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Medicine, Potions & Spells


Nov 2021. Ayurvedic Medicine, Herbs and Charms taught by Lord Dhanvantari (Agni Purana)

Chapter 140: Description of Herbs used in Charms

The Lord said:

1-3. I shall describe (drugs) used in charms. These should be written in eight squares. They are bhṛṅgarāja [eclipta prostrata], sahadevī [vernonia cinerea l], mayūraśikhā [celosia cristata], putrañjīva [putranjiva], kṛtāñjalī [mimosa pudica], adhaḥpuṣpā [trichodesma indicum], rudantikā [cressa cretica], kumāri [aloe vera], rudrajaṭā [aristolochia indica], viṣṇukrāntā [evolvulus alsinoides], white arka [calotropis gigantea], lajjālukā [a species of mimosa pudica], mohalatā [datura], black dhattūra [datura metel fastuosa], gorakṣa [malaxis muscifera], karkaṭi [luffa echinata], meṣaśṛngī [gymnema sylvestre] and snuhī [euphorbia neriifolia].

Black Datura

4-5. The symbolical numbers of herbs are ṛtvijaḥ (priests) (16), vahnayaḥ (fires) (3), nāgāḥ (elephants) (8), pakṣau (wings) (2), muni (sage) (3), Manu (14), Śiva (11), vasavah (vasus) (8) dik (directions) (10), rasāḥ (tastes) (6), vedāḥ (4), grahāḥ (planets) (9), ṛtavaḥ (seasons) (6), Ravi (Sun) (12), Candramāḥ (Moon) (1) and tithayaḥ (phases of the Moon) (15). The first four (of the above-said herbs) should be used to fumigate (the body of the votary) or in the burning sticks.

Collyrium – Indian eye-liner

6. Collyrium should be made out of the third (in the list). Bathing should be done with the fourth. The unguent of four kinds should be made with the bhṛṅgarāja and the one following it (in the list).

7-8. (The herbs represented symbolically by) muni in the list should be used in unguent for the right side, by yuga for the left side, by bhujaga for the foot and īśvara for the head. Fumigation of the centre should be done with arka (12) and śaśi (1), in all acts. A body besmeared with these would be worshipped even by the celestials.

9. Incense sticks made of the sixteenth (herb in the list) should be burnt and taken round the house. (The herbs stand­ing as) the fourth should be used in the collyrium and those (standing as) the fifth should be used in bathing.

10. (The herbs denoted by the number) eleven should be used for eating and fifteen for drinking. A mark on the forehead with (the herbs denoted by the numbers) ṛtvik (16), veda (4), ṛtu (6), nayana (2) captivates the world.

11. A lady being besmeared with (the herbs denoted by) sūrya (12), tridaśa (13), pakṣa (2) and śaila (7) gets captivated. Women get captivated by besmearing their genital organ with (herbs denoted by) Candra (1), Indra (1), Phaṇi (8) and Rudra (11).

12. A pill made of (herbs denoted by) tithi (15), dik (8), yuga (4), and bāna (5) can subjugate. This pill should be given in eatables, food and drink as a charm.

13. (The herbs denoted by) ṛtvik (16), graha (9), akṣī (2) and śaila (7) if had on the face (are effective) in paralysing weapons. One can remain in waters by besmearing limbs with (the herbs denoted by) śaila (7) Indra (1), veda (4) and randhra (9).

14. A pill of (the herbs denoted by) bāṇa (5), akṣi (2), manu (14) and rudra ( 11) removes hunger and thirst. A miser­able woman would be made happy by besmearing with (herbs denoted by) tri (3), ṣoḍaśa (16), dik (8) and bāṇa (5).

15. One would (be able to) play with serpents by besmear­ing with (herbs denoted by) ṭri (3), daśa (10), akṣi (2), dik (8) and netra (2). A woman delivers a child comfortably by an application of the unguent of (the herbs represented by) tri (3), daśa (10), akṣi (2), iśa (11) and bhujaga (8).

16. One is sure to win in dice (by wearing) a cloth besmeared with (the herbs represented by) sapta (7), dik (8), muni (3) and randhra (9). Male child (would be born) by besmearing the penis with (the herbs denoted by) tri (3), daśa (10), akṣa (2), abdhi (7) and muni (3) before coition.

17. A pill made (of the herbs represented by) graha (9), abdhi (7), sarpya (8), tri (3) and daśa (10) would be able to charm. The efficacy of the herbs in the sixteen places has been explained.

Chapter 141: Description of Herbs used in Charms, Medicines, etc.

The Lord said:

1. I shall describe the effect of the herbs arranged in 36 squares which were used by lords Brahmā, Rudra and Indra and which if used make men immortals.

2-5. (They are) – harītakī, akṣi, dhātri, marīca, pippalī, śilphā, vahni, śuṇṭhī, pippalī, guḍūcī, vacā, nimba, vāsaka, śatamūli, saindhava, sindhu-vāraka, kaṇṭakārī, gokṣurakā, bilva, paunarnavā, balā, eraṇḍamuṇḍī, rucaka, bhṛṅga, kṣāra, parpaṭa, dhanyāka, jiraka, śatapuṣpī, javānikā, viḍaṅga, khadira, kṛtamāla, haridrā, and siddhārtha located in the 36 squares.

6-10. The herbs duly counted from one and placed in all squares are highly efficacious in curing ailments, making (men) immortal and cure wrinkles and baldness. Their crushed powder compounded and treated with mercury and used as an electuary with pieces of jaggery, honey or ghee or as an astrin­gent or through the medium of ghee or oil taken by all would save their lives. One can take half a karṣa – or one karṣa (17.6g) or half a pala or one pala (70.5g) and may live for 300 years although he may be pursuing an indisciplined way of life. There is no other combination more (efficacious) than this remedy reviving the dead.

11. One gets free from all diseases by the combination of the first nine (herbs). One gets free from aches by (the use of) second, third and fourth (herbs).

12. So also (one gets free from all diseases by the use of) six herbs from first to sixth as well as ninth.

13. One gets free from wind (affecting the body) by (the use of herbs) one to eight and from biles by agni (third) bhāskara (twelfth), twenty-sixth and twenty-seventh.

14. One gets cured of (deranged) phlegm by (the use of herbs) bāṇa (fifth), ṛtu (sixth), śaila (seventh) vasu (eighth) and tithi (fifteenth). (Herbs denoted by) veda (four), agni (three), bāna (five) and six would be (efficacions) against (diseases caused by) charm.

15. One would get freed from (all afflictions due to) planets and being possessed (by goblins) by (the due use of herbs denoted by) one, two, three, six, seven, eight, nine and eleven.

16. There is no doubt that (they would also be cured by herbs denoted) by thirty-two, fifteen and twelve. This knowledge relating to thirty-six places should not be imparted to everyone.

Chapter 142: Description of Medicinal Incantations

The Lord said:

1-2. I shall describe the medicinal incantations and dia­grams which yield all (desires). The number of letters composing the name of a thief should be doubled (and added to) the number of its syllables multiplied by four. (The total thus obtained) should be divided by (the number of letters in) the name (of a person) and if there be any remainder (he should be reckoned as) a thief. I shall describe (the process of reckon­ing) the birth (of a child). If there are odd numbers of letters in the question (put to the soothsayer), it indicates that the child in the womb would be a male.

3-4. (The child would be born) blind in the left eye if the letters in the name are even and in the right eye if the letters are odd. The number of letters composing the names of both the male and female should be multiplied by the number of their syllables and divided by four. (The quotient), if even, (would indicate the birth of) a female child and if odd, a male child. If there is no remainder, (it indicates) the death of the woman.

5. If there is no remainder in the former, (it indicates) the death of the husband first. In hoary science, one should take the subtle akṣara in all divisions.

6-7. I shall describe the diagram of Saturn. One should avoid the aspect of that (Saturn) (at all times). (The Saturn in) its house has one hundred and fourteen (units) aspect at the seventh. It has one-fourth its aspect in the first, second, eighth and twelfth (places). One should avoid them. The lord of the day governs one eighth part of a day. The others govern half a yāma (three hours).

8-10a. One should avoid the period of Saturn during the battle. I shall describe the rule of Rāhu (the ascending node) on a day. It (lies) always at the east on Sunday, at south-east on Saturday, at the south on Thursday, at the north-west on Friday, at the south-east on Tuesday, and at the north on Wednesday, while the Phaṇirāhu lies enclosing at the north-east, south-east, south-west and north-west and kills one who sets on a journey against it.

10b-13. I shall describe the position of Rāhu on different days of a month. Rāhu kills the enemy facing it on the full moon day at the south-east and on new moon day at the north-west. Rāhu will lie facing on the days represented by (the letters) ka to ja and, in the south on (the days of) sa to da, in the east on (the days of) dha to ma and in the north on (the days of) ya to ha and one should avoid those associated with Mars in the bright (fortnight). Three lines towards the east and three lines towards the south (should be written) and then one should write from Sūryaiāśi onwards in the main division. (If battle is made) in the rāśī aspected by Rāhu there will be defeat and victory if otherwise.

14-18a. I shall describe the viṣṭirāhu. Eight lines should be drawn. The Rāhu, the great, moves with the viṣṭi (hell) from the north-east to the south, south to the north-west, from the north-west to the east, from the east to the west, from the south-west to the north, from the north to the south-east and then to the west and from the west to the north-east. The Rāhu kills the enemies on the third day (of a lunar month) in the north­east, on the seventh day in the south and so also in the dark and bright fortnights in the north-west. (One has to propitiate), Indra and others, Bhairava and others, brahmin and others and planets numbering eight in each class in the east and other (directions) and the vāta-yoginī (the presiding goddess) in (the directions) south and others. One should kill the enemy in that direction in which the wind blows.

18b-19. I shall describe (the rite) that strengthens one. (The herb known as) śarapuṅkhikā if worn on the neck, arm etc. on (a day ruled by the asterism) Puṣya would prevent the (enemy’s weapon) striking at the neck. Aparājitā and Pāṭhā, the two (herbs) in the same manner would ward off the sword.

