The Fruit Group (Phala-Varga)

Now we shall discourse (on the specific virtues) of fruits, such as the Dadima, Amalaka, Kapittha, Vadara, Kola, Karkandhu, Sauvira, Shimvitikaphala, Matulunga, Amra, Amrataka, Karamarda, Piyala, Lakucha, Bhavya, Paravata, Vetraphala, Prachinamalaka, Tintidika, Nipa, Koshamra, Amlika, Naranga, and Jamvira, etc.

Metrical Texts

(We may describe the general properties of fruits by saying that) they are acid in taste and heavy of digestion, heat-making in their potencies, (expectorant) of (Kapham), generate Pittam and subdue the Vayu. Of the fruits enumerated in the above list the Dadima leaves an astringent after-taste and does not generate the Pittam to an inordinate degree. * It acts as an appetiser, brings on flesh and a relish for food, is palatable to the taste, and tends to constipate the bowels by (imparting a greater consistency to the fecal matter). Dadimas may be classified into two distinct species according as they are sweet or acid to the taste. The sweet species subdues the three deranged bodily humours, while the acid one subdues the Vayu and Kapham. The fruit known as the Amalaka has a taste blended of the sweet, pungent and astringent ones with a shade of the bitter. It is laxative, spermatopoietic and beneficial to the eye-sight, and is capable of subduing all the three deranged humours The Vataghna virtue of this fruit should be ascribed to its acid taste; its power of subduing the Pittam, to its sweetness and coolness; and its efficacy in subduing the Kapham, to its affecting the tongue as a dry astringent substance. This fruit is by far the best known fruit as possessing high therapeutic properties. The Karkandhu, like the Kola or the Vadara, generates the Kapham and Pittam in its unripe or immature stage, while in its ripe or matured stage it is sweet, demulcent, purgative and subdues the Vayu and Pittam. The fruit known as the Sauvira is possessed of properties similar to those of the Vadara; moreover it is sweet, demulcent, and subdues the Vayu and Pittam. The Shinivitika-fruit is cooling, astringent and palatable and has an astringent taste. The Kapittham in its unripe stage produces hoarseness. It is astringent and subdues the Kapham and increases the Vayu, while in its ripe stage it subdues the Vayu and Kapham, is heavy, and has a sweet and acid taste. The fruit known as the Matulunga is light, acid, appetising, and pleasant. It proves beneficial in cough and asthma, brings on a relish for food", allays thirst and cleanses the throat. The rind of a Matulunga is a bitter vermifuge and is difficult to digest; it subdues the Vayu and Kapham. The layer of skin (lit. flesh), immediately underlying the rind of the Matulunga, is palatable, cooling in its potency, demulcent and heavy of digestion, and also subdues the Vayu and Pittam. The membranous or cellular covering, which envelops its seeds, is light, stomachic, astringent and palatable. It produces Kapham and proves curative in cases of piles, abdominal glands (Gulma) and vomiting. The expressed juice of the Matulunga is recommended to a person suffering from colic pain (gastralgia), indigestion, constipation of the bowels, impaired digestion as well as from disorders brought about through the deranged condition of the Vayu and Kapham, and more so in cases where the patient has lost all relish for food. An unripe Amra, in its first stage of development, tends to generate the Vayu and Pittam, while one with closed pollen (Vaddha-keshara type) generates the Pittam. Ripe Amra is pleasant, cosmetic, relishing and tonic, helps the formation of fresh blood, and leaves an astringent after-taste. It is sweet and heavy, is a tissue-builder and tends to increase the formation of semen and also subdues the Vayu and Pittam. The Amrataka (Hog-apple) is spermatopoietic, is surcharged with a kind of oily matter and tends to increase the Kapham in the system. The Lakucha tends to destroy the semen, is long retained in the stomach, and serves to derange the three fundamental humours of the body. The Karamardakam is relishing and acid in its taste, allays thirst, and generates the Kapham. The Piyalam is heavy, cooling and spermatopoietic. The Bhavyam is pleasant, tasteful, astringent, and acid in taste. It cleanses the mouth and subdues the Pittam and Kapham. It is astringent, heavy, cooling and is long retained in the stomach.

* Charaka and Bhatlaraka Harishchandra exclude Dadima (pomegranate) from the list of Pittakara agents, while Jejjadacharya is of opinion that it neither generates nor subdues the Pittam.

The fruit known as the Paravatam is sweet and relishing, and it destroys the Vayu and a voracious appetite. The Nipa, like the old Amalaka fruits, tends to neutralise the effects of poisons originated through the chemical combination of incompatible substances in the organism. Unripe Tintidika (tamarind) subdues the Vayu, and tends to generate the Pittam and Kapham in the organism, while in its ripe state it is astringent, heat-making and stomachic. It destroys the Vayu and Kapham and restores a relish for food. The Koskamra is possessed of properties nearly identical with those of the Tamarind. The properties of a ripe Amlika fruit are the same as those of the latter with the exception that it further acts as a purgative. The Naranga has a sweet and acid taste, is pleasant and refreshing, and gives a relish to food. It is heavy, difficult to digest and subdues the Vayu. The Jamvira tends to allay thirst and cures colic pain, water-brash, vomiting and asthma; it subdues the action of the deranged Vayu and Kapham, removes constipation of the bowels, and helps to create a healthy secretion of the Pittam. The Airavata and Dantashatha (different varieties of Jamvira are acid and tend to bring on an attack of haemoptysis.

The fruit (of such trees as the Ashvatha, the Plaksha, the Audumvura, etc., which pass by the general name) of Kshira-Vrikshas as well as those which are known as the Jamva, Rajadana, Todana, Tinduka, Vakula, Dhanvana, Ashmantaka, Ashvakarna, Phalgu, Parushaka, Gangeruka, Pushkara, Varti, Villa and Vimvi, etc. are cooling, and astringent in their effect. They subdue the Pittam and Kapham, tend to produce a condition of parchedness in the system, and have a sweet and astringent taste.