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Histroy of ayurvedic pharmacy

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Histroy of ayurvedic pharmacy

Post by Admin on Sat 06 Nov 2010, 6:02 pm


The Importance of Ayurveda as a Therapeutic System. It is an often-repeated question. It is a fact that among all methods of treatment, Ayurveda stands out as the most holistic and significant form of treatment. As on now, many countries like America and Japan are getting more and more interested in Ayurveda, and lot of research work is going on in these countries, regarding the use of 'bhasmas' prepared from heavy metals like mercury and how these medicines, if properly used can be effective and without any side effects. However, more research should be carried out in India to raise the global acceptance and recognition of Ayurveda as a complete therapeutic system.

Know about Ayurveda: Ayurvedic Pharmacy as described in Various Samhitas. The origin of Ayurveda is deemed to be from the Vedas. Hence the authentic references about the description of Ayurveda in Vedic literature are still to come. Ayurveda after the Vedic era or the post Vedic times developed a lot and attainted the position to be termed as the fifth Veda. The very first documentation over Ayurveda is said to be Aganivesaha Tantra. Aganivesaha wrote Aganivesaha Tantra. In later times Charka revised this text and tiled it as Charak Samhita. Dridabala then illustrated the Charak Samhita. After Charka Samhita it comes the Sushrut Samhita. Later Vagbhatta compiled both the Charka Samhita and the Sushrut Samhita and developed Ashtaang Samgraha and further revised it to Ashtaang Hridya.

Then come the Madhava Nidaan, Bhavaprakash, Chukradutta, Sharangdhar Samhita, Rastarangini and Bhaishajya Ratnavali. However the various archeological and historical descriptions lead us to the age of Ayurveda; but all these text can be taken to be produced between 1200BC to 200years back i.e. 18th century. Thus about a very long time passed away in the development of different kalpanas. All these points are to be taken into historical consideration. The more descriptions about it will come in history of Ayurveda.

The Hindu mythology believes in the passing of Ayurveda from being to being, initially. This is the very basic point of the difference found in various Ayurvedic references and text; because the oral traditions are transcribed from multiple sources. The Ayurvedic practices started from the use of fresh preparations and developed into tradition of complex mineral (i.e. mercuric/sulpher) based preparations. Now in Charak Samhita it is written in the 4/6-7 sutra sthan that madhur, amla, katu, tikta, kashaya, are the five sources of the panchavidh kalpanas and adding to it swaras, kalka, shrut, sheet, and phant are five types of kalpanas.

These five are fundamental preparations and rest all are derived and developed from these kalpanas. Charak Samhita is basically a medicine based textbook .In Charak Samhita the 27 chapter of sutra sthan describes the single drug usage of 44 drugs in accordance of their action. The Charak samhita includes about 128 forms of food and medicinal preparations. These kalpanas are likely to be 1200 years BC. After it Sushrut made the description of about 129 kalpanas which are nearly 1000years BC. Than after a long period ranging in between 4-6th century Vagabhatt wrote Ashtaang Samgraha, which contains 88 kalpanas and revised it to 76 in the Ashtaang Hridya.

Further Chukradutta nearly 11th century that is compiled of all the above text has reduced the number of preparations to 90 kalpanas including the parpati kalpana for the first time. After that comes the Sharangdhar Samhita which illustrated 74 kalpanas. Now comes the very latest Samhita Bhaishjya Ratnavali it contains 98 preparations including the parad kalpanas (mercuric complexes).

Generally all these kalpanas are near the same but they keep on changing and developing from one form to other in due course of time .The all kalpanas can be classified into following major groups. Those are the fundamental kalpanas and the derived kalpanas. The panchavidh kashaya kalpanas are the fundamental preparations and the all other are derived preparations.

The derived preparations are combinations of the fundamental preparations in combining the preparation process as well as the combination of various preparations. Mainly the preparations found in all the samhitas can be grouped in following ways. Single drug based and single preparation process based. Multiple process and mixed drugs based. The process of preparation of medicine was so much developed that in Charak Samhita there are eighty-four types of liquor preparations described. Of these 84 liquors the major types are-

• Six types of dhanayasva (food grains based),
• Twenty six types of falasava (fruit based),
• Eleven types of moolasava(root based),
• Twenty types of sarasava (concentration based),
• Ten types of pushpasava (flower based),
• Four types of kanadasava (stem based),
• Two types of patarasava (leaf based),
• Four types of twakasava (bark based),
• And one sharakarasava(sugar based).