The following is the mantra to be used:

oṁ namo bhagavati vajraśṛṅkhale hana / oṁ bhakṣa / oṁ khāda oṁ are raktaṁ piba kapālena raktākṣi raktapaṭe bhasmāṅgi bhasmaliptaśarīre vajrāyudhe vajrākāranicite pūrvāṁ diśaṁ bandha / oṁ dakṣiṇāṁ diśambandha / oṁ paścimāṁ diśambandha / uttarāṁ diśambandha / nāgān bandha / nāgapatnīrbandha / oṁ asurān bandha / oṁ yakṣarākṣasapiśācān bandha / oṁ pretabhūtagandharvādayo ye kecidupadravāstebhyo rakṣa / oṁ ūrdhavaṁ rakṣa / adhā rakṣa / oṁ kṣurika bandha / oṁ jvala mahābale ghaṭi / oṁ moṭi / saṭāvalivajjāgnivajraprākāre huṁ phaṭ hrīṁ hrūṁ śrīṁ phaṭ hrīṁ haḥ phūṁ pheṁ phaḥ sarvagrahebhyaḥ sarvavyādhibhyaḥ sarvaduṣṭopadravebhyo hrīṁ aśeṣebhyo rakṣa / grahajvarādibhūteṣu sarvakarmasu yojayet

Goddess Vajraśṛṅkhalā

“Om. Obeisance to Goddess Vajraśṛṅkhalā! Kill. Kill. Om. Devour. Devour. Om. Eat. Ām. Eḥ. Drink the blood with the skull O Red-eyed one! One having the red cloth! One having the body besmeared with ashes! One wielding the weapon of mace! One who is covered by the action of the mace! Close, close the eastern direction. Om. Close, close the southern direction. Om, Close, close the western direction. Om. Close, close the northern direction. Bind, bind the serpents. Bind, bind the wives of the serpents. Om. Bind, bind the demons. Om. Bind, bind the Yaksas, demons and goblins. Om. Guard, guard (me) from the dead, goblins and Gandharvas, whoever troubles me. Om. Guard, guard above. Om. Guard, guard below. Om. Bind, bind the knife. Om. Burn. One of great strength! Ghaṭi ghatoi: Om moṭi moṭi saṭāvali. Fiery mace! One who strikes with the mace! Him phaṭ hṛīm haḥ phūm phem phaū. From all planets, from all diseases from all wicked afflictions, hrīm from all things guard, guard me.”

One should employ this in all acts such as those relating to the planets, fevers and goblins.

CHAPTER 279: The description of the potent remedies

Agnideva said: 

1. I shall describe the science of medicine, that was propounded by Lord Dhanvantari to Suśruta, the essence that would revive the dead.

Suśruta said:

2. Describe to me the science of medicine that would cure the diseases of men, horses and elephants and also the potent combinations and potent charms that would revive the dead.

Lord Dhanvantari

Dhanvantari said:

3-7. One that is having fever should be made to fast by the physician protecting his strength and then feed him with gruel made of fried paddy and dry ginger. The patient having thirst at the end of the fever (should be given) water boiled with musta (cyprerus rotundus), parpaṭa (oldenlandia), uśira (the fragrant root of a plant), sandal, udicya (a kind of perfume) and dry ginger. After six days, (the patient) may be made to drink pungent food certainly. After the disorder has subsided, (medicated) oil should be rubbed (on the body). Then purgative should be given. Old nivāra (rice grown without cultivation), ṣaṣaṭika (a kind of rice), red paddy and pramodaka (a kind of rice) and similar things and barley converted into any form are the favourite (food) at (the time of) fever. Green gram, masūra (a kind of pulse), chick-pea, horse-gram, saussurea, ādhaka (a kind of pulse), nā, karkoṭaka (a kind of paddy), kaṭolbaka, snake-gourd, & neem together with the fruits, parpaṭa and pomegranates (could safely be used by a patient) having fever.

8. An emetic is commended in the case of downward haemorrhage and a purgative in upward (haemorrhage). The six constituents except the dry ginger (should be given) as the drink.

9-10. Flour of barley, wheat, fried paddy, barley, Śāli (a kind of rice), masūra, makuṣṭha (a kind of rice), chick-pea, green-gram and eatables (made) of wheat mixed with ghee and milk are beneficial. Honey and the juice of vṛṣa (a kind of drug) are good. Eating old śāli rice is beneficial in dysentery.

11. The food that does not cause excessive (motion), and that mixed with the barks of lodhra (a kind of tree) are commended. One should avoid taking food that causes excess of wind. One should always make (extra) efforts in (treating) the enlargement of spleen.

12. (Those suffering from dropsy) should take fried barley with milk. Vāstūka (chenopodium album) mixed with ghee, wheat, śāli rice and bitter things are beneficial for those having dropsy.

13-14a. Wheat, śāli rice, green gram, cow’s urine, ṛkṣa, khadira, abhayā, pañcakola (the five spices—long pepper etc.), venison, neem, dhātri (a variety of myrobalan), snake-gourd, the juice of citron, nutmeg, dried radish and Saindhava (a kind of rock-salt) (are good for dropsy).

Susheela Kumari, an attendant at a cow shelter, collects urine to be processed in Bulandshahar, Uttar Pradesh, India

14b-16. Water (boiled) with khadira is commended as a drink for those affected with leprosy. (Similarly) masū (a kind of pulse) and green-gram (with water should be given) for drinking. Old śāli rice may be eaten. The juice of venison (mixed) with neem and parpaṭaka and vegetables, viḍanga (embelia ribes), black pepper, musta, kuṣṭha, lodhra, natron (are also good). Paste of red arsenic and vacā (a kind of aromatic root) with (cow’s) urine cures leprosy.

17-19a. Cakes, kuṣṭha, kulmāṣa (black barley) and barley etc. are beneficial for diabetes. Things made out of cooked barley, green gram, horse-gram, old śāli rice, vegetables that are bitter and astringent, bitter green things, oils (extracted) from sesamum, śigru (the leaves of a kind of tree), vibhitaka (a kind of myrobalan) and iṅgudi and green-gram, barley, wheat and grains stored for a year (are also good).

19b-21. The juice of venison is commended as food for those suffering from pulmonary consumption. Horse-gram, green-gram, black pepper etc. and dry radish compounded with venison or cakes or bird’s flesh or compounded with curd and pomegranate juice, dressed with the juice of citron, honey, grapes and vyoṣa (dried ginger, long and black pepper) and cooked barley, wheat and śāli rice should be given as food to an asthma patient.

22. Decoction made of the ten kinds of drugs (such as bṛhatī etc.), bala, rāsnā and horse-gram should be drunk with cakes in order to get relief from breathing (difficulty) and hiccough.

23. One should take dry radish, horse-gram, mū (the root of long pepper) and juice of venison mixed with cooked barley, wheat and śāli rice and old uśira.

Pippali – Indian Long-pepper

24. One who is having a swelling should eat molasses together with pathyā (the long pepper) or molasses with dry ginger. Both buttermilk and citraka (a kind of root) are excellent remedies for diarrhoea.

25-26. Old barley, wheat, sāli rice, juice of venison, green-gram, āmalaka (one variety of myrobalan), dates, grapes, jujube fruits, honey, clarified butter, milk, sakra, neem, parpaṭaka, vṛṣa, buttermilk and ariṣṭa are always commended for rheumatic patients.

27-28a. Purgatives should be given to those having heart disease. Long pepper is beneficial for those having hiccough. Buttermilk, gruel made from the fermentation of boiled rice, spirit distilled from molasses together with cold water (are also beneficial). Muktas, natron and wine are commended in any distemper due to drunkeness.

28b-30a. A person who has been injured (on the chest) should drink lac together with honey and milk. Wasting diseases could be cured by eating the essence of meat and by protecting the digestive power. One should eat red śāli, nivāra and kalama varieties of rice, cooked barley, meat, vegetables, natrum and śaṭi.

30b-31. In the same way pathyā (is beneficial) for piles. Its scum (should be used) with buttermilk and water. Musta should be repeatedly used. Ointment with turmeric and citraka should be applied. Modified forms of boiled barley, śāli rice, vāstūka (chenopodium album) and natrum (are also beneficial).

32. Water-melon, cucumber, and wheat mixed with milk, (juice of) sugarcane and ghee are commendable for painful discharge of urine. Scum and wine etc. (are commended) for drinking.

33-34. Fried paddy, flours of fried barley, honey, flesh roasted on a stick, brinjal and gourd are drinks for remedying vomiting. Cooked śāli rice, water and milk simply heated or boiled (would be beneficial for the same). Pills of musta and molasses held in the mouth would remove thirst.

35-37a. Modified forms of cooked barley, cakes made of dried radish, vegetables, snake-gourd and tender shoots of cane would remedy the stiffness of thigh. One should take food consisting of old wheat, barley, śāli rice together with soup made of green-gram āḍhaka and masūra (different kinds of pulses), sesamum, juice of venison, Saindhava (a kind of rock-salt), ghee, grapes, dried ginger, āmalaka (a kind of myrobalan) and black pepper.


37b-38. One who is having a dry spreading itch (should use) juice of pomegranate together with candied sugar, honey and grapes. Red paddy, wheat, barley, green-gram and other such light (eatables are also beneficial). Kākamāri, shoots of cane, vāstūka and natrum (may also be used).

39. Water, candied sugar and honey are commended for remedying acute gout. Dūrvā (a kind of grass) soaked in ghee is beneficial in nasal diseases.

40. Oil made up of the juice of bhṛṅgarāja (a kind of shrub) or the juice of dhātri (a variety of myrobalan) (may be used) in the nostril in all diseases relating to the head.

41-42. O Brahmin! The eating of sesamum and drinking cold water and eating cold food are said to strengthen teeth and also give supreme satisfaction. Gargling with sesamum oil would also strengthen teeth. The powdered viḍaṅga (mixed with) goat’s urine is used in destroying all worms.

