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 Table of Contents  
REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 150-161

Yava (Hordeum vulgare L.) as a Pathya (wholesome diet): A memoir from classical texts of Ayurveda


Department of Dravyaguna, Institute of Teaching and Research in Ayurveda (ITRA), Jamnagar, Gujarat, India

Date of Submission03-Nov-2021
Date of Acceptance04-Jan-2022
Date of Web Publication25-Mar-2022

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Seema Harshadbhai Kathavadiya
Department of Dravyaguna, Institute of Teaching and Research in Ayurveda (ITRA), Jamnagar, Gujarat.
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jdras.jdras_70_21

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  Abstract 

Right diet is the essence of disease prevention and the foundation of a healthy and happy life. A properly selected diet and diet plan plays a critical importance in the management of any disease. The usage of Yava or barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) both as Pathya (wholesome) and Aushadha (medicine) is established in ancient texts and modern research experiments. Yava is in practice since time immemorial due to its rich nutritional entities and various therapeutics benefits. The present review details Rasapanchaka (five attributes of dravya beginning with rasa), Rogaghnata (therapeutic indication) and utility of Yava as a Pathya depicted in Samhita, Sangrahagranth, Nighantu, and Rasagrantha. Yava is advocated as Pathya in 117 different disease conditions, nine swastha condition, and during the treatment course of six other medications. A total of 108 Ahara Kalpana (food dietetics preparations) of Yava has been found, among them 95 Ahara Kalpana having internal uses, 12 Ahara Kalpana having external uses and one Ahara Kalpana having both internal and external uses. It is found to be used in Swastha and 48 different disease conditions among them maximum formulations have been found in Prameha, Trushna, Jwara, Kasa, etc. Yava is contraindicated in persons suffering from Amlapita (dyspesia), Grahani (malabsorption syndrome), and during the administration of Gandhaka rasayana. Yava is highly useful grain which should be consumed to promote health of individual and prevent disease conditions.

Keywords: Ahara Kalpana, barley, Hordeum vulgare, Jau, Yava


How to cite this article:
Kathavadiya SH, Acharya R. Yava (Hordeum vulgare L.) as a Pathya (wholesome diet): A memoir from classical texts of Ayurveda. J Drug Res Ayurvedic Sci 2021;6:150-61

How to cite this URL:
Kathavadiya SH, Acharya R. Yava (Hordeum vulgare L.) as a Pathya (wholesome diet): A memoir from classical texts of Ayurveda. J Drug Res Ayurvedic Sci [serial online] 2021 [cited 2022 Oct 1];6:150-61. Available from: http://www.jdrasccras.com/text.asp?2021/6/3/150/340875




  Introduction Top


Ayurveda is one of the world’s oldest holistic healing systems. It was developed thousands of years ago in India. Ayurveda deals elaborately on Pathya (wholesome) and Apathya (unwholesome) its importance of Doshas (regulatory functional factors of the body) and bringing harmony within the body. According to Ayurveda as well as modern science, diet plays an important role in the etiopathogenesis of disease. Acharya Kashyapa has quoted that there is no medicine like food.[1] Only a balanced diet can cure numerous disorders, even good medicines are unable to cure certain diseases without a balanced diet. That is why food is said to be the most important medicine. Acharya Lolimbaraja has mentioned that “when an individual follows proper diet, why does he need medicine? When an individual does not follow a proper diet, what is the use of medicine?” in his work Vaidyajeevanam.[2] More attention should be paid to Pathya along with the treatment. More attention should be paid to Pathya along with the treatment, through Ahara (food) and Vihara (lifestyle), for the maintenance of wellbeing and restoration of health. Pathya is a group of precautions related to diet and prescribed along with medicines in the treatment of a disease. Pathya for Atura (diseased) is explained in respective diseases throughout the samhitas and chikitsagranthas.

