Sushruta Samhita, Volume 6: Uttara-tantra

by Kaviraj Kunja Lal Bhishagratna | 1916 | 113,078 words

This current book, the Uttara-tantra (english translation) is the supplementary part of the Sushrutasamhita and deals various subjects such as diseases of the eye, treatment of fever, diarrhea, diseases resulting from superhuman influences, insanity, rules of health etc. The Sushruta Samhita is the most representative work of the Hindu system of m...

Chapter XII - Treatment of Raktaja Ophthalmia

Now we shall discourse on the curative treatment of the type of Abhishyanda (Ophthalmia) which has its origin in the vitiated condition of the blood (Raktabhishyanda-Pratishedha). 1.

General Treatment:—

A wise physician shall pursue the same course of medical treatment in those four diseases known as Adhimantha, Abhishyanda, Shirotpata and Shira-harsha due to the vitiated condition of the blood. Persons suffering from any of the aforesaid four complaints should be first anointed and lubricated with old and matured clarified butter technically known as Kamnbha Ghrita[1], or with a copious quantity of clarified butter. Venesection should then be resorted to. The patient, having been made thus to bleed as much as required, should be treated with clarified butter duly cooked with Shiro-virecana drugs and mixed with sugar, as an errhine for cleansing the head. Piasters, washes, snuffs (Nasya), inhalations (Dhuma) of medicated smokes, eye-drops (Ashchyotana), Abhyanjana[2]. Tarpana (soothing measures), Sneha-karma (emulsive measures) and Puta-paka should then be prescribed according to the nature of the deranged Dosha involved in each case. 2-5.

A piaster (Pralepa) composed of Nilotpala, Ushira, Daru-haridra, Kaliya, Yashti-madhu, Musta, Lodhra and Padnia-Kashtha (taken in equal parts and) mixed with Ghrita—duly washed, should be applied round the region of the affected eye. Mild fomentations (Sveda), or leeches should be applied to the region around the eye in the event of there being intolerable pain (due to any defect in bleeding) in the affected organ. Large draughts of clarified butter tend to alleviate the pain. Remedial measures and agents mentioned in connection with Pittabhishyanda, should be as well employed. 6-7.

Rain-water with powdered Kasheru and Yashti-madhu added thereto may be squeezed with benefit through a piece of linen into the affected organ[3] as an Ashchyotana. Flowers of Patala, Arjuna, Shriparni, Dhataki, Dhatri, Vilva, the two kinds of Vrihati, and of Vimbi-lota and Manjishtha taken in equal parts and pasted together with honey or expressed juice of sugar-cane and applied to the affected organ as an Anjana (Collyrium) is said to be a curative in cases of Raktabhishyanda. 8 9.

A similar compound consisting of Chandana, Kumuda, Patra, Shila-jatu, Kumkuma, powders of dead iron and dead copper, Tuttha (Sulphate of copper), lead, bell-metal, Rasanjana and the resinous exudation of a Nimba tree taken in equal parts should be pasted with honey and made into large Vartis (sticks). These arc always recommended to be applied to the affected eye as an Anjana. 10.

Treatment of Shirotpata:—

A compound consisting of honey and clarified butter and applied as an Anjana should be regarded as a patent cure in cases of Shirotpata eye-disease. A compound composed of Saindhava (salt), Kashisha (Sulphate of iron) and pasted together with breast-milk should be similarly used. The application as an Anjana of Shamkha (conch-shell), Manah-shila, Tuttha, Daru-haridra, and Saindhava pasted with honey, or of (white) Marica pasted with the juice of Shirisha flowers, honey and wine, or of Svarna-Garika pasted with honey would be attended with beneficial results in cases of Shirotpata. 11.


A compound consisting of Phanita (treacle boiled down to a sticky consistency) and honey should be applied to the affected organ as an Anjana in a case of Shira-harsha. Similar applications of compounds composed of Rasanjana (Antimony) pasted with honey, or of Saindhava and Kashisha (Sulphate of iron) pasted with honey, or of Vetramla[4] and Saindhava pasted with Phanita and breast-milk would likewise prove highly efficacious. 12.

Treatment of Arjuna:—

All the measures and remedies for Pittabhishyanda should be employed in cases of Arjuna eye-disease. The expressed juice of sugar-cane, honey, sugar, breast-milk, Daru-haridra, Yashti-madhu and Saindhava should be used in combination as a wash (Seka), or as an Anjana. Amla (Kanjika, etc.) should also be used as an Ashchyotana (eye-drop) in such cases. The following drugs, vis., sugar, Yashti-madhu, Katvanga, Mastu, Amla, honey, Saindhava, Vija-puraka, Kola and Dadimba of acid taste and other acid fruits either singly or in combination of two or three should be judiciously used (as an Ashchyotana with a due consideration of the vitiated Dosha in each case). 13-14.

