Ancient Anesthesia

It is a big question for the present day understanding, how the surgeons of ancient India did performed surgery with out Anesthesia. Many theories are put forth. One of such is use of alcohol or the sedative drinks. Of course may be this method is vivid in use, but many other methods are also prevalent is the fact.

I met a friend whose Fore Grand Father is a Physician of 100-120 years back in remote Andhra Pradesh. He shared the few stories of his Grand Parent experiences with me. One out such is mind blowing. He narrated that a pregnant women relatives came to the physician at late night with a complaint of delayed delivery and loosing the patient. The doctor went and examined her. The condition is critical and almost the baby stuck and the lady fainted and over sweating. The physician asked the relatives about the availability of any alcohol beverages. He was provided an Alcohol bottle. The physician took a cloth, soaked it in alcohol and spread it on the abdomen of the lady who is delivering.

After few while the patient recovered conscious, and over sweating is stopped. Physician asked the midwife to pull the baby head out. By giving a small pressure over the lady’s abdomen the baby is out and both mother and child are safe.

The question is how come the anesthetic effect is imposed by the Alcohol? Did the hyper-stretched abdomen allow the alcohol absorption? How the clonus abdominal muscles are relaxed to facilitate the delivery? Whether the submerging in an Alcohol based sedative drugs (Asava / Arista) induce the anesthetic effect?

These questions do require answers through research. Please share your fore parents’ experiences of Ayurveda Ancient Indian Medical Techniques to our readers.

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