procedures in Ayurveda are two
pronged; one is aimed to establish the state and
type of pathology and second to decide the mode of
treatment to be applied. The former implies
examination of the patient and make different
investigations to diagnose the disease entity.
Inspection, palpation, percussion and interrogation
are the main modes of physical examination. The
type of examination is to assess the strength and physical
status of the individual so that accordingly the type of
management required could be planned.
For this examination of Prakriti (Body constitution), Saar
(Tissue quality), Samhnan (physique), Satva (Mental strength),
Satamya (specific adaptability), Aaharshakti (diet intake
capacity), Vyayaam shakti (exercise capacity) and Vaya (age) is
done. On the basis of this examination the individual is decided
to be having Pravar bal (excellent strength), Madhyam Bal
(moderate strength) or Heen Bal (low strength).
OF AYURVEDIC TREATMENT
exist eight divisions of Ayurvedic therapeutics, namely
Kayachikitsa (Internal medicine), Shalya (General Surgery),
Shalkya (Otorhinolaryngology and Opthalmology), Kaumr Bhritya (Paediatrics,
Gynaecology and Obstetrics) Agad tantra (Toxicology), Rasayana (Gerentorology
or Science of Rejuvenation),
Vajikaran (Aphrodisiacs or Study & development of
sexual power & fertility) and
Bhoot Vidya (Psychiatry).
The principles of treatment
(palliative and conservative), Nidan
Parivarjan (avoidance of
causative and prescipitating factors of disease) and Pathya
Vyavastha (do’s and
don’ts regarding diets lifestyle).
therapy includes Vamana (medically induced emesis), Virechana
(medically induced laxation), Vasti (medicated enema),
Shirovirechana (administration of medicines through nose) and
Raktmokshan (Blood letting). These therapeutic procedures are
collectively known as Panchkarma. Before executing Panch karma
treatment Snehan(oleation) and Swedan(getting perspiration)
are to employed first.
Ayurveda & its Medicines
are classified into three types in Ayurvedic literature
Drugs from Herbal source
Drugs from Mineral/ metallic source
Drugs from animal source.
that deals with Herbal ingredients is called DRAVYAGUNA
and science that deals with metals/minerals/and animal sources
is RASA SHASTRA.
is the science, which mentions formulating drugs from various
sources into suitable dosage forms and formulations
of Ayurvedic Medicines
AVALEHA AND PAK: Avaleha
or leha is prepared by repeatedly boiling the decoction or
extract of a drug and condensing it with sugar. This
preparation, which can be taken by licking, is called Avaleha.
VATI: Those drugs, which are derived from plants, are
pulverized initially and added to honey or any other liquid
substances to make pills and tablets.
After mixing, these preparations are either dried
directly under the sun or by indirect heat while keeping them in
open air, in a shade to retain the efficacy of these drugs.
BHASMA : Powder of a substance obtained by calcination is
called Bhasma. The
process of oxidation of the raw material by heat is regulated
raw materials for manufacturing Bhasmas are subjected to test
and analysis before processing.
The 18 processes in Indian Chemistry namely Shodhan,
Maran, Jaran, Tiryakptan, Urdhwapatan, Adhahpatan, Niyaman,
Bodhan, etc. are strictly followed while manufacturing different
preparations under modern conditions.
CHURNA: Churna is a coarse powder made by certain drugs or a
combination of drugs. Ayurvedic medicines derived from plants, are prepared either
in form of powders or decoctions. Before these plants are
subjected to processing they are thoroughly examined by
specialists and proper identification is made.
Each of the ingredients is pulverized separately as the
different ingredients when pulverized together do not pass
through the sieve equally, which affects the composition.
MEDICATED GHRITA : These are the preparations in which ghee
is boiled with prescribed drugs according to the formula.
The medicated Ghritas are more effective than ordinary
Ghritas. In order to prepare Ghrita in accordance with Ayurvedic
system, Ghrita of a particular animal is subjected to several
processes. After which Kwath, milk, etc. are added in proper
proportions and slowly heated under controlled temperature.
GUGGULU: Guggulu denotes exudates obtained from the plant
Commiphora mukul. Preparations having exudates as the main
effective ingredient are known as Guggulu.
