The Garuda Purana
Chapter CXCII - Medicinal recipes of inffalible effcacies
Dhanvantari said:—Now hear me, O Sushruta, discourse on the recipes of medicinal compounds of infallible efficacy, which I shall shortly enumerate for the good of all creatures. Ingestion of astringent, pungent, bitter, acid or parchifying articles of fare, anxiety, sexual excesses, physical fatigue, fright, grief, late hours, loud talking, carrying of inordinately heavy weights, undue application to any kind of work and fasting are the factors, which tend to aggravate the bodily Vāyu, which is naturally aggravated during the rainy season, after the digestion of food, and at the close of day. Similarly, ingestion of hot, acid, saline, alkaline, pungent and indigestable articles of fare in general, exposure to heat, and indulgence in cups and anger are the factors, which tend to aggravate the Pittam, which is spontaneously aggravated during the process of digestion, in summer and autumn, and at the middle part of the day or night. Ingestion of sweet, acid, saline, emulsive, cold, or heavy (of digestion) articles of fare, use of newly harvested rice, or of the flesh of animals that live in pools or in marshy places, want of physical exercise, day sleep, and sedentary habits in general are the factors, which tend to aggravate the Kaphah, which is spontaneously aggravated in the morning, just after eating and in the spring time Roughness of the skin, contraction of the limbs, an aching sensation, tympanites, anaesthesia, horripilation, atrophy or numbness of any part of the body, looseness of the limbs with a twany brown complexion, increase of physical strength, or extreme prostration are the specific traits of the deranged and aggravated Vāyu, as well as of diseases due to its agency. Heat with a burning sensation in the body, redness and inflammation of the (affected part), exhalation of an acid, pungent, or cadaverous smell from the body, perspiration, thirst, vertigo, and epileptic fits, as well as jaundice or chlorosis form the specific features of the deranged Pittam. Gloss of skin with a sweet taste in the mouth, a sense of being packed in a wet sheet, œdema, coldness, heaviness, itching, somnolence, and a delayed crisis are the symptoms, which indicate the action of the deranged Kaphah. The presence of the combined symptoms of any two of these Doshas in a disease points to its Bi-doshaja origin, while a combination of all the three Doshas in a disease indicates its Sānnipātika origin. The human body is the receptacle of Doshas, Dhātus (fundamental organic principles) and Malas (excreta.)
A normal equlibrium among them is called health, while an increase or decrease of any of them is called disease. Blood, fat, flesh, myosin, bones, marrow and semen are called Dhātus; the deranged Vāyu, Pittam and Kaphah are called Doshas, while stool, urine, etc., are called Malas. The Vāyu (nerve energy) is cold, light, subtle, parchifying and mobile; the Pittam (bile) is acid, pungent and hot, and brings on suppuration and diseases of the albumen and Glycogen; Kaphah (mucous) is sweet, heavy, slimy, shiny and emulsive. The Vāyu is principally located in the rectum and pelvis; the Pittam, in the digestive apparatus; and the Kaphah, in the stomach and head and about the bones (synovia). Things of pungent, bitter or astringent flavour aggravates the deranged Vāyu; saline, acid and pungent things aggravate the deranged Pittam, while sweet, saline and hot things aggravate the deranged Kaphah. Proper antidotes to these, administered in diseases, lead to their subsidence, while they contribute to keep the normal equilibrium among the fundamental organic principles in health.
A sweet taste improves the eye-sight and increases the quantity of Dhātus and lymph chyle, while an acid taste is digestant, appetising and relishing. A saline taste is purgative, emetic, digestant, and liquefacient. A pungent taste is digestant, appetising, anti-toxic, anti-corpulent, and exciting. A bitter taste is a febrifuge, and is appetising, laxative, and refrigerant. An astringent taste is liquefacient, choleric, aperient and absorbant. A drug is the receptacle of taste, potency, and digestive transformation. The potency of a drug is either cooling or thermogenic. Digestive transformation (reaction undergone in the stomach by a thing after digestion) is either sweet or pungent.
A physician, patient, nursing attendant and medicine form the four legs of a medical treatment, and an absence of any of these makes it abortive or impossible. The season of the year, the place (of residence), age, digestive capacity, physical temperament of the patient, as well as the state of his body and its strength, things he is accustomed to, and the nature of the disease and of the curative drug to be employed should be taken into consideration before commencing a medical treatment.
