by Laxmi Maji | 2021 | 143,541 words
This page relates ‘Conclusion’ 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.
Chapter 6 - Conclusion
Āyurveda is the most significant human development in terms of medical science in ancient India. It is the most comprehensive scientific knowledge on human body elements and the treatment of the ailments with a scientific approach. This system of treatment aims at the prevention of diseases based on the five basic elements like–earth, water, fire, air and space. According to Manu the Vedas contain all kinds of knowledge and science which have two parts: Saṃhitā and Brāhmaṇa. Upaniṣad is precise portions of Veda. The Ṛgveda contains important information about the Āyurveda. The Atharvaveda is the basis of Āyurveda which contains information about the doctor (Vaidya), different parts of the body, different types of treatment etc. Āyurveda discusses three basic elements of the human body namely vāta, pitta and kapha. It also discusses dhātu or structural elements, mala, the excretory elements. Different human organs are described elaborately in Āyurveda. The descending tradition of Āyurveda consists of different communities like the Ātreya community, Dhanvantari community and Bhāskara community. Brahmā is the creator of the knowledge of Āyurveda. Brahmā gave the heavenly knowledge of Āyurveda to Dakṣa Prajāpati and Bhāskara. Lord Brahmā, Viṣṇu, Siva or Rudra are all associated with the treatment and cure of diseases in Vedic literature. Indra is also an important God associated with the natural powers like thunder, storm etc. which have healing properties. Vāyu also occupies an important place among the medical deities along with Agni. The Saṃhitā periods started after the Vedic period from Brahmā to Indra tradition in the Āyurveda descent. According to Caraka-Saṃhitā, Bharadvāja learnt the science of Āyurveda from Indra and taught it to Ātreya. There are renowned Vaidyas like Kāśyapa, Jīvaka, Agniveśa, Bhela, Jatukarṇa, Hārīta, Parāśara, Kṣārapāṇi etc. who have contributed exceptionally in the field of medical science in Ancient India. Apart from these, we find the names of physicians like Karavīrya, Aurabhra, Aupadhenava, Bhoja, Kāṅkāyana, Varyovid, Nimi, Gargya, Dalhaṇa, Jīvaka-I, Jīvaka-II, Jīvaka-III, in ancient India. There are two traditions of Āyurveda like the tradition of Veda or Rudra and the tradition of Lord Siva. There are so many scholars in ancient India who did a lot of study of Āyurveda including Caraka, Suśruta, Nāgārjuna, Vrāhamihira, Mādhavakara, Śāraṅgadhara, Bhāvamiśra, Kāśyapa, Vāgbhaṭṭa, Jaydeva Vidyālaṅkāra. The scholars have written numerous books on medical science. The names of the books include Yogaratnākara, Aṣṭāṅga Hṛdaya, Aṣṭāṅga-Saṃgraha, Kāśyapa-Saṃhitā, Caraka-Saṃhitā, Suśruta-Saṃhitā, Rasendrasāra, Rasaratnākara, Bhela Saṃhitā etc.
The treatment process of Atharvaveda is of different types. There are some treatments namely -Māraṇaucātana, Stambhana, Vaśīkaraṇa, Bhaiṣaja. Āyurveda’s six dual approaches of diagnosis are called Rogī roga Parīkṣā–that include Prakṛti, Vikṛti, Sara, Samhanana, Pramāṇa, Satya, Sātmya, Sattva, Āhāra Śakti, Vyāyāma Śakti and Vaikaraṇa. Besides this, kriyākalā or the chronological progression should also be taken into account. The eight sects of Āyurveda are Ātreya, Dhanvantari, Śālākya, Bhūtavidyā, Kaumārbhṛtya, Agadatantra, Rasāyana tantrikā and Vājīkaraṇa tantrikā.
Āyurveda is the ancient knowledge from India about medical science that astonishingly dates back to 5000 BC. This system of treatment is best on medicinal plants and herbs found in the geographical area of the Indian subcontinent as natural vegetation. This natural healing system based on plant medicine developed during the age of the Vedas. Among the four Vedas Atharvaveda exclusively deals with this ancient science of treatment. Vedic sources trace a Consistent and Continuous stream of medical tradition. These sources inform us that there were hundreds of medical practitioners and thousands of medicines (i.e., Herbs and Plants). This section offers a brief but comprehensive history of Vedic medical tradition. According to Ṛgveda, Brāhmaṇa is called physician because he kills diseases and germs and he has to protect the human race of all diseases. Ṛgveda mainly invests emphasis on curing different diseases using the sun, water, and numerous herbs, while the invocation of Gods is also prescribed to take on diseases. Ṛgveda mentions physical as well as Psychological ailments with numerous hymns. The Ṛgveda also has ample reference to the application of surgery in curing certain ailments. The Aśvin Gods are glorified for possessing celestial power to cure ailments. Thus, the story of Viśpalā is found where the lame horse was treated surgically. Also, the stories of the restoration of eyesight of Ṛjrāśva and Kaṇva and hearing ability of Nārṣada are found. Reference of curing leprosy and blindness by surgery is also mentioned in Vedic scriptures. The Aśvin Gods are attributed with fourteen formulas. The theory of Tridhātu i.e., Vāta, Pitta and Kapha are ascribed to Vedic texts according to which Rudra is the most accomplished celestial physician. The equal distribution of Tridhātu in the human body maintained the equilibrium in the human body. According to Āyurveda, the five primary principals are earth, water, fire, air and space Vāta, Pitta, Kapha, whereas according to Sāṅkhya Philosophy the whole world is made up of twenty-four elements. Ṛgveda also mentions organ transplantation through surgery. Sāmavidhāna Brahmana suggests means to protect against serpents, ghosts and diseases. In Ṛgveda, a complete sūkta is medicine sūkta. It is said that medicines have been created before the creation of human being. Yajurveda also supports these principles. According to Aitareya Brāhmaṇa, vegetation is the source of oxygen for the human beings. Therefore, Vanaspati should be taken care of to sustain human life.
