Prof. K. Nishteswar, currently working as professor & HOD, Dravyaguna at I.P.G.T. & R.A., Gujrat Ayurveda University, Jamnagar. He has obtained B.A.M.S.. Degree (1976) from Andhara University, M.D. (1980) from Gujrat Ayurveda Universtity and Ph.D. (1997) from Universtity of Pune. He also completed Sanskrit Bhashakovida (1975) from Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan and Diploma in AIDS (2004) from IGNOU. He received State Best Teacher Award from Govt. of Andhra Pradesh during 2001. He was awarded several Gold and silver medals in recognition of his meritorious achivements and theses on various topics like Diabetes, Hypertension and Cardiovascular disorders. He delivered Keynote addresses and Guest lectures in several National and international Seminars (South Korea & Sri lanka). So far he has written 50 books in Telugu, English and in Hindi languages on various subject of Ayurveda and published approximately 165 papers in various standerd journals. He has guided 15 Ph.D., 8 M.D., 5 M. Pharma, 4 M.Sc. (Medicinal plants) and M. Phil students of Dr. N.T.R. University of health Sciences, A.P., Nagarjuna University, A.P. and Gujarat Ayurveda University, Jamnagar.
Sushama B. Bhuvad, co-author, did her BAMS from Ayurved Maha-vidyalaya & Seth R. V. Ayurved Hospital, Sion, Mumbai, After that, she opted for M.D. & Ph.D. in the Dravyaguna specialty, from institute of Post Graduate Teaching & Research in Ayurveda, Gujrat Ayurved University, Jamnagar. Her Ph.D. project was on 'Assessment of Rasa and antioxidant activity of Madhuraskandha's Rasayana drugs’. She had published 15 review and 7 research articles in peer reviewed journals and presented research papers in various national and international conferences. Currently, she is working as research fellow at BSDT's integrated Cancer treatment and Research Centre, Wagholi, Pune and actively functioning on various projects related to standardization of Ayurvedic formulation, Chemopreventive role of Ayurvedic management in cancer etc.
Ayurveda has been in existence since the dawn of mankind. Atreya defined Ayurveda as the knowledge of life dealing with wholesome and unwholesome, happy as well as unhappy, qualitative and quantitative aspects of life. Life span is related to a balanced union of the body, mind and soul. The individual is an epitomized form of universe and is made up of nine basic substances — panchamahabhutas (i.e the five primordial elements that include ether, air, fire, water and earth), Atma (soul), Manas (mind), Kala (time), and Disha (direction).
Bharadwaja passed the knowledge of Ayurveda to Atreya, who in turn passed it on to his disciples, Agnivesha, Bhela etc. who wrote treatises on Ayurveda (knowledge/wisdom of life). This was the first integration of spiritualism with material and medical sciences. Sushruta, who belonged to Dhanwantari surgical school wrote a treatise on diseases requiring surgical intervention. Agnivesha tantra which mainly dealt subject of general medicine was redacted by Charaka and has become popular as Charaka samhitha. When some of the sections of the text were lost, Dridhabala (5 AD) rewritten those portions. He has introduced for the first time Namarupa Vigjnana (nomenclature and descriptive sciences) of medicinal plants in Kalpasthana which was unusual type of description in Samhitha literature. Basing on this observation, it can be concluded that Dhridhabala was the first and foremost lexicon writer (Nighantukara). During medieval India, Ayurvedic scholars have evinced keen interest in compilation of Nighantus and Yogasamgraha granthas. Initially the nighantus were written by enumerating synonyms only. e.g Ashtanga nighantu, Paryayaratnamala. Later nighantus namely, Dhanwantari, Sodhala, Kaiyadeva, Madanapala, Rajanighantu added pharmacological and therapeutic profiles of drugs and enlarged Ayurvedic materia medica by including certain new drugs.
