The Ayurvedist Pharmacopeia Database

 

USER HANDBOOK

 

1.      This SOFTWARE PRODUCT was conceived as a computerized vehicle for conducting searches of the various kinds of data in the Ayurvedic / Indian Materia Medica. While some kinds of data, e.g., habitat, physical description are omitted, those data included are most pertinent to the clinical aspects of a Materia Medica.

 

2.      Whenever available and desirable this SOFTWARE PRODUCT has quoted sources in the transliterated Sanskrit. This has been done to maintain accuracy as some English translations of Sanskrit words are quite variable, whereas the Sanskrit has very specific meaning.

 

3.      For the field: “Gu¦a” entries have been given in the Sanskrit; e.g. laghu = light, guru = heavy, etc.

 

4.      For the field: “Rasa” sweet = M   sour = A   salty = L   bitter = T   pungent = Kt   astringent = Ks

 

5.      For the field: “V²rya” uÃ¥a = hot, ²ta = cold, and anuÃ¥a = not hot

 

6.      For the field: “V²paka” madhura = sweet,  amla = sour,  katu = pungent

 

7.      The figure “#” has been used in the “Sanskrit Name” cell to indicate that a given name has been observed to have multiple plant identities; i.e. plants of different genus or/and species are referred to with the same Sanskrit name.

 

8.      The figure “^” has been used following an entry to indicate its having attained “active principle” status in someone’s view.

 

9.      The category of Prabhava has been incorporated into the field: “Actions.” Whenever a word or series of words at the beginning of this field is followed by an asterisk (*) it may be assumed that this has been given as the prabhava for this plant.

 

10.  Note that this database includes some other features:

a.       It is case and spelling sensitive. Because the database has used a transliteration font that the buyer will not know the key for, any transliteration will follow these guidelines:

1.      Â, Ã, À, Á will be found with the keystrokes: sh

2.      a, ², ³, §, ¦ ¥, », ¿ will be represented as the same letter without the diacritical marks. Some renderings of Sanskrit use phonetic spellings; NB, this database will not knowingly use phonetics in any word.

3.      ¶ will be found as represented by “ri” but not by “ru.”

4.      The character “c” is found as “c” and not as “ch.”

5.      Some writers/translators follow practices that omit final letter “a,” but this fact has been overridden in the formal transliterated name of the materia medica but NOT in the case of rendering of the synonymy.

6.      There is considerable confusion in transliteration about the use of final consonants; e.g.: m, n, s, etc. Regrettably, there is no standard for this database, either. The seller suggests that a search event should be initiated with patience and an attitude that trial and error may be necessary.

b.      Search features of the database:

1.       As a strategy for finding words in the database it is suggested that at times fewer letters of a word may be just as useful as a complete rendering. For example, when searching for an item with a final “s” omitting the “s” in the search will still find the word.  The search function does not require that all elements be present. Only that their sequence and case be the same. This may be particularly useful for the situation where word endings are not consistent in the transliteration convention.

2.      The ICBN categories – Genus, species, abbreviated name of the classifiers, and Family, are in the same cell and show, sequentially, Genus in upper case, species in lower case, the classification scheme used for this database, and terminally, Family in upper case. It is possible to know/search in this database all the entries of a given Family, classifier, etc.

3.      Popular synonyms for the included materia medica of the database may be found in the Sanskrit Name cell. This feature is signified by the presence of “ syn.= ” in the “Sanskrit Name” cell, even though the data may not be visible. Merely pressing the forward advance arrow key will bring these data into view.

4.      Searches may be conducted in a specific category or in all categories. Merely select the name of the individual category or “All Fields” category for a search among all fields of the database.

5.      The category, “Browse All Records” has been provided so that all data for a single entry may be viewed at a glance. Unfortunately, one must click manually through this section by striking the forward or backward arrows at the bottom of the window. 

6.      Another feature in this database enables one to search on the category “tridoshic.” By entering this word in the search window one will find all entries that are declared by this database to have tridoshic balancing effects.

7.      Non-Ayurvedic materia medica are included in this database (less than 30 items). They may be searched in the “Sanskrit Name” cell by entering “none” in the search function. These are grouped approximately alphabetically—all of the same initial letter randomly together, etc.

