An annotated translation of chapter 7 of the Carakasamhita Citiksasthana : leprosy and other skin disorders
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The Carakasaṃhitā is an early Sanskrit text in the field of āyurvedic medicine. The Cikitsāsthāna is a section of that text dealing with treatments of various maladies, and Chapter 7 of this section discusses skin diseases. Most of the chapter describes symptoms and treatments for a disease which is called kuṣṭha in Sanskrit, and a smaller section is concerned with the diseases of kilaśa and śvitra. An attempt will be made, through the translation and interpretation of the chapter’s 180 verses (ślokas) and their commentaries, to provide definitions of these terms, and to explore their relationship to the disease of leprosy. A discussion of different conceptualizations of leprosy in various cultures and time-periods will also be presented.