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Clinical Application of Satmya Theory

Monika Agrawal*, B K Dwibedy **


Abstract
Satmya means suitability to some things, which are favorable for one’s own self.
Satmyan naam tad yadaatmanyupshete. Satmya is also known as upashaya. Hita
and pathya are frequently used synonyms for satmya. Satmya (homologation) is
one of the investigable points of dashavidha pareekhsa described in Ayurveda.
Dashavidha pareekhsa advocates to examine the Prakriti (constitution), Vikriti
(morbidity), Saar (constitution of the dhatus), Samhanan (compactness), Praman
(measurement), Satmya (suitability), Sattwa (psyche), Ahar-shakti (power of
intake and digestion of food), Vyayam-shakti (power of exercise) and Vaya (age)
of the patient before application of medicine. It is because strong, moderate or
mild medicines are advised according to the superior, medium and inferior
strength of the patient as well as disease respectively. Satmya is one of the
important considerable issues during application of medicine or diet. Efficacy of
medicine depends upon the Satmya as the diet or medicine which is not Satmya to
the person does not act properly and sometimes it may cause reactions also.
Satmya is that which being used constantly has wholesome effects. It brings
comfort to the soul; we have all experienced ‘symptoms’ in our lives. Symptoms
are the mind and body’s warning system of a deeper underlying imbalance.
Ayurveda, the oldest holistic medical system in the world, considers each person
to be completely unique physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
According to Ayurveda, we create and re-create our state of health, wellness and
happiness each and every day. What may enhance healthfulness, happiness and
ease of life for one person may create imbalances and disease for another person.
Ayurveda considers a strong Satmya-asatmya theory, one of the most important
factors for our health. When our satmyta-asatmyta are strong, we can take in
energy and information from our environment, extract whatever is beneficial to
us, and eliminate everything we don’t need.

Keywords: Satmya, Oka satmya, Dashavidha pareeksha, Asatmya.


Clinical Application of Satmya
A substance conducive to an individual is called substance conducive to the body by its habitual
satmya and the use of such substances results in the intake) also. Oka satmya means factors which are
well-being of that individual. This is of three types, wholesome to the individual even when
viz. superior (pravar), inferior (awar) and mediocre continuously used. Individuals for whom ghee, milk,
(Madhya). According to another mode of oil and meat soup as well as the drugs and diets
classification, it is of seven types, depending upon having all the six tastes are wholesome are endowed
the administration of individual rasas or tastes (six with strength, power of the facing difficult situations
types) and the use of rasas or tastes jointly (seventh and longevity. Those who are accustomed to
type).Use of all the rasas is of the superior type of ununctuous things and drugs and diets having only
satmya, use of only one rasas is of an inferior type one particular taste mostly possess less strength, less
and in between the superior and inferior type is the resistance to face difficult situations, are of smaller
mediocre type of satmya.3 The term satmya is used life-span and possess meager accessories like drugs
to convey the idea of okasatmya (i.e. to make a for the treatment of the diseases. If there is a

*
Research Scholar, Department of Siddhant Darshan, Faculty of Ayurveda, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu
University, Varanasi-221005.
**
Professor, Department of Siddhant Darshan, Faculty of Ayurveda, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University,
Varanasi-221005.
Correspondence to: Dr Monika Agrawal, Department of Siddhant Darshan, Faculty of Ayurveda, Institute of Medical Sciences,
Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi-221005.
E-mail Id: drmonikagrwl@gmail.com

© ADR Journals 2015. All Rights Reserved.


17 Agrawal M et al.

combination of both these types of homologation, diets possessing the remaining tastes will be
individuals possess moderate strength.4 If an unwholesome for him. The criteria for the clinical
individual is accustomed to use only such drugs and application of pravara, avara and madhyam satmya
diets having one and the same taste, the drugs and are as follows:5
For Pravar Satmya
Serial no Aspects
1 Ghrita
2 Ksheer (Milk)
3 Tail (Oil)
4 Maans rasa (Meat soup)
5 Madhur (Sweet)
6 Amla (Sour)
7 Lavan (Salt)
8 Katu (Bitter)
9 Tikta (Pungent)
10 Kashya (Astringent)
11 Balwan (Strength)
12 Klesh sahan Shakti (The power of facing difficult situations)
13 Chirjive (Longevity)
14 Bahusadhan (Ample therapeutic procedures)
Table 1.Aspects for Pravar Satmya

