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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 36  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 61-64

Vaidyavallabha: An authoritative work on ayurveda therapeutics

1 Department of Samhita and Siddhantha, S.D.M. College of Ayurveda, Udupi, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Samhita and Siddhanta, Government Ayurveda Medical College, Mysore, Karnataka, India

Date of Web Publication20-Mar-2017

Correspondence Address:
Arhanth Kumar Jain
Department of Samhita and Siddhanta, S.D.M. College of Ayurveda, Udupi - 574 118, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/asl.ASL_202_15

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The text “ Vaidyavallabha” is an authoritative work on Ayurvedic therapeutics written by Hastiruci, a Jain scholar. It belongs to the time period of 1673–1726 CE. Different physical and mental ailments with their treatments are addressed in the 274 verses spanned over eight chapters in this work. In this text many unique, special and simple medicinal preparations for different diseases are given. Many drugs which were easily available in the local area are given much more importance in the treatment. Added to this, method and uniqueness of naming the diseases in the text stand differently when compared to other texts. Even though the text seems to be small, the contribution to the field of Ayurveda practice is priceless.

Keywords: Cikitsa, Hastiruci, Vaidyavallabha

How to cite this article:
Jain AK, Manjunath S. Vaidyavallabha: An authoritative work on ayurveda therapeutics. Ancient Sci Life 2016;36:61-4

How to cite this URL:
Jain AK, Manjunath S. Vaidyavallabha: An authoritative work on ayurveda therapeutics. Ancient Sci Life [serial online] 2016 [cited 2023 Mar 26];36:61-4. Available from: https://www.ancientscienceoflife.org/text.asp?2016/36/2/61/202593

  Time Period of Vaidyavallabha Top

The period of Hastiruci is considered approximately as 1673–1726 CE. He was a Jain scholar. Depending on internal and external evidences the period has been decided.[1]

  External Evidences Top

Harṣa Kīrti, the author of 'Yoga Cintāmaṇi'was the resident of Tapāgaccha, which was the place where teacher of Hastiruci i.e., Mahopādhyāya sage Hitaruci was residing. One verse of the text Yoga Cintāmaṇi of 17th centuryis similar with one verse of Vaidyavallabha. Based on this it can be concluded that both texts belong to same period.[2]

  Internal Evidences Top

In different contexts, 'Etat Hasti Kavermataṃ'(This is the opinion of the author Hasti), 'Kāritam Kavinā' (Done by the sage), 'Kavinā kathitam' (Described by the sage) – are mentioned, which represent the experience of author. Author himself stated his name in the beginning.[3] In the ending colophon of first chapter, Hastiruci mentions the name of his teacher Hitaruci.[4]

Hastiruci was a Jain sage belonging to Kāthiyāvāḍi region of Gujarat. Kāthiyāvāḍi or Kathiawar region includes the present major cities such as Rajkot, Jamnagar, Bhavnagar, Khambhat, Surendranagar, Wadhwan, Porbandar, Junagadh, Daman and Diu of Gujarat state.

Kāthiyāvāḍi name is used in many contexts of the text viz. Hiṅgāri (Iṅgudī), Taṇḍulaka (Taṇḍulīyaka), Śitala cīni (Kabāba cīni), Hima abhaya (Harītakī of small size) mentioned in the text.[3]

In one of the verses viz. “Rūpāgnibuddhi-balavīryavardhinī murādisāhena vinirmitā svayaṃ” (This formulation was prepared by Muradi sāha himself and it enhances complexion, digestive fire, intellect, physical strength and vigour) the word Murādi sāhena or Murādi sāba is mentioned. Murād was the brother of Aurangazeb who lived from 1624 to 1661 AD. This verse hints that author Hastiruci belongs to the above period only.[5]

  Commentary on Vaidyavallabha Top

It is stated that two years after the period of Hastiruci, Megha bhaṭṭa of 17th century wrote a commentary on Vaidyavallabha in Sanskrit. Megha bhaṭṭa was the son of Nīlakaṇṭha Bhaṭṭa and grandson of Kṛṣṇa Bhaṭṭa who belonged to Gautama Gotra and was a worshipper of Śaṅkara.[6]

  Contents of the Text Vaidyavallabha Top

This book contains 8 chapters and 274 verses. Each chapter is named as vilāsa (~beauty or pleasure).[7] The details are given below in [Table 1].
Table 1: Contents of the text “Vaidyavallabha”

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  Availability of Vaidyavallabhamanuscripts Top

Many manuscripts are available by the name of Vaidyavallabha at different oriental institutes across India. At the same time many data bases also have different manuscripts with the name of Vaidyavallabha.

