Ayurvedic medicines are a part of every Malayali's medicine kit. They come in gel, powder and liquid forms and have diverse therapeutic applications, ranging from aiding post-partum care to curing nervous disorders and ailments of the digestive tract.
Some of the most popular Ayurvedic medicines and their uses are presented here for the benefit of those uninitiated to Ayurvedic treatment practices. However, its intent is purely informational, and medicines must be consumed only under the guidance of a certified
vaidyan, or Ayurvedic physician.
This presentation covers some of the common
Arishtas [Fermented Decoctions], Asavas [Fermented Infusions], Kuzhambus [Unguents], Lehyas [Electuaries], Keras, Thailas [Medicated Oils], Churnas [Medicated Powders], Gulikas [Tablets], Ghruthas [Medicinal Ghee], Kashayas [Decoctions], Rasakriyas [Lambatives], and Avarthis [Medicated Oils] used.
Arishtas (Arishtam) are Ayurvedic medicines prepared by boiling medicinal herbs in water and then fermenting the decoction. Some of the widely used arishtas are:
Abhayarishta aids digestion and is recommended for curing constipation and haemorrhoids.
Amrutharishta is used for treating persistent fever, malaria and also indigestion.
Ashokarishta is used for treating menstrual disorders.
Ayaskrithy is recommended for patients suffering from diabetes and other related issues.
Balarishta is an effective remedy for rheumatic disorders.
Dasamoolarishta is given as a cure for general debilities, urinary disorders, gastric problems, nausea, taste loss, paleness, ascites (swelling caused by build-up of fluids in the abdomen), tuberculosis and severe cough.
Jeerakarishta is administered to treat post-natal problems, cough, tuberculosis, aphonia (loss of voice) and dyspnoea (laboured breathing).
Kudajarishta is a medicine for diarrhoea with blood and mucus discharge and bleeding haemorrhoids.
Vasarishta is prescribed for the treatment of asthma, dyspnoea, haematemesis (vomiting blood), and aphonia.
Asava or Asavam is a category of Ayurvedic medicine prepared by the fermentation of fresh herbal juices. Some of the commonly used Asavas are:
Chandanaasava is prescribed for improving complexion and stamina.
Hareethakyasava is given for treating general debilities, all kinds of coughs, haemorrhoids, anaemia (iron deficiency), rheumatic disorders, gastric problems, acidity and similar issues.
Kanakasava is recommended for the treatment of asthma and dyspnoea (laboured breathing).
Lohasava is administered to patients suffering from anaemia, weight gain and loss of appetite.
Pippalyasava is used in the treatment of sprue, digestive tract issues, anaemia, intestinal spasms and loss of appetite.
Punarnnavasava is recommended for curing oedema (fluid retention), anaemia, ascites (swelling caused by build-up of fluids in the abdomen), as well as spleen and liver disorders.
Kuzhambus are unguent-like viscous medicated oils used for external applications.
Balaswagandhadi Kuzhambu is recommended for curing headache, fever, joint pains, and lumbar issues, and for improving stamina.
Dhanwantharam Kuzhambu improves the nervous and musculoskeletal systems. It is also used in pre- and post-natal care.
Eladi Kuzhambu aids in the treatment of skin disorders, blood-related problems, bruises, and wounds.
Karpasasthyadi Kuzhambu is recommended for easing the patient's suffering due to stiffness and other rheumatic conditions causing numbness and pain.
Pinda Thaila is prescribed for reducing swelling and pain triggered by arthritis.
Khajitha Pinda Thaila is used for relieving burning sensation, swelling, and redness experienced by arthritic patients. It offers better relief from heat than normal PindaThailam.
Panchasneham Thaila stimulates muscle, nerve, bone, and joint functions.
Sahacharadi Kuzhambu eases joint stiffness, muscle cramps and other such rheumatic issues.
Lakshadi Kuzhambu improves muscular strength. It is recommended for paralytic and osteoarthritic patients.
Lehyas or Lehyam are electuaries or jam-like medicines, sweetened using jaggery or sugar. Some of the popular Lehyas used in Ayurveda are:
Chyavanaprasa is a popular lehya consumed to reduce fatigue, improve health and immunity, and revitalize the body.
Agashtya Rasayana is administered during the treatment of tuberculosis and cough. It improves stamina, and complexion, and is effective against digestive ailments such as sprue and constipation.
Chinchadi Lehya is an effective remedy for anaemia (iron deficiency), haemorrhoids, jaundice, heart-burn and acidity issues.
Ajamamsa Rasayana improves strength and stamina and is used to treat Vata imbalances.
Aswagandhaadi Lehya rejuvenates the body and helps combat anxiety and stress.
Brahma Rasayana builds immunity and neural strength and revitalizes the body.
Chiruvilwadi Lehya helps remedy Vata and Kapha imbalances. It is highly effective in the treatment of haemorrhoids.
Dashamoola Haritaki Rasayana helps in the treatment of persistent fever, anaemia, liver issues and rheumatic disorders.
Narasimha Rasayana is a popular remedy for premature greying.
Thaila (Thailam), or sesame oil medicated with herbal mixes, is an extremely useful category of Ayurvedic medicine. Its potency can be increased during preparation through the addition of specific ingredients.
Amruthadi Thaila is recommended for the treatment of conditions ranging from the common cold to rheumatic pains and jaundice.
