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Ghṛtas are preparations in which the Ghṛta is boiled with prescribed liquid media [Svarasa / Kaṣāya etc.] and a fine paste [Kalka] of the drugs specified in the formulation composition. Unless specified otherwise Ghṛta means Go Ghṛta.
Method of preparation
1. There are usually three essential components in the manufacture of Ghṛta Kalpanā.
- Drava [Any liquid medium as prescribed in the composition]
- Kalka [Fine paste of the specified drugs]
- Sneha dravya [Fatty media - Ghṛta] And, occasionally.
- Gandha dravya [Perfuming agents]
2. Unless otherwise specified in the verse, if Kalka is one part by weight, Ghṛta should be four parts and the Drava dravya should be sixteen parts.
3. There are a few exceptions for the above general rule:
- Where Drava dravya is either Kvātha or Svarasa, the ratio of Kalka should be one-sixth and one-eighth respectively to that of Ghṛta. If the Drava dravya is either Kṣīra or Dadhi or Maṁsa rasa or Takra, the ratio of Kalka should be one-eighth to that of Ghṛta.
- When flowers are advised for use as Kalka, it should be one-eighth to that of Sneha.
- Where the number of Drava-dravya are four or less than four, the total quantity should be four times to that of Ghṛta.
- Where the number of Drava-dravyas is more than four, each drava should be equal to that of Ghṛta.
- If, Kalka dravya is not prescribed in a formulation, the drugs specified for the Drava-dravya Kvātha or Svarasa should be used for the preparation of Kalka.
- Where no Drava dravya is prescribed in a formulation, four parts of water should be added to one part of Ghṛta.
4. In general, the Ghṛta should be subjected to Mūrchana process, followed by addition of increments of Kalka and Drava-dravya in specified ratio. The contents are to be stirred continuously thoroughout the process in order to avoid charring.
5. The process of boiling is to be continued till the whole amount of moisture gets evaporated and characteristic features of Ghṛta appears.
6. The whole process of Pāka should be carried out on a mild to moderate flame.
7. Three stages of Pāka are specified for therapeutic purposes.
- Mrdu Pāka: In this stage, the Kalka looks waxy and when rolled between fingers, it rolls like lac without sticking. The Ghṛta obtained at this stage is used for Nasya [Nasal instillation].
- Madhyama Pāka: In this stage, the Kalka becomes harder and rolls into Varti. It burns without crackling sounds when exposed to fire and phena [froth] will disappears in Ghṛta. The Ghṛta obtained at this stage is used for Pāna [Internal administration] and Vasti [Enema].
- Khara Pāka: Further heating of the Ghṛta, leads to Khara paka. Kalka becomes brittle when rolled in between fingers. The Ghṛta obtained at this stage is used only for Abhyanga [External application].
8. The period of Pāka depends upon the nature of liquid media used in the process.
9. Patra Pāka: It is the process by which the Ghṛta is augmented or flavored by certain prescribed substances. The powdered drugs are suspended in a vessel containing warm, filtered Ghṛta
- The medicated Gh¨ta will have the odour, colour and taste of the drugs used in the process. If a considerable amount of milk is used in the preparation, the Ghṛta
will become thick and may solidify in cold seasons.
- Ghṛtas are preserved in good quality of glass, steel or polythene containers. These medicated preparations retain the therapeutic efficacy for sixteen months.
- THE AYURVEDIC PHARMACOPOEIA OF INDIA, PART-II, VOLUME-1, page no 61.