Sandhana Kalpana | Madya | Shukta kalpana

Sandhana Kalpana or the biomedical fermented formulations are the galenicals formed by fermentation of different herbs in water.

The formulations such as Sura, madya, aasava, arishta etc. are well described in the Vedas. Gods used these for their pleasure, joy and happiness. These very firstly described in Charak Samhita and later in Sushruta Samhita and other Samhitas for the purpose of treatment.

According to Aacharya Sharangdhar :

द्रवेषु चिरकालस्थं द्रव्यं यत्सन्धितं भवेत् । आसवारिष्टभेदैस्तु प्रोच्यते भेषजोचितम् ॥ (शा. सं. म. ख. 10/1)

Water, decoction etc. liquids added with jaggery, Dhataki flowers etc. when kept still for a long time leads to fermentation and forms the formulations known as asav, Arishta etc.

Sandhana Kalpana parameters:

For these formulations to be accurate and highly effective they need to be made up with a deep knowledge of following constituents :

  • Vanaspatic dravya
  • Decoction formation
  • Water for decoction
  • Utensil used for fermentation
  • Suitable place for fermentation
  • Suitable environment
  • Sweet substances mixed in decoction
  • Addition of Fragrant substances
  • Suitable time
  • Addition of minerals
  • Test for fermentation

1. Herbs used

The Vanaspatic dravya used in the formation of fermented fomulations should be :

  • Fresh
  • Fulfiilled with Ras
  • Guna
  • Virya
  • Vipaka

They must not be dried, eaten by insects or having any deformity or diseased.

The herbs should be finely powdered and then used.

The herbs such as Brahmi, Shankhapushpi, Mandukparni, Talish Patra, Tejpatra, Dhataki Pushpa etc. which are tender, should be used after drying in the sunlight.

2. Kwatha (Decoction) formation :

A course powder should be made with the kwatha dravya and made to boil in water four times than the dravya and reduced to one-fourth of it. Medium flame should be used in order to get best decoction. The aim of decoction formation is to add up all the main active ingredients of herbs used into the water.

3. Kwathartha Jal (Water for decoction) :

For the formation of the fermented formulations the water used in decoction should be clean and pure and taken in the specified amounts only.

4. Sandhana Patra (Vessel for fermentation)

In the ancients times the vessels made up of mud were used. Along with that those made up of Sagwaana wood, stainless steel, durable plastic, cement tank, China bone etc. are being used by big pharmacies nowadays according to the need.

  • Due to formation of small amount of formulations and high possibility of breaking down the vessels made of mud are not in use now.
  • As plastic is not at all good for health and have a possibility of mixing up with liquid, it should not be used.
  • In the vessels made up of chinabone, the quantity that can be made is very small. So, such vessels are also not in common use.
  • The best vessels for fermentation purpose is vessels made of stainless steel.
  • In absence of stainless steel, vessels of Sagwaana wood or cement tanks can be used.
  • Also, it must be taken care that in the wooden vessels only one specific formulation should be prepared. If different formulations are made in same wooden vessel, it may deteriorate.
  • The vessels after the formation of the product must be thoroughly cleaned.

5. Sandhana sthana (Place for fermentation)

In the ancient Samhitas it is advised to burry the vessel under the ground or in the hay straw. This can be easily done for small vessels but in pharmacies where large vessels are used there this is not possible. Hence, the vessels there are placed in specially designed rooms with a fixed temperature between 30°C to 35°C.

6. Adequate environment

The process of fermentation requires an adequate environment.

☀️The temperature between 30°C to 35°C and Autumn and Spring seasons are considered best for formation purpose.

  • The winter and rainy seasons delay the process. Also, the herbs are easily rotten in the rainy season.
  • In cold places, such as Srinagar, Darjling, Masoori, Nanital etc. due to very low temperature the process becomes tough.
  • In Autumn and Spring seasons the process begins within 4 days and is completed in about 20-25 days only.
  • But nowadays temperature can be maintained easily through air-conditioners and hence, seasons don’t matter a lot.

