Lecture Note: “Use of Rasaushadhis in Panchakarma Practice” (Part -1) 


“Use of Rasaushadhis in Panchakarma Practice” (Part -1)

Dr. Gopi Krishnan sir
based on the lecture available at Using Rasushadhi in Panchakarma Practice

Rasaushadhis in Panchakarma practice is a very specific phenomenon that has been adopted by the practitioners or the vaidyas who are specific to Panchakarma or specific in the conditions wherever they would like to have a quick action in a Panchakarma practice.

(Rasaratna Sammuchay 28)

The above verse explains the specificity of Rasaushadhis as the small dosage forms, nonspecific taste, or no taste at all because Aruchi( is the specific Bhasmasiddhi Lakshana. The Bhasma should not have any specific taste, is quick in action, and is the best form/ best system of medicine. Quick in action is a typical phenomenon that we find in all the Rasaushadhis. This particular phenomenon should be adopted into clinical practices including the Panchakarma practice. It has been well praised from the textbooks of Ayurveda stating like rather than giving the Shamana, it is always better to do Shodhana in the form of Panchakarma should be adopted first and after completion of Shodhana, you can give the medicines for having a good response and good absorption, good bioavailability into the system But still to understand it in a better way to have the more therapeutic action through the Pancha karma practice because there are many Panchakarmas which has been adopted for Shamana as well as Shodhana. So either of the phenomenon where we need a typical tendency of the drug absorption into the body quickly and have a therapeutic outfit and have a therapeutic result in an individual, we need to add a certain set of drugs that are attributed as quick in action (क्षिप्रमारोग्यदायित्वाद).

What is one such phenomenon where it makes the potency of the drug more enhanced in the bioavailability of an individual to show the Dosha equilibrium in the body? The Dosha equilibrium in the body is essential because that is the basic definition of Swastha Purusha as per Ayurveda.  When we speak about the Panchakarma or the five therapeutic procedures wherein it is adopted for specifically purifying the body or normalizing the Dosha and also palliating the excessive Dosha and maintaining homeostasis in an individual. So by this procedure, it is something like the toxins is being removed or it has been detoxified, making the channels of the body open in the form of Sroto Sansranan and making the drug availability easier and quicker in the body. This is one of the basic phenomena or the target of the Panchakarma practice. So by doing this what happens? The prime foci you have is Sharirshudhyarth, the vitiated Doshas being removed. Initially, Utkleshana of Dosha is being done in the form of Snehan and Swedan and also you get the Dosha from the Shakhashrita to the Koshthashrita and through the nearest channel might be like through the Vamana or Virechana or Basti or Nasya either of the procedures, vitiated Dosha are been eliminated out. This is a basic phenomenon in the Panchakarma practice.

