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Herbs can be classified into five types: according to origin, according to habitat, according to various actions, according to action on doshas and according to their use.
 
Classification of herbs according to origin
Dravyas are constituted by panchamahabhootas (five elements). A dravya is said to be of a particular mahabhoota if it forms a major constituent of the dravya. There are five types of dravyas:
  • Parthiv
  • Apaya
  • Taijas
  • Vayaveeya
  • Akasheeya
     
Classification according to habitat, family, morphology and life span of herbs (dravya)
  • Sthalaj - Plant and trees that grow on land, e.g. Haritaki, Amalki etc.
     
  • Jalaj (Aquatic) - Plants that grow in water, e.g. Lotus, Spyrogyra.
     
  • Vruksharuha (Epiphytic, living on the surface of trees) - Plants that grow on other trees but do not depend on that tree for their nutrition, e.g. Rasana.
     
  • Vrukshadan (Parasitic) - Plant that dwells on another tree and obtains its nutrition from its host. 
     
Classification of dravyas on the basis of different actions

 

Dravyas

Actions

1.

 Jeevaneeya Promotes longevity and optimizes all the vital constituents and functions.

2.

 Bruhaneeya Substance, which has an anabolic effect.

3.

 Lekhaneeya Substances that bring about lekhan i.e. scratching, scraping etc.

4.

 Bhedaneeya Purgative

5.

 Sandhaneeya Facilitates reunion of fractures and aids in fermentation.

6.

 Deepaneeya Stimulant of digestive functions.

7.

 Balya Strengthens and raises  functional capacity.

8.

 Varnya Improves complexion.

9.

 Kanthya Demulcent, beneficial to larynx and throat.

10.

 Hridya Cardio tonic pleases the mind and senses.

11.

 Truptighna Removes satiation.

12.

 Arshoghna Cures piles.

13.

 Kushthaghna Anti-dermatoses.

14.

 Kandughna Antipuritic

15.

 Krumighna Anthelmintic, antiparasitic.

16.

 Krumighna Antidote

17.

 Stanyajanan Stimulates production of breast milk.

18.

 Stanyashodhan Purifies breast milk.

19.

 Shukrajanan Increases semen count.

20.

 Shukrashodhan Purifies semen

21.

 Snehopag Aids in snehan i.e. oleation.

22.

 Swedopag Aids in swedan i.e. causing perspiration.

23.

 Vamanopag Aids in emesis.

24.

 Virechanopag Aids in purgation.

25.

 Asthapanopag Supports action of asthapan i.e. one of the two types of medicated enema in which usually decoctions are used.

26.

 Anuvasanopag Supports the action of oleated enema.

27.

 Shirovirechanopag Removal of doshas from the head by nasal administration of medicines.

28.

 Chardinigrahana Controls vomiting, anti-emetic.

29.

 Trishnanigrahan Removing / assuaging thirst.

30.

 Hikkanigrahan Control of hiccups

31.

 Purishasangrahaneeya Increases solid consistency of the stools/faeces.

32.

 Purishavirajaneeya Restores the normal colour of stools/faeces.

33.

 Mootrasangrahaneeya Reduces urine excretion.

34.

 Mootravirajaneeya Restores the normal colour of urine.

35. 

 Mootravirechaneeya Drugs that help to pass obstructed urine.

36.

 Kasahara Drugs that alleviate cough.

37.

 Shwashara Anti-asthmatic.

38.

 Shothahara Reduces swelling

39.

 Jvarahara Alleviates fever, febrifuge.

40.

 Shramahara Removing fatigue

41.

 Dahaprashaman Alleviates burning sensation.
42.  Sheetaprashaman Alleviates cold

43.

 Udaraprashaman Alleviates urticaria

44.

 Angamardaprashaman Alleviates body ache, malaise.

45.

 Shoolaprashaman Analgesic substances.

46.

 Shonitprashaman Pacifies doshas of the blood.

47.

 Vedanasthapan Analgesic.

48.

 Sangnyasthapan Restores consciousness.

49.

 Prajasthapan Promotes fertility.

50.

 Vayahsthapan Anti-ageing.
 
Types according to the action on doshas
  • Shaman - Dravyas which equate the vitiated dosha without purifying the doshas or disturbing the equilibrium. 
  • Kopan - Dravyas which vitiate the doshas in equilibrium.
  • Swasthahita - Dravyas which have a tendency to increase or decrease vatadi doshas but do not produce vitiation of these doshas in a healthy person.
     
Types depending on their use
  • Aushadh dravya (drugs)
  • Ahar dravya (diet)
     
 
 

 
 
 
 

 

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