Asavas and Arishatas

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Asavas and Arishatas

  1. 1. Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge Vol. 7(4), October 2008, pp. 548-556 Traditionally fermented biomedicines, arishtas and asavas from Ayurveda S Sekar* & S Mariappan Department of Biotechnology, Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirappalli 620 024, Tamil Nadu E-mail:sekarbiotech@yahoo.com; sekarbiotech@bdu.ac.in Received 5 December 2006; revised 7 August 2007 Ayurveda comprises of various types of medicines including the fermented forms namely arishtas (fermented decoctions) and asavas (fermented infusions). These are regarded as valuable therapeutics due to their efficacy and desirable features. The bulk of knowledge on these fermented medicines remains undocumented, unrecognized and invalidated. In the paper, the fundamental concepts in the designing of arishtas and asavas with representative examples have been highlighted. It further focuses on the art of preparation, fermentation, storage and usage of these products. The trends in commercial utilization are also investigated. The entire group of these fermented medicines comprising of 79 products are analyzed based on their utility in treating various illness of humans and a comprehensive grouping is evolved. The possible avenues of further investigations using the tools of modern science for the characterization, validation and improvement of these traditional products are indicated. Key words: Arishta, Asava, Ayurveda drugs, Fermentation, Traditional medicine IPC Int. Cl.8: A61K36/00, A61P1/02, A61P1/04, A61P1/06, A61P1/14, A61P13/00 Ayurveda is a traditional Indian medicinal system self). Ayurveda contains 8 branches of sciences and being practiced for thousands of years. More than 10 different diagnostic tools based on tridosha 1,200 species of plants, nearly 100 minerals and over theory (three humours of body). Ayurveda also 100 animal products comprise the Ayurvedic advocates a system of prevention of diseases by Pharmacopoeia. Considerable research on pharma- stipulating a set of practices as daily routine cognosy, chemistry, pharmacology and clinical (Dinacharya) and seasonal routine (Ritucharya). therapeutics of Ayurveda has been carried out and Ayurvedic treatment system also takes into account thereby numerous drugs have entered into the individual variations. Ayurvedic medicines are of international pharmacopoeia1. World Health various types, so as to meet the diverse requirements Organization indicated that primary health needs of in the treatment of human illness. They are herbal countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America are met teas, infusions, decoctions, tinctures, capsules and by traditional medicines. Such traditional medicines powders, infused oils, ointments, creams, lotions etc. are adapted to industrialized countries as along with arishtas (fermented decoctions) and Complementary or Alternative Medicines (CAM)2. asavas (fermented infusions)4. Arishtas and asavas Ayurvedic system of treatment has been estimated to are considered as unique and valuable therapeutics in meet 70-80% of the healthcare needs of India3. Ayurveda. Though traditional knowledge in Ayurvedic system of treatment is designed to literature as well as in practice exists about arishtas attain svasthya (to establish one’s own natural state and asavas, there was little effort to document, on perfect health) and advocates samadosa preserve and improve this knowledge for betterment (structural and physiologically equilibrium), of mankind. The objective of the paper is to samagni (equilibrium of metabolic processes), document this knowledge available in the traditional samadhatu (equilibrium of body tissues), literature as well as from the traditional practices, samamalakriya (equilibrium of eliminative systems), bring out the technological details, analyze and list prasannendriya (equilibrium of senses), out their medical applications. Finally, scope for prasannamana (equilibrium of mind) and futuristic developments in the arena of microbial prasannatma (state of pure awareness or contended fermentation and biomedical applications based on __________ the tools of modern scientific investigations is * Corresponding author discussed.