Acharya charaka mentions the synonyms of Chikitsa (treatment) as Vyadhihara (removal of disease), Sadhana (practice toward mitigating the cause and effect of the disease), Aushadha (medicine), Prayaschita (repentance), Prashamana (subsiding disease), Prakrutisthapana (restoration of health), Pathya (wholesome), and Hitam (conducive to health).[3]Pathya is also one among them.

Yava (Hordeum vulgare L.), commonly known as barley, belongs to the family Poaceae. It makes up to 12% of total cereal production and owns the fourth position after wheat, rice, and maize. It is one of the oldest grain crops. It is cultivated extensively in all countries of the world. Its origin is considered in the Middle East.[4] It is used as a food grain well known to the present era since the Vedic period. It not only provides nutrition but also it has medicinal properties.

There is a detailed description of Yava in various Samhita and Nighantu. Acharya charaka discussed about Ahara in swastha chatushka, Annapana chatushka, and at many more places in different context, which shows the importance of Ahara. Acharya classifies Ahara in 12 vargas in Annapana vidhi adhyaya of Sutrasthana,[5]Yava (Barley) has been discussed under the Shukadhanya varga of this classification. Yava is considered as one among the Nitya sevaniya dravya (wholesome daily food),[6] a Shukadhanya. Among all the Pathya dravyas (wholesome substance), yava is given foremost importance in all the classics. Yava is used as a part of various therapeutics preparations as well as in dietary form for many Roga (disease).

This paper reviews the classification of Yava in Ayurveda texts, Rasapanchaka (five attributes of dravya beginning with rasa), Karma (action), Rogaghnata (therapeutic indication), Nutritional evaluation, Yava as Pathya in diseases, and various Aharakalpana of Yava in diseases condition.


  Materials and Methods Top


Information regarding the drug Yava is being compiled from the printed form of Veda, Nighantu, Samhita, Chikitsagrantha, and Rasagrantha and the online source of e-Nighantu. Each text has been scrutinized chapter by chapter for pharmacological properties, its variety, and actions. Information was extracted from available Nighantu (lexicons), Rasa Grantha (compendia related to Rasashastra), Chikitsa Grantha (compendia), and Samhita (treaties). In this review, information from various treatises and compendias such as Samhita Grantha, Charaka Samhita,[3]Sushruta Samhita,[7]Astanga sangraha,[8]Astanga hrdaya,[9]Kasyapa Samhita,[1]Bhela Samhita,[10]Harita Samhita,[11]Sarngadhara Samhita[12] and Bhavaprakasa Samhita,[13]Sangraha grantha (Compendias) like Vrindamadhava,[14]Chakradatta,[15]Gadanigraha,[16]Vangasena,[17]Yogaratnakara,[18]Bhaisajya Ratnavali,[19]Sahasrayoga,[20]Chikitsa Kalika,[21]Vaidya Chintamani,[22]Siddhabheshaja manimala,[23]Basavarajiyam,[24] and Vaidya rahasya[25]Rasasastra texts include Rasa Hrdaya tantra,[26]Rasaratnasamucchaya,[27]Ananda kanda,[28]Nighantu include, Astanga Nighantu,[29]Madanadi Nighantu,[30]Dhanavanatari Nighantu,[31]Sodhala Nighantu,[32]Siddhamantra Nighantu,[33]Madhava dravyaguna,[34]Hrdayadipaka Nighantu,[35]Madanapala Nighantu,[36]Kaiyadeva Nighantu,[37]Bhavaprakasa Nighantu,[38]Raja Nighantu,[39]Rajavallabha Nighantu,[40]Shaligrama Nighantu,[41]Priya Nighantu,[42] and Shankara Nighantu has been compiled and information pertaining to Yava has been searched for.[43]

Inclusion criteria

Yava used as a Pathya and as an Ahara Kalpana (dietetics preparations) in both Swastha (healthy) and diseased conditions were included.

Exclusion criteria

Aushadha Kalpana (medicated formulations) containing Yava as an ingredient was excluded.


