In Āyurveda, there are two main lines of treatment viz. Śamana and Śodhana. The first i.e. Śamana subsides the vitiated Doṣa without eliminating them from the body, while the second i.e. Śodhana eliminates the vitiated Doṣa from the body. Out of Śamana and Śodhana treatments, the latter is considered better because according to Caraka, the Prakopa of Doṣa which is relieved by Laṅghana and Pācana i.e. by Śamana treatment, may sometimes recur, but Doṣa eliminated by Śodhana treatment are not likely to cause the disease again.

Five therapeutic measures are used for the elimination of vitiated Doṣa, therefore Śodhana is also called as Pañcakarma (five fold therapy). The five measures are Vamana (emesis therapy), Virecana (purgation therapy), Anuvāsana Basti (oily enema therapy), Āsthāpana or Nirūha Basti (decoction enema therapy) and Śirovirecana (nasal insufflation therapy). Some of the Āyurvedic authors consider Anuvāsana and Āsthāpana Basti as one and include Raktamokṣaṇa (blood letting) in Pañcakarma. In this way, in their opinion, Śodhana methods are Vamana, Virecana, Basti, Śirovirecana, and Raktamokṣaṇa (blood letting).

Two accessory measures carried out before (Pūrva) and after (Paścāta) performing the Pañcakarma may also be considered as the part of Pañcakarma therapy. The use of Snehana and Svedana before starting the Pañcakarma is necessary. These two measures are collectively known as Pūrva Karma. After the Pañcakarma the patient is gradually allowed to his normal routines of diet and duties and it is called as Paścāta Karma. Dietary regime prescribed after Pañcakarma is also known as Saṁsarjana Krama.

Pañcakarma therapy is used for promotion of health and prevention and cure of the disease. As mentioned in Ṛtu Caryā, in a particular season, Prakopa of a specific Doṣa occurs and by eliminating it at a appropriate time the diseases of that season can be prevented. Vamana Karma is specific for elimination of vitiated Kapha, Virecana for vitiated Pitta and Basti is best for the elimination of vitiated Vāta. The five therapeutic measures alongwith Pūrva Karma and Paścāta Karma are being described here briefly.


Usually the vitiated Doṣa are located in such parts of the body where the disease is produced. These vitiated Doṣa are to be brought into the Koṣṭha or alimentary canal wherefrom they are eliminated by the specific measure of Pañcakarma. For bringing these Doṣa in the alimentary canal, Snehana (oleation therapy) and Svedana (sweating therapy) are performed. By doing so, the Doṣa are channeled to the Koṣṭha. This is called preparation of the patient. Snehana and Svedana play a major role not only as a Pūrvakarma (preparatory measure) but also as a line of main treatment in some of the diseases e.g Vātavyādhi.

Snehana (oleation Therapy)

There are two sources of getting fat viz. animal and vegetable. The animal fats are of three kinds viz. Ghṛta (ghee), Vasā (fat) and Majjā (bone marrow), and vegetable fat is oil. Thus fats are four i.e. Ghṛta, Taila, Vasā and Majjā.

There are mainly four methods of administration of fats viz. through diet, drinking, massage and Basti. It can be taken internally by way of mixing with diet articles or may be drunk straight way. Apart from the above, fat can also be administered by gargles (Ganḍūṣa), ear-filling (Karṇapūrana) and through nose (Nasya).

Indication of Snehana

Snehana is mainly indicated for those who are to undergo Svedana or Śodhana, Rūkṣa persons, those suffering from Vātavyādhi, those who do excessive exercise and sexual intercourse, and addicted to wine.

Contraindications of Snehana

Snehana is contraindicated for the persons having increased Kapha, those whom Rūkṣaṇa is prescribed, very weak and very fatty persons, persons suffering from profuse mucus discharge from mouth or anus and having low digestive power, and suffering from thirst, fainting and Tāluśoṣa. It is also contraindicated to those having aversion for food, tendency to vomiting, and suffering from diseases of stomach specially Āmadoṣa, chronic poisoning etc.

Administration of Sneha (Fat)

There are three Mātrā (doses) of Sneha viz. Pradhāna (maximum), Madhya (moderate) and Hrasva (minimum), which are based on the digestion of the ingested Sneha by the patient within twenty four hours, twelve hours and six hours respectively.

