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Nadi Shastra In Ayurveda

Nadi Shastra is a branch of Ayurvedic science for finding out the health condition of a person by examining the pulse beats on the forearm below the wrist with the index, middle and little fingers.

The Ayurvedic practitioner can, by his hand, determine the nature of the illness of a sick person similar to the modern practice of using the stethoscope. The early medical treatises do not mention this practice.

Nadi Shastra appears to have become popular in a period after that of the medical text writer Sarangadhara in the 13th century CE. It indicates that it was recognized as indispensible for finding the state of health of a patient. This topic is dealt with in the medical treatises like Bhavaprakasha, Gadasanjivani, Brihadyogatarangini, Yogatarangirin and Yogaratnakara, and other independent works devoted exclusively to this topic.

Among these works, Nadi Vijnana of Kanada is quite well known. Among the early works on this topic, Nadijnanatantra, Nadidarpana, Nadivijnanatarangini, Nadijnanasiksha and Nadijnanadipika have been printed and are still current. Still there are many unpublished works on Nadishastra.

Only by experience one gains proficiency in finding the state of health of a person from the pulse beats. The text specify the appropriate time for examining the pulse. The virulence of the sickness can be inferred from the beats of the patient being quick or slow or hard or soft. This practice eliminates the physical examination of each part of the body of a patient and hence seems to have gained popularity.