ALCOHOL: A POTENT ANCIENT ANESTHETIC
Keywords:Tikshna Madhya, alcohol, anesthetics, ancient surgery
Surgery was a painful and dangerous business at the start of the 19th century. There were no anesthetics so few operations were carried out. In surgical operations, pain would be intolerable if not controlled. Throughout history, there have been numerous attempts at controlling and eliminating pain. The Chinese developed acupuncture. The Greeks and Romans used alcohol to not only cleanse the body; they also encouraged the patient to drink the alcohol to the point of oblivion. To alleviation of the pain the stage of analgesia was achieved by the administration of Tikshna Madhya [Alcoholic preparation] only as Sushruta has advised. For overcome the overdose of the Alcohol preparation and other complications like blood loss, electrolyte imbalance etc. Sushruta had advised preoperative food administration. Basically Sushruta is the pioneer of surgery he taken care of all the aspects of surgery, one of them preoperative Alcohol, more or less anesthetic, administration is the important principle and is adequately mentioned. According to the study of its properties, absorption, metabolism, elimination and effect, alcohol is found to be a potent anesthetic of those days.
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