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Concept of Upashaya—A Multifactorial Diagnostic Tool in Ayurveda

Samata Tomar, Pravin Jawanjal


Ayurvedic approach of diagnosing any disease is a complex process in which various factors are to be understood. Treatment and diagnosis begins with RogaPareeksha (ailment examination) and Rogi Pareeksha (patient examination). Once these two concepts are clear, Vyadhi Vinishchaya and vyavaccheda (Differential diagnosis) will be perfect. This facilitates the Vaidya to make a wise choice of drugs and appropriate Chikitsa (treatment). Out of numerous ways of diagnosis in Ayurveda, one of them is Nidanpanchaka. Nidana (aetiology), Purvaroopa (early signs and symptoms), Roopa (cardinal features), Upashaya (symptomatic treatment) and Samprapti (pathogenesis) are the Nidanpanchak (The five entities of Roga Pareeksha). It is one of the imperative and practical method to make a diagnosis of diseases, its causes and future prospects. Aims and Objectives: To review the concept of Upashaya—one of the diagnostic methods in Ayurveda. Materials and Methodology: All the basic texts of Ayurveda been reviewed and data related to Upashaya are presented to understand the concept in simple language. Discussion: When Vaidya had doubtful diagnosis of a disease after thorough examination, he will carry out symptomatic first hand simple therapy, result of which will clarify his ambiguity in diagnosis. For example, pain in the Janu Sandhi may raise the doubt in the physician regarding its diagnosis as Amavata or Sandhivata. The Sthanika Taila Prayoga (local oil application) as Upashaya (decrease in symptoms of pain) will result in clarity of diagnosis of Sandhivata otherwise can be concluded as Amavata. Hence Upashaya (Pathya-beneficial) and Anupashaya (Apathya—harmful) are the diagnostic tools in Vyadhi Vinishchaya. This creates a clearly outlined path for the way of thinking that Ahar (food), Vihara (regimen) and Aushadha (medicine) which mitigates the Lakshanas (symptoms) of any Vyadhi are well thought-out as Upashaya and those which aggravate or worsen are considered as Anupashaya. Conclusion: This concept can be practically applied to advice the Rogi about Pathya (Do’s) and Apathya (Dont’s) in the specific disease and it also helps to diagnose the disease beyond doubt. Hence a knowledge of Upashaya (Rogasatmya/Pathya) and Anupashaya (Rogaasaatmya/Apathya) is essential in Chikitsa.

Keywords: Ayurveda, Anupashaya, Upashaya, Nidanpanchaka

Cite this Article
Tomar S, Jawanjal PM. Concept of Upashaya—A Multifactorial Diagnostic Tool in Ayurveda. Journal of AYUSH: Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy. 2019; 8(2): 13–18p.

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