By Dr MS Krishnamurthy MD(Ayu), PhD.
Asthapana means Ayu-stapana; meaning the establishment or restoration of the life or health condition of the body.The drugs which are beneficial in this respect are made into decoction and administered in the form of enema. They are called Asthapana basti.
It is very essential to follow this kind of medication and therapies in these days as we are afflicted by various lifestyle disorders in recent years. Such drugs will help to invigorate, energize and strengthen the body with all additional benefits of rejuvenation (Rasayana therapy).
Let us review the quality and action of these drugs one by one in brief-
1. Trivrit (Operculina turpethum B.)-Roots
Laxative, anti helmenthic, anti flatulent, scraping etc.
Anti in flammatory, analgesic, carminative, digestive, anti helmenthic, anti diarrhoeal etc.
Pippali – Long pepper fruit – Piper longa-Fruits
Carminative, digestive, liver stimulant, rejuvinative, appetizer, adaptogenic etc.
Kushta – Saussurea lappa-Rhizome
Anti helmenthic, blood purifier, anti microbial, complexion enhancer etc.
Sarshapa (Brassica nigra Koch.)-Seeds
Digestive, penetrative, anti microbial, rubificient, anti helmenthic etc.
Vacha (Acorus calamus Linn.)-Rhizome
Memory enhancer, digestive, anti flatulent, anti spasmodic, wormicide etc.
Vatsaka (Holarrhena antidysenterica Wall.)-Fruits
Anti diarrhoeal, carminative, absorptive, wormicide, intestinal flora building etc.
Shatapushpa (Foeniculum vulgare Mill.)-Seeds
Digestive, anti flatulent, carminative, appetizer, anti spasmodic etc.
Madhuka– Licorice – Glycyrrhiza glabra-Root
Expectorant, rejuvinative, cholegogue, complexion enhancer etc.
Madanaphala (Randia dumetorum Lam.)-Dried fruits
Wormicide, emetic, anti microbial, anti spasmodic etc.
Qualities in general and actions of Asthapanopaga Gana drugs:
The drugs belonging to this group are astringent or bitter in taste and they are hot-dry-light-minute and deep penetrative in nature. They are carminative, digestive, anti inflammatory, rejuvinative and anti microbial in property.
Therapeutic uses of Asthapanopaga Gana drugs:
Even though these drugs are recommended for decoction enema individually they are administered in various health issues like Abdominal worms, gastric disturbances, colitis, mal absorption syndrome, chronic digestive disturbances etc.
Formulations containing Asthapanopaga drugs :
Shatapushpa Kashaya, Bilvadi kashaya, Bilvarishtha, Avipattikara choorna, Hinguvachadi choorna,Vacha choorna, Kutajamustakadi kashaya etc are the few important preparations of these drugs.
Disadvantages of Asthapanopaga Gana drugs:
As most of the drugs are hot in nature and undergo pungent kind of metabolic change it is not recommendable in young children and during pregnancy. In bleeding disorders, ulceration etc it should not be prescribed.
Simple formulations that can be made from the above drugs and their application in routine practice:
The drugs like Kutaja beeja(Vatsaka)-Vacha-Kusghtha etxc can be made intio fine powder and administered in the conditions like worm infestation, abdominal colic etc. Yashtimadhu-Vacha are having memory enhancing effect and administration of fine powder of the same with ghee during bed time is effective as memory booster.
Formulation development opportunities:
Some effective oral medicaments can be prepared out of these drugs to combat the problems like repeated worm infestation, abdominal colic, gastric disturbances etc.
For instant the extracts of the drugs can be mixed together and concentrated Kashaya tablets or Enema ingredients can be prepared; even though it is not the true way of ayurvedic practice it can be used as a substitute in its unavailability.
Click to consult Dr MS Krishnamurthy MD(Ayu), PhD