43. The fruits of dhātrī (a variety of myrobalan) and clarified butter are excellent as an ointment for head for the destruction of all diseases relating to head. The food should consist of oily and hot things.

44. Filling ear with oil or the urine of goat is excellent for the destruction of pain in ear. O Brahmin! All kinds of oysters (may also be used).

45-48. A wick made by compounding red chalk, sandal, lac and buds of mālatī (a kind of jasmine flower) would cure the whiteness in eye. Vyoṣa (dried ginger), long pepper and black pepper) mixed with the triphalā (the three myrobalans taken collectively), and water with blue vitriol would cure all eye diseases. The collyrium of blue vitriol will also produce the same result. (If collyrium) fried in ghee, ground on a stone together with lodhra, sour gruel and natrum is sprinkled, it would be beneficial in all the diseases of eyes. Application of ointment of red chalk and sandal is commended for the external eye. One should always use triphalā (the three kinds of myrobalans) for curing the diseases of the eyes.

blue vitriol crystals

49-51a. One who desires to have a long life should take (a mixture of) honey and clarified butter every night. Milk and ghee boiled with the juice of śatāvarī are known to be the givers of vitality. Similarly, kalambikās, black-gram, milk and ghee increase vitality. Triphalā is known to be the giver of long life (when used) with madhuka as before. (The same) together with the juice of madhuka would arrest all senile degeneration.

51b-52. O Brahmin! Ghee heated with vacā would destroy the defects due to goblins. Food offered to manes (forefathers) would give intellect and secure all objects. A decoction made of the paste of balā is beneficial when besmeared.

53. Oil together with rāsnā and sahacaya (is good) for deranged wind. Food that does not cause excessive phlegm is commended for abscess.

54. Flours of fried barley made into balls as well as amlā are commended (for making the abscess) to ripen. The pulverised neem (is used) to make (the ripened abscess to) open and for healing.

55. The treatment of women after delivery consists mainly of offering oblations to all the creatures. The use of amulet for women after the delivery as well as for animals is always beneficial.

56-60a. Chewing the leaves of neem is the remedy for one bitten by a snake. The (shoots of) palmyrah, keśya, old oil, old barley and old ghee (are also good for the same). A fumigation with the plumes of peacock with ghee (is good) for one bitten by a scorpion. A plaster of the seeds of palāśa ground with the juice of arka (plant) (is also beneficial). Black pepper or yellow myrobalan with the three kinds of myrobalans (is beneficial) for one bitten by a scorpion. If the juice of arka (plant), gingelly oil, flesh and molasses in equal proportion is drunk, it would at once destroy the poison due to (the biting of) a dog that is difficult to cure. The root of rice (if ground) with equal part of trivṛt (three kinds of myrobalans) and clarified butter and drunk, it would destroy quickly the poisons due to snakes, and other insects even if they are very powerful.

60b-61. (A mixture of) sandal, padmaka, kuṣṭha, latāmbu, ūśīra, pāṭalā, nirguṇḍi, ārivā and selu would destroy the poison due to spiders. O Brahmin! Molasses and dried ginger are

commended as eliminator (of toxic matter) from head.

62. Nothing excels oil or ghee for anointing, as a drink or as diuretic. Fire is the best sweating agent. Cold water is the best astringent.

63. The trivṛt (the three myrobalans) is the best purgative. So also, madana is the best emetic. Oil, clarified butter, and honey are the best remedy for (deranged) wind, biles and phlegm, as diuretic, and emetic.

CHAPTER 280: The remedies for all the diseases

Dhanvantari said:

1a. Diseases are considered to be (of four kinds such as), relating to the body, relating to the mind, arising accidentally and arising naturally.

1b-2a. Fever, leprosy and the like (are considered) to be relating to the body. Anger etc. are considered to be relating to the mind. Those that are due to a blow etc. (are known) as accidental. Hunger, old age and the like (are known) as natural.


2b-3. One should give ghee, molasses and salt along with gold to a brahmin on a Sunday in order to get rid of the diseases relating to the body and those that are accidental. One who makes a gift of oil for bathing to a brahmin on a Monday would become free from all diseases.

4. Oil should be given on Saturday. One who makes a gift of food with cow’s milk in the (month of) Aśvinī (October- November), (would also get rid of the diseases). One who bathes the liṅga (representative symbol of Lord Śiva) with ghee and milk would become free from diseases.

5. One should offer unto fire dūrvā (grass) dipped in the three sweet things (sugar, honey and clarified butter) with (the recitation of) the ā (mantra). One should bathe and make the offering in that asterism in which one got the disease.

different types of sugar

6. A hymn to (Lord) Viṣṇu would remove the diseases that are mental. Listen to me. (I shall describe) the defects (of the humours) wind, bile and phlegm as well as the ingredients of the body (such as blood).

7. O Suśruta! The food that is eaten gets two forms after leaving the stomach. A part becomes secreted and the other, the constituent fluid of the body.

8. The part that is secreted is the impurity such as faeces, urine, sweat, rheum of the eyes, the mucus of the nose, the earwax and the bodily impurity.

9-10a. From the constituent fluid, serum (is formed) which again is turned into blood. Flesh (is formed) from blood and then fat and bones from fat. Sap (is formed) from bones and then semen. From semen, complexion and strength (are got).

10b-11a. One should render treatment (to a patient) after examining (the nature of) the country, the disease, the strength, the stamina, the season and the nature (of the patient). Then the strength of the remedy (should also be examined).

11b-14. One should reject the riktal days, Tuesdays and Saturdays and baneful (combination) (and begin treatment) after worshipping (Lord) Hari (Viṣṇu), a cow, a brahmin, the Moon and the Sun and the celestials. O Learned one! Listen to this sacred formula (that has to be recited) before commencing the treatment. “May (the gods) Brahmā, Dakṣa, Aśvins, Rudra, Indra, the Earth, the Moon, the Sun, the Wind, the Fire, the sages, the collection of herbs and the hosts of spirits protect you. Let this medicine be like the elixir of life of the sages, the nectar of the gods and the ambrosia of the outstanding serpents.”

anūpa or marshy land

15-16. A country abounding in trees and having plenty of water is known as anūpa (marshy) and would produce (excess of) wind and phlegm. (A country) that is devoid of (the above features) (is known as) jāṅgala (rural or picturesque). A country that has trees and water in moderate proportion is known as sādhāraṇa (ordinary). (The country known as) jāṅgala (produces) excessive bile. The sādhāraṇa (type) is known as moderate.

17. It is said that wind is dry, cool and unsteady, bile is hot like the three kinds of astringents and phlegm is steady, acid, unctuous and sweet.

18. They get increased by things having the same (qualities) and get abated by things having the opposite (qualities). Things that have sweet, sour and saline taste generate phlegm and destroy wind.

19. Those that are pungent, bitter and astringent produce wind and destroy phlegm. Similarly, those that are pungent, sour and saline are known to increase bile.

20. Those that are bitter, sweet and astringent destroy bile. This is not the effect of the taste but only of its chemical action.

21. O Suśruta! Those that are stimulant and hot destroy phlegm and wind. Those that are cold destroy bile. They (the herbs) exert their influence according to their qualities.

22. It is said that phlegm gets collected, deranged and subsided in winter, spring and summer respectively.

23. O Suśruta! wind is said to get collected, deranged and subsided in the nights of summer, rainy season and autumn (respectively).

24. Bile is said to get collected, deranged and subsided in the rainy season, autumn and fore-winter (respectively).

25. The three (seasons) beginning with the rainy (are said to be) visargas. The three (seasons) beginning with winter and ending with summer (are) ādāna.

26-31a. The visarga relates to the moon and the ādāna is stated to be relating to the fire. The moon going round the three seasons such as the rainy etc. by turns produces the three tastes—sour, saline and sweet in order. The sun going round the three seasons such as winter and the like increases the three tastes—bitter, astringent and pungent flavours in order. As the duration of night increases, the strength of men also increases. When they decrease, (the strength) also decreases. During the beginning, middle and end of nights, eating, days and one’s age, phlegm, bile and wind get deranged. They are said to get collected before the beginning of their derangement and get appeased after their derangement.

31b-34a. O Brahmin! All the diseases are caused by excessive eating or not eating or forcing or retaining the flow (of urine etc.). Two parts of the belly should be filled with food, one part with drink and one part should be left free for the wind etc. to work. A remedy is only that which is the opposite of the cause of a disease. This is what should be done. I have described to you the essence.

34b-36a. (Though) it is said that phlegm, bile and wind have their places above and below the umbilical region and the regions of the anus and the buttocks (respectively) in the body, they are capable of coursing through the entire body. Especially wind (can do so). Heart is at the centre of body and it is known to be the place of mind.

36b-39a. It is said that a man of windy temperament would be emaciated, have scanty hair, be fickle-minded, garrulous, have uneven wind, and feel flying in the air in his dream. A man of bilious temperament is said to be having ultimately grey hair. He would be irritable and would perspire copiously. He would be fond of sweets and would see glowing things in dream. A phlegmatic man would have strong body and firm mind. He would be brilliant. He will have glossy hair on the head. He would see clear water in dream.

39b-40a. O The foremost among the sages! Men of windy, bilious and phlegmatic temperaments are known to be tāmasa (inactive), rājas (passionate) and sāttvika (virtuous) (respectively).

40b-43a. Raktapitta (haemoptysis) (is caused) by excessive coition and engaging in doing hard (physical) work. The wind in the body gets deranged on account of eating bad food or on account of grief. O Brahmin! Bile gets deranged on account of internal heat, eating hot food, making a journey as well as due to fear. Phlegm gets deranged due to excessive drinking of water, eating heavy food and lying down after eating. A lazy man also gets his phlegm deranged.

43b. After knowing the diseases caused by (humours) wind and the like from their characteristics, one should remedy them (as below).

