Shalakya Tantra ENT In Ayurveda

Shalakya Tantra is one of the eight branches of Ayurveda the ancient Indian medical science. This system of medicine deals with the diseases of the human body above the neck such as the head, eyes, ears and throat. Shalakya Tantra can be said to be the Ayurvedic system similar to the ENT and Ophthalmology of modern medical science.

Ayurveda And Side Effects

The ancient Indian medical system Ayurveda has the unique quality of curing ailments without any side effects. The system mostly uses natural methods and herbal medicines and other spiritual practices in some diseases. Yoga, mantra and yagnya are some of the methods used as both preventive and curative methods. Ayurveda classifies diseases into major categories and the number of ailments under each as detailed below:
·              Eye diseases namely Netra rogas - 72
·              Dental diseases namely Danta rogas - 23
·              Diseases of the tongue namely Jhiva rogas – 6
·              Diseases of the lips namely Osta roga – 11
·              Diseases of the plate namely Talu rogas – 8
·              Diseases of the lymph namely Gand roga – 1
·              Diseases of the throat namely Gal roga – 18
·              Diseases related to mouth and face namely Savant Mukhroga – 8
The system deals with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of diseases of the ear, nose and throat including all the major and minor ailments. The diseases of these organs are caused mainly due to the infections that occur in these parts of the head. Migraine is give name ardha-shishi in Shalakya tantra. It suggests a change in lifestyle for its prevention and cure. 

These diseases can be diagnosed through a thorough examination which is referred to as ‘shalaka’ in Ayurveda.   Shalakya Tantra involves the examination of the eye, netra shalaka, the ear namely karma shalaka, of the nose namely nasa shalaka, of the lips called oshta shalaka and of the throat namely mukh shalaka.  

Ayurvedic Texts on Shalakya Tantra

Shalakya Tantra is explicitly described in all the three major classics of Ayurveda namely Charaka Samhita, Sushruta Samhita and Ashtanga Hriday.   Shalakya Chikitsa is also known as Urdhwang Chikitsa as Urdhwa means above the shoulders and chikitsa means treatment. It deals with different techniques through which the infectious diseases of the parts in and around the head can be treated.
For example the diseases of the eye (netra rog) mention cataract (linganash), conjunctivitis (sarvakshi rog), the pre-glaucomatic condition of the eye and glaucoma (timir) and also diseases of the iris/pupil (drushti rog) and more.
Detailed information on the surgical treatment of a variety of eye diseases is found in Sushruta Samhita. It also discusses how to prevent the infections and the precautions to avoid their spreading. It contains details on surgical removal of tumors and other unwanted growths.   Shalakya Tantra contains a wealth of information on other simple treatments and home medicines for smaller diseases like migraine etc. Shalakya Tantra is the pioneer text is a pioneer in the treatment of the modern ENT specialty of medical treatment. 


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