  2. 2. SEKAR & MARIAPPAN: TRADITIONALLY FERMENTED AYURVEDA BIOMEDICINES 549 Arishta and asava about the basis of designing them. In Asokarishta, the Arishtas and asavas are self-generated herbal main herb is asoka (Saraca asoca De Wilde)11. Those fermentations of traditional Ayurvedic system. They contribute for flavours are Cuminum cyminum L., are alcoholic medicaments prepared by allowing the Santalum album L. and Zingiber officinale Roscoe. herbal juices or their decoctions to undergo Woodfordia fruticosa (L.) Kurz as fermentation fermentation with the addition of sugars. Arishtas are initiator and jaggery as a source of sugar are also made with decoctions of herbs in boiling water while present. Similarly in Kanakasava, Kanaka (Datura asavas are prepared by directly using fresh herbal metel L.) is the main herb while Piper longum L. and juices5-9. Fermentation of both preparations is brought Zingiber officinale Roscoe contribute for flavour12. about by the addition of a source of sugar with Further, Woodfordia fruticosa (L.) Kurz as well as dhataki (Woodfordia fruticosa Kurz) flowers5. Many sugar and honey are present. contain additional spices for improving their assimilation. They are moderately alcoholic (up to Process of preparation 12% by volume) and mostly sweetish with slight The proportion of the different ingredients are acidity and agreeable aroma. These medicinal wines water 32 seers (or 1024 tolas; 1 tola =12 gm), treacle have several advantages, like better keeping quality, or jaggery 12 and half seers (or 400 tolas), and honey enhanced therapeutic properties, improvement in the 6¼ seers (or 200 tolas), medicinal substances (such as efficiency of extraction of drug molecules from the roots, leaves or barks, etc. of plants cut into pieces) herbs and improvement in drug delivery into the 1¼ seers (or 40 tolas), in powder or decoction7. The human body sites10. The most cited traditional basic drugs from which the extract is to be prepared literature about Indian Ayurvedic literature with the are first cleaned and rinsed in water to get rid of dirt. coverage of arishta and asava includes Charaka In the case of fresh plants, they are cleaned, Samhita, Sushruta Samhita, Astanga Hridaya, pulverized and pressed for collection of juice. If the Bhaishajya Ratnavali, Sarngadhara Samhita, drug is dry and to be used in the preparation of asava, Khadhanigragam, Arsaschikitsha, Sagasrayogam, it is coarsely crushed and added to water to which the Chikitshasthanam, Yogaratnagaram, Asavarishtasan- prescribed quantities of honey, jaggery and/or sugar gragam, Howshathagunasangraham and Astangasan- are added. If it is an arishta, a decoction is obtained graham. by boiling the drugs in the specified volume of water as given in the recipe. The water used should be Traditional preparation of Arishta and asava clean, clear and potable6. When the extracts are The basic equipments required are: an earthen pot obtained, the sugar (cane sugar), jaggery and/or honey sufficiently large and strong with glazed exterior or a are added and completely dissolved. Sometimes, any glazed; porcelain jar of suitable size; a lid of correct one or more of these sugary substances are omitted if size to close the vessel; a cloth ribbon to seal the so directed in the recipe. The sugar, jaggery and vessel; a paddle like stirrer; a clean cloth of fine and honey should be pure. The jaggery to be added should strong texture for filtering; a vessel to keep the juices be very old (prapurana) because fresh jaggery or boil the drugs6. The major components are divided aggravates kapha and suppresses the power of into 4 types according to their specific role in the digestion8. The flavouring agents are coarsely process6. These include: the main herbs from which powdered and added to the sweetened extract. Too the extract or decoction is taken out as the case may fine a powder of the flavouring agent is undesirable as be. They yield drugs, which are pharmacologically it causes sedimentation in the prepared medicine and and therapeutically much important in the given its filtration is difficult. Even if the recipe does not medicine and the name of the medicine is derived prescribe the addition of any flavouring agents, they from these herbs denoting their importance. The