Atharvaveda and Charaka Samhita

by Laxmi Maji | 2021 | 143,541 words

This page relates ‘Grahani (sprue-syndrome) according to Caraka’ found in the study on diseases and remedies found in the Atharvaveda and Charaka-samhita. These texts deal with Ayurveda—the ancient Indian Science of life—which lays down the principles for keeping a sound health involving the use of herbs, roots and leaves. The Atharvaveda refers to one of the four Vedas (ancient Sanskrit texts encompassing all kinds of knowledge and science) containing many details on Ayurveda, which is here taken up for study.

Maharṣi Caraka discusses disease of Grahaṇī Doṣa and treatment of Sprue-syndrome or Grahaṇī doṣa-cikitsā. The term Grahaṇī doṣa implies the malfunctioning of agni. The agni is primary located in the Grahaṇī. impairment agni is responsible for the causation of Grahaṇī doṣa. The reason for Jāṭharāgni is life, colour, strength, health, enthusiasm, plumpness, complexion, ojas or energy, tejas, agnis and prana. Digestive fire or Agni is the main cause of all diseases and also for the maintenance of good health and life. Jāṭharāgni is the chief among all the agnis because its increase and decrease result in the increase and decrease respectively of bhūtāgnis and dhātvagnis. Jāṭharāgni should be suitably and carefully maintained because the life and strength of an individual are dependent upon it. Also, Agnimāndya and Ajīrṇa, etc., are called Grahaṇī roga. The signs and symptoms of Ajīrṇa are: feeling prostration, headache, fainting, giddiness, yawning, malaise, fever, morbid thirst, vomiting, anorexia and indigestion of food etc.

The distinctive feature of Grahaṇī-gada is that the patient voids stool, which is partly a product of digested food and partly a product of undigested food. The premonitory symptoms of Grahaṇī roga are: morbid thirst, feeling of laziness, diminution of strength, delay of food in the digestion etc. The symptoms of Grahaṇī-gada are morbid thirst, anorexia, distaste in mouth, excessive salivation, and asthma, pain in bones, oedema in legs and hands, fever, and smell of ama etc. Grahaṇī roga is four types, namely, Vātika, Paittika, Kaphaja, and Sānnipātika. The causes of Grahaṇī roga are Vayu, Pitta, Kapha and all three together.

The general treatment of Grahaṇī roga is: when āma is excessive the patient should be given emesis therapy; when ama is in the intestine he should be given appetisers and purgatives therapies; when ama is in the whole body he should be given lightening and digestive measures. Use of formulations to cures of this disease, namely, Pañcakola peyā, Śuṇṭhi cūrṇa, Harītakī cūrṇa, Citrakādi cūrṇa, Daśamūla ghṛta, Tryūṣaṇādi ghṛta, Takrāriṣṭra, Bhallātaka kṣāra, Kṣāra guṭikā etc. Use Pañcakarma to cure Sānnipātika Grahaṇī[1].

Footnotes and references:


C. Cikitsāsthāna–XIX.2-141; Baidyacharya Kalikinkar Sensarma & Ayurbedacharya Satyasekhar Bhattacharya (eds.), Caraka-Samhita–Vol. II, trans. Kabiraj Jasodanandan Sirkar, Kolkata, Deepayan Publication, 2013, pp. 527-551.

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