  Result and Discussion Top


Historical perspective

There is a detailed description of Yava in Veda. It is considered as the most ancient cereal in Atharvaveda and also elaborated its feature as Dirgashuko dhanya vishesha (best among all long spike grains). There is a detailed description of Yava in various Ayurvedic Samhitas and Nighantus. Classification of Yava in various treatise is depicted in [Table 1].
Table 1: Classification of Yava in various Samhitas, Chikitsagranth, and Nighantus

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Rasapanchaka and Rogaghnata

The action of the drug in Ayurveda is completely based on the Rasapanchaka of that particular drug. Rasapanchaka is an approach to portray the pharmacodynamics of Ayurvedic drugs, which covers five aspects: Rasa (taste), Guna (attribute), Veerya (potency), Vipaka (bio-transformed rasa), and Prabhava (exceptional activity) [Table 2].
Table 2: Rasapanchaka and Rogaghnata of Yava

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Nutritional value

Nutrition is a vital component of the individuals and community health as nutritional well-being of life. Yava, that is, barley, is a versatile cereal grain, which is rich in macro and micronutrients. It fulfills the major requirement of the human body. The following nutrients are present in Yava[44] [Table 3].
Table 3: Nutritional value of barley (per 100 g)

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Indicated as Pathya

Pathya recommended in healthy condition

Yava is mentioned specifically in the following contexts:

  • As Nitya sevaniya ahara dravya: Acharya Charaka[3] and Vagbhatta[8],[9]have mentioned Yava as a Nitya sevaniya dravya. These dravyas maintain health of a person and restrict the diseases from originating.


  • In Agryasangraha (foremost substances): Yava is mentioned as Agrya among Purishajanaka dravyas (substances that generate feces).[3],[8]


  • As Lekhana dravya: Yava is considered as a Lekhana dravya[12] along with honey, hot water, and vacha.


  • In Rutucharya (seasonal routine):Yava is mentioned as a diet in Vasant Rutu (spring),[3],[7],[8],[13],[14],[16],[18],[23]Varsha rutu (rainy season),[3],[8],[10],[13],[14]Sharada rutu (autumn),[3],[8],[13],[18],[23]Pravruta rutu (rainy season),[7]Grishma rutu (summer),[16] and Shishira rutu (cool season).[9]


  • In Mahakashaya (group of ten dravyas): Yava is considered among one of the dravya of Swedopaga mahakashaya (group of 10 sudation assisting dravya), Chhardi nigrahana mahakashaya (group of 10 anti-emetic dravya), and Shramahara mahakashaya (group of 10 fatigue relieving dravya).[3],[8]


  • It is cited as Shreshtha dhanya (best among all grains)[7] in Sushruta Samhita.


Yava as a Pathya–Apathya in disease conditions

Yava is advocated as Pathya ahara in 117 different disease conditions, nine swastaha condition, during the treatment course of six other medications and contraindicated in Amlapitta (dyspepsia), Atisara (diarrhea), Grahani (malabsorption syndrome), and administration of Gandhaka rasayana [Table 4] and [Figure 1].
Table 4: Indication and contraindication of Yava as pathya in Ayurveda

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Figure 1: Yava as a Pathya in Srotas wise disease conditions, Swastha and during Rasayana sevana

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Pathya as Ahara Kalpana

Formulations and dietetic preparations containing Yava as an ingredient were critically studied and recorded in a specially designed information sheet. With an aim to make the presentation short various abbreviations were created for different dosage forms such as Anna (An), Bhakshya (Bh), Bhojana (Bn), Krushara (Kr), Krutanna (Krt), Kshira (Ks), Mamsarasa (Mm), Mantha (Mn), Manda (Md), Payasa (Ps), Peya (Py), Pista (Pt), Pupalika (Pu), Saka (Sk), Saktu (Skt), Sidhu (Sd), Swarasa (Sw), Utkarika (Ut), Vatya (Vt), Veshavara (Vs), Yavagu (Yv), and Yusha (Ys).