Bhavaprakash samhitha can be considered as the first treatise which included nighantu portion and incorporated a new drug known as Dwipantaravacha (Madhusnuhi) with an indication of Phirangaroga, which was firstly described in Ayurvedic literature. Yogaratnakara another compendium followed Bhavaprakash and included nighantu portion and introduced new drugs like Tobacco and chilli.
Rajanighantu is the first ayurvedic text translated into English by Filippo sassetti, a Florentine merchant, lived in Goa during 1540-1588 AD (K.Nishteswar, Rajanighantu —An important lexicon of Pre- Bhavaprakasha era, Annals of Ayurvedic medicine, 2013(3)2). Basing on the writings of the disciples of Atreya, the subject of Ayurveda is made into eight disciplines, also referred as Ashtanga Ayurveda. Rasayanatantra which is often wrongly interpreted as Geriatrics is the subject speciality dealing with rejuvenation therapy and one of its dimensions is prevention of premature senility. Rasayana procedures may help to maintain positive health and contribute for cure of diseases including life style disorders. Antiageing intervention by Rasayana drugs is aimed at slowing down the ageing process so as to extend the functional life of a person and not merely life span. Rasayana drugs act as cell protectors and preserve the cell functioning, because the longevity depends on the cell’s ageing and its functional integrity.
The energy needed for normal functioning of cells from aerobic metabolic reactions is trapped and stored (as ATP) in the cell. However, during this process roughly 1-5 % of Molecular oxygen gets oxidised to superoxide radicals and other reactive oxygen derivatives such as Hydrogen peroxide. These in turn generate hydroxyl and peroxyl radicals. These species, being highly reactive, attack all cellular components — proteins, lipids and DNA. However, in the normal course these species are countered both by enzymatic (such as superoxide dismutase) and non enzymatic (such as Vit. E & Vit. C) reactions. The accumulation of net damage due to oxidative stress over a period of time is considered responsible for age-related diseases and decline eventually leading to death. The "oxidative stress diseases" include senile dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, immunity related problems, cancer, inflammatory conditions and cardiovascular problems. Considering the concept of Rasayana envisaged by Acharyas of Ayurveda, modern scientists carried out extensive studies of Rasayana drugs for their antioxidant and immunomodulatory activities. The drugs namely, Guduchi, Punarnava, Amalaki, Haritaki, Satavari have shown significant antioxidant and immunomodulator activities. Research on Rasayana drugs provides a good insight for evolving potent and safe natural medicine for the management of oxidative stress diseases and life style diseases. With this background, I developed an idea to compile Rasayananighantu while guiding one of Ph.D students Dr. Sushama Bhuvad, a studious and devoted disciple (co- author) who was working on evaluation of rasayana karma of certain drugs mentioned under madhuraskandha. The preference was given to rasayana drugs mentioned in Bhavaprakashsamhitha basing on the subject material of Brihatrayee (Charakasamhitha, Sushrutasamhitha & Ashtangahrudaya). The other nighantus like Dhanwantarl, Rajanighantu, Sodhalanighantu, Priyanighantu are referred for certain drugs. Vegetable, animal, mineral and food substances attributed with rasayana property are incorporated along with reported antioxidant drugs which are not included under Rasayana drugs with relevant references. Dr. Sushama Bhuvad, did an excellent job and assisted me in the preparation of manuscript. I feel our labour amply rewarded if this nighantu can render an iota of help to students and researchers of Ayurveda to understand and validate rasayana drugs and their possible utility in the management of oxidative stress and lifestyle diseases. I appreciate and acknowledge the enthusiasm shown by Mr. Surendra Kumar Gupta and Mr. Arpit Gupta, a young publisher of Chaukhambha Prakashak, Varanasi for publishing this work.
Item Code: NAV605 Author: K. Nishteshwar and Sushama B. Bhuvad Cover: HARDCOVER Edition: 2019 Publisher: Chaukhambha Prakashan ISBN: 9789388299381 Language: Sanskrit Text with English Translation Size: 10.00 X 8.00 inch Pages: 218 Other Details: Weight of the Book: 0.55 Kg