Rajasthan Oriental Research Institute, Jodhpur has five Vaidyavallabha manuscripts. Hastiruci is the author of all these. All five manuscripts are in Sanskrit language. National mission for manuscripts has one Vaidyavallabha manuscript. It is very surprising to know that Digital Ayurvedic Manuscript database has 10 Vaidyavallabha manuscripts. All 10 are present with the name Hastiruci as author. In the same way, Digital Library of India has 2 Vaidyavallabha works. These two are in Gujarati Language.

Thus this evidence shows the popularity of Vaidyavallabha and its importance in clinical practice. Simple, easily available, effective, affordable formulations and easily understandable therapeutic concepts may be the reason for its popularity.

  Variations in Manuscripts Top

In kuṣṭhahara yoga (Leprosy alleviating formulation) instead of Hiṅgu (Asafoetida) and Kṣīra (Milk), Snuhi kṣīra (Latex of Euphorbia neriifolia) is mentioned in few manuscripts. In kāmalāhara prayoga (Jaundice alleviating formulation), instead of dadhi nīra (Upper watery portion of curd), dadhinā sārdhaṃ (Along with curds) is mentioned in some manuscripts.[8] In this way, a few minor differences are present among manuscripts of Vaidyavallabha.

  Method of Narration in Vaidyavallabha Top

The Sanskrit used in the work is easily understandable. Author doesn't give much importance to vyākaraṇa, chaṇdas etc., technical aspects. Method of narration is direct; therefore it is easy for the readers. Not much importance to the concepts of aetiology, symptomatology, prognosis and treatment are given. Apart from this, the author has concentrated more on treatment, that too mainly on single drug, easily available drug and simple preparations for disease management.

  Specialities of Vaidyavallabha Top

As stated earlier, Vaidyavallabha is a work which deals with the treatment and useful for all 8 branches of Ayurveda. The text Vaidyavallabha has been designed based on the need of the period of the author, availability of drugs during that time, disease manifesting in that era, socio-economical-cultural-familial-spiritual-aspects of that periodVaidyavallabha.

Unique diseases mentioned

  • Velā jvara – Fever appearing at particular times
  • Śītāṅgaja jvara – Fever with cold body parts
  • Ekāntara jvara – Fever at regular interval
  • Śaśa gadaSoma roga (Excessive white discharge)
  • Mala vṛddhi – Intestinal hernia
  • Maulika pīḍā – Headache
  • Nāsura – Wound in nose
  • Mukha śoṣa – Dryness of mouth
  • Snāyu roga – Tendon related disorders
  • Bhrama vāta – Vertigo or giddiness
  • Granthi vāta – Painful inflammatory swelling
  • Mṛgī roga – Epilepsy
  • Mahā mṛgī roga – Grand mal epilepsy
  • Mukha chāyāVyaṅga (Facial melanosis)
  • Ḍamaru vāta – in this disease, tremors starts from right upper limb and gradually move towards left side. Later it shifts to both lower limbs and at the end, tremor of whole body occurs. The manifestation is similar to dance of Lord Śiva with the instrument Ḍamaru. It is also called as Tāṅḍava roga. May be correlated to Tremors or Parkinson's disease
  • Granthila ceṣṭā – seizures/abnormal body movements
  • Jāḍya – delayed physical and mental activity
  • Hṛdaya śunyatā – palpitation
  • Guhya saṅkoca-Vaginal spasm
  • Mahā śīrṣa vyathā – Severe Headache.

Unique drugs described

  • Hamsapāda – Hiṅgula (Ferula narthex)
  • Kubja – Droṇapuṣpī (Leucas cephalotes)
  • Anila ripu – Eraṇḍa (Ricinus communis)
  • Kareli – Kāravellaka (Momordica charantia)
  • Raudra jaṭā – Vaṭa (Ficus benghalensis)
  • Jāsuda kusuma – Japāpuṣpa (Flower of Hibiscus rosa sinensis)
  • Nāga – Vatsanābha (Aconitum ferox)
  • ReṇukāParpaṭa (Fumaria vaillantii)
  • Mārtāṅḍamūla – Unknown
  • Nāgaphena – Ahiphena (Aconitum heterophyllum)
  • Liṃba – Nimbūka (Citrus medica)
  • Sehuṇḍa – Snuhi (Euphorbia neriifolia)
  • Khera sāra – Khādirasāra (Essence of Acacia catechu)
  • Cakrāhwa – Indrayava (Holarrhena antidysenterica)
  • Varṇa taru – Varuṇa (Crataeva nurvala)
  • Graṅthika – Pippalimūla (Piper officinarum)
  • Akallaka – Akāra karabha (Anacyclus pyrethrum)
  • Laśaṇa – Laśuna (Allium sativum)
  • Kāmaphala – Madana phala (Randia spinosa)
  • Vana vṛkṣa – Kārpāsa (Gossypium herbaceum)
  • Kabāba – Kabāba cīni (Unknown)
  • Nepāli – Jayapāla (Croton tiglium).

