Sushruta Samhita | First book on Surgery

By | October 19, 2012

Sushruta Samhita is great work on surgery communicated by Dhanwantari to his pupils and arranged by the great Rishi Sushruta. Sushruta Samhita is also one of the three great triads (Brihat trayi) in Ayurveda. Rishi Sushruta is also known as father of Surgury. The eight divisions of the original Ayurveda are arranged in the different six division by Sushruta. In this article we discuss not only on surgery , but everything about Sushruta Samhita.

1st. Sutrasthana—Medical doctrine. This book deals with miscellaneous introductory subjects, such as the principles of medicine; the origin of medicine ; the selection, management and the instruction of pupils; their faculties; the first principles and elements of the body; the various forms of diseases and accidents and their treatment; the rules for teaching; the duty of practitioners ; the selection and use of instruments and of medicines; the influence of weather on health and the practice to be followed after surgical operations. Then follows the description the diseases of the humours and of surgical diseases; the restoration of defective ears and noses; the removal of extraneous substances getting into the body; the different stages of inflammation with their treatment; the different forms of wounds and ulcers; the description of ‘ good and bad diet; of prognosis; the kind of messenger to be employed by the sick; and of diseases produced by the deranged actions of the senses and of incurable .diseases. Then comes the preparations required for accompanying a king in war, the duty of practitioners, the variety of climates and the different classes of medicines. These subjects are treated off in forty-six chapters.

2nd, Nidanasfhana-.(Pathology). The symptoms and diagnosis of diseases produced by vitiated humours or derangements of blood, bile, wind and phlegm. The symptoms and causes of rheumatic diseases, of piles, stone, fistula-in-ano, leprosy, diabetes, gonorrhea, and ascitcs; the symptoms of unnatural presentative in midwifery, large internal abscess, erysipelas, scrofula, hydrocele, diseases of the organs of generation and of the mouth. These subjects are’ treated in sixteen chapters.

3rd. Sarirasthhna or anatomy. The description of soul and of the elementary parts of the body; of puberty; of conception; of the growth of the different parts of the body ; of bleeding; of the treatment of pregnancy and of infants. These subjects are treated in ten chapters.

4th. Chikitsasthana or Therapia ; describes the symptoms and treatment of diseases, wounds and ulcers ; the history of inflammation; the treatment of fractures, rheumatic diseases, piles, stone, fistula-in-ano, leprosy, diabetes and dropsy; the manner extracting the child from the uterus in unusual position ; the arrangement of diet  remedies for retaining and restoring health and strength, and for prolonging life; the means of preventing diseases; the use of clysters, of errhines and of the smoke of different medicinal substances. All these subjects are treated in forty chapters.

5th. Kalpastham or the doctrine of antidotes. This explains the means of preparing and preserving food and drink; of distinguishing poisoned food; and descriptions of different mineral, vegetable and animal poisons with their antidotes; they are all treated in eight chapters.

6th. Utiarasthdna or the supplementary section. It includes various local diseases not mentioned in the previous chapters, as those of the eyes, nose, ears and head with their treatment; the symptoms and treatment of fever and its varieties ; dysentery, consumption, tumors; diseases of the heart, jaundice, discharges of blood and fainting. This is followed by the treatment of intoxication, of cough, hiccough, asthma hoarseness of voice, worms, cholera, dyspepsia and dysuria. It also treats of madness, epilepsy, apoplexy; the different tastes of substances with their effects ; the means of retaining health; and the different opinions of practitioners regarding the humours. These are all treated in seventy six chapters.

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