‘Arishta’ and ‘asava’ are self-generated herbal fermentations that are part of traditional ayurvedic system of medicines for treating various diseases. The method of preparation of arishta and asava is known as sandhana kalpana or sadhana kriya in Ayurveda, wherein the method of aqueous alcoholic extraction by fermentation is employed. Thus arishtas and asavas are prepared by fermenting the herbal juices or their decoctions with the addition of sugars, jaggery or honey, along with Dhataki (Woodfordia fruticosa) flowers. Woodfordia fruticosa flowers, which contains the wild species of yeast, is responsible for the process of fermentation. The alcohol formed during the fermentation helps in the extraction of the active principles from the powdered drug mixtures or extracts.
Difference between ‘Asava’ and ‘Aristha’:
The main difference between ‘asava’ and ‘aristha’ is that asava is made from juice of herbs, whereas arishta is made from decoction of herbs (also known as Kasayam or Kwath). Asava is supposed to be cool in nature, whereas arishta is hot in nature, due to ‘agni sanskar’ while preparing the decoction.
Precautions to Be Taken During the Preparation of Asava/Arishta:
- Use old earthenware for fermentation as new vessels might leak due to the osmosis process.
- To ensure proper cleaning of the vessel and destruction of unwanted microorganisms in the vessel, water should be first boiled in it. Absolute cleanliness is must during the process.
- Every time before using the fermentation vessel, its inner surface should be fumigated with Pippali Churna and smeared with cow ghee, before the liquids are poured into it.
Different Types of Asava and Arishta Used in Ayurvedic Treatment of Various Diseases:
List of Asava:
- Aravindasava: It improves appetite and digestion in children, and also promotes growth.
- Bhringaraja asava: It is mainly used for treating colds due to changes in season or viral infection. IT can also be used to treat digestive issues like bloating.
- Chandana asava: It is mainly used for treating urinary disorders and kidney diseases. It is effective ayurvedic solution for burning micturition, urinary tract infections (UTI), pyuria, dysuria, hyperuricemia, and kidney stones.
- Chitrakasava: It is used to treat leukoderma and leprosy. It is also useful in treatment of other type of skin diseases, anemia, piles and dropsy.
- Draksha asava: It is a traditional Ayurvedic tonic made from grapes. It is a complete tonic that can be used by any age. This tonic is mostly used by women after giving borth.
- Kanaka asava: It is widely used in treatment of respiratory tract disorders such as asthma, cough, and also fever.
- Karpoora asava: It is commonly used in the treatment of digestive complaints. It is also used in the treatment of vomiting and diarrhea.
- Kumari asava: It regulates bile flow into the intestine and thus improves digestion and relieves constipation. It also relieves obstruction of bile duct and is known for its liver-protective action.
- Lodhra asava: It is useful in Menorrhagia and Leucorrhoea. This ayurvedic medicine is useful in menstrual disorders. It can also aid indigestion. It is also used as a laxative as well detoxification of blood.
- Loha asava: It is used to treat anemia. It helps in correcting the iron deficiency.
- Nimbamritasava: It is a natural blood detoxifier, with proven anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. It is used in the treatment of gout, rheumatoid arthritis, skin diseases such as eczema, allergic dermatitis, psoriasis, non healing wounds, abscess, sinuses, allergic rhinitis, and hay fever.
- Punarnava asava: It is used in treatment of liver problems, kidney disorders, anemia, edema and also other gastroenterological diseases.
- Pushkaramoola asava: It is mainly used in treatment and prevention of pulmonary disorders. It also possesses cardio protective properties.
- Sarivadhya asava: It is used for treatment of various skin diseases especially carbuncles. It also purifies the blood.
- Ushira asava: It is beneficial in treatment of bleeding disorder, skin problem, piles and burning urination.
- Vasaka asava: It works mainly on the respiratory tract, and is one of the most effective Ayurvedic remedy for treating respiratory tract disorders.
- Vidaryadi asava: it is used in treatment of muscle cramps, unproductive cough, cardiac and pulmonary diseases.
List of Aristha:
- Abhaya arista: It is mainly used in the conditions like constipation and hemorrhoids.
- Amruta arista: It is used as an immune booster and also in treatment of chronic fevers and other infectious diseases.
- Aragwadharista: It is used to treat skin diseases, intestinal worms, vitiligo, and cough. It is known for its detoxifying effect on the body.
- Arjuna arista: It is mainly used to treat high blood pressure and heart diseases.
- Ashoka arista: It is an excellent tonic for females and is known for its strengthening effect on uterus. It also improves uterus functions and relieves painful periods.
- Ashwagandha arista: It is an excellent tonic and an effective remedy for men’s health problems.
- Babbularishta: It is mainly used for treating skin diseases, urinary disorders and breathing problems. It is also known for its anti-hemorrhagic properties.
- Balarishta: It is a nervine tonic known for its neuroprotective properties. It is used to treat diseases of nervous system and musculoskeletal system.
- Dantyarista: It is known for its digestive, carminative and laxative properties. It is used in treatment of chronic constipation and piles.
- Dashamoola Arista: It is an excellent tonic for females and has a protective and healing effect on female organs.
- Devadarvyarista: It is known for its detoxifying properties and for cleansing the blood. It also improves liver functions and also bowel functions.
- Jeerakarista: It is mainly used in Ayurvedic post-natal care for women. It is included as an integral part of Ayurvedic diet after delivery.
- Khadira arista: It is used in treatment of skin diseases, blood disorders, intestinal worms, gout and tumor.
- Kutaja arista: It is useful in treatment of irritable bowel syndrome, acute or chronic diarrhea, dysentery and intestinal infections.
- Mritsanjivani arista: It is used to treat general debility, physical weakness and also loss of libido in men.
- Musaka / Musta arista: It is used in treating chronic alcoholism. It is also useful in treating alcoholic liver disease and lowering uric acid levels in blood.
- Paripatadi arista: It is helpful in reducing burning sensation in the body during and after fever. It is also an effective medicine to prevent heat stroke and prickly heat in summer season.
- Rohitaka arista: It is used in treating enlargement of spleen. It is also known for its protective action on liver and gall bladder.
- Saraswatha arista: It is mainly used in treatment of neurological and psychological disorders. It is also used for boosting memory and reducing mental fatigue.
- Vidanga arista: It is mainly used for destroying and expelling intestinal worms. It is also used in treatment of abscess, bloating, urinary disorders, prostate enlargement and loss of appetite.
Caution: Since sugar, jaggery and/or honey are used in the preparation of ‘asava’ and ‘arishta’, they should not be used by diabetics without consulting their doctor.