can be added in the same proportion as for other flavouring agents are herbs besides contributing to the asava or arishta. In asavas, the avapa (drugs which flavour of the medicine have their own are added in powder form at the end) should be one in pharmacological action too. The fermentation initiator tenth in quantity and honey should be three fourth in provides inoculum for the fermentation to start. The quantity of jaggery. medium of sugars is required for fermentation. Analysis of components of typical arishta and asava The earthen pot or jar intended for fermenting the (Table 1) could also support and provide insights medicine is tested for weak spots and cracks and
  3. 3. 550 INDIAN J TRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE, VOL 7, No. 4, OCTOBER 2008 similarly a lid is also chosen6. It should be prepared of they also contain wild yeasts. When fire flame flowers the soft mud collected from the silt in the bank of are not used in some preparations, the inoculum of river or lake. It should be greasy, thick, light and yeasts either from the mahua (Madhuca longifolia smooth. It should be free from holes or cracks and Macbr.) flowers, the honey or raisins suffice initiating homogenous. Echo should come out from inside of the process of fermentation. The yeasts multiply this jar. Its circumference in the middle should be 42 rapidly by division in a short time6. Finally, the vessel angulas (1 angula = ¾ inches) and its height should should be closed and sealed. Sealing is done by be 43 angulas. Its wall should be one angula in winding around a long ribbon of cloth smeared with thickness and compact. In shape (pot shape), it should clay on one surface. While sealing, the blank surface be like the fruit of bakula (Mimusops elengi L.)8. The of the ribbon should line the rim of the vessel and lid internal surfaces of the pot and the lid are wiped with and the clay side should be external. After sealing, the a clean dry cloth and cow’s ghee is smeared on this vessel is placed in a dark place without much surface to prevent oozing out of the contents when circulation of air. It may be kept in a grain store poured and kept for fermentation. The pot should be buried in a heap of grain or into a pit in the soil. Soft perfectly dry before ghee is smeared and if it be packing of straw should be provided around the vessel moist, ghee will not stick, penetrate and block the to prevent breakage by any force6. pores. The infiltration of the pot besides preventing oozing strengthens the pot also. Glazed porcelain The fermentation process ware may also be used instead of earthen ware6. In During autumn and summer seasons, fermentation large scale, the fermentation is carried out in huge takes place in 6 days. In winter, it takes 10 days. wooden vats with wooden covers (Fig.1). The vat is During rainy season and spring, fermentation takes made air tight. The filtration is carried out by electric place in 8 days8. The fermentation vessel is left filter presses with filter sheets which efficiently undisturbed for a month and then opened. The separate the suspended particles and isolate clear medicine is filtered and taken for use. If the filtered medicine. The powdering, grinding and mixing are medicine shows further sedimentation, it is allowed to done by mills, pulverizers and mixing machines. The stand for few more days and again filtered to separate decoctions are prepared in large steam jacketed the sediment. In the usual practice, 7-10 days are boilers, heated by super heated steam under pressure6. enough in the hot tropical climate and the long period of 30 days is allowed in cool temperature climate Inoculum when biological activity is at its low6. In old practices, When the pot or the jar is ready, the sweetened and performing fermentation in a heap of whole grain of flavoured drug extract is poured into it up to three that season was indicated. fourth of the capacity. The unfilled space provides room for the fermenting liquid when it rises up due to Storage and usage frothing and evolving of a large amount of gases. The filtered medicine is stored in tightly stoppard Otherwise, the medium may damage the container glass bottles and taken for use whenever necessary. and flow out. Then, the inoculum has to be added