Preservatives in Ayurveda - A Review
Number of formulations (Kalpana) such as Svarasa, Kalka, Churna, Kashaya, Avaleha and Ghruta has been documented in authoritative books of Ayurveda. Each formulation has a period of optimum efficacy which is termed as â€œSaveerytavadhiâ€. It is seen that some Kalpana like Svarasa, Kvatha etc have minimum shelf life and are considered to be Sadyo-Sevaneeya. Few others such as Churna, can be stored for few months whereas the formulations like Sandhana, retain their potency for many years. Considering these factors, a literary review is carried out to find a reason behind the variation in shelf life. It is found that the few ingredients used in the formulation themselves acts as preservatives. Ghrita, Madhu, Guggulu, Lavana and other such ingredients added in the formulations show the property of preservative. Even some Samskara such as shoshana (drying) adds to the property of preservation. It is pertinent to note that these ingredients and processes add preservative effect apart from their pharmacological and therapeutic properties. Further it is observed that the factors like presence and absence of moisture, the media of extraction of phyto-constituents, perfectness in the end stage of preparation of formulation (Siddhi Lakshana) and time of adding the ingredients also plays a major role in deciding the shelf life. This paper deals in detail about the preservative property of Ayurvedic formulations.Keywords: Ayurveda formulations, Natural preservative, shelf life.