Rasa Jala Nidhi, vol 5: Treatment of various afflictions

by Bhudeb Mookerjee | 1938 | 63,627 words | ISBN-10: 8170305829 | ISBN-13: 9788170305828

This fifth volume of the Rasa-jala-nidhi deals with the symptoms, treatment and dietary prescriptions of various afflictions. For example, ratapitta (haemoptysis), cough, asthma, tumours and obesity are dealth with and various Iatro-chemical recipes are provided for these diseases. The Rasa-jala-nidhi (“the ocean of Iatrochemistry, or, chemical me...

Chapter 4 - Symptoms and treatment of Asthma (shvasa) and Cough (hikka)

Causes and symptoms.

Eating of articles of food-stuff of the following description: (a) those which are called “bidahi” (see page 7, vol. IV); (b) those which are not easily digested; (c) those which cause flatulence and inactivity of the stomach; (d) those which are coarse and devoid of animal fat; and (e) those which increase phlegm; eating and drinking in excess of cold substance; dwelling in cold places; inhaling of dust and smoke; exposure to drafts of wind; physical exercise; lifting or carrying of heavy material; suppression of calls of nature; and actions tending to irritate the body, such as fasting.

Wind arising out of the stomach, and already much vitiated by phlegm and pitta, and sometimes obstructed in its upward movement by accumulated phlegm, comes to a stand-still, and is confined in the lungs. This wind vitiates those passages which carry food and fluids, and tries to move in wrong directions, giving rise to difficulty in breathing or asthma (shvasa).

Treatment of Cough (hikka) and Asthma (shvasa).

Some simple remedies.

(1) Any medicine, food, or drink haying the property of destroying phlegm, wind, and producing heat when digested, is salutary in hiccough (hikka) and asthma (shvasa).

(2) The belly and chest of a patient, suffering from hiccough and asthma, should, first of all, he rubbed with oil, and then fomented with a substance having the property of pacifying vayu, and mixed with salt and some kind of oil or fat, and mildly heated. He may also he required to purge and vomit, if he is sufficiently strong; otherwise, he is to take internal medicines only, for the cure of his ailments.

(3) Hiccough may be stopped by licking with honey any one of the following six:—(a) the kernel contained inside the stone of a jujube fruit, mixed with sauvira-anjana and fried paddy, devoid of husks; (b) katuki and red ochre, (c) pippali, amalaki, sugar, and shunthi, (d) kernel of a kapittha fruit and kasisa; (e) flower and fruit of patali; and (f) pippali and the soft pulp at the head of a date tree.

(4) Any one of the following three, taken as a snuff, cures hiccough:—(a) powdered jastimadhu mixed with honey (b) powdered pippali mixed with sugar, and (c) powdered shunthi mixed with molasses.

(5) Hiccough is cured by (a) taking the juice of bijapura (citrus) mixed with honey and sauvarchala (nitre); or goats’ milk boiled with an equal quantity of water and one eighth its weight of shunthi, the boiling being stopped after the combined liquid is reduced to half its quantity.

(6) Hiccough and cough are stopped by the repeated taking of the powders, taken in equal quantities, of pippali, amlaki, and. shunthi, mixed with honey and sugar.

(7) Hiccough and asthma are cured by taking (a) an equal quantity of the bark of bhargi and shunthi, mixed with hot water, or (b) an equal quantity of shunthi, sugar, bhargi and sauvarchala (salt-petre).

(8) Hiccough may be stopped by any one of the following:—temporary suppression of respiration, threatening

the patient, causing his surprise, sprinking of cold water on him, using pleasing words to him, or wounding his feeling (by false and unpleasant accusations).

(9) Hiccough is stopped by taking the juice of the leaves of kasamarda or by talking them, prepared as a pot herb.

(10) The licking of the following may put a stop to hiccough:—equal quantities of incinerated corals, incinerated conch shells, triphala, pippali, and powdered red ochre, mixed with clarified butter and honey.

(11) Equal quantities of cocoa-nut flower and white sandal, pestled together with water and kept inside the mouth, puts a step to hiccough, however violent.

