may be defined as “A pharmaceutical process to prepare oleaginous medicaments from the substances like Kalka
(herbal paste of different parts of botanicals), Kwatha
(specifically prepared decoction in accordance of Ayurvedic principles) or Drava Dravya
(any other liquid such as milk, self expressed juices, meat juice, etc.) taken in specific proportion and by subjecting them to unique heating pattern and duration to fulfill certain pharmaceutical parameters, according to the need of therapeutics.”[1
Means, Sneha Kalpana/paka
is a unique dosage form in Ayurveda. Aim of this arrangement is mass transfer of the aqueous and lipid-soluble active principles of all treated herbal drugs and material of animal and mineral origin, if any, in accordance of established formulae quoted in authoritative text books of Ayurveda
which should serve therapeutic objectives as per indications of the classical treatise of Ayurveda
On other hand, in the field of conventional pharmaceutics, various new dosage forms are evolved continuously with basic purposes to increase bioavailability of the drug which may show maximum therapeutic effect. Liposome is one such advanced dosage form in which nanoparticles comprising lipid bilayer membranes surrounding an aqueous interior are formed. The amphiphilic molecules used for the preparation of these compounds have similarities with biological membranes and have been used for improving the efficacy and safety of different drugs. In this dosage form, the active compound can be located either in the aqueous spaces, if it is water-soluble, or in lipid membrane, if it is lipid soluble.[3
In case of liposomal drug delivery system, tremendous amount of work has been done to formulate these drugs in sustained and controlled release dosage forms for oral and parenteral administration. This is to pursue optimal drug action; functional molecules could be transported by a carrier to the site of action and released to perform their task, for which the carrier itself should be nontoxic, biodegradable, and of suitable shape and size to accommodate wide variety of substances and liposomes that are fulfilling all these parameters.[4
] Therefore, liposomes have been widely evaluated for controlled and targeted drug delivery for treatment of cancer, viral infections, and other microbial diseases. Liposomes are found to be suitable for localization of topically applied drugs at or near the site of application, due to the fact that they may act as slow releasing vehicles.[4
It seems that these two dosage forms, i.e., Sneha Kalpana/Paka of Ayurveda and Liposome of conventional medicine, are very much similar in their origin and character as both are lipoidal in nature.
In the preparation of Sneha paka
, particular matter and media in specific ratio is taken and heated along with oil/ghee at a very specific temperature with certain duration till the completion test. Here, the principle is to transfer active constituent of herbs in lipid and water according to its solubility.[5
Liposomes are prepared on the same pharmaceutical principle; however, in case of liposomes, heating is not only compulsory method of preparation (as the case with products of Sneha paka), and here other methods such as sonication, homogenization, shaking, etc., are also applied. The lipid-soluble compound remains in the outer lipid bilayer and water-soluble component remains in the middle aqueous space.
By keeping above facts in mind, we may assume that Sneha paka may have the same structure and functions as that of liposome (basic hypothesis of this paper), or in other words, liposomes are modified/developed form of the traditional Sneha Kalpana/paka. This concept is being discussed for its similarity and differences, if any, on factual parameters of both sciences, i.e., Ayurvedic pharmacy and modern pharmacy.
Sneha Kalpana/Paka in brief
Almost every classics of Ayurveda define very systematically about manufacturing processes of medicated taila and ghrita (oil/ghee), worth to mention here are Charaka Samhita, Sushruta Samhita, and Ashtanga Hridaya. However, Sharangdhar Samhita is considered as best book for pharmaceutical details of different herbal dosage forms. Therefore, we are putting down some salient preparatory indications of Sneha Kalpana from Sharangdhar Samhita for optimum understanding of concept.
According to Sharangdhar Samhita, Sneha Kalpana
may be defined as “the medicament prepared by using one part of Kalka dravya
(paste of indicated herbal ingredients), four parts of oil/ghee (commonly sesame oil/cow ghee) and sixteen parts of Drava dravya
(liquid media mostly kwatha
- decoction of herbs).”[6
] Drava dravya
may be other than kwath
such as jala
(self-expressed herbal juice), kanji
(fermented herbal beverage), mansa rasa
(meat juice), gomutra
(cow urine), etc.
Preparation of Kwatha
For the preparation of kwatha
] according to hardness of Kwathya dravya
(chopped herbs), water should be added for mridu dravya
(herbs of soft texture) four times, Madhyama dravya
and Kathina dravya
(herbs of harder texture) eight times, and for Atyanta kathina dravya
(most hard herbs)sixteen times. Following rules are mentioned in the classics[6
Rules for preparation of Sneha
- If the Drava dravya during preparation of sneha is jala, kwatha, and swarasa, then amount of kalka used should be one-fourth, one-sixth, and one-eighth of sneha, respectively.
- When indication of sneha preparation is in dugdha (milk), dadhi (curd), takra (butter milk), and mans rasa (meat juice), the kalka to be used should be one-eighth and water should be added four times for samyaka paka (moderate heating) and complete transfer of active principles.
- When Drava dravya are more than five, then each dravya should be taken in the same quantity as that of sneha. If less than five, total quantity of all the liquids should be four times.
- When paka (pharmaceutical process for preparation of medicated oil/ghee in which individualized heating process is adopted as per ingredient of formulation) is mentioned by only Kalka dravyas, then water should be added four times of sneha to replace the drava. When paka mentioned by only kwatha dravya, then kalka should be prepared by drugs of kwatha and should be used.
- When flower is used as Kalka dravya, then its quantity should be one-eighth to that of sneha.
Sneha siddhi lakshanas, types of Sneha Paka, duration for Sneha paka
In Sharangdhar Samhita
, completion tests for medicated oil/ghee, types of Sneha paka
viz. Mridu, Madhya
, and Khar paka
, and duration of manufacturing process as per variation in type and proportion of constituent material are discussed elaborately, which may be applied during preparation of these Sneha kalpa
. These parameters of completion tests and other measures may also be used as distinguish criteria for quality control of products.[6
Therapeutic multiplicity of Sneha Kalpana/Paka
, that is, medicated oils/ghee of Ayurvedic dosage forms, are used in therapeutics both topically and systemically. Thus, we can see a wide variety of uses of Sneha Kalpana
, some of which are under mentioned.[7
- Nasya Kalpana (e.g., Shadabindu Taila, Anu Taila)
- Mukha Kalpana (e.g., Irimedadi Taila)-Two types-Gandusha and Kawala
- Netra Kalpana-(e.g., Triphala Ghrita)
- Abhyanga-(e.g., Dashamula Taila)
- Anuvasana Basti-(e.g., Saindhavadi Anuvasana Taila)
- Uttarbasti, Pichu-(e.g., Mushakadya Taila)
- Snehana in Panchakarma therapy-(e.g., Pancha Prasritiki Peya)
- Internal administration-(e.g., Panchatikta Ghrita, Kshira Bala Taila) for shodhana/nourishment
- In nonhealing ulcer-(e.g., Jatyadi Ghrita)