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AAM. 2013; 2(3): 104-108

Rajanighantu– An important lexicon of pre-Bhavaprakasha era

Nishteswar Karra.


Charakasamhita and other Ayurvedic classics have documented useful information for treating various ailments. With the passage of
time, the scholars of Ayurveda produced several works giving preference to easily adoptable simple herbal recipes. Since herbs occupy the
important place, the writers started compiling lexicons with the details about drugs in terms of synonyms, pharmacological attributes and
therapeutic indications. Out of all the Nighantus (lexicons), Dhanvantarinighantu, Bhavaprakashanighantu and Rajanighantu have
become popular among Ayurvedic practitioners. Rajanighantu which is also referred as Nighanturaj (king of lexicons) has commanded a
greater recognition as the first Nighantu which has included vernacular name of different herbs. Acharya Priyavrat Sharma opines that
Rajanighantu belongs to 17th century since it contains description of Jhandu (Marigold flower) which has entered into India at the end
of 16th century AD. Since Rajanighantu quotes Madanapalanighantu (1374 AD), and included the descriptions of Peetakaraveera
already mentioned in Kayyadevanighantu (1425 AD) and the work was translated into English by Filippo sassetti (1540-1588), a Florentine
merchant, lived in Goa, the period of Rajanighantu may be considered at the end of Rajanighantu may be considered at the end of 15th

Key words: Ayurvedic lexicon, Rajanighantu, Bhavaprakashnighantu

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