 The next question comes, what is the role of Rasaushadhis in these practices? Why should we use the Rasaushadhis? It is not very popular in many places to use Rasaushadhis in Panchakarma, but regular Panchakarma practices as claimed in the textbooks are quite popular. They are very significant and they are very commonly adopted almost in every clinical practice. So based on this particular phenomenon, how this particular Panchakarma practice can help or emphasize the Rasa practice being incorporated into this particular fight therapeutically procedures. So we will try to analyze the things that we have to understand on the grounds of the Panchakarma practice with the Rasaushadhis. The basic phenomenon whenever we speak about the Panchakarma practice concerning Dosha is as I said, you initially about Dosha Utkleshana as Poorvakarma in the form of Snehan and Swedana, so the Dosha Utklesh can also be done with the help of the Rasaushadhis. The Koshtha  Shodhana or Sharir Shodhana can also be done by the various procedure or the drugs used in  Rasa Shastra. The whole of the Rasa drugs can also be used in two modules. One is the Bahirparimarjana, and one more is Antah parimarjana. Panchkarma practice in India is being very much highlighted in both the phenomenal way like Bahirparimarjana as well as Antah parimarjana. We will try to analyze which Rasaushadhies are being used in Panchkarma in Bahirparimarjana as well as Antah parimarjana Chikitsa, like Vaman, Virechana, and so on. In the case at all, we have any of the clinical cases where we can discuss adopting these Rasaushadhies in the form of Panchakarma and taking them into the clinical purview and try to analyze the things whether if at all we are doing it in the right way or wrong way. So Rasashastra, the science of metals and minerals in therapeutic usage is being understood in this particular way. The whole of the metals and minerals which are present in the natural crust of the earth is being removed and it is being done in the form of a Shodhan and Marana and later on, it has been converted into the form of Bhasma and then it is been given to an individual for its therapeutic properties. To speak about all the metals and minerals in the form of Bhasma formulations like these formulations in the sense the metals are not given as it is to an individual. Instead, the Bhasmas are being processed in their chronological way in the form of Shodhana and Marana followed by Amrutikaran by this particular procedure it happens there is a series of changes which is happening in the metallic plates. Shodhana and Marana is  done to convert metal into nanoparticles, and later on, these particles are having their therapeutic coding which has been attributed by nature in the Sahaja rupa or Swabhav or Prabhav rupa added to that. There are certain therapeutic properties or Guna Karmas that are being attributed to the person who is preparing it. Say for example I take a particular drug which is having Vata Shamana property and I prepare the Shodhana and Marana of a particular drug. The basic quality of the drug is however been observed in the patient.Added to that, procedures like Shodhana and Marana are being done with the Vata Shamana substance so the end product is having a Vata Shamana property. The same phenomenon is being seen, this is what is explained in Ayurveda as ‘Samskaro hi Gunantaradhanam’.The added advantage of the Bhasma formulation is that these are not done overnight, it’s a very serious process of giving them through the Agni Sannikarsha most of the time, thereafter the drugs are taken and they are been processed with various herbal juices in the form of trituration and then it has been treated with the Agni Sannikarsha.  So with this Agni Sannikarsha or with this Samskara, there is a repeated process of the Agni Sannikarsha and by that, it happens like there is a Sahaja Agni Tatwa which is an inbuilt quality of the Bahamas. So this Agni Tatwa is nothing but maintains the Agni of an individual.

 ‘रोगाःसर्वेऽपि मन्देग्नौ’

In the background above shloka, Agni Tatwa is a very important phenomenon, and whenever the person is having the Alpagni or Mandagni or there is a Dushti in Agni in all such principles always you can tend to give either of these Bhasmas. So by giving these it happens like the Agni Tatwa has become inbuilt quality in all the Bhasmas which enhanced the Agni Guna in the body and by that the Aama of an individual is being removed. It is a natural process of a Deepana and Pachana along with all the set of therapeutic properties of that particular the Bhasmas. So this is an advantage of the Bhasmas formulations in Rasa Shastra of particular therapeutic phenomena and added to that this particular Agni Sannikarsha, it is going to make a minuteness of the particles make it Sukshma Srotogami and also it increases the chemical reaction to see that the levels Doshic levels in the body are very well balanced or homeostatic. This particular phenomenon is particularly to help an individual in clinical practice and it is going to support them. So this particular concept of Agni Samskara is an essential phenomenon for all the Bhasma Nirmana which makes intensifiedfied. Rasa Shasta is one such sacred science that deals with all the toxic drugs like Gauripashana, Vatsanabh, etc. The fancy of the toxicology is its Ashukari, Vyavayi, and Vikasi Gunas representing them which makes it so quick to spread in the body and show their activity in humans. This particular phenomenon makes Ayurveda such a divine science that could identify the importance of toxic substances and perform the Shodhana and other techniques to reduce its toxic effects and preserve Ashukari, Vyavayi, and Vikasi Gunas makes them to act safely and quickly in the therapeutic action. So this particular science of Rasa Shastra is also known as Kshipram Arogyadayitvat. It is going to support quick therapeutic action.

So by adopting these particular toxic substances in a moderated way, I don’t want to give toxin and kill the patient, I want to moderate it. I would like to pacify the excess Ugratva in the form of Shodhana and Marana, then balance it, and then it has been given to an individual. That particular drug which is having these qualities as Ashukari, Vyavayi, and Vikasi  going to support individuals by having a quick response and showing a tremendous clinical outfit in an individual. So based on this it happens like the individual is definitely having the Panchakarma as a body detoxifier and one of the best treatment modalities as we have already discovered or we have already discussed this particular issue. The whole of the toxins is being removed away from the nearest channels, an example is Vamana or Virechana.

