cuetaneous infection a decoction of nimbapatra (neem leaves), paṭola (snake gourd), triphalā (three myrobalans), and Khadira (Acacia catechu) should be successively given for three days to a horse, after raktamokṣaṇa (blood-letting).

Toxicology (Study and Treatment of poison)

Source: Shodhganga: Kasyapa Samhita—Text on Visha Chikitsa

1) Kuṣṭha (कुष्ठ) refers to an herbal ingredient which is included in a (snake) poison antidote recipe, according to the Kāśyapa Saṃhitā: an ancient Sanskrit text from the Pāñcarātra tradition dealing with both Tantra and Viṣacikitsā—an important topic from Āyurveda which deals with the study of Toxicology (Viṣavidyā or Sarpavidyā).—In the Añjana or Collyrium segment of the eighth Adhyāya, Kāśyapa prescribes eight types of permutation and combination of herbs that effectively arrest poison. According to Kāśyapasaṃhitā (verse VIII.38)—“The oil extracted from Śilāla, Candana, Kuṣṭha, Abhraka dipped in Tulasī and heated with a little of Māṃsī, Mustard and Spṛkkā soaked in Hiṅgu water form a group of poison-alleviating drugs to make an añjana”.

2) Kuṣṭha (कुष्ठ) or Kuṣṭhamaṇḍalī refers to one of the sixteen varieties of Maṇḍalī snakes, according to the Kāśyapa Saṃhitā.—Kāśyapa sources his antidotes from a multitude plants, a few minerals, salts and animal products available in nature. All these plants fall under various groups called gaṇas, as pronounced by the Ayurvedic Nigaṇṭus.

Agriculture (Krishi) and Vrikshayurveda (study of Plant life)

Source: Shodhganga: Drumavichitrikarnam—Plant mutagenesis in ancient India

Kuṣṭha (कुष्ठ) (identified with Saussurea lappa) is used in a recipe for manipulating the colour of fruits (on the tree) [varṇa-pravartana], according to the Vṛkṣāyurveda by Sūrapāla (1000 CE): an encyclopedic work dealing with the study of trees and the principles of ancient Indian agriculture.—Accordingly, “Trees watered and smeared at roots with the mixture of the bark of Bombax ceiba, Curcuma longa, Indigofera tinctoria, Emblica officinalis, Terminalia bellirica and Terminalia chebula, Saussurea lappa [e.g., Kuṣṭha], and liquor bear fruits having the shades of a parrot”.

Unclassified Ayurveda definitions

Source: archive.org: Vagbhata’s Ashtanga Hridaya Samhita (first 5 chapters)

Kuṣṭha (कुष्ठ) refers to “leprosy”, mentioned in verse 4.18 and 5.12 of the Aṣṭāṅgahṛdayasaṃhitā (Sūtrasthāna) by Vāgbhaṭa.—Accordingly, “[...] Erysipelas, urticaria, leprosy [viz., kuṣṭha] itching of the eyes, jaundice, and fever as well as cough, dyspnea, palpitation of the heart, freckles of the face, and swellings of the skin (result) from (suppressed) vomiting. A gargle, an inhalant, a fast, after one has eaten pungent (food)—its ejection, gymnastics, a bloodletting, and a purgative (are) commended in this case”.

Source: Research Gate: Internal applications of Vatsanabha (Aconitum ferox wall)

Kuṣṭha (कुष्ठ) refers to “disease of skin”. Medicinal formulations in the management of this condition include 79 references of Vatsanābha usages. Guṭikā is maximum (48) dosage form in the management of Kuṣṭha. Vatsanābha (Aconitum ferox), although categorized as sthāvara-viṣa (vegetable poisons), has been extensively used in ayurvedic pharmacopoeia.

Source: Ancient Science of Life: Vaidyavallabha: An Authoritative Work on Ayurveda Therapeutics

Kuṣṭha (कुष्ठ) refers to “leprosy” (and other skin diseases) and is dealt with in the 17th-century Vaidyavallabha (chapter 6) written by Hastiruci.—In kuṣṭha-hara-yoga (Leprosy alleviating formulation) instead of Hiṅgu (Asafoetida) and Kṣīra (Milk), Snuhi kṣīra (Latex of Euphorbia neriifolia) is mentioned in few manuscripts.