Medicines are of two types–Vanaspati and Auṣudhi, where Vanaspati refers to trees and Auṣudhi refers to the saplings. Apart from this treatment, the treatment with natural energies like sun, water, wind etc. are also important as prescribed in the Veda. Minerals and sea medicine are also important. References for buying medicines in exchange for cow and wealth are also found in Vedic text. Diseases such as cough, piles, worms, leprosy, arthritis, cardiac disorder, different stomach diseases etc. are found to be treated with numerous plant medicines like -Akṣa, Atasī, Apāmārga, Araṭu, Arka, Arjuna, Alābu, Avakā, Avaghnatī, Aśvattha, Aśvavāra, Aśvāvatī, Āñjana, Āmva, Āyati, Alāka, Uttānaparṇā, Ikṣvu, Udumvara, Udajasa, Upavākā, Urvāru, Ulaka, Urjayantī, Karīra, Karkandhu, Kākamvira, Kāṣmarya, Kiṃśuka, Kuśa, Kuśara, Kṛṣṇala, Kyāmvu, Kṛmuka, Khadira, Karjura, Khalva, Garmut, Gavīdhuka, Guggulu, Godhūma, Ghṛtācī, Caṇaka, Jamvīra, Jartila, Jalāṣa-bheṣaja, Tila, Tilvaka, Tejana, Darbha, Dūrvā, Naḍa, Nīvāra, Nyagrodha, Porna, Pākadūrvā, Pāṭhā, Piṅṣatī, Pippala, Puṇḍrīka, Puṣkara, Pūtīka, Pūtudāru, Plakṣya, Badara, Balvaja, Bibhītaka, Bilva, Bhūrja, Madhūka, Masūra, Māṣa, Muñja, Yava, Yavāṣa, Rohitaka, Vaṃśa, Vivāṅkata, Viśvabheṣajī, Viṣā, Vīriṇa, Vṛṣa, Venu, Vetasa, Vyalkaśa, Vrīhi, Śaṃśapa, Śamī, Śara, Śālmali, Śiṃśapā, Śigru, Śītikā, Śīpāla, Śyāmāka, Sahamānā, Sahasvatī, Sugandhitejana, Sairya, Soma, Somāvatī, Spandana, Svadhiti, Haridru, Hariṇyaparṇa and so on which are described extensively. Earth, Water, Fire, Air, Sun and Moon are said to have a tremendous influence upon human beings. So, treatment with these natural resources like sun rays is also preferred. Colour therapy or chromotherapy too are applied to cure several diseases. Many diseases are treated with Agni (fire)—such as worms, cold, and poison are cured using yajña. According to the Vedic texts, human souls have a direct relationship to air. Therefore, much importance has been invested in the practice of Prāṇāyama to enhance the power of the soul. Prāṇāyama is a very special and unique technique to control the breathing process. The importance of hydrotherapy has also been proved in Vedic texts. God Rudra and Varuṇa are mentioned as the powers behind such treatments. Water has very important medicinal properties. Water is needed to activate any medicine. As such water destroys problems like sinful thoughts, nightmares etc. Caraka, Suśruta, Vāgbhaṭṭa have given a detailed description of different forms of water and its usefulness. Different Vedic texts refer to soil treatment as well. It is mentioned that diseases such as fever, abdomen cramps and colic are treated with soil. According to Vedic texts, there are four types of goods offered in the form of sacrifices. Firstly, there comes perfume, such as saffron, Kasturi, sandalwood. The second is nutritious objects like ointment, milk, fruits, food etc. The third is sweet such as sugar, raising etc. and the fourth is antiseptic such as giloya, gugala apāmārga etc. The sacrifice of the mentioned materials has been given much importance to remain healthy. In Ṛgveda and Atharvaveda an entire sūkta is dedicated to yajña for a long, healthy and disease-free life. Vedic texts also discuss psychological ailments such as self-exploration and psyche. Psychological treatment includes moral development and psychological therapy which include additional reassurance therapy and determination therapy. The purity of mind, transparency and righteousness is essential to eradicate all kinds of psychological ailments. Treatment with mantra or sound therapy also has much importance in Vedic texts. The sound produced from the mind follows in the format of a certain energy that travels through the body and cures different diseases. So, Vedic texts give much importance to the mantra or sound therapy. Thus, charting of Gāyatrī mantra creates longevity, Prāṇa, Prajā, kṛti and purifies the mind to destroy all misery. Vedic texts discuss touch therapy as well. In such therapy, the body of the patient is touched by fingers and hands. Lastly, medical attendants or Upācāra treatment is very significant too. According to Caraka, there are four qualities of a medical attendant such as-knowledge of service, cleverness, love for the patient and food purity. Finally, according to Śrīmadbhāgavatgītā, one’s control over eating, the regularity of daily work, sleeping at right time and waking up at the right time is the fundamental things to lead a healthy life.
Since Āyurveda has a direct relationship with Atharvaveda, so it is called Upaveda. Both spiritual therapy and medical therapy are invested with equal importance in Atharvaveda. So, most of the diseases were treated both with oblations and other practices i.e., offerings and prayers and plant medicines. Āyurveda has specific reference to two types of worms. i.e., Dṛṣṭa (macroscopic) and Adṛṣṭa (microscopic). Disease like Apachit, Kāsa, Kilāsa, Śirṣakti, Jalodara, Jāyānya, Mutrāvarodha, Śleṣma, Hārimā, Kṣipta, Unmāda, Pakṣaghāta, Kṣetriya, Rudhirasrāva, Āsrāva, Tṛṣṇā, Asthibhaṅga, Balāsa, Keśavṛddhi, Vājīkaraṇa, Grāhi, Viṣkandha, Takman, Sarpaviṣanāśana, Kṛmināśana, Vṛśchikaviṣanāśana and Sarvarogabhaiṣajjyaṃ were treated with charms after critically analysing the signs and symptoms. Atharvaveda mentions numerous plants that have medicinal properties as well as the number of families of plants such as Asiknī, Kṛṣṇā, Pṛśni, Prastṛṇatī, Stamvinī, Ekaśuṅga, Pratanvatī, Aṃśumatī, Kāṇḍinī, Viśākhā, Vaiśvadevī, Ūgrā, Avakā, Ulva, Tīkṣṇaśṛṅgī, as also Puṣpavatī, Prasūmatī, Phalinī, Aphalā etc. Atharvaveda prescribes numerous plants and herbs and at the same time recommends amulets or Maṇis to be used as the line of treatment. The ceremonial purposes of the hymns of Atharvaveda are categorized into Gaṇas such as the Āyuṣya gaṇa; Takmanāśana gaṇa, Gaṇakarmā gaṇa, Kuṣṭhaliṅgāḥ, Varchasya gaṇa, Salila gaṇa, Amholiṅgāḥ etc. which are directly or incidentally connected with the medical practices directed by the Kauśika Sūtra. The rituals for treatment were done with a sacred fire ceremony by a single priest. The treatment is quasi-religious which includes Pauṣṭika vidhi and Ghora vidhi. The semireligious medical performance includes the shooting of arrows, serving joints, turban of Muñja grass, saving pebbles etc.
Atharvaveda describes fever in its multiple forms like Graiṣmika, the fever in summer Varṣika, the fever in the monsoon and the fever in Autumn or Śārada. This type of fever is treated with Arjuna, Añjana, Kusa etc. Recitation of hymns to make gruel made of roasted grain to give the patient to drink is also mentioned. Atharvaveda also has the process of catheterization in patients suffering from Mūtraghāta or retention of urine. The process of catheterization includes chanting of specific verses along with applying to mix certain substances including Harītakī or Karpūra, Pūtika, Pramanda and probing the bladder with a copper instrument. In the same way, the diseases like Kṣetriya, Yakṣmā, Apachit, Jalodara, Hārimā, Kilāsa, Śūla, Śirṣakti, Kāsa, Balāsa, Asthibhaṅga, varṇa, Rudhirasrāva Keśavṛddhi, Tṛṣṇā etc. are treated with medicinal substances, charms and reaction of specific verses by the priest or the physicians. In the case of snakebite, the venom is confined by reciting some specific verses from Ṛgveda. According to Atharvaveda, the removal of poison is done by Madhiśībhaṃ before healing ritual amulets, from the anthill, clay and water. In the same way, the treatment of worm is carried out with recital of mantras and oblation of knowledge, Khalvaṅga, Algaṇḍū and Hanana mixed with ghee. The young worms are treated with a roasting arrow in the fire. Atharvaveda has Sarvarogabhaiṣajjyaṃ hymns, the panacea for all diseases. The healing ritual includes sprinkling holy water and washing the patient with dregs of ghee, leaves of Kāmpīla, etc. Atharvaveda advocates in favour of holding amulets. Also, it is said that there is a tree called manakā which can cure many diseases. Atharvaveda also discussed different maṇi as amulets such as Jaṅgiḍa, Aṅgirasa, Ūgragandhā, Maṅgalyā, Ūgrā to treat the diseases like broken bones, cough, back pain, cold, burns, worms etc. Among all the amulets. Astṛta maṇi is very powerful and anyone who holds this maṇi cannot be conquered. Likewise, Udumvara maṇi brings wealth and increases Prajā and wealth. Śaṅkha maṇi is the killer of all diseases. Again, Śatavāra maṇi destroys hundreds of diseases, is enhancer of semen and removes impotence. Abhībarta maṇi increases state power and destroys the enemy. Again, there is the Prāṇa maṇi that increases energy and life span and wealth. Phālamaṇi fulfils all desires and is the destroyer of enemy. Vaiyāghra maṇi which is effective like a tiger destroys all diseases and worms. Añjana maṇi cures dhāturoga, fever, phlegm, heart diseases, amputation and scabies. Similarly, Aśvattha maṇi cures Unmāda roga. Pāṭhā Maṇi brings victory.
