ABOUT THE BOOK:
The present work is an informative knowledge on various indigenous ophthalmic drugs including plants, metals and minerals of medicinal value. It is book for background reading by post-graduate students, practitioners and research scholars in ophthalmology. It is primarily meant for research scholars who wish to conduct scientific studies in ophthalmology.
This book describes 57 Medicinal plants, 39 Metals, Mineral drugs and gives information about and their botanical names/chemical names, pharmacological actions, therapeutic ophthalmic uses and chemical composition.
I am extremely, grateful to Prof. M. Ramasunder Rao, Dr. N.R.S. Govt. Ayurvedic Medical College, Vijayawada for his helpful suggestions.
I am very grateful to acknowledge with thanks the helpful suggestions and encouragement received from Dr. R. Veena MD. Dr. C.G. Vaijayantimala MD, Dr. K. V. Ramakrishna Reddy MD. Ayurvedic Practitioners, Bangalore.
I also wish to record my appreciation for the help rendered by my students for checking the manuscript and correction of the proofs.
I would greatly appreciate the useful criticism and suggestions from reader and will be disappointed only if I fail to provoke any reaction.
The present work is an informative knowledge on various indigenous ophthalmic drugs including plants. metals and minerals of medicinal value. It is book for background reading by post-graduate students, pracitioners and research scholars in ophthalmology. It is primarily meant for research scholars who wish to conduct scientific studies in ophthalmology.
This book describes 57 Medicinal plants. 39 Metals. Mineral drugs and gives information about and their botanical names/ chemical names, pharmacological actions. therapeutic ophthalmic uses and chemical composition.
I am extremely, grateful to Prof. M. Ramasunder Rao. Dr. N.R.S. Govt. Ayurvedic Medical College, Vijayawada for his helpful suggestions.
I am very grateful to acknowledge with thanks the helpful suggestions and encouragement received from Dr. R. Veena MD. Dr. C.G. Vaijayantimala MD, Dr. K.V. Ramakrishna Reddy MD. Ayurvedic Practitioners. Bangalore.
I also wish to record my appreciation for the help rendered by my students for checking the manuscript and correction of the proofs. I would greatly appreciate the useful criticisim and suggestions from reader and will be disappointed only if I fail to provoke any reaction.
Life with Intellect is innate amongst all the living beings. With this faculty, the creatures learn to adapt to the hostile environment. Man with highly evolved biological system is considered to be a social animal who responds to the stimuli in the external world. Thus, he has developed all his special senses to a high degree of perfection, that he is able to receive, absorb and analyse the information coming to him. These special senses, numbering five have helped him to continually update and develop, and thus aptly naming him Manava in Sanskrit meaning 'One who acquires new knowledge '.
Amongst, these special senses, it is a well known fact that the organ eye and the mechanism of sight has been considered as the foremost as the senior Canakya says Sarvendriyanam Nayanam Pradhanam. Even the Ayurvedic literatures. have also emphasised the importance of eye care in living. In Astanga Samgraha it is quoted that "one who wishes to live for a long time, should endeavour to protect and preserve the eyes and the sight for all times. Because in spite of having enough wealth, it is worthless to live, as for the blind day and night have no differences" .
There is today some 180 mill ion people world wide with visual disability, in need of social, vocational, economic or rehabilitative support services. The number of blind in the world is presently estimated at around 40-45 mill ion (1999) applying the internationally accepted definition of vision less than 3/60 or 0.05 (ICD-9). Taking into account the population growth and aging, this number is growing particularly in developing countries, where more than 90% of the world's blind are found. The above estimate includes about 1.5 million blind children with 500,000 new cases each year. These children are subjected to particularly high mortality, due to their disability and severe infectious/nutritional disorders. Overall, the main causes of blindness in the world are cataract (42 %), degenerative and metabolic diseases (23 %), trachoma (16%), glaucoma (14%), and onchocerciasis and vitamin A deficiency/xerophthalmia (5%). Unless large-scale interventions against these major causes of visual loss are undertaken, the number of blind can be expected to cross 50 million by the year 2000 AD. This figure will double in 2025 unless decisive public health action is taken. India bears 23.3 % of the regional burden of blindness compared to 17.6 % in China. Cataract (51 %) is followed by degenerative disease (26%) amongst the regional burden of visual impairment in India. Looking at the epidemiology of visual impairment, more work and help has to be done in India. It is an irony that India having a long tradition of health care system still suffers the burden of this condition. This lends support to the argument, that the Ayurvedic literatures have not been fully exploited for protective and preventive eye care of the masses.