On keen observation, it is noted that in all referred texts a total of 108 Kalpana were found, among which 95 Ahara Kalpana (dietetic preparations formulations) having internal uses, 12 Ahara Kalpana (formulation) having external use, and one Ahara Kalpana having both internal and external uses. Among Ahara Kalpana, maximum dosages form is of Yusha (soup of vegetables/pulses) (28), Saktu (roasted grain flour) (19), Yavagu (12), Bhaskhya (masticated eatables) (6), Peya (thin gruel of rice) (5), Krutanna (processed food items) (5), Utkarika (4), Mantha (3), Payasa (3), Pista (3), Vatya (porridge prepared with fried barley) (2), Saka (vegetables) (2), Manda (rice water) (2), Mamsarasa (meat soup) (2), Bhojana (food)(2), Swarasa (juice) (2), Kshira (milk) (2), Anna(food) (2), Sidhu (alcoholic preparation) (1), Krushara(porridge) (1), Pupalika (deep fried sweet bread of flour) (1), and Veshavara (boneless meat prepared with certain condiments) (1) [Figure 2].
Figure 2: Pathya ahar kalpana of Yava

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Yava being used as an Aharakalpana in Swastha (8) condition, during Rasayana sevana (1) are presented in [Table 5]. Yava indicated different diseases as an Ahara Kalpana is arranged based upon various Srotas like Pranavaha srotas (12), Annavaha srotas (10), Udakavaha srotas (6), Swedavaha srotas (5), Purishavaha srotas (10), Mutravaha srotas (9), Rasavaha srotas (4), Raktavaha srotas (10), Artavavaha srotas (5), Manovaha srotas (4), Vatavaha srotas (4), and samanya sansthani vyadhi (20) are presented in [Figure 3].
Table 5: Pathya ahara Kalpana of Yava in Swastha

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Figure 3: Pathya ahara kalpana of Yava found in srotas wise distribution of diseases, swastha and during Rasayana sevana

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Yava as an Ahara kalpana is found to be used in Swastha (8) during Rasayana sevana (1) and 48 different diseased conditions among them maximum formulations have been found in Prameha (8), Trushna (6), five each in Jwara and Kasa, four each in Shula, Kushtha, Chhardi and Madatyaya, three each in Daha, Malakshaya (loss of feces), Rajyakshma, Sutikaroga (puerperal disorder), Vibandhavarcha (constipation), and Vatavyadhi (disorders due to vata). Two each in Arsha (hemorrhoids), Kantharoga (disorders of throat), Kshtakshina (thoracic trauma), Pratishyaya, Urahakshata (thoracic trauma), Vidradhi, Visarpa and Vatarakta, one each in Acharana (colpitis), Aticharana (vaginitis due to excessive coitus), Vataja Shirobhitapa (injury to head due to vata), Amashayastha rakta (small bowel bleeding), Annadravashula, Apatanaka (orthotonus), Kapharoga, Puyasrava(pus lacrimation), Swarasada (dysphonia), Koshthabheda (visceral injury), Kosthagata rakta (hemoperitonium), Parinama shula(duodenal ulcer), Swarbheda, Shwasa-Hikka, Udararoga, Vayasi putana (possession of vayasi putana), Vrana (wound), Mutrakruchchha, Galagraha (throat spasm), Udavarta, Shotha, Sarvaroga (systemic illness), Vistambha (fullness in the abdomen), Kumbhika (styes), and Hrudaroga disease conditions mentioned below in Srotas wise classification.

Pranavahasrotas

Formulations containing Yava have been indicated as an Ahara in the management of Hikka, Shwasa, Kasa, Kshatakshina, Pratishyaya, and Urahakshata related to Pranavaha Srotasa. Maximum five formulations are indicated in Kasa, two each in Urahakshata, Pratishyaya, and Kshatakshina, one in Shwasa and Hikka [Table 6].
Table 6: Pathya ahara Kalpana of Yava indicated in diseases of Pranavahasrotas

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Yusha (5) and Saktu (3) are maximum dosage forms.