Like wise many preparations are there in the samhitas ranging from food to local applicators, and surprisingly inject able also. (Suchika bharan rasa) as found in Sharangdhar samhita. About 200 years ago, Pranacharya Shri Sadanand Sharma wrote the Ras Tarangini, which was the "base book" for modernizing Ayurveda practices. The book describes the use of many mineral substances as medicine and their successful uses. This book, stared the process of developing the traditional herbs in sulphate, muriate phosphate as well as combinations of the above. Thus from Charak to bhaishajya ratnavali the traditions of Indian medicine develop from fresh preparations to that of complex herbo mineral perpetrations. The samhita has contributed a lot for the present systems of Indian medicines as well as the, life style in many ways as the traditional food preparations also arise in the samhitas.

How ayurvedic pharmacy developed?

The basic concept of Ashtaang samgraha and Ashtaang hridya are based upon the Charka and sushrut samhita. The development of bhaishajya kalpana as seen in Ashtaang hridya is clearly distinguished when we compare the preparation found in Ashtaang samgraha with Ashtaang hridya. At the time of Ashtaang samgraha the basic processing methods and preparation were the same as described in charka and sushrut. But we can clearly observe that the medicines and food-based preparation were gradually separating from one another as. A major variety of food-based preparations were eliminated like. yaskrita, yushrasa, poop, puplika, are not found in Ashtaang sangraha and while convey up to Asthaang hridya aahar kalpana is found to be present in save forms of peya, yavagoo yush, maansrasa, veshvaar. A remarkable feature of Ashtaang sangraha is that the variety of liquor is very less and only B type of alcoholic preparations are there as compared with 17 types of sushrut and Charka. Ashtaang sangraha also point out the development of kingdoms as various types of preparations are described there in; that are to be used for king and ministerial staffs. A very unique concept of vishkanya is seen in Ashtaang sangraha: -

• This is a specific for point out Ashtaang sangraha and the time when it was written. The same description in various historical references point in the direction that
• It could be formed in 3 rd to 6 th century B.C. As in Kautilya Arthasastra the concept of Vishkanya is described in short manner. The ashtaang samgraha was written prior to ashtaang hridya. The ashtaang hridya is revised version of Ashtaang Samgraha and written in prose style.
• The bhaishajya kalpana from Ashtaang hridya are much different from Ashtaang sangraha. The developmental aspect of Bhaishajya kalpana is easily portrayed by the word "Agad". The Agad preparation is described in Ashtaang hridya as antidote to poison. The literary meaning of Agad is "drug removing gada" gada means poison and disease. The use of antidote for poison as medicine barely indicates that the knowledge of poisons and other complex were growing. See history of.
• The more stabilized form of preparations is seen, as vati is included for the first time in Ashtaang hridya.

Above all the use of bhasma in both Ashtaang Samgraha & Ashtaang hridya gives us a clear indication of that the complicated methods of calcinations process of ores and minerals were used for the first time in Ayurveda at that time period. Perhaps this was due to gradual degradation of shalya (surgery) chikitsa as that was meant to be asuri chikitsa (treating by devils method as it involves blood oozing, cuts and wounds etc.). As in ashtaang hridya the achaar chikitsa in well stressed upon as that of charka in prior times.

Thus from charka to vagbhatt the bhaishajya kalpana developed to diversity and specialty treatment and therapeutics were seen, but not very clearly observed. In Ashtaang hridya there is a clear ideology of adding much sustainability to preparation is observed. Now after a comparative analysis of bhaishajya kalpana from Brihatta tryee and other ayurveda text we can point out to classify Bhaishajya kalpana in following three segments: -

(i) B.C. Era and Bhaishajya kalpana.
(ii) Ayurveda & Bhaishajya Kalpana after Christ up to 18th century and
(iii) Modern & Bhaishajya Kalpana.

