Specific Properties Of Matter

Now we shall deal with the actions of several properties of matter, and from them should be inferred the nature of the properties which are inherent in various kinds of matter.

Coldness - is pleasurable, exercises styptic virtues, alleviates epileptic fits, thirst and a burning sensation of the body, and arrests perspiration. Heat is the reverse in its action to coldness. It greatly helps to set in the process of suppuration in boils and abscesses. Oleaginousness imparts a gloss or oiliness, and acts as an emollient tonic, and cosmetic. Parchedness is the opposite of oleaginousness; it produces stypsis and makes a thing rough to tactual perception. Sliminess is vitalising, tonic, heavy as regards digestion, and tends to produce Kapham, and brings about the adhesion of fractured bones. The quality of absorption (Vishad) the opposite of Sliminess. It absorbs or soaks up chynomtous secretions and helps the process of healing till or ulcer. Keen or sharpness begets and suppuration, and arrests secretions.

or softness is the opposite of sharpness.

should less produces languor, increases excrements, and corconic, pleasing and flesh-building. Lightness is the opposite of heavines. It acts as a liquefacient and healing agent. The ten virtues with their actions have now been described.

Now hear me describe the other ten properties of matter with their specific actions. Fluidity is moistening. Compactness is thickening and obstructive. Humidity is like sliminess. Roughness is like absorption. Odoriferousness is pleasurable, subtile, mild and relishing. Fetidness is the opposite of odoriferousness, produces nausea, and brings on a non-relish for food. Laxativeness restores the normal condition of the humours. Narcotism changes the condition of vitality. Expansiveness (like that of wine) is the property in virtue of which a drug or a substance instantaneously permeates the whole organism and is subsequently digested. Evolution or Emanativeness is somewhat identical in its virtue with expansiveness with the exception that it permeates the organism in its undigested state, aud tends to disintegrate the root principles of the body. Instantaneousness, like the expansion of a drop of oil east into a bowl of water, helps to permeate the whole organism simultaneously with the use of a drug. Subtility is the quality in virtue of which a thing can penetrate into the smallest capillaries and channels of the body. These twenty qualities or virtues have been described as they are.

Now we shall describe the transformations which the food stuffs undergo in the organism. This animated organism is composed of the five fundamental material principles, and the food of a living organic being necessarily partakes of the character of its corporeal components. The food, which consists of five fundamental material principles (elements), is digested, in its turn, by the five elemental heat or fire, and each of its constituent principles goes to augment its own kindred in the human organism.

The food, which is followed by a sweet, digestive reaction, goes to increase the quantity of Pittam, while the one, which is completely digested, contributes towards the augmentation of the bodily Vayu (nerve force). The stool and the urine are the excreted portion of the well-digested food, the lymph chyle is the substance drawn from the well-matured chyle, (as has been described in the chapter on the description of Blood, Chap. XIV. of the present work). The lymph chyle carried away by the vital Vayu known as Vyana tends to strengthen all the fundamental principles of the body.

Kaphem is the excreted portion of the lymph chyle, the Pittam is that of the blood, the waxy impurities found in the tympanum, etc., are the excreted portions of flesh. Perspiration is the excreted matter of fat. Nails and hair are the excreted portions of the bones. The waxy deposits found in the corners of the eyes, and the oily secretions which sometimes mark the skin are the excreted portions of marrow. With the dawn of day a man wakes from sleep, and his heart unfolds like a lotus flower, and so remains till sleep folds up his eyelids. Hence, the root principles of the body continue non-humid during the state of waking. Accordingly, a man may partake of a meal at night, even if the food eaten in the day continues till then undigested, without the fear of committing the physical sin of Adhyashanam (super-eating). But the reverse is the case in respect of a similar conduct in the night when man has recourse to sleep and his heart remains constricted in a state of unconsciousness, and the root principles of his body become loose and charged with humidity. Hence, it is beneficial to fast on the following day in the event of the food taken overnight being found to be not properly digested.

He, who carefully peruses these rules regarding the regimen of diet as approved of by the holy sage Dhanvantari, the greatest of all the Rajarshis (royal hermits), becomes great in wisdom, and is sure to be glorified with the proud distinction of being the medical adviser of his king or his nobles.

Thus ends the forty-sixth Chapter of the Sutrasthanam in the Sushruta Samhita which treats of Food and Drink.

Here ends the Sutrasthanam.