Ayurvedic Medicine

by Ayurveda Therapist on July 3, 2011

Preparations of Ayurvedic Medicine – Bhaisha
Ayurveda mainly uses substances from the natural resources – plant parts, minerals, and animal products. Bhaishajya deals with preparations of medicines form these natural products, which involves various processes that include grinding, boiling, and powdering.

The five primary preparations of Ayurvedic Medicine include:

1. Swarasa (herbal juice) – Heavy (more potent) – hardest to digest
2. Kalka (Herbal paste) – hard to digest
3. Kashaya (herbal decoction)
4. Him (cold infusions) – easy to digest
5. Phanta (Hot Infusion) – Light (less potent) – easiest to digest

Ayurvedic Medicine also uses purified metals in the practice of Rasa Shastra. The purification process of metals is known as samskaras or shodhanas that involves a complex and spiritual way to remove the toxins from the metals. Metals include mercury, lead, and arsenic leading to much skepticism and warranted concern from Western medical professionals. However, studies have demonstrated that when properly purified, these metals are not harmful and could quite possibly deliver medical benefits.

In 1991, researchers published an articles titled “Can we dispose of Ayurvedic Samskaras? They found the following:

“Crude aconite is an extremely lethal substance. However, the science of Ayurveda looks upon aconite as a therapeutic entity. Crude aconite is always processed i.e. it undergoes ‘samskaras’ before being utilised in the Ayurvedic formulations. This study was undertaken in mice, to ascertain whether ‘processed’ aconite is less toxic as compared to the crude or unprocessed one. It was seen that crude aconite was significantly toxic to mice (100% mortality at a dose of 2.6 mg/mouse) whereas the fully processed aconite was absolutely non-toxic (no mortality at a dose even 8 times as high as that of crude aconite). Further, all the steps in the processing were essential for complete detoxification.”

However, to be 100% free of toxins the process is detailed and laborious. Few are trained in the traditional methods leading to some herbs containing significant amounts of harmful metals. For this reason, it is recommended to avoid metals and use only Ayuredic herbs specified by a doctor. If you must use the metals take every precaution in selecting from metals from a highly qualified source.

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