Sushruta Samhita, volume 1: Sutrasthana

by Kaviraj Kunja Lal Bhishagratna | 1907 | 148,756 words

This current book, the Sutra-sthana (english translation), is the first part of this voluminous medical work. It contains a large summary of the knowledge envelopig the medical aspects of Ayurveda. Descriptions of diseases, various diets and drugs, the duties of a surgeon, surgical procedures, medical training; these are only some of the numerous s...

Chapter XXXVIII - Groups of drugs

Now we shall discourse on the Chapter which deals with the general classification of drugs according to their therapeutical properties (Dravya-Sangrahaniya-adhyaya).

These drugs are usually made into thirty-seven different groups (Gana) which are as follows: —

The Vidarigandhadi Group:—

The drugs known as Vidarigandha, Vidari, Sahadeva, Vishvadeva, Shvadanstra, Prithakparni, Shatavari, Sariva, black Sariva, Jivaka, Rishavaka, Mahasaha, Kshudra-Saha, Vrihati, Kantakari, Punarnava, Eranda, Hansapadi, Vrishchikali, and Rishavi, form the group known as the Vidari-gandhadi.

Metrical Text:—

The present group of drugs subdues the action of the deranged Vayu and Pitta and proves beneficial in phthisis (Shosha), Gulma, aching of the limbs, Urdha-Shvasa and cough.

The Aragvadhadi Group:—

The drugs known as aragvadha, Madana, Gopaghonta, Kutaja, Patha, Kantaki, Patala, Murva, Indrayava, Saptaparna, Nimva, Kuruntaka, Dasi-kuruntaka, the two kinds of Karanja, Patola, Kiratttikua, Guduci, Citraka, Shangshta, and Sushavi form the group known as the aragvadhadi.

Metrical Text:—

The group under discussion destroys the deranged Kapha and the effects of poison and proves beneficial in cases of Meha (morbid discharges from the urethra), Kushtha, fever, vomiting and itching of the body and acts as a purifying (aseptic) agent in the case of an ulcer.

The Varunadi Group:—

The drugs known as Vanina, artagala, Shigru, Madhu-Shigru, Tarkari, Mesha-Shringi, Putika, Naktamala, Morata, Agni-mantha, the two kinds of Sairiyaka, Vimvi, Vasuka, Vasira, Citraka, Shatavari, Vilva, Ajashringi, Darbha, and the two kinds of Vrihati form the group known as the Varunadi.

Metrical Text:—

The group is possessed of the efficacy of reducing the deranged Kapha and fat and proves efficacious in cases of cephalaegia, Gulma and internal abscesses.

The Viratarvadi Group:—

The drugs known as Virataru, the two kinds of Sahacara, Darbha, Vrikshadani, Gundra, Mala, Kusha, Kasha, Ashma-bhedaka, Agnimantha, Morata Vasuka, Vasira, Bhalluka, Kuruntaka, Indivara, Kapotavanka, and Shvadanstra enter into the composition of the group known as the Viratarvadi.

Metrical Text:—

The group subdues all disorders incidental to the deranged state of Vata and proves curative in Ashmari, Sharkara, Mutra-krichra, Mutraghata and urinary troubles.

The Salasaradi Group:—

The group of medicinal drugs, known as the Salasaradi, consists of Salasara, Ajakarna, Khadira, Kadara, Kalaskandha, Kramuka, Bhurjja, Meshashringi, Tinisha, Chandana, Kucandana, Shinshapa, Shirisha, Asana, Dhava, Arjuna, Tala, Shaka, Naktamala, Putika Ashvakarna, Aguru and Kaliyaka.

Metrical Texts:—

The group of the drugs, known as the Salasaradi Gana, destroys the germ of Kushtha, absorbs the deranged fat and Kapha and proves beneficial in morbid discharges from the urethra (Meha), chlorosis or jaundice (Pandu).

The Rodhradi Group:—

The group of medicinal drugs known as the Rodhradi consists of Rodhra, Savararodhra, Palasha Kutannata, Ashoka, Phanji, Katphala, Elabaluka, Sallaki, Jingini, Kadamva, Sala and Kadali.

