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The Legacy of Caraka

by M.S. Valiathan

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Caraka, the master physician, is believed to have lived in the first century AD. The Samhita composed by him forms the bedrock of ayurvedic practice today. His contribution to India’s cultural inheritance was profound. Caraka Samhita was, in fact, a revision of an older text Agnivesa Tantra, which was written several centuries before Caraka’s time. Caraka’s revision became so popular that it was translated into Tibetan, Arabic, English and many Indian languages. T

he Legacy of Caraka retells the Samhita in a new format. Instead of adhering to the sequence of the Sthanas in the original, the author has retold the Samhita through thematically structured chapters, in contemporary idiom. The retelling has involved some degree of restructuring and condensation but has ensured that whatever is stated can be traced back to the original. In a detailed introduction, the author has commented on specific aspects of Caraka’s philosophy, concepts and practice, as seen from the point of view of modern medicine.

This book will be of special interest to students of Ayurveda, medicine and other sciences, and those interested in the history of science in India.

Contents:

  1. Preface
  2. Introduction:
  3. Caraka and his legacy
  4. Atharva Veda to Caraka
  5. Diseases in Caraka’s period
  6. Doctrines and concepts
  7. Five evacuative procedures (pancakarma)
  8. Procedures for rejuvenation and enhanced virility (rasayana and vajikarana)
  9. Medicinal plants
  10. Food and drinks
  11. Habitat
  12. Learning to be a physician
  13. Ayurveda
  14. Drugs formulations in therapeutics
  15. Sense perception and well-being
  16. Life in accord with the seasons
  17. Suppression of natural urges; comments on physical miscellany
  18. The medical quartet
  19. Three desires, means of knowledge and some triads
  20. Lubricants in therapeutics
  21. Fomentation
  22. Evacuative therapy
  23. Imbalance of dosas – varied expressions
  24. Slimming and building up in therapeutics
  25. Obesity and leanness; stray remarks on sleep
  26. Blood
  27. Food as the source of man and his diseases
  28. Rasas
  29. Food and drink
  30. The fate of food and drink in the body
  31. Physicians – genuine and fraudulent
  32. Rasas, dosas and a healthful diet
  33. Epidemics; reflections on lifespan
  34. Norms for the quantity of meals
  35. Body – a network of channels
  36. Disease – manifold expressions of deranged dosas
  37. Infestation by worms (krmi)
  38. Training of a physician – theory, practice and ethics
  39. The body and its knower
  40. Conception
  41. Genesis of the embryo
  42. Pregnancy – fetal development, anomalies and personality types
  43. Antenatal and postnatal management and care of the baby
  44. The individual and the cosmos
  45. A count of body parts
  46. The spectre of death
  47. Rejuvenant therapy (rasayana)
  48. Virile therapy (vajikarana)
  49. Fevers (jvara)
  50. Pitta-induced bleeding disorders (rakta pitta)
  51. Gaseous and hemorrhagic lumps of the abdomen (gulma)
  52. Polyuria (prameha)
  53. Skin disorders including leprosy (kustha)
  54. Phthisis (sosa)
  55. Insanity (unmada)
  56. Epilepsy (apasmara)
  57. Chest injuries and their sequelae (ksata ksina)
  58. Swelling (svayathu)
  59. Abdominal disease with distension (udara)
  60. Piles (arsa)
  61. Digestion and digestive disorders (grahani)
  62. Disorders of pallor (panduroga) (anemias)
  63. Hiccup; shortness of breath (hikka; svasa)
  64. Cough (kasa)
  65. Diarrhea (atisara)
  66. Vomiting (chardi)
  67. Cellulitis (visarpa)
  68. Thirst (trsna)
  69. Poisoning (visa)
  70. Alcohol disorders (madatyaya)
  71. Sores and injuries (vrana)
  72. Three regional disorders (basti, hrdaya and siras)
  73. Numb and immobile thighs (urustambha)
  74. Disorders of perturbed vata (vatavyadhi)
  75. Disorders of perturbed vata and blood (vatasonita)
  76. Disorders of the reproductive system; reflections on the principles of therapeutics
  77. Drugs for evacuation (emetics and purgatives)
  78. Evacuative procedures (pancakarma) and formulations
  79. Epilogue
  80. Botanical names
  81. Glossary
  82. Index.

 

 





Detailed Product Info:

Title: The Legacy of Caraka
Author(s): M.S. Valiathan
ISBN: 9788173716676
Year of Publication: 2003
Bibliographic Information: lxxxvi, 634 p., ills.
Language: English
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