(12) Licking of honey puts a stop to hiccough.

(13) Hiccough, however obstinate, is put a stop to by the repeated licking, at small intervals, of sugar and powdered maricha, mixed with honey.

(14) Hiccough and asthma, however violent, may be stopped by licking peacock’s feather, reduced to ashes by being heated confined in two earthen basins, mixed with powdered pippali and honey.

(15) Hiccough is stopped by the drinking of the juice of the tuber of banana, mixed with sugar.

(16) Hiccough and asthma are stopped quickly by licking one tola of powdered bibhitaki mixed with honey.

(17) Hiccough and cough are cured by drinking with hot water (a) haritaki and shunthi, or (b) tuber of lotus, javakshara and powdered maricha.

(18) Molasses (preferably of more than one year’s standing, mixed with mustard oil, taken every day for three weeks, cures asthma radically.

(19) Cough and asthma are cured by taking (in doses of one fourth, of a tola a day) powdered roots of kusmanda mixed with hot water.

(20) Asthma is cured in a week, by licking every night, just before going to bed, (six raktis, each, of) powdered pippali and rock-salt, mixed with ginger juice.

(21) Sulphur mixed with powdered maricha, puts an end to asthma, cough, and waste, if taken with clarified butter.

(22) Powdered ela mixed with sugar puts a stop to hiccough, however malignant.

Smoking in hiccough and asthma.

(1) Smoking of any one of the following may pacify hiccough realger, cow’s horn, kustha, resin, and kusha grass.

(2) Hiccough is pacified by inhaling the smoke of hingu and powdered masa gram, thrown upon smokeless charcoal fire.

(3) Hiccough is pacified by inhaling the smoke of masa grams only.

(4) Asthma is cured by inhaling the smoke of the fruits, branches, and leaves of black dhatura, previously cut into pieces and dried.

Iatro chemical treatment of hiccough and asthma.

Virendra rasa.

Equal quantities of mercury, sulphur, iron, aconite, mica, vidanga, renuka, musta, ela, roots of pippali nagakeshara, trikatu, triphala, copper, croton seeds, and roots of chitraka are to be rubbed with molasses (preferably of many year’s standing), (Dose, one fourth of a tola). This medicine cures cough, asthma, excess of phlegm, gulma, spermatorrea, chronic fever, chronic diarrhoea in a woman after child birth, colic, anemia, and sensation of heat in the palms of the hands and feet.

Chanchaladi lauha.

One part, each, of pippali, amalaki, grapes, kernel of the stone of jujube fruits, jastimadhu, sugar, vidanga, and puskara mula are to be rubbed with eight parts of iron (and made into

pills, six raktis, each). This medicine cures, in three days, hiccough (hikka), vomiting, and asthma.

Shvasari lauha.

Two tolas of iron, half a tola of mica, two tolas of sugar, two tolas of honey, and half a tola, each, of triphala, jasti-madhu, grapes, pippali, kernel of the stone of jujube fruits, banshalochana, talishapatra, vidanga, ela, roots of lotus or of puskara, and nagakeshara, are to be rubbed together in an iron mortar by means of an iron rod for six hours. (Dose, six raktis, a day), to be taken with honey. This medicine cures asthma, cough, and hemoptysis.

Equal quantities of mercury, sulphur, aconite, borax, realger, maricha, and trikatu are to be rubbed together (with water), and made into pills (one rakti, in weight, each). This medicine cures cough, asthma, and hoarseness of voice, due to vayu and kapha.

Maha-shvasa-kuthara rasa.

One part, each, of mercury, sulphur, aconite, borax, and realger; eight parts of maricha; and three parts, each, of pippali and shunthi are to he rubbed together (with water) and made into pills (one rakti in weight, each), to he taken with the juice of betel leaves and ginger. This medicine cures asthma, cough, catarrh, weakness due to ulcers, waste, heart disease, pain in the sides, hoarseness of sound, abnormal excess of vayu, pitta, and kapha, drowsiness, spermatorrea, and all sorts of headache. In case, the patient is in a state of unconsciousness, this medicine is to be used as a snuff to restore his consciousness.

