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      Ayurveda is a veda (book) of ayush (life). To lead a healthy life and to get rid of or to get cured of diseases, herbs are being used since ancient time. Each and every dravya has it's own guna (property) and karma (function), by which the dravya is utilised for remedial purposes. 

      The science in which dravya is studied in detail is called as Dravya-guna-vigyan (Herbology). Dravya-guna-vigyan is based on the ideas of satva-raja-tama, panchmahabhootas and various experiences derived from the study of balance-imbalance of basic components of the universe.

      Dravya-guna-vigyan has been formulated in context with swasthya (health) and rugna (disease). The basic ideas have been developed keeping the patient in mind. Dravya-guna-vigyan is thus a science of treatment.
 
The concept of herbology (dravya-guna-shastra)
      Dravya-guna-shastra is not only a useful factor for swasthya (maintenance of health) and chikitsa (treatment) but is also the chief factor involved in various substances as well as non-substances which are instrumental in vitiating health and creating disharmony in the equilibrium of body components. The use of Dravya-guna-shastra is necessary for restoring this equilibrium. If drugs are to be used then thorough knowledge of these is essential. 
  
According to Vedas...
      It has been seen, that mention of the use of medicinal plant is found in all the four Vedas namely Rigveda, Samaveda, Yajurveda and Atharvaveda. Ayurveda, which is a text on the preventive and curative aspects of disease, is a part of Atharvaveda.

     
Herbs are being used since ancient time to maintain health, to treat disease and regain the healthy state of mind and body. All the above mentioned Vedas have described herbs (medicinal plants) in different ways but the concept of pran (life) is common to all.

       According to Rigveda one who possesses a variety of herbs should be called as a vaidya (Ayurvedic Physician). In Atharvaveda mainly four types of treatments have been mentioned:
  • Atharvani
  • Angirasi
  • Daivi
  • Manushi

Among these four,  Manushi refers to the use of plants in its treatment. 

Treatment by dravyas or herbs of plant origin is given more emphasis than by animal source. The panchabhautik composition of herbs, their rasas, vipak, veerya etc. are classified on the basis of their action. Though medicinal classification is action based, it is also done on morphological basis in relation to diet. 
 
Herbs are used in the following forms

Formula Name

Meanings

Kashaya

Decoctions.

Churana

Powders.

Ghrut

Ghee preparation.

Ras

Mercuric preparation.

Mishra

Miscellaneous preparations

Gutika

Pills.

Avleha

Linctus (syrups).

Tail

Oil.

Lepa

External application.

Dhup

Fume, fumigation.

Aasavarishta

Tonic wines.

Dumra

Smoking.

Nasya

Nasal drops.

Anjan

Corrylim (drugs used for internal application in eyes).

Kalp

Mixture of drugs.

Guggul

Guggul, extract of gum.

Pak

Semi - solid sweet preparation.
 
 

 
 
 
 

 

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