The Sneha should be administered minimum for 3 days and maximum for 7 days depending upon the Koṣṭha of the patient. The Snehana given beyond 7 days may lead to habituation and act as the part of the diet.

On the preceding night of giving the Snehana, the patient should be given liquid and warm diet which does not obstruct body channels. Saṁśamana Snehana should be taken at the usual time of meals and for Śodhana (purification) it should be taken after the complete digestion of meal taken previous night.

Criteria for proper Snehana

The effect of Snehana therapy is assessed in terms of Ayoga (hypo), Samyak Yoga (proper) and Atiyoga (hyper) of Snehana.

If the patient after Snehana therapy passes dry stool, has abnormal movement of Apāna Vāyu, weak digestion, and reoughness and dryness of the body, this means the proper Snehana of the patient has not been done (Ayoga). In this case a further course of Snehana may be given depending upon the condition of the patient.

Normal Vāta, increased digestive power, soft stool, and softness and smoothness of the body are the signs and symptoms of proper (Samyak) Snehana. Thereafter the patient may be put on the next measure of Pūrva Karma or Pañcakarma as the case may be.

Pallor, heaviness, dullness, loose stools, torpor, anorexia and nausea are the signs and symptoms of excessive administration of Snehana (Atiyoga). In case of Atiyoga the administration of Snehana should be stopped immediately and the patient should be treated accordingly.

After taking the Snehana therapy, the patient should use only warm water, refrain from suppressing natural urges of faeces, urine, flatus and eructation; avoid physical exercise, anger, grief, loud speaking, severe cold and sunshine.

Complications of Snehana

Snehana should be given only to those patients where it is indicated and in proper doses otherwise it may cause torpor, nausea, constipation, fever, stiffness, unconsciousness, skin diseases, pallor, oedema, piles, anorexia, thirst, Grahāṇīdoṣa, suppression of speech, colic and Āmadoṣa.

Above mentioned complications of Snehana therapy should be treated with Vamana, Svedana and Virecana. In addition to these Takrārṣṭa, dry diet and drink and Triphalā should be administered.

Svedana (Sweating Therapy)

The Svedana is given generally after performing the Snehana. Suśruta has described four types of Sveda viz. Tāpa Sveda, Ūṣma Sveda, Upanāha Sveda and Drava Sveda.

Tāpa Sveda is dry in nature and it is performed with warm hand or application of hot metal or with tiles or sand. The affected part or whole body should be fomented by wraping cloth on the above mentioned articles.

Ūṣma Sveda is done with tiles or such other things, which are made very hot and immersed in hot liquids, generally water, and then the affected part is fomented. When the fomentation is to be done to the whole body, the steaming Kvātha (decoction) is to be put down below the cot placed in a draught free room. The patient should have one bed sheet below and another to cover him.

Upanāha Sveda (poultice) is to be put in the form of warm Lepa on the affected part and then it is to be bandaged. Drava Sveda is a type of tub bath in which a hot decoction of the drug is placed in a tub and the whole body or the affected part is immersed in the tub. Tāpa and Ūṣma Sveda are useful in Kapha disorders, Upanāha-Sveda in Vāta disorders and Drava-Sveda in Pitta disorders.

Caraka has described two ways of giving Svedana i.e. with Agni (fire) and without Agni. Those to be conducted with the help of fire are 13 types which may be included in one or the other of the four types described above. In Niragni Sveda, the sweating is produced by the acts like exercise, use of closed and insulated room in summer, to cover the body with thick blanckets, prolonged sunbath etc.

Indications of Svedana

Cold (Pratiśyāya), cough (Kāsa), hiccough (Hikkā), breathlessness (Śvāsa), pain in ear and neck, head etc., hoarseness of voice, pharyngitis, facial paralysis and other types of paralysis, lumbago, flatulence, pain in the abdomen, retention and suppression of urine, sciatica, pain anywhere in body, inflammation (Śotha), stiffness, heaviness and numbness of body, rigors, and shivering are the diseases where Svedana is indicated.

Contraindications of Svedana

The Svedana therapy should not be undertaken in the conditions like pregnancy, bleeding tendency (Raktapitta), diarrhea (Atisāra), Dryness (Rūkṣaṇam), diabetes (Madhumeha), hernia, diseases due to poisons or alcohol, fatigue, thirst, hunger (Kṣudhārta), anger (Kruddha) or worry, Udararoga, Timira, Kāmalā (jaundice) and other Pitta disorders. It should also not be giving to the very fat persons, injured and thin persons.

