The Legacy of Caraka
M S Valiathan
158 x 240 mm
Year of Publishing
Territorial Rights
Universities Press

Caraka, the master physician, is believed to have lived in the first century AD. The Samhita– composed by him forms the bedrock of ayurvedic practice today. His contribution to India’s cultural inheritance was profound. Caraka Samhita– was, in fact, a revision of an older text Agnivesa– Tantra, which was written several centuries before Caraka’s time. Caraka’s revision became so popular that it was translated into Tibetan, Arabic, English and many Indian languages. The Legacy of Caraka retells the Samhita– in a new format. Instead of adhering to the sequence of the Stha–nas in the original, the author has retold the Samhita– through thematically structured chapters, in contemporary idiom. The retelling has involved some degree of restructuring and condensation but has ensured that whatever is stated can be traced back to the original. In a detailed introduction, the author has commented on specific aspects of Caraka’s philosophy, concepts and practice, as seen from the point of view of modern medicine. This book will be of special interest to students of a–yurveda, medicine and other sciences, and those interested in the history of science in India.

I  Caraka and his legacy
Historical Caraka - Philosophical moorings - Medical science
Pharmacology - Practice of medicine - Caraka the teacher - Human destiny
II   Atharva Veda to Caraka
Atharvan echoes in Caraka - Human body in Atharva Veda...
III   Diseases in Caraka's period  
Infectious diseases and infected conditions (disgestive disorders, fever; lepros)l smallpox, pulmonary TB, abscess, cellulitis, sores) - Non-infectious diseases (seizures, piles, gaseous lumps, heart diseases, alcohol-related disorders, pallor, polyuria, bleeding disorders, insanity)
IV Doctrines and concepts
Five constituents of matter (paficabhuta) - Three dosas (tridosa). A regimen dictated by seasons (rtucarya) - Natural urges (Vegas)
V    Five evacuative procedures (pancakarma)
VI   Procedures for rejuvenation and enhanced virility (rasayana and vajikarana)
VII    Medicinal plants
Classification - Mechanism of action - Preparation· of formulations ­Anti-dosa plants
VIII   Food and Drinks
IX     Habitat
X      Learning to be a physician

Section 1

Mind and matter; life and death; health and disease; food and drugs; a code of living; a physician's calling

1 Ayurveda
Branches of ayurveda - Categories in ayurveda - Equilibrium of dhatus ­Equilibrium of dhatus - Settling disturbed equilibrium of dosas - Summary of drug formulations
2 Drugs formulations in therapeutics
3 Sense perception and well-being
Oiling the body - Role of smoking, food, sexual intercourse, general conduct, traditions
4 Life in accord with the seasons
5 Suppression of natural urges;
comments on physical miscellany
6 The medical quartet
Types of physicians - Forecasting outcome
conduct, traditions Means of knowledge (authority, perception, inference and reasoning) –Rebirth - Disease and treatment (triads of life, strength, causation, action, time, diseases, disease channels, physician and treatment)
8 Lubricants in therapeutics
Action _ Candidates for therapy - Administration - Basis of dosage
Method of therapy
9 Fomentation
Choice of candidate – Techniques
10 Evacuative therapy
A house for therapy - Two forms of therapy
11 Imbalance of dosas - varied expressions
Disorders of the head - Disorders of the heart - Abscesses - Swellings –
Imbalance of dosas
12 Slimming and building up in therapeutics
13 Obesity and leanness; stray remarks on sleep
Obesity - Leanness – Sleep
14 Blood
Narcosis - Fainting – Coma
15 Food as the source of man and his diseases
Origin of man and his diseases - Food as the source - Wholesome and
unwholesome food
16 Rasas
Evolution and attributes - Six rasas - Action of tastes - Antagonisms in
17 Food and drink
Food - Drink - Water - post-prandial drinks
18  The fate of food and drinks in the body
Food and drink - Dhatus as targets of dosa perturbation
19 Physicians - genuine and fraudulent
20 Rasas, do!}as and a healthful diet
Rasa-dosa interaction - Downstream aspects - Dietetic rules
21 Epidemics; reflections on lifespan
22 Norms for the quantity of meals
23 Body - a network of channels
Flow through body channels - The heart and its ten great vessels
24 Disease - manifold expressions of deranged dosas
25 Infestation by worms (krmi)
Evacuative measures for intestinal and head worms - Eradicative measures
26 Training of a physician - theory, practice and ethics
The physician at the bedside - The body of the patient - Initiation of treatment –
Drugs for evacuative therapy
27 The body and its knower
The individual (mind, sense organs, intellect, prakrti) –
The self -The supreme Self- Causes of sorrow and disease
28 Conception
Begetting a child - A religious ceremony - Perturbed dosas - Early pregnancy
and gender of the baby - Signs and symptoms of pregnancy ­The self and the
29 Genesis of the embryo 
30 Pregnancy - fetal development,
Anomalies and personality types
Pregnancy (sequential development of fetus) - Fetal development and anomalies
- Personality types
31 Antenatal and postnatal management 
and care of the baby
The fetus and the course of pregnancy - Antenatal care - Miscarriage ­
A house for delivery - Childbirth - After delivery - Breastfeeding ­The nursery
32 The individual and the cosmos
33 A count of body parts
Skin, the body frontier - The parts of the body - Bones - Sense orgar.~ ­Vital
principles - Viscera - The body essences
34 The spectre of death
Warning signs - Sudden death - Prognostic role of a house call