Unique formulations

  • Use of buffalo's milk as Garbha sthāpaka (Helps to maintain the implantation of embryo)
  • Use of dog-milk to prevent pubic hair growth
  • Guḍūcī sattva (Essence of Tinospora cordifolia) is mentioned in Kṣaya roga (Tuberculosis)
  • Milk of donkey is given in Rakta pitta (Bleeding tendency disorder)
  • Horn of cow is mentioned as the ingredient of the formulation given for Grahaṇi (Sprue disorder)
  • Treatment for toxic effects of Bhallātaka (Semicarpus anacardium) is given
  • Seed and bark of lemon are indicated in GIT disorders viz. Arśas (Haemorrhoids), Kṛmi (Worm infestation) etc.
  • Blood of donkey is used to prepare medicated paste for therapeutic application in case of Bhagandara (Fistula in ano)
  • Fruit pulp of Nimba (Azadirachta indica) is indicated in the disease kuṣṭha (Leprosy and other skin diseases)
  • Treatment for toxic effects of Ahiphena (Papaver somniferum) is given
  • Dung of donkey are indicated in diseases caused due to perturbed Pitta doṣa
  • Śuṇṭhi pāka (Zingiber officinalis based medicine) is indicated in śiroroga (diseases of head)
  • Kharpara (Zinc carbonate) is used to prepare collyrium.
  • Bone of camel is mentioned as unique medicine for the treatment of wounds.
  • Ash prepared out of Sarpa kañcukī (powder of skin scale of snake) is indicated in poison of cobra.
  • Treatment for toxic effects of Malla (Arsenic), Ahiphena (Papaver somniferum), Dhattūra (Dathura metel), Pārada (Mercury) and Haratāla (Orpiment) are given.
  • Taruṇī rañjana dhūpa, a unique fumigation preparation is mentioned. Faeces of dog, donkey, pig and cat are the main ingredients of this
  • Faecal matter of monkey and pigeon are mentioned in the treatment of epilepsy
  • Urine of human being is mentioned as the ingredient of the formulation indicated in epilepsy
  • Dung of horse, camel and donkey are indicated in Garbhāmṛta cūrṇa (Pro conceptive formulation).

  Special Terms Mentioned Top

  • Mauli – Head
  • Mari pramāṇa – Measurement similar to the size of Piper nigrum
  • Rodha – Lid/mud plate
  • Puḍi – Powder/ash
  • Liṅḍika – Faecal matter
  • Harṣa – Arśas (Haemorrhoids)
  • Mastaka recanaŚiro virecana (Errhine therapy)
  • Rasa ramamita – 6 in number
  • Vyoma nāga – 80 in number
  • Vāla – child
  • Gūtha – Offensive excreta/exudates from wound
  • Meṇam – wax
  • Sābu – soap.

  Highlights of Each Chapter Top

Chapter 1

Jvara (Fever) is considered as strongest among all diseases. Here Virecana (Therapeutic purgation) is given first, followed by Laṅghana (fasting therapy) and internal medication. Jvarahara tantra (fever subsiding method) is also explained. Different añjana (collyrium) and nasya (errhine therapy) preparations are mentioned.

Chapter 2

In this chapter Strīroga (Gynaecological disorders), treatment for Prasūti roga (Diseases of parturated women) and Garbhiṇīroga (Obstetric disorders) are highlighted. Simple formulations are explained to get proper progeny (Garbha lābha) and to get progeny having desired sex (Putra lābha prayoga). Different diseases of pregnant ladies viz. śuṣka garbha (Under nourished foetus), garbhapāta (abortion), yoni prasava śūla (Severe pain during delivery) and treatments are addressed. Guhya saṅkoca (vaginal spasm), śveta srāva (Excessive white discharge), rakta srāva (Excessive vaginal bleeding), vandhyatā (Infertility), guhya śotha (vaginal inflammation) etc.; gynaecological diseases and medication are also explained. Unique formulations such as Phala puṣpa nivāraṇa yoga (Ovulation preventing formulation), Garbha pratibandhaka prayoga (protective measures mainly for prostitutes to prevent conception), Guhya keśa nivāraṇa yoga (Genital hair removing formulation) are explained.