Asanavilwadi Thaila helps cure oedema (fluid retention), and all ear, nose and throat disorders.
Chandanadi Thaila has a cooling effect and is given for the treatment of neural disorders, haemorrhoids, rheumatoid arthritis and burning sensations in the body.
Karpasasthyadi Thaila is used to alleviate joint aches, pains and the effects of hemiplegia (total or partial paralysis).
Nagaradi Thaila is used for curing mouth and nose related disorders, and oedema.
Sahacharadi Thaila relieves pain and numbness, especially in the lower limbs afflicted by rheumatic ailments.
Churnas are medicinal powders used for a wide range of treatments. They are prepared by the repeated crushing and sifting of herbs and minerals to achieve a specific consistency.
Ashta Churna is administered to children worm who suffer from infections and stomach pains. It ensures the smooth functioning of the digestive tract and remedies indigestion issues.
Avipathy Churna helps patients regain control over their bowel movements. It is also recommended for people suffering from anaemia (iron deficiency) and gastric disorders.
Dadimashtaka Churna soothes acidic imbalance in the body, helps with digestion and regulates bowel movement.
Eladigana Churna is used for treating skin ailments such as blemishes and irritations.
Hinguvachadi Churna is effective in the treatment of a variety of gastric disorders, colon malfunctions, obesity problems, stomach bile issues, as well as urinary and sinus infections.
Karpooradi Churna remedies mucus problems related to cough and common cold.
Rajanyadi Churna cures gastric issues and revitalises the body.
Gulikas are tablets dispensed to patients for their ease of consumption. They are made by rolling medicinal pastes into balls and drying them under the sun.
Chandraprabha is a gulika recommended for the treatment of diabetics, spleen disorders, urinary issues and anaemia (iron deficiency).
Dhanwantharam is prescribed for ante- and post-natal care. This gulika is also a remedy for asthma, digestive issues and joint aches.
Hinguvachadi is a solution for all digestion-related issues including acidity, bile imbalance, obesity and lack of appetite as well as breathing-related problems and sinus infections.
Kaisoragulgulu helps in the treatment of ulcers due to rheumatoid arthritis, ordinary wounds and skin problems.
Karutha Vattu is ground with milk or oil and applied on swellings and inflammations to heal them, or on the forehead to cure high bouts of fever.
Marma Gulika is also mixed with milk and butter and applied externally to heal wounds, bruises, cuts, aches and inflammations.
Yogarajagulgulu is administered for curing skin, blood and joint-related ailments.
Ghrutha is essentially ghee, or clarified butter, heated with a herbal mixture and prepared in the consistency of a Thaila. It is given to the patient to cure issues ranging from joint pains to nervous disorders, epilepsy (involuntary movements and convulsions) and even poisoning.
Brahmi Ghrutha is used in the treatment of epilepsy, aphasia (inability to comprehend or discern words), memory loss and brain damage.
Gulgulu Thikthaka Ghrutha helps treat joint aches, skin disorders, sinus infections, diabetes and haemorrhoids.
Indukantha Ghrutha improves stamina, and cures rheumatic pains, intermittent fevers and intestinal spasms.
Jathyadi Ghrutha is applied externally on wounds to heal them.
Sukumara Ghrutha is prescribed for the treatment of hernia, haemorrhoids, constipation and genital disorders.
Thikthaka Ghrutha helps treat various types of poisoning, bleeding, ulcers, skin diseases, epilepsy and mental illnesses.
Kashayas are water-based extracts of medicinal herbs, often mixed with other medicines as well.
Ashtavarga Kashaya is a medicine recommended for patients suffering from joint pains, anxiety, and stress.
Chiruvilwadi Kashaya is used to treat constipation, haemorrhoids and other rectal issues.
Dasamoolakaduthraya Kashaya is given to patients suffering from respiratory and digestive issues, chest pain, fevers, and headaches.
Dhanwantharam Kashaya is widely administered for post-natal care, and for the treatment of rheumatic complaints, digestion issues, and partial paralysis.
Elakanadi Kashaya is given to patients with cough and asthma.
Gandharvahasthadi Kashaya is a natural laxative, and it also helps treat rheumatic complaints.
Indukantha Kashaya revitalises the body, and aids in the treatment of tuberculosis, intestinal spasms and joint pains.
Manjishtadi Kashaya helps manage rheumatoid arthritis, skin disorders and anaemia (iron deficiency).
Nadee Kashaya is used in post-natal care. It also helps treat joint pains and intestinal spasms.
Nayopaya Kashaya is a remedy for all types of joint issues, asthma, and cough.
Padolamooladi Kashaya is prescribed for curing skin ailments, inflammations, leprosy, and constipation.
Keras, Raskriyas and Avarthis
Keras, Raskriyas [Lambatives] and Avarthis [Medicated Oil] are widely used across God's Own Country as daily remedies for a number of ailments.
Murivenna is a popular oil-based herbal concoction applied externally for treating superficial injuries, fractures and sprains. It also acts as an antiseptic.
Neelibhringadi oil helps patients recover from hair loss.
Karpooradi oil relieves arthritis-related fluid build-up and body pain.
Ilaneer Kuzhambu is given to patients suffering from acute cataract and conjunctivitis. It keeps the eyes healthy in general, and protects them from contaminants.
Ksheerabala Avarthi relieves rheumatic pains.The potency of this medicine can be increased as the treatment progresses.