Dose determination and calculation in Sharangdhar Samhita
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The pediatric dosage is one of the most important factor in any system of medicine. The practitioners, on the basis of age, body weight and other factors that generally decide the pediatric doses. The importance of the pediatric doses is because of the intolerance and sensitivity of the infants and children towards the medicine. In ayurveda the greater triad Charka, Susruta and Vagbhata did not described about the pediatric doses in details.

The concept of the pediatric dosage is covered in the vaya bibhaga (age divisions). At the time of Charka, the medicines were deemed to be all diet based, so the necessity of pediatric dosage was comparatively low as that at the time of Sharangdhar. The medicines at the time of Sharangdhar were more fast acting as compared to the food based medicaments from Charka and others.

It was Sharangdhar who very first time clearly described the dose calculation method and indicated all the necessary factors for determining doses for pediatric as well as for others.

The calculation of dose by Sharangdhar is based on the age concept. The Age criterion for dose determination is same as that mentioned by Susruta.

According to Ayurvedic texts, the age divisions are as under: -

Charka states that up to 16 years of age the person is in Bal (child) state, as the sapta dhatu (seven basic bodily entities Rasa, Rakta ----- etc.) are in the development stage and are immature and mobile up to 16 years of Age.

The person is in middle age from 16 to 60 years. The sapta dhatu (seven entities) are fully developed.

The later from 70 to 100 years it is old age. Susruta also states the same but more clearly specifies the Bal stage (Early Child hood) to adolescent as.

  • Ksheerad-the child is dependent upon milk feeding up to 1 year of Age.
  • Ksheeranand-the child is dependent upon milk and cereals / grain feeding baby) up to 4 years of Age.
  • Annad-the child is dependent upon the feeding upon anna (grains cereals) only from 4 to 16 years. As far as the milk is concerned that is supposed to be mother’s milk.

Thus infants up to adolescent age are classified by Susruta. The infant feeding on mother’s milk till the age of 1 year is called Ksheerad and so on as we begin with Anna (cereals / grains).

The middle age is also divided into 4 sub divisions they are: -

  • Madhya (middle age) – 16 – 70 years has following subdivisions: -
  • Vriddhi (the age of growth) - 16-20 years (Age of growth)
  • Yauvan (the fully grown individual in early adult hood) –20 to 30 years (Adult hood)
  • Sampoornta - 30-40 years (Complete growth)
  • Hani - 40-70 years (Aging and decay)

This way the process of human ageing is generally described by Charka & Susruta. Later on Vagbhata added to it and describes it in 4 divisions instead of the three sections of age: -

  • Kamauravasta (from infant to adolescent): - By birth up to 16 years.
  • Yauvan (from adolescent to maturity): - 16 – 34 years
  • Madhya (the adulthood): - 34 – 60 years
  • Vriddhavasta (ageing and decay): - 70 years and above

Of all the divisions said by Susruta are more appropriate and seems to be the basic for dose calculation in Ayurveda as found in Sharangdhar Samhita. It was Sharangdhar who defines the specific dosage from child hood i.e. pediatric adolescent, Adult, and old aged dose.

According to Sharangdhar Samhita. The dose indicated for an infant up to 1 month of Age is / ratti (120 mg) and is increases up to 1 ratti (unit of weight) per month. Thus for 1 year age baby the dose is 12 rattis that is approximately 1.440g.

The dose is increased in quantity of 1 masha an year thus up to 16 years of Age the dose is supposed to be 16 masha or 96 rattis or 11.520 g or 1 tola. This dose is indicated for a mild temperament medicine (Mridu Veerya Aushadhi) and for normal and fast acting or acute temperament medicines respectively the doses are reduced up to half and quarter as that of mild temperament medicine.

However in pediatric dosage are relatively higher than other indications. These doses by sharangdhar are more refined another Illustrator Vishvamitra. Vishvamitra defined the doses as follows.

For Jatamatra Bal (new born baby /Infant) 1 vidang (a seed that is supposed to be 1/6 th that of 1 ratti equivalent to 20 mg) is the indicated dose for mridu veerya ausadhi (mild temperament medicine) and it is increased by 20 mg (1 vidang) per month up to age of one year to reach as 240 mg.

Adding to this he further describes for milk feeding baby the dose of any mridu virya ausadhi (mild temperament medicine) is taken as 1 kolasthi or ½ masha or 3 ratti or 360 mg and for ksheeranand (baby feeding on milk and cereals / grains) it is 1 masha or 6 ratti equivalent to that of 720 mg. For Annad (Child / baby feeding upon cereals and grains) the indicated dose is 2 masha to 4 masha, which is equivalent to that of 1.440 to 2.880g. This way the pediatric doses are corrected as up to 4 years of age.

The one very basic rule for the dose determination is rule of 1, half and quarter part of the dose indicated is meant for mild, normal and acute drugs are applicable in the same manner.

As taking Age as deciding factor on comparing the various dose indication an average dose for middle aged man or adult dose can be taken as 60 ratti or 1 karsha as full dose which is equivalent to 7g 200mg for 16-60 years of age.

In this way for 1 year of age the dose is 1/16 th part of 60 ratti or 3.75 ratti or 450 mg. This is appropriate as per the modern concept of doses. In the same way the dose for the infant up to 1 month of age is directed as 1/12 th part of 3.4 ratti or 450/12 th equivalent as that of 37.5 mg.

This rule is very much similar to the rule by Dieling which states that Age of child / 20 × Adult dose quantity. This similarity between the concepts of doses also gives an idea that the medicine systems are somewhere influences by each other. As per modern science the other rules are depicted by young & cowling that too are in agreement with the Age and calculations. However apart from more mathematical calculation the doses are to be decided as per the diseased conditions and other factors as mentioned in previous Articles.

The major conclusion from this topic lead us to that optimal point that the doses fixed in ayurveda are very scientifically indicated and useful till date as far as herbal medicaments are concerned.


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