7. Madhur dravya (Sweetening agents)

For improving the taste and shelf life of these formulations, some sweetening agents are added. Jaggery, sugar, honey etc. that too of good quality should be used. If the sweetening agent will not be of good quality then the fermented formulation will also not be good in taste.

The sweetening agent must be added into the fermentation vessel and mixed well. The amount must be as directed by the ancient physicians.

8. Sugandhita dravya (Fragrant substances) :

After the process of fermentation is over some prakshepa dravyas(condiments) are added. These substances should be powdered and added after the sunn-sunn sound stops flowing out of the vessel. On adding them after the process is finished, makes them to merge easily and fastly.

Dalchini, Choti ela, Tejpatra, Nagkesara, lavanga, Jaatiphala, Jaavitri, Kesara, Karpura etc. are powdered and mixed well into the prepared formulation and the vessel is left covered for about 3-4 days and later is filtered and packed.

Also read : aushad sevan kaala details

9. Sandhana kaala(Fermentation Time) :

The Ancient Aacharyas has decided the fermentation period of about 30 days.

This time can be varied according to the season or temperature. Also, yeast can be added to fasten up the process of fermentation.

10. Incinerated minerals (khanija bhasma) :

The Varitar bhasma of the directed minerals should be added after the process is over. The mineral incinerations are such as lohabhasma, swarna bhasma etc. are added into the prepared formulation which are directed in classical Samhitas as per different types of formulations.

11. Sura maapan (Measuring alcohol)

Alcohol meter is used for the measurement of alcohol present in the fermented formulation. This instrument has a measuring mark between 0-100. The instrument is dipped in the solution to measure its alcohol content.

Normally the quantity of alcohol in Asava-arishta is between 5-15%.

According to the drug administration law, the quantity of alcohol must not exceed 12% .

12. Sandhana parikshana (Test for fermentation)

After the addition of all constituents into the vessel it is closed and kept at apt place and temperature. After about 7 days the process of fermentation begins and a sound of sunn-sunn is produced and formation of Carbon dioxide takes place.

  • The sound of sunn-sunn begins with the begining of fermentation and the sound stops after the process is over. This voice can be heard by concentrating.
  • If the burning matchstick is brought close to the mouth of the vessel, it is extinguished,this indicates that the process is still going on.
  • If the voice stops coming from the vessel and the matchstick stay enlighten (due to presence of oxygen) then it indicates that the process is over.
  • Lime water test : This test is done for the presence of Carbon dioxide which is released during the process of fermentation. The vessel is connected through a tube to the other vessel containing lime water (churnaodaka). The carbon dioxide gas released from the vessel gives rise to formation of bubbles and changes the colour of lime from tranlucent to milky white. When the process is on the way the test is positive whereas when the process is over then no change in lime water is observed.

After all these procedures the formulations are well packed in the bottles and labelled and kept at the proper place.

These should be used after an year later from manufacturing date for best results. For these ‘old is gold’, means as old the formulation better is its quality and results.

Classification of Sandhana Kalpana :

The Sandhana Kalpana is divided into following two types :

  1. Madya kalpana
  2. Shukta kalpana
Madya kalpana (Alcoholic formulations)Shukta Kalpana (Acidic formulations)
Asava Shukta
Arishta Chukra kanjika
Sura Dhanyamla
Prasanna Aaranala


The formulation prepared after the fermentation process is called alcoholic preparation or madya kalpana.

Madya meaning :

बुद्धिं लुम्पति यद् द्रव्यं मदकारी तदुच्यते । तमोगुणप्रधानं च यथा मद्यं सुरादिकम् ।।(शा. सं. पू. ख. 4/21)

पेयं यन्मादकं लोकैस्तन्मद्यमभिधीयते । यथाऽरिष्टं सुरा सीधुरासवाद्यमनेकधा। ।(भा. प्र. संधान वर्ग)

The substance which causes loss of judgement and intoxication in mind and body is called Madya.

The substance which on consumption causes intoxication of mind and body, loss of senses, loss of decision making power and unable to decide what is wrong or right.