Criteria for proper Svedana

Appearance of sweat, feeling of lightness in the body and disappearance of the feeling of cold and pain are the symptoms of proper Svedana.

Thus Sneha subsides the provocation of Vāta, softens the body and loosens the Mala (waste matter); while Sveda by liquefying, brings the waste matter to the alimentary canal, from where it becomes easier to excrete by the measure of Pañcakarma.


Vamana (Emesis Terapy)

Vamana is considered best for the elimination of morbid and increased Kapha, and thus for curing the disorders of Kapha. It eliminates the Doṣa through stomach by vomiting and should generally be given after performing Snehana and Svedana.

The patient should be given full meal on the previous day. On the day of performing the Vamana, the patient should be given some Abhiṣyandi diet in the morning, and thence administered Vamana drug. Thereafter patient should be given either sugarcane juice or decoction of Yaṣṭimadhu (glycyrrhiza) or salt water to start the emesis. The dose of these drugs depends on the quantum of Doṣa, the time of emesis and also on the symptoms of proper Vamana (Samyak Yoga). The ideal drug is Madanaphala which may be given in 25 g. to 50 g. dose with honey.

Indications of Vamana

Cold (Pīnasa), skin diseases (Kuṣṭha), recent fever, cough (Kāsa), breathlessness (Śvāsa), diseases of throat, enlargement of thyroid (Galagaṇḍa), elephantiasis (Ślīpada), urinary disorders (Prameha), diminished digestive power (Mandāgni), indigestion, acute and chronic poisoning (Viṣa), bleeding from lower part of the body (Adhoga-Rakta-Pitta), piles, nausea, anorexia (Aruci), scrofula, epilepsy (Apasmāra), insanity (Unmāda), diarrhea (Atisāra), oedama (Śopha), anaemia (Pāṇḍu), stomatitis, Stanya-Doṣa and disorders of Kapha are the conditions where Vamana therapy is indicated.

Contraindications of Vamana

The Vamana therapy is contraindicated in very obese, extremely emaciated, infants, senile, debilitated, fatigued, thirsty, hungry and exhausted patients. It is also contraindicated in those who have undergone fasting, Nirūha and Anuvāsana Basti, excessive sexual intercourse and exercise, pregnant women and delicate persons. Vamana should not be performed in the conditions like bleeding from upper parts of body, vomiting, Udāvarta, cardiac disorders (Hṛdroga), lesions of urinary tract, splenic disorders, Gulma, prostatic enlargement (Aṣṭhīla), fainting, headache, pain in the ear and eye etc.

Criteria for proper Vamana

The signs of Samyak Vamana are that the patient first passes Kapha followed by pitta, the chest, throat and head become free of congestion and the body becomes light. In Ayoga of Vamana, the patient either does not vomit or vomits only the drug taken. In Atiyoga of Vamana the patient passes blood with vomiting.

After proper vomiting, the patient may wash his hands, face, feet and then he may be given rest for one hour. Thereafter he should be given Dhūmrapāna and be removed to the bed. This should be followed by the Saṁsarjana Krama.

Virecana (Purgation Therapy)

After the patient has been given Vamana he should once more be given Snehana and Svedana. Afterwards, on an auspicious day he should be given Trivṛt (turpeth root bark) in the dose of 10 to 15 g. with a suitable liquid.

Indications of Virecana

Virecana is indicated in skin diseases (Kuṣṭha), fever, urinary disorders (Prameha), bleeding from upper part (Urdhvaga Raktapitta), fistula in ano, abdominal disorders, piles, inauinal swelling, splenic disorders, Arbuda, goitre (Galagaṇḍa), Visarpa, acute pain in the sides (Pārśva-śūla), headache (Śirah Śūla) Udāvarta, flatulence, burning in eyes and mouth, cardiac disorders (Hṛdroga), moles, excessive discharge from mouth, eyes and nose, anaemia (Pāṇḍu), Halīmaka, breathlessness (Śvāsa), cough (Kāsa), scrofula (Apacī), epilepsy (Apasmāra), insanity (Unmāda), gout (Vātarakta), gynaecological disorders (Yonidoṣa), Śukradoṣa, faintings, anorexia, indigestion, vomiting, oedema, leucorrhoea (Pradara) and disorders of Pitta.

