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Madhavkar


Madhavkar (c 7th-8th century AD) Sanskrit scholar and author of Ayurvedic treatises, son of Indukar, also a scholar. Although his ethnic identity is debatable, most people believe he was a Bengali. His book Rugvinishchay was widely studied in Bengal and many Bangla words were used in his book Paryayaratnamala.

Madhav wrote a number of books on medicine, which played a major role in medical studies in ancient Bengal. The most notable of his books is Rugvinischay, also known as Gadavinishchay or Nidan. Its subject was the diagnosis of diseases, not their treatment. Its use extended beyond the borders of Bengal. People used to study the book even in Kashmir, and a number of commentaries were written on it outside Bengal. Some time between the late eighth and early ninth century the book was translated into Arabic.

Madhav wrote several other books, including Chikitsa, which contains discussions on medical treatment, Kutmudgar, which deals with healthy and unhealthy foods, Rasakaumudi, which discusses treatment of different diseases and selection of medicines, and Paryayaratnamala, which is on Ayurvedic terminology. A number of other books such as Drabyagun, Ayurvedrasashastra, Bhavsvabhav, Mugdhabodh etc are also ascribed' to him. [Dulal Bhowmik]