Dr. Vijaylaxmi S. Mishra*and Prof. Bhuwal Ram


Astavarga, group of eight medicinal plants are nature's most extravagant group of flowering plants found in Himalayan region, belonging to Zingiberaceae, Orchidaceae and Liliaceae family viz, Kakoli, Kshirakakoli, Meda, Mahameda, Jeevak, Risbhaka, Riddhi and Vridddhi.Astavarga is an important constituent of Chyawanprasha rasayan taken as rasayan (Rejuvenation), Brimhanigutika, Ashtavarga churna, and Vajikaraghrita, etc. as it is mostly used to treat sexual disorders, body ache, physical debility, as an immunobooster and as an overall tonic. In present era, Ayurveda as an Indian traditional system of medicine, world is looking towards herbal medicine because of its better efficacy acceptability and safety without harming the body. In India, at the primary health care level, about 80% of the rural population depends on herbal medicines in their day to day life. A large percentage of plants used in herbal industries are subject of controversy. Parallel evolved knowledge systems, Non-availability of plants and poor understanding are some of the reasons attributed to it. The existing practices of polynomial nomenclature system of Sanskrit, vernacular equivalents, different perceptions in various communities, all are cumulative factors for controversy, Adulteration and substitution. ―Sandigdha Dravaya‖ is a term used for that type of medicinal plants which are mentioned in Ayurvedic classics but their exact botanical source is unknown. Adulterants and substitutes are the common practices in herbal raw material trade. Adulteration is a debasement of an article. The motives for intentional adulteration are normally commercial that which involves deterioration, admixture, sophistication, inferiority, spoilage and other unknown reasons. Substitution is a replacement of equivalent drugs in place of original drugs. The principles to select substitute drugs are based on similar Rasa, Guna, Virya, Vipaka and mainly the Karma. At present the adulteration and Substitution of the herbal drugs is the burning problem in herbal industry and in Ayurvedic practices. So, it is necessary to develop reliable methodologies for correct identification, standardization and quality assurance of Ayurvedic drugs.

Keywords: Controversy, Sandigdha Dravya, Botanical Description, Adulteration, Substitute, Astavarga; Ayurvedic Uses; triple standardization.

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