Shivasa-bhairava rasa.

Equal quantities of mercury, sulphur, aconite, trikatu, maricha, chavya, and chitraka roots, are to be rubbed with ginger juice, and made into pills, two raktis in weight, each, to be taken with water. This medicine cures asthma, cough, and hoarseness of voice.

Suryavarta rasa.

One part, each, of mercury and sulphur are to be rubbed together for three hours with the juice of kanya and made into a paste, with which are to be mixed two parts of copper wire (purified and cut into pieces). The substance is then to be (duly dried), put into a puta, and heated in a Valuka-yantra, for one day. Dose, two raktis, a day. This, medicine cures asthma and cough.

Shvasa-chintamani rasa.

Two tolas of iron, one tola of sulphur, one tola of mica, half a tola, each, of mercury and copper-pyrites, and one fourth tola, each, of pearls and gold are to be rubbed together with the juices of kantakari, ginger, goat’s milk, and jasti-madhu, and made into pills, four raktis in weight, each, to be taken with powdered bibhitaki. This medicine cures asthma, cough, and consumption.

Shvasantaka rasa.

Sixteen parts, each, of mercury and copper; eight parts, each, of sulphur and rocksalt; and six parts of powdered pippali are to be rubbed with lime juice. The compound is then to be dried, put into a puta, and heated by Laghuputa. This medicine cures cough, asthma, gulma, colic, udararoga, and anemia, (Dose, one rakti, each).

Shvasahara rasa.

Four tolas, each, of mercury and sulphur, twelve tolas of trikatu, and four tolas of tin are to be rubbed together for three days; and again for three days with cow’s urine. Pills are then to be made, six raktis in weight, each, to be dried in a shady place. One of such pills is to be taken every day, for thirty days. This medicine cores asthma, cough, fever, slowness of the digesting heat, and aversion to food.

Tamra rasa.

Mercury, rubbed with incinerated copper and sulphur, pacifies hiccough.

Saptamrita rasa.

One part of mercury, two parts of sulphur, three parts of pippali, four parts of haritaki, five parts of bibhitaki, six parts of vasaka, and seven parts of bhargi are to be rubbed together and subjected to bhavana for 21 times with the decoction of babbula. The compound is then to be rubbed with honey and made into pills, one tola in weight, each, to be taken in the morning, only one pill a day. This medicine cures asthma and cough.

Nilakantha rasa.

One part, each, of mercury, copper, iron, sulphur, aconite, trikatu, triphala, trijataka (ela, guratvak, and tejapatra, taken in equal quantities and combined), renuka, musta, gandira (shalincha), nagakeshara, and roots of chitraka; and twenty six parts of molasses are to be mixed together and made into pills, six raktis in weight, each, to be taken early in the morning. This medicine cures all sorts of disease.

Shivasa-kasa-kari-kesari rasa.

Equal quantities of mercury, silver, copper, rasa-pisti (see page 307, Vol. I), realger, sulphur, and orpiment are to be rubbed together with the juices of basaka, tulasi, and ginger, and made into a lump which is to be dried, confined in a crucible which is to be coated all over with mud and dried. This crucible is to be heated by Bhudhara-yantra (see page 262, Vol. I) for six hours. When cooled, the product is to be taken out, powdered, mixed with an equal quantity of sulphur, and subjected to bhavana with the juices of basaka and trikata. Dose, three raktis, a day. This medicine cures asthma and cough.

Hicca-nashana rasa.

One part of mercury, two parts of sulphur, three parts of mica, four parts of orpiment, five parts of copper-pyrites, six parts of opal (see page 258, vol. III), and one part, each, of vacha, kustha, haridra, javakshara, roots of chitraka, patha, langali, trikatu, saindhava, bibhitaki, and aconite are to be rubbed together and subjected to bhavana with the juice of bhringaraja. This medicine cures hiccough, and hoarseness of voice and cough.

Shilaputa rasa.