In Atharvaveda, medicines are categorized on the basis of quality, colour, religion, and form etc. Whereas the first categorization is based on colour, the second categorization is done based on form and the third categorization is based on quality and the fourth categorization is according to fruits. According to Atharvaveda, Aghadviṣṭā is applied to destroy evil effects. Ajaśṛṅgī is used to kill various disease and germs. Atividdhabheṣajī is applied to cure Arthritis, convulsion etc. Adṛṣṭadahaṇī is used to cure acne and osteoarthritis. Aparājitā is administered to cure various diseases. Apaskambha is applied to cure snake bite. Abhiroruda is used to subduing the husband. Abhrighātā is used as an antidote. Amūlā is used as a poison for the tip of arrows. Arundhatī is used for acne and broken limbs. Arusrāṇa is used to stop bleeding, diarrhoea, urinary infection. Alasālā is used to cure Ālaroga. Aśoka is used for certain diseases mixing with honey and milk. Asiknī is used for white leprosy and a large scar. Astṛta is used to increase strength, roasting arrow in the fire. Āghāṭa, Āṇḍika and Ābayu are used for memory related diseases. Āsurī is used for white leprosy. Āsrāvabheṣaja is used as blood thinner etc. It is also used in fractures. Indrāṇī is an antidote for poison. Iṣīkā, Ugrauṣadhi, Ucchuṣmā are used for numerous diseases. Ṛtajāta is an antidote and sweetening medicine. Ṛtāvarī is beneficial for hair. Aukṣagandhi is used as a fragrance. Kaṅkadantī and Kanaknaka are used for snakebites. Kabru is used for Balāsa and biliary diseases. In this way the herbs such as Kalmali, Kāndāviṣa, Kilāsabheṣaja, Kumuda, Kuṣṭha, Kūdī, Keśaddahanī, Keśavardhanī, Krakoṣmā, Klībakaraṇī, kṣiptabheṣajī, Kṣetriyanāśanī, Citi, Cīpudru, Cyukākaṇī, Jaṅgiḍa, Jīvantī, Jībalā, Talāśā, Tastuva, Tājadbhaṅga, Tābuva, Tīkṣṇaśṛṅgī, Tṛṣṭā, Tṛṣṭāgha, Taudī, Tauvilikā, Trāyamāṇā, Daśabṛkṣa, Dipsauṣadhi, Devamuni, Dhava, Naghāriṣā, Nadya, Nadyamāra, Nadyāriṣa Nalada, Naldī, Nībibhārya, Nyastikā, Puruṣavāra, Puruṣāhṇa, Palāśa, Piṅga, Pippalī, Pīlā, Punarṇavā, Puṣkalā, Biṣkalā, Puṣpā, Pūtadru, Paidva, Pratisara, Pratīcīnaphala, Pramandanī, Prabandhanī, Preṇī, Baja, Babhrū, Balā, Balāsanāśanī, Bisa, Bhaṅga, Bhaṅgā, Bhadra, Maṇḍūkī, Madāvatī, Madugha, Madhūlaka, Madhūka, Madhū, Madhujātā, Madhumatī, Madhūlā, Madhūlaka, Maśakajambhanī, Mahāvṛkṣa, Māṣaparṇī, Pṛśniparṇī, Mulālī, Yakṣmānāśanī, Rajanī, Rāmā, Ropaṇākā, Rohaṇī, Lākṣā, Vacā, Vaṭa, Varaṇa, Vātīkṛtanāśaṇī, Vātīkṛtabheṣajī, Vāladuccha, Vitantrī, Vibādha, Viśapha, Viṣadūṣaṇa, Viṣadūṣanī, Viṣātakī, Viṣkandhadūṣaṇa, Vihahla, Vīrodīka, Vṛścikajambhana, Veda, Vyāghramaṇi, Vyāghrī, Śaṅkhapuṣpī, Nyastikā. Śaṇa, Śatakāṇḍa, Śataparvā, Śatavāra, Śaphaka, Śamakā, Śāṇḍadūrvā, Śāli, Śālūka, Śikhaṇḍī, Śilācī, Śepaharṣaṇī, Śebala, Śoci, Śyāmā, Saṃvananī, Saṃskandha, Sacīna, Sadaṃpuṣpā, Sadaṃphalā, Samaktabheṣaja, Samuṣpalā, Sarūpaṅkaranī, Sarṣapa, Saha, Sahadevī, Sahasya, Sahasrakāṇḍa, Sahasracakṣu, Sahasraparṇa, Sahasraparṇī, Sahīyasī, Śāla, Silāñjālā, Subhaṅgakaraṇī, Sraktya, Svadhā, Haritabheṣaja, Hiraṇyapuṣpī, Hlādikā are used to treat numerous diseases. The detailed description of ulcer is also documented in Atharvaveda where it is called Vidradhi which is of two types: internal and external. In such cases, Guggulu with kaṣāya is to be administered. Atharvaveda also refers to some herbs to treat oedema, stone, gonorrhoea, syphilis etc. For burning diseases, Atharvaveda suggests some specific medicine. Treatment of broken bones or bone fracture is also present in Atharvaveda. Besides diseases like hair loss, hair growth is also treated with specific medicinal plants. For eye diseases, water is considered as a Mahauṣudhi. Diseases like nasal blood bile are treated with exposure to sun rays. Atharvaveda also mentions the treatment of dental diseases with plant and herb medicines. In case of infection and ear pain, sunray is very effective. Atharvaveda also mentions oral diseases and their cure. The treatment of Apachit with different herbs and minerals is also documented in the Atharvaveda. Heart diseases are also mentioned in Atharvaveda which is called Hṛdayāmaya. Such diseases are treated with sun rays, as has been prescribed, and the moon rays are also effective in treating such diseases. There are different types of heart diseases documented in Atharvaveda. Jalodara or dropsy is also mentioned in Atharvaveda. The use of laxatives is also documented in the Atharvaveda. In the case of Bhasmaka diseases, apāmārga should be given to the patients. Atharvaveda mentions four types of Mūtrarodha diseases and the treatment of the diseases includes both medicine and surgery, along with spiritual healing. Atharvaveda also mentions stone diseases. The symptoms of these diseases are also well documented in Atharvaveda. In the same way nail disease, foot disease and such other diseases are also well documented in the Atharvaveda. According to Suśruta, there are four types of diseases–Āgantuka. Physical, mental, normal. All these mental illnesses, their causes, symptoms and treatment are well documented in Atharvaveda. The treatment of Unmādaroga is also described. The treatment of rabies, epilepsy, disease of spleen, liver, bone, diabetics are also thoroughly described in Atharvaveda. Atharvaveda also mentions several gynaecological diseases and treatment. A complete sūkta describes a woman's child. So that she can give birth happily. The problem of infertility is also addressed in Atharvaveda. Infertility is cured with different things like cow milk and many other plant medicines. The importance is cured with Apāmārga medicine. Atharvaveda talks about fistula and its different types of treatment processes. Piles, according to Atharvaveda, are of two types—dry and cold. This disease is treated both with medicine and surgery. For Kuṣṭha medicine likes Arka, Āsurī, Maṇḍūkī, Hāridrava etc. are prescribed. Rakta-vikāra is a type of blood disease which is mentioned in Atharvaveda along with its treatment. Different types of sores are also treated with medicinal herbs.
The treatment of Āśughāta is done with lākṣā, Plakṣa, Nyagrodha, Bhadra, Aśvattha, Khadira, Śāṇḍadūrvā and Śilācī. In the case of high blood flow from wounds, the treatment is done with water, meat and different medicine. In severe cases, swelling of blood veins is also described. In such cases, medicines like Darbha, Muñja, Aśvattha etc. should be administered. Atharvaveda discusses different skin diseases and their treatment with various medicines. The treatment of cough is done with various plant medicines. The different Pittaja diseases like Atisāra, Āmātisāra, Viśarīka etc. are regarded as very serious diseases and are treated with herbs and plants. Atharvaveda talks about soma medicine which is derived from Somalatā. This herb can be used to treat breathing problems, cough etc. The diseases like joint pain and other infectious diseases are described along with its various treatment processes. Pāṇḍuroga, Viśara disease, Viṣūcikā diseases can be cured by applying various medicines and herbs.