In order to purify & obtain the best quality of
Guggulu, it is necessary to pulverize it using at least 1-lakh
strokes. The mixed
ingredients of Guggulu are efficacious in various diseases.
KUPIPAKWA RASAYAN : Kupipakwa Ras is prepared in combination
with Shuddha Parad, Gandhak and other prescribed drugs according
to the Ayurvedic system. Those
Kupipakwa Rasas, which get deposited at the neck of the phila,
are called ‘Urdhwa Laghna’, and those at the bottom are
called ‘Talastha’ Kupipakwa Ras.
Kupipakwa Ras is incorporated with the main ingredient
and remains in a micro-molecular form. When matured with time it
possesses immense potential and is a valuable remedy for chronic
and almost incurable ailments.
LAUH–MANDOOR: These are preparations containing purified
mandoor along with the other drugs.
Their efficacy is enhanced when used separately or mixed
with another preparations thereby promoting sustained action in
PARPATI: It is prepared by mixing purified Mercury with
Sulphur i.e. Kajjali or with other drugs mentioned in the
formula and subjecting it to heat according to Ayurvedic
processing the whole mass takes the shape of a cocktail, which
is indicative of perfection.
Due to the presence of Mercury and Sulphur in
combination, the drug has the efficacy to kill bacteria.
PISHTI: Ingredients prescribed in the texts are ground into
fine particles in a pestle and mortar made of Muguni stone and
titrating it with rose water for 8,14 or 21 days and drying them
at night under the moon or during day time under the sun.
It is therefore, either called ‘ Chandraputit’ or
These adjuncts are used exactly in the same way as
RAS-RASAYAN : Preparations containing mineral drugs as main
ingredients are called Ras Yogas.
Mercury, Sulphur, Vatsanabha, Hingul, Tankan, Alum,
Kuchila, Opium, Dhatura, Sdidhi and Jaypal are fully tested and
purified and a method of manufacture of complete Ras (Tablets )
is established to give more effect in smaller doses.
Upon processing the tablets in finer forms, the
ingredients attain special effectiveness in the treatment of
MEDICATED OIL: Oils are boiled along with the certain drugs
as prescribed in the formula. These oils have properties and efficacy almost same as of the
medicines. It is
used generally for injunction and massage.
The process of preparing medicated oils includes addition
of Kwath, Swaras and Kalka subjecting the mixture in a regulated
PRAVAHI KWATH : Certain drugs or combination of drugs are
made into coarse powder (JAVKUT) and kept for preparation of
powders are called Kwath. Drugs are cleaned and dried and
coarsely powdered, weighed as per formula and mixed well before
ARK : Ark
is a liquid preparation obtained by distillation of certain
liquids or drugs soaked in water using the Arkayantra or any
convenient modern distillation apparatus.
SHODHIT DRAVYA AND SATVA: Satva is the water extractable,
solid substance collected from a drug.
The drug is cut into small pieces, macerated in water and
kept over night then strained through a cloth and solid matter
is allowed to settle. The
supernatant liquid is decanted and Satva washed by repeating the
process of adding water and decanting.
The Satva so sedimented is dried and powdered.
ASAVA AND ARISHTA : Either decoction or water extract is
made from the crude drug to which molasses, honey, sugar and
certain astringents such as Dhatakipushp, Babbul etc. are mixed
for a certain period.
In this condition fermentation takes place and these
original drugs undergo chemical changes and develop into one
drug. Such a preparation is called Arishta.
Asava-Arishta of higher potency is clear liquid with
It is said that the more these Asava-Arishtas become old
the more effective they are in their action.
available in Ayurveda
has effective treatment for diseases of all
systems of the body, of persons of all age groups. There
are special treatment for the diseases of elderly, women
of nervous system, respiratory system, digestive system,
circulatory system, diseases of urinary tract, water
metabolism, disorders of reproductive system, fibril and
infectious diseases, mental disorders and
more illnesses are successfully treated with herb and plant
based Ayurvedic procedures.
authentic Ayurvedic treatment, medicine and facilities are only
available in India. The Southern most state of India Kerala is
known as the 'Heart Land of Ayurveda'. "Panchakrama"
detoxification, and rejuvenation therapy was perfected in Kerala,
the mountains of which, are rich in medicinal herbs. Ayurvedic
medical system is being upgraded all over India now to meet the
needs of present day. Research Institutions and Ayurvedic
Medical Colleges in India are engaged in research and
development, which has resulted in bringing to light the
efficacy of many age-old formulations. New drugs that can cure
killer diseases in a natural way are being formulated.
studies in many parts of India confirm the breakthroughs in this
field, through scientific research studies; Ayurvedic doctors
have unequivocally proved their claims of having cured cancer.