Take one part of powdered patha and the same quantity of powdered indra-varuni, and mix them together. Take four parts of purified manas-shila (realger) and eight parts of purified mercury. Put in an earthen vessel the mixed powders of patha and indra varuni, upon which is to be put a little of the realger. Upon the latter, put the whole of the mercury referred to above. Upon this mercury, put the remaining quantity of the realger. Cover the vessel with an earthen pot, and close the joint by mud and rags, as usual. Then place the vessel upon mild heat for twenty-four hours. This medicine cures asthma. Dose, three raktis, a day.

Manthana-bhairava rasa.

Equal quantities of incinerated mercury, copper, hingu, puskara mula, rock-salt, sulphur, orpiment, and maricha are to be. rubbed steadily, one day each, with the juice of the following in succession:—devadali, punarnaba, nirgundi, meghanada, and bitter koshataki. Dose, six raktis, a day, to be taken with honey.

Parpati rasa.

One part of mercury and two parts of sulphur are to be rubbed together with the juice of bhringaraja, and made into a parpati in the same way as Rasa parpati (see page 260, Vol. IV). In preparing this parpati, the ladle to be used may be made of copper as well as of iron. Mix with this parpati one fourth its weight of aconite, for use in those cases only where aconite is considered salutary (otherwise, do not mix aconite with it). (Whether mixed or unmixed with aconite), the medicine is then to be subjected to bhavana, for one time, each, with the juice or decoction of surasa (tulasi), jayanti, kanya, vasaka, triphala, baka, bhargi, mundiri, trikatu, roots of chitraka, bhringaraja, and bhallataka; and for seven times, with the juice of ginger. The parpati is then to be heated a little by means of a char-coal fire. Dose, half a rakti, each, to be taken with a piece of betel leaf and ten in number of pippali, decoction of nirgundi being drunk after taking the medicine. This medicine may always be applied in hoarseness, cough, and asthma (shvasa). Goats’ milk, mixed with an equal quantity of water is to be boiled with the roots of gokshura and shunthi, and reduced to half of the original quantity of the milk. This boiled milk is to be cooled, mixed with a little of powdered pippali, and drunk at night. Powdered pippali should also be mixed with food taken at other times. The following are to be avoided while taking the medicine:—kusmanda, chincha, brintaka, karkati, aranala, oil, and sexual intercourse.

This medicine cures grahani, if taken with honey, hingu, jira, and trikatu. It cures fever due to vayu, if taken with the decoction of dashamula, and an excess of kapha, if taken with honey and trikatu. It cures fever in general (except that due to consumption), if taken with honey and the essence of the flowers of madhuka (mahua) and panchakola (pippali, roots of pippali, chavya, roots of chitraka, and shunthi, taken in equal quantities). It cures phthisis, if taken with honey and a little of pippali, and lumps of flesh grown in the rectum due to piles, if taken with cow’s urine. It cures colic, if taken with castor oil, anemia and swelling due to anemia, if taken with honey and guggulu. It cures leprosy, if taken with bhringaraja, bhallataka, bakuchi, and five different parts of nimba (viz. its flowers, leaves, fruits, bark, and roots). This medicine cures spermatorrea and insanity, if taken with honey and the seeds of dhattura, It cures epilepsy, if taken with honey, trikatu, and leaves of nimba. It cures many other serious diseases, if taken with honey, haritaki, and bibhitaki. In indigestion due to an excess of pitta, this medicine should be taken with jatiphala and cold water, the head of the patient being wetted with cold water.

All sorts of parpati are especially efficacious to infants fed on milk only, but a parpati, mixed with aconite or any other poison, should on no account, be given to an infant.[1]

Panchavaktra rasa.

(See page 109, Vol. IV).

One tola of purified sulphur mixed with clarified butter and hot water cures an excess of phlegm. Panchavaktra rasa rubbed with honey may also be used for the same purpose.