Metrical Texts:—

The group is antidotal to the deranged Kapha and fat, is astringent in its properties, removes vaginal and uterine disorders, neutralises the effects of poison (anti toxic) and acts as a styptic and purifying agent in a case of ulcer and arrests all secretions and excretions of the body.

The Arkadi Group:—

The drugs known as the Arka, Alarka, the two kinds of Karanja, Nagadanti, Mayuraka, Bhargi, Rasna, Indrapushpi, Kshudrashveta Mahashveta, Vrishchikali, Alavana and Tapasha-Vriksha, enter into the composition of the group known as the Arkadi Gana.

Metrical Texts:—

The group known as the Arkadi destroys Kapha, fat, and the effects of poison. It acts as a vermifuge and a specific aseptic agent in the case of an ulcer and proves curative in diseases of the skin.

The Surasadi Group:—

The drugs known as Surasa, white Surasa, Fainjjhaka, Arjaka, Bhustrina, Sugandhaka, Sumukha, Kalamala, Kashamarda, Kshavaka, Kharpushpa, Vidanga, Katphala, Surasi, Nirgundi, Kulahala, Indurakarnika, Phanji, Prachivala, Kakamachi and Vishamushtika form the group known as the Surasadi Gana.

Metrical Texts: —The group acts as a vermifuge and is an aseptic agent. It subdues the deranged Kapha and proves beneficial in catarrh, non-relish for food, asthma and cough.

The Mushkakadi Group:—

The group of medicinal drugs known as the Mushkakadi consists of Mushkaka, Palasha, Dhava, Citraka, Madana, Shinshapa, Vajra-Vriksha and Triphala.

Metrical Text:—

The present group is possessed of the therapeutic virtue of destroying fat and removing the defects of semen. Meha, piles, jaundice, chlorosis, gravels and urinary calculi in the bladder are the diseases which yield to its curative efficacy.

The Pippalyadi Group:—

The group of medicinal drugs known as the Pippalyadi consists of Pippali, Pippali mula, Cavya, Citraka, Shringavera, Marica, Hasti-Pippali, Harenuka, Ela, Ajamoda, Indrayava, Patha, Jiraka, Sarshapa, Maha-Nimva-Phala, Hingu, Bhargi, Madhurasa, Ativisha, Vaca, Vidanga and Katurohini.

Metrical Text:—

The present group acts as a good appetiser and is an absorbant of intestinal mucous and unassimilated lymph chyle. The range of its therapeutical application includes catarrh, deranged Kapha and Vata, non-relish for food, abdominal glands, colic and gastralgia.

The Eladi Group:—

The group of medicinal drugs known as the Eladi-Gana consists of Ela, Tagara, Kushtha, Mansi, Dhyamaka, Tvaka, Patra, Naga-pushpa, Priyangu, Harenuka, Vyaghranakha, Shukti, Chanda, Sthauneyaka, Shriveshtaka, Chocha, Choraka, Valaka, Guggulu, Saijarasa, Turushka, Kunduruka, Aguru, Sprikka, Ushira, Bhadradaru, Kumkuma, Punnaga and Keshara.

Metrical Text:—

The therapeutic virtue of the group consists in subduing the action of Vayu and Kapha and in neutralising the effects of poison. It is a cosmetic and arrests the eruption of pimples and other vegetations on the skin such as rash, urticaria etc. and checks the itching sensation incidental thereto.

The Vacadi and Haridradi Groups:—

The groups known as the Vacadi and Haridradi Ganas, respectively consist of Vaca, Musta, Ativisha, Abhaya, Bhadradaru, Nagakeshara (Vacadi), Haridra, Daruharidra, Kalashi, Kutaja seeds and Madhuka (Haridradi).

Metrical Text:—

These two groups are the purifiers of breast milk and specifically act as the assimilators of the deranged humours of the body, their curative properties being markedly witnessed in cases of mucous dysentery (amatisara).

The Shyamadi Group:—

The drugs known as Shyama, Maha-Shyama, Trivrit, Danti, Shankhini, Tilvaka, Kampillaka, Ramyaka, Kramuka, Putrashroni, Gavakshi, Rajavriksha, the two kinds of Karanja, Guduci, Saptala, Chagalantri, Sudha and Suvarnakhiri, form the group known as the Shyamadi Gana.

