Blood circulation

Alok Kumar kumar at OSWEGO.EDU
Mon Jul 5 19:57:26 UTC 1999

In my notes, I have the following quotation from Susruta:  "blood . . .
running through the whole organism, has its primary seat in the heart,
whence it flows through the twenty-four vessels which branch off from the
heart to the remotest parts and extremeties of the body . . . flowing out
of heart, constantly soothes, maintains, and irrigates by transudation the
body, and further contributes to its growth,  and supports life owing to
the dynamical effects of causes which lie beyond the ken of human
understanding . . ." (From Susruta Samhita, sutrasthana, 14: 19-20)  If
this is correct, it is easy to assume that the Hindus knew about the blood
circulation much before Harvey.  I do not have a copy of Susruta Samhita
to check the validity of the above quotation.  When did Susruta write this

It is possible that Harvey discovered the fact independently unless we
have documents to support otherwise.

Alok Kumar
Department of Physics
State University of New York
Oswego, NY 13126.

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