By Dr MS Krishnamurthy MD(Ayu), PhD.
‘Sheeta’ means Cold. According to ayurveda cold is a characteristic quality in both Kapha and Vata dosha. Hence whenever Vata or Kapha or together doshas are vitiated the individual may experience sensation of cold, depending upon the percentage of the doshic dominance.
So, the drugs which are indicated to pacify the sensation of cold should be either Vatahara or Kaphahara or Vatakaphahara characters.
Importantly warmth/hotness should be there in the indicated drug. In case if hot quality is absent the drug should be capable to impart such an action by means of pungent kind of metabolic change or hot in potency. If either of the characters are absent such a drug must have special influence to impart such an action. Same is explained here below as per classical drugs mentioned in this regard.
Let us review the quality and action of these drugs one by one in brief-
1. Tagara (Valeriana wallichi DC.)– Stem or Heart wood
Carminative, digestive, anti inflammatory, analgesic etc.
2. Aguru (Aquilaria agallocha Roxb.)– Heart wood
Anti inflammatory, anti tussive, broncho dilator, anti histaminic etc.
3. Dhanyaka (Cordiandrum sativum Linn.)– Seeds
Scraping, absorbant, digestive, carminative, appetizer etc.
4. Shringavera – Ginger – Zingiber officinale– Rhizome
Digestive, carminative, anti inflammatory, anti spasmodic, appetizer, liver stimulant etc.
5. Bhutika (Trachyspermum ammi Sprague.)– Seeds
Anti flatulent, energizer, absorbant, digestive, stimulant etc.
6. Vacha (Acorus calamus Linn.) – Rhizome
Memory enhancer, anti spasmodic, anti histaminic, digestive, carminative, stimulant etc.
7. Kantakari – Solanum xanthocarpum– Root or Fruits
Broncho dilator,anti inflammatory, expectorant, anti asthmatic, anti histaminic etc.
8. Agnimantha (Clerodendrum phlomidis Linn. f.)– Root
Anti inflammatory, analgesic, digestive, carminative, absorbant etc.
9. Shyonaka (Oroxylum indicum Vent.) – Root
Anti inflammatory, analgesic, anti flatulant, appetizer, stimulant etc.
10. Pippali – Long pepper fruit – Piper longum– Fruits
Carminative, digestive, liver stimulant, appetizer, broncho dilator, rejuvinative etc.
Qualities in general and actions of Sheetaprashamana Gana drugs:
Thorough review of Sheetaprashamana drugs gives us inference that the drugs explained under this heading are hot in nature and majority of the drugs are pungent or astringent in taste. They undergo pungent kind of metabolic change(Katu vipaka) which in turn acts as pacifier of cold nature which may be caused due to Vata or Kapha.
Due to the above said qualities these drugs act as carminative-digestive-stimulant-deep penetrative and liver stimulants.
Therapeutic uses of Sheetaprashamana gana drugs:
The drugs explained here are found to be useful in the treatment of chronic fevers, intermittent fevers, post fever debility, infective disorders, cold associated ill health conditions etc.
Formulations containing Sheetaprashamana drugs :
Dashamoolarishtha, Pippalyasava, Vachadi choorna, Hingu vachadi choorna, Vachadi taila, Dashamoola rasayana, Vyaghree hareetaki etc are the important formulations of the drugs of this group.
Disadvantages of Sheetaprashamana gana drugs:
The herbs enumerated here are hot in nature, hot in potency wise and they are pungent in taste as well as metabolic change. It is the reason it should not be used abruptly in children, old aged and during pregnancy as well as puerperal period.
Simple formulations that can be made from the above drugs and their application in routine practice:
The single drugs like Kantakari-Vacha-Pippali-Shunthi etc can be made into decoction or hot infusion and can be prescribed in the dose of 15-20 ml twice a day. This is effective in PUO conditions as well as chronic fever cases.
Fine powder of Pippali and Shunthi along with a pinch of salt is effective in indigestion and flatulence cases.
Formulation development opportunities:
Even though cold may be found in several ill health conditions especially where Vata and Kapha are vitiated, it is most common in post fever debility conditions and in indigestion or flatulence cases. So it is always wise to pacify the complaint at the earliest. In this respect fine powder of these drugs can be administered along with lukewarm water or its readymade granules can be prescribed. As most of the drugs are non hygroscopic and dry in nature they can be brought into the form of capsules.
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