By Prof. Vd. Rangaprasad Bhat
Here are the definitions of commonly used Ayurvedic terms to explain pharmacology of Ayurvedic herbs and medicines.
pacen nAmam vahnikRRichcha dIpanaM tadyathA mishi || shA.saM.4/ ||
The drug that which does not digest Ama, but increase the Agni – digestive fire, is called Deepana.
As is seen in case of Fennel – (Foeniculum vulgare)
Definition of Ama:
UShmaNo alpabalatvena dhAtuM AdhyaM apAcitam |
duShTam AmAshayagataM rasaM AmAm prachakShate | vAgbhaTa sU.13/ ||
When the food, on account of a weakly digestion strength, neither get properly digested nor gets converted into rasa but gets spoiled due to shortage or excessive secretion of the gastric juices is known as Ama.
pachati AmaM na vahniM cha kuryAd yadttaddhi pAchanam | shA.saM.4\ ||
The herb that digests the Ama, but does not in any way directly stimulates digestive fire / enzymes is called Pachana. Example – Nagakeshara – Mesua ferrea.
At the same time the drug that which possesses both the above mentioned properties is called as Deepaneeya, Pachaneeya
Example – Chitraka (Plumbago zeylanica).
na shodhayati yat doShAn samAn na udIrayati api |
samIkaroti saMvruddhAn shamanaM tadyathA amRutA || shA.saM.4/
Herb that does not expel Doshas out of the body and does not increase the balanced Doshas, but calms or pacifies the aggravated / increased Doshas is called as Shamana.
Eg: Amruta – Guduchi – Tinospora cordifolia
kRRitvA pAkaM malAnAm yat bhitvA bandhamadho nayet |
tachcha anulomanaM j~neyaM yathA proktA harItakI || shA.saM.4/ ||
The herb which initially does Paka of Malas, which breaks down the obstructed Malas, and brings it downward, is known as Anulomana.
Example – Terminalia chebuila (haritaki)
paktavyaM yat apaktvaiva shliShTaM koShTe malAdikam | nayati adha: sraMsanaM tadhyathA syAt kRRitamAlaka: || shA. saM.4/ ||
The drug that which takes no part in the digestion, but drives down the impacted digestive byproducts that remain within the intestines is called as sramsanam.
Example:- Krutamala (Cassia fistula).
malAdikaM abaddham vA yadbaddham piNDitaM malai: | bhittvA adha: pAtayati tat bhedanaM kaTukI yathA || shA.saM. 4/ ||
The bhedana drugs, irrespective of the hard or soft consistency of the malas caused by the vAta, pushes the excreta downwards by breaking them into several pieces. Example Picrorriza Kurroa (Katuki)
vipakvaM yat apakvaM vA malAdi dravatAm nayet | rechanati api tajj~neyam rechanaM trivRRitA yathA || shA.saM.4/ ||
The Rechana drug, liquefies the malas irrespective of them being in a digested state of undigested state and expels them out of the intestines. Example – Operculina turpethum (trivrit).
apakva – pitta, shleShmANau – balAt UrdhvaM nayet tu yat | vamanaM taddhi vij~neyaM madanasya phalam yathA || shA.saM.4/ ||
The drug that which expels the undigested pitta and Shleshma by forcefully bringing the doshas upwards and expelld through the oral cavity is vamana drug. Example – madanaphala (Randia dumetorum).
sthAnAt bahirnayet Urdhvam-adho vA malasaMchayam | dehe saMshodhanaM tat syAt – devadAliphalaM yathA || shA.saM.4/ ||
That drug which displaces the accumulated malas formed post digestion either through the upper route or through the lower route is known as samshodhana. Example – devadaliphala (fruit of Luffa echinata).
shliShTAn kaphAdikAndoShAn unmUlayati yadbalAt | ChedanaM tat – yavakShAro; marIcAni; shilAjatu || shA.saM.4/ ||
The drug that which forcibly expels not just the doshas like kapha etc but also others factors (like over grown tissues) which are deeply rooted to the sytem is called as chedanam. Examples for chedana dravyas are – yavakshara (alkaline); black pepper, Shilajit. .
dhAtu-malAn vA dehasya vishoShya ullekhayet cha yat | lekhanaM tad yathA kShaudraM; nIramuShNaM; vacA; yavA: || shA.saM.4/|
The drug action that which causes ullekhana (scraping effect) of the dhAtu and malas by casuing extreme dryness over them is known as lekhana. Example – kshaudra (Honey); Hot water); vacha (Acorus calamus); yava (Hordeum vulgaris)
dIpanaM pAchanaM yat syAt uShNatvAt drava shoShakam | grAhi tat cha yathA shuNThI; jIrakaM; gajapippalI || shA.saM.4/ ||
The group of drugs that which has the properties of both dipana and pAcana, helps further in absorbing the excessive moisture of the intestinal mucosa, by the virtue of its heat generating properties is known as grahi. Example –
Ginger, Cumin seeds, Gajapippali (Scindapsus officinalis).
raukShyAt-shaityAt- kaShAyatvAt- laghupAkAt cha yat bhavet | vAtakRRit staMbhanaM tat syAt yathA vatsaka; TuNTukau ||shA.saM.4/||
The group of drugs that which causes stasis and condensation of the tissue fluids by the virtue of its cooling, drying and astringent properties and that which is easily digestible is known as sthambhana. Example – vatsaka (Holarrhena antidysenterica) and Tuntuka (Oroxylum indicum).
Difference between sthambhana and grahi :-
Agneya guNa bhUyiShTaM – toyAMshaM parishoShya – yat | saMgRRiNhAti malaM tat syAt grAhi – shuNThyAdayo yathA || samIra guNa bhUyiShTam shItatvAt yat nabhasvata: | vidhAya vRRiddhiM stabhnAti staMbhanaM tadhyathA vaTa:
The grahi drugs are predominant with Agneya gunas, only hence it is possible to cause the effect of sangrahati mala (improving the consistency of mala) by proper parshoshana (absorption) of the chyle from within the intestinal mucosa. On the contrary, the sthambhaka dravyas are Sameera quality (vAta) predominating in nature. Only hence due the shIta or cold potency there occurs the static or statis action within the intestines.
rasAyanaM cha tajj~neyM yat jarA-vyAdhi nAshanaM | yathA amRRitA – rudaMtI cha – guggulu: cha – harItakI || shA.saM.4/ ||
The group of drugs that which postpones the old age and helps in preventing the diseases is known as rasayana. Examples – Amrita (Tinospora cordifolia), Rudanti (Cressa cretica), guggulu (Balsomodendron mukul), haritaki (Terminalia chebula).
yasmAddravyAd bhavet strIShu harSho vAjikaraM cha tat | yathA nAgabalAdhyAsyu: bIjaM cha kapikachChujam || shA.saM.4/ ||
The drug that which increases the sexual desire and erotism is known as vajikarana. Example – nagabal (sida spinosa) & kapikacchu (Mucuna pruriens).
yasmAt shukrasya vRRiddhi: syAt shukralaM cha taduchyate | yathA.ashvagandhA – musalI – sharkarA cha – shatAvarI || shA.saM.4/ ||
The drug that which increases the shukra dhAtu is known as Shukrala. Examples – asvagandha (withania somnifera), musali (Curculigo orchioides), Candy sugar and Asparagus racemosus.
dehasya sUkShmachChidreShu vishedhyatsUkShmaM uchyate | yathA saindhavaM – kShaudraM – nimba:tailaM – rubUdbhavam || shA.sam.4/ ||
The drug that which has access and the capability to bypass the ,inutest of the pores in the body is known as Sukshma dravyas. Example – saindhava (rock salt)– Honey – neem oil – castor oil.
pUrvaM vyApya akhilaM kAyaM tata: pAkaM cha gachChati | vyavAyi tadhyathA bha~NgA phenaM cAhisamudbhavaM |\ shA.saM. 4/ ||
The drug is called as Vyavayi, when it first gets diffusely spread across the whole of the body, and then gets subjected to the process of digestion. Example – Vijaya (Cannabis indica) ahiphena (Opium).
sandhibandhAMstu shithilAn yat karoti vikAshi tat | vishleShya aujascha dhAtubhyo yathA kramuka – kodravA: || shA.saM.4/ ||
The drug that which reaches the sapta dhatus and deprives them from their possession of ojas there by causing the clinical effect of looseness of the joints and the associated structures is called as Vikashi. Example – kramuka (Betel nut); kodrava (a variety of food).
vyavAyi cha vikAshi syAt sUkShmaM Chedi madAvaham | AgneyaM jIvitakaraM yogavAhi smRRitaM viShaM || shA. saM.4/ ||
The drug gets called as Visha which by the virtue of its possession of the vyavayi, Vikashi, Sookshma, chedana, yogavahi, madakara and Agneya properties is detrimental to the life of the person. Example – Aconite and other poisons.
nijavIryeNa yaddravyaM srotobhyo doShasaMchayam | nirasyati pramAthi syAttadhyathA marichaM – vacA || shA. saM.4/ ||
The drug which by the virtue of its inherent strength removes all pathological matter from the structures of body channels, such as the secretory, excretory etc., is called as pramathi. Example – Piper nigrum and Vacha – Acorus calamus.
vidAhi dravyam udgAram amlam kuryAttathA tRRiShAm | hRRidi dAhaM cha janayet pAkaM gachChati tachcirAt || shA. sAM.4/ ||
The drug which takes much time for absorption and that which causes acrid eructations, thirst and heart burn is known as vidahi.
paichChilyAd gauravAd dravyaM rudhvA rasavahA: sirA: | dhatte yad gauravaM tat syAd abhiShyaMdi yathA dadhi |\ shA.saM.4/ ||
The drug, which on account of its heavy and slimy properties causes obstruction in the rasavaha channels there by causing retention of the secretions is known as abhishyandi. Example – dadhi (Curd).
gRRiNhAti yogavAhi dravyaM saMsargajavastujAMshcha guNAn | pachyamAnaM yathaivan madhu – jala – taila – Ajya – sUta – lohAdi || shA.saM.4/ ||
Yogavahi is that synergestic medicine which upon getting digested works in harmony with the properties of the drugs with which it is being mixed and given as a combination. Example – Honey, water, Oil, Ghee, Mercury etc.,
The drug which facilitates the free circulation of the blood by removing the congestion and improving the quality of blood, is called raktaprasadana. As is seen in the herbs like padmaka (Prunus pudam),mañji (Rubia cordiofolia), haridra (Curcuma longa).