Source: Ancient Science of Life: Snake bite treatment in Prayoga samuccayam

Kuṣṭha (कुष्ठ) refers to the medicinal plant known as Saussurea lappa, and is employed in the treatment of poison (viṣa), such as that resulting from maṇḍali (viperine snake-bites) and maṇḍaliviṣa, according to the 20th century Prayogasamuccaya (one of the most popular and widely practised book in toxicology in Malayalam).—The third chapter covers maṇḍali (viperine) snake treatment. [...] Vegānusāra-cikitsā (stage wise treatment), specific symptoms and treatment of 16 types of maṇḍali snakes are explained here. E.g.: In rakta-maṇḍali bite, bleeding from nose and mouth, foul smell, deep enmity, hatred, fainting etc. will be seen. When these are the symptoms, curd, trikaṭu (three pungents), saindhava (rock salt), butter, honey and Kuṣṭha (Saussurea lappa) should be mixed and used internally. Management of complications in maṇḍali viṣa also has been explained. Management of complications in maṇḍaliviṣa also has been explained. [...]

Ayurveda book cover
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Āyurveda (आयुर्वेद, ayurveda) is a branch of Indian science dealing with medicine, herbalism, taxology, anatomy, surgery, alchemy and related topics. Traditional practice of Āyurveda in ancient India dates back to at least the first millenium BC. Literature is commonly written in Sanskrit using various poetic metres.

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Source: Wisdom Library: Viṣṇu-purāṇa

Kuṣṭha (कुष्ठ) refers to “leprosy” and represents a type of Ādhyātmika pain of the bodily (śārīra) type, according to the Viṣṇu-purāṇa 6.5.1-6. Accordingly, “the wise man having investigated the three kinds of worldly pain, or mental and bodily affliction and the like, and having acquired true wisdom, and detachment from human objects, obtains final dissolution.”

Ādhyātmika and its subdivisions (e.g., kuṣṭha) represents one of the three types of worldly pain (the other two being ādhibhautika and ādhidaivika) and correspond to three kinds of affliction described in the Sāṃkhyakārikā.

The Viṣṇupurāṇa is one of the eighteen Mahāpurāṇas which, according to tradition was composed of over 23,000 metrical verses dating from at least the 1st-millennium BCE. There are six chapters (aṃśas) containing typical puranic literature but the contents primarily revolve around Viṣṇu and his avatars.

Purana book cover
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The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

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Kavya (poetry)

[«previous next»] — Kushtha in Kavya glossary
Source: OpenEdition books: Vividhatīrthakalpaḥ (Kāvya)

Kuṣṭha (कुष्ठ) in Sanskrit (or Kuṭṭha in Prakrit) refers to a “skin disease” (i.e., man afflicted with a skin disease), as is mentioned in the Vividhatīrthakalpa by Jinaprabhasūri (13th century A.D.): an ancient text devoted to various Jaina holy places (tīrthas).—(CDIAL 3371; Emmerick 1986 p. 185-199).

Kavya book cover
context information

Kavya (काव्य, kavya) refers to Sanskrit poetry, a popular ancient Indian tradition of literature. There have been many Sanskrit poets over the ages, hailing from ancient India and beyond. This topic includes mahakavya, or ‘epic poetry’ and natya, or ‘dramatic poetry’.

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Ganitashastra (Mathematics and Algebra)

Source: archive.org: Hindu Mathematics

Kuṣṭha (कुष्ठ) represents the fraction 1/12th in the “word-numeral system” (bhūtasaṃkhyā) [without place-value], which was used in Sanskrit texts dealing with astronomy, mathematics, metrics, as well as in the dates of inscriptions and manuscripts in ancient Indian literature.—In the Veda we do not find the use of names of things to denote numbers, but we do find instances of numbers denoting things. For instance, in the Ṛgveda the number ‘twelve’ has been used to denote a year and in the Atharvaveda the number ‘seven’ has been used to denote a group of seven things (the seven seas, etc.). There are instances, however, of fractions having been denoted by word symbols, e.g., kalā = 1/16th, kuṣṭha = 1/12th, śapha = 1/4th (¼).

Ganitashastra book cover
context information

Ganitashastra (शिल्पशास्त्र, gaṇitaśāstra) refers to the ancient Indian science of mathematics, algebra, number theory, arithmetic, etc. Closely allied with astronomy, both were commonly taught and studied in universities, even since the 1st millennium BCE. Ganita-shastra also includes ritualistic math-books such as the Shulba-sutras.

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Jyotisha (astronomy and astrology)

Source: Wisdom Library: Brihat Samhita by Varahamihira

Kuṣṭha (कुष्ठ) or Kaṣṭha refers to a “medicinal plant used as a remedy for the disease called Takman—Costus”, according to the Bṛhatsaṃhitā (chapter 16) (“On the planets—graha-bhaktiyoga”), an encyclopedic Sanskrit work written by Varāhamihira mainly focusing on the science of ancient Indian astronomy astronomy (Jyotiṣa).—Accordingly, “[...] Jupiter also presides over elephants, horses, priests, rulers, ministers, marriages and health; over mercy, truthfulness, cleanliness, religious observances; over learning, gifts and charity; over citizens, rich men, grammarians, Vedic students, sorcerers, lawyers, the ensigns of royalty—the umbrella, the flag-staff, the Cāmara and the like; over Śaileyaka, Mānsī, Tagara, Kuṣṭha, quicksilver, salt, beans, sweet flavour, wax and Coraka”.

Jyotisha book cover
context information

Jyotisha (ज्योतिष, jyotiṣa or jyotish) refers to ‘astronomy’ or “Vedic astrology” and represents the fifth of the six Vedangas (additional sciences to be studied along with the Vedas). Jyotisha concerns itself with the study and prediction of the movements of celestial bodies, in order to calculate the auspicious time for rituals and ceremonies.

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General definition (in Hinduism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Hinduism

Kuṣṭha, a type of herb found in Ayurvedic texts. (Saussurea lappa)

Source: Academia.edu: Description of some of the Plants mentioned in Sanskrit Literature

Kuṣṭha (कुष्ठ, Saussurea lappa C.B.Clarke):—Kuṣṭha is hot in potency, pungent, sweet in taste, increases semen, bitter, easily digestable, cures gout, herpes, cough, leprosy and other diseases and mitigates Vāta and Kapha. Synonyms: Rogāhvaya, Vāpya, Pāribhavya and Utpala.

In Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Tibetan Buddhism

Kuṣṭha (कुष्ठ) refers to one of the male Vidyā-beings mentioned as attending the teachings in the 6th century Mañjuśrīmūlakalpa: one of the largest Kriyā Tantras devoted to Mañjuśrī (the Bodhisattva of wisdom) representing an encyclopedia of knowledge primarily concerned with ritualistic elements in Buddhism. The teachings in this text originate from Mañjuśrī and were taught to and by Buddha Śākyamuni in the presence of a large audience (including Kuṣṭha).

Source: Brill: Śaivism and the Tantric Traditions (tantric Buddhism)

Kuṣṭha (कुष्ठ) refers to “leprosy”, according to the Bhūśalyasūtrapātananimittavidhi section of Jagaddarpaṇa’s Ācāryakriyāsamuccaya, a text within Tantric Buddhism dealing with construction manual for monasteries etc.—Accordingly, “[...] If a frog croaks, there is danger of water in the [donor’s?] house. If smoke [is seen], there is distraction of mind. If a person suffering from a disease, a person of a lower [class], a person suffering from leprosy (kuṣṭha), a deranged person, and a woman are seen, then it causes disease”.

Tibetan Buddhism book cover
context information

Tibetan Buddhism includes schools such as Nyingma, Kadampa, Kagyu and Gelug. Their primary canon of literature is divided in two broad categories: The Kangyur, which consists of Buddha’s words, and the Tengyur, which includes commentaries from various sources. Esotericism and tantra techniques (vajrayāna) are collected indepently.

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Biology (plants and animals)

Source: Wisdom Library: Local Names of Plants and Drugs

Kushtha [कुष्ठ] in the Hindi language is the name of a plant identified with Hellenia speciosa (J.Koenig) S.R.Dutta from the Costaceae (Spiral Ginger) family having the following synonyms: Costus speciosus, Cheilocostus speciosus, Amomum arboreum. For the possible medicinal usage of kushtha, you can check this page for potential sources and references, although be aware that any some or none of the side-effects may not be mentioned here, wether they be harmful or beneficial to health.

Kushtha [କୁଷ୍ଠ] in the Oriya language, ibid. previous identification.

Kustha [कुष्ठ] in the Sanskrit language, ibid. previous identification.

Source: Google Books: CRC World Dictionary (Regional names)

1) Kushtha in India is the name of a plant defined with Cheilocostus speciosus in various botanical sources. This page contains potential references in Ayurveda, modern medicine, and other folk traditions or local practices It has the synonym Costus spicatus (Jacq.) Sw. var. pubescens Griseb. (among others).

2) Kushtha is also identified with Saussurea costus It has the synonym Aucklandia lappa Decne. (etc.).

Example references for further research on medicinal uses or toxicity (see latin names for full list):

· Florula Javanica (1825)
· Queensland Agricultural Journal (1898)
· Journal of Japanese Botany (1941)
· Fl. Yunnan. (2003)
· Transactions of the Linnean Society of (1845)
· Archives de Botanique (1833)

If you are looking for specific details regarding Kushtha, for example side effects, chemical composition, extract dosage, diet and recipes, health benefits, pregnancy safety, have a look at these references.