Metrical Text:—

This group is possessed of the therapeutic virtue of curing abdominal glands and acts as an anti-toxic. It proves beneficial in Anaha (epistasis), abdominal dropsy and diarrhea and is one of the most reliable purgatives in cases of obstinate constipation of the bowels with suppression of urine and distention of the abdomen (Udavarta).

The Vrihatyadi Group:—

The drugs known as Vrihati, Kantakarika, Kutajaphala, Patha and Madhuka combinedly form the group known as the Vrihatyadi Gana.

Metrical Text:—

The group is a good digestant or assimilator of the deranged humours. It subdues the deranged Vata, Pitta and Kapha and proves efficacious in cases of nausea, water-brash, dysuria and non-relish for food.

The Patoladi Group:—

The drugs known as Patola, Chandana, Kucandana, Murva, Guduci, Patha, and Katurohini form the group known as the Patoladi Gana.

Metrical Text:—

The group is a febrifuge and anti-toxic, and its therapeutic action consists in destroying the action of the deranged Pitta and Kapha. It restores the natural relish of the patient for food, removes vomiting, and proves beneficial in ulcers, and itching erythematous eruptions.

The Kakolyadi Group:—

The drugs known as Kakoli-Kshira-Kakoli, Jivaka, Rishabhaka, Mudgaparni, Mashaparni, Meda, Mahameda, Chinna-ruha, Karkata-Shringi, Tugakshiri, Padmaka, Prapaundarika, Riddhi, Vriddhi, Mridvika, Jivanti and Madhuka, combinedly form the group known as the Kakolyadi Gana.

Metrical Text:—

The group of medicinal drugs under discussion subdues the action of the deranged Pitta, blood and Vayu. It increases the quantity of milk in the breast (galactagogue) and favours the accumulation of phlegm (Kapha) in the body. It is a restorative and an elixir and is endued with the therapeutic virtue of augmenting the virile potency of a man.

The Ushakadi Group:—

The medicinal drugs and substances known as Ushaka (alkaline earth), Saindhava salt, Shilajatu, the two kinds of Kasisa, Hingu and Tutthaka enter into the composition of the group known as the Ushakadi Gana.

Metrical Text:—

It destroys kapha (mucous), absorbs the fat of the body and proves curative in cases.of stone or gravel in the bladder (urinary calculi), dysuria and abdominal glands (Gulma).

The Sarivadi Group:—

The drugs known as Sariva, Madhuka, Chandana, Kucandana, Padmaka, Kashmari phala, Madhuka-pushpa and Ushira, combinedly form the group known as the Sarivadi Gana.

Metrical Text:—

The group under discussion allays thirst and proves curative in a case of hemoptysis. Its therapeutic virtue consists in curbing an attack of bilious (Pittaja) fever and in specifically alleviating the burning sensation (Daha) of the body.

The Anjanadi Group:—

The group known as the Anjanadi Gana consists of Anjana, Rasanjana, Nagapushpa, Priyangu, Nilotpala, Nalada, Nalina, Keshara and Madhuka.

Metrical Texts:—

An attack of hemoptysis readily yields to the curative virtue of the group under discussion. It is anti-toxic in its character and allays the internal burning sensation of the body.

The Parushakadi Group:—

The group known as the Parushakadi Gana consists of Parushaka, Draksha, Kat-phala, Dadima, Rajadana, Kataka-phala Shaka-phala and Triphala.

Metrical Text:—

It subdues the deranged Vayu, allays thirst, acts as a cordial, increases one’s relish for food and cures the diseased or abnormal components of urine or its defects.

The Priyangvadi Group:—

The group of medicinal drugs known as the Priyangvadi Gana consists of Priyangu, Samanga, Dhataki, Naga-pushpa, Chandana, Kucandana, Mocarasa, Rasanjana, Kumbhika, Srotohnjana, Padma-keshara, Jojanvalli, and Dirghamula.

The Amvashthadi Group:—

Drugs known as Amvashtha, Dhataki flowers, Samanga, Katvanga, Madhuka, Vilva-peshika, Rodhra, Savara-Rodhra, Palasha, Nandi-Vriksha and Padma keshara, enter into the composition of the group known as the Amvashthadi Gana.

