Shothahara Gana Of Charaka – Anti Inflammatory Group Of Herbs

By Dr MS Krishnamurthy MD(Ayu), PhD.
In Sanskrit language ‘Shotha’ means swelling or edema. Any kind of inflammation is termed as Shotha. Depending upon the type and site it is denoted by another nearer term  Shopha or Shvayathu. 

Even though pain is not a mandatory feature in Shotha usually it is presented with pain and swelling. So, the drugs which are denoted as Shothahara usually have anti inflammatory as well as analgesic effect.

As pain and swelling are the dominant features in most of the diseases as per ayurveda as well as allopathic system of medicine Shothahara drugs have wide application and utility. The drugs possessing such characters are considered together and presented with Shothahara drugs and in brief action of each such drug is explained here below-

  Let us review the quality and action of these drugs one by one in brief-

1. Patala (Stereospermum suaveolens DC.) -Roots
Anti inflammatory, analgesic, digestive, carminative, stabilizer etc.

2. Agnimantha (Clerodendrum phlomidis Linn. f.)-Roots
Carminative, digestive, appetizer, anti inflammatory, anti spasmodic etc.

3. Shyonaka (Oroxylum indicum Vent.) -Roots
Carminative, anti inflammatory, nervine tonic, analgesic etc.

4. Bilva (Aegle marmelos Corr.)-Roots
Absorbant, appetizer, analgesic, anti inflammatory, anti microbial, wormicide etc.

5. Kashmarya (Gmelina arborea Linn.) – Roots
Stabilizer, energizer, nervine tonic, anti inflammatory etc.

6. Kantakarika – Solanum xanthocarpum -Roots
Expectorant, anti tussiove, broncho dilator, anti inflammatory etc.

7. Brihati – Solanum indicum -Roots
Anti inflammatory, analgesic, anti pyretic, decongestant etc.

8. Shalaparni (Desmodium gangeticum DC.)-Roots
Nervine stabilizer, restorative, anti inflammatory, bulk enhancer etc.

9. Prishnaparni – Uraria picta – Roots
Restorative, rejuvinative, nervine tonic, analgesic etc.

10. Goksuraka (Tribulus terrestris Linn.) – Roots
Diuretic, anti inflammatory, aphrodisiac, coolant, stabilizer etc.

Qualities in general and actions of Shvayathuhara Gana drugs:
The above drugs are together mentioned as ‘Dashamoola’ in Ayurveda and they include Brihat panchamoola (Bilva, Agnimantha, Shyonaka, Kashmari and Patala) and Laghu panchamoola (Shaliparni, Prishniparni, Brihati, Kantakari and Gokshura).These drugs are acting as Vatakaphahara and rich with heavy-unctuous -hot and stable qualities.

Most of these drugs are hot in potency and undergoing pungent kind of metabolic change(Katu vipaka).

They acts as anti inflammatory, analgesic, diuretic and soothing agents. They regulate the neuro- muscular activities too.

Therapeutic uses of Shothahara Gana drugs:
They are useful in most of the Vata disorders, emaciating disoreders, sluggished neuro muscular functions, diseases of the locomotor system, arthritis, back ache, sciatica etc. In head ache, asthma, neuralgia etc also it is having significant benefits.

Formulations containing Shothahara drugs :
Dashamoola kashaya, Dashamoola katutrayadi kashaya, Dashamoolarioshtha, Dashamoola hareetaki, Eladashamooladi lehya etc are the few important formulations derived out of these drugs. 

Disadvantages of Shothahara Gana drugs:
As the drugs explained under this group are hot in potency and pungent in metabolic change they may trigger the Paittic health problems. So in Pitta associated conditions it should not be prescribed.

Simple formulations that can be made from the above drugs and their application in routine practice:
In case of localized edema fine paste of leaves of Bilva can be applied over those parts. If the swelling is hard and cold, or associated with numbness or persisting since long time, this paste can be applied after making it into lukewarm.

If the swelling is persisting in dependent parts of the body or in extremities hot infusion or decoction of Gokshura is found to be useful.

Formulation development opportunities:
As the swelling is a common phenomenon in most of the health issues potent herbal medicines have demand throughout and always. So the Dashamoola drugs can be modified into Ghanavati or Capsules of the herbal extracts.As per the need Nirgundi-Shallaki-Guggulu-Rasna etc can also be added and its potency can be modified. Also this can be used to increase the potency of the herbo- minieral preparation by impregnation or grinding so that the safety aspects can be improved and highly efficacious competitive ayurvedic product can be designed.
Click to consult Dr MS Krishnamurthy MD(Ayu), PhD


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