Annavahasrotas

Formulations containing Yava have been indicated as an Ahara in the management of Amashayastha rakta, Annadravashula, Chhardi, Koshthabheda, Kostharakta, Parinamshula and Udararoga related to Annavahasrotas. Maximum four formulations are indicated in Chhardi, one each in Annadravashula Shula, Parinamashula, Amashayastha rakta, Koshtharakta, Koshthabheda, and Udararoga [Table 7].
Table 7: Pathya ahara Kalpana of Yava indicated in diseases of Annavahasrotas

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Yavagu (3), Yusha (2), and Saktu (2) are maximum dosage forms.

Udakavahasrotas

Formulations containing Yava have been indicated as an Ahara in the management of Trushna roga related to Udakavahasrotas. Total six formulations are indicated in Trushna [Table 8].
Table 8: Pathya ahara Kalpana of Yava indicated in diseases of Udakavahasrotas

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Yusha (2) is a maximum dosage form.

Swedavahasrotas

Formulations containing Yava have been indicated as an Ahara in the management of Jwara related to Swedavahasrotas. Total five formulations are indicated in Jwara [Table 9].
Table 9: Pathya ahara Kalpana of Yava indicated in diseases of Swedavahasrotas

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Yusha (4) is a maximum dosage form.

Purishavahasrotas

Formulations containing Yava have been indicated as an Ahara in the management of Arsha, Malakshaya, Udavarta, Vibandhavarcha, and Vistambha related to Purishavahasrotas. Maximum three formulations are indicated each in Malakshaya and Vibandhavarcha, two in Arsha, one in Udavarta, and one in Vistambha [Table 10].
Table 10: Pathya ahara Kalpana of Yava indicated in diseases of Purishavahasrotas

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Yusha (3), Peya (2), and Krutanna (2) are maximum dosage forms.

Mutravahasrotas

Formulations containing Yava have been indicated as an Ahara in the management of Prameha and Mutrakruchcha related to Mutravahasrotas. Maximum eight formulations are indicated in Prameha and one in Mutrakruchcha [Table 11].
Table 11: Pathya ahara Kalpana of Yava indicated in diseases of Mutravahasrotas

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Bhakshya (3) is a maximum dosage form.

Rasavahasrotas

Formulations containing Yava have been indicated as an Ahara in the management of Rajyakshma and Hrudaroga related to Rasavahasrotas. Maximum three formulations are indicated in Rajyakshma and one in Hrudaroga [Table 12].
Table 12: Pathya ahara Kalpana of Yava indicated in diseases of Rasavahasrotas

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Raktavahasrotas

Formulations containing Yava have been indicated as an Ahara in the management of Kushtha, Switra, Visarpa, and Vidradhi related to Raktavahasrotas. Maximum three formulations are indicated in Kushtha, two in Vidradhi, one in Visarpa, and one in Switra [Table 13].
Table 13: Pathya ahara Kalpana of Yava indicated in diseases of Raktavahasrotas

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Saktu (3) is a maximum dosage form

Artavavahasrotas

Formulations containing Yava have been indicated in the management of Sutikaroga and Yonivyapad related to Artavavahasrotas. Three formulations are indicated in Sutikaroga. Two formulations are indicated as external use in Yonivyapad [Table 14].
Table 14: Pathya ahara Kalpana of Yava indicated in diseases of Artavavahasrotas

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Yusha (2) and Utkarika (2) are maximum dosage form.

Manovahasrotas

Formulations containing Yava have been indicated as an Ahara in the management of Madatyaya related to Manovahasrotas. Four formulations are indicated in Madatyaya.

