What is Arishtam? Why are they known as ayurvedic herbal wines? Know more about it here.
The gaining popularity of Ayurveda has raised a demand for herbal supplements over the last few years. Ayurvedic remedies come in different forms; tablets, syrups, capsules, oils et cetera. These different forms are called Ayurvedic dosage. The basic principle of Ayurvedic dosage is the process by which various herbs are taken in their raw form and converted into highly effective medicines. Among the various dosage forms, the most popular is said to be the Kwath, or what is also referred to as Kashayam.
The problems with Kwath dosage form are mainly two -
- Low shelf life: The freshly prepared Kwath needs to be consumed within 24 hours
- Not so great to taste: Some Kwaths are highly bitter and astringent in taste
- It contains only the water-soluble components
To solve these Kwath problems, ancient Ayurvedic masters designed fermented liquid dosage form, called Arishtams. It contains self-generated natural alcohol in them. They contain sweet substances such as jaggery, natural sugar, grapes, etc. Arishtam carries both water-soluble and alcohol-soluble active principles of the herbs. Hence, the potency of Arishtam is very high. Arishtam is a better version of Kwath as it helps in extracting both water and alcohol soluble properties of the herbs and has improved
Method of preparation of Arishtam
- First Kashaya of the herb is prepared. For this, one part of the coarse powder of herbs is mixed with 16 parts of water. This mixture is boiled in an open vessel till the water level reduces to 1/8th or 1/4th proportions. Filtered. This is Kwath or Kashayam.
- To this Kwath, a designated amount of sweetening agent is added. Usually, jaggery or natural sugar is used. This mixture is stirred well so that the sweetening agent completely dissolves in the Kwath medium. It is again filtered.
- To this, natural fermenting agents are added. Flower of Dhataki – Woodfordia fruticosa or Madhuka – Madhuca longifolia acts as natural fermenting agents. It is mixed well.
- To this, a group of designated herbs is added. These herbs bring in their own medicinal values to the Arishta based on the pathology the Arishtam it is intended for. They also act as fermentation regulators. They regulate the speed of fermentation.
- This whole mixture is taken in mud or wooden vats filled up to 2/3rd of the vat, sealed and kept undisturbed for a period of 2 – 8 weeks, as per the traditional formula of specific Arishtam.
- During this course of time, the sugar molecules of the sweetening agent are broken down by the fermenting agent and converted into alcohol.
- The Kwath contains water-soluble active principles, they are further activated in the alcohol medium.
- The alcohol and water-soluble components of the herbs get dissolved in the Arishtam.
Due to all these processes, after the designated time, the final liquid product will contain water and alcohol soluble extract of the herbs. This is filtered and stored in air-tight bottles, away from direct sunlight.
Benefits of Arishtam
Arishtam is known to have a multitude of benefits because of the way it is concocted. Here we will look at how Ayurveda’s Arishtam has numerous benefits.
- Arishtam is a great compound that helps digestion to a very large extent. This is something that is vital in Ayurvedic healing because the Ama (digestive fire) is responsible for the ideal functioning of the body and wellbeing in general.
- The base of Arishtam is alcohol and water. This combination makes it very adept to be absorbed by the stomach and intestines. Easy absorption makes it easier for the supplement to be distributed through the rest of the body.
- Due to water and alcohol media, the Arishtam are very swift to get absorbed and distributed to all parts of the body. This swift distribution action is explained as Vyavayi in Ayurveda.
- One of the biggest advantages that Arishtam holds over Kashayam is the fact that it has a better shelf life. Kashayam can be stored for just about 24 hours but considering the use of alcohol, Arishtam can be stored for longer.
- Due to the sweetening agent, the taste of Arishtam is sweet-spicy. The sweetening substances mask the bitter and astringent tastes of herbs.
- Due to fermentation, Arishtams can be stored for a very long period of time.
- Arishtams also contain spicy herbs in them, which help to boost digestion and metabolism strength in the patients.
- Arishtam is a great way for individuals to improve their digestive levels. As mentioned earlier, since Arishtam works well to sort the digestive fire, it also aids in digestion and in overall wellbeing.
- There are a number of illnesses pertaining to the nasal tract which Arishtam remedies. Considering Ayurveda suggests that the best way for general well-being is keeping the nasal and oral tracts clear, this is a very essential remedy that Arishtam accomplishes.
- Another very crucial disease that Arishtam is known to heal, to an extent, is tuberculosis. Symptoms of Tuberculosis and a persistent cough can be reduced to a large extent with specific herbs that eventually made it into an Arishtam.
Dosage of Arishtam
The conventional dose of Arishtam is 30 ml. This is administered as single/ multiple dosages per day. It is administered before or after food, based on the disease of the patient.
Difference between Arishtam and Kwath (water decoction)
- Arishtam contains both water and alcohol soluble medicinal principles of herbs, whereas Kwath contains only the water-soluble medicinal principles.
- Arishtam takes several days to prepare, Kwath can be prepared in a day.
- Arishtam has a longer shelf life of many years.
- Arishtam is more palatable than Kwathams.
- Because of sweet taste, care should be taken while administering Arishtams in high doses in diabetic patients.
Difference between Arishtam and Asavam
Arishtam and Asavam are both prepared following a similar method. However, there are a few small differences in the process. In the making of Arishtam, the first step involves the preparation of the Kwath (water decoction) of the herb. Sweetening, fermenting agents and spices are then added to this decoction. Whereas, in the making of Asavam, sweetening, fermenting agents, herbs and spices are directly added to water and kept for fermentation.
Kerala Ayurveda's Aristhams
Arishtam is medicinally used in Kapha and Vata disorders; Asavam is used mainly in Pitta disorders, because of its cooling nature. For example, Chanadanasavam, containing sandalwood as an ingredient, is used in Pitta imbalance disorders.