Vāyu, pitta, kapha are physical defects whereas Sattva, Raja, Tamaḥ are the faults of mind. The four elements of treatment are physician, medicine, attendants and patient. Healing is happiness and disease is sorrow. The qualities of a Royal physician are knowledge, logic, science, memory, activity and law. Religious work is the cure for mental illness. There are three types of Vaidya, namely–Chadmacara Vaidya, Siddhasādhita Vaidya and Vaidy-guṇayukta Vaidya. There are three types of Medicines like Daivavyapāśraya, Yuktivyapāśraya and Sattvābajaya. Fever is described as the chief among all diseases. There are different diseases described such as rakta-pitta, gulma, cough, herpes zoster, prameha, epilepsy, Unmāda, diarrhoea, haemorrhoids, piles. There are different herbs and medicinal plants associated with different diseases as described in Caraka-Saṃhitā. Manasākṣīra, Triphalā, Takrāriṣṭra etc. Head occupies the first place among the vital organs of the body. The diseases with various symptoms in the head occur due to different factors like suppression of Natural urges, sleep during the day time, intoxication, sexual indulgence, exposure to dust, smoke, snowfall, intake of heavy and sour food, injury to the head, anxiety etc. The eight types of abdominal diseases include Vātaja, Pittaja, Kaphaja etc. Eight Retadoṣas are thinness, dryness etc. The sense organ belongs to predominant Mahābhūta such as Tejas, Ap, Ākāśa, Pṛthvī and Vāyu. The five diseases are related to the head and five in the heart. There are sixtytwo vitiated doṣas and eighteen types of kaṣāya and seven types of the diabetic boil. A good physician should have thorough knowledge about the medical scriptures and strong practical experience. A drug is useful to make various medicines it regards as excellent. An ideal attendant is polite, knowledgeable, affectionate. Diseases are of two types i.e., exogenous and innate. Also, diseases are divided into psychological and somatic. There are different names of diseases like Udararoga, Mūtraghāta, Śiraroga, Pāṇḍuroga, Unmāda etc. According to Caraka-Saṃhitā, Rakta-pitta is a very serious disease caused by aggravated pitta. It causes pain in the heart, navel, abdomen etc. Kuṣṭha is a kind of skin disease caused by Tridoṣa. There are eight types of Unmāda. Treatment includes enema, purgation, emesis with Pañca-ghṛta, cow urine, Citraka, Harītakī. In the case of Udararoga sometimes surgery was also applied.
Rakta-pitta is caused by the heat of bile, combined with different Dhātu. The causes of this disease are intake of a large amount of spicy food, meat etc. and the symptoms include anorexia, vomiting, nausea etc. The treatment is done with numerous herbs such as Paltā, Neem leaves, Ciretā sake, Cakora etc. Gulma is a kind of abdominal swelling within the heart and the gut. This disease is caused by vitiated Vāta. The symptoms include anorexia, indigestion, colic pain etc. The treatment includes fasting, emesis, purgation, enema, fermented drinks etc. Herpes zoster causes ovarian tumour and the causes are fear, intake of unctuous food, improper emetic therapy etc. The causes are the accumulation of menstrual blood. The treatment includes purgation, Palāśa-kṣāra, vaginal douche etc. Prameha or Gonorrhoea is a disease of the urinary tract. The causes are excessive intake of curds, milk, fat etc. The treatment includes decoction of Dāruharidrā, Triphalā, Mustā, Turmeric powder etc. Haemorrhoids are caused by sweat, cool, abhiṣyandī and intake of vidāhī-dravya, indigestion, intake of tāmasika food etc. The treatment of piles includes oleation and fomentation, Manasākṣīra, Triphalā, Śuṭha, Citā etc.
The treatment includes emetic therapy, purgation, bitter drugs, meal soup etc. and herbs like Āmalakī, Mustā, Viḍaṅga, Citraka etc, should be given. Headaches occur due to several reasons like speeding, daytime sleep, waking up at night, alcohol etc. The treatment is done with sesame, milk, molasses, kuṭī etc. Heart disease is caused by mourning, fasting, exercise, lack of food etc. Bile and phlegm are symptoms of erosion. Osteoporosis is a disease that causes hair loss, nails bund and stalks. There are twenty types of vaginal disease like bile, induced etc. Caraka-Saṃhitā also mentions diseases like impotence, spermatogenesis, erectile dysfunction, Kṣaya and ejaculation etc. The cause of this disease is cold, rough, acid, antiseptic, grief, worry, tears etc. The symptom of mucus is a white stool, hyperthermia, depressed pulse, etc. The premonition of rheumatism is extreme dwarfism, pain in the womb, joint pain, fatigue, and severe oedema etc. The causes of aggravated vāta are consumption of cold, mild food at nocturnal time etc. Hiccups originate in the gallbladder. It is produced when phlegm blocks airborne currents and travels to the upper parts of the body. The patient should be treated with softening action and a mixture of salty oils.
There are five types of kāsa and four types of vomiting. The symptoms of vomiting include indigestions, acid, vidāhī etc. The causes of thirst are anger, labour, fear, alcoholism, dry food etc. There are ten types of venom–Laghu, Rukṣa, Āśu, Viśada, Vyavāyi, Tīkṣṇa, Vikāsi, Sūkṣma, Uṣṇa, Anirdeśya-rasa. There are twenty-four ways to treat poisoning such as Recitation of mantras, Ariṣṭa, Utkartana, Niṣpīḍana, Cūṣaṇa, Agni, Pariṣeka, Avagāha, Rakta-mokṣaṇa, Vamana, Virecana, Upadhāna, Hṛdayāvaraṇa, Añjana, Nasya, Dhūma, Auṣudha, Leha, Praśamana, Pratisāraṇa, Prativiṣa, Sañjñā-saṃsthāpana, Lepa, Mṛtasañjīvana. There are eight types of urinary continence like exercise, strong medicine, rough alcohol, excessive consumption of meat etc. The causes of heart disease are excessive physical exertion, anxiety, fear, panic, intoxication, immorality etc. Symptoms include fruiting, nausea, cough, drowsiness etc. The treatment of heart disease includes dadhi mast, takra, cow urine, five salts and herbs etc. Symptoms of piles include indigestion, anger, headache, nocturnal etc.
There are five types of anorexia, corn disease that cause ringing in the ear, pain and thin discharge which are treated with boiling fir, Vacā, Śuṭha, Kuḍa, boiled in oil. The symptoms of eye disease include tears, palpitation etc. The treatment is done with Pañcamūla, Eraṇḍa mūla, Jayantī etc. There are five types of Svarabheda. The treatment is done with Mustā, Harītakī, Devadāru, Haridrā, Dāruharidrā etc. The treatment of Rheumatoid arthritis is done with ghee, oil and marrow etc. Wounds are treated with laxative, ghee, wax, candy milk etc. In the case of alcoholism, the patient should be treated with alcohol with sweet food. The causes of biliary acne are thirst, delusion, fever, sweating etc. Duodenum is caused by overeating indigestion, poising, severe cold, contaminated food etc. Regular drinking of alcohol aggravated the disease.
Haemorrhoids are treated by rubbing rheumatoid arthritis by bitter ghee, restlessness is treated with milk. Drinking trikaṭu, Teuḍī, Kaṭakī and lohachūrṇa is beneficial. Haemorrhagic oedema causes fever and thirst. It is treated with several herbs and medicines. For haemorrhoids roots of Durālabhā, Kuśa, and Kāśa, roots and flowers of Śālmali and root of Banyan, Milk, and resin from Śālmali, Samaṅga, Raktacandana, Nīlotpala etc. Diarrhoea is the disease of bile and mucus. It is caused due to unwholesome food, vitiation of physical and mental doṣas, loss of Agni etc. Treatment of this disease includes intake of goat’s milk with honey and sugar, Kuṭaja decoction, Śatāvarī ghṛta, butter with honey etc. The symptoms of insanity include insomnia, anxiety, fever, discharge from the mouth, anorexia etc. The other symptoms associated with Unmāda roga are delirium, restlessness, impatience etc. The causes are unhealthy eating, lying, pre-born deeds etc. The treatments according to Caraka are internal oleation, sudation, emesis, purgation etc. Apart from these herbs there are other herbs also such as Balāsa, Triphalā, Devadāru, Haridrā etc. Epilepsy is the loss of memory and a sudden loss of consciousness. It is caused by the imbalance of Vāta, Pitta, Kapha. The different types of Medicines for this disease include Pañcagavya ghṛta, curd, cow’s dung, cow’s urine, cow’s milk, Medicated ghee, Daśamūla, triphalā, Haridrā etc.
Apasmāra is an incurable disease. Pāṇḍuroga is a serious disease in which the patient loses red blood cell, fat immunity etc. The causes for this disease are unwholesome diet, sleep in the day time etc.
