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 XXVI - Treatment of diseases of the head

Now we shall discourse on the chapter which deals with the therapeutics of the diseases of the head (Shiro-roga-Pratishedha). 1.

Treatment of Vataja-Shiroroga:—

Remedial measures described in connection with the treatment of Vata-Vyadhi should be employed in their entirety in the Vayu-origined types of the diseases of the head, and all medicinal compounds of oil or clarified butter should be followed by a potion of milk. Mudga, Kulattha, or Masha pulse, unmixed with any other thing, as well as pungent and heat-making articles, saturated with clarified butter and followed by potions of tepid milk should be taken in the night. Sesamum oil or the paste of sesamum may also be taken. Milk duly boiled with the Vayu-subduing drugs should be employed in a lukewarm state in washing the diseased locality, and a plaster composed of the powders of the same drugs boiled with milk should be applied lukewarm to the scalp. In the alternative, the scalp may be plastered over with the boiled flesh of fish or with Krishara (preparation of rice and sesamum) saturated with Saindhciva salt, or with (the paste of) Chandana, Utpala, Kushtha and Pippali, finely powdered together (all in a lukewarm state). 2–3.

Oil duly prepared with Kulira (crabs) should be used for Nasya (snuffing) purposes subsequent to the employment of the (above) fomentation. A quantity of milk diluted with the addition of half as much of water should be duly boiled with the paste of the drugs of the Varunadi group and taken down from the fire when the water has evaporated. Butter should be skimmed out of it when cool and clarified butter prepared therefrom should be again duly cooked with the paste of the drugs of the Madhura group. The use of this Ghrita as a Nasya (snuff) is highly efficacious in the type under discussion. Clarified butter duly cooked with the decoction of the preceding drugs (of the Varunadi group) and with milk should be taken with sugar. Snaihika Dhuma (Chikitsa, XL.) should be administered in time when required, and Traivrita Ghrita and Bala Taila should be prescribed as a draught and as an errhine, as well as for the purposes of anointing, sprinkling and Vasti-Karma. The food in the present type of the disease should be taken with milk cooked with Vayu-subduing drugs and with meat-soup saturated with Sneha (clarified butter). 4–5.

Treatment of Pittaja and Raktaja Shiro-roga:—

Cooling plasters saturated with clarified butter should be applied to the scalp and cooling head-washes should be prescribed in the Pittaja and Raktaja types of Shiro-roga. Milk, the expressed juice of sugarcane, fermented rice-gruel (Dhanyamla), curd-cream (Mastu), honey and sugar mixed in water—these should be used for sprinkling purposes. Plaster for the head should be prepared with Nala, Vetasa, Kahlara (red lotus), Chandana, Utpala, Shamkha (conch-shell), Shaivala, Yashti-madhu, Musta and lotus taken together and mixed with clarified butter, and the plasters described in connection with the treatment of Pittaja and Raktaja Visarpa (Erysipelas) should also be used. The drugs of the Madhura group should be used in a tepid state as plasters and the Sneha (oil or clarified butter) duly cooked with the same drugs should be used as an errhine, and appropriate medicines should be used as purgatives as well as in Asthapana and Sneha-Vasti measures, Clarified butter skimmed from milk, and fresh Vasa (lard)[1] of Jangala animals should be used as errhines, and, cooked with the drugs of the Utpaladi group, should be used in the manner of Asthapana-vasti. Food should be taken with meat-soup of Jangala animals, and clarified butter should be used in the manner of an Anuvasana Vasti. Clarified butter skimmed from milk and duly cooked with the drugs of the Madhura group and mixed with sugar should be used for emulsive purposes (Snehana), and all measures and remedies which are remedial to the deranged blood and Pitta may be likewise employed with profit in these cases. 6–7.

Treatment of Kaphaja Shiro-roga:—

In a case of Kaphaja-Shiroroga, the Kapha-subduing measures, such as strong emetics, head-purgatives (Shiro-vireka) and gargling should be resorted to. The transparent upper part of clarified butter[3] should be given to drink, and fomentation should then be frequently applied to the head. Head-purgatives should then be administered with the pith of Madhuka wood, or with Mesha-shringi and Ingudi bark. Vartis (sticks) made of Mesha-shringi and Ingudi barks should be used in smoking. Snuffs of powdered Katphala should be taken, and gargles with Kapha-subduing drugs should be used. Plasters prepared with Sarala, Kushtha, Sharngashta, Deva-daru, and Rohisha pasted together with the alkaline water and mixed with Saindhava salt should be applied lukewarm to the head. The diet should consist of cooked barley or Shashtika rice, which should be judiciously taken with Yava-kshara and powdered Tri-katu and with the soup of Mudga, Patola and Kulattha pulse. 8.

Treatment of Tri-doshaja and Kshayaja Shiroroga:—

The Measures which are severally remedial to the three deranged Doshas of the body should be employed in a case of Shiroroga marked by the concerted action of the three Doshas (Tri-doshaja) and draughts of old and matured clarified butter are said to be specially efficacious in such instances. Employment of nutritive (Vrimhana) measures and remedies is recommended in cases of the diseases of the head due to any waste or atrophy of the local fat, etc. (Kshayaja Shiroroga). Clarified butter duly cooked with the admixture of the drugs of the Vayu-subduing and the Madhura groups[3] should be given as drinks and errhines. Any medicated Ghrita which acts as a remedy in cases of consumptive cough would be found most efficacious in the present (Kshayaja) type. 9–10.