These two following compounds viz., of Sphatika (crystal) , Vidruma (coral), Shamkha (conch-shell), and Yashti-madhu, pasted with honey, as well as of Shamkha, sugar, and Samudra-phena pasted with honey, if used as an Anjana would prove curative in a case of Arjuna eye-disease. Saindhava and Kataka pasted with honey, or Rasanjana pasted with honey, or Kashisa (Sulphate of iron) pasted with honey, should constantly be applied as an Anjana to the affected organ. 15.


All kinds of powdered (dead) metals (Gold, Silver, Iron, Copper, etc.) and metallic substances (Manah-shila, Gairika, etc.), (the five officinal kinds of) salt, all kinds of gems (Vaidurya, coral etc.), the teeth (of cows, horses, etc.), the horns (of cows, etc.), the drugs of the sedative (Avasadana)[5] group, pulverised shells of hen’s eggs, Lashuna (garlic), Trikatu, Karanja seeds and Ela (cardamom) mixed together and used as an Anjana, should be regarded as Scarifying (Lekhya) in their action. 16.

Treatment of Shukra:—

in a case of non-ulcerated (Avrana) Shukra (milky film or white fleshy growth in the eye) a skilful physician shall (first) adopt all the preceding measures prescribed in the treatment of (Blood-origined) Abhishyanda,[6] beginning with Rakta-visravana (Venesection) and ending with Puta-paka (and these failing, the Lekhyanjana—collyrium for scarifying) should be adopted. A case of ulcerated (Savrana) Shukra whether superficial or deep-seated[7] or rough should be treated in the same manner. 17–18.

In a case of Shukra the affected part should be rubbed (scarified) with a compound consisting of Shiriska- seeds, Markka, Pippali and Saindhava pounded together, or with Saindhava alone. A compound composed of powdered copper, Manah-shila, Markka and Saindhava each preceding drug being taken in a quantity double the one immediately succeeding it in the order of enumeration[8] should be pounded together and made into a thin paste. Applied as an Anjana to the seat of the disease, it will cure a case of Sh ukra. As alternatives, the two compounds composed of Shamkka, stones of Kolas, Kataka, Drakska, Yaskti-madhu, Makskika (honey), or of teeth (of cows, etc.), Samudra-phena and Shirisha flower and honey should be applied to the affected locality in the manner of applying an Anjana. The Ksharanjana (alkaline collyrium) mentioned in connection with the medical treatment of Valasa-grathita,[9] may as well be profitably employed as an Anjana (eye-salve) in the present disorder. Eye-salves made of fried huskless Mudga pulse, (burnt) Shamkha and sugar mixed with honey, or of the pith of Madkuka pasted with honey, or of the inner pulps of the stones of Vibkitaka pasted with honey should be constantly used as an Anjana, in cases of the eye-disease known as Sh ukra. A compound consisting of conch-shell, oyster-shell, Draksha, Yaskti-madhu, Kataka and honey may be used and soothing application (Tarpana) antidotal to the deranged bodily Vayu, should be resorted to in cases of Shukra, if the second layer (Patala) of the eye is attended with pain (Snila). 19-21.

Young bamboo-sprouts, Arushkara, Tala (palm) and Narikela (cocoanut)[10] should be burnt to ashes and alkaline water should be duly prepared therewith. The burnt ashes of elephant’s bones should be soaked several (seven) times with the above alkaline preparation in the manner of Bhavana saturation. The application of this preparation in the manner of an Anjana tends to remove the discolouring nature (whiteness) of a case of Shukra[11]. 22.

Treatment of Ajaka:—

The thin watery matter accumulated in the eye in a case of Ajaka should be drained by making a puncture on either side (of the cornea) with a needle after which the incidental ulcer should be filled with powdered beef mixed with clarified butter. Scarification should be many times made in the event of the ulcer becoming raised. 23.

Treatment of Akshi-paka:—

Applications of Sneha and of Sveda (fomentation) to the affected locality should be made in cases of the two kinds of eye-disease known as Sashopha and Ashopha Akshi-paka (inflammation of the eye-lid whether attended with any local swelling or otherwise). Venesection should then be resorted to. Eye-washes, eye-drops (Ashchyotana), errhines (Nasya) and Puta-paka measures should also be employed. 24.

After having cleansed the system of the patient both internally and externally the following compounds should be used as an Anjana (in cases of the two kinds of Akshi-paka). Saindhava and clarified butter pasted together in a copper vessel with flesh or Maireya or curd or with curd-cream should be used as an Anjana. As an alternative, the rust of bell-metal pasted with clarified butter, or Saindhava pasted with breast-milk, or equal parts of the pith of Madhuka tree and Gairika pasted with honey, or Saindhava and copper pasted with breast-milk and clarified butter should be used as Anjanas. The compounds of Dadimba, Araveta, Ashmanta, Kola, and Saindhava pasted with any acid juice[12] should be applied to the affected organ in the manner of a Rasa-kriya measure for the cure of (the two kinds of) Akshi-paka. 25-26.

