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Toxicological Considerations in Ancient Indian Surgery- Based on Kalpasthana of Susruta Samhita: Part-7 (An Old and Rare Book)

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Item Code: UBE012
Author: G.D. Singhal
Publisher: Chaukhamba Sanskrit Pratishthan
Pages: 272
Other Details 9.00 X 6.00 inch
Weight 450 gm

Book Description

All the standard histories of medicine which are consulted today in libraries throughout the world have some discussion in their earlier chapters of medicine and surgery in ancient India. The two great classic text, Caraka Samhita and Susruta Samhita, provide the sources for these comments, although few medical historians in the West have been able to consult them in the original Dr. Singhal and his colleagues have now placed at their disposal a monumental work in 12 volumes, based on Susruta Samhita, which is far more than a simple English version of the text.

It is in fact a novel presentation, in which each important statement in the original Sanskrit is annotated and interpreted in English in a systematic order which greatly simplifies the task of those referring to specific passages. Each of the 186 chapters has a summary at the beginning and a list of research problems at the end, and each verse within the chapter has its own topic heading.

The team of Indian scholars responsible for this veritable encyclopedia of ancient Indian surgery has spent ten years on its preparation and is now seeing the volumes through the press. The first of these, which was devoted to Diagnostic Considerations, appeared in time to be presented to the 600 delegates from 47 countries who attended the XXIII Inter- national Congress on the History of Medicine in London in September 1972. The next, entitled Toxicological Considerations in Ancient Indian Surgery is now approaching publication and it is with great pleasure that I have accepted Dr. Singhal's invitation to write the Foreword for this volume. Its importance cannot be overestimated, for it makes available to western historians of medicine for the first time an authentic scientific version of an outstanding classic of which only echoes have so far appeared in their literature.

One of the objectives of Ayurveda as defined in Caraka Samhits is to describe materials drugs and diets, etc., which are unwholesome for life or antagonistic to life processes. That is why one of the sections (anga) or branch of Ayurveda is Agada-Tantra or Vasa-Tantra. All the Samhits, to remain true to the object of expounding Ayurveda in toot-describe all the eight branches but choose one branch as their main theme. Thus, Susruta Samhita, though deals mainly with surgery, also deals with other branches in lesser details. But in the matter of description of poisons Acaryas Susruta has shown such mastery and dealt with such specificity that he has devoted one full section of eight chapters for this particular branch which he has named as Kalpa-Sthana. In this respect hex cells over other ancient authors. In this section he has classified the poisons, described the modes of action of different types of poisons, dealt with the symptomatology and pathology and also given in detail the modes of treatment and the drugs used. He has even pointed to the examination of poisoned food and utensils, the culprits who try to poison the food and the post-mortem examination of some internal organs. One simply wonders for the keen clinical observations recorded.

Recent developments in biochemistry, particularly in the field of synthetic medicines, has brought us to an era in which we are encountered with a flood of life saving chemo therapeutic agents on the one hand and life destroying chemical poisons of ever increasing intensity on the other Humanity is passing through a situation which is reminiscent of the graphic mythological story of churning the ocean which was really started for bringing forth the ambrosia but which incidentally brought forth virulent lethal poison hula-hula also Life saving and life destroying agents are at all times simulate onerously produced by the man himself.

This Kalpa-sthana section on Toxicological Considerations in Ancient Indian Surgery consists of eight chapters. They deal with the poisoning of the king and with the methods of poisoning, their detection, protection, and treatment, the inanimate poisoning, dusi-visa or slow accumulative poisoning, the animate poisoning by venomous animals, snakes, insect and rat bites, etc. and their diagnosis and management.

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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