|Year : 2016 | Volume
| Issue : 4 | Page : 195-200
Botanical identification of plants described in Mādhava Cikitsā for the treatment of diarrhoea
Niteen Ramdas Salve1, Debendranath Mishra2
1 Department of Botany, Jamkhed Mahavidyalaya, Jamkhed, Ahmednagar, Maharashtra, India
2 Department of Botany, Sub-centre Latur of Swami Ramanand Teerth Marathwada University, Nanded, Maharashtra, India
|Date of Web Publication||10-Aug-2016|
Niteen Ramdas Salve
Shubham Bungalow, Shivkripa Colony, Bhist Bagh Naka, Savedi, Ahmednagar - 414 003, Maharashtra
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
Context: Mādhava is regarded as a 7th century Indian Physician who composed two treatises (in Sanskrit) on Ayurveda, the Mādhava Nidāna and Mādhava Cikitsā. The former treatise deals with the diagnosis of diseases while the latter with the treatment using medicinal plants and other recipes. In Mādhava Cikitsā , a common Sanskrit name is found to describe two or more totally different botanical plant species (thus leading to ambiguity) and a distinct botanical species is also found to represent two or more Sanskrit names at several instances.
Aims: The present paper deals with the correct botanical identification (most probable) of Sanskrit named plants described in Mādhava Cikitsā for the treatment of Diarrhoea (Atisāra Cikitsā).
Subjects and Methods: The authentic manuscripts of 'Mādhava Cikitsā' were critically studied for the present research outcome. A detailed literature survey is carried out from various references and texts.
Results: The list of Sanskrit named plants contains 103 names, while after the critical study and assigning the most probable botanical identification as per ICBN, the list of plant species described in the text for the treatment of Diarrhoea is found to contain 73 names.
Conclusions: The present study will certainly benefit Ayurvedic medical practitioners and pharmaceutical companies in selection of proper plant species avoiding substitutions for drug formulation.
Keywords: Atisāra Cikitsā, botanical identification, diarrhoea, Mādhava Cikitsā
|How to cite this article:|
Salve NR, Mishra D. Botanical identification of plants described in Mādhava Cikitsā for the treatment of diarrhoea. Ancient Sci Life 2016;35:195-200
| Introduction|| |
Mādhava Cikitsā , a treatise on principles of therapeutics, is one of the classical Ayurvedic treatises in Sanskrit. It is believed to have been composed in 7th century CE by Mādhava, popularly known as Mādhavācārya or Mādhavakāra .
Ayurveda texts are composed following synonymic names of plants in Sanskrit, whereas the modern system describes plant names by their binomial nomenclature. Many a time a single Sanskrit name is assigned to different botanical species. So it becomes difficult to ascertain the botanical identity of a plant that an Ayurvedic text is referring to. Secondly due to absence of physical specimen or detailed morphological descriptions (necessary for botanical identification), in lexicons (Nighaṇṭus), it again becomes troublesome to correlate Sanskrit names of plants and their botanical identifications. Geographical variations are also found if the authors of the Materia Medica belong to different localities. These medicinal plants/plant parts in modern usage as drugs need their exact botanical identifications for better efficacy of the preparations.
Diarrhoea (also spelt as diarrhea), atisāra in Sanskrit, as per WHO, is a condition where there are three or more loose or liquid stools (bowel movements) per day or more stool than normal. It is an intestinal infection due to a virus, bacteria or parasite. Mādhava Cikitsā in its Chapter 2 on atisāra cikitsā explains several preparations through 60 Sanskrit verses about treating this problem. The present study is an attempt to derive critically these verses, enlist the Sanskrit plant names, and assign these plants to the most probable botanical identity.
| Subjects and Methods|| |
The primary authentic manuscript of 'Mādhava Cikitsā' is available as 'Mādhava Cikitsita ' at BORI (Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute), Pune. Its entry can be found in Mss. – A - Aufrecht's Catalogus Catalogorum: i. 449. This manuscript has been worked out by Galgali and Gadgil. The manuscript which was available with lot of gaps at BORI has been corrected by them and thus the transcript with continuity is available for further studies. Another manuscript is available with 'Prācya vidyā pratiṣṭhāna' , Udaipur Library, under the name of 'Mādhavī Cikitsā' that has been worked out by Vaidya Dadhich. This edition is a product of comparison of all the available copies of manuscripts with the corrections for deleted parts, linkages and other discrepancies. Hindi commentary is also given for the original Sanskrit verses.
Both of these works were critically studied for the present study. A list of Sanskrit plants names was made from the study after analysing the verses (paragraphs) from the text for Atisāra Cikitsā .
The classical ancient Ayurvedic texts , and lexicons  along with the modern work on Ayurveda such as commentaries on the same texts,,, Sanskrit to English dictionaries,, Indian Materia Medica,, Glossaries of Indian Medicinal Plants,,,,,,,, Databases of Indian Medicinal Plants,,,,,,, that have done correlation work of Sanskrit plant names and botanical names were considered to ascertain correct botanical identities to Sanskrit named plant species described in Mādhava Cikitsā for atisāra cikitsā . A detailed literature survey was carried out from various references and texts, including the official API (The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India) and AFI (The Ayurvedic Formulary of India)., The most probable botanical identifications were arrived at as per the maximum agreement of a name by the authors/compilers of the references and also by adhering to the latest taxonomic principles of nomenclature of ICBN. The details of the study and identifications are presented in tabular format.
| Results|| |
The [Table 1] shows 73 botanical identifications (arranged alphabetically) for the Sanskrit names of plants described in the text.
|Table 1: Medicinal plants described in Mādhava Cikitsā for Atisāra Cikitsā|
Click here to view
| Discussion|| |
The Mādhava Cikitsā text in its chapter on Atisāra cikitsā contains 60 Sanskrit verses describing the treatment, healing methods, and medicines to be administered for diarrhoea. All the plant names are described in Sanskrit either in simple words, compound words or synonyms. On several occasions a common group name representing two or more individual plants (such as Pāñcamūlikā, Tryuṣaṇa, Triphalā) have been prescribed, to which clarifications were resorted to from medico-botanical glossaries, commentaries and such parallel literature.
The Chapter mentions a total of 103 Sanskrit named plants for the treatment of diarrhoea. (The list is provided in column 3 of the table). Many of the plant names were found to be synonyms. The official names (in Sanskrit) as given by API and AFI , (column 4 of the table) were given importance to avoid ambiguity. A careful analysis revealed that these 103 plants named in Sanskrit are actually 73 botanical plant species belonging to 47 Families.
The dominant families contributing more plants as medicines for the treatment of Diarrhoea as per Mādhava Cikitsā are Fabaceae (seven species), Apiaceae (five species) and Combretaceae (three species). The rest of the families are represented by one or two species each.
| Conclusion|| |
The paper will certainly benefit Ayurvedic medical practitioners and pharmaceutical companies in selection of proper plant species avoiding substitutions for drug formulation and also in designing drugs to treat Diarrhoea.
Financial support and sponsorship
Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
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