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Pharmacology Texts In Ayurveda – Dravyaguna Vijnana

Dravyaguna Vijnana is an important text on pharmacology in Ayurveda. Dravyaguna Vijnana deals with dravya, i.e, foods and drugs, with name, form, properties, actions, various combinations and uses.

Dravya is an important tool for the performance of vaidya (treatment) in Ayurveda. Dravya is of three types according to the sources, namely, bhauma (inorganic), jangama (animal product) and anubhida (plants). Ahara and Ausadhi (food and drugs) are also two types of Dravya. It is also classified into three groups according to their actions, viz., samana (pacifying), ropana (aggravating), and svasthahita (maintaining good health).

Rig Veda describes the properties of various dravyas. Many ancient Ayurvedic physicians have also described the properties of various dravyas used by them. In the field of Ayurveda, Dravyaguna Vijnana by Acharya Yadava stands first in the modern period. The next word, entitled Dravyaguna Vijnanam by Priyavrata Sharma, was published in five volumes in the 20th century.

This treatise Dravyaguna Vijnana can be said to be a compendium of various dravyas. Here the dravyas are described in simplified forms according to the subject. All the related information available in original works written during the past 2000 years is neatly collected and neatly – presented – classified into definite categories. This work divides the properties of dravyas into four parts, namely dravya, guna and karma and karpa khanda. The utilities of Ayurvedic drugs in modern style as well as composite style are given here. A critical and historical assessment of drugs is also provided.

Ancient teachers have classified the dravyas according to their properties, uses, etc, so that a vaidya (practitioner) can select, a particular dravya for a particular treatment. The properties of each and every dravya and mode of application are mentioned in detail in this work.

The first volume of Dravyaguna Vijnanam deals with basic concepts. Volume II deals with vegetable drugs classified according to their characteristics ad users. Volume III deals with animal products, minerals and dietetic substances. Volume IV deals with drugs. There are a few other works like Sadasanga Hridayam, Harita Samhita and Bhesaja Ratnavali.