Sushruta Samhita, volume 4: Cikitsasthana

by Kaviraj Kunja Lal Bhishagratna | 1911 | 123,229 words

This current book, the Chikitsa-sthana (english translation), deals with therapeutics, surgical emergencies, geriatrics, aphrodisiacs and various other subjects. The Sushruta Samhita is the most representative work of the Hindu system of medicine. It embraces all that can possibly appertain to the science of medicine. Susruta-samhita is recognized...

Chapter XIII - The medical treatment of Diabetes

Now we shall discourse on the medical treatment of Diabetes (Madhu-Meha). 1.

Metrical Text:—

The intelligent physician should adopt the following course of treatment in the case of a Madhu-Meha-patient abandoned as incurable by other physicians. 2.

Shilajatu, its origin and properties:—

A kind of gelatinous substance is secreted from the sides of the mountains when they have become heated by the rays of the sun in the months of Jyaishtha and ashadha. This substance is what is known as the Shilajatu and it cures all distempers of the body.

The presence of the six kinds of metal, such as tin, lead, copper, silver, gold and black-iron, in their essential form in the substance (Shilajatu), may be detected by their respective smell and hence it is known to the people by the name of Shad-Yoni (lit.—having six different origins). The taste of this shellac-coloured substance has the same taste (Rasa) and potency (Virya) as the metal to whose essence it owes its origin. It should be understood that as tin, lead and iron, etc., are progressively more and more efficacious, so the different varieties of Shilajatu, originated from the essence of tin, lead, iron, etc., are progressively more efficacious in their application.

All kinds of Shilajatu have a bitter and pungent taste with an astringent after-taste (Anu-rasa), are laxative, pungent in their digestionary reaction, heatmaking in their poteney and possessed of absorbing and purifying (Chedana) properties. Of these what looks black and glossy, is heavy and devoid of sandy particles, as well as what smells like the urine of a cow, should be considered as the best. This best kind of Shilajatu should be infused with the decoction of the drugs of the Shala-saradi group after the manner of Bhavana saturation (for ten, twenty or thirty days). Then after cleansing the body (by the application of emetics and purgatives), it should be taken every morning (by the patient in adequate doses), well pasted with Sarodaka.[1] He should further be made to take a meal of boiled rice mixed with the soup of the flesh of animals of the Jangala group after the medicine had been fully digested. 3-4.

A Tula measure of this hill-begotten panacea (Shilajatu), when gradually taken, (in adequade doses) tends to improve the strength and complexion of the body, cures an attack of Madhu-Meha and enables the user to witness a hundred summers on earth, free from disease and decay. Each Tula weight of this medicine, taken successively, adds a century to the duration of human life, while ten Tula measures extend it to a thousand years. The regimen of diet and conduct during the period of its use should be identical with that described in connection with the use of the Bhallataka compounds. Cases of Meha, Kushtha, epilepsy (Apasmara), insanity, elephantiasis, poison- begotten distempers, phthisis, edema, hemorrhoids, Gulma (internal tumours), jaundice and chronic fever, prove readily amenable to the curative efficacy of Shilajatu. Indeed there is no such bodily distemper[1] which does not yield to its highly curative virtues. It acts as a potent solvent in cases of long-standing Sharkara (gravel) in the bladder as well as of stone. Shilajatu should be treated (soaked and dried) with appropriate medicinal drugs by stirring it up with the same. 5.

The Makshika Kalpa:—

The metal known as Makshika (iron-pyrites), which grows in the river Tapi and which copes with the divine ambrosia in its highly therapeutic properties, may be also used in the same way and under the same sort of preparation. The metal is divided into two classes according to its colour, as Svarna -Makshika (gold-coloured) and Rajata-Makshika (silver-coloured). Of these the first has a sweet taste while the second is acid. Both of them prove efficacious in cases of decrepitude, Kushtha, Meha, jaundice and consumption. A person using Shilajatu and Makshika (in the manner prescribed above) should refrain from taking pigeon-flesh and Kulattha pulse (during his life-time). 6.

The following measures should be adopted by an experienced physician in the case of a patient suffering from (Meha and) Kushtha and who has a firm faith in medicines and is desirous of existence (life) and in whose case the curative efficacy of Panca-karma[2] has been baffled. 7.

