Rasa Jala Nidhi, vol 4: Iatrochemistry

by Bhudeb Mookerjee | 1938 | 52,258 words | ISBN-10: 8170305829 | ISBN-13: 9788170305828

This fourth volume of the Rasa-jala-nidhi deals with Rasa-chikitsa-vidya, also known a the science of Iatrchemistry (chemical medicine), a major branch of Ayurveda. It contains Ayurvedic treatments for Fever and Diarrhea. The Rasa-jala-nidhi (“the ocean of Iatrochemistry, or, chemical medicine) is a compendium of Sanskrit verses dealing with ancie...

Part 1 - Characteristics of Udara-roga (diseases affecting the belly)

Slowness of the digesting heat is the cause of all sorts of diseases and especially of those affecting the belly. The latter arise out of indigestion, eating of dirty food, and accumulation of stool in the intestines. What happens just before the appearance of these diseases is this:—abnormal excess of the three doshas, accumulated for a long time, block the passages carrying sweats and other fluids, and thereby pollute the prana vayu, the ap4na vayu, and the digesting heat. The following are the common symptoms characterising all sorts of diseases affecting the belly:—flatulence, difficulty experienced in movement, weakness, weakness of the digesting heat, swelling of some of the limbs, lethargy felt in the movement of the limbs, difficulty in passing wind and stool, heating sensation, and drowsiness.

These diseases are of eight different kinds, viz., (l) vatodara (formation of gas in the stomach) (2) pittodara (stomach affected by an abnormal excess of pitta), (3) kaphodara stomach affected by an abnormal excess of kapha), (4) tridosodara or dusyodora (stomach affected by an abnormal excess of the three dosas), (5) plihodara and jakrithudara (enlargement of spleen and liver), (6) baddhodara (malignant constipation), (7) kshatodara (ulcer in the belly) and (8) jalodara (dropsy).

Symptoms characterising these different kinds of udara rogas are described below:—

(1) Vatodara.

This is signified by the formation, in the stomach, of gas, which causes the throboing of the glands down below the navel, felt by the pressure of the fingers; belching, heaviness felt in the belly; constipation; and occasional swelling of the belly due to wind. In advanced stages, the diseases is attended with the following symptoms:—swelling of hands, feet, navel and belly; pain in the sides of the belly, stomach, waist, and the back; pain in the joints of limbs, dry cough, pain in the limbs, heaviness in the lower part of the body, accumulation of stool in the intestines, reddish blackness of the skin, etc., sudden increase or decrease in the size of the belly; pain and appearance of thin and black arteries all over the belly; and rise of sound in the belly, resembling that coming out of a bellows when blown. Wind, in this case, moves to and fro in the belly causing pain and sound.

Vatodara of long standing, if not cured, is generally followed by a growth (due to swelling of the glands round about the navel). It is sometimes movable and Sometimes immovable, widened at the top, and projecting upwards. It obstructs the passages of wind, stool, and urine. This growth is called asthila,if it is just below the navel, and pratyasthila, if it is a little outside the navel. Both of them are indicators of waste (consumption) and may lead to ulcers in the lungs (causing sometimes spitting or vomiting of blood). They are to be treated exactly in the same way as phthisis.

(2) Pittodara.

The following are the symptoms of pittodara:—fever, loss of consciousness, burning sensation, thirst, bad taste in the mouth, giddiness, diarrhoea, yellowishness of the skin, etc.

The belly, in this disease, becomes wet with perspiration, emiting heat, having a burning sensation, soft in touch, and is pervaded with nerves having yellowish grey or copperlike colours. It seems to emit smoke; and gradually develops ulceration in the internal surface which becomes full of constant pain.

(3) Kaphodara.

The following are the symptoms of this disease:—weakness of the limbs, want of sensitiveness of the skin, swelling, heaviness of the limbs, sleepiness, nausea, aversion to food, gasping, cough, and whiteness of the skin, etc.

The belly, in this disease, becomes large in size, inactive, having a glossy surface, stiff by gradual enlargement, cold in touch, heavy, rigid, and full of nerves white in colour.

(4) Tridosodara or Dusyodara.

Food, contaminated by nails, hair, urine, stool, and mense-blood (sometimes mixed by vicious women with the food or drink given to the male objects of their love unrequited, under the superstitious belief that such a food taken unknowing by a man would make him develop a blind love for the woman who contaminated the food in the above way), or poison resulting from an incongenial combination of food stuff given by enemies, or poisoned fish or polluted water or poison of slow potency, if taken with food, pollute the blood and the three doshas resulting in serious udara-roga due to the abnormal excess of the three doshas.

Such a disease is much increased in a chilly and stormy weather and causes inflammation in the affected region, making the patient anemic, thin, with his throat dry with thirst, and leading to the loss of his consciousness every now and then.

(5) Plihodara and Jakrithudara.

(see later).

(6) Baddhodara (malignant constipation).

The inner surface of the intestines, in this disease, is covered with sticky food, hair, pebbles, etc, and cause the gradual accumulation of stools (like a heap of dust gradually accumulated), which passes out in small quantities and with great difficulty, leading to the enlargement of the space between the heart and the navel.

(7) Kshatodara.

Nails, thorns, or such other prickly or pointed substances, taken with food or otherwise found their way inwards, may pierce the intestines and stick to them, causing a profuse discharge, from those places, of watery substance which accumulates in the abdomen below the navel and passes often through the rectum causing an intense pain.

(8) Jalodara (dropsy).

Drinking of cold water or anointing the body with oil immediately after drinking of oil, clarified butter or tallow; application of douche of oil; vomiting, purgation, or application of a special douche, called niruha basti, corrupts the movements of watery fluids in the system leading to the oozing out of water from the affected veins and accumulation of the same in the belly, which becomes glossy, enlarged, and swollen causing a painful sensation around the navel. In this disease, the belly, if tossed, rolls, and shakes with a kind of sound, exactly like a leather bag filled with water.

(9) Mahodara.

Combination of more than one udara-roga is called mahodara. It is a very troublesome disease.

Conclusion:

Rasasastra category This concludes ‘Characteristics of Udara-roga (diseases affecting the belly)’ included in Bhudeb Mookerjee’s Rasa Jala Nidhi, vol 4: Iatrochemistry. The text includes treatments, recipes and remedies and is categorised as Rasa Shastra: an important branch of Ayurveda that specialises in medicinal/ herbal chemistry, alchemy and mineralogy, for the purpose of prolonging and preserving life.

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