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THE PHARMA REVIEW (AUGUST 2008)

Manufacturing Standards in Ayurveda

Rajesh Puri

Abstracts: One must first understand and appreciate that Ayurveda has a holistic approach to life and its related problems. The science acknowledges us to be a part of nature and ‘we are what we are due to the cosmic energies present around us’. Our health, or lack of it, is associated with the energies, what we eat and our lifestyle. Ayurveda does not tackle the ‘symptom’ alone but corrects the reason for the symptom. This philosophy is the main difference between the approach to health and health-related products of modern medicine and Ayurveda.

In this article, we address the manufacturing of and the rationale behind the multi herbal formulations. To address the latter first, the multi herbal formulations in Ayurveda are reflective of this very same holistic approach. The multi herbal formulation is essential to Ayurveda and has been traditionally used for thousands of years with good effect. The holistic effect is derived when herbs are taken in combination with other herbs to either neutralise the toxicity of one herb with the opposing effect of the other or to enhance the particular effect of the main herb with the help of the other. It may also be to produce a Synergetic effect. For example, Trikatu (a combination of Piper longum, Piper nigrum, Zingiber officinale) is often used in Ayurvedic products to enhance the action of main herbs; Nardostachys jatamansi (Jatamansi) is known to prolong the antihypertensive effect of Rauwolfia serpentina (Sarpagandha) among other things. Whatever the reason, they add value to the end product and have a valid scientific basis that is not only documented but has also undergone ‘the test of time’. The combinations of different herbs have been traditionally used over thousands of years with success and are known to be safe. This should allay the fear in the minds of some people. The multi herbal formulations should not be perceived in the same light as modern medicine, where the side effect profile of chemicals and drugs is worrisome. What is interesting to note is that none of the Ayurvedic preparations, herbs or formulations are known to have become out-dated or become less effective over time, unlike modern medicine where the life span of a drug is limited.

 

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