Atharvaveda and Charaka Samhita

by Laxmi Maji | 2021 | 143,541 words

This page relates ‘Kasa (bronchitis) 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.

Caraka discusses disease of Kāsa and treatment of Bronchitis and Kāsa-cikitsā. The premonitory signs and symptoms of Kāsa are as follows: a feeling congestion in the throat, itching sensation in the throat, and obstruction to the movement of food in the gullet.

Five varieties of Kāsa are as follows:

  1. Vātika kāsa (caused by vāyu),
  2. Paittika kāsa (caused by pitta),
  3. Kaphaja kāsa (caused by kapha),
  4. Kṣataja kāsa (caused by the injury to the chest or phthisis) and
  5. Kṣayaja kāsa (caused by the diminution of tissue elements).

The first three types of kāsa should be curable and others are only controllable. Kṣataja type of kāsa is generally palliable. Kṣayaja kāsa is called Jarā kāsa, which is palliable.

Vātaja kāsa should be treated by oleation, sudation, purgation, unctuous enema. Pittaja kāsa should be treated by purgation and emesis. Kaphaja kāsa should be treated by emesis, food which is hot, dry, and spicy, light food etc. Kṣataja kāsa should be treated by drugs which are sweet and promotive, etc. Kṣayaja kāsa should be treated by mild evacuation and promotive measures, improve digestive power, nourishing drugs and drugs which cleanse body channels, etc. Use of formulations to cures of this disease, namely, Agastya Harītakī, Kaṇṭakāri-Ghṛta, Pippalyādi-Ghṛta, Viḍaṅgādi-Cūrṇa, Goat’s milk cooked with tṛṇa pañcamūlā, Manaḥśilādi-Dhūma, Drākṣādi-Leha, etc.[1]

Footnotes and references:


C. Cikitsāsthāna–XVIII. 3-190; Caraka Saṃhitā Vol. II with elaborated Vidyotini Hindi Commentary, trans. Kasinatha Pandey & Gorakha Natha Chaturvedi, Varanasi, Chaukhambha Bharati Academy, 2015, pp. 532-555.

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