एकचत्वारिंशोऽध्यायः । अथातो द्रव्यविशेषविज्ञानीयमध्यायं व्याख्यास्यामः, यथोवाच भगवान् धन्वन्तरिः ॥ १ ॥
Now we shall discourse on the Chapter, which treats of the
specific properties of drugs (Dravya-Visesa-Vijnaniya-adhyaya).1
तत्र पृथिव्यप्तेजोवाय्वाकाशानां समुदायाद् द्रव्याभिनिर्वृत्तिः, उत्कर्षस्त्वभिव्यञ्जको भवति- इदं पार्थिवमिदमाप्यमिदं तैजसमिदं वायव्यमिदमाकाशीयमिति ॥ २॥
The five fundamental principles’ such as the earth Ksiti, water (Apa), fire (Teja), air (Marut) and Sky (Vyoma) enter into the composition of all substances in the world, and the predominance of any of them in a particular substance determines its character. Accordingly a thing is denominated as a substance of dominant earth principle, or one marked by a predominance of fire, air or ether. 2
तत्र स्थूलसारसान्द्रमन्दस्थिर (खर) गुरुकठिनं गन्धबहुलमीषत्कषायं प्रायशो मधुरमिति पार्थिवम् ।
तत् स्थैर्यबलसङ्घातोपचयकरं विशेषतश्चाधोगतिस्वभावमिति ॥ ३ ॥
Parthiva Drugs: A thing or substance, which is thick, pithy, compact, dull, immobile, rough, heavy (hard to digest), strong smelling
These may be translated as Solid, Liquid, Gas, Ether and Etherion in the parlance of modern science and largely has a sweet taste marked by a shade of astringent is called a substance of dominant earth (Parthiva) matter. Such a thing increases the firmness, strength, hardness and rotundity of the human body, and is possessed of gravity (the virtue of moving the bowels). 3
शीतस्तिमितस्निग्धमन्दगुरुसरसान्द्रमृदुपिच्छिलरसबहुलमीषत्कषायाम्ललवणं मधुररसप्रायमाप्यम् । तत् स्नेहनह्लादनक्लेदनबन्धनविष्यन्दनकरमिति ॥ ४ ॥
apya Drugs : Similarly, a thing or substance, which is cold, moist, glossy, devoid of keenness, takes time to be digested, is mobile, compact, soft, slimy, sappy, and is largely endued with an acid, saline or sweet taste marked by a shade of astringent, is called a substance of dominant water (Apya) principle. Such a thing soothes and imparts a glossy character to the body, keeps it moist, favours the adhesion of its parts, and increases its liquid contents. 4
उष्णतीक्ष्णसूक्ष्मरुक्षखरलघुविशदं रूपगुणबहुलमीषदम्ललवणं कटुकरसप्रायं विशेषतश्चोर्ध्वगतिस्वभावमिति तैजसम् । तद् दहनपचनदारणतापनप्रकाशनप्रभावर्णकरमिति॥५॥
Taijasa Drugs: A thing or substance, which is heat-making, pungent and keen, subtle in its essence, permeates the minutest capillaries, and is dry, rough, light, and non-slimy in its character and has strong properties and a taste which is largely pungent marked by a shade of saline, is called a substance of the dominant principle of fire (Taijasa). Such a thing naturally evinces an up-coursing tendency in the body, produces a burning sensation in its inside, helps the process of digestion and spontaneous bursting (of abscesses), increases the temperature of the body, strengthens the eyesight, improves the complexion and imparts a healthful glow to it. 5
सूक्ष्मरूक्षखरशिशिरलघुविशदं स्पर्शबहुलमीषत्तिक्तं विशेषतः कषायमिति वायवीयम् ।
तद्वैशद्यलाघवग्लपनविरूक्षणविचारणकरमिति ॥ ६ ॥
Vayaviya Drugs: A thing or substance, which is subtle in its essence, and is dry, rough, light, cold and non-slimy, increases tactual sensation and is endued with a largely astringent taste marked by a shade of bitter, is called a substance of the dominant principle of air (Vayaviya). Such a thing removes the slimy character of the internal organism, produces lightness, dryness and emaciation of the body, and increases the speculative or contemplative faculty of the mind. 6
शब्दबहुलमाकाश्लक्ष्णसूक्ष्ममृदुव्यवायिविशदविविक्तमव्यक्तरसं शीयम् । तन्मार्दवशौषिर्यलाघवकरमिति॥७॥
akasiya Drugs : A thing or substance, which is smooth, unctuous, and is subtle in its nature, soft or pliant in its consistency, expansive (in the internal organism), porous, soundy and non-slimy in its character without any definite taste, is called a substance of the dominant principle of sky (Akasiya). Such a substance produces softness, lightness and porosity of the body. 7