Contraindications of Virecana

Virecana should not be performed in the persons with delicate constitution (Sukumāra Prakṛti), pregnancy, those suffering from ulceration or prolapse of rectum, bleeding from lower part of the body (Adhoga Raktapitta), continued fasting (Laṅghana), weakness of sensory organs, diminished digestive power (Alpāgni), those who have taken Nirūha Basti, suffering from recent fever, alcoholism, distension of abdomen (Ādhmāna), foreign body, injury (Kṣata), Ati-Snigdha, Atirūkṣa, Krūra-Koṣṭha and pregnancy etc.

Criteria for proper Virecana

Provocation of Doṣa, exhaustion, diminished digestive power, heaviness of body, cold, torpor, anorexia are the signs and symptoms of Ayoga of Virecana.

Passing of faeces, bile, mucus and flatus in succession with the motions along with the feeling of purification of the channels (Srotas), clearing of senses, lightness of body, increase in digestive power, a sense of well-being are the signs and symptoms of proper (Samyak) Virecana.

Numbness, bodyache, exhaustion, tremors and the symptoms which are produced due to loss of Kapha, blood and Pitta, loss of vitality, fainting, mental disturbance, loss of sleep and hiccough are the signs and symptoms of Atiyoga of Virecana.

When the patient has shown the symptoms of Samyak (proper) Virecana, he should be given Saṁsarjana Krama and on the ninth day ghee or Anuvāsana Basti may be given.

Basti (Enema Therapy)

The medicine given through enema is called Basti. It is the best treatment for the elimination of morbid Vāta. This therapy may also be used for the promotion of the health as it provides happiness, long life, strength, digestive power, intelligence, voice and colour. It is free from risks, hence it can be administered at all ages. It draws out unwanted faeces, mucus, bile, flatus and urine, imparts firmness, enriches semen and gives body strength.

Basti is of two types viz. Nirūha Basti and Anuvāsana Basti. The Basti in which the preparation containing fat is given is called Anuvāsana Basti and in which only decoction of the drug is given through Basti is known as Nirūha (Āsthāpana) Basti.

Three days after giving ghee as mentioned in Virecana Karma, the patient should be given oil massage and thereafter he may be given Nirūha Basti. Care should be taken that after purgation, Nirūha Basti should not be given before 7 days. In the same way Virecana should also not be given with in 7 days of performing Nirūha Basti.

Indications of Nirūha Basti

Nirūha Basti is indicated in all the 80 disorders of Vāta, paralysis (Sarvānga Vāta), abdominal disorders (Kukṣi Roga), retention of flatus, faeces, urine and semen, loss of vitality (Balakṣaya), morbid complexion (Varṇakṣaya), emaciation (Māṁsakṣaya), flatulence (Ādhmāna), numbness (Aṅgasupti), worms (Kṛmi), Gulma, Udāvarta, pain and swelling of joints (Parvabheda), feeling of intense heat (Abhitāpa), diseases of spleen and heart, fistula in ano, insanity (Unmāda), fever, inguinal swelling, headache, earache; pain in the bones, buttocks, knee joints, thighs, ankles, feet, hands, fingers, teeth and nails; rigidity in the sides, back and lumbar region; tremors (Kampa), convulsions (Ākṣepa), heaviness in the body (Gaurava), debility (Śoṣa), spasm (Stambha), noises in the intestines, cutting pain in the abdomen, evacuation of small quantity of very faeces with noise.

Contraindications of Nirūha Basti

Nirūha Basti is contraindicated in conditions of indigestion (Ajīrṇa), Atisnigdha (over dose of Sneha), Mandāgni, exhaustion, weakness, hunger, thirst, excessive emaciation, just after meal, immediately after emesis, purgation or Śirovirecana; in conditions of anger, fright, intoxication, fainting, breathlessness, cough, hiccough (Hikkā), intestinal obstruction or perforation, ascites, Ādhmāna, Alasaka, Visūcikā, miscarriage, diarrhoea (Āmātisāra), diabetes (Madhumeha) and skin diseases.

