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Sneha-kalpana in Ayurveda

'Sneha kalpana' is one of the commonly prescribed Ayurvedic dosage form in day to day practice. Although lot of varieties of oils and fats are described in classical Ayurvedic texts, the most common amongst them are Taila and Ghrita kalpana.

'Sneha kalpana' is a pharmaceutical procedure to prepare oleaginous medicine from substances like kalka (bolus of the drugs) and dravya (liquid material). They are prepared in specific proportions by subjecting them to uniform heating pattern and duration to fulfil certain pharmaceutical parameters as per the requirement of the therapeutics.

The rationality behind taking an Ghrita as a base is presumably -to Extract or hold lipid soluble active fractions from the ingredients used. Classically these formulations has mentioned to be having a longer shelf life in comparison to other ayurvedic herbal medication forms.

Broadly two main types of Sneha kalpana are described into Ayurvedic classics i.e. Taila and Ghrita kalpana. As per Aacharya Sushruta, Sneha is an indispensable constituent of living body, thus he quoted various forms of Sneha along with different routes of administration for providing nourishment to the body. Sneha siddha (fat soluble) drugs have better pharmacokinetic action in comparison to other dosage forms because of the lipoid nature of the biomembranes, as lipid soluble substances readily permeate into the cells.

Sneha Kalpana is a special mixture of ghee and other medicinal drugs. Ghee has several medical properties which can help increase the element of Agni without causing imbalance in Pitta. It increase the Ojas or the essence of energy. Especially suitable for Vata related ailments, Sneha Kalpana is sucessfully used for treating various disorders of the nerves and the mind, skin conditions etc..

Method of Preparation: 1 part of herb + 4 parts of cow's ghee + 16 parts of water should be cooked, till the water evaporates. Or first make the decoction of the herb and then add equal amount of ghee to the decoction and boil the mixture, till the entire decoction is evaporated.

Precautions During the process -
-- Maintain the intensity of fire throughout the operation in order to get desirable grade of temperature.
-- Gentle boiling of sneha is to be maintained continuously.
-- The mixture is stirred constantly and carefully to ensure that the kalka does not stick to the bottom of the vessel resulting into carbonization.
-- Care should be taken to determine the proper stages of sneha paka.

Useful medicated Ghritas: Mahatiktak ghrita
Brahmi ghrita
Phala ghrita
Triphala ghrita etc.