The Therapeutic Effects Of Dhumapána

Smoking the Snehana-Dhuma subdues the deranged and aggravated Váyu of the body owing to the existence of the Sneha with which it is charged as well as to a consequent sticky coating being deposited in the organism. The Vairechana-Dhuma facilitates the loosening and flowing out of the mucus (Kapha) owing to its dryness, non-viscidness (Vais'adya), keenness and heat-making potency. While the Práyogika-Dhuma tends to loosen the accumulation of mucus (Kapha) and helps its expulsion from the system by virtue of its being possessed of common therapeutic properties with both of the two preceding kinds (of Dhuma). 12.

Memorable Verse

Inhalation of (medicated) fumes removes the cloudening of the faculties of the organs of sense-perception and imparts distinctness of the speech and firmness to the teeth, hair of the head and to beard. It cleanses the mouth and fills it with an aroma. 13.

The inhalation of medicated fumes guards against an attack of cough, asthma, an aversion to food and clumsy sensation in the mouth, hoarseness, excessive salivation, nausea, * somnolence, sleep, numbness of the jaws and of the nerves (Snâyu) on the back of the neck (Manyâ), catarrh, diseases of the head, ear ache, inflammation of the eyes, and any affection of the mouth due to an aggravation of the deranged Váyu and Kapha. 14.

It behoves a physician to be fully acquainted with the effects of satisfactory and excessive smoking (Dhuma-pána). Properly administered, it is followed by a distinct alleviation of the disease (under treatment); while its excessive use is followed by a positive aggravation or non-amelioration of the disease and is likely to produce a dryness of the palate and the throat, a burning sensation in the body, thirst, fainting fits, vertigo, delirium, alcoholism, affection of the ears, nose and eyes, impairment of vision, and weakness of the body. 15.

Mode of Smoking: The Práyogika-Dhuma should be smoked thrice at a time either through the mouth or through the nostrils and may be repeated thrice or four times (according to the strength of the patient and the itensity of the Dosha). The Snaihika-Dhuma should be inhaled until the appearance of tears in the eyes. While the Vairechanika-Dhuma should be smoked till the beginning of the elimination of the Doshas from the system. The Vámaniya-Dhuma should be smoked by a patient after he has taken a gruel of huskless sesamum (Tila-Tandula), and the Káksaghna-Dhuma should be inhaled between morsels of food. † Fumigation of an ulcer should be made by means of a tube attached to (the orifice of) a covered saucer. Fumigation alleviates the pain in an ulcer, arrests its discharge and makes it clean and non-viscid. 16.

* According to Vrinda's commentator we have here "Sneezing and a sudden obstruction of breath" as an additional text.

† Dallana quotes a different reading which would mean that the Kásaghna-Dhuma should be inhaled after taking meals.

Metrical Text

The processes of inhalation and fumigation have been briefly described above. Now I shall fully describe the processes of using medicinal snuffs (Nasya). 17.