If a person fulfills the above mentioned criteria, then all living beings, and it is alleviator and eliminator
he/ she is characterized under the pravar satmya. of doshas. It quenches thirst and is an appetizer. It is
The detailed classical description of factors exceedingly useful in kshataksina (phthisis), pandu
mentioned for pravar satmya is as follows: (anemia), amlapitta (hyperacidity), sosa
(consumption), gulma (abdominal tumor), udara (GI
Ghrita tract disorders including ascites), atisaar (dirrhea),
jvara (fever), daha (burning sensation), and
Maharshi Charak says ghrita is best in alleviating especially in svavathu (edema). It is also useful in
the vata and pitta, and it is conducive to ras adhatu, diseases of female genital tract, male reproductive
shukra dhatu (semen) and ojus. It has cooling and fluid, and in oliguria and hard stool. It is a
softening effect upon the body. It adds the clarity of wholesome diet for suffering from diseases due to
voice and complexion.6 So due to these properties of vata and pitta. Milk is always used for inhalation,
ghee, Maharshi Charak prescribed the internal use of anointment, bathing, emesis, asthapan vasti,
ghee in many diseases like in vitiation of vata and purgation and unction.9
pitta, in poor eye sight, for old person, children,
weak person, tenderness of the body and also for the Tail (Oil)
person who desires longevity, strength, good
complexion, good voice, nourishment, best progeny, Tail vata sleshma prashmananaam.10 Oil alleviates
luster, ojus, memory, intelligence, increased power vata. It does not, however, aggravate kapha. It
of digestion, wisdom, proper functioning of sense promotes bodily strength. It is beneficial for the
organs and for those afflicted with injuries due to skin. It is hot, stabilizer and it controls the morbidity
burns, by weapons, poisons and fire.7 of the female genital organs.11

Ksheer (Milk) Mansa Rasa (Meat Soup)


“Ksheeram jivniyanaam”.8 According to Charaka, Maansam brinhananaam.12 Charak says no other
milk is generally sweet, unctuous, cool, lactogenic, food excels meat in producing nourishing effect. As
refreshing, nourishing, libidinal stimulant, useful for goat meat is homologous with human flesh, it does
intelligence, strength giving, good for mental not aggravate kapha in spite of its cold potency,
faculties, invigorating, fatigue-dispelling, and due to heaviness and unctuousness. It does not obstruct the
these qualities of milk it is used as a reliever of channels of circulation and is nourishing. Fresh meat
dyspnea, bronchitis and cures the raktapitta of young animals, fishes and birds moving in their
(bleeding from the different parts of the body) and natural surrounding and killed by non-poisonous
helps in healing of the wounds. It is wholesome for devices like arrows etc. is nourishing.13

