Forms of Drugs
In Ayurveda, there are thousands of drugs including herbs, minerals and biological products to be used singly or in the form of compounds. These drugs are used in the form of
Paste - prepared by grinding the fresh vegetable on stone with pressure.
Powder (churnas ) - prepared from dry drugs and usually stored in glass bottles.
Expressed juice (Swarasa) - It is prepared by grinding the fresh vegetables on mortar with a pestle and then expressing the juice by straining through a cloth.
Cold infusion (Sheeta Kashaya) - To one part of powdered herb, 6 parts of water is added in the night and strained in the morning and used.
Infusion (Phanta) - It is prepared by adding one part of powdered herb and 8 parts of hot water, kept at room temperature for some time and strained over a cloth.
Decoction (Quatha or Kashayam) - One part of Vegetable substance is boiled with 16 parts of water and reduced to 1/4th. This can be used upto 12 hrs.
Decoctions in Milk (Ksheera Paka) - To 1 part of drug, 8 parts milk and 32 parts of water are added, boiled and reduced to 8 parts. It can be used up to 12 hrs.
Extracts - The decoctions are boiled to thick paste and are used with sugar.
Pills - These are Vatika and Gutikas.
Boluses - Modaka are prepared by adding powder to cold syrup and stirred till firmly mixed.
Asavas and Arishtas ( Medicated spirited liquid) - These are prepared by fermentation. These drugs are usually kept in water and earthen jars for some days or months. These can be kept for a longer period.
Ghrita (Medicated ghee) - It is nothing but clarified butter gently heated in an earthen pot or pan. Then medicated fluids or pastes are added to it till the water parts evaporates and it is free from froth.