Sri Lankan Ayurveda

james mallinson jim at KHECARI.COM
Mon Sep 14 15:33:20 UTC 2009

Dear Indology List members,

After reading Dominik's fine essay I followed up his reference to  
Vaidya Bhagwan Dash's Fundamentals of Ayurvedic Medicine (Delhi:  
Bansal and Co. 1980), which has a chapter (pp.141-157) entitled  
"Cannabis in Ancient Medical Texts". It includes a list of 51  
formulations containing cannabis which have been described in a dozen  
ayurvedic works. One of the 11 varieties of modaka ("formulations used  
in round bollus form") is madana modaka (p.155). Unfortunately Dash  
does not say which texts contain details of which formulations.

Yours, with best wishes,

Jim Mallinson

On 17 Aug 2009, at 23:56, Dominik Wujastyk wrote:

> No, I'm afraid I haven't heard of Modana modaka.  Wouldn't that just  
> be a sweet?  What is the evidence for it being cannabis or an  
> opiate?  (Very different substances?) Are the effects described,  
> especially heightened appetite?  Is the plant described?  Are the  
> distinct male and female plants of cannabis distinguished (as in the  
> Anandakanda, for instance).
> -- 
> Dr Dominik Wujastyk
> International Institute of Asian Studies
> long term email address: wujastyk at
> On Sun, 16 Aug 2009, Osto, Douglas wrote:
>> Thank you and others for your references to Sri Lankan Ayurveda. In  
>> reference to your above mentioned article, I have come across a  
>> herbal medicine mentioned in Sri Lankan Ayurveda called "Modana  
>> Modaka". Have you heard of this? I suspected that it might be  
>> either cannabis or some opiate.
>> d.o.
>> Dr. Douglas Osto
>> Religious Studies and Philosophy Programmes
>> School of History, Philosophy and Classics
>> Massey University
>> Private Bag 11 222
>> Palmerston North
>> New Zealand
>> ph: +64 6 356 9099 ex. 7608

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list