Guide to Arishtams: Preparation, Health Benefits & More Arishtam
Guide to Arishtams: Preparation, Health Benefits & More
MARCH 22, 2023

About Ayurvedic Arishtam (Herbal Wine)

The gaining popularity of Ayurveda has raised a demand for herbal supplements over the last few years. The ancient Vedic texts of Ayurveda provide recipes for thousands of formulations in vast details, suitable for various health situations. When used in the suitable health condition, dosage, form, and combined with the right adjuvants, these formulations give impressive results by acting at the root cause of the disease. The main aim of these formulations is to extract the herbal properties of these medicinal plants in the most appropriate form.Traditional Ayurvedic remedies come in different forms; tablets, syrups, capsules, oils, et cetera. These are called Kalpanas or Ayurvedic dosage forms. The basic principle of these Kalpanas is to take these herbs in their raw form and convert them into highly effective medicines with regard to health conditions and body constitutions . Among the different dosage forms, the most popular is said to be the Kwath, or what is also referred to as Kashayam. Kwath is prepared by boiling water with herbs and reducing it to a certain amount. This helps extract the herbs' water soluble properties and is very easy to prepare.

However, there are also a few challenges with Kwath. The problems with Kwath dosage form are mainly -

  • Low shelf life: The freshly prepared Kwath needs to be consumed within 24 hours
  • Not so great to taste: Some Kwaths taste highly bitter and astringent.
  • Potency: It contains only the water-soluble components.

To solve these Kwath problems, ancient Ayurvedic masters designed other dosage forms such as choornams, lehyams and fermented liquid dosage forms called Arishtams and Asavas. Arishtams and Asavas are formulated by a unique preparatory method called Sandhana kalpana. Arishtam/ Asavas carries both water-soluble and alcohol-soluble active principles of the herbs. Hence, the potency of Arishtam - Asavas is very high. It contains self-generated natural alcohol that potentiates these formulations therapeutically and pharmeceutically. Adding sweet substances such as jaggery, raw sugar, etc promotes the formation of self generated alcohol that helps in nncreasing the shelf life of the herbs. Arishtam/Asavam is a better version of Kwath as it extracts both water and alcohol soluble properties of the herbs and has improved taste and shelf life.

Difference between Arishtam and Kwath (water decoction)

  • Arishtam contains water and alcohol soluble medicinal principles of herbs, whereas Kwath contains only water-soluble therapeutic principles.
  • Arishtam takes several days to prepare, Kwath can be prepared in a day.
  • Arishtam has a longer shelf life of many years. Kwath have shorter shelf life.
  • Arishtam are more palatable in taste because of presence of sugar and honey. Kwaths are prepared by boiling the herbs in water and have an astringent or bitter taste.
  • Because of the sweet taste, care should be taken while administering Arishtams in high doses in diabetic patients.
  • Since the base of Arishtam is composed of alcohol and water, it has excellent bioavailability, which means it will be readily absorbed by the stomach and intestines and distributed throughout the body.

Difference between Arishta and Asava

Arishtam and Asavam are both prepared following a similar method. However, there are a few slight differences. In making 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. In the making of Asavam, sweetening, fermenting agents, herbs, and spices are directly added to water and kept for fermentation. Another significant difference between asavam and arishtam is that the former is prepared by steeping dried herbs in cold or lukewarm water. In contrast, the latter is prepared by decocting dried herbs in boiling water.

Method of preparation of Ayurvedic Arishtam

  • First, Kashaya of the herb is prepared. 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 a natural fermenting agent. It is mixed well. To this, a group of designated herbs is added.They act as fermentation regulators. They regulate the speed of fermentation.
  • To this, a group of designated herbs is added. These herbs bring their medicinal values to the Arishta based on the pathology the Arishtam 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 2–8 weeks, as per the traditional formula of specific Arishtam.
  • During this 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, 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 herbal wine is filtered and stored in air-tight bottles away from direct sunlight.

Importance of Dhataki Flower in Herbal Wines

Dhataki pushpa, the ruby red flowers of Woodfordia fruticosa, not only aid in fermentation but also impart colour and taste to the arishta. It is considered a natural source of yeast and is the reason for self fermentation of arishta without artificial additives.

Benefits of Arishtam

Arishtam has a multitude of benefits because of the way it is concocted. Here, we will look at how Ayurveda’s Arishtam has many benefits.