Kerala Ayurveda Balarishtam - With ingredients like Bala – Sida cordifolia, clove, cardamom, castor root, etc, this medicine is a very good nervine tonic, helps boosts and corrects immunity and used extensively to improve body nutrition and strength.
Kerala Ayurveda Dasamoolajeerakarishtam - With ingredients like cumin, Dasamoola – group of 10 anti-inflammatory roots, this medicine is extensively used for improving digestion, metabolism, to reduce swelling, inflammation. This is also frequently used in the post-partum care of the mother (after child-birth).
Kerala Ayurveda Dasamoolarishtam - With ingredients like 10 anti-inflammatory roots, Giloy, Vitex negundo, Triphala, it is very useful in the treatment of weak digestion, respiratory disorders such as bronchitis, vomiting, liver disorders, etc.
Kerala Ayurveda Abhayarishtam - With Haritaki, which happens to be one among the three fruits of Triphala as the main ingredient, Abhayarishtam is very useful for the treatment of piles, gaseous distension of abdomen, bloating, ascites and constipation.
Kerala Ayurveda Amrutharishtam - With Giloy as the main ingredient, which is a highly effective antipyretic Ayurvedic herb, this medicine is used for the treatment of fever and inflammatory conditions. It also contains Dasamoola – group of 10 herbs.
Kerala Ayurveda Aragwadharishtam - Cassia fistula is the main ingredient, which is an excellent skin tonic herb. It also contains clove, cardamom, black pepper, honey, amla, etc. It is extensively used for the treatment of skin disorders, infested and non-healing wounds, fistula and hemorrhoids.
Kerala Ayurveda Asokarishtam - Asoka literally means, A-Soka – devoid of sorry. This medicine is famous for relieving the sorrows of women. It is widely used for the treatment of menstrual disorders such as heavy periods, painful periods, bleeding haemorrhoids, etc. Saraca asoca, ginger, Triphala, mango seed kernel, sandalwood, etc are its main ingredients.
1. What is Ayurveda Arishtam?
An Ayurveda Arishtam is a formulation that is made through traditional methods of fermenting herbs. While Kwaths or decoctions are easy to prepare, they do not have a longer shelf life. The fermentation method used for Arishtams helps enhance the shelf life of the herbal formulation. They are usually found to be around 10% self-generated alcohol and carry the active ingredients in both alcohol and water-soluble forms. Arishtams are very potent.
2. Does Arishta contain alcohol?
Arishtams are fermented mixtures. They contain self-generated alcohol that is around 10% of the total volume. The sweet ingredients of an Arishtam help in the fermentation and add sweetness to the taste, making the herbal ingredients more palatable.
3. Which Arishtam is good for digestion?
There are several Arishtams that are traditionally used to support good digestion. Dasamoola Jeerakarishtam, Dasamoolarishtam and Abhayarishtam are the more commonly used digestive Arishtams.
4. What are the benefits of Dasamoolarishtam?
Dasamoolarishtam is made from the famous Dasamoola ingredients. Dasa means ten and Moola means roots. The benefits of Dasamoolarishtam as per Ayurvedic texts are for strengthening, detoxification, and the management of cough with flank pain, cardiac issues, allergic rhinitis and postpartum. It is an excellent medicine for GI tract, abdominal discomfort, loss of appetite, indigestion, flatulence ,constipation ,fistula,stomatitis etc.
- Bilva (Aegle marmelos): This is the Bael or Bilva tree with the properties of helping maintain the optimum Dosha levels. It is instrumental in reducing Pitta problems like fevers and inflammation.
- Syonaka (Oroxylum indicum): This herb is useful and helpful for its anti-inflammatory, anti-allergy and pain relief properties. It is useful in Ayurvedic formulations for allergic rhinitis.
- Gambhari (Gmelina arbora): It is a strengthening ingredient in Ayurvedic formulations. It is good at maintaining Vata and Pitta Dosha levels.
- Patala (Stereospermum suaveolens): This root is used in Ayurvedic therapies for its diuretic and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Agnimantha (Premna integrifolia): This is a Vata pacifying ingredient that is used as a natural anti-inflammatory and pain-reliever.
- Salaparni (Desmodium gangeticum): This root is used in folk remedies as a natural anthelmintic, antioxidant, febrifuge, carminative, expectorant, nervine tonic, immunity-stimulating, anti-catarrhal, diuretic, and anti-diarrheal. It is good at balancing Vata and Kapha Doshas.
- Prasniparni (Uraria picta): A root useful in Ayurvedic formulations as an anti-inflammatory, antiemetic and anti-infective.
- Brahati (Solanum indicum): It is useful in Ayurvedic formulations as an anti-inflammatory, detoxifier, anti-bacterial, anti-hypertensive, anti-oxidant, antihelminthic and analgesic. It also helps maintain the Kapha and Vata Dosha levels.
- Kantakari (Solanum surattnse): A natural anti-inflammatory, hepatoprotective, antioxidant, diuretic, and antipyretic. It is used in Ayurvedic therapies to help restore the voice and support the digestive fire Agni. It increases the Pitta Dosha to an optimum level while balancing the levels of Kapha and Vata Doshas.
- Goksura (Tribulus terrestis): It is useful in folk therapies for erectile dysfunction, urinary tract infections, and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Ayurveda texts state that it is a wound healer, an anti-inflammatory agent that helps manage glucose intolerance and boosts energy.
5. How do you take Arishtam?
The usual dose of Arishtam is 30 ml. It is given as single or in multiple dosages per day before or after food under a qualified Ayurvedic Practitioner’s guidance.