Kwath: Medicines that Heal

Kwath or Kashayams is one among the most efficient herbal therapeutic dosage known to man. Kwath is the most used herbal dosage form in Ayurveda. Documented as early as 2nd Century BC, this therapeutic application helps assimilate the healing effects of numerous herbs. Read more on how Ayurveda prepares authentic kwath formulations , how it brings together the therapeutic efficcay of multiple herbs and how does it help humankind to heal.

Water makes 80 – 90 % of the total weight of a plant. Water acts as a solvent to transport plant nutrients. Plant roots absorb nutrients from the soil, only when these nutrients are dissolved in water. Water acts as the medium to transport the nutrients from the plant roots to all of its parts. Water also plays a major role in photosynthesis. The nutrients prepared by photosynthesis are transported to all parts of the plant by water medium.

From the germination of seeds to the growth of the plant, water plays a major role.

Ayurveda uses natural herbs as medicine. The raw herb as such cannot be consumed. It needs to be converted into a suitable dosage form. Since 90 percent of the herbs are composed of water, ancient ayurvedic masters thought of using a water-soluble medium as the dosage form.

To prepare a water-soluble extract of an herb, the herb powder can be kept immersed in water. This is a diluted form of passive extraction.

The water-soluble extract can also be prepared by immersing herb powder in hot water. This is again a diluted form of passive extraction.

The ancient masters were in search of a method to extract the maximum amount of water-soluble herb chemicals. So, they boiled herbs with water. With this method, the maximum amount of extract was generated. Such a dosage form is called Kwath or Kashayam.


How to prepare Kwath / Kashayam?

For example, 10 grams of coarse powder of herbs are added with 160 ml of water and boiled till the water quantity reduces to 20 ml, filtered.


Rules for preparing Kwath

Soaking the herbs in water


Dose of Kashaya 


Time of Kashaya administration


Additives for Kwath

Sometimes, while administering, Kwath is added with certain additives or co-drinks. This helps to enhance the effect of Kwath and make the Kwath more suitable for the particular disease.

For example, Kwath added with honey, for the added benefits of Honey.

If honey is to be added –

Herbal powders such as Cumin, Guggulu, Kshara, Salt, Shilajit, Asafoetida, Ginger, black pepper, long pepper, etc are added to accelerate the absorption of Kwath. They also boost digestion and metabolism in the patient. The dose of such powders is 3 grams, per 48 ml of Kwath.

Liquids such as milk, ghee, jaggery, oil, cow urine, etc. are added in a dose of 12 ml, to the 48 ml of Kwath.


Uses of Kashaya


Advantages of Kwath


Examples of Kwaths

Kerala Ayurveda Patolamooladi Kwath – Used for the treatment of fever, viral infections, and liver disorders.

Kerala Ayurveda Dhanadanayanadi Kwath – Used for treating neurological diseases of Vata origin such as hemiplegia.

Kerala Ayurveda Elakanadi Kwath – Used for the treatment of cough, cold, bronchial asthma, chronic bronchitis.

Kerala Ayurveda Musleekhadiradi Kwath – Used for the treatment of gynaecological conditions such as leucorrhoea, menorrhagia.

Kerala Ayurveda Chiruvilwadi Kwath – Used for the treatment of haemorrhoids, fissure, fistula and other ano-rectal conditions.

Kerala Ayurveda Varunadi Kwath – Used for the treatment of obesity, headache, indigestion, etc.



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