A well watered, well drained, hilly country, well shaded by forests, is called a Jāngala country in which hæmorrhage is found to be the prevailing disease. A marshy place, or a swampy country, in which Vāyu and Kaphah are naturally aggravated, is called an Ānupa country.
A country, which partakes of the physical traits of both these kinds, is called a Sādhārana country. Infancy extends to the sixteenth year of a person, youth extends thence forward to the seventieth year, and after that is the old age. The Kaphah predominates in infancy; the Pittam, in youth; and the Vāyu, in old age. Surgical operations should be done with the help of cauterisation of both kinds (fire and alkali) on infants and old men. An emaciated frame should be tried to be made stout; a corpulent body should be tried to be reduced in bulk An active, muscular frame is all that is to be desired in life. The strength of a person should be inferred from his sustaining power, physical work and cheerfulness of mind.
A healthy man is possessed of an indomitable energy and courage. Even food and drink, which are ordinarily calculated as unwholesome, should be regarded as congenial to persons in whom they fail to produce any distressing symptoms. Vāyu-generating, Pitta-generating, or Kapha-generating food, exclusively taken by a person, makes his physical temperament marked by a preponderance of Vāyu, Pittam, or Khaphah, hence one should partake of a mixed kind of diet.
A man of Vātika temperament has a sinewy frame and sparse hairs, is of a volatile disposition, and talks much in dreams. The hair of a man of Pittaja temperament becomes prematurely grey. He is irritable and fair-complexioned, easily perspires and dreams of fire in sleep.
A man of Kaphaja (phlegmatic) temperament is possessed of a crown of glossy hair, is of a somewhat sluggish disposition, and dreams of water in sleep.
A man of a bi-humoural temperament is possessed of mental and physical traits peculiar to each of those humours. The digestive capacity of a person is either sluggish, sharp, irregular, or normal; and of these four kinds the normal one is to be preferred. In the irregular kind measures and remedies calculated to subdue the deranged Vāyu should be employed, while in sharp and sluggish forms, Pitta-subduing, and Kaphah-destroying remedies should be respectively employed. Indigestion is the parent of all diseases; and there are four forms of indigestion such as, the Āma, Amla, Rasa, and Vishtambha. In the Āmaja form vomiting should be induced with the administration of Vacha and salt.
In the Amla form of indigestion, which is marked by the non-emission of semen, vertigo, swoonings, etc., the remedy consists in drinking cold water, and inhaling cold air. In the indigestion of undigested lymph chyle (Rasa), which begets an aching pain in the limbs, with a numbed, confused feeling in the head and a distaste for food, the patient should be advised to forego all food and drink, and to take a sleep in the day. In the Vishtambha form of indigestion, which is marked by tympanites, colic, and suppression of stool and urine, diaphoretic measures should be employed, and solution of common salt should be internally administered. The three forms of indigestion (Āma, Amla and Vishtambha) should be regarded as respectively due to the actions of the deranged Kaphah, Pittam, and Vāyu.
A prudent man, (suffering from indigestion), should plaster his abdomen with a paste of Hingu, Trushana, and rock salt, and enjoy a siesta in the day, inasmuch as these measures are found to be curative in all forms of indigestion. Hosts of bodily ailments result from the use of unwholesome food, hence one should refrain from taking any food that proves incongenial to one’s system.
A potion of honey and warm water acts as a digestant, and milk is incompatible with Karira, fish and milk-curd. The group of drugs, which is known as the major Pancha Mulam and which consists of Vilva, Shonyāka, Gāmbhāri, Pātalā, and Ganikarikā, is appetising, and subdues the deranged Vāyu and Kaphah. The group of drugs, which is known as minor Pancha Mulam, and which consists of Shālaparni, Prishniparni, Gokshura, Vrihati and Kantakāri, is restorative and subdues the deranged Vāyu and Pittam. These two groups of drugs jointly form what is called Dasha Mulam, which forms curative in Sānnipātika forms of fever, cough, asthma, aching pain at the sides, and somnolence. Medicated oils and Ghritas, cooked and prepared with the aforesaid Dashamulam, as well as Dashamula plasters and pastes cure Sānnipātika forms of diseases. Take water four times as much as the drugs, boil it down to its quarter part, add oil or Ghrita, four times as much as this drug-decoction, and milk to the weight of the oil or Ghrita, and drug-paste to a quarter weight of the latter, and boil and cook it in the usual way. The medicated oil or Ghritam of Dashamulam, properly prepared (neither over nor under-cooked), should be employed as potions and clysters; that, which is over-cooked, should be used as unguents, while that which is under-cooked should be used errhines. This is the usual practice.