 So basically what’s happening in Pancha Karma procedures? Of course, we got the Doshic levels of the drug which been used either it could be Madanfala or Danti or Dravanti and so on is having its qualities or inbuilt qualities. Pancha Mahabhoota which are been present in that particular drug and is also the chief component like the Agnirupa or Jalarupa within it. The Panchabhautik levels in the drugs which are being used in Panchakarma and these drugs are being attributed in the form of Vaman or Virechana or either the way. There are certain drugs which are having Ubhayatobhaghar example is Devadali. So these particular phenomena when we try to analyze them, what happen as per the modern science or possibly what could be the reasons for this detoxification process?The body is made up of so many components that include hundreds to thousands of enzymes, coenzymes and amino acids. Persons tend to have lots of toxins that are to be ingested every day in the form of food, pollution, or intoxication due to any reason. Persons tend to have many toxins inside the body, under these toxins will show their untoward effects and unusual in the form of a disease. So where are these toxins present? These toxins are presented in extracellular fluids and also in intracellular fluids and this has to be removed. What are the principles or what are the methods how we are removing them? So by giving some moderately irritant substances like Vaman Dravya or Virechana Dravya usually the pH has been altered in the gut and that of the other tissues in the body. We know the method called osmosis and diffusion which we have studied. So this particular diffusion or osmosis is nothing but the flow of a substance from a region of higher concentration to a region of lower concentration. So by giving these particular drugs which are used in Vaman or Virechna it happens like it gives a sort of irritation in the gut which makes the alteration in the pH by which the toxins which are present in extracellular and intracellular fluids of an individual are being drained out because of this diffusion or osmosis like phenomenon in the body into the gut. The same drug which is been used in the Vaman and Virechana are tending to throw them out in the form of Vaman and Virechana by which the toxins are being discarded. The toxins are being removed. So once you have removed these toxins, Samyak Vaman and Virechana Lakshana as mentioned in the texts and so the person will appreciate those Lakshanas, and later on it’s not like the person is being given to eat anything and everything. There is a procedure called, ‘Sansarjana Krama ‘because the Agni is also being altered here we have handled the system of the Agni normalcy by adopting the Vaman and Virechana-like therapeutic procedures. After following Samsarjana Krama eventually the food, and the liquid substances are being upgraded more healthily and by that, it happens like a whole of the body system turns out to be very much normal. Then it has been suggested from the textbooks to give Rasayan Chikitsa after Sansarjana Krama.

 It’s something like you wash the ground, you wash the vessel, then it is fitted to prepare the dish in it the same way you wash the body or you cleanse the body in the form of a Panchakarma procedure, then the Rasayan Dravyas are fitted to be absorbed easily into the system. So this is the benefit of how the drug is absorbed or how the drug is administered through the Panchakarma. So whenever we mix either of the Bhasmas in the form of Vamana or Virechana or Basti or either the ways they are going to make this particular therapeutic property much faster. They’re going to make it much faster which the therapeutics achieved is something like a double strength. One is you have a quick action through the means of Panchakarma. One more thing is you have a quick action through the means of Rasaushadhi. When you have these two things like Panchakarma and Rasaushadhi in combination the response is very quick. The response you see in the patient is very quick. So this is the best means of practice to get the situation as immediate effect to be absorbed in an individual. So the essentials which can be used are the basic components of Panchakarma Practice whenever you want to go for Vaman or Virechana or Basti very common mineral which is being used is salt, it is also has a Sukshma Srotogami and also a Yogavahi property so which makes the drug to ha a deeper penetration and show her a good response in an individual. This makes the particular substance or a particular individual turn up to be a maximum benefit. So certain substances can be used in all the phenomenal Panchakarma practices as a mandated essential drug. There are a few of the Rasa drugs which are being used in Bahiparimarjana Chikitsa where the therapeutic procedures are done externally. It’s not given the oral administration, only the external administration is required, and where we are using the Rasaushadhies as a treatment modality. So few of such things where we have been utilized are described one by one.

