Kashayam is an Ayurvedic dosage form having water soluble active principles of herb or group of herbs. Kashayam can be easily prepared at home. Different herbal combinations Kashayam are mentioned in Ayurveda for different diseases. Any kashayam that you prepare at home, the following rules should be followed to ensure maximum efficacy, purity and safety of Kashayam.
Use wide mouthed vessel – Always, while preparing Kashayam, use a wide mouthed vessel. This will help in early and easy evaporation of water and makes the process of boiling a lot quicker.
Mild fire - To make kashayam, always use mild heat. Intense heat may cause charring of herbs inside the vessel. Slow transfer of herbal active principles into water is required for maximum efficacy.
Size of herbs – The size of herbs should be neither too large nor too fine. Coarse powder of herbs is best to prepare good quality kashayam.
Use only dry herbs – Except for a few herbs, most of the herbs used in preparing Kashayam are used in dry form only.
Do not cover with lid – While making kashayam, the vessel should not be covered with lid. If lid is covered, the boiled water will get condensed and will again fall back into the vessel. We need to boil the herbs in open air.
Continuously stir and watch – Through out the procedure, the herbs coarse powder should be continuously stirred and watched. This will avoid charring of herbal powders.
proportion of herb and water and reduction – For any kashayam, generally herb is to water ratio is 1:4 or 1:8
The kashayam should be boiled till the total water quantity in the vessel reduces to a quarter. (1/4)
Take care while filtering – Use a clean cloth to filter kashayam. Filter the kashayam when it is still mild hot.
Use it before 4 hours - Once prepared Kashayam should be used within 4 – 5 hours after preparation. If it is kept for too much long time, then it may get spoilt.
Do not reheat kashayam – Once prepared kashayam should not be re-heated. This may spoil the active herbal principles in the kashayam.
Do not re-use the same herbs, once used for Kashayam – The herbs used to prepare Kashayam should be thrown out after preparation. It should not be re-used.
Further reading – How to make Kashayam?