  • Arishtam is a great compound that helps digestion to a vast extent. This is vital in Ayurvedic healing because the Ama (digestive fire) handles the ideal functioning of the body and wellbeing.
  • The base of Ayurvedic Arishtam is alcohol and water. This combination makes it adept at being absorbed by the stomach and intestines. Easy absorption makes it easier for the supplement to be distributed through the rest of the body.
  • Because of water and alcohol media, the Arishtam can quickly absorb and distribute to all body parts. This quick distribution action is explained as Vyavayi in Ayurveda.
  • One of the most significant 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 kept longer.
  • Because of the sweetening agent, the taste of Arishtam is sweet-spicy. The sweetening substances mask the bitter and astringent flavors of herbs.
  • Because of fermentation, Arishtams can be stored for a very long period.
  • Arishtams also contain spicy herbs, which help boost the patients' digestion and metabolism.
  • Arishtam is an excellent 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 overall wellbeing. The properties and health benefits of Arishtam will depend on the ingredients used.

Dosage of Arishtam

The conventional dose of Arishtam is 15-25 ml. This is administered as single/multiple dosages per day. It is administered before or after food, based on the patient's disease. If it is for children, reduce the dose to 1-2 tsp (5-15 ml) and take it after food twice daily or as directed by the physician. For better results, use consistently for 2-3 months. If you are prone to acidity, add 1/2 tsp ghee with arishta and avoid taking it at night. Arishta is not suitable for pregnant women and lactating mothers.

Kerala Ayurveda's Arishtams

Kerala Ayurveda provides a wide range of Ayurvedic arishtam and asavam products, each manufactured with a definite healing intent. We offer various Asavam and Arishtam products to treat various health concerns. Some popular arishtam and asavam products are available at the Kerala Ayurveda online store, such as:

Balarishta

With ingredients like Bala – Sida cordifolia, clove, cardamom, castor root, etc., this arishta helps strengthen muscles and joints, relieves numbness, and calms Vata dosha.The combination of neuroprotective herbs nourishes the nerves and helps optimize touch sensation. It helps revitalize and strengthen muscles and ensures their balanced energy and well-being. It deeply nourish weak muscles, bones, and joints and help to lead an active joyful life. This herbal wine is enriched with calming Vata pacifying herbs that relieve inadequate sensation, numbness, and muscle weakness and help improve the regular movements.

Balarishta (Arishtam)
balarishta

Strengthens Bones, relieves joint pain and calms mind

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Dasamoolajeerakarishta

With ingredients like cumin and Dasamoola – group of 10 anti-inflammatory roots, this arishta is extensively used to improve digestion and metabolism. This is also frequently used in the post-partum care of the mother (after child-birth). Childbirth is a complex phenomenon, and sometimes it can be excruciating because of the extended labor. The mother may even experience a sudden decline in her uterine function or random fluctuations in hormone levels after giving birth. Consuming Dasamoolajeerakarishta during the postnatal phase can solve these problems, allowing the mother to be energetic and optimistic about her overall health. It can also treat digestive issues caused during pregnancy and after childbirth.

Dasamoola-jeerakarishta
Dasamoolajeerakarishta

Dasamoolarishta

Kerala Ayurveda Dasamoolarishta is an Ayurvedic digestive aid that stimulates metabolic fire and helps improve gut health by relieving indigestion and bloating. With the effective blend of herbs such as the Root of ten herbs or Dasamoola, Leadwort or Chitraka, Giloy or Guduchi, Three dried fruit or Triphala, Cumin or Jeeraka, Grapes or Draksha, Honey, Jaggery and other herbs, it helps to restore appetite, improve digestion and boost overall gut health.

Dasamoolarishta (Arishtam)
dasamoolarishta

Relieves Bloating & Indigestion

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Abhayarishta

Kerala Ayurveda Abhayarishta is made by fermenting the decoction of herbs such as Abhaya, Draksha, Vidanga, and others, along with jaggery. It is a classical formulation that remarkably affects digestive health. It gives quick relief from constipation. It is an Ayurvedic digestive arishta used to cure digestive problems such as indigestion, abdominal distension, flatulence, and gas trouble. It is a natural and non-habit-forming solution for occasional as well as frequent bouts of constipation. This bowel movement supplement effectively blends gut cleansing herbs that promote smooth evacuation.