Metrical Text:—

The two medicinal recipes or groups prove beneficial in a case of deranged Pitta, favour the healing of ulcers, bring about the adhesion of fractured bones and prove curative in cases of dysentery where the stools are found to consist of lumps of thick and matured mucous (Pakvatisara.)

The Nyagrodhadi Group:—

The drugs known as Nyagrodha, Audumvara, Ashvattha, Plaksha, Madhuka, Kapitana, Kakubha, Amra, Koshamra, Chorakapatra, the two sorts of Jamvu, Piyala, Madhuka (Maula), Rohini, Vanjula, Kadamva, Vadari, Tinduki, Sallaki, Rodhra, Savara-Rodhra, Bhallataka, Palasha, and Nandi-Vriksha, combinedly form the group known as the Nyagrodhadi Gana.

Metrical Texts:—

This group proves beneficial in cases of ulcer, cures all disorders of the uterus and vagina, favours the adhesion of fractured bones and all sorts of secretions of the body in addition to its astringent properties (Sangrahi) and proves curative in a case of hemoptysis. It is an anti-fat and assuages the burning sensation of the body.

The Guducyadi Group:—

The drugs known as Guduci, Nimva; Kustumvuru, Chandana, and Padmaka, combinedly form the group known as the Guducyadi Gana.

Metrical Text:—

It is a good appetiser, and acts as a general febrifuge and successfully combats such symptoms as nausea, want of relish for food, vomiting, thirst and burning sensation of the body.

The Utpaladi Group:—

The drugs known as Utpala, Raktotpala, Kumuda Saugondhika, Kuvalaya, Pundarika and Madhuka constitute the group known as the Utpaladi Gana.

Metrical Texts:—

This group is possessed of the therapeutic virtue of allaying thirst and corrects the deranged Pitta and the vitiated blood. It assuages the burning sensation of the body and proves curative in cases of vomiting, in Hridroga (Angina pectoris), in syncope, in hemoptysis and in cases of poisoning as well.

The Mustadi Group:—

The group of drugs known as Mushtadi Gana is composed of Musta, Haridra, Daru-Haridra, Haritaki, Amlaki, Vibhitaka, Kushtha, Haimavati, Vaca, Patha, Katurohini, Sharngashta, Ativisha, Dravidi, Bhallataka and Citraka.

Metrical Text:—

The group under discussion destroys the deranged Shleshma, cures uterine and vaginal disorders, purifies the breast milk of a mother, and acts as a good digestant (Pacana).

The Triphala Group:—

The drugs known Haritaki, Amlaki and Vibhitaka, constitute the group known as the Triphaladi Gana.

Metrical Text:—

The present group destroys the action of the deranged Vayu, Kapha and Pitta and proves curative in Meha, and in diseases of the skin (Kushtha). It is a good appetiser, improves the eyesight and proves beneficial in chronic intermittent fever (Vishama-jvara).

The Trikatu Group:—

The Trikatu group consists of Pippali, Marica and Shringavera.

Metrical Text:—

It destroys fat and Kapha, proves curative in cutaneous affections, leprosy (Kushtha), and morbid discharges from the urethra, and is possessed of the virtue of curing abdominal glands, catarrh, dullness of the appetite and indigestion.

The Amlakyadi Group:—

The group known as the Amlakyadi Gana consists of amlaki, Haritaki, Pippali and Citraka.

Metrical Text:—

The present group of medicinal drugs acts as a general febrifuge and may be used with advantage in fevers of whatsoever type. Moreover, it is an aphrodisiac and acts as a general tonic or restorative and appetiser, destroying the deranged Kapha and improving the eyesight.

The Trapvadi Group:—

The group known as the Trapvadi Gana consists of Trapu, Sisa, Tamra, Rajata, Krishna-Lauha, Suvarna and Lohamala.

Metrical Text:—

The present group is regarded as a good vermifuge and possessed of the virtue of neutralising the effects of chemical poison originated through incompatible combinations. Its therapeutic range covers jaundice, chlorosis, Meha (morbid secretions from the urethra), Hridroga (heart disease), thirst and maladies incidental to the effects of poison.