Treatment of Krimija Shiroroga:—

In a case of head-disease (head-ache?) due to the germination of parasites (Krimi) in the head, the patient should be made to snuff in a quantity of animal blood. The worms or parasites lured with the smell of the blood, would greedily come down (into the passages of the nostrils) when they should be carefully extracted (by means of tongs, etc). Head-purgatives composed of the pulverised seeds of Hraswa (small) Shigru mixed with Kansya (dead brass) and Nili (indigo) pounded together should then be used, if necessary, or any vermifuge drug (Vidanga, etc.) pasted with the urine of a cow should be stuffed into the nostrils in the manner of an Avapida Nasya. Fumigations should be applied into the nostrils with the fumes of burnt sordid fishes and vermifuge foods and drinks of various kind should be given. 11.

Treatment of Suryavarta and Ardha-vabhedaka:—

Errhines etc. (plaster, gargle, etc.) should be prescribed in cases of the Suryavarta type of Shiroroga. The diet should principally consist of boiled rice and milk with clarified butter and the essence or extract of the meat of Jangala animals. These and similar other suitable remedial agents should be employed in cases of the Ardhavabhedaka type of Shiroroga. Shirisha[4] and Mulaka seeds or bamboo-roots camphor, or Vaca and Magadhi, or Yashti-madhu and honey, or Manah-sila, pasted with honey, or (pasted) Chandana should be stuffed into the nostrils in the manner of an Avapida Nasya in a case of the Suryavarta type of Shiroroga as well as in a case of Ardhavabhedaka headache. After the use of the above, the patient should be made to snuff in the medicated clarified butter cooked with the drugs of the Madhura[5] (Kakolyadi) group, in both the above cases. Plasters composed of Sariva, Utpala, Kushtha and Yashti-madhu pasted with Kanjika(acid gruel) and surcharged with oil and clarified butter are to be found efficacious in both the cases, if applied to the affected region. This may be employed with equal success in the cases of the Kaphaja type[6] of Shiroroga. 12–14. 

Treatment of Ananta-vata:—

Cases of Ananta-vata Shiroroga should be treated like those of Suryavarta. Moreover blood-letting should be effected (by opening a local vein) and the diet should be such as to subdue the Vayu and the Pitta and should cossist of Madhu-Mastaka, Sangyava and Ghrita-pura (different kinds of confectionery made of wheat, sugar, milk, clarified butter, etc.). 15.

Treatment of Shamkhaka:—

Clarified butter churned from milk should be given for a drink and used as an errhine in a case of Shamkhaka and the diet should consist of (boiled rice mixed with) clarified butter and the essence of the meat of jangala animals. Plasters composed of Shatavari, black sesamum, Yashti-madhu, Nilotpala, Durva and Punarnava pasted together, or of Maha-sugandha (Utpla-asariva) or Palindi pasted with Kanjika should be applied to the affected locality. Cooling washes and plasters as well as different Avapida Nasyas prescribed in cases of Suryavarta should also be prescribed for this disease (Shamkhaka). 16.

Strong head-purgatives (errhines) composed of oil and honey should be first administered in cases of Shiroroga with the exception of the Krimija and the Kshayaja types. Then the patient should be made to snuff in drops of mustard oil. In cases where the preceding remedies would fail to produce any relief, the patient should be treated with Sneha and Sveda, and bleeding should then be effected by opening a local vein. 17–18.

The Conclusion:—

The causes, symptoms and the therapeutics of the seventy-six kinds of ocular affection, of the twenty-eight kinds of the disease of the ear, of the thirty-one kinds of nasal disease, of the eleven kinds of the disease of the head as well as of the sixty-seven (sixty-five) kinds of the affection of the mouth have been described in detail in other treatises (e.g., those of Videha, etc. dealing with this special subject—the diseases of the over-clavicular region). The number, symptoms and therapeutics of these diseases of the over-clavicular region are herein briefly described in accordance therewith. 19.


Thus ends the twenty-sixth chapter of the Uttara-Tantra in the Sushruta Samhita which deals with the treatment of the diseases of the head.

Here ends the Shalakya Tantra (Surgery Minor).

Footnotes and references:


In place of ‘vasā’ (lard) some read ‘rasā’ which means meat-soup.


According to a variant matured clarified butter should be used in this case.


According to Videha the clarified butter in this case should be cooked with the decoction of the Vāyu-subduing drugs and with the Kalka of the Madhura drugs.


Sripati Datta, the commentator of Vrinda, prescribes the bark and Śivadāsa Sen, the commentator of Cakrapāni, prescribes the seeds of Śirisha.


Some take “madhurasā” to mean “mūrvā” |


In place of the Kaphaja type some read the Kshayaja type. But it is not accepted by Jejjata, Others again read “Anilātmake” i.e., in the Vātaja type.

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