Abhayarishta Syrup
abhayarishta

Relieves Constipation & Indigestion

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Amrutharishta

With Giloy as the critical ingredient, a highly effective antipyretic Ayurvedic herb, this medicine treats post-illness weakness. It contains Dasamoola–a group of 10 herbs which improves appetite and helps overcome fatigue because of a debilitating illness. In most cases, cough and cold are part and parcel of high temperature and infection. Amrutharishtam has guduchi as one of its primary ingredients, helping with cough and cold while keeping the body temperature in check. These herbs help ease infection and relieve white discharge before and after monthly cycle periods and their associated symptoms like irritation, burning sensations, and itching in your intimate private areas.

Amrutharishta is a powerful blend of herbs like Amrutha, Dasamoola and others that restore your lost energy post-illness. It is a herbal wine that helps to enhance immunity and gain strength and longevity.

Amrutharishta (Arishtam)
amrutharishta

Relieves Post-Illness Fatigue

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Aragwadharishta

Cassia fistula is the key ingredient, which is an excellent skin tonic herb. It also contains clove, cardamom, black pepper, honey, amla, etc. It is extensively used to treat skin disorders, infested and non-healing wounds, fistula and hemorrhoids. Since it contains natural laxatives, Aragwadharishtam helps improve bowel movements. It also acts as a nervine tonic, purifies the blood and helps individuals overcome fatigue caused by an underlying illness or poor nutrition. Among other benefits, it reduces stress and improves the proverbial digestive fire.

Aragwadh-arishtam
aragwadharishta

Asokarishta

Asoka means, A-Soka – devoid of saddness. This medicine is famous for relieving the sorrows of women. Kerala Ayurveda Asokarishta is enriched with Asoka, Utpala, and Amrasthi. It helps strengthen and rejuvenate the uterus and associated organs to uplifit women’s overall well-being. It also helps regulate hormonal imbalances, soothe hot flashes, and ease vaginal discharge in women. It helps to optimize hormonal activity and resolves signs of imbalanced hormones like irregular or absence of monthly cycle.

Asokarishta (Arishtam)
asokarishta

Overall Women Reproductive Health

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Frequently Asked Questions

An Ayurveda Arishtam is a formulation 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,more palatable and have a longer shelf life as compared to kwath.

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.

There are several Arishtams that are traditionally used to support good digestion. Dasamoola Jeerakarishtam, Dasamoolarishtam and Abhayarishtam are the more commonly used digestive Arishtams.

Dasamoolarishta helps relieve the stomach gas and bloating and builds gut strength to prevent future gas build-up in the stomach. The root of ten herbs or Dasamoola balances Vata and reduces bloating. Leadwort or Chitraka stimulates digestive enzymes. Giloy or Guduchi provide relief from bloating and ensure better digestion. Three dried fruits or Triphala (Gooseberry or Amla, Beach almond or Vibithaki, and Indian hog plum or Harithaki) help stimulate bowel movement and boost digestion. Cumin or Jeeraka helps reset gut pH levels and improves optimum GI function. Honey relieves bloating and promotes the growth of good bacteria. Jaggery, with its sweetness, makes it more palatable.

Whether arishtam is good for health depends on ingredients used and the individual's health condition. Some arishtams may not be suitable for some individuals. It's essential to consult a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner or healthcare professional before taking any arishtam to ensure they are safe and appropriate for your health needs.

Kerala Ayurveda Dasamoolarishta is an Ayurvedic digestive aid that relieves symptoms of abdominal gas- belching, bloating, and indigestion. Dasamoolarishtam can help reduce heaviness and stimulate digestive enzymes because its carminative ingredients restore hunger.

As it is a fermented product, Arishta does not promote weight loss. It enhances appetite and metabolism. Instead of arishta, you can opt for Varunadi Kwath. Kerala Ayurveda Varunadi Kwath addresses the root cause of weight gain and optimizes the body's Kapha and fat tissue to support healthy weight loss.

Vasarishta is an arishta that is a powerful natural expectorant that helps treat respiratory disorders and cough.The mucolytic action of this medicine relieves the breathing problems caused due to the accumulation of a cough.It treats acute and chronic causes of a cough.

As arishtams have alcohol content, it should be taken with care if you have gastritis or acidity. If you are diabetic, breastfeeding or pregnant, consult an Ayurvedic physician before taking any arishtams.




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