Yusha (3) is maximum dosage form [Table 15].
Table 15: Pathya ahara Kalpana of Yava indicated in diseases of Manovahasrotas

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Vatavahasrotas

Formulations containing Yava have been indicated as an Ahara in the management of Apatanaka and Vatavyadhi related to Vatavahasrotas. Maximum three formulations are indicated in Vatavyadhi and one in Apatanaka [Table 16].
Table 16: Pathya ahara Kalpana of Yava indicated in diseases of Vatavahasrotas

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Samanya sansthani vyadhi

Formulations containing Yava have been indicated as an Ahara in the management of Galagraha, Kantharoga, Swarasada, Puyasrava, Shotha, Shula, and in many other diseases are enlisted in [Table 17].
Table 17: Pathya ahara Kalpana of Yava indicated in diseases of Samanya sansthani

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  Discussion Top


On critical analysis, it is observed that use of yava as an ingredient in various dosage forms as Pathya kalpana has gradually been decreased from the period of Charaka (second BC) up to nineteenth-century AD. Maximum Aharakalpana were found in Vangsena (17) followed by Charak Samhita (16), Astanga sangraha (16), Sushruta Samhita (12), Astanga hruday (10), Yogaratnakara (10), Bhavaprakasha (8), Gadanigraha (8), Vrundamadhava (5), Chakradatta (5), Bhaisajya ratnavali (5), Bhela Samhita (4), Kashyapa Samhita (3), Sharangadhara (2), Chikitsa kalika (2), Vaidya Chintamani (1), Haritasamhita (1), Sahstrayoga (1), Basavarajeeyama (1), and Vaidya rahasya (1) [Figure 4].
Figure 4: Historical prospective of Yava as an ingredient of various Pathya ahara Kalpana as depicted in Ayurveda Samhita and Chikitsagrantha

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Yava (H. vulgare L.), commonly known as barley, belongs to the family Poaceae. It is one of the most fundamental plants in human nutrition. Yava is Kashaya – Madhura in rasa. Kashaya rasa decreases Pitta Kapha, purifies blood, absorbs the Kleda (moisture)-meda (fat), and performs Lekhana karma. Madhura rasa and Sheeta veerya increase Dhatubala of sharir (strength of major structural component of the body) and does Jeevaniya karma (vitalization). Katu vipaka absorbs Sneha (oleation), Meda, and Kleda present in the body. Guru guna increases the quantity of Mala (faeces), Mrudu guna helps in Softening of Mala, Picchila guna softens the elementary canal and helps in excretion. Purishajananakarma is caused by above-mentioned properties.

Yava (barley) is considered being most useful grain, as it is easily digestible compared wheat and other grain. But still it remains underutilized as human food.[45]Yava is an efficient food to prevent and cure many lifestyle disorders. It is found ancient cereal with various active principles including vitamins, minerals, and amino acids have been used by the physician in the form of a wholesome diet to treat various diseases. Nutrition plays a pivotal role in ayurevdic living. It is difficult to understand ayurvedic nutrition from the western point of view where quantity is determined by serving size or in caloric intake. Modern science states that carbohydrate, fat, protein, vitamins, and mineral are required for a well-balanced diet. In Ayurveda various activities such as immunomodulator, and nutritional that enhance the strength, immunity, bulk of the body resulting by the use of medicinal or dietary substances are termed as Balya. Yava having Balya, Medhya, Varnya, Vrushya, Jeevaniya, and Sthairyakrut karma denotes that it is a rich source of nutrition.


  Conclusion Top


Ayurvedic pharmacodynamics is indicative to prevent and cure many diseases. It is a time to reintroduce the barley again in the main diet, based upon its Ayurvedic pharmacodynamics, to prevent and cure many diseases. This cereal may play an important role as Pathya in many diseases. Present findings may be helpful for its daily use to promote health of individual and prevent disease conditions.

Acknowledgment

The authors are thankful to the Director, ITRA, Jamnagar for providing library and other facilities to carry out the research work.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
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    Figures

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