Bhaishajya Kalpanaa - the Ayurvedic pharmaceutics - an overview
In Ayurvedic therapeutics, drug therapy is given prime importance. There is a very well developed sub-discipline entirely devoted to drug formulations known as “Bhaisajya Kalpanaa”. Considering its importance, different aspects of this discipline have been presented in this review to familiarize the readers, especially those who have just started studying Ayurveda, with concept ofayurvedic pharmaceutics. The Ayurvedic drug formulation is based on what is known as “Pancavidha Kasaaya” concept. According to this concept there are five basic forms of formulation known as 1- ‘Swarasa’ the expressed juice, 2-‘Kalka’, a fine paste obtained by grinding fresh or wet grinding dried plant material 3- ‘Kwaatha’, the decoction, 4- ‘Sheeta’ or ‘Hima’, the cold water infusion and 5- ‘Faanta’, the hot water infusion. Different aspects of their preparation and use have been discussed. Further from the above basic forms, a number of other formulations are derived; a brief description of each of them has been given along with brief outlines of drug formulations meant for specific routes. The third part of the review is devoted to discussion of influence of different factors on the expression of pharmacological activity.
Key words: Ayurvedic pharmaceutics, Bhaisajya Kalpanaa, Pancavidha Kasaaya, Ayurvedic formulations Traditional systems of medicine