Article by Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay) and Dr Manasa B.A.M.S
In Ayurveda, we come across a group of diseases which have been classified as Kshudra Rogas.
Kshudra means small or minor or negligible. Roga means disease.
Therefore Kshudra Roga means ‘Minor Diseases’ or Diseases of negligible manifestation’ or ‘Diseases which are not difficult to handle’.
What are Kshudra Rogas?
The term Kshudra Roga has many meanings. Below mentioned are different dimensions of understanding the term Kshudra Rogas.
Diseases which have been explained in brief –
Kshudr Rog might mean ‘diseases which have been explained in brief, not going into the depth’.
This is in comparison to the other diseases like Visarpa, Jwara etc which have been dealt in detail. The Doshas, Dushyas (tissues) etc involved in these diseases, their pathogenesis, premonitory symptoms, symptoms, prognosis etc haven’t been covered with respect to these diseases, as covered in other diseases. We can find a brief discussion of these diseases, in a paragraph or two.
Diseases which have been covered as ‘left outs’ –
It is believed that all those diseases whose mention or description has not been done in any other context have been included under the topic ‘Kshudra Rogas’.
Just a nomenclature –
Kshudra Roga might just be a nomenclature of all diseases included under this category and there might just not be any reason or logic behind naming them so.
Diseases caused by lesser factors, having lesser symptoms and need less or no treatment –
All those diseases which manifest due to few causative factors, present with very few signs and symptoms and which get subsided with little treatment or least medicines have been classified under Kshudra Rogas.
There are a few diseases like Agnirohini which are big in nature, in terms of causes, symptoms and treatment approach; they are not small or negligible enough to be included under Kshudra Rogas.
But one or 2 diseases of this magnitude being included in the big group of kshudra or negligible diseases is welcome according to the rule of Vyapadesha i.e. specificity among common things.
Diseases which are either dreadful or despicable –
The term Kshudra means ‘dreadful’ and also ‘unworthy, vile, worthless, wretched, offensive, despicable’. While diseases like Agnirohini can be learnt in the meaning of dreadful, diseases like Palita (grey hairs) etc can be understood as having offensive or despicable nature (Just like the offensive people keep irritating you at all time, these diseases too will hang on to you and keep bothering you, never go attitude).
Diseases occurring in children and infants –
Some people define Kshudra Roga as ‘
Kshudraanaam baalaanaam rogaaha’
i.e. Kshudra means bala (children, infants), therefore the diseases occurring in them are called Kshudra Rogas. But this concept is wrong because there are only a couple of pediatric disorders enlisted among the Kshudra Rogas. Also we have a separate branch called Bala Roga under which the diseases of children are explained. Therefore it makes no sense in equating Kshudra Rogas with Bala Rogas.
Overall it just seems to be a title under which many diseases have been included. It makes no sense in creating confusions around the term.
Reference, number and types
Reference of Kshudra Rogas:
Charaka has not explained any chapter in the name of ‘Kshudra Roga’. Though he has explained some diseases included under this category scattered among various contexts (not explained in a single context), he hasn’t named them as ‘Kshudra’.
Sushruta and Vagbhata have clearly mentioned the Kshudra Rogas and have defined and explained them in the mentioned context.
Number and types of Kshudra Rogas
According to Sushruta, Kshudra Rogas are 44 in number and According to Vagbhata they are 36 in number. Madhava Nidana has explained 43 Kshudra Rogas.
Difference in references
Difference between names mentioned by Sushruta, Vagbhata and Madhavakara and the contexts in which they are explained
Vagbhata has explained some diseases mentioned by Sushruta with different name. Example Vagbhata has named Indravidda (Sushruta) as Vidda, Andhalaji (Sushruta) as Alaji, Mashaka (Sushruta) as Masha, Nyachcha (Sushruta) as Lochchana.
Vagbhata has included Indralupta, Palita, Darunaka and Arumshika (said by Sushruta) in Shiro Roga Adhyaya (chapter dealing with diseases occurring in the head) because all these diseases occur in the head.
Vagbhata has included Parivartika, Avapaatika and Niruddhaprakasha (said by Sushruta) in Guhya Roga Adhyaya (chapter dealing with diseases occurring in genital region)
Vagbhata has included Ahiputana (said by Sushruta) under Balamaya (section dealing with diseases occurring in children and infants, paediatrics)
Vagbhata has not mentioned Anushayi, Rakasa, Padadarika, Vrushana kachchu and Gudabhramsha (explained by Sushruta).
Vagbhata has mentioned Gardami, Gandhanama, Rajika, Prasupti, Irivellika, Utkotha and Kotha in addition to those explained by Sushruta in the context of Kshudra Rogas
Sushruta has mentioned Pama and Vicharchika under both Kshudra Rogas and also Kushta (skin diseases) but both Vagbhata and Madhavakara have included these 2 conditions exclusively under Kushta.