The Tuvaraka Kalpa:—

The Tuvaraka plants which grow on the shores of the Western Sea (Arabian Sea) are constantly tossed about by the winds raised by the waves of the sea. The pith or marrow of the seeds (lit.—fruits) of these plants should be carefully collected in the rainy season while they ripen and should be subsequenly dried and pounded. The oil should be either pressed out of these seeds in a mill in the manner of preparing sesamum oil, or squeezed out (of a press bag) like that used in the case of Kusumbha flowers. The oil should be boiled over a fire so as to have its inherent watery particles completely evaporated. Then it should be taken down from the fire and kept in a pitcher and then buried for a fortnight in a heap of well dried cowdung. The patient (in the meantime) should be duly anointed, fomented and treated with cleansing remedies (i.e., emetics and purgatives).[3] He should wait a fortnight (after the administration of the aforesaid measures) and wait for a period of four meals[4] (i.e., two days) more; and on the next morning he should drink a portion of the oil in adequate doses (two Tolas) under the auspices of favourable astral combinations in the lighted fortnight of the month.

He should be made to recite, at the time of his taking the fourth dose, a Mantra which runs as follows:—

“Cleansest and purifiest, O Thou potent essence of seed- marrow, all the essential principles of (my) vital organism. The deity who knows no decay and suffers no change and who weilds a discus, a mace and a conch-shell in his arms, commands thee on that behalf.”

The Doshas in both the upper and the lower parts of a patient’s body are cleansed with the help of this oil (which should be given to the patient in the morning); while a cold gruel, unseasoned[5] with salt and not mixed with any emollient substance (oil or clarified butter) should be given to him in the afternoon. The use of this oil should be repeated in the same manner for five days in succession, and the patient should avoid anger, etc., and live on Mudga soup (Yusha) and boiled rice for a fortnight. A five days’ use of this oil would ensure the cure of every types of Kushtha (and Madhu- meha). 8-9.

The foregoing (Tuvaraka) oil should be boiled and prepared with a decoction of Khadira weighing three times the quantity of the oil and taken internally with patience for a month for the same purpose. The patient should anoint his body with the same and then take his meals in the prescribed form. A Kushtha-patient (as well as a Meha-patient) suffering from hoarseness, redeyes and with worm-eaten and emaciated limbs should be speedily treated with this oil as an anointment and a drink. Regular potions of the above medicinal (Tuvaraka) oil taken with honey, clarified butter and a decoction of Khadira and a diet consisting of the soups of bird’s flesh (during its course) would enable the user to live for a period of two hundred years. A use of this oil as errhines (Nasya) for a period of fifty consecutive days would enable the user to witness three hundred years on earth, in the full enjoyment of bodily vigour and a youthful glow of complexion, as well as with a very powerful retentive memory.

A regular use (in an adequate dose) of the pith of Tuvaraka cleanses the system of the patient and is a most potent remedy in cases of Kushtha and Meha. 10.

The pith (inner pulp of the seeds' of the Tuvaraka burnt in a closed vessel (Antar-dhuma) should be mixed with Saindhava-salt, Anjana[6] and Tuvaraka oil. This prepared compound, used as a collyrium, is efficacious in cases of eye-diseases, such as night-blindness, Arman, Nili, Kacha-roga (dimness of sight) and Timira. 11.


Thus ends the thirteenth Chapter of the Chikitsita Sthana in the Sushruta Samhita which deals with the treatment of Madhu-Meha.

Footnotes and references:


It is evident from the reading of Chakradatta that “Sarodaka” means a decoction of the drugs of the Shala-saradi group. But Dallana explains it as “Panca-sarodaka” which is quite unintelligible. In practice, also, Chakradatta is followed.—Ed.


Some take the term in its ordinary sense to mean the five measures of emetics, purgatives, etc.; but Dallana would explain it as the measures adopted in the treatment of the Kushtha affecting the bone which is the fifth Dhatu in the system.


The Kapha should be first reduced with emetics; and after a fortnight, the Pitta with purgatives. A fortnight after the use of purgatives, a potion of the Tuvarka oil should be administered inasmuch as it is a Samshodhaka (cleansing) remedy.


On the sixteenth day after the administration of the cleansing measures, as well as on the morning of the seventeenth day, the patient should take his meals as usual. On the evening of the seventeenth day no meal should be taken. On the following morning the oil should be taken.


A little quantity of salt and of oil or clarified butter may be given.


Dallana recommends the three things, viz., the pith of the Tuvaraka, the Saindhava-salt and the Rasanjana to be mixed and burnt together in a closed vessel.

Help me keep this site Ad-Free

For over a decade, this site has never bothered you with ads. I want to keep it that way. But I humbly request your help to keep doing what I do best: provide the world with unbiased truth, wisdom and knowledge.

Let's make the world a better place together!

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: