Kanthya Gana: Voice Improving Herbs: Review, Benefits, Formulations

By Dr M S Krishnamurthy MD(Ayu) PhD.
The drugs which are good for throat (kantha) or voice are called Kanthya drugs. Kantha(throat) beingn the site of Kapha very often it is afflicted by the phlegm. So, sore throat, hoarseness of the voice, feeble voice, split voice, tonsillitis, pharyngitis, laryngitis, etc are manifested. 

The drugs referred in the above heading are Vata kapha hara in action and hence effective in improving the voice and also to relieve the diseases of the throat. So in Ayurvedic therapeutics there is significant role of Kanthya drugs.

Kanthya Gana

Let us review the quality and action of these drugs one by one in brief –

1. Sariva –  Indian Sarsaparilla  –  Hemidesmus indicusRoots
Soothener of the throat, expectorant, voice promotive, softener, blood purifier etc.

2.  Ikshumula – Sugarcane root  –  Saccharum officinarumRoots
Diuretic, soothener, expectorant, anti tussive, coolant etc.

3. Madhuka – Licorice –  Glycyrrhiza glabraRhizome
Expectorant, anti tussive, rejuvinative, cholegogue, complexion enhancer etc.

4. Pippali – Long pepper fruit  –  Piper longum – Fruits
Expectorant, immune modulator, stimulant, broncho dilator, digestive, carminative, etc.

5. Darksha – Raisin –  Vitis viniferaDry fruits
Carmibnative, laxative, expectorant, tonic, hemetenic, soothener, rejuvinative etc.

6. Vidari (Ipomoea paniculata / Pueraria tuberosa) – Tuber
Tonic, rejuvinative, aphrodisiac, galactogogue, bulk enhancer, expectorant etc.

7. Kaitarya – Myrica nagiLeaves/Stem bark
Stimulant, expectorant, carminative, diaphoretic, antipyretic, bitter tonic etc.

8. Hamsapadi – Adiantum lunulatumWhole plant
Astringent tonic, stabilizer, throat strengthener, expecvtorant, anti tussive etc.

9. Brihati –  Solanum indicumRoots
Anti inflammatory, expectorant, carminative, digestive, stimulant, broncho dilator etc.

10. Kantakari –  Solanum xanthocarpum – Roots
Expectorant, broncho dilator, analgesic, anti inflammatory etc

Qualities, Action

Qualities in general and actions of Kanthya gana drugs:
Majority of the drugs explained under this heading are unctuous and col;d in potency(Draksha, Ikshu, Sariva, Madhuka etc) or dry and hot in potency(Kanthakari, Brihati, Kaitarya, Hamsapadi etc).By this we can infer that the drugs which are helpful in dryness of the throat or the condition manifested due to excess of phlegm/sputum  – both can be effectively managed by the Kanthya drugs.Both dry cough and cough with expectoration can be managed by taking the necessary drugs of the context.

Because, ultimately the drugs which are helpful to tackle the throat disorders are grouped together here.

Therapeutic uses

Therapeutic uses of Kanthya gana drugs:

The drugs possessing Kanthya properties is beneficial in the treatment of varieties of Kapaha and Vata predominant throat disorders. Cold, sore throat, tonsillitis, pharyngitis, laryngitis, asthma, chronic and acute cold – cough etc conditions are effectively managed by these herbs and their various combinations.

Ayurvedic formulations

Formulations containing Kanthya drugs :
Vyaghree hareetaki
, Pippalyasava, Dashamoolarishtha, Dashamoola hareetaki, Brihatyadi kashaya, Draksharishtha rev the few important classical formulations derived out of these drugs.


Disadvantages of Kanthya gana drugs:
Depending upon the Dosha predominat cases the group of herbs are to be selected from the above Gana as it included the drugs which are recommended for both wet cough(with sputum) and dry cough. Or else we may face difficulties in the conditions due to improper utilization of the drugs.

Simple formulations that can be made from the above drugs and their application in routine practice:
Yashtimadhu and Draksha are made into fine paste and chewed trice or four times in a day. This is very effective in dry cough.

Similarly if fine powder of Pippali, Kantakari and Brihati is taken along with honey the cough with sputum. Same can be used in decoction form also.

Formulation development opportunities:
Depending upon the Dosha predominance and nature if the illness suitable Lehya – Kashaya, Powder or Syrup formulations can be made which are widely applicable in varieties of simple to severe and acute to chronic throat disorders.
Click to consult Dr MS Krishnamurthy MD (Ayu), PhD.

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