44. The characteristics of the disease due to the (deranged) wind are – pain in the bones, bitter taste in the mouth, parched state of feeling in the mouth, yawning and bristling of the hair.

45. A disease due to (deranged) bile is marked by yellowness in the nails, eyes and veins, bitter taste in the mouth, thirst and burning heat (in the body).

yellowness in the eyes

46. The characteristics of disease due to phlegm are languor, flow of water (from the mouth), heaviness (of the body), sweet taste in the mouth and longing for heat.

47. (Eating of) oil and hot food, anointing the body with oil and bathing and drinking of oil and the like would appease (deranged) wind. Clarified butter, milk, sugar and the rays of the moon and the like would counter (deranged) bile.

48. The oil of the three myrobalans together with honey and doing exercises etc. would remove (deranged) phlegm. Contemplation on (Lord) Viṣṇu and His worship would appease all the diseases.

CHAPTER 281: The description of the characteristics of the different tastes and the qualities of the herbs

Dhanvantari said:

1. Listen to me! I shall describe the tastes and the other characteristics and merits of the herbs. A physician who knows the properties of the herbs, such as taste, strength and flavour, will be able to save kings and other people.

2. O One possessing powerful arms! The tastes such as sweet, sour and saline are stated to come from the moon. The tastes: bitter, astringent and pungent, are (known to be) from fire.

3. The herbs have three flavours—bitter, sour and saline. The strength (of the herbs) is said to be of two kinds—hot and cold.

4-5a. O Foremost among the brahmins! The effect of the herbs is indescribable. Those that are sweet, astringent and bitter are said to be having cold potency. The rest are stated to be hot.

5b-6. Although guḍuci has the bitter taste, it is hot on account of its high potency. O One who shows respect! Pathyā, though an astringent, is (considered) hot. Although meat is sweet, it is said to be hot.

7. The saline and sweet tastes would become sweet flavour. The sour things that are hot are also said to become so. The rest would have pungent flavour.

8. One has to determine the drugs that have got modified in their potency and flavour from their efficacy. Honey, although sweet, is said to be pungent in flavour.

9. (The herb) should be boiled with water, sixteen times its proportion, until it comes down to four times the proportion. This is the general rule for (preparing) a decoction wherever (something else) has not been stated.

10-12. The decoction (thus prepared) (should be composed) of water alone. In a decoction prepared with oil, it should be four times that of the drug. A wise man should take equal quantity (of water) to that of the herb. Then the herb and oil should be added. Oil should be one-fourth the measure of the substance. The herb that is free from water would be (known as) extraction in oil. The process of preparing decoctions of the herbs in oil has been explained. O Suśruta! (The method of preparation) of the lambative is also similar.

The Ayurveda process of preparing decoctions from herbs

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13-15a. The decoction that is clear and having little medicinal ingredient would be as above described. (The dosage) for pulverised drugs is stated to be an akṣa (a particular measure of weight equal to 16 māṣas) and four palas (a particular weight) for the decoction. This measure is said to be middling. There is no hard and fast rule about the dosage. O Fortunate one! The measure of the dosage has to be decided according to the age, time, strength, digestive power, place, herb and disease.

15b-16a. Those tastes are known to be saumyāḥ which increase the quality of the ingredients. Those that are madhurāh are specially known to increase the quality.

16b-17a. That substance which has the qualities in equal proportion to the defects would be for betterment. The opposite would subdue the effect.

17b-20. O Foremost among men! There are said to be three functions in this body, such as, eating, sleeping and coition. One has to pay attention to these always. One would get destroyed if there is no indulgence or is over-indulgence (in any one of these). An exhausted body has to be strengthened. Obesity of a person should be reduced. The middle type has to be protected. These are considered to be the three different types of bodies. Gratification and non-gratification are said to be the two courses of action. One should moderately eat (food) that is good (for health) after the food already taken had been digested.

21-24a. O Foremost among men! The remedies are classified into five groups: juice, levigated powder, the distilled, the cold and decoction. Juice is known to be that got by pressing. Levigated powder is got by pulverising the drug after heating. The distilled is that got after boiling. The cold one is that allowed to cool the previous night. Decoction is that distilled immediately after boiling. There are one hundred and sixty ways of doing so. One who knows the ways would become unconquerable. That person is skilled in the preparation of mixtures.

24b. The purity of food is for the sake of digestion. A good digestion is the root cause of the strength of men.

25-30a. One should eat the three myrobalans together with the rock-salt, that would give good complexion to a king. (One would get similar benefit by using) the juice of venison together with rock-salt or curd or small quantities of milk. One whose constitution is windy should eat (a food) that has either more juice or the same proportion of juice. It is said that massaging (the body) (should be done) in summer. In winter it should be in equilibrium. It is known to be of middling type in the spring. The intense massaging in the summer is first done on the skin and then on the muscles, veins, blood and the body. The bones would get strengthened and become fleshy. A wise man should massage well the shoulders, arms, shanks, knees, collarbones and the chest as before as if (one is attacking) an enemy. After having massaged the joints well, one should stretch them slowly without making a violent jerk.

Indian doctors doing traditional Ayurvedic oil foot massage

30b-33. One should not do any physical exercise while the food still remains undigested nor after taking food, nor after drinking (water). One should never do any exercise in the half of the prahara after a quarter part of the day. One should bathe in cold water (only) once. Bathing in tepid water would remove fatigue. One should not forcibly retain the breath in the heart. Physical exercises would remove the (excessive) phlegm. Massaging would remove the (excessive) wind. Bathing would remove the excessive bile. (One should not) expose his body to sunlight or enjoy the company of women (after doing exercises). Men should not do exercises affecting one’s body under the sunlight.

CHAPTER 282: Description of horticulture

Dhanvantari said:

1. Now I shall describe the science of medicine relating to trees. It is good to have Plakṣa (tree) on the north, a banyan tree on the east, a mango (tree) on the south and a holy fig tree on the west.

2-4a. (It is better) to have thorny trees on the south near the house. A garden should be near the house. Blooming sesamum plants should be gathered and the trees should be planted after worshipping a brahmin and the moon. The five fixed asterisms svāti, hasta, rohiṇī, śravaṇa and mūla are commended for planting the trees.

Scenic view of beautiful tropical forest with Indian banyan in Ranthambore national park, India

4b-5. (The trees) should be planted such that they are fed by rivers or should be made to be on the banks of a tank. (The asterisms) hasta, magha, anurādhā, aśvinī, puṣya and jyeṣṭhā as well as śatabhiṣak and the three uttaras (uttaraphālguni, uttarāṣāḍha and uttarabhādrapada) (are good) for beginning (the construction) of tanks.

6-7a. It should be done after worshipping (lords) Varuṇa, Viṣṇu and Parjanya. (Trees such as) ariṣṭa, aśoka, punnāga, śirīṣa, priyaṅgu, plantain, jambū, bakula and pomegranate (should be planted) as above.

7b-9. The planted trees should be watered morning and evening in the summer season, on alternate days in the winter season and in the night in the rainy (season) if the earth has become dry. (Trees planted) twenty cubits apart are (deemed as) excellent and sixteen (cubits) apart are (deemed as) medium. There should be minimum twelve cubits (distance) in between one tree and the other. Trees (planted) densely would not bear fruits. They should first be pruned with a cutter.

10. (The trees) should be sprinkled with cold water mixed with a paste of viḍaṅga and ghee. If the fruits get destroyed, (cold water should be sprinkled) with (a paste of) horse-gram, black-gram, green-gram, barley and sesamum.

11-12. One should always sprinkle cold water with ghee for (getting abundant) fruits and flowers. Sprinkling with the excrements of sheep and goat and pulverised barley, sesamum allowed to be soaked in meat and water for seven nights would also increase the bearing of fruits and flowers in all the trees.

13. Sprinkling with the washings of the fish would also increase the growth of the trees. Fish and meat mixed with the viḍaṅga and rice would make (them) bear fruits. This would universally control the diseases of all the trees.

Sesame Seed Pods

CHAPTER 283: The remedial herbs for all the diseases

Dhanvantari said:

1. A decoction of siṁhī śaṭi, two kinds of niśā (turmeric) and vatsaka is commended for all types of infantile dysentery as well as defects due to mother’s milk.

2. One should lick pulverised śṛṅgi, kṛṣṇā and atibalā together with honey. (Otherwise) ativiṣā alone would remove the cough, vomiting and fever of a child.

3-5a. Vacā should be taken by children together with clarified butter, or with milk or with oil. The child should drink yaṣṭikikā or śaṅkha flower together with milk. This would improve speech, complexion, longevity, intellect and beauty of the child. Vacā, agniśikhā, vāsā, dried ginger, kṛṣṇā (long pepper), turmeric, yaṣṭi and rock salt should be given to a child in the morning for drinking. It would develop the memory.

5b-6a. A decoction of devadāru, mahāśigru, the three myrobalans and payomuca made into a paste with long pepper and honey would remove all worms.

6b-7. The juice of the three myrobalans, bhṛṅga and viśva soaked in honey, clarified butter, goat’s milk and cow’s urine is beneficial in the diseases of children. The juice of dūrvā (a kind of grass) when inhaled is excellent remedy for bleeding of the nose.

8. (Similarly) filling the ear with the juice of garlic, ginger and śigru (would remedy the bleeding of the ears). Extracts of ginger and nutmeg in oil would remove intestinal colic and also the diseases of the lips.

9. The outer skin of the nutmeg, dry ginger, pepper, long pepper and turmeric would remove the urinary defects. A paste of mustard made into a decoction in milk dissolved in oil would remove toothache.

10. The coriander water, coconut, cow’s urine, betelnut and dry ginger made into a decoction and used for gargling would remedy the defects in the tongue.

11. The juice of nirguṇḍikā with the paste of lāṅgali prepared in oil when inhaled would destroy gaṇḍamālii and galagaṇḍa.