Madhavakara has explained Masurika and Visphota (explained briefly by Sushruta and Vagbhata in the context of Kshudra Rogas) as independent chapters and has presented them as major diseases. Similarly Madhavakara has given independent status for Utkotha and Kotha (explained by Vagbhata under Kshudra Roga).
Madhavakara has not mentioned Rakasaa (explained by Sushruta) and Rajika and Prasupti (explained by Vagbhata). He has included Neelika and Varaahadamshtra in excess.
samAsena catuH catvAriMzat kSudra rogA bhavanti|(su.ni.13)
Sushruta tells ‘Roughly there are 44 Kshudra Rogas’. This means to tell that there are some more diseases which could be included under Kshudra Rogas (which due to very negligible nature have not been included or counted). This also gives us an idea that Kshudra Rogas are explained for ‘general understanding of diseases of feeble nature’.
Kshudra Roga, Symptoms
Names of Kshudra Rogas, Symptoms
Ajagallika – Eruptions or blisters occurring in children
Yavaprakhya – Blisters or eruption of the shape of barley occurring in muscles
Andhalaji / Antralaji – Big sized elevated blisters or eruptions
Vivrutaa – Broad eruptions with burning sensation
Kachchapika – Hard elevated area with eruptions resembling shell of tortoise
Valmeeka – Cystic swelling having the shape of anthill appearing over neck, armpit, hands, foot and joints
Indraviddha / Indravruddha – Eruption appearing in the shape of lotus bud
Panasika – Painful blisters appearing inside the ear or over the ears
Pashana Gardhaba – Hard swelling occurring in the joint of the lower jaw (temporo-mandibular joint)
Jalagardabha – Suppurated swelling spreading like herpes
Kaksha – Black painful eruptions occurring in axilla (armpit)
Visphotaka – Blisters or eruptions appearing in the form of fire burns
Agnirohini – Eruption occurring in armpit with severe burning sensation
Chippa – Painful swelling of nail bed
Kunakha – Drying and blackish discoloration of nails
Anushayee – Deep rooted suppurating eruptions
Vidaarikaa – Red eruption occurring in armpit and groin, shape of Vidari (Pueraria tuberosa)
Sharkararbuda – small cysts appearing in the muscles, blood vessels and ligaments, which break open and discharge secretions
Pama – Scabies, itching in the groins or inguinal folds (folds between thighs, hands etc)
Vicharchika – multiple eruptions with oozing and discoloration
Rakasa – skin disease
Padadari – Cracks appearing in the foot
Kadara – Painful hard swelling appears in the sole of the foot
Alasa – Discharges with itching and pain occurring in between the toes
Khalitya (Indralupta, Rujya) – Hair fall (which doesn’t grow back)
Darunaka – Hard eruptions over the scalp with itching and dryness
Arumshika – small, oozing blisters occurring over the scalp and face
Palita – Greying of hairs
Read related: 7 Curry Leaves Remedies For Grey Hairs, Motion Sickness, Obesity
Masurika – Reddish-yellow eruptions occurring all over the body and in the throat
Mukha dushika (Yuvana Pidika) – Eruptions on the face of teenagers
Padminikantaka – Round elevated swelling with thorny eruptions similar to the thorns of Lotus plant
Jatumani – Small painless black colored swelling over the surface of the skin present right from the birth
Mashaka – Painless, hard, elevated mole
Tilakalaka – Black colored, sesame shaped spots
Nyachcha – White or grey colored spots
Charmakeela – skin warts
Read related: Warts: Ayurvedic Treatment, Remedies, Prevention Tips
Vyanga – Painless small, grey colored circular patch
Neelika – Painless small, black colored circular patch
Parivartika – Rolling back of the foreskin of penis over the glans, causing pain and suppuration, caused due to masturbation etc practices
Avapaatikaa – Cracks appearing over the foreskin of the penis
Niruddhaprakasha – Total closure of the glans penis by foreskin, blocking the free passage of urine
Sanniruddha Guda – Narrowing of anal passage causing difficulty to void faeces
Ahipootana – Small eruptions occurring in the anal region along with itching and discharges, caused due to lack of cleanliness
Vrushana Kachchu – Itching of scrotum
Gudabramsha – Prolapse of anus
Just Before Finishing
Among these Kshudra Rogas many conditions can also manifest in a severe way. In that condition it would be called as Roga or a major disease. This also means that the same condition when feebly manifested may be called as Kshudra Roga and when its severity is more it is a major disease. The treatment approach also would be according to the nature and severity of manifestation of these conditions. Many other conditions would just manifest as simple conditions and go away with small treatment strategies. The wisdom of the physician who has a comprehensive knowledge of diseases in various stages and severity would handle these conditions in an effective way. The concept of Kshudra Roga also gives an account of the extensive knowledge of the ancient ayurvedic teachers regarding these minor diseases!!
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