Section 2

Rejuvenant and virile therapy; diseases and the regimens for treatment

35 Rejuvenant therapy (rasayana)
Celestial origin - Two regimens for rejuvenation (intramural and extramural) –
Rasayana formulations - Rasayana formulations with metals
36 Virile therapy (vajikarana)
37 Fevers (jvara)
Causation - Classification and clinical features - 'Treatment - Other fevers
38 Pitta-induced bleeding disorders~rakta pitta)
Cause - Clinical features - Clinical outcome - 'Treatment
39 Gaseous and hemorrhagic lumps of the abdomen (gulma)
Five types of lumps - Signs and symptoms - Formulations in treatment –
Abdominal lumps in women
40 Polyurias (pramehas)
Kaphaja prameha - Pittaja prameha - Vataja prameha - Treatment –
General measures                                                                 
41  Skin disorders including leprosy (kustha)
Causation - Seven types of kustha - Other skin disorders (~ksudra ~kustas) -         
42  Phthisis (sosa)
Causes - Premonitory signs and clinical course - Body processes as the
basis of clinical features - 'Treatment.
43 Insanity (unmada)
Classification on the basis of causation – Treatment
44 Epilepsy (apasmara)
Clinical features - Treatment - Delusional state in epilepsy – Disease
begetting disease
45 Chest injuries and their sequelae (ksata ksina)
Clinical features - 'treatment - Diet – Formulations
46  Swelling (svayathu)
Classification - Sites – Treatment
47 Abdominal disease with distension (udara)
Classification – Treatment
48 Piles (aria)
Congenital piles - Disturbance of dosas - Clinical course – Treatment
49 Digestion and digestive disorders (grahani)
Digestion - Digestive disorders – Treatment
50 Disorders of pallor (panduroga) (anemias
Kamala - Earth eating (pica) - Jaundice with white stools
51 Hiccup; shortness of breath (hikka svasa)
Causes and mechanisms - Types – Management
52 Cough (kasa)
Causes – Management
53 Diarrhea (atisara)
Types - Management
54  Vomiting (chhardi)
Causes - Management
55  Cellulitis (visarpa)
Types - Clinical features - Management
56   Thirst (trsna)
Clinical features - Management
57 Cellulitis (visarpa)
Types - Qualities - Clinical course - Clinical features - Snakes and snake bite –
Bites by spiders and other creatures - Procedures - Other measures of.
management - Suspected bites . Homicidal poisoning
58 Alcoholic disorders (madatyaya
Proper and other uses - Clinical features - Management - Complications
59 Sores and injuries (vrat:ta).
Causes - Classifications . Clinical fearnres . Clinical course - Treatment
60 Three regional disorders
(basti, hfdaya and siras)
Vital regions (marmas) of the body - Disorders of the vital regions ­Disorders of.
the head - Pelvis - Heart region and chest disorders -
The head region
61 Numb and immobile thights (Urustambha)
62 Disorders of perturbed vata (vatavyadhi)
Clinical features - Treatment - Mixed types - Wrapping
63 Disorders of perturbed vata and blood vatasonita)
Clinical features and types - Treatment
64 Disorders of the reproductive system;
reflections on the principles of therapeutics
Disorders of the female genital organs - Disorders of breast milk (ksira dosa)
Seminal disorders and impotence (sukradosa) . Principles of
65 Drugs for evacuation
(emetics and purgatives)
Emetics - Purgatives - Preparations/formulations
66 Evacuative procedures (pancakarma)
and formulations
Emesis and purgation (general guidelines, complications and management) - Head evacuation - Suitable and unsuitable clinical conditions for evacuation (emesis, purgation) - Enema (non-lubricant, lubricant) - Head evacuation - Enemas (general conditions, procedural details, formulations for non-lubricant and lubricant enemas) ­Complications of enemas and guidelines for management - Special enemas - Post-evacuation management

Botanical names

3-6-752 Himayatnagar, Hyderabad,
500 029 Telangana
Phone: (040) 27662849, 27662850
Copyright © The Bookpoint (India) Pvt. Ltd. All rights reserved.
Disclaimer and Privacy Policy
Terms and Conditions
Frequently Asked Questions