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 Table of Contents  
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 211-212

Ayurveda pharmaceutics: Need for innovation

Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Drug Research in Ayurvedic Sciences, Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS), Ministry of Ayush, Government of India, New Delhi, India

Date of Submission06-Oct-2022
Date of Acceptance21-Oct-2022
Date of Web Publication21-Nov-2022

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Rabinarayan Acharya
Director General, Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS), Ministry of Ayush, Government of India, Janakpuri, New Delhi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jdras.jdras_153_22

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How to cite this article:
Acharya R. Ayurveda pharmaceutics: Need for innovation. J Drug Res Ayurvedic Sci 2022;7:211-2

How to cite this URL:
Acharya R. Ayurveda pharmaceutics: Need for innovation. J Drug Res Ayurvedic Sci [serial online] 2022 [cited 2023 Jan 28];7:211-2. Available from: http://www.jdrasccras.com/text.asp?2022/7/4/211/361574

The therapeutics in the Ayurveda system relies on the use of various medicinal plants, metals & minerals, and animal products. Among these, plants occupy a lion’s share and are the crucial constituents of Ayurveda formulations either as a single or polyherbal ingredient. Along with classical medicine, as revealed in the authoritative books of Ayurveda, another category of Patent or Proprietary Ayurveda medicines are available in the drug market based on new combinations/Folk claims/Local Health Traditions (LHTs), which make use of ingredients referred to in the formulations of authoritative texts.

In addition to this, a new category of drug is being identified namely “phytopharmaceuticals,” which is defined as a purified and standardized fraction with a defined minimum of four bioactive or phytochemical compounds (qualitatively and quantitatively assessed) of an extract of a medicinal plant or its part, for internal or external use of human beings or animals for diagnosis, treatment, mitigation, or prevention of any disease or disorder. However, it does not include administration by the parenteral route. In India, regulatory requirements for phytopharmaceutical drugs are under the Central Drugs Standards Control Organization (CDSCO) purview. The recent document of Gazette of India dated March 19, 2019 under the “New Drugs CT rules,” narrates required information to be submitted along with the application to conduct a clinical trial or import or manufacture phytopharmaceuticals in the country.[1]

The basic doctrine of pharmaceutics of Ayurveda relies on whole drug properties. The standard operating procedure guidelines, mentioned in Charak Samhita Vimanasthana, encompass the passport data of the crude drug, which includes its authentication, good collection practices, good manufacturing practices and good storage techniques too.[2]

Panchavidha Kashaya kalpana, the five fundamental dosage forms, are the basic dosage forms enumerated in Charaka Samhita.[3] These are the basic extraction techniques of the whole drug in Ayurveda. Thus, a lot of therapeutic attributes are bestowed upon the whole drug aspect in Ayurveda. Thus, the upcoming trend of phyto-pharmaceutical that targets the isolation of constituents is deviated from Ayurveda fundamentals. Peculiar classification of drugs is mentioned for a target-oriented action under the category of Mahakashaya varga.[4] Fresh as well as dried plant material is attributed with different qualities after subjecting to processing techniques.[5] The factors that influence the processing have been clearly depicted in the classics viz. nature of raw material; required concentration of the dosage form (in terms of different doses for Kwatha (decoction) versus Swarasa (direct expressed juice), Hima (cold infusion); solubility of therapeutically useful component (reduction ratios for Kwatha, ushnodaka, rasakriya have been mentioned, ratio for lipid-based formulations like Taila, Ghrita have also been mentioned).[6] Apart from this, Shodhana, a unique set of purification/ processing techniques, have been mentioned for certain plants that mainly falls under poisonous group (visha varga) along with certain drugs of metallic origin.[7] Plant parts having potentials to cause adverse effects have also been recommended for shodhana. These processing methods are intended to overcome the undesired effects caused by these drugs as also to enhance their therapeutic efficacy. Bhavana /trituration is one of the processing technique recommended to increase the potency of a drug.[8] The variety of dosage forms with typical traditional processing and posology is evident in the Ayurvedic formulary of India which consists of over 1021 formulations. Among these, 220 are rasayoga (herbo-mineral),128 are churna, 106 taila, 88 kwatha churna, 75 Vati/guti, 63 bhasma, 59 Avaleha/Paka, 57 Asava /Arishta, 48 Ghrita, 40 lepa, 32 Loha, 21 Guggulu, 20 Arka, 15 lavana/Kshara, 12 varti/anjana, 10 Kupipakva rasayana, 9 Mandura, 8 parpati, 7 Pishti and 1 each of Dravaka, satva and Dhupa. Thus, the vast range of dosage forms is evident in Ayurvedic literature.[9] The designing of these dosage forms was to facilitate drug delivery ultimately. This is an untouched area that needs to be explored in Ayurveda.