Indications of Anuvāsana Basti

Anuvāsana Basti is indicated in the conditions where Nirūha Basti may be given particularly in persons who are Rūkṣa, having excessive digestive power (Tīkṣṇāgni) and disorders of Vāta.

Contraindications of Anuvāsana Basti

In addition to the contraindications mentioned in Nirūha Basti, the Anuvāsana Basti is also contraindicated in persons who have not taken any food, suffering from recent fevers anaemia, jaundice, urinary disorders (Prameha), piles, coryza (Pratiśyāya), anorexia (Aruci), weak digestive power (Mandāgni), debility, (Daurbalya), splenic disorders, abdominal disorders due to Kapha, Ūrustambha, loose stools, ingestion of poisons, discharge of mucus or bile, hard bowel conditions, elephantiasis (Ślīpada), goitre (Galagaṇḍa), scrofula (Apacī) and intestinal worms (Udara Kṛmi).

Order of Basti

After the enema when the fluid of Nirūha Basti has returned, the patient should be given food during the day and also in the evening. Thereafter he should be given Anuvāsana on the second, third or fifth day. After giving Nirūha Basti on every third or fifth day, he should again be given Anuvāsana Basti.

In disorders of Kapha one or three Basti should be given; in disorders of Pitta, five or seven; and in disorders of Vāta, nine or even eleven Basti should be given.

Effects of Basti

When body-channels have been cleaned by Nirūha, Sneha (oleation) given by Anuvāsana Basti imparts colour and strength. Oil by its unctuous quality, counteracts dryness, by its heaviness, counteracts lightness and by its heat (Ūṣma) quality it counteracts coldness (Śaitya) of Vāta. Thus it quickly imparts clarity of mind, virility, strength and colour and increases gastric juices.

Criteria for proper Nirūha Basti

Proper elimination of faeces, urine and flatus; increase of appetite and improvement of digestion (Agnivṛddhi), feeling of lightness in lower abdomen (Pakvāśaya), alleviation of symptoms of ailment, restoration of health and vitality are the signs and symptoms of proper (Samyak) Nirūha Basti.

Headache, pain in the heart region, stomach and rectum, oedema, coryza, cutting pain, nausea, retention of flatus and urine, and breathlessness (Śvāsa) are the signs of under action (Ayoga) of Nirūha Basti. Signs described for Atiyoga of Virecana are also the signs of Ati-Yoga of Nirūha Basti.

Criteria for proper Anuvāsana Basti

Return of enema fluid with faeces without retention, purification of Rakta, Dhātu, intellect and sensory organs, inclination to sleep, feeling of well-being, increase of vitality and regulation of excretory urges are the signs and symptoms of proper performing of Anuvāsana Basti.

Pain in lower part of body, abdomen, arms, back and sides of the body, dryness and roughness of limbs, obstruction of faeces, urine and flatus are the signs and symptoms of under action (Ayoga) of Anuvāsana Basti.

Nausea, stupor, exhaustion, fainting, cutting pain in rectum are the signs and symptoms of over action (Atiyoga) of Anuvāsana Basti.


Śirovirecana (Nasya) is the procedure of giving medicine through the nose. After the body has been purified, the persons’ head should be methodically anointed (Sneha-massage) and then fomented by palm of the hand. Thereafter Śirovirecana may be given according to the degree of intensity of Doṣa.

Indications of Śirovirecana

Śirovirecana is specially indicated in Śiroroga, stiffness of neck, throat spasm, lock jaw, Hanu Graha, coryza (Pīnasa), tonsillitis, Kaṇṭha Śālūka, Timira, glossitis, hemicrania, disease of neck, shoulders, mouth, ear, nose, eye, cranium and forehead; facial paralysis, convulsions, rigidity (Stambha), Galagaṇḍa, toothache, looseness of teeth, eye-infection, Arbuda, alteration of voice, loss of voice, speech etc., and diseases of supra clavicular region.

Contraindications of Śirovirecana

Śirovirecana is not to be given in cloudy days. Peoples who have been given Virecana or Anuvāsana Basti should not be given Nasya. Persons who are suffering from indigestion, who have just taken meals of Sneha, thirsty, those who have bathed their head, afflicted with hunger, fatigued or intoxicated, fainted, injured or exhausted by sex act, exercise and pregnancy, and suffering from coryza, recent fever should not be given Śirovirecana.