to The asava and arishta maintain good for any length initiate fermentation. The process of fermentation of time and actually the medicinal value of the necessitates the presence of fermenting micro- preparation is said to increase with time. If asava or organisms, yeasts. In the preparation of alcoholic arishta shows any sign of mould development at any medicaments in the Ayurvedic Systems, the inoculum stage, it should be rejected as unfit for use. Asava or of yeasts comes from the dhataki flowers, which arishta are mixed with an equal volume of water contain the wild species of yeast. These flowers are before consumption. The container should be kept nectariferous and highly tanniferous. The flowers well closed as these sweet medicines attract flies and contain the yeast spores in the dry nectariferous ants6. region6,13,14. The presence of tannin both in hops and in these flowers favours suitable environment for Doses yeast growth. The flowers are added and the contents The dose of both the asava and arishta is one pala are stirred well to distribute the inoculum of yeast. (48 ml approx.). Arishta is better than asava as the Apart from the fire flame flowers (dhataki), if other former is light because of boiling. Their properties are ingredients like honey and raisins (gum) are added, determined on the basis of the property of drugs used
  4. 4. SEKAR & MARIAPPAN: TRADITIONALLY FERMENTED AYURVEDA BIOMEDICINES 551 Table 1-Typical representation of an Arishta and Asava Contents Families Plant parts used Quantity Asokarishta Saraca asoca (Roxb.)De Wilde Caesalpiniaceae Bark 400 tola Nigella sativa L. Ranunculaceae Seeds 4 tola Jaggery -- -- 800 tola Cyperus rotundus L. Cyperaceae Tubers 4 tola Zingiber officinale Roscoe Zingiberaceae Rhizome 4 tola Coscinium fenestratum Colebr. Menispermaceae Rhizome 4 tola Kaempferia rotunda L. Zingiberaceae Rhizome 4 tola Terminalia chebula Retzius Combretaceae Fruits 4 tola Phyllanthus emblica L. Euphorbiaceae Fruits 4 tola Terminalia bellirica (Gaertn.) Roxb. Combretaceae Fruits 4 tola Mangifera indica L. Anacardiaceae Seeds 4 tola Cuminum cyminum L. Apiaceae Seeds 4 tola Adhatoda vasica Nees Acanthaceae Root bark 4 tola Santalum album L. Santalaceae Wood powder 4 tola Woodfordia fruticosa (L.) Kurz Lythraceae Flowers 64 tola Water -- -- 4 drona Kanakasava (Datura metel L.) Solanaceae Whole plant 16 tola Adhatoda vasica Nees Acanthaceae Root & bark 16 tola Glycyrrhiza glabra L. Fabaceae Root 8 tola Piper longum L. Piperaceae Fruits 8 tola Solanum surattense Burm.f. Solanaceae Root 8 tola Mesua nagassarium (Burm.f.) Kosterm. Clusiaceae Flowers 8 tola Zingiber officinale Roscoe Zingiberaceae Rhizome 8 tola Clerodendrum serratum (L.) Moon Verbenaceae Root 8 tola Abies spectabilis (D.Don) G.Don Pinaceae Flowers 8 tola Woodfordia fruticosa (L.) Kurz Lythraceae Flowers 64 tola Vitis vinifera L. Vitaceae Fruits 80 tola Sugar -- -- 400 tola Honey -- -- 200 tola Water -- -- 15 liter 1 tola = 12 gm; 1 drona = 12.288 kg Table 2  Categorization of Arishta and Asava Ailments Name of the arishta/asava Pediatrics Fever Arvindasava Cough Arvindasava Digestive disorders Arvindasava Intestinal problems Mustharishta Constipation Arvindasava Scabies and boils Moolakadyarishta Skin diseases Moolakadyarishta Rickets Arvindasava Inflammation Moolakadyarishta Appetizer Arvindasava Growth promoter Arvindasava General tonic Balamritha Immunity enhancer Arvindasava, Balamirtha Nervous system Paralysis Dasamoolarishta, Dhanwanthararishta, Vidangasava, Balarishta Nervous disorder Balarishta, Jeerakadhyarshta, Aswagandharishta, Mrigamadasava Contd
  5. 5. 552 INDIAN J TRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE, VOL 7, No. 4, OCTOBER 2008 Table 2  Categorization of Arishta and Asava Contd Ailments Name of the arishta/asava Pediatrics Nervous Weakness Dhanyamla Nerve tonic Saraswatharishta, Aswagantharishta, Dasamoolarishta Rejuvenator Aswagandharishta , Saraswatharishta Improves concentration Saraswatharishta Tension Aswagandharishta Insomnia (unable to sleep) Aswagandharishta ,Angurasava, Saraswatharishta, Draksharishta Loss of memory Aswagandharishta Mental disorder Saraswatharishta, Aswagandharishta, Dasamoolarishta Blood and circulatory system Anaemia