The species of wine known as the Arishta (fermented liquor) is highly efficacious owing to the concerted action of a variety of drugs entering into its composition. It proves curative in a large number of diseases, tends to subdue the deranged humours of the body, and is a good appetiser. It subdues the Vayu and Kapham and is laxative and not hostile to the Pittam. It proves beneficial in colicpain, distention of the stomach, abdominal dropsy, fever, enlarged spleen, indigestion and piles. Asava wine prepared from the drugs known as the Pippali, etc. (Pippalyadi Asava) proves curative in Gulma (abdominal glands) and diseases due to the deranged Kapham. The Aristhas of other therapeutic virtues will be specially described later on in chapters on Therapeutics (Chikitsitam). An experienced physician should prescribe the different species of wine such as, the Aristha, Asava, Sidhu, etc., in different diseases in consideration of the therapeutic properties of drugs, which enter into their composition, or with which they have been purified, and according as each of them would be indicated in practice.
The following kinds of wine should always be rejected viz., such as are thick, bad smelling, or insipid or full of worms, or heavy and acid in digestion, unpleasant, new, strong and heat-making in their potency, or which have been preserved in an improper vessel, or which have been prepared with a comparatively lesser number of ingredients or have been decanted over-night, or are extremely slimy or transparent, as well as the dregs of all kinds of wine.
The wine prepared from a comparatively lesser number of ingredients, or that which is slimy, heavy and takes a long time to be digested, should be deemed as an agitator of the bodily Kapham. The wine which is marked by a deep yellow colour is strong and hot, is only imperfectly digested and followed by a kind of acid re-action. It tends to aggravate the Pittam. The wine, which is frothy or putrified, heavy or insipid or is marked by the germination of worms in its body, or is decanted over-night, tends to enrage or agitate the bodily Vayu. The wine which is well-matured, and possessed of its characteristic taste, and the virtue of improving the appetite and bringing on a relish for food, and which subdues the Vayu and Kapham, and is mild, good, aromatic and exhilarating, should be regarded as the only wine fit for use. Wines may be divided into a variety of species according to their different tastes and strength. The potency of a wine promoted by the bodily heat of a man courses upward through the arteries, and ultimately reaches the heart; and thence, through its own subti-lity and expansiveness, permeates the entire organism and gradually attacks and overwhelms the organs of sense perception, dethrones the mind from her throne of reason, usurps the permanent seat of intellect, and thus brings on intoxication. * A man of phlegmatic temperament (Kapha-prakriti) can carry his wine well, and symptoms of intoxication usually appear later in him. A man of bilious temparament (Pitta Prakriti), under such circumstances, gets easily intoxicated, while the man whose temperament is marked by a predominance of Vayu is often found to be tipsy after his first cup. A man of a Sattvika frame of mind exhibits under the influence of wine, a decided predilection for fine dress, jollity, and acts of purity and compassion. He sings, or reads, or evinces a strong desire for female company. A man of a Rajasika frame of mind becomes extremely melancholy or pugnacious in his cups, indulges in despondent reveries, and evinces suicidal tendencies; while wine in a subject of a Tamasika cast of mind exhibits the latent and innate vileness of his soul. Such a person generally sleeps when intoxicated, falsely boasts of his own excellence, and evinces a desire for women with whom connection is forbidden by both social and canonical laws.
* These couplets emphatically prove that the framers of ancient Ayurveda were fully conversant with the circulation of the blood - Tr.
Fermented liquors known as the Shukta (treacle, honey, fermented rice gruel, and curd cream kept in a new and clean vessel underneath a bushel of paddy for three consecutive days) bring on an attack of haemoptysis.
They disintegrate the lumps or knots of accumulated Kapham, are digestant and prove curative in jaundice and diseases due to the derangement of Kapham. They are light and vermifugenous, and strong and heat making in their potency. They act as diuretic, are pleasant, and pungent in digestion. Bulbs and roots pickled in Shukta acquire the properties of the latter. Of the Shuktas prepared with treacle, juice of sugar-cane, or honey, each preceding one should be deemed heavier and as giving rise to greater secretions of internal organs than the one immediately following it in the order of enumeration.
The different kinds of fermented rice gruel known as the Tushamvu and Sauvira are pleasant and appetising beverages. They prove efficacious in cases of jaundice, worms in the intestines, dysentery, piles, and in diseases affecting the heart. They are possessed of purgative (Bhedi) properties.
The fermented gruel known as the Dhanyamlam is a good appetiser (tonic - D. R) owing to the fact 59 of its being a preparation of paddy. As a plaster, it alleviates the burning sensation of the skin, and as a potion it subdues the Vayu and Kapham, and allays thirst. Used as a gargle it forms one of the best remedies for reducing Kapham owing to its keenness. It is light of digestion, acts as a deodorant, removes the sense of exhaustion and bad taste from the mouth, allays thirst, acts as a good appetiser and dissolvent, is possessed of purgative virtues, and is advantageously used as an enemata (Asthapanam). It is very wholesome to seafaring men.