Criteria for proper Śirovirecana

Lightness of head and chest, clarity of senses and purification of body channels (Srotas) are the signs of proper administration (Samyak Yoga) of Śirovirecana. Mucus secretion in the throat, heaviness of head and ptylism are the signs of under action (Ayoga) of Śirovirecana. Aching pain in the head, eyes, temples and ear and faintness are the signs of over action (Atiyoga) of Śirovirecana.

Nasya (Medication through nose)

Medication through nose is worthy of mention as this method has been found to be very effective. The expert physician should administer Dravya for Bṛṁhaṇa, Śodhana and Śamana through nose for the well being of the organs or cure of the diseases of ear, nose, throat and the brain (Urdhajatru-Gata Vyādhi). Śodhana is recommended in stiffness, numbness, heaviness and similar symptoms appearing in the Urdhajatru due to Kapha. Tarpaṇa is specially suitable for soothing in diseases like Śiraskampa, Ardita and other diseases due to Vāta. Śamana Nasya is useful in bleeding etc.

Methods of Nasya

They are five viz. (i) inunction (Nāvana), (ii) instillation of nasal drops (Avapīḍana), (iii) insufflation (Dhmāpana), (iv) inhalation (Dhūmra) and (v) topical application (Pratimarśa).

Nāvana has two actions viz. oleation and purification. Avapīḍana has also two actions viz. purification and astringent action. Dhmāpana brings about purification. Dhūmrapāna brings about Śamana and Pratimarśa brings about Snehana.

Paścāta Karma (Post Śodhana Regimen)

One should avoid excessive sitting, standing, talking, riding, driving etc., day-sleep, sexual intercourse, suppression of natural urges, indulgence in cold things, sunheat, worry, anger, untimely food etc.

Saṁsarjana Krama

After the elimination of the Doṣa by any one measure the Pañcakarma, for improving digestion and assimilation and also for regaining strength and vitality, Paścāta Karma is indicated. In Paścāta Karma, the steps of gradual dieting and exercise have been mentioned. For taking the patient to his normal diet, the diet should begin with Peyā, then Vilepī, Kṛta Yūṣa, Akṛta Yūṣa, Māṁsa-Rasa with the increase in quantity and quality gradually, this process is known as Saṁsarjana Krama. The dietary regime for Pravara Śuddhi is as follow:

On the evening of performing Śodhana e.g. Vamana, or Virecana etc. Yavāgu should be given. In the same way Yavāgu should also be given for the next day for two meals i.e. in the noon and evening. At the fourth meal time, Vilepī (thick gruel) with or without Sneha and salt should be administered. The same diet on fifth and sixth meal time should be taken. At the seventh meal time he may be given well cooked rice with gree green soup mixed with a little of Sneha and salt. The same to be given on the eighth and ninth meal time. At the tenth meal time he may be given rice with meat juice. The same should be repeated at the eleventh and twelfth meal time. Thereafter the patient should take normal diet gradually as on the seventh night he returns to the normal state.

It is to be worth mentioning here that Pañca Karma described in Āyurveda is not merely emesis, purgation or enema but it is a complete therapy for the various disorders. It is an important line of treatment in which the diseases are cured by elimination of Doṣa from the body. However for the success of the therapy the contraindications of each Karma should be borne in mind so that complications or side effects may not occur.


In short, Āyurvedic medicines are divided into two groups, one which increases the strength and promotes the health of the healthy person and second which cures the disease of the patient. Rasāyana and Vājīkaraṇa come under the first category i.e. both the measures increase the strength as well as promote the health of the healthy persons.


Rasāyana is defined as a therapeutic measure which promotes the longevity, prevents aging, provides positive health and mental faculties, increases memory, and impart resistance and immunity against diseases. This treatment is best suited to the patients of middle age group and its timely use may prevent the decadence process. However there are examples of the Ṛṣi Cyavana whose age worn physique was converted into youthful by the use of Rasāyana.

The literary meaning of ‘Rasāyana’ is ‘obtaining the optimum nourishment to the Dhātu’. Thus the Rasāyana is a branch of Āyurvedic medicine which improves the fundamental tissues like Dhātu, Agni, Srotas etc. of human body leading to prevention of aging, improvement in bodily strength and mental faculties, and resistance against diseases.