Caraka-Saṃhitā describes different types of roots, herbs and medicinal plants. There are twenty-six types of roots, eleven types of roots and six types of juice that are documented. There are twelve types of food and different types of meat and vegetables, different types of smoke, four types of herbal medicine–Vanaspati, Vānaspatya, Virut and herbs. There are different types of medicine used for pañcakarma such as Apāmārga seeds, Pipuls, Sajinā seed etc. There are twenty-eight types of Yavāgu like pipul mūla, Citā etc. There are six hundred types of Purgatives, thirty-nine types of Jīmūta, fortyfour types of Titalāu, sixty types of Dhāmārgava, eighteen types of Kuṭaja etc., as described in Caraka-Saṃhitā. There are five Rasas and five hundred decoctions. There are ten types of Kuṣṭha, ten types of Anuvāsanopaga and different types of medicines and subtypes described. There are six types of Vomiting drugs like Madanaphala, Jīmūtaka etc. Fomentation therapy should be administered after oleation therapy continuously for a minimum period of three days and the maximum period of seven days. Sneha is commonly used for normalizing vāta. Niruha type of medicated enema should be given followed by Anuvāsana. The Anuvāsana type of Basti should be given when a disease is caused by vāyu without Āma.
Virecana drugs can be administered if the patient regains strength after snehana and Svedana. The signs of inadequate purgation are an aggravation of Kapha, pitta and vāta, suppressed Agni, drowsiness, vomiting etc.
Basti is the best available treatment to normalize powerful vāta. Signs of inadequate Niruha are headache, cardiac ache, pain in anal and bladder region, excessive salivation etc. There are three types of Basti given with Combination of different types of medicine to cure diseases–Anuvāsana, Niruha and Uttarabasti. Procedures to be done immediately after birth are rubbing of stone near the ears, sprinkling hot and cold water over the face, bathing etc. Four types of food are Asita, Pīta, Līḍa, Khādita. There are seven types of dream i.e., visual perception, auditory perception, experiences through other means, one's desire, imaginary, as premonitions, caused by the aggravation of doṣas. There are eight incurable diseases–Vāta Vyādhi, epilepsy, skin disease, oedema, abdominal disease, intra-abdominal swelling, diabetes, phthisis. Caraka-Saṃhitā records several signs and symptom of a patient's impending death, auspicious omen, good dreams etc.
According to Bṛhattrayī without vitiated doṣas, formation of diseases is impossible. Diseases are caused by the excitement of internal factor and imbalance of vāta, pitta and kapha. This imbalance can be explained by the cause-effect relationship. The intimate cause is vitiated doṣa and the non-intimate cause is vitiated doṣa and dūṣya. The word roga demotes both doṣa as well as disease. The nature of diseases is based on factors like severity of pain, colour and place of disease, name of the disease and positive factor which are namely vāta, pitta and kapha. In this way, diseases are classified according to different factors. Takman is a fever and can only be found in Atharvaveda. According to the description penetrating of fire into water causes fever. This disease has been dealt with in Atharvaveda with great seriousness. Due to the insufficiency of proper documents, Takman has only a small repository of literature. Takman is personified in a charm addressing it as a superior wrathful force that needs to be placated with supplication and prayer. Takman is treated by addressing Agni. Some of the types of Takman are suggested to be treated with a herbal remedy. It is recorded that the progress of fever is accompanied by conditions like a cold, hot, cough. There are different charms prescribed associated with Takman. Veneration is rendered to Rudra, Varuṇa, haven, earth, plants and various forms of Takman. Kuṣṭha is regarded as the most formidable among all plants. This flower is found in the mountain and it is addressed to restore health. This plant is known by three names Nadya, Nadyamāra and Nadyāriṣa which is the most superior plant. Fever headache and cough are believed to be caused by powerful lightning. In the charm against cough, the cough is asked to fly away, like the arrow, the rays of the sun and like the soul following its desire. In the charm against Balāsa pain is offered. In the charm against jaundice, prayers are offered to relieve from yellow colour. This disease is transferred through charms into birds. In the case of Takman, the patient is given gruel made of roasted grain in a copper vessel. The symptoms of Takman are rising temperature, alternatives of sweat and heart. This disease attacks repeatedly and periodically. When Takman occurs throughout the year this is called Hāyana. In this way, different names are given for the fever coming in a different season. This disease resembles malaria. It is said that the slaves’ menials and low people suffered from Takman. Another variety of Takman, bilious Typhoid is also found in the Atharvaveda. In this way, Atharvaveda records various types of fever. The connection of Takman with the great gods Varuṇa, Rudra etc. are referred to in Atharvaveda. Takman is directly called the son of Varuṇa. It is referred in the Kauśika Sūtra that Takman is caused by inimical witchcraft. Takman is prevalent in some parts of the country like Mūjavat, Mahāvṛṣa, Bālhīka, Gandhāra, the Aṅga, and the Magadha. So Takman was both caused by witchcraft and through the infected locality. Añjana is very much relieving to the burning body suffering from Takman. According to the Vedic text Takman has various names such as Arciḥ, Tapuḥ, Śociḥ, Śokaḥ, Abhiśokaḥ, Varuṇasya putraḥ, Hrūduḥ etc. Fever is imagined having three legs and large abdomen, with ashes on the body, wearing a tiger skin, with a pale complexion, bright body, brown eyes, short thighs. Fever causes both physical and psychological ailment. Physical defects include Arthritis, bile and phlegm and psychological problems include Rājasa and Tāmasa. The different treatments of fever include Yajña, water treatment, wind treatment, sun treatment. Holding the maṇi relieves fever. Also, according to Atharvaveda Gugala or Guggulu is a fever destroyer.
Añjana is said to be beneficial for different diseases like jaundice, dhāturoga, fever, phlegm, heart disease, amputation and other infectious diseases. Likewise, Añjana is also very useful for diseases like snakebite. Sea conch is also used for prevention of disease. Agni, Soma and Yajña are antipyretic. Prāṇāyama is used for Mandāgni. Also, Yajña and Samidhā are anti-fever. Dāsī and Śūdrā destroy phlegm, bile, fever, vāta etc. Sūdrārtā is the destroyer of fever, haemorrhoids, poison and diabetes etc. Punarṇavā is the destroyer of inflammatory disease, chlorosis, stomach disease, phlegm, bile, rheumatism etc. Vaiśvānara-agni is the destroyer of tuberculosis. Sūkta is said to cure diseases in every organ. Kuṣṭha is a very effective medicine for tuberculosis. According to Kauśika Sūtra, to treat fever or Takman the priest dips a heated area in water. This water is then poured upon the patient. Along with this, the patient is also given a gruel of roasted grain to drink. Takman is caused by a watery cold source.
On the other hand, Caraka-Saṃhitā describes fever as the prime disease. Fever encompasses many diseases like fever, insanity, discomfort, disease and anxiety. Fever is related to the god of death and is also known as kṣaya, tamas, pāpmā, and mṛtyu. In Caraka-Saṃhitā there are numerous stories related to the origin of Jvara of fever. The effects of fever are pyrexia, anorexia, thirst, body-ache, distress in cardiac region. The eight causes of fever are vāyu, pitta, kapha, vāta-pitta, pitta-śleṣmā, vāta-śleṣmā, vātapitta- śleṣmā and Āgantu. The symptoms of jvara include lassitude, congested eyes, yawning, exhaustion, unstable desire, aversion to fire, sun, air, water, indigestion and distaste in mouth, loss of strength and complexion. It is a psychosomatic disease. According to the location of dhātus there are seven types and according to etiology it is again of eight types. Fever should be treated by considering strength and weakness by the wise physician. Fever can be deadly depending upon numerous and potent etiological factors. Fever is caused by the spreading of the heavy doṣas all over the body through the channels carrying rasa. Such diseases left untreated can affect the tram total within a few days. Thus, different kinds of fever fake places due to the imbalance of vāta, pitta and kapha. This imbalance causes five types of fever i.e., Santata, Satata, Anyedyuṣka, Tṛtīyaka and Caturthaka. Fever has different symptoms like heaviness, anxiety, agitation, Malaise, vomiting, anorexia, external heat, burning sensation, giddiness, narcosis, diarrhoea, cough etc.