  The first one is Abhyanga where we use a warm stone massage which is very much popular. So by that phenomenon what is usually happening in this particular way of Abhyanga is the body of the person is being applied with the oils. Certain stones are being up or dipped up into the hot oils and then it is used for the massage of the body. There are many therapeutic agents which are present within these rocks which can impact in the form of Abhyanga. It is a common practice of placing a certain kind of rock called massage stone kept over the vertebral column at many of the Panchakarma practice centres.

The massage stones are kept on elsewhere of the body once the person is being applied with Abhyanga and after that, you can place those rocks or Rasaushadhies on the whole body. You can see the whole of the skin of a person is being in contact with the stone and it is always advised that these stones should be kept warmer so that they always produce a sort of energy or radiation out of it by which it acts as a very quick therapeutic action. It is going to have lots of definite benefits from this particular therapeutic action. I name these procedures a Manidharan Chikitsa in Ayurveda. This form of Chikitsa is not alone to make the person wear lots of jewellery on the body, instead, it is always beneficial if we use such stones as the Rasa Dravya in Panchakarma.  It must be having principles of adaptation for example when you read the chapter of Raktapitta where it has been explained that the drugs used to treat Raktapitta used to be stored in a vessel made up of the Vaidurya Patra. So similarly you have the whole concept of a Bhajan Samskara. Samskara chapter has been explained in Viman Sthan of Charak Samhita. So you have such a phenomenon wherever you have, we need to adopt them into the therapeutics like that of the Panchakarma as well. So these stones which are being emerged into the medicated oils which are hot can be placed on the body to have the therapeutic efficacy or usually it is into practice. Small candles are being placed very near to the stones on the body of the patient to see that a light warmness is being given, a small amount of warmness is given to the stone by which it has been therapeutically active and is absorbing the toxins of an individual and it is radiating the energy into the individual. So what is this particular phenomenon? Being a science student should I believe in all such techniques where when you say something like with the heat treatment, there is something radiating and something getting absorbed? Is it feasible for us to analyze these things or is it feasible to understand any of these procedures? Should we take them into the treatment modalities or should we not take them into the treatment modalities? So, on that grounds, what we need to understand one more phenomenon which we have discussed while analyzing the crystals to identify that is the piezoelectricity and pyroelectricity.Two phenomena are being explained for crystal identification in the mineralogical language. So this particular phenomenon is being explained very well as when some mineral or rock which is being stressed, they acquire an electric charge. This is described as a piezoelectricity .Example, as you see in the case of Sphatika or Quartz or other minerals become charged when heated. It has long been known that the Tourmaline when heated in embers of a fire, first attracts and then repels the ashes. This is known as pyroelectricity. So these are the two phenomena like the peso electricity on the pyroelectricity. This is one such mechanism that have been already discussed in the chapter on crystal identification. So every rock or crystal or mineral is having this property of piezoelectricity and pyroelectricity like tourmaline as Vaikrant, Quartz as Sphatik mani. So you have such a drug where it generates, it radiates some amount of energy out of it or it absorbs some unwanted substances surrounding it. It is been recognized and also explained by the textbooks of Danna’s text of mineralogy, which is an international edition and is worldwide accepted. It’s not alone for me speaking about the Manidharan Chikitsa in Ayurveda or Rasashastra, it is also been approved in this particular format by the mineralogical department as well. These should be adopted for all the cities so that they can have a tremendous response from an individual. I do adopt most of these things into my clinical practice. I’m using them for years, not for months and all. I’m using them in Shiro Dhara, Kati Basti, Upnah Sweda, and also in various methods. Similarly, you can see where the same drugs can be used in the form of a Pizichil where many are pouring the hot oils on the patient’s body. You can keep the stones in the oil or you can keep the stones on the body and pour the oils on that particular area by which there is a radiation of energy. So what are these crystals, and what therapeutic property do they have? So that I need to understand it is a person from Ayurveda. What I’m trying to see in my clinical practice is I’m trying to analyze the Guna Karma of that particular drug from the textbook of Rasratna Sammuchay, it has been given a certain Guna Karma of the drug, the same qualities I am trying to utilize on Bahirparimarjana and Abhyantar Parimarjana Chiktsa through Panchakarma practice through the Rasaushadhies in my clinical practice.  For example certain crystals Sphatika or Lapis lazuli beloning to the Uparatna category. Such crystals are being warmed up and it is being kept on the body where the person is having Shoola Pradhan Vyadhi, might be the patient may have a Katishool or Angamard or so on. We keep these crystals on various parts of the body and the Pizichil is being followed. As for the classical procedures, whatever we are doing in the therapy of the Pizichil, pouring the hot oils on the patient. Similarly, in the Udvartana, we can use certain mineral powders mixed up with the herbal components. Sometimes in cases of excessive Kaphotklesha where I use Hartal powder for rubbing the patient’s body. Of course, the patient is being covered well with the mask so that it doesn’t enter the human body. Be cautious while using toxic products like Arsenic, see that the patient’s skin doesn’t have any cuts and wounds so that it should not harm the patient. So to a smaller extent that these drugs are being used in the Bahirparimarjana Chikitsa in the form of Udvartan. Similarly, we have the treatment modalities called Patrapinda Sweda. So along with the Patras in the Pottali where I’m using certain crystals which are being warmed up and it has been placed in between the leaves in the Pottali and tapping on the patient’s body is being done by the Patrapinda Sweda.