अनेन निदर्शनेन नानौषधीभूतं जगति किञ्चिद् द्रव्यमस्तीति कृत्वा तं तं युक्तिविशेषमर्थञ्चाभिसमीक्ष्य स्ववीर्यगुणयुक्तानि द्रव्याणि कार्मुकाणि भवन्ति । तानि यदा कुर्वन्ति स कालः, यत् कुर्वन्ति तत् कर्म, येन कुर्वन्ति तद्वीर्य्यं यत्र कुर्वन्ति तदधिकरणं, यथा कुर्वन्ति स उपाय:, यन्निष्पादयन्ति तत् फलमिति ॥ ८ ॥ }
It may be inferred from the foregoing illustrations that there is not a single substance in the world which is not endued with certain curative virtues. Drugs or substances, used in specific combinations and according to the indications of a disease under treatment, prove curative in virtue of their native virtues and potencies. The time, during which a drug or a medicine exerts its curative virtues, is called its Kala or the period of action. That which immediately results from the use or application of a medicinal remedy is called its Karma or physiological action. The principle, in virtue of which the action is performed, is called its potency or Virya. That, in which the action takes place, is called its receptacle or Adhikarana. The means by which it is effected is called its agency or Upaya, while that what it accomplishes is called its therapeutic effect or Phala. 8
तत्र विरेचनद्रव्याणि पृथिव्यम्बुगुणभूयिष्ठानि, पृथिव्यापो गुर्व्यः, गुरुत्वादधो गच्छन्ति तस्माद्विरेचनमधोगुणभूयिष्ठमनुमानात् । । वमनद्रव्याण्यग्निवायुगुणभूयिष्ठानि, अग्निवायू हि लघू, लघुत्वाच्च तान्यूर्ध्वमुत्तिष्ठन्ति, तस्माद् वमनमप्यूर्ध्वगुणभूयिष्ठमुक्तम् । उभयगुणभूयिष्ठमुभयतो भागम् । आकाशगुणभूयिष्ठं संशमनम्। सांग्राहिकमनिलगुणभूयिष्ठम्, अनिलस्य शोषणात्मकत्वात् । दीपनमग्निगुणभूयिष्ठम् । लेखनमनिलानलगुणभूयिष्ठम् । बृंहणं पृथिव्यम्बुगुणभूयिष्ठम् । एवमौषधकर्माण्यनुमानात् साधयेत् ॥ ९॥
Of these the drugs of purgative virtue are possessed of attributes which specifically belong to the earth and water. Earth and water are heavy, and naturally gravitate downward owing to their heaviness. Hence it is inferred that purgative drugs are largely endued with the specific attributes of earth and water, in virtue of which they are more strongly attracted towards the centre of the earth (gravity). Drugs endued with emetic properties are possessed of attributes which form the characteristics of fire and air. Fire and air are light, and naturally ascend upward owing to their lightness. Hence it is inferred, that emetic (Vamana) drugs are largely possessed of attributes, which are upcoursing in their nature. Drugs or substances endued with both emetic and purgative virtues are characterised by attributes belonging to both the aforesaid elements (earth and fire).
Drugs which soothe the deranged bodily humours, are permeated with qualities which specifically belong to the principle of the sky. Astringent (Sangrahika) drugs are endued with attributes, which specifically belong to the air owing to the drying character of the latter element. Appetising (Dipana) drugsare largely possessed of attributes which belong to the material principle of fire. Lekhana (Liquefacient) drugs or substances are endued with attributes which belong to fire and air. Constructive or restorative (Brmhana) drugs or substances are endued with attributes which specifically belong to earth and water. These inferences should be carefully remembered at the time of prescribing medicines. 9
भूतेजोवारिजैर्द्रव्यैः शमं याति समीरणः । भूम्यम्बुवायुजैः पित्तं क्षिप्रमाप्नोति निर्वृतिम् ।।१०।।
खतेजोऽनिलजैः श्लेष्मा शममेति शरीरिणाम् । वियत्पवनजाताभ्यां वृद्धिमाप्नोति मारुतः ।।११।।
आग्नेयमेव यद्रव्यं तेन पित्तमुदीर्यते । परिवर्द्धते ।।१२।।
वसुधाजलजाताभ्यां बलासः एवमेतद्गुणाधिक्यं द्रव्ये द्रव्ये विनिश्चितम् । द्विशो वा बहुशो वापि ज्ञात्वा दोषेषु चाचरेत् ॥ १३ ॥
Authoritative verses on the subject: The deranged bodily Vayu readily yiedls to the curative efficacies of drugs possessed of attributes, specifically belonging to the earth, fire and water, while the deranged Pitta is speedily soothed or restored to its normal state by drugs having attributes, specifically belonging to the earth, water and air. Similarly, the deranged Kapha is pacified by drugs possessed of attributes which characterise the sky, fire and air.
