According to certain eminent medical authorities, an article or a substance which is beneficial in derangements of the bodily Vayu may prove positively injurious in a Pittaja affection; hence it is impossible to name an article or substance which is absolutely or universally wholesome (irrespective of the nature and type of a disease, and of the deranged bodily humours involved therein).
But we cannot subscribe to the foregoing hypothesis, since by nature or combination, things (substances) are, or become endued with properties, which prove absolutely beneficial or unconditionally harmful or exert a mixed virtue (both beneficial and injurious) according to the difference in the nature and type of the disease in which they are employed. Things or articles such as, clarified-butter, water, milk and boiled-rice, etc. may be denominated as absolutely beneficial owing to their congeniality to, or natural suitableness to the human organism.
Similarly, substances such as fire, alkali and poison, may be designated as unconditionally harmful in virtue of their burning, suppurating lit : boiling) and fatal effect upon the organic bodies in general. A substance, which is innocuous by nature, may prove equally injurious as any active poison through an injudicious or incompatible combination; whereas a substance or an article, which proves beneficial in a derangement of the Vayu, may prove otherwise in a disorder of the Pittam.
Articles or substances which may be safely included within the food stuffs of all human beings are the members of the group (Varga) known as the red Shali, the Shastika, the Kanguka, the Mukundaka, the Panduka, the Pitaka, the Pramodaka, the Kalaka, the Ashanaka, the Pushpaka, the Karddamaka, the Shakunahrita, the Sugandhaka, the Kalama, the Nivara, the Kodrava the Uddalaka, the Shyamaka, the Godhuma and the Venu, etc., as well as the flesh of the Ena, the Harina (copper coloured deer), the Kuranga, the Mriga, the Mriga-matrika, the Shvadanstra, the Karala, the Krakara, the Kapota (pigeon), the Lava, the Tittiri, the Kapinjala, the Varttira, and the Varttika, and such like beasts and birds. The varieties of pulse which form the articles of human food are known as the Mudga, the Vana-Mudga, the Makushtha, the Kalaya, the Masura, the Mangalya, the Chanaka, the Harenu, the the Adhaki and the Satina. Similarly, the different species of pot-herbs, which may be safely used by a man to give a greater relish to his food, are named as the Chilli, the Vastuka, the Sunishannaka the Jivanti, the Tanduliyaka, and the Mandukaparni, etc. Clarified-butter, the salt known as the Saindhava, and the luscious juice of the pomegranate and the Amalakam, should be generally deemed the most wholesome articles of food.
Similarly, the practise of self-control, residence in a room protected from the strong gusts of wind, sleeping only at night, tepid water, and moderate physical exercise should be regarded as absolutely conducive to a better preservation of health.
We have already enumerated the names of substances which are absolutely beneficial or unconditionally injurious to human health. Things which are both wholesome and injurious are those, which, for example, may prove beneficial in a distemper of the bodily.Vayu though otherwise in a Pittaja affection. The Valli fruit, the Karaka, the Karira, the Amla-phala, the salt, the Kulattha, the Pinyaka, curd, oil, Virohi, cakes, the dried pot-herbs, goat's flesh, mutton, wine, the Jamboline fruit, the Chilichima fish, the flesh of the Godha, and the Varaha (wild boar) being eaten simultaneously with milk, furnish an example of articles which may act as deadly poisons through incompatible combinations.
An intelligent physician, considering the nature of the disease, the strength and 24 temperament of the patient, and the state of his digestion as well as the seat of the affection, the physical features of the country and the then prevailing season of the year, should prescribe a diet which he thinks the most proper and suitable to the requirements of the case. Since the conditions infinitely vary in the different types of diseases and even the same conditions do not obtain in one and the same type, * physicians generally prescribe a diet of their own selection, one determined with regard to its general effect on health, in preference to one that has been laid down in books of medicine.
If asked to prescribe either milk or poison to a healthy person, a physician would naturally prescribe the former, and thereby, prove the absolute wholesome-ness of milk and unconditional harmfulness of poison. Thus is verified, Sushruta, the correctness of the dictum, that things such as water, etc., are absolutely and unconditionally wholesome or otherwise, by virtue of their respective natural properties.