The Legacy of Caraka by M.S. Valiathan

By M.S. Valiathan

Research on CarakaStudy on Carakasaṃhitā, classical treatise on ayurveda procedure in Indic medicine.
Caraka, the grasp health practitioner, is assumed to have lived within the first century advert. The Samhita– composed by means of him kinds the bedrock of ayurvedic perform at the present time. His contribution to India’s cultural inheritance used to be profound. Caraka Samhita– was once, in truth, a revision of an older textual content Agnivesa– Tantra, which used to be written numerous centuries sooner than Caraka’s time. Caraka’s revision turned so renowned that it used to be translated into Tibetan, Arabic, English and lots of Indian languages. The Legacy of Caraka retells the Samhita– in a brand new structure. rather than adhering to the series of the Stha–nas within the unique, the writer has retold the Samhita– via thematically based chapters, in modern idiom. The retelling has concerned a point of restructuring and condensation yet has ensured that no matter what is acknowledged might be traced again to the unique. In an in depth creation, the writer has commented on particular facets of Caraka’s philosophy, suggestions and perform, as visible from the viewpoint of contemporary medication. This publication should be of unique curiosity to scholars of a–yurveda, medication and different sciences, and people attracted to the historical past of technological know-how in India.
saṃhitā, classical treatise on ayurveda approach in Indic drugs.

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Rakta pitta (bleeding disorders) Rakta pitta indicates bleeding disorders. The bleeding could be from the orifices in the head or through the urinary or anal passages. Bleeding from the upper end is curable whereas that through the lower end is only manageable. If bleeding is generalised and occurs from all orifices, the outlook is dismal. The disorder arises from the perturbation of pitta by gross dietary indiscretion and pitta in turn, entering the blood stream. The resulting expansion and congestion in the blood channels block the blood channels arising from the liver and spleen and causes bleeding episodes.

All the four types of epilepsy - vātaja, pittaja, kaphaja and sannipāta would seem to be grand mal seizures, the distinctions being based on the presence or absence of cyanosis and pallor; duration of seizure; the nature of hallucinatory visions and speed of recovery. Status epilepticus and focal seizures were not noted. As the disturbed doṣas were believed to be in abundance, evacuative measures dominated therapy. A large number of herbal formulations were also prescribed as anti-epileptics. Arśa (piles) Hardly any patient suffering from piles would approach an internist today because its treatment falls in the surgeon's domain.

Oṣa The gravity of pulmonary tuberculosis was rated so high that Caraka designated it as the king of diseases (rājayakṣmā). He regarded one who had mastered its treatment as fit to be a royal physician. The causes of tuberculosis were believed to be severe physical exertion, suppression of natural urges, emaciation and the habitual use of unwholesome food. The causative factors unsettle the doṣas, which in turn dry up the body. There was no suggestion that the disease was transmissible. According to Caraka, the disease affects the chest (uras); the lung (termed kloma elsewhere) found no mention.

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