J. Adv. Res. Ayur. Yoga Unani Sidd. Homeo. 2015; 2(2): 16-21. ISSN: 2394-6547
Agrawal M et al. 18

Madhur Rasa (Sweet Taste) obstructions, clarify the passages and alleviate
kapha. They are light, hot and unctuous.19
Sweetness is ascertained from unctuousness,
deliciousness, delightfulness and softness. When Tikta Rasa (Pungent Taste)
taken in, it pervades all over the mouth. Drugs and
diets having sweet taste are wholesome to the body Drugs and diets having bitter taste are by themselves
and as such they add to the growth of rasa (body not delicious, but added with other things they
fluid), blood, muscle, fat, marrow, ojus, semen, and promote deliciousness. They are antitoxic and
longevity. They are soothing to the six sense organs. germicidal. They cure fainting, burning sensation,
They promote strength and complexion, alleviate itching, obstinate skin diseases including leprosy,
pitta, vata, and effects of poison. They relieve thirst thirst and fever. They promote firmness of skin and
and burning sensation, promote healthy skin, hair, muscles. They promote carmination and digestion,
voice and strength. They are soothing, invigorating purify milk and help in the depletion of moisture,
and nourishing. They bring about stability and heal fat, muscle fat, bone marrow, lymph, pus, sweat,
up emaciation and consumption. They are soothing urine, stool, pitta and kafa. They are unctuous, cold
to the nose, mouth, throats, lips and tongue and and light.20
relieve fits.14
Kasaya Rasa (Astringent Taste)
Amla Rasa (Sour Taste)
Drugs and diets having astringent taste are sedative
15 and constipative. They produce pressure on the
Amlam hridyanaam. Sourness is ascertained from
setting of tooth on edge (dantaharsha), salivation, affected part and cause granulation, absorption and
sweating, and clarity of mouth. Drugs and diets stiffness. They alleviate kapha and raktapitta. They
having sour taste add to the deliciousness of food, absorb the body fluid and are dry, cold and heavy.21
stimulate appetite, nourish and energize the body,
enlighten the mind, strengthen the sense organs, Balwan (Strength)
promote strength, alleviate vata, nourish the heart,
and help in swallowing, moistening and digestion of Foods though incompatible do not produce diseases
food. They are refreshing, light, hot, and unctuous.16 in those who are habituated to exercise (physical
activity) and fatty foods, who have strong digestive
Lavan Rasa (Salt Taste) power, who are of age (adult) and who are strong, so
also those foods (though incompatible) which have
Lavan anna dravya ruchikaranaam.17 Drugs and become accustomed (long use) and which have been
diets having saline taste get quickly dissolved in consumed in very little quantity.22 Psychic strength
mouth resulting in stickiness, moistness and provides absence of imbalance in circumstances of
softness. They help in carmination, digestion, adversity and prosperity. In Viman Sthana, Charak
excision and incision. They are sharp, vikasi (clear) says laghu vyadhit purush in which the patient
and laxative, avakashakara (deobstruent), cure suffering from a serious disease may appear to be
stiffness, obstruction, accumulation and cause suffering from a mild one because of the excellence
salivation, liquefy kapha, clarify the channels of of his mental strength and physical constitution.
circulation, bring about tenderness of all the bodily
organs and causes deliciousness of food. They are Klesh Sahan Shakti (The Power of Facing
essential ingredients of food. They are not very Difficult Situations)
heavy, unctuous and hot.18
They tolerate the complication of over and ill
Katu Rasa (Bitter Taste) purgation as well as over and ill emission. They are
capable of intake of accha snehapaan (single sneha)
Drugs and diets having pungent taste keep the mouth without any complication.23
clean, promote digestion, help in absorption of food,
causes secretion through nose, lacrimation, help Chirjive (Longevity)
proper action of sense organs, cure diseases like
obesity, urticarial, chronic conjunctivitis, help in the Those who are capable of intake of six rasas have a
elimination of waste products which are sticky in long life span. According to bhel samhita one should
nature and produce the oleation and fomentation know that there are seven compatibilities (in
therapies, cause deliciousness in food, cure itching, accordance with the six rasas separately and all
allay excessive growth of ulcers, kill germs, corrode combined). When there occurs compatibility among
muscle tissues, break blood clots and other all these combined, that is considered to be the most
excellent compatibility.24

ISSN: 2394-6547 J. Adv. Res. Ayur. Yoga Unani Sidd. Homeo. 2015; 2(2): 16-21.
19 Agrawal M et al.

Bahusadhan (Ample Therapeutic So finally we can say that pravar satmya are those
Procedures) which, in spite of being naturally contrary in terms
of place, time, race, season, disease, exercise, water,
According to chakrapani bahusadhnash means day sleep, rasas etc, don’t afflict.
bahubheshajash. They tolerate any kind of treatment
like agni, kshaar and visha.

For Avar Satmya


Serial no. Aspects
1 Ruksha
2 Ek rasa satmya
3 Alpa bala(less strength)
4 Alpa klesh sahan Shakti (unable to difficult to sustain the painful situation.
5 Alpa ayu(less longevity)
6 Alpa sadhanash ( less therapeutic modalities)
Table 2.Aspects for Avar Satmya

If a person has the above mentioned aspects, then Alpa Bala (Less Strength)
he/ she is characterized under avar satmya. The
detailed classical description of factors mentioned Due to impaired mental strength and physical
for avar satmya is as follows: constitution, certain people having mild diseases
may appear to be suffering from serious ones. In
Ruksha (Dryness) viman sthana, Charak says these individuals are
classified under guru vyadhit.
They are dry, rough, non-slimy, light, sharp, hard
dravyas. These dravyas are called rukshan dravyas. Alpa Klesh Sahan Shakti (Unable to
SustainPainful Situation)
Those who take in only katu, tikta, kasaya rasa, oil
cake of mustard and til, honey etc and indulge in They are unable to tolerate the complication of over
unlimited sexual activities are classified under avar and ill purgation as well as over and ill emission.
satmya, and they suffer from many diseases like one
of the causes of atisaar is also krisha and ruksha Alpa Ayu (Less Longevity)
dravys.25
Those who take in only one rasa have a less life
Ek Rasa Satmya span (alpa ayu).