Effective herbal remedies to control diabetes are also
formulated. Ayurveda successfully treats many diseases for
which, modern medicine has no effective cure. Treatment of arthritis
has been perfected by Ayurvedic system, which is sought by many
from all over the world.
of Ayurvedic Procedures
are basically therapeutic measures taken either to prevent
diseases or cure them. Thus Ayurvedic procedures are done either
to detoxify the body or as a prelude to strengthening the immune
system. ‘Panchakarma’ –or 'five procedures', is the most
sought after anti aging, detoxification therapy.
Basic objective of
"Panchakarma" (Five internal detoxification
procedures) is to remove the excessive accumulated toxin, which
causes the vitiation of ‘dosha’ (fault). If any ‘dosha’
is upset due either to environment or dietary factors it is
often difficult to be normalized with diet and drugs alone. In
many cases, diet regulation and drug regime may take too long.
Actual ‘Panchakarma’ procedures are always preceded and
succeeded with specialized procedures. The pre procedures are
called ‘Poorva Karma’ and consist of digestion (Pachana),
oleation (senehan), fomentation (swedan). Thus ‘digestion’
relies on the use of drugs to digest any ‘ama’ (undigested
or unripe substance) that present in digestive system.
‘Sneham’ consists of administration of ghee, oil, or bone
marrow over a period of days. Usually the vitiated ‘toxins’
tends to accumulate in the gut. This then gets absorbed with
food and blocks the channels of tissues. The ghee eaten in
measured quantities during oleation eranters it and helps to
open the channels. Swedan is giving hot fomentation, which gives
a feeling of well-being. Hot fomentation opens up the channels
to tissues, which already has been worked on by oleation.
Then follows the ‘clean up’ (Shodhan) procedures, which are
of five types known as ‘Panchakarma’. If used as therapeutic
measure they can be done at any time of the year, i.e., at the
time of disease occurs. If one uses it as a preventive measure,
it should be used at the appropriate time for each ‘dosha’.
There are five procedures in ‘Panchakarma’ therapy. These
are 1) Forced vomiting (Vaman) 2) Purging (Virechan) 3) Medical
enema (Vasti) 4) Nasal administration of substances (Nasya) and
5) Blood letting (Raktomokshana).
IN Panchakarma Therapy
(Vaman) is intended to the removal of
‘Kapha Dosha’. It is not to be adopted for
only but necessarily in case of "Kapha’s"
conjunction with one or both ‘doshas’. Vaman
essential in the case of food poisoning or
of poisoning. Vaman employs certain emetic drugs
that induce a severe spell of vomiting to clean
upper gut. Bronchial Asthma is prevented by
periodically inducing ‘Vaman’.
Purging is a
purifactory treatment as important as emesis or vomiting.
‘Verachan’ concentrates on the lower part of the gut and
uses purgatives to clean the bowel. This procedure helps get rid
of all three doshas, though Pitta and Kapha benefit the most.
To cure piles, boils,
discoloration of face, jaundice, chronic fever, spleen
enlargement cataract, intestinal disorders, ailments of the
womb, arthritis, hemorrhoids, constipation, diabetes, skin
diseases, tumors, asthma cough, ailments in the head and many
other diseases in the Ayurvedic way, purging is essential.