Ayurveda also imbibes unique drug delivery apart from per oral, starting from topical application of crude herbal powder known as Udvartana, oil application known as abhyanga, dhupana, svedana for overall body; aschyotana, bidalaka, varti for ocular use; kavala, gandusha in oral cavity; nasya through nasal cavity which is indicated in various disorders of head, neck and brain; uttarbasti (oil and decoction both) per urethral route and per vaginal route, basti per rectal route consisting of purgative, nutritive qualities, etc. Also, time of administration has been imparted immense importance in drug delivery systems of Ayurveda.[10] All these are niche areas which if addressed and validated by employing relevant screening measures can serve as an epitome of de novo pharmaceutical arena. To conclude, high throughput screening with help of omics tool can serve well in integrating with modern technologies and safeguarding ayurvedic doctrines. Also, conducting studies with modified dosage forms without altering the underlying fundamentals can also provide promising insights for modern pharmaceutics as well. Recapitulation and imbibing of the traditional science to modern drug discovery processes can bring novel interest to the pharmaceutical world.

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There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Anonymous. Available at: https://cdsco.gov.in/opencms/export/sites/CDSCO_WEB/Pdf-documents/NewDrugs_CT Rules_2019.pdf  Back to cited text no. 1
Agnivesha. Charak Samhita with commentry Ayurved Deepika of Chakrapanidutta; edited by Vaidya Jadavaji Trikamji Acharya, Varanasi: Chaukhamba Prakashan; 2009. Verse no. Vi. 08/87.  Back to cited text no. 2
Acharya YT Caraka Samhita of Agnivesa, Sutra Sthana. Reprint, Ch.4, Ver.7. Varanasi: Chaukhamba Surabharati Prakashan; 2011. p. 31.  Back to cited text no. 3
Charak samhita of Agnivesha, elaborated by charaka & Dridhabala, edited with charaka chandrika Hindi commentary along with special deliberation by Dr, Bramhanand Tripathi, Sutrasthana, ch.4, verse.1, 3rd ed. Varanasi: Chaukhamba Surbharati Prakashan; 1994.  Back to cited text no. 4
Tripathi B Sharangdhar Samhita. 1st ed. Purvakhanda chapter 1, verse 33–35, Varanasi: Chaukhamba Surbharati Prakashan; 2013.  Back to cited text no. 5
Savrikar SS, Lagad CE Study of preparation and standardization of ‘maadhutailika basti’ with special reference to emulsion stability. Ayu 2010;31:1-6.  Back to cited text no. 6
Acharya R Shodhana: An Ayurvedic detoxification technique and its impact on certain medicinal plants. In: Dhiman KS, editor. Conservation, Cultivation and Exploration of Therapeutic Potential of Medicinal Plants. 1st ed. New Delhi: Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences; 2014. p. 427-50.  Back to cited text no. 7
Ilanchezhian R, Roshy JC, Acharya R Importance of media in shodhana (purification / processing) of poisonous herbal drugs. Anc Sci Life 2010;30:54-7.  Back to cited text no. 8
Mahanta P, Nidagundi SP, Sobagin MV A literature review on various Ayurveda dosage forms. Journal of Ayurveda and Integrated Medical Sciences 2019;4:191-5.  Back to cited text no. 9
Junjarwad AV, Savalgi PB, Vyas MK Critical review on bhaishajya kaala (time of drug administration) in ayurveda. Ayu 2013;34:6-10.  Back to cited text no. 10


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