Review on Dhanwantari nighantu, bhavaprakasha nighantu and Raja nighantu
Dr. Umakant N Rabb
The word Nighantu is one of the important aspect in the study of Dravyaguna Vijnana (Materia medica). The importance of Nighantu was highlighted for the first time by Acharya Narahari Pandit in his work called Raja Nighantu during 14th century A.D. He states that a physician without the knowledge of Nighantu, a scholar without the knowledge of Vyakaranam (Grammar) and a soldier without the knowledge of Ayudha (Weapons) are laughing stalk in the world. The Nighantu literature is one of the important aspect in the study of Ayurveda and specially in the subject of Dravyaguna Vijnana. The ancient Nighantus were actually like Kosa (Compendium), containing the synonyms, properties, actions and their uses of Dravya (Drugs). In true sense the Nighantu means collection of words, synonyms and the names of the medicinal drugs. The Nighantu may be defined as a glossary containing synonymous groups, the names of the drugs, plants, animals, minerals or anything that is administered either as food or medicine to the human body. The importance of Nighantu has been explained for the first time by Narahari Pandita, son of Isvarasuri in his work Raja Nighantu during 14th century A. D. The science and activities related to detection, evaluation, understanding and prevention of adverse drug reactions or any other drug related problems. Ancient texts clearly mention that if a drug is used without the knowledge of its proper action, it would certainly act as a poison. This statement clearly states that the knowledge of Nighantu is indispensable for a Vaidya. In Ayurveda, the Tridosha are the essential triad influencing the health and disease conditions. Thus, the knowledge of side effects of drugs that affect their normal functions becomes necessary. The present work is systematically dealt with the introductory part of these Nighantus.