According to Acharya Charaka, Asava are those
formulations which are prepared by ‘Asuta Prakriya’
On the basis of consistency Asava has been defined as
1 पल = 48 ml
After food with equal amount of water.
< 1 year = 5-10drops
1-3 years = 1 tsp
3-6 years = 2 tsp
Adults = 12-24 ml/ dose
General method of preparation:
Dravya : The drugs in asava are usually
mridu, volatile in nature i.e., chandana, ushira
etc & these are made hima/phanta/swarasa etc
The drugs commonly used for arista are
twak,, mula which are kathina or madhyama
varga which are used for decoction . On the
basis of fermentation property achayra
mentioned 9 yoni’s and total 84 drugs
In general Aristas are prepared using kwatha
whereas swarasa,hima,phanta -used in asava
preparations but there are some exceptions for this common rule.
For kwatha dravya & drava i.e water depends on nature& quality i.e
hardness of drugs.
In order to extract maximum quantity of water soluble extract of
ingredients present in drug general ratio of dravya & water is 1:16 which
is boiled & reduced to 1/4th. But if particular ratio is mentioned in any
reference that should be followed accordingly.
Sharangadhara & Yadavji have given the ratio according to nature &
quantity of drug .
The liquid media is the main source of fermentation. It is
specifically needed for the growth of favorable
microorganism of fermentation. Thus preparation of the
liquid material is an essential part of each and every
Asava-Arishta The use of Sura, Manda, Takra, Souviraka,
Tushodaka, and Kanji are also recomended for the
preparations of Sandhan Kalpana.
Out of these Kwatha is the commonest
media used in various classics for the
preparation of various Asava-Arishta,
although the quantity of water taken for
various preparations is specific.
Proper aseptic measures should always be
considered during preparation of liquid
media, especially during Swarasa
preparation. If only water is employed for
fermentation reaction then it should be first
boiled and self cooled up to room
temperature before use.
There are exceptions for this
common rule encountered in the manufacture
of arishta and asava for eg:1 - in takrarishta
even though it is named as arishta, no kashaya
(decoction) is prepared. Here a vishesha
samskara is followed as the formulation 75%
of drugs which are volatile and mridu nature.
ex-2: kumaryasava though, Kashaya is used
even then it is named as asava. In this
formulation abhaya (Terminalia chebula) being
comparatively kathina dravya is made into
kashaya and samanya nirmana vidhi is
followed for the remaining ingredients.
There is a special method of preparing
kashaya by soaking the drug in water for
duration of 8hrs before keeping on fire,
this facilitates the better extraction of
active principles into kashaya and increase
Precaution during kwatha preparation :
It should be prepared on mild heat, as
vigorous heating may cause the hydrolysis of
most of the active constituents of the drug.
Continuous stirring is also needed to
facilitate evaporation even on mild heat and
to avoid excessive heating.
Boiling also fulfil the criteria of medium
sterilization which is also an essential part of
fermentation. That might be the reason why
Acharya prefer Kwatha more than that of
other liquid media.
Acharyas have used Madhura Dravya of
Ikshuvarga or Madhuvarga as the media for
fermentation.They not only for provide
nutritive media but also to facilitate specific
microorganism to work out.
Major sweetening agents are from herbal
media like guda, phanita,sharkara,sitopala &
also from animal source i.e madhu used
independently or with sharkara or guda.
1year guda & 40% of sharkara are best for
To initiate fermentation process in desired condition various
ingredients are required which serves as natural carriers of
Eg: Dhataki pushpa, madhuka pushpa, surabija/ kinwa,yeast &
rarely puga,, babbula twak,badara twak are used.
Acharya vaghbata firstly used dhataki pushpa as sandhana
Acharya charaka said properties of dhataki pushpa but not used
in preparation of asava arsista.
Acharya sushruta mentioned kinwa/surabeeja as sandhana dravya
Now a days dried yeast granules can also be used for purpose of
various types of adjuvant are used in the preparation as Asava-Arishta. It
not only provide essential nitrogenous source to the media but also have
medicinal importance to potentiate the effect of main drug, contribute
pleasant colour, taste and aroma to the Asava-Arishta The prakeshpaka
dravya are coarsely powdered & added to sandhanapatra whereas in other
formulations very fine powder is used
Eg:lavanga, ela, twak patra, nagkeshara,trikatu etc
Classification of Prakshepa Dravya: two types depending on their source.
Acharya Sushruta clearly indicates that for the preparation of Loharishta,
Pippalyadi Gana to be used as Prakshepa. Beside this Eladi, Haridradi,
Priyanguvadi etc Gana are also in common use due to their specific
Pipplyadi Gana is indicated as Kaphhara, Ama pachaka etc.
Eladi gana have Vata- Kapha nashka, Vishahara properties.
General proportion(Anuktha maana) of
constituents for preparation of Asava &
Jala- 1 drona (12.288 litre),
Guda (jaggery)– 1 tula(4.8kg),
Madhu (honey) – ½ tula(2.4kg),
Prakshepaka dravya- 1/10 tula (480g)
As per classics the confirmatory test are
jatarasam, vyaktha amla katuka jatam7 &
andha varna rasautpatti.
Jatarasam is the word, which denotes completion of
fermentation and formation of appropriate product i.e
optimum gandha, varna, rasa is formed.At this stage it
is filtered & stored in appropriate containers.
It quoted in Sushruta Sutra Sthana 45/203.