A cure denotes the restoration of the gross body and its internal organs to their normal condition or functions, and a patient, whose vital energy is not at its lowest ebb, should be alone medicinally treated.
A patient, who becomes hostilely disposed to his friends, elders, and physicians, and fondly attached to his enemies, and the functions of whose sense-organs have become perverted, should be looked upon as on the point of death. A patient, the bones of whose ankles, knee-joints, fore-head, jaws and cheeks have become loose and look hung down, would soon give up his ghost. A black tongue, sunk eyes and nose, black hung down lips and a fetid exhalation from the mouth are the symptoms, which indicate an approaching death.
Dhanvantari said:—For the knowledge of what is good or evil, I shall now discourse on the rules of food and drink. The red species of Shāli paddy (rice) destroys the three-Doshas, allays thirst, and arrests perspiration. Mahāshāli is highly restorative, and Kalabha is anticholeric and phlegmagougic, while Shastika is heavy (of digestion) and cooling, and destroys the three Doshas. Shyāmaka is parchifying, absorbant, anticholeric, and phlegmagougic, and generates Vāyu in the organism.
The species of food grain such as Priyangu, Nivāra and Koradushas, etc., are possessed of the same properties as the latter (Shyāmaka), Yava (barley) is cooling, anti-choleric, phlegmagougic and highly Vāyu-generating, while wheat (Godhuma) is constructive, cooling, palatable and Vayu-destroying. Mudga pulse is light, sweet, astringent, anti-choleric, phlegmagougic and alterative. Māsha pulse is heavy (of digestion), aphrodisiac, extremely strengthening and engenders the Pittam and Kapham. The species known as Rājamāsha is non-aphrodisiac and destroys the three Doshas. Kulattha pulse cures dyspnœa, hic-cough and intestinal glands, and subdues the Vāyu and Kapham. Kushthaka is cooling, astringent febrifuginous and styptic; and Chanak (gram) generates the Vāyu, destroys the Pittam, Kapham and blood (sic), and diminishes virile potency. Masura (lentil) is sweet, cooling (in its potency), astringent, and subdues the Kapham and Pittam. Sathina pulse is extremely Vāyu-generating.
Adhaki destroys Kapham and Pittam, Kapikachchha is highly spermatopoetic, Atasi is Pitta-generating; and Siddhārtha, Kaphah and Vāyu-destroying. Tilah (sesame has a sweet and alkaline taste, and is emulsive, tonic, thermogenic and choleric. The rest of the seeds ( lit. food grains) are parchifying or cooling in their potency and serve to impair the strength of the organism. Chitraka, Ingudi, Nālika, Pippali, Madhu-Shigru, Chavya, Nirgundi, Tarkāri, Kāshamarda and Vilva are vermifuginous, appetising, light (of digestion), anti-choleric and phlegmagougic, Varshābhu and Markara destroy the Vāyu, and Vāyu and Kapham in combination.
Eranda is bitter and laxative, Kākamāchi destroys the three Doshas, Chāngeri destroys the Vāyu and Kapham, while Sarshapa, like Kaushambha, aggravates all the Doshas. Rājika engenders the Vāyu and Pittam, Nadicha destroys the Kaphah and Pittam, Chuchchu is sweet and cooling, Padmapatram destoys the Doshas, Tripātam is extremely Vāyu-generating, Kākshara destroys all the Doshas, Vastuka is extremely relishing, Tanduliya, like Pālankya and Chaudrika, is anti-toxic, raw Mulakam generates the Doshas and Mucous in the intestines, while cooked it destroys Vāyu and Kapham. Mature Karkotakam, like Vārtakam, Patolam and Kārabillam, destroys the three Doshas, is delicious, and improves the voice; Kushmāndam is diuretic and relishing, destroys all the Doshas, and proves curative in cutaneous affections, urinary complaints, fever, cough, asthma and diseases of the Kapham and Pittam.