Chapter 3

Highlight of this chapter is treating particular diseases using metallic drugs. The details are given below in [Table 2].
Table 2: Highlights of Chapter 3

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Chapter 4

In this chapter Gokṣura (Tribullus terrestris) is described as vīrya vṛddhikara (virility enhancing), bala vṛddhikara (physical and mental strength enhancing) and vīrya doṣahara (semen defect curing). Unique puṣtiprasādana gaṇa (Group of drugs enhancing nourishment) is explained i.e., Cow's ghee, cold water, nutrient rich food in proper quantity, contact of young woman, Consumption of cow milk and taking bath regularly.

Many Gatakāma prāpti (attaining lost sexual desire), vīrya staṃbhana (providing excellent virility), śiṣṇa vṛddhikara (maintaining erection required for the phase of orgasm) formulations are explained.

Chapter 5

Bhallātaka (Semecarpus anacardium) is mentioned as the main drug for the disease arśas (Haemorrhoids). Unique formulation Eraṇḍa pāka (Ricinus communis preparation) is mentioned for curing kṛmi (Worm infestation).

Chapter 6

Different and unique preparations are explained for multiple diseases such as Udararoga (Ascites), Kuṣṭha (Leprosy), Plīha (Splenic disorders), Hṛdroga (Heart diseases), Gulma (Phantom tumours), Jīrṇa jvara (Chronic fever), Pāṇḍu (Anaemia) and Kāmāla (Jaundice).

Chapter 7

Śuṇṭhi (Zingiber officinalis) and āmrāsthi (seed of Mangifera indica) is recommended in all kinds of headache. Marīca (Piper nigrum) and Pippalī (Piper longum) both is recommended be used in headache) and eye disorders. Triphalā (powder of fruits of Terminalia chebula, Terminalia bellerica and Emblica officinalis) is highlighted in all types of eye related disorders. Preparations explained for the diseases such as ear disorders, nasal disorders, oral cavity related disorders, dental diseases, śvāna viṣa (Dog bite), Bhrama vāta (Vertigo or Giddiness) which are easy to prepare and administer in the patients.

Chapter 8

In this chapter, rest of the information are narrated. Mainly it deals with the treatment of conditions caused by poison. Hiṅgu (Ferula narthex), Marīca (Piper nigrum) and Vacā (Acorus calamus) are recommended to cure diseases caused due to poison and its complications. Taruṇī rañjana dhūpa is unique formulation of the text, where many animal products are used for the purpose of fumigation. It is claimed that by the use of this dhūpa a married woman will stay in her father in law's house happily and permanently. Gandhaka (Sulphur) and Laśuna (Allium sativum) preparations are explained in detail along with their indications. Single drug preparations are explained to cure Mṛgī roga (Epilepsy). Mukha chāyā hara lepas (medicinal paste for facial melanosis) are also special.

  Conclusion Top

Vaidyavallabha is an important treatise on Ayurveda therapeutics written by Hastiruci, a Jain scholar. This text is mainly aimed towards different disease management. Unique and simple preparations are explained in eight chapters. Many special drugs and diseases are described throughout the text. Hence it can be said that Vaidyavallabha is an authoritative work for Ayurveda literature.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Vaidyavallabha of Hastiruchi, Hinidhi Commentary, Rasavaidya Moreshwara Vyasa. 1st ed. 2nd reprint. Varanasi: Krishnadas Academy; 2002. p. 6.  Back to cited text no. 1
Sharma PV. Ayurveda ka Vaijnanika Itihasa. 3rd ed. Varanasi: Chowkhambha Orientalia; 1996. p. 317.  Back to cited text no. 2
Vaidyavallabha of Hastiruchi, English Translation, Shreevathsa, Arhanth Kumar A. 1st ed. Varanasi: Chowkhambha Orientalia; 2015. p. 1.  Back to cited text no. 3
Vaidyavallabha of Hastiruchi, Hindi Commentary, Rasavaidya Moreshwara Vyasa. 1st ed. 2nd reprint. Varanasi: Krishnadas Academy; 2002. p. 8.  Back to cited text no. 4
Sharma PV. Ayurveda Ka Vaijnanika Itihasa. 3rd ed. Varanasi: Chowkhambha Orientalia; 1996. p. 318.  Back to cited text no. 5
Vaidyavallabha of Hastiruchi, English Translation, Shreevathsa, Arhanth Kumar A. 1st ed. Varanasi: Chowkhambha Orientalia; 2015. p. 2.  Back to cited text no. 6
The Student's Sanskrit – English Dictionary, Vaman Shivaram Apte. 13th Reprint. 2nd ed. New Delhi: Motilal Banarasidass Publishers; 2011. p. 519.  Back to cited text no. 7
Vaidyavallabha of Hastiruchi, English Translation, Shreevathsa, Arhanth Kumar A. 1st ed. Varanasi: Chowkhambha Orientalia; 2015. p. 3.  Back to cited text no. 8


  [Table 1], [Table 2]


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