Introduction to Samskara
Ayurveda has accepted gunas as principle karanas, among them paradi gunas are important karana for successful chikitsa. Samskara among them plays a pivotal role in alteration of gunas in drugs so as to suit the condition of patient and disease.
Sanskaro hi Gunantaradhanam uchyate! — Cha.Su.1
The changes in a drug because of samskara can be perceived at pharmacognostical as well as phytochemical levels. Ayurveda accepts guna (properties) as principle karana (causitive factor). Paradi gunas are a class of guna which are regarded as keys to successful treatment by Charaka.
Dravyam Gunen Karamam Kurute! — Cha.Su.
In paradi gunas samskara (refinement) and samyoga (combination) play very important role in pharmaceutics. Kalpanas (formulations) of medicinal drugs so as to suit the desired condition of patient and disease can be produced as and when required on the basis of various samyoga and samskaras.
Samskara guna among these has a unique role to play in various pharmaceutical preparations. Samskara has been defined as guna antaradhana which means placing or adding newer gunas in a drug. Samskara guna is of three types vega (velocity), bhavana (trituration) and sthitisthapakatva (capacity of a drug to maintain its original form).
Yat churnitasya dhatvadehe dravaihi sampeshya shoshnam!
Bhavnam tanmatam vigairbhavana cha nigadyate!! — RasTarangini 2/49
Bhavana is probably the most extensively used samskara in pharmaceutical preparations. Bhavana is mixing of drava (liquid) with a dravya (solid) in order to impart its gunas in it.
Charaka in context of describing principles of pharmaceutics advocates for bhavana samskara where Bhavana of drugs by swarasa of same drug or drugs with similar properties is anticipated by Charaka and its uses are explained as quicker, augmented and persistent action with minimal dose. In this article an attempt has been made to evaluate the differences in gunas by bhavana samskara.
Bhavana is a wet trituration process.Advantages of this process as follws:
Materials are mixed uniformly.
Materials are divided into fine substance.
Surface area of material exposed and expended which facilitates during Marana.
Develops softness, smoothness and stickiness in the material facilitates better binding of the material.
Enhances the therapeutic property of metals and minerals.
Bhavana samskara plays an important role in altering guna, karmas of a drug which are also seen at macroscopic as well as microscopic level. Changes due to samskara guna can be elicited on the basis of analytical parameters as well as pharmacognostical level however correlation between these changes and clinical efficacy need to be assessed independently.