Dasamoolarishta, Draksharishta, Kumaryasava, Bringarajasava, Chavikasava, Loharishta, Gomoothrasava, Khadirarishta, Lodharasava, Lohasava, Parpatadyarishta, Pippalyasava, Punarnavasava, Poothikaranjasava, Rohitakarishta, Sudarsanasava, Useerasava, Dhatriarishta Cardiac disorders Dasamoolarishta, Parthadyarishta, Khadirarishta, Sudarsanasava, Draksharishta Cardiac tonic Parthadyarishta Controlling blood pressure Parthadyarishta Haemostatic Babularishta, Kumaryasava Blood Purifier Useerasava, Babularishta, Ashokarishta, Panchathiktarishta, Dhatriarishta, Kumaryasava, Sarawathaarishta, Sarivadyarishta, Sarivadyasava Blood toner/nourishment Kumaryasava, Drakshasava, Draksharishta Haemothermia Kanakasava, Useerasava, Vasakadyarishta (bleeding from parts of the body) Respiratory system Cough Bringarajasava, Drakshasava, Draksharishta, Mridvikarishta, Khadirarishta, Sudarsanasava, Swasamurutha, Vasakasava, Vasakadyarishta, Vasarishta , Kalmeghasava, Babularishta, Kumaryasava, Dasamoolarishta Cold Swasamurutha, Drahshasava, Vyoshamritha Bronchitis Draksharishta, Babularishta, Bringarajasava, Vasarishta Asthma Jeerakadhyarishta, Kanakasava, Lohasava, Swasamurutha, Vasarishta, Vidaryadyasava, Mrigamadasava, Dasamoolarishta, Draksharishta Kumaryasava, Babularishta Throat disorder Draksharishta Pulmonary tuberculosis Dasamoolarishta, Mrigamadasava, Kanakasava, Sarivadhyasava, Jeerakadhyarishta, Sarivadyarishta, Dhanwanthararishta Lung diseases Parthadyarishta, Dasamoolarishta Respiratory disorder Dasamoolarishta, Draksharishta, Dhanwanthararishta,Chavikasava, Kumaryasava, Drakshasava, Sarivadhyasava,sarivadyarishta Digestive and Excretory system Vomiting Drakshasava, Mrigamadasava Stomach pain Viswamrita Ailments Name of the arishta/asava Indigestion Chavikasava, Chitrakasava, Dhanwanthararishta, Drakshasava, Duralabharishta, Lohasava, Madhukasava , Mridvikarishta, Pippalyasava , Muktakarishta, Abhayarishta, Mustharishta, Poothikaranjasava, Viswamrita, kutajarishta, Amritarishta, Vyoshamritha Amoebic dysentery Kutajarishta, Muktakarishta Diarrhoea Kutajarishta, Ahifenasava, Babularishta, Bilvasava, Muktakarishta, Mustharishta, Patrangasava, Viswamrita, Takrarishta Gastric problems Balarishta, Drakshasava, Pippalyasava, Babularishta, Jeerakadhyarishta, Surasava, chandanasava, kumaryasava Gastric/peptic ulcers Kumaryasava Intestinal parasites Kutajarishta, Kumaryasava, Aragwadharishta, Loharishta, Vidangasava, Khadirarishta, Vidangarishta Intestinal problems Arvindasava, Falasava, Lodharasava, Loharishta, Lohasava, Kalmeghasava, Pippalyasava, Madhukasava, Bilvasava, Muktakarishta, Viswamrita, kutajarishta, Devadarvyarishta Contd
  6. 6. SEKAR & MARIAPPAN: TRADITIONALLY FERMENTED AYURVEDA BIOMEDICINES 553 Table 2  Categorization of Arishta and Asava Contd Ailments Name of the arishta/asava Pediatrics Piles Kutajarishta, Abhayarishta, Amritarishta, Aragwadharishta, Loharishta, Chitrakasava, Devadarvyarishta, Duralabharishta, Lodharasava, Lohasava, Poothikaranjasava, Poothivalkasava, Dasamoolarishta, kumaryasava, Takrarishta, Danthyarishta Constipation Kumaryasava, Abhayarishta, Angurasava, Danthyarishta, Duralabharishta, Draksharishta Jaundice Dasamoolarishta, Parpatadyarishta, Sudarsanasava, Dhatriarishta Abdominal disorder Falasava, Vyoshamritha, Punarnavarishta Enlargement of liver Kumaryasava, Bringarajasava, Parpatadyarishta Liver disorder Danthyarishta, Punarnavarishta Appetizer Arvindasava, Aswagandharishta, Chandanasava, Drakshasava Draksharishta, Angurasava, Loharishta, Babularishta, Lohasava, Mustharishta, Viswamrita, Dhatriarishta, Takrarishta Lodharasava Intoxicant Surasava Urinary system Diuretic Balarishta, Chandanasava, Draksharishta, Drakshasava, Punarnavarishta Urinary infection Naleekerasava Urinary disorders Chandanasava, Dhanwanthararishta, Palashpushpasava, Patrangasava Babularishta, Devadarvyarishta, Poothikaranjasava, Ashokarishta, Abhayarishta Reproductive system Spermatorrhoea Chandanasava, Patrangasava Seminal weakness Saraswatharishta Sexual stimulating tonic Mrithasanjeevani-arishta Female Uterine disease Ashokarishta Menstrual disorders Ashokarishta Vaginal disease Ashokarishta, Dhanwanthararishta Gonorrhoea Chandanasava, Patrangasava, Babularishta Sterility in female Bringarajasava, Dasamoolarishta Syphilis Sarivadyarishta, Sarivadhyasava Female tonic after delivery