Again when we describe Ayurveda & Bhaishjya Kalpana before Christ Era apart from Brihatta tryee there is a specific type of segment in Bhaishajya kalpana was developing. This segment was the rasa paddhati. The main role in the development of Rasashastra was the degradation of surgery. There are specific textbooks written on Rasshastra. This is specialty segment of Ayurveda and bhaishajya kalpana, which flourished at coast of surgery. Ashtaang samgraha stated about bhasma kalpana, but the parad kalpana and other herbo-mineral complexes are not seen. But as observed the "Kshaar kalpana" in noticed in Ashtaang hridya and the Rasratna Samuchaya describes about the "Kshaar panchak" and "Kshaar traya". Therefore it can be assumed that when at that time rasashastra was quite developing or initial stage. Thus there are not clear indications about the development of Bhaishajya Kalpana in context of Rasashastra. Now

(ii) After Christ Ayurveda and Bhaishajya kalpana. The documented evidence for the Brihatta tryee and Rasashastra are scattered seen and found after Christ. Thus the Ayurveda in second phase of development has combined effect of Rashastra and Brihatta tryee on Bhaishajya kalpana. The texts related with Rasashastra are Rasarnavam, Rasendrasaar samgraha, Rastratna Sammuchay, and more. Actually the basic of Bhaishajya kalpana has got two bases one from that of herbal based. And second that of the Pharmaceutics and medicines that are prepared from ‘‘Rasa’’(mineral based). Thus after analyzing the Brihatta tryee up to Chakradutta combining Nighantus and other texts the herbal part of Bhaishjya kalpana is observed. Now it comes to the mineral complexes or mineral based preparation of bhashajya kalpana. The documented versions of Rashastra based text are ranging from Nagarjuna up to Abhinava gupta. The first drug and medicine manual of medicine i.e. Sharangdhar Samhita contained in it the processed mercuric preparation and first inject able drug (suchika bharan rasa). This way it is clear that the Bhaishajya Kalpana can be fully understood only after going thoroughly by both
sections i.e. herb based & mineral based Bhaishajya Kalpana

Know about Ayurveda: Complete Overview on development of medicaments

The chronological study of all medicaments from ayurveda related text we can easily understand that the beginning of pharmacy is directly concerned with the diet preparation and almost every variety of cuisine is present in the ayurveda related text. After studying the complete developmental aspect of Bhaishajya Kalpana from various samhita text, the Vedic descriptions and 18 th century Ayurveda text Bhaishjya Ratnavali we can easily classify the medicaments into following groups: - Kritannavarga-(Food based preparations). All the variety of Indian cuisine and diet preparations are found in ayurveda related text. The word Krita means processed in general. It means the frying of food using a little oil cumin, mustard or other species. Simply now days we call it for example fried dal vegetables/cereals. Maansa- (meat based/or nonveg preparations). The various samhita text describe about a variety of nonveg preparations. The pratapta maansa , sushka maans and more are variety of these preparation. Almost all Indian delicious nonveg preparations are found in Sushrut Samhita. Apart from this there are certain medicines containing the animal parts and ingredients. Like samish mahamash tail, Mushak tail are prepared by using some animal parts. Specially the kshyarogi (patient with tuberculosis) and patients with dystrophies are given the nonveg soup of mutton. This is called santarpan therapy.

Sweets –
Phenika, Pyasa, and Modaka are some example of sweets found in ayurveda. The Bhavaprakash nighantu describes much about this.

Panaka -(Squash, Juices, syrups)-
There are a variety of squash and other preparations are described in ayurveda related text.

Shushka Kalpana- (Flour type dried preparations)-
There are saktu, laja like preparations, which can be stored easily and are dried in nature.

Rasavigyan Kalpana -(Mineral based preparations)-
This is the beginning of long sustainable medicines that can be stored for a long time. All the vati , varti , gutika can be covered in this. The mercuric preparations are the basic of rasavigyan kalpana. This was the time when the metallic and mineral preparations were developed.

After having a look at the different categories of preparation we must observe the modern history of medicines so as to under stand the influence of development of pharmacy and medicaments. This is nearly the same as history of modern medicine and its development. From modern point of view the medicament developed into 3 main time durations or 3 eras. They are as follows-
The B.C. era- The Egyptian history tells us about the use of medicines and medicaments. The Egyptian king Thomaha IIIrd sent a group to collect medicines to Syria. This description is found on the sculptures on the temple of kharnak. The famous scientist Theophrastus (372 to 287) wrote a text containing 450 drugs in it.

During 460 to 377 B.C. Hippo crates wrote a book about diseases. He described about the drugs peppermint (menthol), Dhatura (stromonium dhattur) and Baladona in his book.

The relevant descriptions about the use of mercury are found in 1496-1541 by Parasallous. He used mercury in treatment of syphilis.This can be correlated with that 1496 Bhavaprakash described about various disease and symptoms of “Firang” just and after words. So we can think of that the use of medicines and medicaments found are relatively comparable and are influenced by one another at that time also. Thus various descriptions are found in modern text also with development of various medicaments.