Synonyms of Madya :

  • Sidu
  • Maireya
  • Ira
  • Madira
  • Sura
  • Kadambari
  • Vaaruni
  • Hala
  • Balvallabha
  • Arishta
  • Asava
  • Prasanna
  • Jagala
  • Kohala
  • Medaka
  • Surasava

Properties of Madya :

There are 10 qualities in Madya which are similar to that of poison except the Ras and completely opposite to that of Ojas.

  • Laghu
  • Ushana
  • Tikshana
  • Sukshama
  • Amla
  • Vyavayi
  • Aashu
  • Ruksha
  • Vikasi
  • Vishada

Vipaka : Laghu ; Vipaka : Ushana

The new madya is Tridosha prakopaka whereas Old Madya is :

  • Pitakaraka
  • Kapha-vata nashaka
  • Deepaka
  • Paachaka
  • Bhedaka
  • Hridya
  • Bastishodhaka
  • Vidahi
  • Indriya bodhaka
  • Mal-mutra saraka
  • Shighra paki
  • Ruchya

Madya is beneficial in following diseases :

  • Kasa (Cough)
  • Swasa (Respiratory disorders)
  • Hikka (Hiccups)
  • Pratishaya (Common cold)
  • Vibandha (constipation)
  • Anaha (distention in abdomen)
  • Aruchi (Anorexia)
  • Vaman (Vomiting)
  • Grahni (Irritable Bowel syndrome)
  • Arsha (hemorrhoids)

Dosha of Madya :

Only good quality of Madya should be consumed for best results. The Madya made with following dosha should be avoided :

  • Thick
  • Vidahi
  • Putrid (Durgandhita)
  • Vikrita rasa (deformed taste)
  • Vermiferous (krimiyukta)
  • Guru (Heavy to digest)
  • Adverse to heart (Hridya pratikula)
  • Newly formed
  • Tiksha
  • Ushana
  • Stored in dirty vessels
  • Made up of less herbs
  • Not fresh
  • Excessive water content
  • Pichchhila (slimy)

The Madya with above referenced properties must not be used as it vitiates the Tridosha- vata, pita and Kapha. Hence, it should not be consumed as it is harmful for health.

Benefits of Madya when consumed lawfully :

When Satvik people consume Madya lawfully on a regular basis, then following benefits are received :

  • Happiness and joy
  • Satisfaction
  • Semen
  • Bliss
  • Talent
  • Pleasure
  • Energy

These all are received by the person and it is like nector for humans.

It also helps get rid of tiredness and weakness caused by fear, grief and deligence.

Consumable Madya :

The alcoholic beverages with following qualities are best for consumption :-

  • Stored from long period
  • Furnished with all Taste and smell etc.
  • Deepana (appetizer)
  • Kapha-vata nashaka
  • Ruchikaraka (causing hunger)
  • Keeping mind and soul happy
  • Fulfilled with fragrance

Effect of Madya on body :

The executive effect of alcoholic beverages on body are as follows :

  • The madya due to its properties like Sukshama, ushana etc. appetizes the digestive fire.
  • Mixes with the digestive fire and reaches the heart.
  • Through arteries move to the mind and all the senses.
  • Causes loss of all senses and creates intoxication (mad).

Harmful effects of excessive Madya :

When alcoholic beverages are consumed in excess by the Tamsika person then he starts doing following :

  • Doing bad deeds
  • Excessive sleeping
  • Jealous from others success
  • Greedy
  • Untruthful
  • Keeping bad eyes on other’s female
  • May also commit – Crimes such as
  • Homicide
  • Theft
  • Rudeness

Thus, it is very evident that alcoholic beverages when consumed in adequate amount, they act as nector (amrita) and are used as medicines.

While the same when consumed in excess amount with improper way, it act as destroyer of senses and leads to all bad deeds.

2. Shukta Kalpana

The alcoholic beverages with the presence of all five tastes (madhur, lavan, tikta, katu, kashya) with time when changes mainly to Amla rasa then the same is called Shukta Kalpana or say Acidic beverages.

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