Rasāyana therapy may be administered after admitting the patient in the hospital (Kuṭī Prāveśika) or as out door patient (Vātātapika), but former is considered better. For the best results it is necessary to undertake Śodhana therapy (Pañcakarma) before giving the Rasāyana drugs.

Taking different views described by Āyurvedic texts, Rasāyana may broadly be classified into four groups viz. Kāmya Rasāyana, Naimittika Rasāyana, Medhya Rasāyana and Ācāra Rasāyana.

1. Kāmya Rasāyana: The drugs which improve the health and vigour of a healthy person are known as Kāmya Rasāyana. Cyavanaprāśa is commonly used for this purpose.
2. Naimittika Rasāyana: The drugs used to increase the strength of diseased person are known as Naimittika Rasāyana. It may be used as an adjunct to the specific medical treatment of a particular disease, so that the patient may be cured earlier.
3. Medhya Rasāyana: All the Rasāyana drugs also improve the mental faculties in addition to their beneficial effects on the body, but the Medhya Rasāyana are those drugs which have specific effect on mental performance. Śaṅkhapuṣpī, Brāhmī, Vacā etc. belong to this group.
4. Ācāra Rasāyana: The established rules of conduct, practice, usage, precept are also considered as means of Rasāyana, which are known as Ācāra Rasāyana. Truth and fair speaking, cleanliness, understanding, balanced walking and sleeping, following the rules of climate, season and dosage, wholesome eating, almsgiving, spiritual temperament, nonviolence, avoiding of anger and over strain, restraining from alcohol, sex and hurting to others etc. are considered as Ācāra Rasāyana. The man who follows these rules lives long and requires no Rasāyana drugs.

The single drugs, simple preparations and compound preparations commonly used for Rasāyana are as follows:

Single Drugs and Simple preparations:

1. Juice (Svarasa) of whole plant of Bhṛṅgarāja – 14 to 28 ml. to be taken twice a day for one month. During this therapy patient should take only milk as his diet.
2. Take powdered fruit rind of 2 Vibhītaka (beleric myrobalan) before meal, 4 Āmalakī (embolic myrobalan) after meal and of 1 Harītakī (chebulic myrobalan) after 2 to 4 hours of meal with ghee and honey, regularly for one year.
3. Juice (Svarasa) of Maṇḍūkaparṇī – 7 to 14 ml. or powdered root of Madhuyaṣṭi – 1 to 2 g. or Juice of Guḍūcī – 7 to 14 ml. or Kalka (paste) of whole plant of Śaṅkhapuṣpī – 12 g. to be taken with milk twice a day.
4. Powdered root of Aśvagandhā (winter cherry) – 1 to 3 g. or powdered fruit of Pippalī (long pepper) – 1 g. to be taken with honey followed by 100 to 250 ml. milk.
5. Triphalā Cūrṇa – 3 to 6 g. to be taken with 100 to 250 ml. milk or 4 to 6 g. honey twice a day.
6. Āmalakī Rasāyana – 1 to 3 g. to be taken with milk twice a day. It is specially useful for peptic ulcer.
7. Śuddha Guggulu – 1 to 2 g. to be taken with water twice a day.

Compound Preparations:

1. Cyavanaprāśa: 12 to 24 g. to be taken with 100 to 250 ml. milk thrice a day. It is useful in chronic cough and tuberculosis, and to increase the weight.
2. Brāhmī Ghṛta: 12 to 24 g. to be taken with 100 to 250 ml. milk twice a day.
3. Śatāvarī Ghṛta: 12 to 24 g. to be taken with honey followed by 100 to 250 ml. milk twice a day.
4. Vasanta-Kusumākara: 60 to 120 mg. to be taken with honey follwed by 100 to 250 ml. milk twice a day.
5. Mahā-Lakṣmī-Vilāsa Rasa: 60 to 120 mg. to be taken with honey thrice a day.
6. Makara-Dhvaja: 30 to 60 mg. to be taken with honey thrice a day.
7. Dhātri Rasāyana: 12 to 24 g. to be taken with 100 to 250 ml. milk thrice a day.
8. Amṛtaprāśa: 12 to 24 g. to be taken with 100 to 250 ml. milk thrice a day. It is useful for increasing the weight.
9. Agastya-Harītakī 12 to 24 g. to be taken with 100 to 250 ml. milk thrice a day. It is useful for decreasing the weight of fatty persons.
10. Abhraka Bhasma: 60 to 120 mg. to be taken with honey followed by 100 to 250 ml. milk.
11. Pūrṇa Candra Rasa: 60 to 120 mg. to be taken with honey followed by 100 to 250 ml. milk.