Dhanwanthararishta, Jeerakadhyarishta Immune system To enhance Immune system Arvindasava, Dasamoolarishta, Draksharishta Enlargement of spleen Kumaryasava, Bringarajasava, Parpatadyarishta, Khadirarishta Spleen disorder Lohasava, Poothikaranjasava, Poothivalkasava, Rohitakarishta Auto immune diseases Balarishta, Chandanasava General Ailments Weakness Aswagandharishta, Loharishta, Mridvikarishta, Mrithasanjeevani-arishta, Draksharishta, Dakshasava Body Ache Vidaryadyasava Health Tonic Dasamoolarishta, Draksharishta, Balarishta Body Nourishment Madhukasava, Dasamoolarishta, Vidaryadyasava Rejuvenator Mahamanjisthadyarishta Tiredness Angurasava, Lodharasava, Mridvikarishta Cooling Effect Chandanasava, Kumaryasava, Naleekerasava, Sarivadhyasava, Sarivadyarishta Oedema Vasasava, Punarnavarishta To reduce obesity Loharishta, Lodharasava Diabetes Loharishta, Devadarvyarishta, Lodharasava, Lohasava, Saribadyasava, Useerasava, Dhatriarishta Cancer Khadirarishta Fever Kutajarishta, Amritarishta, Bringarajasava, Danthyarishta, Dhanwanthararishta, Kanakasava, Parpatadyarishta, Sudarsanasava, Panchathiktarishta, Draksharishta, Drakshasava, Dhatriarishta Endocrinal deficiency Kumaryasava Rheumatism Balarishta, Devadarvyarishta, Nimbamrithasava, Sarivadhyasava, Saribadyasava, Sarivadyarishta Ascites Punarnavasava, Poothivalkasava, Rohitakarishta, Dhanyamlam, Abhayarishta, Danthyarishta, Lohasava, Parpatadyarishta Contd
  7. 7. 554 INDIAN J TRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE, VOL 7, No. 4, OCTOBER 2008 Table 2  Categorization of Arishta and Asava Contd Ailments Name of the arishta/asava Pediatrics Skin problems Skin diseases Aragwadharishta, Loharishta, Babularishta, Nimbamrithasava, Chitrakasava, Devadarvyarishta, Gomoothrasava, Khadirarishta, Lodharasava, Nimbarishta, Sarivadhyasava, Sarivadyarishta, Panchathiktarishta, Lohasava Foul wounds Aragwadharishta, Lohasava, Nimbamrithasava Leucoderma Aragwadharishta, Chitrakasava, Gomoothrasava, Loharishta Infectious Diseases Malaria Amritarishta, Vasakasava, Panchathiktarishta Pneumonia Dasamoolarishta, Drakshasava Influenza Drakshasava Leprosy Khadirarishta, Vasakasava Cholera Ahifenasava, Muktakarishta Others Poisonous bites Sirisharishta Alcoholism Srikhandasava Fig. 1 Preparation of arishtas and asavas by traditional methods in their preparation15. A person should take these Arishta and asava products for treatment preparations in such a dose as would not cause Compilation of arishta and asava products could intoxicated movement of eye balls and perversion of end up with 79 products, of which 37 falls into the mental activities8. category of asava, 38 into arishta and the remaining
  8. 8. SEKAR & MARIAPPAN: TRADITIONALLY FERMENTED AYURVEDA BIOMEDICINES 555 4 arishta are named as amirtha (Viswamritha, improvement in drug extraction and drug delivery. Balamritha and Swasamrutha, Vyoshamritha). These The potential of the arishtas and asavas, which is products have also been commercialized. Further, controlled by the profile of chemical compounds, can the number of arishta and asava products and the be modulated based on the nature of ingredients, type nature of information available are compiled. of fermentation and microorganisms involved. Usefulness of arishta and asava products is Though there is an extensive list of arishta and asava categorized in relation to human system of diseases products with diverse medicinal properties, there is lot (Table 2). There are arishta and asava meant for the of scope to work with them microbiologically, treatment of various problems in pediatrics, nervous biochemically and pharmacologically. This will make system, blood and circulatory system, respiratory arishta and asava as scientifically validated products system, digestive and excretory system, urinary for the betterment of human life system, reproductive system, immune system, skin problems, worm infections, general illness and Acknowledgement infectious diseases etc. The financial support in the form of a research project granted by the Department of Secondary and Conclusion Higher Education, Ministry of Human Resource The study demonstrates the therapeutic potential Development, Government of India is of arishta and asava products. Though arishta and acknowledged. Authors are