or the Science of Poisons and their Management has been dealt extensively by Sushruta in one of the six cantos i.e., Kalpa-sthana
of his work Sushruta Samhita.
of the security of the king and methods employed for his protection from
accidental and homicidal poisoning are the interesting and important applied
aspects of the subject of Toxicology during the ancient
times. Sushruta Samhita
also mentions about various tests to be carried out for confirming the
existence of poison in the food and the elaborate description of the flame test
for the poisons is very interesting.
royal kitchen, being the source of supply of foods and drinks, had been
considered an important place through which poisons could be given and it is to
be supervised by a royal kitchen physician.
poisoning media have been enumerated such as foods, drinks, combs, tooth
brushes, oils, clothes, vehicles, snuffs etc and their features and treatment
of poisoning of each one of them have been enumerated in detail.
test the poisoned foods and drinks Sushruta suggests to maintain animals kept in the vicinity of kitchen.
Clinical features of inanimate poisoning in general and the poisoning due to
poisonous herbs such as bulb (kanda) in particular
have also been enumerated.
mention was made about slow acting or cumulative poison (dushi
Sixteen locations of animate poisons, such as fangs, the nails etc. in the
bodies of the venomous animals have been mentioned with specific locations in
the different species etc. Chemical war- fare poisoning has been indicated.
Water poisoning, soil poisoning, food and fodder poisoning and atmospheric
poisoning along with their management have been discussed.
interesting mythological story about the origin of poison (visha)
has been given.
location of snake venom at the time of biting has been postulated. Management
of poisoning by cold and hot applications has been given. The disadvantages due
to consumption of poisoned meat and the features are discussed. Snakes and
features of poisoning due to their bite has been
discussed in detail.
Treatment of arrow poisoning and putrid flesh has been described. The various
anti-poisonous recipes against snake bites, insect bites and rat bites ere have
powerful anti-poisonous recipes have been described, some of which were even
capable of treating the masses, only be sounds emitted from drums besmard with the paste of medicinal plants.
Eighteen types of rats, features of their bites and treatment have been given,
along with a description of hydrophobia (rabies). Treatment
of bite by insects possessing sharp poison and poultices as well as
contraindications for fomentation have been given. Specific treatments
for bites by different insects, etc. have been discussed. Treatment of injury
from scratch by finger nails has also been mentioned.
used as antidotes in acute or chronic poisoning in combination in the form of agadas or in the form of single drugs fall under the
categories of rasayana, jivaneeya
or vishahara group of durgs.
ancient scriptures like Atharva-veda, Koushika-sutra, Ashwalayana Srauta-sutra, Brahmavaivarta-purana,
Kadambari and Mahabharata have described about visha-vidya, visa-bhaishajyam and
the prevailing state of visa-vaidya’s
of those days in the society. During those times mantras were employed as
medicine in the management of sarpavisha. Basavaraju has also quoted one mantra in the chapter of Visha-chikitsa.
advent of Rasashastra the utility of visha dravyas has in- creased
enormously in Ayurvedic therapeutics as well as in
the manufacture of Ayurvedic medicines.
on the various topics dealt by Ayurvedic classics
about the subject of Agada Tantra,
Prof. V J. Thakar., an erudate
scholar of Ayurveda quotes:
developments in Bio-chemistry, particularly in the field of synthetic
medicines, has brought us to an era in which we are encountered with a flood of
life saving chemotherapeutic agents on the one hand and life destroying
chemical poisons of ever in- creasing intensity on the other. Humanity is
passing through a situation which is reminiscences of the graphic mythological
story of churning the ocean which was really started for bringing forth the
ambrosia but which incidentally brought forth virulent leathal
poison halahala also. Life saving and life destroying
agents are at all times simultaneously produced by the man himself.’
one can agree without hesitation that the approach to the science of Toxicology
as dealt by Sushruta and other acharyas
of Ayurveda, taking into consideration, the sources,
modes of poisoning, the classification of clinical symptomatology,
prognosis, and the management of cases, seems to be most exhaustive, scientific
a very few references about Medical Jurisprudence in our ancient Indian Medical
literature. In Koutilya Arthashastra,
descriptions related to post mortem examination are available and it also
mentions various forms of punishments for different crimes. Sushruta
discussed about drowning, throatling, hanging and in-
halation of smoke etc in his treatise.
the CCIM curriculum in view an attempt is made in this book, about various
topics with regards to the subject on Agada Tantra and Vyavahara Ayurveda from both the Ayurvedic
and Allopathic perspectives for the benefit of UG and PG students.
We are very much thankful to Dr. Vijaya
Ganeshwar Reddy, Lecturer, Govt. Ayurvedic
College, Vijayawada for his suggestions. We also
express our heartfelt thanks to Mr. Naveen Gupta, Chaukhamba Surbharati Prakashan, Varanasi for printing
Etymology of Agada Tantra
(Investigation of Visha)
Charactistics and Identification of Vishadata
Dushi visha & Gara visha
Visha: Samanya Chikitsa
Treatment of Poisoning)
of Animal Origin)
Signs and Treatment of Upavisha
information about different poisons
useful in visha-chikitsa
Ayur Vivechana/Ayu Nirnaya
Vyabhichara (Aprakrtika karma); Garbhapata;
Vandhyatwa and Koumarya
Chikitsaka-kartavya, Achara-Niyama, Vyavasayika
adhikara and Gopaneeyata
Adharma- Roga Karakata
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