Medicinal plants have been matter of interest from time immemorial. Osadhi-sukta of the Rgveda is perhaps the earliest document of the knowledge about medicinal plants which culminated in Samhitas and Nighantus of Ayurveda.
During this long period, a large number of terms developed relating to names, synonyms, properties, actions and uses of medicinal plants which are found in Ayurvedic literature. They reflect the knowledge of the Ayurvedists about this miraculous green drapery of nature who identified each and every plant with specific names, described them by way of synonyms, defined their properties and actions and discovered their uses in various conditions of health and disease.
Consequent to this continuous process extending for millenniums a sizeable number of terms accumulated which required a dictionary to interpret them correctly. Due to several nighantus coming to light in recent years another fresh material was added to this wealth.
The present dictionary is a humble attempt to present the achievements of Ayurveda in the field of medicinal plants with interpretations so that scholars all over the world may share this ancient wisdom for the benefit of the living beings for the well being of which Ayurveda was evolved by the great seers.
About the Author:
Prof. Priya Vrat Sharma, the editor-translator of this text, is well known for his valuable contributions in the field of Ayurveda. During the last four decades he has written on various aspects of Ayurveda-literary as well as scientific, conceptual as well as historical.
Prof. Priya Vrat Sharma born on 1st November, 1920 in a small village (Mustafapur) near Patna, the ancient Pataliputra, in the family of traditional Vaidyas. School career in Vedarata Vidyalaya at the home village. University career in Ayurvedic College of Banaras Hindu University. Graduated in Ayurveda in 1940. Also did M.A. in Sanskrit and Hindi and Acharya in Sanskrit Sahitya later on. Teaching career started in 1946 as Professor and later Vice-Principal in Ayurvedic College, Begusarai (Bihar). In 1953 appointed, as lecturer in Ayurvedic College, B.H.U., in 1956 took over as Principal, Govt. Ayurvedic College, Patna and Superintendent indigenous Medicines Bihar. In 1960 appointed as Dy. Director of Health Services (I.M.), Bihar.
In 1963 joined as Professor of Dravyaguna in P.G. Institute of Indian Medicine, B.H.U., and also worked as officer-in-charge and later as Director of the Institute and Dean, Faculty of Indian Medicine. Prof. Sharma has been participating in international conferences on human sciences and has been associated with several committees on Ayurveda on National level. He has authored about two dozen books and has published about 300 papers and articles. He has also edited a number of Sanskrit Medical Manuscripts which were hitherto unknown in the Ayurvedic world.