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Harita Samhita

Harita Samhita is an Ayurvedic text composed by Harita, one of the six disciples of Atreya. Harita’s work dates around 1000 BC. The printed edition of the samhita (treatise) consists of seven sthanas (divisions) and eighty chapters in all.

The last division is an appendix dealing with earlier medical literature.

The first division, which has twelve chapters, is introductory, giving information about food, drink, health, hygiene, tastes and seasonal variations, and medical education.

The second division has seven chapters dealing with prognostic details of diseases.

The third division has fifty seven chapters. It prescribes treatments for various diseases like dysentery, abdominal tumors, indigestion, loss of appetite, colic pain, anemia, epilepsy, piles, hemorrhage, dropsy, leprosy and insanity. There are also accounts of toxicology, pediatrics, treatment of burns, troubles in pregnancy and puerperal diseases and bone-setting. There is a chapter on virilization also.

The fourth division deals with doses of medicines, weights and measures, treatment methods like venesection, enema.

The last division deals with anatomical details the human body, especially in fetal stage.

  • The complete illustrated guide to Ayurveda: The ancient Indian Healing Tradition (1997) Deepika Gunawant and Gopi Warrier – Magdalen Books (United Kingdom).
  • Encyclopedia of Hinduism Volume IV page 446 – IHRF