12. One should rub (the affected part of the skin) with the leaves of arka, pūtikā and snuhī together with cow’s urine. (By this one would destroy) all the defects of the skin.

13. Vākucī and sesamum eaten for one year is a cure for leprosy. Pathyā, bhallātaki and a lump of molasses in oil would also conquer leprosy.

Sesamum Seeds

14. One suffering from piles should drink buttermilk together with the powders of yūthikā, vahni, turmeric, the three myrobalans and vyoṣa or should take abhayā with molasses.

15. One suffering from a urinary ailment should take a decoction of the (three) myrobalans, a variety of turmeric and viṣa or the juice of the emblic myrobalan or the paste of turmeric with or without honey should be used.

16. A decoction of vāsā mixed with castor oil would remove acute gout. The drinking (of the juice) of long pepper would cure enlarged spleens.

17-20. One who has an abdominal disorder should take black pepper that has been soaked well in the milk of snuk or should drink milk mixed with the paste of rucya, dantya, agniviḍaṅga and vyoṣa. The granthika, ugra, mustard, long pepper and viḍaṅga soaked in ghee (and allowed to remain) in buttermilk for a month would remove diarrhoea, piles, jaundice, enlargement of spleen and worms. The decoction of the three myrobalans, amṛtā, vāsā, tiktabhūnimbaja together with honey would remove jaundice with acidity. One who is having acute gout should drink a potion of vāsā together with molasses and honey. Or (one may drink) milk in which varī, grapes, balā and dried ginger have been dissolved.

21. One who is suffering from consumption should lick (the compounded powders of) varī, vidārī, pathyā, the three (kinds of) balās, vāsaka and śvadaṁṣṭra together with honey and clarified butter.

22. The essence of the bark of pathyā, śigru, karañja and arka together with honey and rock salt would cure abscess as well as (help) ripening of the intestines.

23-24. Anointing a wound with trivṛt, jīvati, dantī mañjiṣṭhā, the two varieties of turmeric, tārkṣaja and neem leaves is commended for fistula. An ointment of pulverised rugghāta, turmeric, shellac mixed with ghee and honey, and vāsā would be an antiseptic and arrest its spread.

25. Oil boiled with śyāmā, yaṣṭi, turmeric, lodhra, padmaka, utpala, sandal and black pepper, and distilled in milk would heal a wound.

Purple Tulasi or Sacred Basil

26. Burnt ashes of the leaves of black holy basil and cotton, nutmeg, rock-salt and turmeric made into a paste and boiled in oil in a copper vessel would be a good remedy for ulcers.

27. Kumbhīsāra mixed with milk should be heated in fire and applied on the wound. It could also be cured by sprinkling with the chops of coconut and ghee.

28. Dried ginger, ajamoda, rock-salt and bark of tamarind in equal proportions together with mustard in the same proportion should be drunk with butter-milk or hot water. It would cure dysentery.

29. In the case of dysentery that is longstanding and accompanied by constipation, discharge of blood and pain, one should be made to drink water boiled with vatsaka, ativiṣā, dried ginger, bilva and musta.

30. One suffering from any type of colic should drink warm water saturated with rock-salt burnt in charcoal. Alternatively (one may take a mixture of) rock-salt, asafoetida, long pepper and mustard in the same way.

31. Kaṭurohiṇi, long pepper, ātaṅka and powdered fried paddy made into a paste with honey that is filtered through a cloth and held in the mouth would remove thirst.

32-33. A decoction of pāṭhā, dārvī (a variety of turmeric), skin of nutmeg, grapes and the three kinds of myrobalans together with honey if gargled would remedy sore-mouth. A decoction of long pepper, ativiṣa, tiktendra, dāru, pāṭhā and payomuc boiled with (cow’s) urine (taken with) honey would remove all throat affections.

34. Drinking of a decoction of pathyā, gokṣura, dusparṣa, rājavṛkṣa and śilābhit together with honey would remedy painful discharge of urine.

35. A decoction of bamboo bark and varuṇa would remove stone in the bladder. One who is suffering from elephantiasis should take the decoction of śākhoṭaka together with honey and milk.

36. Oil made with black-gram and the milk extracted from the bark of arka (as well as) rock-salt mixed with honey would be the remedy for the diseases of the leg. Clarified butter similarly (would cure) jālakukkuṭaja (a disease of the leg).

37. Powder of dried ginger, natron [Natron is a naturally occurring mixture of sodium carbonate decahydrate (Na2CO3·10H2O, a kind of soda ash) and around 17% sodium bicarbonate (also called baking soda, NaHCO3) along with small quantities of sodium chloride and sodium sulfate] and asafoetida mixed with the juice of dried ginger boiled with ghee would remove sickness and this decoction is known to be efficacious in improving digestion.

39. A decoction of emblic myrobalan, snake-gourd and green-gram together with clarified butter would cure dry spreading itch. Dry ginger, dāru and navā made into a decoction with milk together with the urine of a cow also (would remove swelling).

40. Decoction of dry ginger, pepper, long pepper, kṣāra and the three myrobalans would remove swelling. (Similar effect is had by using) treacle, śigru and trivṛt together with pulverised rock-salt.

41. A decoction of trivṛt and the three myrobalans together with treacle would act as a purgative. A decoction of vacā and three kinds of myrobalan with milk would be an emetic.

42-44. One hundred palas (a measure of weight) each of the three myrobalans soaked in the essence of bhṛṅgaja mixed with ten parts of viḍaṅga and iron filings and twenty-five palas of śatāvari, guḍūci and agni should be licked with honey, clarified butter and sesamum oil. (One would be) free from aging and greying of hair. He would live a hundred years free from all diseases. The three myrobalans with honey and sugar is capable of destroying all diseases.

45-46a. Taking mustard together with honey, ghee, pepper, the three myrobalans, pathyā, citraka, dry ginger, guḍūci muśali-raja and treacle would remove disease and make (one live) for three hundred years.

46b-48a. The japā flower (dried) and made into a powder and then into a ball should be put in water. The oil of the paste with water would be like ghee. By the incense (of the above) one that is old would see things as variegated. One would see as before by the incense of mākṣika.

48b-49. If camphor, oil (extracted) from leech and frog and root of pāṭali are ground well and anointed on the two feet, one could walk on the fire after arranging and raising of the grass and provide entertainment to the spectators.

50-51. (The scope of medicine) is stated to fall under six heads such as poison, (influence of) stars, ailments (in general), violent deaths, minor (ailments) and love potions. It leads to two kinds of accomplishments. Sacred formulas meditation, medicine, conversation, mudrā (postures of the hand) and sacrificial worships are the means therein. The four goals (of life) have been narrated. One who reads (the same) would reach heaven.

CHAPTER 284: Narration of sacred formulas that are medicinal

Dhanvantari said:

1. The syllable ‘oṁ’ and others confer longevity, health and heaven. The syllable ‘oṁ’ is the foremost sacred syllable and one becomes immortal by repeating the same.

The Sacred Syllable Oṁ

2. The gāyatrī (mantra) is the supreme sacred formula. One gets enjoyment and emancipation by repeating the same. The formula “oṁ namo nārāyaṇāya” shall accomplish all things.

3-6a. (The sacred formula) “oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya” yields all (things). The formula “oṁ hrūṁ obeisance to (Lord) Viṣṇu” is the foremost medicine. The celestials and demons became prosperous and free from sickness by (repeating) this (formula). It is benevolent for the beings. The dharma (mantra) is a great remedy: “Virtue, one who does virtuous deeds, and virtuous.” One becomes free from blemishes with these dharma mantras. “Conferee of prosperity, lord of prosperity, abode of prosperity, bearer of wealth, the abode of wealth, lord of prosperity, the supreme prosperity” One would obtain prosperity by (the repetition of) these (words).

6b-7a. “One who loves, bestower of desires, desire, the governor of desires, Hari, happiness, consort of Lakṣmī” are the names of (lord) Hari, (which should be repeated) for (gaining) pleasures.

7b-8. “Rāma (one that makes us pleased), Paraśurāma (the Rāma, with the battle-axe), Nṛsiṁha (the man-lion form of lord Viṣṇu), Viṣṇu, Trivikrama (the lord that measured three spaces with three strides)” are the names that are to be repeated by those who desire to conquer. One who desires to acquire knowledge should repeat daily the name “Puruṣottama” (foremost among beings).

9. (The repetition of the name) Dāmodara (one having a string around the belly, denotes Lord Kṛṣṇa) would remove bondage. (The repetition of the name) Puṣkarākṣa (lotus-eyed) would cure eye-disease. (The name) Hrsīkeśa (the lord of the sense-organs) would remove fear. This has to be repeated while preparing medicines.

10-11 The name ‘Acyuta’ (the changeless one) is an immortal one and confers victory in the battle. One who begins to cross a water-course (should repeat the name) Narasiṁha (man-lion form of Viṣṇu). One who desires to have welfare in the east and other directions should remember “Cakrin (the bearer of the disc), Gadin (the wielder of the mace), Śārṅgin (the bearer of the bow), and Khaḍgin (the bearer of a sword)”. (One should repeat) the name “Nārāyaṇa” at all times. (The repetition of the name) Nṛsiṁha (man-lion form of Viṣṇu) would remove all fear.

12. (The repetition of the name) “Garuḍavāhana” (one having the eagle on the banner) would remove poison. The name “Vāsudeva” (son of Vasudeva) has to be repeated always. One should repeat (the names) ‘Ananta’ (endless) and ‘Acyuta’ (changeless) while storing grains etc. and while going to sleep.

13. (One should repeat) “Nārāyaṇa” when getting a bad dream and (the term) “Jalaśāyin” (one who reposes on the water) when there is outbreak of fire etc. One who desires to gain knowledge (should repeat the name) “Hayagrīva” (one having the neck of a horse, denotes a form of Viṣṇu). (One who desires) to gain progeny (should repeat the word) “Jagatsūti” (the progenitor of the universe). (The name) “Balabhadra” (the elder brother of lord Kṛṣṇa) (should be repeated) during acts of valour. This single name accomplishes things.

