Today, drugs that are used for the treatment of any disease are formulated in such a way that they can easily penetrate the tissues and cells. The targeted drug delivery is on focus study. For this, the lipid drugs are preferred over the insoluble ones, due to their penetrating power within the channels of the cell. If we see the cellular structure, the cellular membrane is a lipid bilayer. This layer is semi-permeable and allows the passage of specific substances within it. Lipid Membranes create a boundary for every cell to maintain its integrity.
This cell knowledge is counted in recent studies. Then how did Rishis and Vaidyas 5000 years back know this?
How were they able to restructure and rejuvenate the damaging cells?
According to Ayurveda, the formulation of drugs was made with ghee or ghritam. These are penetrable right into the cells. Usage of ghee in drug delivery was known about 5000 years ago and people were healed with their wounds and other diseases. If the ghee is in its pure form, it is not only useful for safe drug delivery but the increased shelf life of a drug adds on to its wellness.
In Ayurveda, there are five types of preparation methods of a drug known as Pancha Kashaya Kalpana. We can consider them as five different ways of intake medicine.
- Swarasa – Intake of medicine in the form of liquid or juice. It’s a liquid extract of herbs which are fresh and green. These herbs are first converted into a paste, then squeezed, and extract of it is concentrated and later consumed. Swarasa is to be consumed fresh for its better effectiveness. This is to be taken twice a day, the quantity taken should be 20 g to 25 g and the first dosage is preferable to be taken with an empty stomach.
- Kalka – Intake of medicine or its application in the form of paste. The paste is made of fresh herbs or dried ones mixed with water. The herbs are first cursed, then mixed with water or ghee. This is then consumed twice a day. 6 – 12g is preferable for intake with warm water of ghee. The first dose is to be consumed with an empty stomach.
- Kashayam – Intake of medicine in the form of Decoction. This liquid is prepared by first diluting 1 part herbal extract into 16 parts of water. Later, that quantity is reduced to 1/8. This is then filtered and about 95ml of it is consumed twice a day with the first dose on an empty stomach.
- Hima – It’s the cold infusion of medicine. In this, 1(approx 44g) part of the herb is mixed with 6 parts of water and soaked overnight. It is then filtered and consumed (approx 145ml) with an empty stomach.
- Phanta – It’s the hot infusion of medicine. The herbal powder (approx 48g) is to be crushed and hot water (approx 192ml) is added to it. This is then filtered and consumed with an empty stomach.
As we know that medicines cannot be taken in their raw form, Kalpanas become a medium for a proper intake. These Kalpanas make medicines more durable and increase the potency of medicine by adding special property i.e. Vishesh gunantardhana. It also makes medicine more penetrable and helps in adjusting the ratio of Doshas (Pitta, Vata and Kapha) which are necessary for good health. These medicines vary from person to person depending on their physical and mental health. The dosage and power are given according to a person’s immune system, which helps a person to ingest and digest a particular medicine.
Kalpanas being the medium of drugs are transported to every cell via Dhatus. Once the drug is being delivered into a cell, the nutrients are absorbed and thus a cell replenishes. Thus, Ayurveda serves as a basic pillar with help in moderating, maintaining and improving the quality of living just by understanding body and health.
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