A Comparative Evaluation of Medicated Oils Prepared Using Ayurvedic and Modified Processes
Ayurveda describes how to make medicinal oils, which can be applied to the skin or taken by mouth to treat a variety of illnesses. Taila pak vidhi goes into detail about how these things work. Medicated oils are made by cooking sesame oil with a paste-like mass of herbs and a decoction of herbs in a large amount of water for a long time. We talk about the first results of physicochemical and chromatographic profiles of changes caused by these kinds of processes and the role of each part. Changes that happened when the processes were changed from what Ayurveda said to do are also reported.
Ayurveda is an approach to health care that looks at the whole person. It recommends using different medicated oils on the body, with or without massage, to improve health and treat certain conditions. Most medicated oils are used on the outside of the body, but some oils that are made with milk can also be taken by mouth. Ayurvedic textbooks recognised by the Drugs and Cosmetics Act and the Ayurvedic Formulary of India (AFI) explain in detail how to make medicated oil. Most medicinal oils are made up of three main parts: drava or qwatha, which is a liquid made from a decoction of one or more herbs, juice of herbs, or milk; kalka, which is a fine paste of the herbs; and sneha dravya, which is a powder made from the herbs (a vegetable oil).
Usually, crude sesame oil (SO) is used as sneha dravya, but castor oil and coconut oil are also used, sometimes in full and sometimes in part. According to AFI, unless it says otherwise for a specific Ayurvedic oil recipe, the ratio of the three ingredients should be: one part kalka, four parts sneha dravya, and 16 parts drava. In general, herbs are ground into a coarse powder (#40) and then mixed with just enough water to make a paste-like mass. This is how kalka is made. The raw or powdered herbs (#10–30) are mixed with water and boiled with 16 times as much water as herbs. The herbs are boiled until the volume is reduced to 1/4. The qwatha (sometimes written as kwatha) is made by straining the decoction through a muslin cloth.
SO is put in a pot and heated for a while, and then the pasty mass and the watery decoction are mixed together. This mixture is heated over a low flame and stirred so that the kalka doesn’t stick to the pot. This is done until all of the water evaporates. The Ayurvedic method says to boil until all of the water in the decoction evaporates or until all of the water in the paste-like mass evaporates. Oil that has been cooked well shouldn’t have any moisture left in it (less than 0.1%). The hot oil is strained through muslin cloth, and then it is left to cool. AFI says that cooking processes need to take many days, and in some cases up to 5 days, when a water-based decoction is used as part of the process.
A quick look at the number of oils listed in AFI showed that some of them are made up of as few as two herbs and as many as 73 herbs. A review of relevant publications did not turn up any reports of studies on how the properties of sesame oil might change, how to get herbal components into sesame oil, or the role of using herbs in both paste and decoction forms. The literature review also didn’t find any studies that looked at how things change when processes are changed. It is well known that heat and moisture can cause vegetable oils to break down and become rancid. In the process described above, both of these things work hard for long periods of time, up to 5 days. There is a lot of boiling and cooking, which takes a lot of energy and adds to the cost of processing.
This preliminary study was done to find out about physicochemical properties, such as chromatographic profiles, the stability of sesame oil, and how to get herbal components out of sesame oil. It is very hard to do a study on Ayurvedic medicated oils because they are made from a lot of different herbs. So, in this study, three herbs were chosen to represent different parts of plants: neem leaves (Azadirachtaa indica), Manjista stems (Rubia cordifolia), and Mulethi rhizome (Glycyrrhiza glabra). The oil was made by adding one herb at a time. Kalka was added alone and with qwatha. The same thing happened with the second and third herbs. Several changes were also made to the process, such as how much qwatha was used, how long it took to cook, and whether it was cooked in an open or closed vessel. The plan for making the oil can be found in (Table 1).