The Lakshadi Group:—

The drugs known as the Laksha, Arevata, Kutaja, Ashvamara, Katphala, Haridra, Daru-Haridra, Nimva, Saptacchada, Malati, and Trayamana form the Lakshadi Gana.

Metrical Text:—

This consists of astringent, bitter and sweet taste (Rasa) and acts as a good vermifuge and a purifying (aseptic) agent in cases of bad, malignant or indolent ulcers. Diseases due to the deranged Kapha and Pitta prove amenable to its curative properties, which extend to cases of cutaneous affections (Kushtha) as well. Now we shall describe the five groups of medicinal roots (Mula), each consisting of similar number of components.

The Svalpa Pancamula Group:—

 

The group known as the minor group of five roots (Svalpa-Panca-Mula) consists of the roots of medicinal plants known as the Trikantaka, the two species of Vrihati, Prithakparni, and Vidarigandha.

Metrical Texts: —

The compound possesses a taste blended of astringent, bitter and sweet. It is a tonic and aphrodisiac, subdues the deranged Vayu and proves soothing to the deranged Pitta.

The Mahat Pancamula Group:—

The one known as the great or the major group of five medicinal roots (Mahat-Panca-Mula) consists of the roots of such trees as Vilva, Agnimantha, Tuntuka, Patala and Kashmari.

Metrical Texts:—

It is bitter in taste and subdues the deranged Kapha and Vata. It is light (easily digestible) and appetising, and acquires a subsequent sweet taste in its reaction (Anurasa).

The Dashamula Group:—

The two preceding groups in combination form the one technically known as the Dasha-Mula (the ten roots), which is possessed of the virtue of destroying the deranged Vata, Pitta and Kapha. It proves beneficial in cases of asthma and difficult respiration. It acts as a good digestant in respect of undigested lymph chyle, etc and is used with satisfactory results in all types of fever.

The Valli-Pancamula Group:—

The group consisting of the roots of the five medicinal creepers known as Vidari, Sariva, Rajani, Guduci and Aja-Shringi, is called the Valli-Pancamula.

The Panca-kantaka Groups:—

Similarly, the group consisting of the five medicinal (thorny) shrubs known as Karamradda, Trikantaka, Sairiyaka, Shatavari, and Gridhranakhi, is called the Panca-Kantaka.

Metrical Texts:—

The two preceding groups prove curative in Hemoptysis and in all the three types of anasarca or edema (Shopha). Moreover, it has the incontestable virtue of arresting all sorts of urethral discharges and is a potent remedy in all cases of seminal disorders.

The Panca-Trina Group:—

The group consisting of the five medicinal herbs (of the grass species) and known as Kusha, Kasha, Nala, Darbha, Kandekshuka, is called the Panca-Trina.

Metrical Texts:—

Cases of Hemoptysis, renal defects or of uninary diseases are found to speedily yield to the curative efficacy of the compound internally administered through the medium of cow’s milk.

Metrical Text:—

The first two of the aforesaid groups of Pancamulas (viz., the Svalpa and the Vrihat Pancamulas) are possessed of the virtue of destroying the deranged Vata, while the one standing in the bottom of the list (Trina-Pancamula) is endued with the property of killing the deranged Pitta. Those standing third and fourth in order of enumeration (the Valli and Kantaka Pancamulas) subdue the deranged Kapha.

The groups of medicinal drugs and roots have thus been briefly described, which will be more elaborately dealt with later on in the chapter on Therapeutics.

An intelligent physician should prepare plasters, decoctions, medicated oils, Ghritas (medicated clarified butter) or potions, according to the exigencies of each individual case.[1] The groups enumerated above should be therapeutically used according to the nature of the deranged humours involved in each individual case. Only two, three or four drugs of the same medicinal group, or a similar number of drugs chosen from the the different groups, or a group of medicinal drugs in its entirety, or in combination with another, should be used according to the indications of any particular case, as the physician, in his discretion, would determine.

 

Thus ends the thirty-eighth Chapter of the Sutrasthana in the Sushruta Samhita, which deals with the classification of drugs according to their therapeutical use.

Footnotes and references:

1.

Additional Text:—These drugs may be duly culled in all seasons of the year, and should be stored in a room protected from smoke, blasts of cold, wind and rain.

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