The bodily Vayu is increased by the use of drugs possessed of attributes which specifically belong to the sky and air, while the Pitta is increased by the use of those which are largely endued with the specific attributes of fire. The bodily Kapha of the body is increased by the use of drugs which are largely endued with the specific attributes of the earth and water. Thus having ascertained the dominant attributes of drugs, a physician should use them for the pacification of two or more of the deranged humours of the body according to the exigencies of a case. 10-13
तत्र य इमे गुणा वीर्यसंज्ञकाः शीतोष्णस्निग्धरुक्षमृदुतीक्ष्णपिच्छिलविशदास्तेषां तीक्ष्णोष्णावाग्नेयौ, शीतपिच्छिलावम्बुगुणभूयिष्ठी, पृथिव्यम्बुगुणभूयिष्ठः स्नेहः, तोयाकाशगुणभूयिष्ठं मृदुत्वं, वायुगुणभूयिष्ठं रौक्ष्यं, क्षितिसमीरणगुणभूयिष्ठं वैशद्यं, गुरुलघुविपाकावुक्तगुणौ । तत्रोष्णस्निग्धौ वातघ्नौ, शीतमृदुपिच्छिलाः पित्तघ्नाः, तीक्ष्णरुक्षविशदाः श्लेष्मघ्नाः, गुरुपाको वातपित्तघ्नः लघुपाकः श्लेष्मघ्नः । तेषां मृदुशीतोष्णा: स्पर्शग्राह्याः, पिच्छिलविशदौ चक्षुः स्पर्शाभ्यां, स्निग्धरुक्षौ चक्षुषा, तीक्ष्णो मुखेदुःखोत्पादनात् । गुरुः पाकः सृष्टविण्मूत्रतया कफोत्क्लेशेन च, लघुर्बद्धविण्मूत्रतया मारुतकोपेन च । तत्र तुल्यगुणेषु भूतेषु रसविशेषमुपलक्षयेत् । तद्यथा-मधुरो गुरुश्च पार्थिवः, मधुरः स्निग्धश्चाप्य इति ॥ १४॥
Of the eight-fold potencies of a drug, such as cooling, thermogenetic, oleaginous, heavy, parchifying, plastive, keen and slimy, keenness and thermogenetic potency should be ascribed to the attributes of fire; cooling potency and that of engendering slime, to the predominance of the attributes of water in a drug or substance; oleaginousness, to the predominance of the attributes of the earth and water: plastive potency, to the predominance of the attributes of water and the sky; parchifying potency, to the excess of the attributes of air; non-slimy potency (Vaisadya, to the predominance of the attributes of earth and air; and heavy and light digestion, to the same cause.
Of these, oiliness and thermogenetic potency prove curative in repsect of the deranged Vayu, while cooling potency, plastive potency, and that of engendering slime subdue the deranged Pitta. Keenness, parchifying and non-slimy potencies conquer the deranged Kapha. Substances, which are heavy in digestion, destroy the deranged Vayu and Pitta, while those which are light in digestion (easily digestible substances) prove curative in respect of the deranged Kapha.
Of these, softness, coldness and heat may be perceived by touch. The properties of sliminess and its opposite may be perceived by the eyes and touch. The properties of dryness and oiliness of a drug may be perceived with the eyes; keenness of a drug from the fact of its producing pain in the mouth; and [heat and cold, by the sensation of comfort (pleasure) or discomfort- A Text] The fact of heavy (insufficient) digestion should be inferred from the frequent passing of stool and urine, as well as from the expectoration of Kapha, while the contrary should be presumed from the constipation of the bowels, retention of urine and disorders of the abdominal Vayu (flatulence, distension of the abdomen, etc.). A specific taste is detected in material principles of similar properties. As for example, a drug or a substance, which is heavy and endued with a sweet taste, should be deemed as belonging to the group of the earthy matter (largely possessed of attributes characterising earth-matter). Similarly, a substance, which is sweet and oily in its character, should be regarded as belonging to one in which the principle of water predominates. 14
गुणा य उक्ता द्रव्येषु शरीरेष्वपि ते तथा । स्थानवृद्धिक्षयास्तस्माद्देहिनां द्रव्यहेतुकाः । ॥ १५ ॥
Authoritative verse on the subject Properties, which characterise drugs and substances, may be as well found in a human organism, and the normal continuance, aggravation or diminution of the deranged humours is due to the action of the drugs (substances). 15
इति सुश्रुतसंहितायां सूत्रस्थाने द्रव्यविशेषविज्ञानीयो नामैकचत्वारिंशोऽध्यायः ॥४१॥
Thus ends the forty-first Chapter of the Sutrasthana in the Susruta Samhita which treats of specific properties of drugs.