Text Minimum time limit Maximum time limit
Cha.Sa 7days 1 and half month
Su.Sa 7days 4 months
A.S 7days 6months
A.H 15 days 1month
G.N 3days 6months
Among Ayurvedic basic literature, Sushruta Samhita is
considered as the treaty of surgical treatment. A
number of Sandhana kalpana (fermented products)
were prescribed for surgical procedures as anesthetic
drug as well as a medicine to treat different disease
A total of 21 fermented drugs such as
Asava–Arishta and 46 Madya products
named as Madya, Sura, Prasanna, Jagala,
Surasava, Madhvasava, Shukta,
Dhanyamla are well documented in this
classical text.Sushruta Samhita may be
credited for addition of botanical
ash(Apamarga, Palasha ash) as ingredients
of Asava–Arishta. These formulations are
prescribed for certain therapeutic
Madya Varga of Sutrasthana in 45th chapter deals
with the 27 types of fermented preparations.
Commentator Dalhana has classified the fermented.
Preparations in ‘Madya’ and ‘Shukta’ groups on the
basis of their alcoholic and acidic contents
respectively. He has also defined the Asava Arista on
the basis of consistency. In this text, 21 Asava Arista
Yoga are mentioned, but the detail description
regarding the contents and the method of preparation
is found only for 7 Yoga. Guda is used in Phanita
In this period, several original revelations were made about
preparation of different herbal formulations as medicines.
Literary review says that several AsavaArishta were well known
to physicians during that period.
Charaka Samhita explains that especially the nine
herbal sources—Phala (fruits), Dhanya(cereals), Mula (roots),
Pushpa (flowers), Twak (bark), Sara (exudate), Kanda
(branches), Patra (leaves), and Sharkara (sugar) for the
preparation of fermented medicines along with that, he also
explained about ,
Definition of fermentation,
Specification in the container,
Place to keep the basic drug,
The time period for fermentation,
Subjective parameters to test elaborately the end point of the
procedure and finished product.
The application of the prepared medicines
(Asava–Arista) is recommended in
different disease conditions.
The basic concepts of these specific
arrangements are responsible for better
yield and quality production of Asava–
Arista even today. This indicates that the
fermentation technology was well known
in that period.
ASHTANGA HRIDAYA AND SANGRAHA:
Herbal medicine stream was fully developed in this
period; this is reflected in the formulation of different Sandhana
kalpana. Along with other ingredients, the use of Dhataki Pushpa
(Woodfordia fruticosa) as a fermentation initiator is documented
for the first time in Ashtanga Hridaya. This could be considered as
one of the innovatory steps in pharmaceutical practice to formulate
Physicians were well aware of the fermentation
techniques, as the container, the place, duration and criteria for
testing the product are clearly mentioned in various formulations
usually in accordance with previous classics. Draksha (grapes),
Ikshu (sugar cane), Makshika (honey), Shali (rice), Vrihi (grains)
are the five source materials found to be used to prepare Madya
and Sandhana kalpana. Draksha is the most acclaimed source
A total of 17 Asava–Arishta are quoted in
Ashtanga Sangraha and 8 in Ashtanga
Hridaya. This may also be an inference after
going through Brihat trayee that in this
period, sharp difference in preparations of
Asava – Arishta on the basis of Kwatha and
Swarasa used as source was not clearly
About the contribution of Brihat trayee, it is concluded that
according to Sushruta, Asava has a predominance of drava
(liquid) while Arishta has a predominance of dravya (drugs)
(Dalhana on Sushruta Sutra Sthana 45/197). Asava– Arishta
preparation consists of liquids, medicinal material (as main
ingredient of formulation), sweet substances and prakshepa
dravya (additional medicinal/palatable substances) as their
important constituent. No definite proportion of these
constituents could be worked out on the basis of the present
study of the text of Brihat trayee. The fermenting pots are made
of the either soil or metal and should be smeared and fumigated
first with the recommended drugs and is then used for
fermentation. Further, these texts mention that the fermentation
process is faster in summer and slow in winter. It needs a
minimum of seven days and may be extended up to six months.
. Floating of
. Hissing sound
. Mild alcoholic odour
. Burning candle is
. Lime water turns
dravyas will sink
. No effervescence
. No hissing sound
. Strong alcoholic
odour and taste
continues to burn
. Lime water test
Burning candle test: During onset of fermentation
burning candle gets put off if taken near to the
fermentation liquid surface. This is because of
production of co2. after completion of fermentation
since no co2 is produced the candle continues to
onset of fermentation
After completion of fermentation
Lime water test: At the time of sealing the vessel
for fermentation, the lid should be connected &
sealed with a small pipe of half to 1cm width by
carving a hole in the lid. The other end of the pipe
has to be properly clamped. After full formation of
fermentation process the pipe’s distal end clamp is
removed & put in lime water bottle. The turning of
lime water to milky white indicates production of
Asava &arista are two popular Ayurvedic formulations
which are widely used for therapeutic purpose of
various disorders they posses self generated alcohol
which acts as self preservative. because of the virtue
of properties like palatability, quick in action, easy
dosage form with most important long shelf life, these
preparations are appreciated by consumers.
These preparations come under the umbrella of
sandhana kalpana, with major difference in asava
which is prepared without boiling drug in water but
using mridu dravya and volatile in nature where in
arista use of kathina & madhyama dravya with some
exceptions in takrarista & kumaryasava.
It is concluded that according to Sushruta, Asava has a
predominance of drava (liquid) while Arishta has a
predominance of dravya (drugs) (Dalhana on Sushruta
Sutra Sthana 45/197).