Kalinga Alāvuni is anti-choleric and Vāyu-generating, Trapusha and Ervāruka are anti-choleric and generate the Vāvu and Kapham, Vrikshāmla destroys the Kapham and Vāyu, and Jamvira destroys the Kapham and Vāyu. Dādima (pomegranate) is astringent and Vāyu-destroying; Nāgaranga-phalam is heavy of digestion, while Keshara and Mātulunga are appetising and tend to destroy (the deranged) Kapham and Vāyu. Māsha destroys the Vāyu and Pittam, while its rind is emolient, heat-making and Vāyu-destroying. Amalakam is sweet, relishing, constructive and aphrodisiac; Haritaki is relishing, appetising and favourably compares with the divine ambrosia. Like Aksha phalam, it is liquefacient and laxative, and tends to destroy all the Doshas. Tintidiphalam (tamarind) is liquefacient, laxative, acid (in its flavour) and subdues the deranged Vāyu and Kapham. Lakucham is sweet and pathogenic, Vakulam, is Vāyu and Kaphah-subduing, and Vijapurakam is anti-spasmodic, proving efficacious in intestinal glands, cough, bronchitis and diseases of the deranged Vāyu and Kaphah. Kapittham (horse-apple) is astringent, anti-toxic, and anti-pathogenic, ripe Kapittham is heavy of digestion.
Immature Amram (mango) generates the Kapham and Pittam, raw-mango aggravates the Pittam, while ripe mango subdues the deranged Vāyu, and is tonic, cosmetic and spermatopoetic. Jamboline fruit is astringent, takes time tobe digested, engenders the Vāyu and destroys the deranged Kapham and Pittam. Tinduka is Kaphah and Vāyu-destroyiog, Vadaram destroys the Vāyu and Pittam, Vilvam engenders the Vāyu, and continues long undigested in the stomach, while Piyālam subdues the deranged Vāyu. Tālam, Rājādanam, Mocham, Panasam and Narikelam (cocoanut) are sweet, emolient, heavy (of digestion) tonic, and spermatopoetic. Drāksha, Madhuka, Kharjuram and Kunkunni pacifies the enraged blood and Vāyu, while ripe Māgadhis are sweet, laxative and curative of bronchitis and diseases of the deranged Pittam.
Ardrakam is relishing, appetising and subdues the deranged Kaphah and Vāvu, while Shunthi, Maricha and Pippali conquer the deranged Kapham and Vāyu. Maricha is antiaphrodisiac, though several authorities attribute a contrary virtue to it. Hingu (asafœtida) conquers Kapham and proves curative in colic, intestinal glands, and tympanites. Yamāni (Ptychotis), Dhānyakam (corriander seeds and Ajāji (cumin seeds) are highly Vāyu and Kapha-destroying. Saindhavam (Rock salt) is aphrodisiac, improves the eye-sight, and destroys the three Doshas. Saubarchal salt is heat making in its potency and cures tympanites and angina pectoris. Vid salt is sharp and heatmaking, anti-spasmodic and Vāyu-subding. Romakam Salt is heavy, relishing and Vāyu-subduing and leaves a slimy deposit in the vessels of the body. Yavakshāra (impure Nitrate of Potash) improves the digestive faculty, and proves curative in Jaundice and diseases of the heart and throat. Sarjikshāra (barilla) is sharp, caustic, appetising, and is used in bursting absceses.
Atmospheric water is light, refreshing, anti-toxic and Dosha-destroying. River water is parchifying (in its effect) and Vāyu-generating; tank-water, sweet and light; Vapi-water Kapha and Vāyu-subding; and Tadāga water, Vāyu-generating. Fountain water is palatable, digestant, phlegmagougic, light and parchifying (produces a condition of parchedness in the organism); well water generates the Pittam and is appetising; water that springs up from beneath the soil is Pitta-subduing; water that is kept exposed to the sun, whole day, and is cooled by the moon beam, all night, acquires virtues identical with those of atmospheric water. Hot (boiled water) is beneficial in fever, bronchitis, and corpulency, and subdues the Vāyu and Kapham1 Water, which is boiled and subsequently cooled down, destroys the three Doshas, while that, which is collected over night, generates or aggravates them (Doshas) in the system.
Cow’s milk is heavy, emulsive, rejuvenating, and Vāyu and Pitta-subduing; that of a she-buffalo is heavier and more emulsive than the former, and impairs the digestive faculty; that of a she-goat proves curative in blood-dysentery, cough, bronchitis, asthma and diseases of the deranged Kapham. Woman’s (breast) milk has a saline taste and proves beneficial in hæmorrhage and diseases of the eyes. Milk-curd is tonic, and aphrodisiac; it destroys the Vāyu and generates the Pittam and Kapham in the system. Cream, churned out of curdled milk, destroys the Doshas and cleanses the ducts of the body (Sratovishodhanam). Newly made butter cures lienteric diarrhœa (Grahani), hæmorrhoids, and faceal paralysis, while preparations of stale butter are heavy of digestion and beget Keloid tumours and other cutaneous affections.