indebted to TN asava are preparations from plant materials, the role Narayanan Varier and TR Sasi Varier of Ashtanga of microorganisms in this fermentation process is not Ayurvedics (P) Ltd, Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu for at all realized. In fact, all arishta and asava their fruitful discussions, for providing some preparations are biomedical fermentations mediated literature and help in the translation of certain by microorganisms. There is rarely any attempt to Sanskrit words. access the nature of microorganisms and their role in therapeutic properties. There were few reports on References scientific validization of selected arishta and asava. 1 Patwardhan B, Vaidya ADB & Chorghade M, Ayurveda and natural products drug discovery, Curr Sci, 86 (2004) 789- The purpose of using flowers of Woodfordia 799. fruticosa (L.) Kurz. in Nimba arishta was 2 http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs135/en/print.html. investigated16. The antibacterial activity of 3 Viswanathan MV, Unnikrishnan PM, Komatsu K, Fushimi H Takrarishta was reported17. An approach for the & Basnet P, A brief introduction to Ayurvedic System of standardization of arishta and asava was also Medicine and some of its problems, Indian J Traditional Knowledge, 2 (2003) 159-169. performed18. 4 Dhiman AK, Common drug plants and Ayurvedic remedies, Arishta and asava are considered unique as they (Reference Press, New Delhi), 2004. 5 Srikantha Murthy KR, Astanga Hrdayam, (Krishnadas have several advantages10. Classical literature Academy, Varanasi), 1994, 68-73. indicates that they posses better keeping quality, 6 Shastri MV, Vaidya Yoga Ratnavali, (IMPCOPS, Madras), which is likely due to the contribution of fermentation 1968, 6-10. to preservation. The microbes involved in this process 7 Nadkarni KM, Indian Materia Medica, Vol 2, (Bombay Popular Prakashan Pvt Limited, Bombay), 1976, 489. mediate this process; enhanced therapeutic properties, 8 Dash VB & Hashyap VL, Iatro Chemistry of Ayurveda, which may be due to the microbial biotransformation (Concept Publishing Company, New Delhi), 2002, 69-79. of the initial ingredients of arishta and asava into 9 Srikantha Murthy KR, Bhavaprakasa of Bhavamisra, Vol 1, more effective therapeutics as end products; (Krishnadas Academy, Varanasi), 1998, 479-484. improvement in the extraction of drug molecules from 10 Kumar KA, The need for developing new dosage presentation forms for traditional medicine, In: Indian the herbs by alcohol-aqueous milieu, which is also Healthcare Tradition – A Contemporary view, edited by produced by microbes; improvement in drug delivery Paulose, KG, Murali TS & Kumar NM, (Arya Vaidya Sala, in the body, which may also be at least partially due Kottakkal), 2002, 120-128. to microbial biotransformation either because of 11 Radhakrishna Shastri SV, Asavakalpam, Vaidya Chandrika, 16 (1954) 7-8. biotransformation or because of alcohol-aqueous 12 Radhakrishna Shastri SV, Asavakalpam, Vaidya Chandrika, milieu. These products in general possess preservative 17 (1955) 9. properties, potentization of drug due to 13 Vohra A & Satyanarayana T, Phytase production by the yeast biotransformation mediated by native microbes, Pichia anomala, Biotech Lett, 23 (2001) 551-554.
  9. 9. 556 INDIAN J TRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE, VOL 7, No. 4, OCTOBER 2008 14 Vohra A & Satyanarayana T, A cost effective cane immunomodulatory activity and the alcohol and sugar molasses medium for enhanced cell bound phytase contents of Nimba arishta, J Ethnopharmacol, 40 (1993) production by Pichia anomala, J Appl Microbiol, 97 117-125. (2004) 471-476. 17 Bhardwaj S, Achliya GS, Meghre VS, Wadodkar SG & 15 Dash VB & Hashyap VL, Materia Medica of Ayurveda, Dorle AK, In-vitro antibacterial activity of Takrarishta – an (Concept Publishing Company, New Delhi), 1987, Ayurvedic formulation, Indian J Traditional Knowledge, 4 188-203. (2005) 325-328. 16 Kroes BH, Vanden Berg AJJ, Abeysekera AM, De Silva 18 Santosh MK, Shaila D & Sanjeeva Rao I, Standardization of KTD & Labadie RP, Fermentation in traditional medicine: selected asavas and arishtas, Asian J Chem, 15 (2003) the impact of Woodfordia fruticosa flowers on the 884-890.

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