The recommendation for the treatment of different kinds of fever includes lightening therapy and other therapies followed by gruels, gram soup, soup of the meat of the wild animal, cold water, sugarcane juice etc. It is to be noted that neither emesis nor purgation is beneficial and in such uses adequate intake of milk, an enema should be administered. In the case of diarrhoea and pitta, cold food added with honey should be administered. The herbs like Bala, Bilva, Śuṇṭhi, Utpala, Dhānyaka etc., should also be administered. Barley cooked with pepper and Āmalakī along with ghee should be used as an appetizer. In such case non-vegetarians soup of Lava, Kapiñjala, Eṇa, Cakora, Upacakraka, Kuraṅga, Śaśa etc., should be given. Certain herbs are very effective in fever like Musta, guḍūcī, Śuṇṭhi, Uśīra, Poṭala, Nimbi, Triphalā etc. Milk boiled with Gokṣura, Bala, Kaṇṭakāri, etc., are also effective in case of oedema. Candanādi taila is very effective for the patients having a burning sensation in fever. This oil is prepared with herbs like Candana, śara, Nala, śāli, Jambū, Khadira etc. The patient should be kept in water-cooled chamber and adorned with garlands, flowers, blue water lily etc. The physician should apply thirteen types of formation. In case of swelling the patient should be treated with prompt blood–letting intake of ghee, anointing, stuffing and gargles. In the case of intermittent fever, the patient should be given concentrated wine, the meat of partridge, cock and peacock, triphalā, guḍūcī, ghee etc. Also, Pippalī, triphalā, curd, butter-milk. Pasay gravy, a ghṛta etc. are very useful in treating fever. The prevention of fever is possible by gems, auspicious herbs and intake of anti-poison drugs are highly recommended. It is maintained that one can overcome fever by worshipping with the sacrifice to Brahmā, Aśvin, Indra, Agni, Himālaya, Gaṅgā, the congregation of Maruts, the devotion of parents, respect to teacher, celibacy, penance, Truthfulness, observance of rules, repetition of the mantra, the offering of the oblation, hearing of nodes, visiting saintly people etc. During fever, patients should abstain from heavy, spicy and burning food, sexual intercourse, overwork etc.
Rājayakṣmā is such a disease that takes away all the vitality of the body. According to Atharvaveda, there are different medicines to treat Balāsa like Cīpudru tree, Jaṅgiḍa or Arjuna, Añjana, Tejana, Vaṃśa. According to Atharvaveda, there are four causes of Royal tuberculosis like eating unwholesome diet, loss of sperm, etc. The symptoms include excessive heat on the shoulders and sights, pain in limbs and maximum fever. According to Aṣṭāṅga Hṛdaya, vomiting and purgation are necessary to cleanse the body. The diet of the patient should be light food, butter, pepper, honey etc. Cyavanaprāśa, Pravālabhasma etc. are useful. According to Taittirīya Saṃhitā Rājayakṣmā are of three types -Rājayakṣmā, Pāpayakṣmā and Jāyānya. The origin of Rājayakṣmā is addiction, sinful thoughts and excessive sexual act. Taittirīya Saṃhitā suggests exposure to sunlight to prevent the disease. Also, one should abstain from sin or sinful thoughts and keep only a single sexual partner. Ṛgveda suggests that Yajña cures the disease through purifying the air to heal the lungs. Yajña nourishes the Prāṇa and Apāna. Soma-rasa also cures tuberculosis. It is a contagious disease that spreads by flying like a bird. The bark of Arjuna, barley, sesame, sun and moon rays cure this disease. Water is also said to have curing powers, so drinking plenty of water is suggested.
Atharvaveda does not consider Yakṣmā to have consumption, but it is a general disease. It decays the bone of the spine and affects flesh and bone marrow. The patient should be given porridge of rotten fish and bath with warm water containing burning sesame hemp, cow dung etc. The treatment of consumption is also done with charms and amulets.
On the other hand, Caraka-Saṃhitā describes arthritis, phlegm, and bile to be the main causes of tuberculosis. Here it is called Śoṣa Nidānaṃ etc. In Suśruta-Saṃhitā it is known as Śoṣa and Rogarāṭ. According to Caraka the stages of tuberculosis are anger, tuberculosis, fever, disease and sorrow. Similarly, there are four reasons for tuberculosis. The symptoms of tuberculosis include throat pain, chest pain, coughing, watery aches. Performing yoga is always suggested to keep away from the disease. Tuberculosis originates from the loss of dhātu or the essential vital elements of the body. Poisoning also causes tuberculosis. The aggravated bile, phlegm etc. cause the body vulnerable to the disease of Consumption. Venus is also responsible for the disease. There are eleven types of corrosive symptoms like aches, pain, sore, throat, flesh loss, headache, nausea etc. Rājayakṣmā causes spitting of blood, because of the blocked blood vessels. The cause of the disease is also anorexia, constipation, guilt or just fear. It is caused due to tridoṣa. The disease becomes impossible to treat if there are eleven or six symptoms. Drinking of barley, salt, amla, bitter, warm, sweating, vomiting etc. are the treatments of this disease. The essential herbs associated with the treatment are Vacā, Āmalakī, Ānūpa meat, Jīvantī etc. The disease is cured by applying bloodletting therapy, poultice etc. ghee mixed with lotus, Benā mūla, red sandal etc. are also useful. Apart from this, oleation, fomentation, emetic purgation therapies should be used. The decoction of pañcamūlā, with cow milk, pepper, raisin, crabs, triphalā, Pippalī, Āmalakī etc. are used to relieve some of the symptoms associated with tuberculosis. The decoction of Beḍelā, Śālaparṇī, ginger, milk, honey etc. relieve symptoms of fever. In case of defective mucus, vomiting, sweetened milk etc. are useful. Tuberculosis causes diarrhoea, so the patient should be given antipyretics. Yoga is also effective for patients. Herbs like leaves of Arjuna, Jambū, Padma, Sajinā, Gambhārī, etc. are very useful in managing the symptoms of diarrhoea in patients with tuberculosis.
In the case of cough, anorexia etc. cinnamon and cardamom are very useful. Different meats of various animals, especially the flesh of carnivorous animals, should be given to the patient. Use of various alcohols including meat is beneficial in tuberculosis. Oil baths are useful for the disease. The essential herbs are Aśvagandhā, Punarṇavā, Apāmārga, Sesame, Taṇḍula etc., to regain strength and nutrition. Also, Yajña should be performed to cure tuberculosis.
The disease tuberculosis which affects primarily the lungs is caused by the intracellular parasite, tuberculosis. It can also affect intestine, meninges, bones, skin and other parts of the body. This is an airborne disease spreading through droplets like COVID-19. The onset of symptoms includes weakness, fever and further symptoms can include cough, chest pain, coughing up blood. Mycobacterium Bovis is a major cause of tuberculosis in children. The developing countries are worst affected by tuberculosis. Males are more at risk than women.
The treatment of Jalodara disease in Atharvaveda consists of spells and chanting of Mantras to pacify the demon who tries to overpower the will of king Varuṇa. God Varuṇa is invoked to cure the disease. Water collected from the stream should be sprinkled upon the patient while praying to God to relieve the patient from the disease. The application of Palāśa wood, dregs of clarified butter is suggested as medicine. Patients suffering from dropsy are advised to take ritual baths. Yama and Varuṇa are a offered prayer to forgive the patient it any offences done against God. The great Agni is also invoked to cure the disease. The yellow and black eagles are requested a descent to heal the disease. In the other hand, Caraka-Saṃhitā describes Udararoga minutely. The great sage Caraka opined that Jalodara is a part of Udararoga. The disease is a common symptom of swelling and oedema of the belly. Several types of Udararoga are presented in detail. This disease sets in due to the imbalance of digestive enzymes causing abnormal metabolism. Problems of Prāṇa or Vāyu and Agni takes place due to contaminated food causing imbalance to vāta, pitta and kapha. The symptoms of this disease include compromised power of digestion, burning sensation in the stomach, bloating, loss of strength, abdominal pain etc. The eight kinds of Udararoga have been documented in Caraka-Saṃhitā. All the symptoms of the above eight types of stomach ailment have been well documented.
The herbs such as Palāśa, Arka, Gaja-Pippalī, Śigru, and Aśvagandhā, Vacā, Kuṣṭha, Pañcamūlā, Bilva, Śyonāka, Gambhārī, Pippalī, Gaṇikārikā, Punarṇavā, Bhūtika, Nāgara, Dhānyaka should be used in Udararoga. Again, Nāgara and triphalā and buttermilk, ghee, cow urine are also some very essential ingredients for the medicines of Udararoga. For piles the herbs should be used in Dāḍima, different oleation therapy for purgation is also described. A powder made with certain herbs like Hapuṣā, Kāñcanakṣīrī, triphalā etc., is essential in treating such diseases. Even the application of the venom of cobra is also prescribed in case of the untreatable condition. The process of surgery in severe cases to remove any blockage in the intestine has also been well documented in Caraka-Saṃhitā.
