For Ayurvedic students, understanding and mastering the Ayurvedic medicines, the formula, ingredients, proportion, dosage form, dose and indication is very crucial. Ayurveda students have to master Ayurvedic medicines not only to get good marks in exams but also to excel as physicians.
Guidelines to Ayurvedic medicines
Here are a few guidelines about mastering Ayurvedic medicines:
1. Get to understand the dosage forms chronology first.
A. First, learn about the basics of primary dosage forms
a. Herbal juice extracts – Swarasa – Take the fresh herb, crush to extract fresh juice. Filter. Eg: Tulsi juice for cough, fever
b. Herbal pastes (Kalka) – Take fresh herbs, crush, grind, make paste use. Eg: Neem paste for external application to heal wounds faster.
c. Herbal decoction – Kashaya – dry herb coarse powder – 1 part add with 16 parts of water. Boil and reduce to 1/4 or 1/8 parts. Filter. Eg: Triphala Kashaya for wound healing, obesity, diabetes.
d. Cold infusions – Hima – One part of coarse powder of dry herbs + 6 parts of water. Keep overnight or for a few hours. Filter and use. Eg: Coriander cold infusion for burning sensation associated with fever.
e. Hot infusions – Phanta – one part of coarse powder + 4 parts of hot water, macerate, filter. Eg: Licorice hot infusion used in Vamana Panchakarma procedure.
B. Then learn about secondary dosage forms –
Methods of Method of herbal oil preparation
Method of Asava Arishta preparation and their utility
Method of tablet making, guggulu tablet making, herbal churnas etc.
If the formula is short, better to memorize the original Shloka. The advantage here is, in one short Shloka, you can memorize ingredients, their proportions, indications and Anupana, if any. For example – Triphala Guggulu.
If the formula is long, you may have to make a mnemonic (short code) to remember the ingredients. For example, Talisadi Churna – Ta, Ma, Shum, Pi, Vam, E, Tva Sha – 1,2,3,4,5,1/2, 1/2, 32. This will give all the ingredients and their proportion in one shot.
I had prepared such pnemonics to many formulations. Will share them shortly.
If the formula is very long, – For example Chyawanprash, Dashamoolarishta etc
a. You will have to understand and be perfect with the method of preparation
b. You will have to memorize – few important ingredients and group of ingredients – such as Dashamoola, Trikatu, Triphala etc.
1. Make a list of important formulations and go through them everyday. It may take just 10-15 minutes to go through them in one shot. But the effort will be rewarded.
2. Come up with your own mnemonics for tough formulations.
3. Learn the herbs, their properties, taste, qualities etc in deep. This will help you understand the formulations better. This will be key to understand the logic behind proprietary medicines that Ayurveda Pharma companies manufacture.
So, these were my tips. Did I miss any points? What is your easy way to understand and master Ayurvedic medicines? Please share your valuable experience in the comment section below.