Takram (a kind of whey), whose creamy substance has been removed, subdues the three Doshas and cures lienteric diarrhœa, œdema, hæmorrhoids Jaundice, dysentery and effects of any slow poison retained in the system. Clarified butter Ghritam) is sweet, constructive, nerve-tonic, anticholeric and phlegmagougic; Ghritam made out of cow-butter improves the intellect and eye-sight, while a properly prepared and medicated Ghritam serves to destroy the three Doshas. Old Ghritam proves curative in hysteria, insanity, and epileptic fits. Ghritam made out of goat’s butter, or of any other butter should be regarded as possessing identical virtues with that milk. Urine is an antitoxic vermifuge and subdues the deranged Kapham and Vāyu.
Sesame oil is tonic, improves the growth of hair, subdues the deranged Vāyu and Kapham, and proves beneficial in Jaundice, Ascitis, cutaneous affections, hæmorrhoids, œdema, intestinal glands and urinary complaints. Mustard oil is anti-corpulent, verrnifuginous, and phlegmagougic and cures Jaundice and the deranged Vāyu. Linseed oil impairs digestion, and destroys the Vāyu and Pittam. Oil expressed out of Aksha seeds is anti-choleric, and phlegmagoguic, it improves the growth of hair and soothes the skin and the eyes.
Honey destroys the three Doshas, and generates Vāyu in the system, and proves curative in hic-cough, bronchitis, vomiting, urinary complaints, thirst, intestinal worms and effects of poisoning. Sugarcane is tonic and constructive, generates the Kapham, and cures hæmorrhage, hymoptisis, etc. Phānitam (boiled sugarcane juice) is sharp and Pitta-generating, while Matsandikā (surface layer of treacle) is white and light, and Khanda (a kind of unrefined sugar) is emolient, constructive, and sweet, and proves curative in hæmorrhages and disorders of the Vāyu Treacle is constructive, Kaphah-generating and Vāyu and Pitta-subduing. Old treacle is extremely wholesome, subdues the Pittam and soothes the blood. Treacle-sugar is constructive and cures hæmorrhage, hymoptisis, etc. All kinds of urine generate the Pittam, which, through its acid taste, conquers the Kapham and Vāyu. Wines of the Sauvira species are sharp and aggrevate blood and the Pittam. Manda made of fried rice is appetising and digestant. Peyā (Gruel) is light, diuretic and restores the deranged Vāyu to its normal' condition. Peyās made with whey, pomegranate, and Vyosha, or with treacle, Amala and Pippali prove curative in cough, bronchitis and diarrhœa. Pāyasa is tonic and phlegmagougic, Krishara, is Vāyu-destroying.
Soup being cooked in combination with bulbs, roots, fruit or Ghritam becomes heavy and constructive. A Supa (salted soup), well-cooked and taken lukewarm, forms a light diet. Shākas, well-cooked and with their watery parts squeezed out, and seasoned with any oily or fatty substance, forms a wholesome dish. Jusha (unsalted soup) made with Amalaka and pomegranate improves digestion, destroys the Vāyu and Pittam; made with Mulaka it proves efficacious in cough, bronchitis, catarrh and diseases of the deranged Kapham. Jusha of barley, Kola and Kulattha pulse is beneficial to the voice and subdues the deranged Vāyu. Juice made with Amalaka and Mudga-pulse is astringent and conquers the deranged Kaphah and Pittam.
Milk-curd with treacle is Vāyu-destroying, fried barley-powder (Shaktu) is parchifyiug and Vāyu generating, Shuskalis (something like Kachauries) prepared with Ghritam are aphrodisiac and heavy (of digestion), and improve the digestive faculty. Articles of fare made with cooked meat are constructive and tissue building; cakes are heavy of digestion, those, which are baked with oil, impair the eyesight, while those which are boiled with water are extremely hard to digest. Warm Mandakas are extremely wholesome; cold they take a long time to be digested. Drinks and afterpotions (Anupānas) are refrigerant, and those, who follow the proper rules as regards drinks and Anupānas, know no disease and enjoy a sort of immunity from poisoning. The taste or touch of a cold poison, resembling the neck of a peacock in colour, produces mental anguish and discolouring of the complexion of a patient anywise handling it. The smell of such a poison produces obstinate occular affections, yawning, shivering, etc., which baffle the skill of even the best of physicians.