CHAPTER 285: The accomplished recipes that would revive the dead

Dhanvantari said:

1. I shall describe to you the infallible recipes that would revive the dead. They were expounded to me by (the sage) Ātreya. They are divine and are capable of curing all diseases.

Ātreya said:

2. A decoction of the five roots, such as those of bilva, (is an excellent remedy) for fever due to (deranged) wind. Otherwise (a decoction of) the root of long pepper, guḍūcī and dry ginger is purifying.

Bilva Fruit

3-4. (A decoction of the herbs) emblic myrobalan, mustard, black pepper and vahni would cure all fevers. Bilva, agnimantha, śyoniika, kāśmarī, pāṭalā, sthirā, trikaṇṭaka, pṛśniparṇī, bṛhati and kaṇṭakārikā are remedies for fever, indigestion, pain on the sides (of the body) and cough. The root of kula (grass) (should also be added to this).

5. Guḍūcī, parpaṭi, musta, kirāta and dry ginger should be given in fever due to (deranged) wind and bile. This is known as pañcabhadra (the five beneficial things).

6. A decoction made of trivṛt, viśāla, kaṭukii, the three myrobalans and āragvadha is a purifier, loosens the bowels and has to be drunk to get relief from all fevers.

7. Devadāru, balā, vāsā, the three myrobalans, vyoṣa, padmaka, and viḍaṅga with an equal proportion of candied sugar made into a powder would conquer five kinds of cough.

8-9. Daśamūlī, śaṭi, rāsnā, long pepper, bilva, pauṣkara, śṛṅgīta, emblic myrobalan, bharṅgī guḍūcī, nāgavallī and barley compounded well and a decoction prepared from that should be drunk. It would remedy cough, diarrhoea, (pain) on the sides, hiccough and difficult breathing.

10. The three kinds of salts (as well as) madhuka together with honey, long pepper together with sugar, and nāgara together with treacle would remove hiccough.

11. Kāravya, jājī, pepper, grapes, hog-plum, pomegranate, natrum, treacle and honey would remedy all kinds of loss of appetite.

12. One should be made to drink the juice of śṛṅgavera (ginger) together with honey. It would remedy loss of appetite, difficult breathing and cough. It would also remedy catarrh and excess of phlegm.

13. (The root of) banyan, śṛṅgi, red earth, (the bark of) lodhra, pomegranate, madhuka and honey should be taken with the scum. It would remove thirst and arrest vomiting.

14. Guḍūcī, vāsaka, lodhra and long pepper together with honey would remedy fever accompanied by thirst, cough and expectoration of phlegm together with blood.

15. Likewise the juice of vāsaka, the juice of tāmraja mixed with honey, and pepper infused in the juice of the śiriṣa flower would also be beneficial.

16. (The pulse called) masūra removes all kinds of pain. (The washings) of rice would remove excess of bile. Nirguṇḍī, śārivā, śelu and aṅkola would remove poisons.

17. Dry ginger, amṛtā, kṣudrā, puṣkara and granthika made into powder should be taken with decoction of long pepper when one suffers unconsciousness and intoxication.

18. Asafoetida, natrum and vyoṣa (dry ginger) and pepper (each weighing) two palas, an āḍhaka (a measure) of ghee soaked in four parts of cow’s urine would remedy insanity.

19. Śaṅkha flower, vacā and kuṣṭha soaked in the juice of brāhmī destroys long-standing epilepsy and insanity. It is also excellent for improving memory.

20-25a. The ghee made up of the five products got from a cow has also similar effects. The same with mustard is a remedy for leprosy. Snake-gourd, the three myrobalans, neem, guḍūci, dhāvani, vṛṣa and karañja boiled with ghee destroys leprosy and is known as vajraka (potent remedy). Neem, snake gourd, vyāghri, guḍūci and vāsaka should be taken ten palas each and pounded well. (The mixture) should then be heated in water vessel (with water) till it is reduced to one fourth (of its original volume). It should then be soaked in one prastha (a measure) ghee and boiled with the three myrobalans. This ghee is known as pañcatiktaka (five bitter things). This ghee is capable of curing leprosy. This excellent recipe would cure eighty varieties of diseases due to (deranged) wind, forty (diseases) due to (deranged) bile, twenty (diseases) due to (deranged) phlegm as well as cough, catarrh, piles, wounds and other diseases just as the sun (would remove) darkness.


25b-26a. One should sprinkle a wound with the decoction of the three myrobalans and the juice of bhṛṅgarāja for the cure of the venereal disease.

26b-28a. The powder of the leaves of snake-gourd and the five particles of the skin of pomegranate should be pounded with gaja (a variety of pepper) and the powder of the three kinds of myrobalans. Oil boiled with the three myrobalans, grains of iron, yaṣṭi, mārkava, blue lotus, pepper and rock-salt would remedy vomiting when used for bathing.

Blue Lotus

28b-29a. Oil boiled with milk, juice of mārkava, two prasthas each of madhuka and utpala made into one guḍava (a measure), if used in the nostril would arrest greying of hair.

29b-30. The two compounds: neem, snake-gourd, the three kinds of myrobalans, guḍūcī, khadira and vṛṣa as well as bhūnimba, pāṭhā, the three kinds of myrobalans, guḍūci and red sandal would remedy fever, leprosy, tumour and the like.

31. A decoction prepared from snake-gourd, amṛta, bhūni, vāsā, ariṣṭaka, parpaṭa and bark of khadira would appease the fever due to tumour.

32. The daśamūlī, chinnaruhā, mustard, dāru, punamavā, śigru and dry ginger are beneficial for (remedying) fevers, abscess and swelling.

33-34. Besmearing with (a paste of) madhūka and neem leaves would clean the wounds. A decoction of the three myrobalans and the leaves of khadira, dārvī, nyagrodha, atibalā, kuśa (grass), neem, and mūlaka are beneficial in cleaning (wounds). The juice of karañja, ariṣṭa and nirguṇḍi would destroy the parasites of wounds.

35. Besmearing with a paste (made up) of dhātaki, sandal, balā, maṅgā, madhuka, blue lotus, dārvi and meda mixed with clarified butter would heal a wound.

36. Guggulu, the three myrobalans, dry ginger, pepper and long pepper in equal proportions mixed with ghee would heal wounds due to affected arteries and painful fistula.


37. The yellow myrobalan boiled in cow’s urine with oil and salt should be used every morning. It would remove excess of phlegm and wind.

38. A decoction of dry ginger, pepper, long pepper and the three myrobalans should be drunk with alkali and salt as a purgative in (deranged) phlegm and wind. It arrests the increase of phlegm.

39. The decoction of long pepper, the root of long pepper, vacā, citraka and dry ginger should be drunk to remedying constipation.

40. One should drink the great remedy: rāsnā, guḍūci, root of castor and devadāru in case of rheumatism (that affects) all the limbs, joints, bones and marrow.

41-43. Otherwise, one may drink a decoction of daśamūla together with dry ginger and water. By the use of a decoction of dry ginger and gokṣuraka every morning one would get back digestive power that has been impaired and would get relief from rheumatic pain in the hip. The oil extracted from the roots, leaves and branches of prasāriṇī, an extracted juice or paste or powder or decoction of guḍūcī would relieve one from acute gout when used for a long time.

44-45a. Long pepper and castor-oil may be used. One would conquer quickly acute gout accompanied by burning sensation by drinking snake-gourd, the three varieties of myrobalans, tivrakaṭuka and amṛtā boiled with mustard or treacle.

Long Peppers

45b-46. Rheumatic pain would be relieved at once by (drinking) guggulu in warm water or drinking guḍūcī with the three myrobalans in water together with balā, punarnavā, castor seed, the two kinds of bṛhatī, gokṣura, asafoetida and salt.

47-50a. A kārṣika (a measure of weight) each of the root of long pepper, the five kinds of salts, long pepper, citraka, dry ginger, the three varieties of myrobalans, trivṛt, vacā, two sorts of alkali, śādvala, dantī, svarṇakṣīrī and viṣāṇikā (should be ground well) and kola (a measure of weight) measure of pill should be drunk with jujube. (This would remedy) swelling. It is an excellent remedy with trivṛt for indigestion and enlargement of the abdomen etc. Milk together with dāru, varṣābhū and dry ginger would be excellent for removing swelling. Sprinkling with a decoction of arka, varṣābhū and bhūnimba would remove swelling.

Jujube fruit

50b-51. Piles would go without any doubt if the clarified butter boiled with three parts of ashes of dry ginger, pepper and long pepper mixed with palāśa dissolved in water is used. Viṣvakṣena, lotus flower and nirguṇḍi boiled with salt would also have similar results.

52-53a. Oil (prepared) with viḍaṅga, anala, rock-salt, rāsnā, agrakṣāra and dāru boiled with four times water saturated with a pungent material would remove inflammation of the glands of the neck and would remedy goitre if used as an unguent.

53b-54a. Decoction of śaṭi, kunāga and valaya together with the juice of kṣīra boiled with the paste of payasyā, long pepper and vāsā would be beneficial for consumption.

54b-55. (A compound of) vacā, viḍ, mustard, dry ginger, asafoetida, kuṣṭha, agni dīpyaka (mixed in the proportion of) two, three, six, four, one, seven parts and a fiftieth part respectively, if drunk would destroy tumours in the abdomen, (abdominal) colic and coughs.

56. Pills made of pāṭhā, nikumbha, pepper, dry ginger, long pepper, the three kinds of myrobalans and agni boiled with cow’s urine would remedy abdominal tumour, spleen and the like.

snake gourd

57. Vāsā, margosa, snake-gourd and the three myrobalans would destroy (deranged) wind and bile. Powdered viḍaṅga if licked with honey would destroy worms.

58-59a. The yellow myrobalan together with viḍaṅga, rock salt, kṣāra (alkaline salt) and cow’s urine (will also produce the same effect). The barks of sallakī, jujube, rose apple, piyāla. Mango and arjuna (trees) soaked in honey and taken with milk separately would arrest haemorrhage.

