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General Descripition

Āsavas and Ariṣṭas are medicinal preparations made by soaking the drugs, either in coarse powder form or in the form of decoction (Kaṣāya), in a solution of sugar or jaggery, as the case may be, for a specified period of time, during which it undergoes a process of fermentation generating alcohol, thus facilitating the extraction of the active principles contained in the drugs. The alcohol, so generated, also serves as a preservative.

Method of preparation

The drugs mentioned in the texts are coarsely (Yavakūṭa) powdered and Kaṣāya is prepared. The Kaṣāya is strained and kept in the fermentation vessel. Sugar, jaggery or honey*, according to the formula, is dissolved, boiled, filtered and added. Drugs mentioned as Prakṣepa Dravyas are finely powdered and added. At the end, Dhātakī Puṣpa, if included in the formula, should be properly cleaned and added. The mouth of the vessel is sealed. The container is kept either in a special room (Alternatively, in an underground cellar or in a heap of paddy, so as to ensure that for the duration of fermentation, as far as possible, a constant temperatures may impede or accelerate the fermentation). After the specified period, the lid is removed, and the contents examined to ascertain whether the process of fermentation (Sandhāna) has been completed. The fluid is first decanted and then strained after two or three days. When the fine suspended particles settle down, it is strained again and bottled.[1]


  • The filtered Ariṣṭa should be clear without froth at the top. It should not become sour (Cukra). The preparation has the characteristics of aromatic alcoholic odour.


  • Ariṣṭas can be kept indefinitely. They should be kept in well-stoppered bottles or jars.[2]


  2. The Ayurvedic formulary of India Part-III page no 4.

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