Animal flesh and Saindhava salt soaked in clarified butter and mixed with Shunthi and breast-milk should be applied to the affected organ in the manner of an Ashchyotana or as an Anjana. A compound consisting of Jati flower, Saindhava, Shunthi, Pippali and huskless Vidanga pasted together with honey, may as well be used as an Anjana with advantage in a case of Akshi-paka. 27-28.

Treatment of Puyalasa:—

Blood-letting (after the application of Sneha and Sveda) and poulticing (Upanaha) of the affected locality are efficacious in the afifection of the eye, known as Puyalasa. The measures and remedies which prove curative in cases of Akshi-paka should as well be employed with discretion in this case by a physician. An Anjana (eye-salve) composed of Ardraka, Saindhava and Kashisa (Sulphate of iron), or Kashisa Saindhava, Ardraka, iron and copper dust pasted together with honey, should be applied to the affected eye in the manner of an Anjana (in a case of Puyalasa). 29-30.

Treatment of Praklinna-vartma:—

The deranged Doshas of the system should be duly[13] removed (corrected) and the patient should be duly soothed in a case of Praklinna-vartma, after which washes, eye-salves, eye-drops (Ashchyotana), snuffs (Nasya) and fumigation (Dhuma) should be resorted to according to the Dosha involved in each case. A compound composed of Musta, Haridra, Yashti-madhu, Priyangu, Siddhartha, Rodhra, Utpala-sariva[14] pasted together[15] should be employed in the manner of an Ashchyotana measure. As an alternative, the compound consisting of Rasanjana and honey should be used as an Anjana. 31–32.

The decoction of the leaves and fruits of Amalaka should be duly prepared (in the manner of Rasa-kriya) and used as an Anjana. Rasa-kriya preparations prepared with (the expressed juice of) the roots of bamboo, or Vartis prepared with the same by (condensing it by) cooking it (again) in a copper vessel, should be used for the above purpose. Rasa-kriya preparations prepared with Triphala, flowers of Palasa, or Khara-manjari, should be similarly applied to the affected organ. Eye-salves made of powdered Kamshya-mala and cotton fibres (Tantu) burnt together and pasted with the milk of a she-goat and mixed with (white) Marica and powdered copper should be used as a Pratyanjana to the eye (already weakened by the use of Anjana.) 33–34. 

An eye-salve or an Anjana made of Samudra-phena, Saindhava, conch-shell, Mudga and white Marica mixed together (in the shape of a powder) should be prescribed in a case of Aklinna-vartma as it would promptly alleviate the local itching. The foregoing measures and remedies should be likewise employed in a case of Praklinna-vartma according to the nature of the deranged Doshas involved therein. An Anjana prepared with the admixture of Kajjala and Tuthhaka (Sulphate of copper) rubbed in clarified butter on the surface of a copper vessel, would be similarly used (in such cases). 35–36.


Thus ends the twelfth chapter of the Uttara-Tantra in the Sushruta Samhita which treats of the curative treatment of Raktabhishyanda.

Footnotes and references:


See Chapter XLV, Sutra-Sthāna.


Dallana explains “Abhyanjana” as collyrium, but he also says that some commentators take it in its usual sense of anointment with clarified butter washed hundred times in water, or such other Sneha.


Both Dallana and Śivadāsa say that pure transparent water may be used in preparing the compound if rain-water is not available. Dallana says further that the affected eye should also be washed with the liquid compound thus prepared. Śivadāsa, however, supports this latter view.


Dallana explains “Vetrāmla” as “Amla vetasa”. Some, however, divide it into two words viz., “Vetra” and “Amla” meaning thereby sprouts of Vetra (cane) and Amla-vetasa respectively.


The group beginning with Kāśiśa—See Chapter XXXVI, Sutra-Sthana, page 334, Vol. 1.


See paras 3 and 4 of this Chapter.


“Superficial” (Uttāna) is here used in the sense of “seated in the first layer” and “deep seated” (Avagādha) ‘seated in the second layer’,


One part of Saindhava, two parts of Marica, four of Manahśilā, eight of Śamkha and sixteen parts of copper should be taken in the preparation of the compound.


See Chapter XI, para 6.


The spathe (Jatā) of the palm tree and the shell of the cocoanut fruit should be taken in preparing the compound.—Śivadāsa.


The prepared powder of elephant’s bone should be mixed with honey and rubbed over the affected part (Śukra) with the tip of the finger or with a Śalākā (rod). The eye should then be washed with the infusion of Triphalā. —Dallana.


Some add honey in the list.


Dallana says that the deranged Doshas of the system should be cleansed with the application of Sneha, Venesection, purgative, errhines and Āsthāpana.


In place of ‘roghrotpalasārivābhiḥ’ some read ‘lodhrāsitasārivābhiḥ’, meaning in this case ‘Syāma-latā’ by the term ‘Asita-sārivā’. Others again mean ‘Rasānjana’ by the term ‘Asita’.—Dallana.


Dallana recommends ‘rain water’ as the liquid for the preparation.

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