The revolutionary change in the pharmacy came the discovery of circulatory system (evolvement) by William Harvey in 1622. Then after Timothy & Quark for the first time in 1680 used the medicines intravenously. Than after the discovery of active ingredients of herbs or drugs lead to different type of medicament used. In the 19 th century and late 18 th century the concept of biochemistry and use of animal based pharmacological chemicals and substances made a new invention that entirely changed the modern pharmacological studies. This was the discovery of penicillin that made revolutionary changes into allopathic system of medicine. The use of penicillin and other antibiotic medicines made the surgery part of modern medicines extremely successful. This way we can observe that though starting from a like or comparatively similar conditions the ayurveda cant develop its way of action to find out how a medicine works on physiological system at modern parameters but established the pharmaceutics and therapeutics for various herbs and drugs that is strange. It is an astonishing fact that without knowing about the lie of action of any drug how can you state that it will perform a particular action upon body. As Arjuna Treminallia Arjuna is said to be cardiac tonic and modern researches also state the cardiac stimulant properties of Arjuna. The basic guana ,veerya – prabhava theory and the vata pitta kafa diagnosis is the basic of depicting the effect of a drug in ayurveda. But the modern approach to the pharmacokinetics is not described or reveled any ways in the ayurveda related text.

This particular segment of pharmacokinetics and actions in ayurveda is a missing link and further need to be explored by various nighantu or other text to establish the use of a drug and how it works to give particular result. We can deem that Charka used single drug system and classified different drug groups according to actions. Than he must know the line of action of the drugs but unfortunately didn’t disclosed it in any description.

This is very research oriented concept to be explored. When we study all forms of medicines that are found in Ayurveda related text from 3000 B.C. to 18 th century it is quite clear that medicines developed a lot as the primarily found medicines are generally cuisine based. And this way Ayurveda added a lot to the Indian taste. The inferences about the development of medicines are quite the same like development of civilization as from the most ancient times be it from the harrapan culture the residues found in pottery were containing the sugarcane juice like substance. After this we can see the use of sugar in its crude form also exists thus sugar cane juice was developed in to more stable form sugar. Likewise the other forms of medicines developed from the perishable from to a more stable form. This gradual development can be classified into two major time frames the pre historic times or from 3000 B.C. to1000.B.C and from 1000B.C 18 th century. All these kalpanas found in the text from Charka Samhita up to Bhaishajya Ratnavali can be classified into two groups; they are –

1. Kalpanas from Charka Samhita to Ashtaang Samgraha, and –this time frame is supposed to be from 3000B.C. to. 500.B.C.
2. Kalpanas as in Chukradutta, Sharangdhar Samhita and Bhaishjya Ratnavali. -This time frame is from 500.B.C onwards and up to 18 th century. During this age the ayurvedic pharmacy developed a lot. And more stable and complex form of medicines are seen.

The first group has the largest number of kalpanas as compared to the second group because many of these kalpanas were compiled and some diet preparations were eliminated. The kalpanas found in the second group are refined version of those found in the first group and a specific difference between the diet preparations and medicinal preparations is seen for the first time in Chukradutta poop, pooipka, navaneet, mastu are not added while as herb and mineral combinations preparations like parpati kalpana are included.

Chukradutta is the text written in the transition period of Ayurveda as by side the dravya guna vigyana (study of herbs) was flourishing and major variety of diet preparations later added to that. The textbook Bhavaprakash written during this time is the first authentic sources of dravya guna vigyana in Ayurveda. Later on we find it that Sharangdhar Samhita the system of mineral processing i.e. parad (mercury) gandhak (sulphor) was developing and for the first time in the history of medicine the inject-able drugs or medicine Suchika bharan Rasa was prepared.

Than after 4 centuries in the 18 th century the Bhaishajya Ratnavali and Rastarangini are the two major texts of Bhaishjya Kalpana (pharmacy) are found. These two consist of the most refined versions of kalpanas from samhitas. The modern ayurvedic pharmacy is based on all these ayurvedic text. The kalpanas (from of medicines) found in Ayurveda can be classified as-

1. Diet preparations
2. Medicinal preparations.

The first group can again be subdivided into-
Animal based and vegetable based.

Animal based group
• Maans,
• Maansara,
• Veshvaar,
• Shulya maans,
• Pratptamaans,
• Chatakandarasa,
• Chhagrakta paan…
And more are the animal preparations.