The classical Text ‘Ashtanga Hridaya’ says, "A purge
properly carried out leads to clarity of intellect, power to the
organs, elemental stability and glow to digestive fire and it
Medical enema ‘Vasti’ predominates in the five course of
treatment (Panchakarma). This is prescribed for ‘Vata’
dominated patients and helps to overcome all diseases, revives
vital force, and rejuvenates body. The rectal lining is very
permeable and the drug reaches the circulation directly without
passing through liver. Ayurveda offers ‘Vasti’ as a therapy
for several indications. These are digestive, evacuative,
rejuvenative and health primitive ‘Vastis’. In general
‘Vastis’ tackle ‘Vata dosha’ the best way. The fluid for
‘Vasti’ is either medicinal decoction or herbal oil to suit
the ailment. ‘Vasti’ for the head gives extraordinary relief
for all ailments connected with ‘vata’ in the head, ear
ache, humming in the ear, deafness, numbness of the head and all
ailments based on the cranial nerves. This procedure is usually
done for 7 days.
(Nasal administration of substances) is essential for almost all
the ailments above the neck. This is effective for many diseases
like facial paralysis. ‘
'Nasya’ is of three types, purgative, nourishing and
palliative. For each ailment a substance that gives
desirable result, is to be selected. By this procedure
shoulders, neck and face will become firm, the skin soft.
All organs become firm and hair will not gray.
Blood letting (Raktamochana) is a therapy advised by Ayurveda to
treat heart conditions and varicose veins. Ayurveda advocates
the use of Leeches applied ever-alternate day to reduce venomous
digestive fire is low after the ‘Panchakarma’. So the diet
first should be liquid followed by solids.
& Skin and Hair Care
emphasis the all-important value of good diet as it creates good quality nourishment. (Rasa) which
will nourish blood (Rakta) and subsequently
Ayurveda says that skin diseases occur primarily
sluggish liver function, which leads to
‘Pitta’ and ‘Kapha’
dosha dysfunction. Another vital factor that
healthy appearance is the clean bowel. Hence there
need for regular and complete bowel evacuation.
hair is the metabolic end product of bone and marrow. Thus if
the diet falls short of nourishing bones, the quantity of hair
is affected. Similarly stress and worry leads to unhealthy hair.
Wholesome diet is necessary for good skin and hair.
Ayurvedic skin and hair care products are formulated with this
fact in view.
Rasayana (Immuno-modular) of Ayurveda
mentions rasayana for every organ in the body like –
Chakshushya Rasayana (Rejuvenator for Eyes): Take this safe medicine
daily, avoid premature vision disturbance , delay wearing lenses
Twak Rasayana ( Rejuvenator for Skin) : Take this daily, avoid
wrinkles, dry skin, pimples etc.,
Medhya Rasayana (Rejuvenator for Brain) : Take this daily ,delay
or prevent memory
health consciousness is increasing every individual intends to
keep fit for longer duration, many more Rasayanas are mentioned
in ayurvedic texts. Ashavgandha (Withania somnifera), Guduchi (Tinospora
cordifolia), Amla (Emblica officinalis), Haritaki (Terminalia
chebula), Shilajeet (Black bitumen or Mineral pitch), Suvarna
Bhasma (incinerated Gold with herbal excipients) are very potent
Rasayana medicines, prescribed judiciously in somatic
degenerative disease conditions for immuno-modulation and and
(Bacopa Monieri), Mulethi (Glycirrhiza glabra), Guduchi (Tinospora
cordifolia) and Shankhapushpi (Convolvulus Plenricaulis) are the
main Psycho modular Rasayanas used extensively in mental
disorders and for improving higher mental functions like
concentration, retention and memory, Vijaysara (Pterocaspus
marsupium) for Diabetes Mellitus, Katuka (Picrosshiza kurco) for
liver disorders Vidang (Abies Webiana) for Hoelminthic induced
Gasto intestinal problem, Bakuchi (Psorylia Corylifolia) for
Leucoderma, Bhallatak (Semecarpur anacardium) for piles and
autoimmune disorders, Shirees (Albizzia Lebek) for allergic
conditions, Vacha (Acorus clamus) for speech disorders, haldi
(Curcuma Longa) for urinary, allergic and septic problems, Neem
(Melia Azadiracta) and Khadir (Acacia Catechu) for skin problems
and Chirayata (swertia chirayata) for febrile disorders are some
of the other Rasayanas for therapeutic use.
from the above-mentioned medicines there is an elaborate code of
conduct described in the classical text for achieving
rejuvenation and maintaining youthfulness.
information sources are primary and secondary data from CCRAS,
CCIM, ICMR, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare-India and
various research and pharmaceuticals organizations]