Malahara kalpana: Ayurvedic Ointment Preparation

Article by Prof. MS Krishnamurthy.
Malahara kalpana comes under Bahya kalpana (external application). Malahara’s are ointment preparation. The word Malahara was adapted by Yograratnakara from the word Malaham or Marham are basically originated from Unani system of medicine. 

This is called as Malahara because it removes Mala (Residue etc) from Vrana, Vidhradi, Twakvikara etc.conditions.

This is similar to ointents (unguentum) in modern pharmaceutics. Among Guggulu, Rala (Sarjarasa) Sikta ( Madhucista -bees-wax ) Tilataila, Sikta taila, Menthol, Thaimol, Satadhauta ghrita, Sahasra dhauta ghrita, Gandha Phiroja etc.

Any one or more than one are to be taken as a base and fine powder from of Kajjali, Sodhita parada, Sodhita Gandhaka, Sindhura, Karpura, Tutha, Mrddarasrnga, Spatika, Tankana, Yashada Pushpa etc. medicinal drugs are mixed uniformly in above mentioned base.

Method of preparation

Method of Preparation of Malahara: 
I. Method-1
The base of the Malahara kalpana is prepared by melting 1 part of Bees-wax and 2-6 parts of coconut or sesame oil. If any physical impurities are seen in the wax, it should by filter through a cloth.

bee wax
bee wax

To this as per the formulation, add the fine powder of various ingredients and mix well .The fine powder may be of Tankana /Gandhaka /Kajjali /Mrddarasrnga/Gairika/Girisindura/Manasila/Haratala/Karpura/ Pudinarka etc.
Thus prepared ointment must be preserved in a wide mouthed plastic or glass container having tight fitting corks.

II. Method-2
Malahara kalpana also can be prepared by triturating method with the help of ointment Slab and Spatula by following manner.
Here in this method medical drugs and little Quantity of base is added. Trituration is continued till they get mixed uniformly.


Sinduradi Malahara

I. Sinduradi Malahara (Pharmacopoeia of Hospital of Indian Medicine Madras)
Sindura (Naga Sindura) – 96 gms
Rasa Sindura – 48 gms
Rasa Karpura – 48 gms
Maddara Sringa – 96 gms
Bee wax – 96 gms
Coconut oil – 96 gms

Materials required:- Vessel, Cloth, Khalva yanthra. Lohapatra, ladle etc.
Method of preparation: Madhucista (Beeswax) is melted in coconut oil and filtered through a cloth, when this mixture is slightly warm add the fine powder of other ingredients mix well and filled into a wide mouthed container.
Indications: Vicharchika, Vipadika, Dustavrana.

Gandhakadya Malahara

II .Gandakadya Malahara:
Materials required:- Vessel, Cloth, Khalva yanthra, Lohapatra, ladle etc.

Reference: Rasa Tarangini 8/63-65

Girisindura Naga Sindura – ½ pala
Clean and pure Bee’s wax – 6 tola
Gandhaka – ½ tola
Tankana – 2 masha
Ghansara ( Karpura) – 2 masha
Coconut oil – 12 tola

Method of preparation: 
To the prepared pure Siktha taila (Bee’s wax) 6 parts + 12 parts coconut oil fine powder of other ingredients such as sulphur, Lead sulphide, Borax and Camphor should be added mixed well and started in wide mouthed air tight plastic or glass containers.
Indication:- Pama (Scabies) of severe degree.

Sarja Rasa Malahara

III. Sarja Rasa Malahara (Rala Malahara) (Rasatantra sara or Sindha prayoga sangraha pradhama. Pre. Sa 841)
Apparatus required:
Vessel, ladle, Khalvayanthra, cloth, loha patra.

Drugs required:
Tila taila – 16 parts
Sarjarasa (Rala) – 4 parts
Tuttha (asuddha) – 1 parts
Spatika – 1 parts

Tilataila is heated in a loha patra when phena is produced in tilataila ,then loha patra is taken out from fire and fine powder of rala, tuttha, spatika are added little by little and mixed well, when all the three drugs are get mixed properly in taila then this taila is filtered into another vessel with the help of cloth.

When contents becomes cold little water is added and contents are rubbed with hands, while doing so water is frequently changed. Like that 15 to 20 times water is changed and rubbed with hands for many times. By doing so mixture of taila and rala etc. bulges and yellowish white color malahara kalpana is produced.