Leprosy is described in Atharvaveda with all its minute details. It is a kind of skin disease that affects the inner layer of the skin. According to Aṣṭāṅga Hṛdayaṃ, the reasons behind the origin of leprosy are irregular eating or consumption, killing of relatives, Vātādi doṣas due to pre-existing karma. Regarding medicine, Naktaṃ is very effective. The Naktaṃ is of three types Namely Kalihārī, gugala and Naktamāla. In case of white leprosy crushed Bhṛṅgarāja, Haridrā and numerous other herbs are applied in the affected area. Atharvaveda also mentions Kṛṣṇā medicine with Rāmā. Atharvaveda also mentions Asiknī as very good medicine for the treatment of leprosy. Nīlī is prescribed by Ācārya Suśruta as a very useful medicine for leprosy. Rajanī, Turmeric etc, are also effective for the treatment of leprosy. Atharvaveda also prescribed Āsurī medicines for the treatment of leprosy. Atharvaveda also advocates for Brahman medicines like Bhāraṅgī etc. for the treatment of white leprosy along with some other medicines like-Tilvaka, Maṇḍūkī, Māṣaparṇī and Pṛśniparṇī, Vīriṇa, Śatavāra, Puṣpā, Baja, Babhrū or Śaṅkhapuṣpī, Vibhīdaka or Bibhītaka, Śamī, Hāridrava, Haridru etc. Dirking of Bhallātaka oil, Tuvaraka oil and Mustard oil is also suggested by Aṣṭāṅga Hṛdayaṃ. Exposure to sunlight is also mandatory for the lepers. In Atharvaveda Leprosy is regarded as an entity having dark or black colour. The herbs are requested to help the white colour disappear. The Asura women were regarded as the first among all who successfully made the remedy for the white spot caused by leprosy. In Atharvaveda, Kuṣṭha, which is described as the herb owned by the Gods, is considered to be the best medicine to treat the white sport caused by leprosy. The herb Kuṣṭha, the curer of all Takman, is known by three names i.e., Nadyamāra, Nadyāriṣa and Paribru, and it stands along with Soma. It is born in the third heaven and is praised for its allhealing properties.
The three varieties of white leprosy are Asthija, Tanuja and Yat-tvachi. There are different reasons for this disease including wearing clothes and ornaments of the patient, breathing the same air, inheritance, sin and witchcraft. Fasting, eating indigestible food, mental agitation etc. are the cause of this disease. For the disease Balāsa, there are specific hymns present in the Atharvaveda. This is regarded as an unfamiliar disease. The symptoms of Balāsa include eruption in the skin and inflammatory Patches on the body. This disease is connected to several other diseases such as Takman, Kāsa, Lohita, Visalpaka etc. Balāsa affects eyes, ear, limbs, skin etc. There are different herbs and religious rituals associated with the treatment of this disease. Grass, Bulrush, Palāśa, Cīpudru etc. are the necessary medicines to be used to cure this disease. Leprosy is caused by the imbalance of vāta, pitta and kapha including abnormality in the skin muscles and limb.
According to Caraka-Saṃhitā, there are seven types of prevented cases of leprosy. The pre symptoms of leprosy are lack of perspiration, or excessive perspiration, discolouration, itching, numbness, burning sensation etc. excessive eating, excessive physical activity or rest after overeating, excessive consumptions of honey, fennel fish, curd, takra, kula, Kulattha, sinful deeds etc. There are seven types of Mahākuṣṭha and eleven types of Kṣudrakuṣṭha recorded in Caraka-Saṃhitā.
Suśruta called Dadru as Mahākuṣṭha. White Caraka called it minor leprosy. The Mahākuṣṭha described in Caraka-Saṃhitā is what modern medical science calls leprosy. In modern medical science, there are twenty types of skin diseases. All types of leprosy are caused by the imbalance of three Doṣas. So, it is necessary to treat according to the doṣas.
For Pitta Kuṣṭha Dāruharidrā, Harītakī mixed with cow urine is very effective. The root of paltā, shepherd, cucumber, Āmalakī, Baheḍā, Teuḍī, Kaṭakī, Haritāla and such other herbs are useful to cure leprosy. To eradicate Kuṣṭha the herbs such as Paṭolādī, kaṣāya, Mustā, trikaṭu, Citā etc. mixed with honey and ghee should be applied. To cure leprosy within a month droṇa, Khadira wood in a ghee filled pitcher, triphalā, trikaṭu, Viḍaṅga should be administered. The patient suffering from Kuṣṭha should take light food, better vegetables, triphalā, Mudga etc. The treatment of leprosy includes vomiting, purgation, Pracchana etc., and venous thrombosis for major leprosy. For many patients’ purifications therapies are necessary. Purgation should be done with herbs like Sauvīraka etc. For Āsthāpana therapy, large Benā roots, Mayanāphala, Neem bark, paltā should be added with oil, ghee etc. For rheumatic leprosy, medicated oil boiled with specific herbs should be given as Anuvāsana therapy. For Nasya therapy Dantī, Yaṣṭimadhu, rack salt etc. should be given to the patient. In case of elevated patches of Kuṣṭha surgery is also suggested. For Kapha Kuṣṭha the patch should be scratched and certain herbal medicines should be applied. Application of Alkalis and other therapies are also referred to in Caraka-Saṃhitā. Small Cardamom, Viḍaṅga, Śulphā, Citā etc. should be crushed and applied to the affected part of the body. Exposure to the sunlight is very important in Maṇḍala type of Kuṣṭha.
Thus, to cure different kinds of leprosy various ointments, baths, drinks, decoctions, ghee etc. should be applied. In most of the treatment processes, ghee is an indispensable ingredient as evident in Caraka-Saṃhitā. There are three types of Śvitra produces from the tridoṣas, i.e., -Dāruṇa, aruṇa and Kilāsa. These types of diseases are cured by the application of different medicine made from numerous herbs and plants.
This disease may lead to sensory and motor dysfunction. It is one of the oldest diseases recorded in the history of human civilization. Traditionally, leprosy is believed to be the outcome of punishment or curse. The introduction of sulfone drugs in 1943 heralded a new era in the treatment of this disease. The disease is characterized by parfait or total loss of sensation, thickened nerves and presence of the specific bacteria in the affected area of the skin. The presence of lump of the skin, figure or hoes, nasal depression etc., is the classic symptoms of leprosy. The tuberculosis leprosy is transmitted through respiratory droplets. It is a highly contagious disease. Certain drugs have shown to reduce the contagious property in the patient within a short period. Rifampicin should be applied locally to neutralize the bacilli within eight days. Among humans, males are more prone to leprosy than women.
Atharvaveda provides three specific charms to cast spells against worm related diseases. While the first two charms are for the adult patient the other is for children. In these charms, the great millstone of Lord Indra is said to crush all the worms, seen and unseen, living in the mountain, in the woods, in the herbs, in the cattle and our body. The sun is invoked to smile upon the worms which have many forms like the four eyes, the variegated whitish etc. Devine Sarasvatī, Indra and Agni are invoked to grind up and destroy the worms. We find the name of some worms such as Yevāṣās, Kaṣkaṣās, Stirrers, Kaṇva, Jamadagni and Agastya. Some worms have three heads, three humps.