Biology book cover
context information

This sections includes definitions from the five kingdoms of living things: Animals, Plants, Fungi, Protists and Monera. It will include both the official binomial nomenclature (scientific names usually in Latin) as well as regional spellings and variants.

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Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

kuṣṭha (कुष्ठ).—n (S) Leprosy. 2 Costus Arabicus.

context information

Marathi is an Indo-European language having over 70 million native speakers people in (predominantly) Maharashtra India. Marathi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from early forms of Prakrit, which itself is a subset of Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages of the world.

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Sanskrit dictionary

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Kuṣṭha (कुष्ठ).—[Uṇādi-sūtra 2.2]

1) Leprosy (of which there are 18 varieties); गलत्कुष्ठाभिभूताय च (galatkuṣṭhābhibhūtāya ca) Bhartṛhari 1.9.

2) A sort of poison.

3) A kind of tree; Costus specious, see कोष्ठ (koṣṭha); Rām.2.94.24.

4) (-m.) cavity of the loin.

-ṣṭhā The mouth or opening of a basket.

Derivable forms: kuṣṭhaḥ (कुष्ठः), kuṣṭham (कुष्ठम्).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Kuṣṭha (कुष्ठ).—n.

(-ṣṭhaṃ) 1. Leprosy, of which eighteen varieties are enumerated, seven great or severe, and eleven of minor importance. 2. A plant, a kind of costus, (Costus speciosus:) 3. A sort of poison. E. kuṣ to extract, and ktham Unadi affix, or ku bad, ill and stha being, staying.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Benfey Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Kuṣṭha (कुष्ठ).—m. and n. 1. A plant, Costus speciosus, [Rāmāyaṇa] 2, 94, 23. 2. i. e. kuṣ + tha, Leprosy, [Bhartṛhari, (ed. Bohlen.)] 1, 89.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Cappeller Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Kuṣṭha (कुष्ठ).—[masculine] [Name] of [several] plants (also [neuter]); [feminine] kuṣṭhā point, beak, hind-claw; [neuter] leprosy.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary

1) Kuṣṭha (कुष्ठ):—mn. ([from] 1. ku + stha, [Pāṇini 8-3, 97]) the plant Costus speciosus or arabicus (used as a remedy for the disease called takman), [Atharva-veda; Kauśika-sūtra 35; Rāmāyaṇa ii, 94, 23; Suśruta]

2) the plant Saussurea auriculata

3) m. (= kakundara) cavity of the loin [Comm.; but perhaps = kuṣṭhikā] [Vājasaneyi-saṃhitā xxv, 6]

4) Kuṣṭhā (कुष्ठा):—[from kuṣṭha] f. the prominent part of anything, mouth or opening (of a basket), [Tāṇḍya-brāhmaṇa xxi; Pāraskara-gṛhya-sūtra] [commentator or commentary] on [Kātyāyana-śrauta-sūtra]

5) [v.s. ...] = kuṣṭhikā (taken as measure equal to ‘one-twelfth’), [Maitrāyaṇī-saṃhitā iii, 7, 7]

6) Kuṣṭha (कुष्ठ):—n. leprosy (of which eighteen varieties are enumerated, id est. seven severe and eleven less so), [Suśruta; Bhartṛhari i, 89; Kathāsaritsāgara]

7) a sort of poison, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Yates Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Kuṣṭha (कुष्ठ):—(ṣṭhaṃ) 1. n. Leprosy; a plant, (Costus speciosus;) a poison.

Source: DDSA: Paia-sadda-mahannavo; a comprehensive Prakrit Hindi dictionary (S)

Kuṣṭha (कुष्ठ) in the Sanskrit language is related to the Prakrit words: Kuṭṭha, Kuṭṭhā.

[Sanskrit to German]

Kushtha in German

context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family (even English!). Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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Kannada-English dictionary

Source: Alar: Kannada-English corpus

Kuṣṭha (ಕುಷ್ಠ):—

1) [noun] a progressive infectious disease caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium leprae that attacks the skin, flesh, nerves, etc., characterised by nodules, ulcers, white scaly scabs, deformities, and the eventual loss of sensation, and is apparently communicated only after long and close contact; leprosy.

2) [noun] a person suffering from leprosy; a leper.

3) [noun] the plant Costus speciosus of Zingiberaeae family.

4) [noun] its starchy root; elephant arrow root.

--- OR ---

Kustha (ಕುಸ್ಥ):—[noun] an epithet of Viṣṇu.

context information

Kannada is a Dravidian language (as opposed to the Indo-European language family) mainly spoken in the southwestern region of India.

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