From the starting onwords, slowly tutha dissolves in water and get separated little by little by changing water. It can be observed by green colour of water. When water doesn’t turn to green color that indicates, Malahara. is produced. This is called as Sarjasara Malahara. This Malhara is preserved in clean glass jar, at the bottom and above part of the jar is filled by fresh water and this water has to be changed daily.

Amayika prayoga :- Agnidagdha vrana, daha, gudapaka in childrens, arsas etc.
This can be applied directly over lesion or after applying over or thin clean cloth and that cloth is pasted over the lesion also practiced.

Preservation: If water is not changed frequently and after many days this malahara get spoiled.

If the main medicinal drugs are hard satva, Balsam or Resin, then before It is mixing with the base, it should be given samskrara with either, water or oil or glycerin.
If the medicinal drugs are in solid or in powder from then before mixing with the base. It should be made into Sukshma Choorna. So that there should not be grittiness.
If the drug is crystalloid like Boric acid, salisalic acid, lodoform then Sukshma Choora of the drugs should e mode first, then it should be triturated along with equal quantity of base. Then later the remaining base is added.
If main drug is deliquescent salts like Iodine or potassium carbonate then before it is mixing with the base it should be made info paste by adding water.
If the main drug is Ksara or Alkaloid then before adding the base, it should be triturated in oleic acid
If it is liquid extract, it should made thick by evaporation be fore mixing the base.
If it is an volatile substance, it should add lastly.
If melting point of base is more than it should be melt.
If base is greasy than it should be mixed with washable base or water soluble base.
Porcelain slab is used to mix two Malahara or to mix liquid and oil substance.
Metallic caps are used to melts the oleates
For stirring, mixing and scraping of Malahara, Knife made of box wood or teeth of elephant are used

Malhara’s are stored in vessels in made of clay or in glass jar with good lid which is covered with wax paper, so that the malahara should not stick to the lid.
If particular dosage is required then it is made in to soft capsule of particular dose.
Some are made in collapsible tube with screw cap so that it wont stick to the container closing of the tube is done by closer machine.
If has to be administered to rectum, then it is made in this type of collapsible tube, it is also having a Basti netra (nozzle)

General uses

General Uses of Malahara: 
It is used as external application in many diseases like:

Vicharchika – Psoriasis
Vipadika – cracked heels
Vrana – ulcers, wounds
Vranashodhana – cleanses wounds
Vrana ropana – heals wounds quickly
Dusta Vrana – ulcers, wounds with infection
Vrana of Phiranga roga – syphilis ulcers
Agni dagdha vrana – burn wounds
Pama – allergic dermatitis
Arsha – Hemorrhoids
Dadru – ringworm, dermatophytosis or tinea infection
Bhagandara – fistula in ano
Visphota – boils
Gudapaka – rectal disorders
Daha – excess burning sensation


Bhaisajya Kalpana Vijnanam – Dr. K. Rama Chandra Reddy
A text book of Bhaisajya Kalpana – Dr. Shobha. G. Hiremath
Bhaisajya kalpana vijnana – Dr.Avadha vihari Agnihotr
Rasatarangani – Sadanatha Sharma

7 comments on “Malahara kalpana: Ayurvedic Ointment Preparation

  • Shivaprasad sharma

    13/12/2016 - 1:39 pm

    Hi sir
    Am 1st yr md scholar
    Plz give me the references

    Reply to comment
    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

      13/12/2016 - 6:20 pm

      The references are there with each of the shlokas.
      Have a look at it again

      Reply to comment
  • Nancy

    07/07/2018 - 7:25 pm

    Sir can u give a comparative study on the clinical efficacy of Ayurvedic ointments and modern ointments…is Ter a difference in preparation and mode f action…y can’t tailam or ghrtam be used directly than malahara kalpana

    Reply to comment
    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

      28/07/2018 - 10:40 pm

      I have not found such comparative study yet.
      Malahar with bee wax comes with wound healing and skin benefiting benefits of bee wax.
      WIth bee wax base, the ointment would be retained for a longer period of time, on the skin area, compared to ghee or oil.

      Reply to comment
    • Rohini Gite

      08/09/2022 - 10:32 am

      Sir can malahara kalpana used for open wound ?

      Reply to comment
  • Dr.Hanumant Pawar

    04/03/2019 - 8:10 pm

    Sir we are going to conduct comparative study of malahara and modern ointments on vipadika.
    Please suggest what criteria we need to set for that.

    Reply to comment

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