People who generally take only one rasa suffer from Alpa Sadhana (Less Therapeutic
many diseases like madhumeha (being homologous Modalities)
to madhur rasa), hypertension (due to adaptability
of lavan rasa), acid-peptic disorder (due to Because of less immunity, they cannot tolerate much
adaptability of amla rasa), greying of hairs and therapeutic modalities. That’s why in their case,
baldness (due to adaptability of tikta rasa) etc. curable diseases changes in to incurable diseases. So
avar satmya persons are unable to maintain healthy
status of body due to less adaptation power.
For Madhyam Satmya
Serial no. Aspects
1 Moderate intake of ghrita, ksheer, tail and mansa rasa
2 Intake of any two or three rasas
3 Madhya bala (moderate strength)
4 Madhya klesha sahan Shakti (some courage to difficult to sustain the painful situation.
5 Madhya ayu(moderate longevity)
6 Madhya sadhana ( mediocre therapeutic modalities)
Table 3.Aspects for Madhyam Satmya

Individuals for whom ghee, milk, oil and meat soup tastes are wholesome, are endowed with moderate
as well as the drugs and diets having two or three strength, moderate power of facing difficult

J. Adv. Res. Ayur. Yoga Unani Sidd. Homeo. 2015; 2(2): 16-21. ISSN: 2394-6547
Agrawal M et al. 20

situation, and are associated with moderate is suitable physiologically is termed as satmya and
longevity. Therefore mediocre therapeutics should does not disturb the body cells anatomically and
be employed to gain success in management as well physiologically. Suitability of drug varies from
as to prevent complications. Inability to consume all person to person and it depends on type of satmya.
six tastes dominated food results in a person’s The concept of allergy may be considered under
moderate immune status, leading ti the ability to satmya pareeksha. Suitability with respect to drugs,
sustain only moderate therapeutics. diet, environment etc. should be examined clinically.
Keeping in mind the view to maintain the normalcy,
Discussion the concept of satmya has been described in broad
manner in ayurvedic classics and different type of
Substances and regimen which are suitable to the satmya with its variations is also described.
body are known as Satmya. They do not cause harm
to the body even though they are opposite to one’s Conclusion
own constitution, habitat, time, caste, season,
diseases, exercise, water, day, sleep, tastes and such Satmya (wholesome) means suitability of any
others. substance for body or to an individual. It also stands
for such factors which are wholesome to the
Satmya is one of the examination tools described to individual even when continuously used. Substances
assess the strength of the patient before prescribing and regimen which are suitable to the body are
any therapeutics. Hence satmya is described in all known as Satmya. It does not cause harm to the
examination tools to understand the strength of the body even though they are opposite to one’s own
patient so that treatment principles can be planned constitution, habitat, time, caste, season, diseases,
meticulously. In Navavidha Pariksha, Charaka exercise, water, day, sleep, tastes and such others. It
mentions that the following factors must be is also known as upashaya Hita and pathya.
considered for successful administration of niruha Clinically, satmya is classified as pravara (superior),
basti - Dosa, Ausadha, Desha, Kala, SATMYA, Agni, madhyama (mediocre) and avara (inferior), and it is
Satva, Vaya, & Bala. Dashavidha Pariksha essential to understand the strength of patient. Based
described in Charaka are Prakriti, Vikriti, Sara, on clinical types of satmya treatment principles
Samhanana, Pramana, SATMYA, Satva, should be prescribed to attain success in
Ahaarashakti, Vyayamashakti and Vaya. management. Homologation of body tissues and
Ekadashavidha Pariksha described in Charaka cells is possible only by pravara satmya.
consists of Dosha, Bheshaja, Desha, Kala, Bala,
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