There are different rituals along with reciting hymns to destroy the worms. The treatment for worm related diseases is done with medicine like Khalva grain, Śigruparṇa & roots of Uśīra. On the other hand, there are twenty types of worms found in the text of Caraka-Saṃhitā. The information about worms and their origin are thoroughly discussed in Caraka-Saṃhitā. The common symptoms caused by these parasites include itching, production of urticaria and pimple. Leprosy is caused by parasites found in blood vessels. The skin, the blood vessel, the ligaments, muscles tissue and cartilages are affected with such types of worms. Regarding shape, some big and flat, some are round, some look like earthworms. The parasites like Kakerukā, Lelihā, Saśūlakā etc. are minute cylindrical and long and some are thick, blue, green and yellow. They are responsible for many diseases like diarrhoea etc. This parasite should be extracted manually both with medical instruments and also by the proper administration of therapies such as śirovirecana, purgation and vomiting etc. Oleation and fomentation therapies are very effective in treating such diseases. Āsthāpana type enema and purgation therapy are very effective in such cases. Herbs like Mūlaka, Sarṣapa etc. are very useful in treating such diseases and should be given Yavāgu, Pippalī, Citraka etc. To minimize the effect of the disease water and buttermilk, powder of Pippalī etc. should be given to the patient. There are purgation’s, kalaśa etc. should be applied. Cow dung is also useful in the treatment of worm related diseases. The patient should be given Bilva, Trivṛt etc. There are three types of treatment i.e. elimination therapy, Alleviation therapy and avoidance of causative factors.
All living organisms including plants and mammals can be infected by diseases caused by parasites. The parasite diseases are caused by amoebiasis, ascariasis, babesiosis, chagas disease, clonorchiasis, cryptosporidiosis, diphyllobothriasis, dracunculiasis, echinococcosis, elephantiasis, enterobiasis, fascioliasis, fasciolopsiasis, filariasis, giardiasis, gnathostomiasis, hymenolepiasis, isosporiasis, katayama fever, leishmaniasis, lyme disease, malaria, metagonimiasis, myiasis, onchocerciasis, pediculosis, scabies, schistosomiasis, sleeping sickness, strongyloidiasis, taeniasis, toxocariasis, toxoplasmosis, trichinosis and trichuriasis. The scientists identified parasites such as Ascaris lumbricoides, Balantidium coli, Cestoda (tapeworm), Entamoeba histolytica, Fasciola hepatica, Giardia lamblia, Hookworm, Leishmania, Liver fluke, Loa loa, Pinworm, plasmodium falciparum, Schistosoma, Strongyloides stercoralis, Tapeworm, Toxoplasma gondii, Trypanosoma, Whipworm and Wuchereria bancrofti.
From the above comparative study between Atharvaveda and Caraka-Saṃhitā regarding Fever we may conclude that Atharvaveda emphasizes the vitiated doṣas namely vāta, pitta and kapha as the primary reason for the occurrence of fever. Most of the diseases appear because of the excitement of the internal factors as well as the imbalance of the vāta, pitta and kapha. There is a cause-and-effect relationship regarding such imbalances. The nature of diseases depends upon several minute factors such as the nature of pain, colour and the location of the disease. Atharvaveda concludes that the occurrence of fever takes place because of the penetration of fire in the water. It is seen as a wrathful force to be neutralized with prayers and medicines. To treat Takman or Fever veneration is rendered to Rudra, Varuṇa, haver, earth, plants. Besides the prayers, Takman is prescribed to be treated with Kuṣṭha plant. Since Fever is always accompanied by the symptoms like headache, cough and cold there are charms to the natural powers like sun etc. applied side by side along with medicine. Fever is classified in Atharvaveda according to nature, symptoms and other factors. Takman resembles malaria. Bilious typhoid is another type of fever identified in Atharvaveda. In Atharvaveda Fever is personified as a fearful creature having three legs and large abdomen with a pale complexion, bright body, brown eyes and short this whose body is smeared with ashes. The remedy for this disease is based mainly on prayers to the natural powers of the universe like the sun, water, wind along with remedial measure with herbs. It is important to note that Yajña is the most indispensable part of the treatment of fever. Añjana is regarded as a very effective herb to treat fever. There is a very interesting way of treatment for fever that is found in Atharvaveda. A heated axe is dipped in water to make it warm. This water is then poured on the patient by the priest. On the other hand, Caraka-Saṃhitā describes eight causes of fever and five types of fever. It is mainly caused by the spreading of heavy doṣas all over the body through the channels carrying Rasa. The treatment mainly is based upon phototherapy and natural remedies with herbs and other natural substances. While Atharvaveda gives emphasis mostly on charms, yajña and spells to cure fever or Takman, the treatment of Caraka-Saṃhitā shifted to mainly on herbs and medicinal plants to treat the disease. The herbs such as Guḍūcī, Nimba, triphalā, Balā, Uśīra etc. were some of the many herbs used to treat Fever. It is to be noted that while Atharvaveda calls Fever as Takman, Caraka-Saṃhitā avoids the term Takman and describes several types of fever depending upon the nature and symptom of the disease. Caraka-Saṃhitā prescribes amulets to prevent fever. It is no denying the fact that Caraka-Saṃhitā studies fever more broadly in comparison to Atharvaveda.
To conclude, Atharvaveda describes four causes and three types of Rājayakṣmā which is caused by sinful thoughts and excessive sexual acts. The treatment as suggested is mainly for exposure to sunlight and keeping away from sinful thoughts and maintaining a single partner. Since the disease affects the lungs. Yajña is suggested as it purifies the air. It is important to note that Yakṣmā is not considered as consumption in Atharvaveda. The treatment includes natural remedies and herbs etc. On the other hand, Caraka-Saṃhitā describes tridoṣa as the main cause of this disease. Rājayakṣmā is part of Yakṣmā. The causes are different from what Atharvaveda describes. Mainly fear, anger etc. are the cause of tuberculosis. There are eleven types of symptoms recorded like ache, nausea etc. The remedial process includes herbs like Āmalā, Vacā, Āmalakī, Jīvantī etc. Also, bloodletting therapy is necessary in some cases. Caraka-Saṃhitā identifies the reason for this disease which is the microorganism or parasite called in tuberculosis parasite. The disease is not limited to the lungs only but also affects intestine, meninges, bones, skin and other parts of the body. The main reason for Rājayakṣmā is the loss of vital elements or Dhātu in the body.
Lord Varuṇa is responsible for Jalodara in Atharvaveda. We may sum up that Jalodara, as described in Atharvaveda, is a disease that only affects stomach while in Caraka- Saṃhitā Jalodara means a kind of disease that affects the stomach as well as the gastrointestinal tract. While Yama and Varuṇa are prayed to cure the disease, as we find in Atharvaveda, Caraka-Saṃhitā prescribes Devadāru, Pippalī, Śigru, Aśvagandhā and other herbal remedies for the treatment of Udararoga. Caraka-Saṃhitā describes eight types of Udararoga or bowel disease.
Regarding leprosy, Atharvaveda still has a spiritual approach. So, the origin of leprosy is regarded as the result of pre-existing karma, killing of relatives and sinful act, resulting in the curse, though treatment with numerous herbs and plants have been prescribed in Atharvaveda. The medicines for this include Āsurī and Brāhmaṇa medicine. The study at leprosy in Atharvaveda is only confined to white leprosy whereas in Caraka-Saṃhitā white leprosy is a type of skin disease or leprosy that has been described thoroughly along with a whole range of skin diseases that are included as different types of leprosy. So, it may be understood that Caraka-Saṃhitā identifies white leprosy as a type of leprosy Śvitra. Atharvaveda describes three types of leprosy.
We may conclude that Caraka-Saṃhitā records seven types of preventive cause for leprosy. There are eighteen types of Kuṣṭha described in Caraka-Saṃhitā. The different herbs, different medicine and therapies are documented in Caraka-Saṃhitā for leprosy. The causes of leprosy as described in Caraka-Saṃhitā are excessive eating, excessive physical activity or rest after overeating etc. Caraka-Saṃhitā describes parasites like worms as the cause of a certain type of leprosy.
While Atharvaveda resort to charms, spells and other spiritual methods as the line of treatment of Kṛmi, Caraka-Saṃhitā prescribes numerous herbal remedies to treat worm related disease. Atharvaveda describes worm related disease in children separately. Caraka-Saṃhitā describes different types to worms whereas Atharvaveda lacks such minute description about worms.
To sum up, both Atharvaveda and Caraka-Saṃhitā describe different diseases and their treatment ranging from the chanting of Mantras and other spiritual procedures like praising the God as well as certain herbs and medicinal plants to cure the diseases. Atharvaveda gives emphasis mainly on spiritual healing; Caraka-Saṃhitā has a scientific approach to treat the same diseases. The most detailed study and cure for diseases such as Fever, Tuberculosis, and Bowel discomfort etc.
It is important to understand the ancient treatment process so that we can implement such treatment in our society which is a healthier alternative treatment system based on organic plant-based remedial processes.