Overview for Introduction to Dravyaguna: Indian Pharmacology
The story of drugs goes back to the Prehistoric days. The Indian sages invented drugs and their therapeutic uses long ago. This was based partly on observation of the effect of drugs on various animals and party on observation of the effect of drugs on various animals and partly on human trial and error. Rgveda, the oldest document of Indian wisdom, contains material which shows the rational attitude towards plant kingdom and its exploitation for the benefit of the humanity. The Atharvaveda has got more advanced picture and a larger number of drugs used in a similar number of diseases. On this long tradition and accumulated wisdom the ancient sages, Atreya and his disciples, after a deep concentrated effort were able to make some generalisations for rational explanation of drug action which formed the basic concepts of Dravyaguna. Evidently this study was going on in different circles of scholars and as such different schools of thought arose. The school of Susruta has some differences with Atreya's teachings which was followed by Nagarjuna. The book on Dravyaguna was published in Hindi two decades ago (in 1955) keeping in view the cute necessity of a text book on the subject for the Ayurvedic Colleges. But due to limitation of language it could not serve the purpose fully in non-Hindi speaklang areas of the country and of the inquisitive scholars working in other parts of the world. Recently interest on Ayurveda has increased to a considerable extent and several scholars come every to this country particularly in our institution to learn Ayurveda. Keeping this in view, a certificate course of nine months' duration has been started in our institute from this year for medical graduated of the country and abroad. As there is practically no text book on Dravyaguna in English, it posed a very difficult problem for these scholars as well. This book is intended for such readers and effort would be deemed as fruitful if this object is achieved.