8.      It will be seen that N/A may be found throughout this database. N/A = not applicable and means that data of this type are self-evidently not appropriate to this category. For example, a mineral of gold has no constituents and such will be designated in the “Constituents” category with a N/A

9.      It will be seen that the word “none” is found in the Sanskrit category. This indicates that this product was unknown to the early Ayurvedists and such plant was never given a Sanskrit name. Similarly, none found in the Common category indicates that these Indian plants have not been named in English yet.

10.  Because of difficulties with compatibility of the transliteration font and Microsoft Windows operating systems some words having the “Â ” character had to be prefaced by “sh” Roman transliteration. In order that the student could still know the exact spelling of the Sanskrit word, the “sh” is followed by the appropriate version with the diacritical marks-Ash(Â)vagandha, for example. Also, because diacritical marks are achieved by several key strokes it was deemed necessary to introduce a prefacing letter “S-,” for example, so that the database would sort these words alphabetically. For this same reason words with letters having diacritical marks in other than initial position are often found in slightly improper places in the alphabetical sequence.

11.  There are some synonyms of action which have been reduced to a single category in the database: febrifuge is found only as antipyretic, for example; antiparasitic, anthelmintic are found only as antihelmintic; please try variations when a search produces no result.

12.  The category: pacana (ama burning) is such a peculiar and important term that its transliterated version—pacana—has been deleted from the Actions category to enable one to search this word. Alternatively, d²pana (dipana) has been left in the database as its searchable meaning—digestive—is easily searchable in the database.

13.  Some words have been pressed into service, perhaps in unorthodox ways, to enable a single-word rendering of a complex idea: ophthalmic, for example, indicates that a given item has some benefit for the eyes/vision, etc. The specifics of this action are often found in the Indications category: cataracts, weak vision, for example. Another category—anticephalalgic has been used routinely to indicate a substance that counters headaches of some type.

14.  The actions—alexeteric / alexepharmic—are broad and may cloud actual action; for example, antidote and antitoxic may both be used to mean remedy and prevention. Mechanisms of action may range widely. In such cases the database objectives to narrow search activity have been met; the reader is urged to refer to the actual source material for this specific information--thus the reason for including the source reference for each item in the pharmacopeia database.

15.  On the matter of dosing note that in most cases the information provided comes from the original source material. Some has been given as suggestive, based upon extension of reasoning or clinical experience.

16.  There are some entries provided in the database followed by “ ? ” that indicate that the original source did not provide this information but may be inferred by the author to be a natural status; for example when a bitter taste has been recorded but no data for vipaka, one might infer that the natural tendency of katu might be anticipated. Such is the meaning of this “?” in certain fields.

17.  In the VPK fields at times there is a figure S in addition to the arrows indicating direction of action of doÃa. This “S” indicates removal/elimination of the doÃa, as well.

18.  There are several valid classification schemes which authors have drawn upon. This fact makes finding the correct plant complex. This database has made an effort to include rival classifications in many cases. Since the purpose of this database is to facilitate search, there has not been an effort to include all possible competing entries of nomenclature.

19.  The database has a searchable category: “all fields.” This has been provided in order that one may search for any word anywhere in the database. Food items are searchable in this manner—type in “food” and check “all fields.” All food items will appear in the drop-down box.

20.  One may search the database as a table. Upon opening this window the columns may be sized (temporarily) to one’s preference.

21.  One may search the database as a table. Upon opening this window the columns may be sized (temporarily) to one’s preference.

22.  For those versions of the database that include the formulary note that one may search the meanings of the Sanskrit ingredients by copying the word and pasting it in the window of the pharmacopeia section. This strategy for finding transliterated words will enable one to use both forms of the sought-for word.

23.  The database has an edit function that allows the user to make permanent changes to every field in the database EXCEPT the main search field of Sanskrit Name. Remember, in order to make changes permanent use the Save Changes and Exit box.

24.  If you find errors in this database you may write me: the.ayurvedist@juno.com and I will try to incorporate them into subsequent versions of the database.

25.  Thank you for buying this product and enjoy!