Reflections On Certain Diseases Of Women And Remedies To Cure Them In Ayurveda

Author

Professor A.N. Rao, National University of Singapore, 139 Cavenagh Road # 12-01 Singapore 229627

Proceeding

1st International Conference & Exhibition on Women's Health & Asian Traditional (WHAT) Medicine

Date

23/8/2005

Keyword

ayurveda, herbal medicine, women's diseases, Nyagrodadhi, Mustadi, Kakolyadi

Abstract

Ayurveda – life knowledge or science of health and longevity has a long history beginning with prehistoric times. The history of Agriculture is more than 10,000 years old and using plants to maintain health and to cure diseases was not far from plant utilisation and cultivation. The recorded ancient history of Ayurveda began with Charaka (80-100BC) and extended to the period of Chakradatta (1450AD) of all the different works published on history of Ayurveda Sushruta Samhita (Compendium by Sushruta) published by National Academy of Sciences, Delhi, is very comprehensible and complete. Other texts published between 1857 – 1936 are almost inaccessible and some are voluminous. Sushruta recognised 13 different  Ayurvedic subjects of which the Female study (Stree Tantra) (subject 7) is most relevant to this conference. It includes female diseases and psychology. Altogether about 60 major diseases of men and women were discussed with many variations and subdivisions of each. Regarding women, the topics of Amenorrhoea (Menses), abortion or miscarriage, mammary abscesses (5), ulcers (17) and female diseases (19) are important. The number of variations of each health problem is indicated in brackets. The diet prescribed for the patients were a very simple one with regulated eating habits. The groups of plants called Nyagrodadhi (21 plant species) and Mustadi (14) were used to cure vaginal and uterine disorders. Kakolyadi (12 species) were used to improve breast and increase the quantity of breast milk. Different plant species were used to cure skin problems including leprosy. Pregnancy, child growth and difficult delivery were also deliberated. Some of these aspects will be briefly discussed.