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Ayurvedic medicine originated in the early evolution of India about 3,000-5,000 years ago. These formulations are taken from the ancient Vedic text or Vedas (books of Ayurveda), the ancient religious and philosophical texts that are the oldest surviving literature in the world, which makes Ayurvedic medicine the oldest surviving healing system. According to the texts, Ayurveda is the most ancient science of life having a holistic health approach. In Sanskrit, Ayur means life and veda means knowledge, so Ayurveda has been defined as the "knowledge of living" or the "science of longevity."
This system of medicine involves diet, detoxification and purification techniques, herbal and mineral remedies, yoga, breathing exercises, meditation, and massage therapy as holistic healing methods.
Ayurvedic medicines are based on plants, animals and minerals both as single ingredient and compound formulations.
These medicines are present in traditional Ayurvedic text books such as Charaka Samhita, Sushruta Samhita etc. The manufacturing company follows the same formula and prepares medicines. For e.g bhasmas, asavas, arishtas, taila etc.
These are also known as patent medicines or modern Ayurvedic medicines. Their formula, dosage form are decided by the manufacturing company and ingredients used in these preparation are not found in traditional Ayurvedic text books. Every company has its own formula and conducts clinical trial, research on the medicine about its efficacy. For e.g. capsules, syrups etc.
Nowadays Ayurvedic medicines is widely practiced in modern India and are becoming popular day by day throughout the world as compared with allopathic medicines because it has no side effects. Ayurvedic treatment is non-invasive and non-toxic, so it can be used safely as an alternative therapy or along-side conventional therapies. There are number of plants, herbs present in nature which are useful in classical formulations.
According to the ancient Ayurvedic texts, the main goal of Ayurveda is prevention as well as promotion of the body's own healing capacity. Ayurveda mainly concentrates on the main cause of disease and cures it from root level. Ayurveda has been used to treat different disorders like acne, allergies, asthma, anxiety, arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, colds, colitis, constipation, depression, diabetes, flu, heart disease, hypertension, immune problems, inflammation, insomnia, nervous disorders, obesity, skin problems, and ulcers.
These are distillates of herbs, they are extremely light in nature and very easily assimilate in the system.
Examples - Gulab Ark, Ajwain Ark
These are prepared in the form of herbal juices or their decoctions to undergo fermentation with the addition of sugar. There is a big difference between arishtas and asasvas. The arishtas are prepared by boiling of herbs in water while asavas are prepared by using fresh herbal juices.
Examples - Arjunarishta, Ashokarishta, Kumaryasava.
It is a semisolid preparation of herbs prepared with addition of Jaggery, juices or decoction.
Examples - Chyavanprash, Drakshavleh
Bhasma are very fine ayurvedic medicinal powders which are prepared by the process of calcination. The calcination is a process of heating metals, minerals, etc. on a high temperature to convert them to their oxides.
Examples - Abhraka bhasma, Godanti bhasma, swaran bhasma, Praval bhasma.
These are generally raw herbs which are dried and finally powdered and then passed through different sieves to prepare fine powder and then mixed with other appropriate ingredients which are mentioned in ancient texts.
Examples - Lavan Bhaskar Churna, Sitopladi churna
This process involves that cow's milk is churned to obtain butter, which is heated at a temperature to obtain ghee. This ghee is then processed with medicinal herbs to produce Ghrit.
Examples - Amrit ghrit, jatyadi ghrit, Brahmi ghrit
These are tablets that contains Guggulu as the main ingredient.
Examples - Medohar Guggulu,Triphala guggulu, Yograj guggulu
It is made from decoction of herbs by boiling herbs in water.
Examples - Drakshadi kwath, Caturbhadra kvatha
It is also paste like preparation but it is slightly thick then avaleh.
Examples - Musli Pak, Supari Pak
These are mineral based medicines which are purified under the different purification process (known as Sanskara, Shodhan) that removes harmful substances or impurities which may cause toxic effect or disease in body.
Examples - Swarna Soot Shekhar Ras, Vat vidhwansan Ras
These are medicated oil which are extracted from seeds of single herb and then are processed with other herbs to make medicated oils.
Examples - Anu taila, Balaguducyadi taila
These are prepared from one or more plants or minerals in the form of tablets.
Examples - Kutajghan vati, chanderprabha vati, Arogyavardhini vati