Diet and actions salutary in Hiccough.

fomentation, vomiting, snuff, smoking (in the way stated in page 88), purgation, sleeping, food mixed with clarified butter or any other animal fat, mild salt, kulattha grams, wheat, shali rice, sasti rice, and barley, of one to three years’ standing, meat of ena (a kind of black deer), tittiri, laba, and other wild birds and animals; ripe kapittha, garlic, patola, tender raddish, roots of lotus, leaves of black tulsi, wine, lemons, hot water, citrus, honey, cows’ urine, all sorts of food and drink having the property of pacifying vayu and kapha; bath in cold water, sudden fear and surprise; anger, amusement, anxiety for those who are dear; pranayama (control of respiration as described in the treatises on yoga); smell of earth burnt and soaked with water, pouring of water in showers upon those parts of the body known by the name of “kurcha”; rubbing the upper part of the navel, burning the skin, by means of a piece of turmeric burnt by the wicker of an earthen lamp lit with vegetable oil, at two angulis[2] above the feet and a little above the navel,

Diet and actions injurious in hiccough (hikka).

Suppression of calls of nature in respect of wind (i.e., passing of wind through the rectum, yawning, sneezing, etc.), urination, belching, coughing, and passing of stools; exposure to (wind mixed with much of) dust, drafts of air, and rays of the sun; actions causing exertion, articles of food-stuff incongenial by combination (see page 9, Vol. IV), food which is not easily digested and is kept in the stomach, unchanged for a long time, food known as bidahi (see page 7, Vol, IV), food which is coarse and not mixed with clarified butter, food which Increases phlegm, all sorts of beans, pistaka (food prepared with rice, grams, etc. pestled and baked), masha gram, pestled seeds of mustard or sesamum, meat of animals called anupa, ram’s milk, cleansing the teeth by means of brush, application of douche, fish, mustard seeds, sours, alabu (gourd), tubers, food fried with oil, upodika, and food and drinks difficult to be digested.

Diet and action salutary in asthma (shvasa).

Purgation, fomentation, smoking (as prescribed in page 88), vomiting, sleeping in day time, rice of sastika and shall paddy, kulattha gram, barley, wheat of one to two years’ standing; meat of hare, peacock, tittiri, laba, cock, shuba, and other wild animals and birds, clarified batter of many years’ standing (for rubbing the chest and abdomen), goat’s milk, clarified butter prepared from the same; wine (except when medicines prepared from minerals are taken), honey (which is not to be taken heated, in hot weather, in heated condition of the body, and just before or after physical exercise and exposure to heat), kantakari, vastuka, tanduliya, jivanti, mulaka (raddish), upodika, patola, varttaku (brinjal), garlic, haritaki, lime juice, bimbi, matulunga (citrus), ela, roots of lotus, hot water, trikatu, cow’s urine, and all sorts of food, drinks, and medicines having the property of pacifying vayu and kapha.

Food and actions injurious in asthma (shvasa).

suppression of urine, belching, vomiting, thirst, and cough; use of snuff, douche, tooth-brush, physical exertion, walking, carrying loads, inhaling of dust, exposure to the rays of the sun, food which lies in the stomach undigested for a long time, sexual intercourse, bidahi food, meat of animals called “anupa,” food fried with oil, beans of all kinds, food and actions tending to increase phlegm, masa-grams, blood shed, wind blowing towards the east (which generally is the case in winter. This therefore means cold wind), drinking water after completion of meals (see page 20, Vol. IV), ram’s milk and butter and clarified butter prepared from the same; impure water, fish, tubers (such as shurana, mana, potatoes), mustard seeds, food and drinks which are coarse and not seasoned with butter or clarified butter,[3] and cold food and drinks.

Footnotes and references:


This medicine, if not mixed with aconite, may be used in doses from 2 to 10 raktis, and in the same way as rasa-papati (See page 262 Vol. IV).


An anguli is one sixteenth part of a foot.


Fish is not coarse. It should not therefore be seasoned with butter or clarified butter which make it unfit for eating (see page 9, Vol. IV). It may, however, be prepared with a little of vegetable oil.


Rasasastra category This concludes ‘Symptoms and treatment of Asthma (shvasa) and Cough (hikka)’ included in Bhudeb Mookerjee Rasa Jala Nidhi, vol 5: Initiation, Mercury and Laboratory. 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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