59b-60a. Equal proportions of the juice of bilva, mango (bark), dhātakī, pāṭhā, dry ginger and mocā when taken with treacle or butter-milk would arrest severe dysentery.

60b-61a. The drinking of a decoction of aṅgeri, kola, curd water, dry ginger and kṣāra (an alkaline salt) together with ghee would remove pain due to inflammation of anus.

61b-62a. Viḍaṅga, ativiṣā, musta, dāru, pāṭhā and kaliṅga (taken) together with black pepper would cure dysentery (accompanied by) swelling (of the limbs).

62b-63. One would live for a hundred years happily by eating two yellow myrobalans (everyday) together with sugar, rock-salt and dry ginger or long pepper, honey and treacle. The same would be the result of taking the three kinds of myrobalans and long pepper together with honey and clarified butter.

64. One should lick powdered emblic myrobalan soaked in (the juice of) the same with honey, clarified butter and sugar and drink milk if desirous of enjoying women.

65-66. Powdered black gram, long pepper, śāli (a variety of rice), barley and wheat in equal proportion should be fried with long pepper. One should eat them and drink sweet milk with sugar. (Such a person) would gain strength to enjoy women ten times like a sparrow.

67. Maṅgā, dhātakī flower, lodhra and blue lotus should be given to women together with milk. It would remedy pradara (a disease) of women.

68-69a. (A mixture of) bīja, kauraṇṭaka, madhaka, white sandal, the roots of lotus and blue lotus, sugar and sesamum is excellent for arresting miscarriage and causing pregnancy.

69b-70. An unguent of devadāru, nabha, kuṣṭha, nalada and dry ginger mixed with sour gruel and oil would remedy headache. If rock salt mixed with water is poured (into the ear) after gently heating and filtering through a cloth, it would remove ear-ache.

71. The juice of garlic, ginger, śigru or plantain (may be taken) separately. One may drink them with (the mixture of) balā, śatāvarī, rāsnā and amṛtā together with sairīyaka.

72-74a. Clarified butter together with the three myrobalans is an excellent remedy against blindness. One should drink ghee boiled with the three myrobalans, dry ginger, pepper, long pepper and rock-salt. It would strengthen eyesight, loosen bowels, strengthen heart, stimulate digestion and remedy cold. The filament of blue lotus together with cowdung and water is (known as) collyrium. It would be beneficial for day or night blindness.

74b-77. Taṣṭīmadhu, vacā, long pepper and seeds of kuṭaja made into a paste mixed with a decoction of neem is a good emetic. Glossy and greasy barley water should be given as a purgative. If it is (used) otherwise it would impair the digestion, make the body heavy and cause loss of appetite. A pulverised (compound of) mustard, rock-salt and long pepper should be drunk with warm water. This is an excellent purgative that would remedy all diseases. This is known as nārāca (destructive). The infallible compositions that have been expounded by Ātreya to the sages are capable of curing all diseases and are declared by Suśruta as conferring all boons.

CHAPTER 286: Collection of medical recipes

Dhanvantari said:

1. I shall describe the recipes of medicines that would conquer death, confer longevity and cure diseases. The three myrobalans1 and amṛtā together with honey and clarified butter would cure disease and would make one live for three hundred years.

The three types of Myrobolan

2. One who uses one pala (70.5g) half a pala, or a karṣa  (17.6g)  would enjoy the full span of life. One who uses the oil of bilva in the nostril for a month would live for five hundred years and would become a poet.

3-4. The use of sesamum (sesame) and bhallātaka (cashew-nut) would overcome disease, premature death and senility. One would overcome leprosy by (using) a decoction of five parts of powdered vākucī with the waters of khadira for six months. (Otherwise) powder of nilakuruṇṭa may be used (for the same). One who eats khaṇḍadugdha together with milk or honey (would live for) a hundred years. 

Bhallātaka or Cashew Nut


5. One who uses a pala (weight) of honey, clarified butter and dried ginger in the morning would conquer death. One who drinks milk with the powder of māṇḍaki would overcome old age and live long.

6. One who drinks milk with a karṣa of uccaṭā and honey would conquer death. One would overcome disease and death (by using) nirguṇḍi together with honey, clarified butter or milk.

7. One should drink a karṣaka of the oil of palāśa together with honey for six months. Milk may be drunk afterwards. This would make one live for five hundred or a thousand (years).

8-9a. One should drink the juice of the leaf of jyotiṣmati and the three myrobalans together with milk. Similarly, a pala (weight) of the pulverised śatāvarī together with honey and clarified butter or nirguṇḍi with honey, clarified butter and milk would overcome disease and death.

Rudravanti or Rudanti – Capers (Cressa cretica)

9b-10. Five parts of pulverised neem boiled with the decoction of khadira (used) with a karṣa (weight) of the juice of bhṛṅga would make one overcome disease and become immortal. One who drinks milk after taking rudanti (Caper Berries) with clarified butter and honey would conquer death.

11. One should take a karṣa (weight) of the powder of yellow myrobalan boiled with the juice of bhṛṅgarāja together with ghee (or) honey. He would live for three hundred years and conquer disease.

12-14. (One would live) for five hundred years (by using) a karṣa (weight of) vārāhikā, juice of bhṛṅga, oxide of iron, śatāvarī together with clarified butter. Powdered kārta (gold filings) and śatāvarī boiled with (the juice of) bhṛṅgarāja (used with) honey and clarified butter would make one live for three hundred years. Mango, amṛtā, trivṛt in equal proportion (and) sulphur purified with the juice of kumārikā (are made into pills). (One who uses) two (such) pills together with clarified butter would live for five hundred years. A pala (weight) of aśvagandhā used with oil, clarified butter and treacle would make one (live for) a hundred years.

15. Drinking a pala (weight) of pulverised punamavā or aśoka together with honey, clarified butter and milk would remove one’s ailment.

16. One who uses the sesame oil with honey in the nostril will live for a hundred years (retaining) the black hue of the hair. One would live for a hundred years by drinking a karṣa (weight) of akṣa together with honey, clarified butter and milk.

17. After taking mustard with treacle, ghee and sweet things etc., one who eats rice mixed with milk would have black hair, be free from disease and live for five hundred years.

18.One who drinks a pala (weight) of pulverised kūsmāṇḍikā together with honey, clarified butter and milk and eats rice mixed with milk for a month would live for a thousand years without any disease.

19. The powder of śālūka together with the juice of bhṛṅga, honey and clarified butter would make one live for a hundred years. A karṣa (weight) of the oil of kaṭutumbi1 (used) in the nostril would make one live for two hundred years.

1. Bitter melon or Karelā.

Kaṭutumbi, Karelā or Bitter Melon

20. The use of the three myrobalans, long pepper and dried ginger would make one live for three hundred years. If the same is compounded with śatāvarī2 it would make one strong and live for one thousand years.

2. Albizia lebbeck powder.

Albizia lebbeck

21-24. Pills should be made with citraka, dried ginger, viḍaṅga, iron oxide, bhṛṅgarāja, valā, the five kinds of neem, khadira, nirguṇḍi, kaṇṭakārī and vāsaka boiled with varṣābhū or its juice. This powder together with ghee or honey or treacle or water is an excellent compound. It should be consecrated with the formula “oṁ hrūṁ sa”. It would be a recipe for reviving the dead and overcoming disease and death. The collections of recipes were made use of by the celestials, demons and sages.

CHAPTER 302: Description of different kinds of potential mantras and herbs

Agnideva said:

1.  The chief mantra, that is (known as) Sarasvatī (Goddess of learning) that which has the letters that have the directive at the end of the oblation (is) “For speech, deed, united to the side, white, and for the sake of the child is deemed to be the ship.”

Sarasavati Devi

2. A person who repeats this collection of mantras a lakh times would become a wise man. The supreme (mantra) of the heart for Indra is “Atri, together with fire, vāma, eye and dot (bindu).”

3-4a. (Lord) Indra having yellow complexion and wielding the thunderbolt and lotus should be invoked and worshipped. Ten lakh oblations of clarified butter and sesamum should be made and (the image) should be anointed with that. (By doing so) a king would recover the lost kingdom and progeny etc.

4b-6. (Lord Śiva) is known to be with the female energy Hṛllekhā and possesses doṣa, agni, daṇḍi and daṇḍa. After having propitiated (Lord) Śiva, one should repeat (the mantra of) the female energy on the eighth and fourteenth (lunar days). (The goddess should be contemplated) as bearing disc, noose and goad and as showing protection and conferring boons. One would gain prosperity, poetic skill and progeny by doing oblation etc. “oṁ hrīṁ oṁ obeisance to (god of) desire, to the one beneficial to all the beings, to the one who stupefies all the beings, to the one who makes the hearts of all the beings glow. One would subjugate the entire world by the repetition of this mantra etc.


7-9. “oṁ hrīṁ Oh Cāmuṇḍā! burn and cook ‘such and such’ a person. You bring him under my control (repeated). Ṭha! Ṭha! This mantra of (goddess) Cāmuṇḍā that would subjugate has been told. The genital parts should be washed with the decoction of the three myrobalans. (It) would subjugate (the partner). Similarly, a wife should smear with aśvagandhā, barley, turmeric and camphor (with the same results). (So also) long pepper, eight grains of rice, twenty numbers of pepper, besmeared with the juice of bṛhatī would keep (the husband) under one’s control till death. Besmearing with the root of kaṭira and trikaṭu mixed with honey would also have similar results.

10-12a. A paste made of sandalwood, fruit, karabha, māgadhī, madhuka and honey besmeared would bring prosperity to the couple. The juice of kadamba and honey mixed with sugar and besmeared in the vagina (will also yield the same fruit). Pulverized sahadevī, mahālakṣmi, putrajīvi and kṛtāñjali thrown on the head would subjugate the world.