Vegetable based group has many preparations. Some examples are.
• Raaga,
• Raaga shadava,
• Kamblika,
• Takra,
• Yavagu,
• Madhu,
• Navaneet,
• Vatyamanda,
• Mand….
And more are the vegetable preparations. Likewise the medicinal preparations can be subdivided into to
1-Medical procedures, and 2-Preperations.

The procedures included in the kalpana are internal and external Internal like

• Basti
• Dhroomapaan,
• Ashyochatanam,
• Karnapoornam,
• Yonipoornam, and

External preparations

• Lepe
• Praseka
• Parisheka
• Sneha
• Prayaooga
• Swedanam
• Avagahanam
• Pichu

The medicinal preparations can also be subdivided into two types herbal and mineral apart from this the combination. Of the two is also a kind of preparation.

Herbal Group-
• Ksheerpaak
• Kaval
• Madhya
• Swarasa, and more…
• Mineral Group
• Mandoor
• Bhasma
• Parpati
• Parad,

Mixed Group –
• Amritikaran
• Vatis

Most of all the ayurvedic preparations are mixed now a day.

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The influence of Ancient drug related text (Nighantus) - Ayurveda Encyclopedia

Post by Admin on Sat 06 Nov 2010, 6:05 pm

The influence of Ancient drug related text (Nighantus) - Ayurveda Encyclopedia

In Ayurveda one sholaka (Sanskrit annotation) states that people use to laugh at a medico who doesn’t have the knowledge of Nighantus (drugs based text). The word nighantu stands for the drug book or the materia medica in Ayurveda. Charaka, Sushruta, Vagabhatta, Bhav Mishra, Shaligram and others have written about the properties and pharmacological charecteristics of the herbs, mineral, metals, chemicals, animal parts, cooked food articles, natural foods, fruits etc.Nighantus are text containing all these descriptions. There were several nighantus as Kaikye dev nighantu, Dhanvantri nighantu, Madan pal nighantu, Shaligram nighantu, Nighantu samgraha, Bhavaprakash nighantu and now days it is the Dravya Guna Vigyan. Basically it is the complete reference book for the Indian medicines of all categories including herbs, minerals and, animal products.
The nighantus are supposed to contain all the descriptions regarding the flora and fauna of Indian subcontinent as till date the drugs described in the Bhavaprakash, which are known to be find in India. Nighantus are basically the specific text dedicated for the study of all aspects of drugs from their place of origin, their pharmacological actions, useful parts up to preparations and dosage. The study of nighantu is correlated with bhaishajya
kalpana as the later one depends upon the nighantus for the knowledge of drugs and their pharmacological properties.

The nighantus have detailed studies about drugs on following parameters-
• Identification of the drug,
• Place of origin,
• Nomenclature,
• Collection, preservation, detoxification and useful parts,
• Pharmacological actions,
• Preparations, and Dosage.

All the action of drugs used in bhaishajya kalpana are taken as it is from the various nighantus .The charka samhita as it self contained specific section related with the drugs their action and dosage (kalpa sthan). Alike that Sushrut samhita also classified its own drug section as Gana and used the single drug use tradition for preparation of different kalpanas. These two along with Ashtaang Samgraha and Ashtaang Hridya contained in them all the necessary drugs listed and their classifications as per their usages in bhaishajya kalpana. The nighantus which are found to be developed later on; are based upon the Brihattryi (Charka Sushrut and Vagbhatta). The later Bhavaprakash Nighantu is deemed to be developed from these all samhita text and scientifically used the various classifications of the drugs found in ancient drug related text by ayurveda. The most appreciated text on nighantu is bhavaprakash written in 14 th century. It contains 426 drugs and substances in it. This is the basic of modern dravya guna sashtara as all the definitions related with the action of drugs started from charka than vagabhatt up to bavaprakash are the same, which are used in modern ayurvedic pharmacy. There are about 1750 action words used to describe the actions of all the drugs. Sharangdhar though do not directly cite the text but used bhavaprakash as a reference at many places. The aspect of nighantus that affect bhaishajya kalpana will be discussed from time to time in bhaishajya kalpana description at their relevant reference and context. Presently the identification aspects are changed into the botanical classifications as per family. Than the Latin nomenclature system is most appropriate system. Thus for completely understanding the bhaishajya kalpana the knowledge of drugs their nature, effect, classification, ecology, nomenclature, actions and dosage must be acquired from the nighantus. The major ayurvedic pharmacy cites the bhavaprakash nighantu, dravya guna vigyan and Indian materia medica by Naadkarni as reference to the pharmacological properties of the herbs and drugs used in bhaishajya kalpana

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