(Last Updated on : 24/06/2016)
In the ancient text Charaka Samhita
, various forms of medicines
have been described by Charaka. According to Charaka, the different forms of medicines are as follows:
or powders are prepared by pounding dry substances in a mortar with a pestle and passing the powder through cloth.
or expressed juice is prepared by pounding fresh vegetables
in a mortar, expressing the juice and straining it through cloth.
or paste is prepared by grinding dry or fresh vegetable substances on a stone with a muller, and then making a thin paste, with the addition of water when necessary.
or decoctions are prepared by boiling 1 part of vegetable substances with 16 parts of water till the latter is reduced to one-fourth. The medicines should first be pounded small and then boiled over a slow fire. The decoction is then strained through cloth. When decoctions are prepared with dry substances, 8 parts of water are recommended to be used. Decoctions are administered with the addition of salt
, honey, sugar, treacle, alkalies, ghee
, oil or some medicinal powders.
or infusions are prepared by steeping 1 part of powdered herbs in 8 parts of hot water, for 12 hours during the night. They are administered in the same way as decoctions.
or cold infusion is prepared by steeping 1 part of a drug in 6 of water for the night and straining the fluid in the morning.
is a weak form of decoction prepared by boiling 1 part of medicinal substances in 32 of water till the latter is reduced to one-half. This preparation is usually taken ad libitum for appeasing thirst or some such object.
is a sort of decoction in which the medicines are first reduced to a pulp and then boiled in 8 parts of water till the latter is reduced to one-fourth. It is administered with the addition of honey.
is an emulsion of medicines in fine powder with four parts of cold water.
is a decoction in milk
. The proportions in this preparation are 1 part of medicine, 8 of milk and 32 of water. The materials are boiled together, till the water is evaporated and the milk alone remains. The decoction is then strained.
is a preparation where medicines are added to powdered rice
, barley, etc. and boiled with water into a gruel which is taken as aliment. The proportion of water in this preparation is 6 to 1 of solid materials. This preparation is called Kvatha-Sadhya-Yavagu
or gruel made with a decoction of medicines.
are extracts. To prepare it, decoctions, after being strained, are again boiled down to the consistence of a thick extract. This extract, when properly made, does not readily dissolve in water. Extracts are administered with the addition of sugar, decoctions or powders.
are pills and boluses respectively. These are usually prepared by reducing a decoction of vegetable substances to a thick consistence and then adding some powders for making a pill-mass. Sometimes pill-masses are made of powdered medicines with the addition of treacle or honey.
are boluses prepared by adding powders to cold syrup and stirring them together till uniformly mixed. No boiling is required in this preparation.
are confections made by adding to syrup medicines in fine powder and stirring them over the fire till intimately mixed and reduced to proper consistence. Honey is often subsequently added to confections.
are maceration of powders in fluids. Powders, and especially mineral substances, are often soaked in various fluids, such as expressed juice of herbs
, decoctions, etc. and then dried. A single operation of this sort is completed in 24 hours, but the process is generally repeated from 3 to 7 times.
is roasting. In this process vegetable drugs are reduced to a paste which is wrapped up in jamvu
(leaves of Eugenia Jambolona
and Ficus Bengalensis
), firmly tied, covered with a layer of clay and roasted in cow-dung fire. When the layer of clay assumes a brick-red colour on the surface, the roasting is known to be completed. The ball should now be withdrawn from the fire and broken, and the juice of the roasted drug expressed and administered, with the addition of honey or such other adjuncts as may be directed. Sometimes the roasted drug itself is given in the form of a powder or pill.
are products of acetous fermentation.
is a sour liquid produced from the acetous fermentation of powdered paddy. It is cooling, refrigerant, and useful as a drink in fever, burning of the body, etc. It is sometimes applied externally upon the principle of wet-sheet packing, cloth steeped in the fluid being wrapped around the body for relief of high fever
and heat of body. It is also used as a vehicle for other medicines and for preparing decoctions, oils etc.
is a sour gruel made from fermentation of boiled rice. The properties of this preparation is regarded as cooling, refrigerant, diuretic, and useful in nervous diseases, rheumatism, dyspepsia
, urinary diseases
, intoxication from spirituous drinks, etc.
are distilled mineral acids. A number of mineral substances or salts are heated in a retort and the distilled fluid collected in a glass receiver.
are medicated spirituous liquors. These are prepared from honey and treacle, with the addition of various medicinal substances. They are all steeped in water and laid aside in earthen jars for vinous fermentation. When raw vegetables are used for fermentation, the resulting fluid is called Asava
. When the decoction of drugs only is added, the fermented liquor is called Arishta
are Medicated oils. These are decoctions of vegetable drugs in oil or Ghrita (clarified butter) and form a prominent feature of native practice. They are prepared in great varieties and are extensively used in almost all sorts of diseases. The ghritas are chiefly used internally, and the oils are rubbed on the body.
Traditional Indian Medicines
History of Ayurveda
Origin of Ayurveda
Principles Of Ayurveda
Elements of Ayurveda
Concepts of Ayurveda
Ancient Literature of Ayurveda