Although, Ayurvedic literatures have recorded the use of many natural ingredients in the treatment of ophthalmic diseases, they are all scattered. There has not been a compendium of the ingredients used in this speciality to be used as ready reference material for application.
The present book by the young and enthusiastic researcher in Ayurvedic Ophthalmology will be a great boon for the re- searchers in this field to get browse references and scientific information on plants, mineral and animal products used as ophthalmic drugs.
It is interesting to note in this book that drugs used in Ayurvedic ophthalmology have been classified into the source of their origin and the details of pharmacological principles of each drug as per the literatures and the references. At the end, the summary of all the drugs, glossary of the pharmacological activity followed by the reference on drugs used for the specific activity, which is very useful. Glossary of terms would help particularly the readers from the conventional medicine.
I am convinced that this book will be of immense help not only to the students, but also to the practitioners and more so to the researchers.
Tremendous advancement made in the science of of ophthalmology in recent years have opened a new era in the history of medicine. Scientists and scholars of modem ophthalmology have attracted most of mankind who are anxious about maintainance of prolonged and healthy vision. At the same time, there are numerous challenging problems, existing before modem ophthalmologists which require special attention to develop untrodden fields of medical knowledge hidden in various treasuries.
Modem ophthalmology is incomplete inspite of tremendous research and utilization of advancements of various sciences viz bio-technology, bio-medical engineering etc. After hearing the words, laser refractive surgery, phaco-ernulcification, radial keratotomy, many people think that modem ophthalmology has reached it's peak. It is true that, there is surgery to manage many of opthalmic problems, if there is no surgery there is no cure for many of the diseases. For instance, problems retained with management of conditions such as Retinitis pigmentosa, Glaucoma, Degenerative neuro-ophthalmic lesions, Chronic allergic disorders of adnexa, have remained unsolved since decades. Apart from these problems of management, adverse ocular effects of synthetic medicaments are creating considerable amount of discomfort and morbidity to the patient, has become a challenge to the ophthalmologist. Owing to the difficulties mentioned above, it is a juncture that the need for such drugs which could effectively tackle the above problems without any adverse effects warranted.
Ever since dawn of history man has been in pursuit of new substances that could cure illness and promote health and longivity. Ayurveda, one such science that philosophises in not merely treating the illness but counter balancing the disequilbrium that results in disease. It is the traditional system of medicine holds out to the world, the promise of healthy long life.
The happiest part of history of medicine is the origin of Indian ophthalmology (2000 B.C.). Susruta, the Father of Indian Ophthalmology and. author of Susruta Samhita contributed many chapters on clinical ophthalmology, ocular surgery, principles of ocular pharmacology, and therapeutics in Uttara-Tantra of his text.
From historical point of view it is evident that plants, metals, minerals and animal products extremely used in alleviating the wide range of ocular conditions. History of ophthalmic use of natural products of medicinal value, can be traced from remote past in pre-early Christian Era. For instance Atharvaveda furnishes many references to the use of different natural products as topical ophthalmic medicarnents-Anjanas.
Every country has its traditional cure for its disease. These prescri- ptions have evolved depending on geographical conditions, flora, mineral resources. India is one of the richest nation in the world in terms of natural resources of medicinal value. These natural resources sti II as potent and effecti ve as they were thousands years ago. Avast number of indigenous drugs coupled with innumerable claims of their varied uses in alleviating wide range of ophthalmic affections calls for scientific validation for their attributes and principles. Unfortunately, these traditional indigenous ophthalmic practises have been largely eroded because of lack of research. It is the trend of present world, that there is no place for blind faith in the treatments of ancient medical science. Only facts established with proofs after conducting clinical and experimental research. supported by satisfactory statistcial data, convince the scientific world about the validity of statements concerning indigenous ophthalmic drugs.
The present work is aimed at through search of hidden knowledge about various single ophthalmic drugs scattered else where in various corners of ancient literature. The purpose of this book is to impart the reader about the basic knowledge concerning indegenous ophthalmic drugs found in medical classics of ancient and medivial period, which forms a base for their further research.
A special attention has also been made to classify these drugs based on their varied pharmacological actions on visual system and adnexa. For ego Caksusya Drugs-drugs used in improving visual acuity, visual fields and colour vision. Naktandhyahara Drugs- drugs prescribed to manage various conditions presenting with night blindness of varied etiology. Netrasulahara Drugs-drugs advocated for the alleviation of painful ophthalmic conditions.
It is hoped that this work would recieve a warm welcome from scientists of various desciplines. ophthalmologists, research scholars and also promotes the sustanable utilization of indigenous ophthalmic drugs for the benefit of mankind.