Have not you ever wondered how Ayurveda medicines are made? Ayurveda explains three basic mandatory keys; medicine or aushadha is one among them. These medicines are made in sophisticated kitchens. Ashtanga sangraha is a book penned by a divine soul named Acharya Vagbhata.
In his textbook, he explained the ideal qualities of a kitchen as
- Elevated, equipped with storage facility for firewoods
- In the ideal direction and place
- Workers in the kitchen are properly monitored.
- With big doors
- Workers should be credible.
- Securities in each door
- Each room should be well separated
- Extended well
- Equipped with a clean vessel
- Supplied with clean water, sufficient fuel, etc.
Understand how Ayurveda medicines are prepared
For the preparation of Ayurvedic medicine basic understanding of all the above qualities is important. Do you know how Ayurveda medicines are prepared? What are the ingredients? How to identify them? Collecting methods?
Lolimba raja once said your food is thy medicine and vice-versa. In the olden days, medicine preparations were by using locally available herbs, the herbs were known by everyone. Usually, the herbs are mixed with Dry ginger, Nutgrass; Turmeric, Cumin, Fennel, Asafetida, and many other herbs according to the condition and these all are available in every kitchen too. Wise usage of all such spices and herbs can be handy in your day-to-day practice.
There was a practice in Kerala in south India where the raw materials of hingwashtaka churna were used to collect, dry, and powdered in the kitchen. This was then administered along with the food to the children. The practice continued to avoid any common stomach distress among children. And we have to understand that Ayurveda is at your doorstep and we must not wait to welcome it wholeheartedly.
Ayurvedic medicines are known for their customization. Usually, the combinations of the herbs are personalized according to the condition of the patient and disease. For example, Garlic if opted for a rejuvenating purpose; not to be advised in summer or people with aggravated Pitta. Each Ayurvedic medicine is thus handpicked for each individual and condition. How beautiful it is; are not they?
The branch of Ayurveda that deals with medicinal preparation is Bhaishajya Kalpana. It formed from two words – bheshaja (medicine) and Kalpana (preparation. Ayurvedic medicine should possess four good qualities
- Should be able to make varieties of formulations
- Broad spectrum
- Should be collected from the ideal place, ideal day, ideal time, ideally processed, etc factors.
- Able to cure a disease after considering disease etc factors.
Basic classification of Ayurvedic medicine
- Swarasa – Herbal juices
- Kalka – Herbal pastes
- Shruta – Herbal decoction; also known as Kashaya.
- Sheeta – Cold infusions
- Phanta – Hot Infusions
Herbal juice with or without adding water as per the herb used. In swarasa – this form is heavy to digest, so administration in the right quantity is required! This is done by a wise physician.
An herbal paste is made by grinding it fine with a mortar and pestle; water can be sprinkled over to make a fine paste.
Dried herbal drugs are commonly used to prepare Kashaya. Drugs are taken and 16 parts of water is added and reduced to 1/8th for the usage.
Dried herbs are kept in hot water; mixed well and filtered the next day is known as Sheetha. As the name suggests it is cold in nature also known as Sheetha kashaya.
Dried herbs are kept in hot water; mixed well and filtered known as Phanta.
Apart from the above basic classifications, there are:
- Churna (Powders),
- Gutika (tablets),
- Rasa (soups),
- Kshira Paka(milk decoctions),
- takra Kalpa(Buttermilk based preparations),
- Panaka (Juices),
- Mantha (Juices obtained by churning ),
- Arka (Distilled forms),
- Rasakriya (Solidified decoctions ),
- Guda (sugar- jaggery based preparation ),
- Avaleha (Jam like preparations ) and many others.
Come let’s learn together. This was just the beginning.
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