The Garuda Purana
Chapter CXCVI - Therapeutic properties of drugs
Dhanvantari said:—The group of drugs known as Madhurādi Gana, which are possessed of disease-killing properties, consists of Shāli, Yashthika, wheat, milk, clarified butter, honey, marrow, Shringātakam, barley corn, Erbāru, Gokshuram, Gāmbhāri, lotus seeds, raisins, dates, Valā, cocoanut, Ātmaguptā, Vidāri, Pivālakam, Madhukam, Tāla, and Kushmāndam. They alleviate epileptic fits and a burning sensation in the body, soothe the six organs, and being partaken of in exclusion of all other things, generate the Kapham, and worms in the intestines, and bring on cough, dyspnœa, with a sweet taste in the mouth, hoarseness, tumours, goitres, and elephantiasis, etc.
Dādima, Āmalakam, Āmram, Kapittha, Karmarda, Mātulunga, Āmrātakam, Vadaram, Tintidi, milk curd, whey, Kānjikam, Lakucham, Amla-Vetasam and Amla-lona form the acid group. The last named one, taken with Shunthi, acts as a good digestant, and stomachic. These acid fruits generate the Vāyu in the system, give rise to an increased secretion of the mucous membranes of the body, take a long time to be digested, and are possessed of considerable constructive properties. The acid taste exclusively partaken of produces tooth-edge, looseness of the limbs, a burning sensation in the heart and epigastrium, and establishes suppuration in excised or incesed(?) wounds, like a living fire.
The different kinds of salt, Yavakshāra (nitrate of potash) and barilla etc., form the saline group, which acts as a laxative, liquefacient and digestant agent, and gives rise to increased mucous secretion, and its potency readily expands through the whole organism. The saline taste exclusively partaken of tends to obstruct the vessels of the body, brings on resolution of tumours, and begets urticaria, œdema, erythematous eruptions, discolouring of complexion, Rakta-Vātam, Pitta-raktam, virile inpotency and diverse kinds of pain in the body. Vyosha, Shigru, Mulakam. Devadāru, Kushthakam, Lashuna, Valguja-phala, Musta, Guggulu, and Lāngali, are pungent, appetising, cleanse the system of the morbific diatheses (Shodhi, it may also mean laxative) and conquer itches, skin-disease and the deranged Kapham. These things, exclusively taken, reduce corpulency, bring on physical lassitude, act as good vermifuginous agents, reduce the quantity of fat and semen in the system, and produce a burning sensation in the body. Kritamāla, Karira, Haridrā, Indrayava, the sweet Kantakam, the sweet Vetram, the two kinds of Vrihati, Shankhini, Guduchi, Dravanti, Trivrit, Mandukaparni, Karavellakam, Vārtāku, Karavira, Vāsaka, Rohini, Shankhapushpi, Karkota, Jayantikā, Jāti, Varunakam, Nimva, Jyotishmati, and Punarnavā, are bitter in flavour, tend to set flow the arrested serum (free the venal circulation), are relishing, refrigerant, and laxative, improve the digestive capacity, and conquer fever, epileptic fits and itching sensations. These drugs, exclusively taken, dry up the excrementitous matter of the organism, and prove remedial in cases of wry neck, convulsion, cephalagia and ucler.
The group consisting of Triphalā, Shallaki, Jamvu, Āmrātakam, Vata and its kindred species, Tindukam, Vakulam, Shālam, Pālankam, Mudga, and Chillakam are astringent, and absorbant, arrest local secretions, and produce granulations in ulcers. Exclusively taken, these drugs beget pain at the chest, fever, parchedness of the mouth, distension of the abdomen, and wry neck. Haridrā, Kushtbam, salt, Meshashringi, the two kinds of Valā, Kachchura, Shallaki, Punarnavā, Shatāvari, Agnimantha, Brahmadandi, Shvadanshtrā, Eranda, Yava, Kola, Kulattha, Karshāshi, and Dashamulam, these drugs, whether severally or in combination, destroy the deranged Vāyu, and subdue the deranged Pittam and Kapham.
The group consisting of such drugs as Shatāvari, Vidāri, Vālakam, Ushira, Chandanam, Durvā, Vata, Pippali, Vadari, Shallaki, Kadali, Utpatam, Padma, Audumvara and Patolakam acts as a good phlegmagogue. Haridrā, treacle with Kushthakam, Shatapuchpi (Shatapushpi?), Jāti, Vyosha, Āragvadha, and Lāngali are possessed of the same virtue as the foregoing ones; clarified butter, oil, myosin and marrow are the best of all lardaceous substances. Persons desiring to improve their memory, intelligence and digestive capacity should regularly take clarified butter; Ghritam unmixed with any thing should be given in diseases of the deranged Pittam, in combination with salts in diseases of the deranged Vāyu, and in admixture with Vyosha or alkalis in glandular affections, sinuses, worms in the intestines, and diseases brought about through the agency of the deranged Vāyu, or through the predominance of the deranged Kapham. Oil, which imparts lightness and firmness to the body, should be internally administered to patients suffering from extreme constipation of the bowels, to those whose fundamental organic principles have suffered a diminution through sexual excesses, carrying of inordinately heavy loads, excessive physical labour, and exposure to wind and water. It should be used in vaginal enematas, after cauterising a vein, in obstruction of the vessels of the body, for removing a parched condition of. the organism, after fatiguing physical labour, and for making up any loss in the system. In connection with emulsive medicinal decoctions the full dose of oil should be understood as a Palam weight; three Aksha weight is the middling dose, and a half Palam weight is the smallest (Jaghanyam) dose. Hot water should be given with Ghritam, while it should be separately given [to patients to whom oil may be prescribed.
A man feeling himself thirsty after taking any kind of Ghritam or oil should drink hot water. Measures calculated to restore the deranged Vāyu to its normal condition should be resorted to with the help of any emulsive substance in respect of patients of good digestive capacity. Diaphoretic measures should be employed in respect of persons of extremely parched temperament, while parchifying measures should be adapted in cases of over-dose of an oil or Ghritam. A compound of Shyāmaka, Koradusha, or boiled rice, or Pinyākam, pasted with whey and made warm, should be used in fomenting the body of the patient, in diseases of the deranged Vāyu and Kapham, or in those of the deranged Vayu, or in those of the deranged Kapham. Extremely corpulent, or weak patients, as well as those of parched temperament, or suffering from epileptic fits should not be fomented at all.