Having Made Obeisance To The Holy Dhanvantari, Sushruta Said

"You have stated before that food determines the origin of beings and forms the chief source of their bodily strength and complexion, as well as of the albuminous (Ojas) principle in their organisms. Food primarily depends upon the six different tastes. Moreover tastes are inherent in substances. Again the substances, with their specific tastes, virtues, potencies and reactionary or chemical transformations, tend to diminish or increase the deranged humours and the fundamental principles of the body, as also to bring about a normal equilibrium amongst them. Food is the primary cause of the origin, continuance and dissolution even of such beings as the divine Brahma, etc. Life is impossible without food. Food is the source of the growth, strength, and healthful glow of organic beings. It is food that imparts strength to the organs of sense and makes them operative in their respective fields of action. It is irregularity (Vaishamya) of diet which brings about ill-health. Diet may be divided into four kinds such as solid food, (Ashitha) drink, Leedham (food taken by licking), and the Khaditam (food that is chewn and assimilated only for the enjoyment of a specific taste). A variety of substances enters into the composition of our food, which admit of being grouped under various preparations and necessarily involve the co-operation of a large number of dynamical forces. I am eager to learn of the substances and their specific inherent properties, virtues, potencies and transformations (chemical reactions) which constitute the daily food of human beings, inasmuch as a physician, who is ignorant of them, is quite helpless in checking or curing any distemper and maintaining health in individuals. And since food (diet) determines the origin of all created beings, instruct us, O Lord, on the proper regimen of food and drink."

The Holy Dhanvantari, Thus Addressed By Sushruta, Replied As Follows

"O child, hear me discourse on the proper regulation of food and drink as requested by you. There are several species of Shali rice such as, the Lohitaka, Shali, Kalama, Karda-maka, Panduka, Sugandhaka, Shakunahrita, Pushpan-daka, Pundarika, Mahashali, Shita-Bhiruka, Rodhra-Pushpaka, Dirghashuka, Kanchanaka, Mahisha-mastaka, Hayanaka, Dushaka, and Maha-Dushaka etc.

Metrical Texts - The several species of Shali rice are sweet in taste, cooling in potency, light of digestion, and impart strength to those who use them. They subdue the Pittam and slightly generate Vayu and Kapham. They are demulcent and tend to constipate the bowels and reduce the quantity of fecal matter. Of these the red species (Lohitaka) is the most efficacious, and subdues the deranged humours. It is diuretic, spermatopoietic, refrigerant, eye-invigorating, cosmetic, tonic and pleasant. It improves the voice. Its efficacy has been witnessed in cases of fever and ulcer, and in all other diseases. It is a good disinfectant and anti-toxic. The other species differ a little in their properties from the preceding one and are successively inferior in quality in their order of enumeration.