A Reprint of Khory's and Katra's famous book first published in 1903. The organic drugs from the vegetable kingdom described in this book and their therapeutic value are mainly intended for those who believe in Hindu system of medicine, the system which was in the heyday of its glory in the earlier centuries of the Christian era but afterwards declined in the country of its origin.
The first decline set in, when the Muhammedans conquered India, for the Muhammedans brought with them their own physicians, called Hakims, who followed the Greek system of medicine and was known as "Yunani".
The second decline followed when the English conquered India. The conquest was not merely political it was also cultural and intellectual. The Indians Hindus were taught to discard their own system of medicine known as Ayurveda in favour of western medicine and surgery which it was claimed was more scientific and, hence, more efficacious.
Under the impact of the two conquerors Hindu medicine languished which cured the sick and the infirm for many centuries. That this important system of medicine should be lost to mankind and to us is a pity. It is therefore a matter of satisfaction to us to see that efforts are being made today in India to revive it, to examine if the system is unscientific as the west declares that it is. Research centres have been set up and the Ayurvedic colleges are being given grants and government encouragement to develop Ayurveda-the divine art of healing, as it was called in ancient India. Ayurveda had accumulated a vast body of literature of which the greater part is lost to us. The few books that remain are rare, not easily within our easy reach.
The present book is one such. Its reprint will therefore be of substantial interest to the students and practitioners of Hindu medicine. The book is a rich nugget of information. Each medicine derived from Vegetable kingdom is described under such heading as habitat, parts used, characters, constituents, preparations and actions and uses.
This part of the book runs into 640 pages and is followed by the indispensable second part which is about the classification of drugs according to their physiological effects on the human system. For ready reference there is, at the end of the book, a valuable index.
Written by one-time specialists, Materia Medica of India and Their Therapeutics will surely provide the much-needed encouragement that the study and research of Ayurveda needs today very badly.