We can appreciate a good therapeutic property in an individual by which we have a very good and quick response in an individual that’s more phenomenal by taking the results of Rasaushadhies into such practice. As you can see in Kati Basti whenever a patient has, pain in the Kati region,calcite crystal or a Sphatik mani can be placed into the instrument of the Kati Basti. Usually, in Kati Basti there is  sort of a small pit-like on the affected area and you pour some medicated oils within it. The phenomenon is same as per the textbook of Panchakarma , I place a crystal like Sphatik into it, which is having a Shula Prashamana property so which absorbs the pain. Here I’m not injuring the patient, not crossing my limits and I’m still ethical. Because I’m following the textbook of Rasratnasammuchaya and also using it externally. This is a small adaptation that I have done into my practice. Similarly, whenever you want to roll it, you can take the same Sphatik mani which is present within it and roll it to have a good efficacy of the drug, because usually during the Kati Basti treatment we try to put our fingers and try to rub the bottom of the skin so that you don’t find sweat acts as a barrier between the absorption of the oil and its action or the therapeutic action into the body. So you can just rub it similarly for the crystal which you have placed in the Kati Basti as well. A similar phenomenon can also be adopted as you can appreciate the crystals within the Kati Basti which is almost immersed. Usually, the oils and the Kashaya in whatever we pour here are having a warmness, we warm it and pour it so the pyso electricity and pyro electricity, the charging of the crystal is being appreciated and you have a more enhanced the property of the Rasaushadhi that affected area. So the crystals that are specific even for the back pain which is being identified as you can see in case of Kantaloha and Rajavart is having that property. So either of these phenomenon can be adopted similarly, in case you have the crystals for the muscle pain you have like Kantaloha which can be used. Similarly, the copper alloys like chrysocolla and amazonite can be used for muscle pain. In case of inflammatory pathologies, you can use the stones which are being explained in our text as Anjana, Vimal, Akik or Sasyak . In case of the crystals for Sciatica where we can use a Vaikranta.

 In the case of Dhoopana where we are using it, we can use the drugs like the Manahshila ,Shilajatu,  Guggulu, and all where the deeper the penetration because the smoke can occupy the minutest channel of the body and when you add a certain substance into that it happens like even the drug starts getting absorbed along with the smoke, especially whenever it is having certain Tikshna Aushadhi as that of Manashila or the volatile substances which can penetrate along with the smoke into the deepest part of the body in the form of Dhoopan. Similarly, there are crystals under energy levels which can also be understood on the grounds of the therapeutics.


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