Chikitsa Padah: The “4 Limbs of Treatment” In Ayurvedic Medicine
Chikitsa Padah literally means “4 limbs of a treatment” and is one of the key points to understand the Ayurvedic approach.
Nowadays, it is unfortunately common to see people putting their health in the hands of a practitioner in the hope that he or she would save them from their troubles.
This is an infantile approach because the doctor (1. Bhishag) is only a part of the recovery from troubles, along with:
- the medicine (2. Dravya)
- the assistant (3. Upastha)
- AND the patient (4. Rogi).
These four factors together are all essential for healing and make up the Ayurvedic concept of Chikitsa Padah.
- If the doctor knows the science, but the medicine is of poor quality: treatment will fail.
- If the medicine is efficient but taken at the wrong time: treatment will fail.
- If both the medicine and the doctor prove efficient, but the patient does not take it properly or forgets to take it: treatment will fail.
Chikitsa Padah combinations go on like this, but the point here is to emphasize that the responsibility in a treatment is shared among four pillars.
Ayurveda does not believe in taking a pill and get rid of troubles. It ensures that the patient understands his disorders, and understands the treatment taking an active role so that he will be able to own his life with responsibility and knowledge.
The Proper Qualities of each limb of Chikitsa Padah
Qualities of the Doctor
- Daksha – Alert, Disciplined
- Shastra – Having detailed knowledge about diseases and treatment
- Drushtakarma – Having practical experience
- Shuchi – Cleanliness
Qualities of the Medicine
- Bahukalpa – Ability to formulate in different dosage forms, like decoction, powder, herbal oil etc.
- Bahuguna – Having Enormous Qualities
- Sampanna – Endowed with Virtues
- Yogya – Suitable and appropriate for specific diseases
Qualities of the Assistant
- Anurakta – Compassion towards Patients
- Shuchi – Cleanliness
- Daksha – Alert, Active
- Budhiman – Intelligent
Qualities of the Patient
- Adya – Rich in spirit and having enough money
- Bhisghagvashya – Complete obedience towards the doctor
- Gyapaka – Good Memory
- Satvavaan – Having good strength to tolerate disease and treatment
Chikitsa Padah: Conclusion
The patient is not the victim of his disease, the doctor is not the savior.
There is no magical miracle formula either allopathic, naturopathic, or otherwise, that will change things. The herb, the pill, the medicine in itself will not be the miracle element that will always work in any condition.
Getting back to health is an holistic process, a conversion to life, a choice that needs to be applied in all fields by the patient, that includes lifestyle, state of mind, diet, etc. It is important that the patient learns how to handle himself with intelligence and nourishment for life.
Health is first and foremost a personal choice.
Such as there is not a single factor leading to disease, there is no single factor leading to recovery.