Vājīkaraṇa is a special branch of Āyurveda which is practiced to promote the health and sexual life of the healthy men as well as of the sexually weak patients. The therapy which provides strength, potency, virility, sexual excitement, erection of sexual organ and pleasure in the intercourse is known as Vājīkaraṇa. For better results, it is necessary to perform Śodhana before administration of the Vājīkaraṇa drugs. The medicines used for Vājīkaraṇa may be classified in 4 groups viz. Śukrala, Śukra Recaka, Śukra Stambhaka and Śukra Śoṣaka.

1. Śukrala: The drugs which causes qualitative and quantitative increase in the Śukra (sperm) are known as Śukrala. The drugs like Aśvagandhā, Musalī, Śarkarā, Śatāvarī belong to this group. These drugs are useful for aspermatogenesis (absence of sperm in semen) and oligospermia.
2. Śukra Recaka: The drugs which help in ejaculation of semen may be known as Śukra Recaka. The Bṛhatī-fruit and women belong to this group. These are useful for the conditions like aspermia. Milk, Māṣa, Bhallātaka-fruit pulp, Āmalakī-fruit etc. are both Śukrala and Śukra Recaka.
3. Śukra Stambhaka: The drugs which increase the time of sexual intercourse are known as Śukra Stambhaka. The drug belongs to this group is Jātiphala. The best indication of these drugs is premature ejaculation.
4. Śukra Śoṣaka: The drugs which dry the semen may be known as Śukra Śoṣaka. Harītakī belongs to this group.

The commonly used drugs for Vājīkaraṇa are as follows:

Single Drugs

1. Powder of root Aśvagandhā (winter cherry) – 1 to 3 g. or root of Mūsalī (wile asparagus) – 1 to 3 g. or root Śatāvarī – 1 to 3 g. or seed of Kapikacchū (cowage) – 1 to 3 g. or tuber of Vidārī (giant potato) – 1 to 3 g. or Nāgabalā – 1 to 3 g. to be taken with 100 to 250 ml. milk twice a day. These drugs are useful for Śukrajanana.
2. Kharjūra or Piṇḍa Kharjūra (date) – 25 to 50 g. to be taken with 100 to 250 ml. milk thrice a day. It is useful for Śukra Recana.
3. Powder of Bhaṅga (Indian hemp) leaf – 250 to 500 mg. to be taken with 4 to 6 g. honey and 100 to 250 ml. milk thrice a day. It is useful for Śukra Stambhana in premature ejaculation.
4. Powder of Jātiphala (mace nut) – 1 to 3 g. to be taken with 100 to 250 ml. milk twice a day for Śukra Stambhana in premature ejaculation.
5. Powder of Jāvitrī – 1 to 3 g. to be taken with 100 to 250 ml. milk twice a day. It is also useful for premature ejaculation.
6. Powder of Lavaṅga – 1 to 3 g. to be taken 100 to 250 ml. milk twice a day for premature ejaculation.

Compound Preparations

1. Vasanta Kusumākara: 60 to 120 mg. to be taken with 100 to 250 ml. milk twice a day.
2. Makaradhvaja Vaṭī: 1 to 2 Vaṭī to be taken with 100 to 250 ml. milk twice a day.
3. Makaramuṣṭi Yoga: 60 to 120 mg. to be taken with honey and Śarkarā, twice a day.
4. Aśvagandhā Ghṛta: 12 to 24 g. to be taken with 100 to 250 ml. milk three times a day.
5. Bṛhat Chāgalyādi Ghṛta: 12 to 24 g. to be taken with 100 to 250 ml. milk three times a day.
6. Mṛtasañjīvani Surā: 7 to 14 ml. to be taken twice a day with equal quantity of water after meal.
7. The special meat preparations and other drugs mentioned in the treatment of Dhātu-Kṣaya may also be used as Vājīkaraṇa.

External Application:

1. Śrīgopāla Taila to be applied on the penis.