Kadamaba Tree

12b-13. One prastha (a measure) of the decoction of the three myrobalans, two kuḍavas (a measure) each of the juice of bhṛṅga, hema and doṣā and an equal (measure) of honey got from musk-rat boiled with ghee (and mixed with) turmeric dried in the shade, when besmeared, would delight (the couple).

14. One who drinks daily vidārī, uccaṭā, māṣa and pulverized sugar mixed well with milk could cohabit with a hundred women.

15-16a. A woman, who desires to have a son, should drink the roots of aśvattha (holy fig), bamboo, darbha (grass), vaiṣṇavī, śrī, dūrvā (grass) and aśvagandhā mixed with powdered gulma, māṣa, sesamum, vrīhī paddy together with milk.

16b-17a. The fibrous roots of kaunti and lakṣmī, dhātri, vajra, lodhra and the sprouts of vaṭa (banyan tree) should be drunk by a woman during her menstrual period together with clarified butter and milk for the sake of (getting) a son.

17b-18. A woman who desires to have a son should drink milk together with the root of śri (bilva) and the shoots of banyan. Alternatively, she may use the juice of bilva, shoots of banyan and devī in the nostril or she may drink the root of bilva and lotus ground with milk together with the root of holy fig tree in abundance.

Lotus pods and seeds

19. Tarala with milk and the fruits and the tender branches of the cotton tree, the tip of the apāmārga flower and fresh Buffalo milk would have the same effect.

20-21. Four kinds of compounds are said (to be beneficial) for the sake of progeny by using the three kinds of herbs. Sugar, utpala flower, akṣa, lodhra, sandal and sārivā should be given with rice-water for abortion. One may alternatively lick fried rice, yaṣṭi, sugar and grapes together with honey and clarified butter.

22. A woman would have comfortable delivery if a paste of the fibrous roots of aṭarūṣa, lāṅgali and kākamāci are besmeared separately below the navel.

23-26. One should drink (the juice of) red or white japā flower in the case of discharge of blood and semen. The eating of the filament, the root of bṛhatī, gopī, yaṣṭi, grass and utpala mixed with goat’s milk and oil would make the hair grow. When the hairs begin to fall, this would make them firm.

A prastha (measure) of embolic myrobalan and the juice of bhṛṅga and an āḍhaka (measure) of oil and milk (boiled with) oil and añjana fruits is beneficial for hairs, eyes and head.

Bhṛṅga or Bhṛṅgaraj

If khāri (quantity) of turmeric, the bark of rājavṛkṣa, root of tamarind, rock-salt and lodhraka are drunk it would remove quickly the swelling of the belly of the cow. “oṁ obeisance to the lord having three eyes! Subdue! Subdue! culu (x2) mili (x2) Break! (x2) One that regards the cattle! In the disc! Hrūṁ phaṭ! You protect the cattle in this village! (x2) Appease! (x2) (The lord) having bell-like ear, the leader of a host of army, the warrior is said to be having great strength. May that lord of the world who is capable of destroying the epidemic diseases protect me. These mantras in the form of a verse which are capable of protecting the cows should be located.

CHAPTER 306: Description of the mantras to be repeated to ward off evil incantations etc.

Agnideva said:

1-2. Stupefaction, dissension, ruin, destruction, delusion, death and illness are known to be (due to) evil incantations. Listen to me! I shall describe the means of getting relief from them.

oṁ obeisance to lord Unmattarudra (intoxicated Rudra)! Stupefy! (x2) Make (him) wander! (x2) Threaten ‘such and such’ a person! Hurl him aloft with anger! (x2) hūṁ phaṭ ṭha (x2).

One should do oblation with honey with the twigs of dhūrta in the funeral fire after repeating (this mantra) three lakh times at night in a Cremation ground. (By this) the enemy would be wandering always.

3. (After having made) a black image (of the enemy) with red chalk, if it is pierced in the throat or heart with golden needles after repeating (the above mantra), the enemy would die.

4. One who wants to destroy (his enemy) should throw pulverized tail of the ass, funeral ash, brahmadaṇḍi and markaṭi on the house or head of the person.

5-7a. One should thus worship the thousand petalled lotus of Sudarśana-cakra:

“bhṛgu, ether, glowing fire, bhṛgu, fire armour, phaṭ” is for the armour,

“hūṁ phaṭ ācārya svaha” is for the heart cakra,

“hūṁ phaṭ vicakrāyato” is for the head cakra,

“hūṁ phaṭ śikhācakra” is for the śikhā cakra,

“hūṁ phaṭ vicakra” for the eye cakra,

“hūṁ phaṭ sañcakra” for the glowing disc weapon (Sudarśana),

“hūṁ phaṭ jvālācakra” to the bow also.

By worshipping the disc in this way (with the constituent mantras), it would remove all the afflictions due to evil incantations and accomplish all (the desires). The letters of this (mantra) should be located on the head, eyes, mouth, heart, genital organ and feet.

7b-9a. (One should contemplate the Sudarśana disc personified as) seated on the lotus, resembling the colour of fire, having large teeth and four hands, (holding) the conch, disc, mace, lotus, brush and goad in his hand, holding the bow, having reddish brown hair and eye and pervading the three worlds by means of the spokes (of the disc). If the navel is pierced with its fire, the diseases and (afflictions due to) the planets would get destroyed.

9b-10. One should draw two discs. They should be yellow. They should be bearing the disc. The spokes should be red and their inter-spaces black. The periphery should be white and the outer line black. The inter-space should bear the colour of silver.

11-12. After having brought a pitcher with water first, it should be placed in front and the Sudarśana (disc of Lord Viṣṇu) placed there. One should offer oblation in order to the disc on the south. Clarified butter, twigs of apāmārga, unbroken rice, sesamum, mustard, sweet gruel and clarified butter from the cow (are the materials that are offered). (One should do oblation) one thousand and eight times.

13-14. The remaining (part) of each one of the materials after the oblation should be put into the pitcher by one who knows the mode of performance. A ball made of these offerings should be placed in the pitcher. (By doing so) Lord Viṣṇu and others would enter that (pitcher). Then offering should be made in the south with the residual water with (the repetition of) the mantra “Obeisance to the retinue of Śrī Viṣṇu who appease everything. May they accept. Obeisance for peace!”

Lord Viṣṇu

15-16a. (It may also be performed differently). One may inscribe (the disc) on a plank, place a vessel filled with milk and perform oblation with the twigs of palāśa and kṣīra (trees) in the different directions engaging brahmins. These two oblations done after offering appropriate fees (to the priests) would destroy the spirits, etc.

16b-17. Evil incantations would be removed by writing on leaves soaked in cow’s milk and without leaves. (One has to do oblation) with dūrvā (grass) for (prolonging) life, with lotus flowers for prosperity, with (twigs of) udumbara for progeny, with clarified butter at the cow-shed for cattle and with (the twigs) of all the trees for intellect.

18. “oṁ kṣauṁ! obeisance to Lord Narasiṁha” To one who has the flames as the garland, one who has effulgent teeth, one who has fiery eyes, one who is the annihilator of all the demons! To one who destroys all the spirits! To one who destroys all fevers! burn! (x2) cook! (x2) protect! (x2) hūṁ phaṭ”

This mantra of Narasiṁha (the man-lion manifestation of Lord Viṣṇu) removes all sins. Its repetition would remove evil incantations, (evil influences of malignant) planets, epidemics, poisons and diseases. One could arrest the force of water and fire (by rubbing over the body) the ground marrow of a frog (after the repetition of the above mantra).

Lord Narasiṁha

Text of Agni Purāṇa translated by N. Gangadharan, Motilal Banarsidass 1985



Haritaki or Yellow Myrobalan.

Haritaki is one of the three rejuvenating herbs which constitute the amazing Triphala formula. Also called “chebulic myrobalan”, it’s the dried fruit of this Haritaki tree which goes by the botanical name Terminalia chebula and is oblong in shape. It is native to India but also grows all over in South Asia (China, Nepal, and Srilanka). Haritaki is generally utilized in the powdered form and has a different brownish-black color . Depending on the habitat and contour there are seven types of haritaki available in India mainly, Jayanti Haritaki, Abhaya Haritaki, Amrita Haritaki, Putna Haritaki, Rohini Haritaki, Vijaya Haritaki, Chetaki Haritaki. Haritaki characterizes all five flavors mainly Katu (i.e. pungent), Tikta (i.e. sour ), Kashaya (astringent), Madhur (sweet) and Amla (sour). It’s Laghu and Rukhsha Guna (i.e. mild and dry land ), Tikshna Virya (hot potency) and Madhura Vipaka (sweet after digestion).

 It was known as the “king of herbs” by ayurvedic healers, this miraculous fruit holds great importance in the holistic healing of Ayurveda and is broadly used for treating various ailments because of its laxative, astringent, purgative, anti-bilious and anti-oxidant nature. Offered in powder or dietary supplement form, haritaki has a sour flavor. It’s full of vitamin C and chemicals found to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory consequences.

People today use haritaki to promote recovery from a range of conditions which range from sore throat and allergies to constipation and indigestion. In Ayurveda, haritaki is thought to encourage the “Vata” dosha, and provides:

1. Prevention against Cavities

2.  Diabetes Prevention 

3.  Natural Pain Reliever

4. Improved Cognitive Functioning

5.  Improved Digestion

Even though there is a lack of clinical trials that support the health claims of haritaki powder, there is an ample amount of anecdotal and Ayurvedic evidence to support that haritaki definitely boosts your health and also helps in healing several conditions. Nevertheless, there is still a lot of evidence from animal studies, laboratory studies, and test-tube studies that support haritaki’s health benefits. However, preliminary research based on human reviews is few, but the ones that have been done do suggest that haritaki might offer some health benefits. It is always important, though, to consult your doctor or an Ayurvedic practitioner about whether or not you can have haritaki, especially if you already have a current underlying health problem. 

Copyright © 2021 Steve M. Doyle (Soolaba)

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