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IMPORTANCE OF ARSHOGHNA MAHAKASHAYA OF CHARAKA SAMHITA: A


REVIEW

Article  in  World Journal of Pharmaceutical Research · October 2017


DOI: 10.20959/wjpr201710-9442

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World Journal of Pharmaceutical Research
Rout et al. SJIF Impact
World Journal of Pharmaceutical Factor 7.523
Research
Volume 6, Issue 10, 443-451. Review Article ISSN 2277– 7105

IMPORTANCE OF ARSHOGHNA MAHAKASHAYA OF CHARAKA


SAMHITA: A REVIEW

Patel Akanksha1, Daharia Madhuri1, Gupta Rakshapal2 and Rout Om Prakash*3

1
M.D. Scholar, Post Graduate Department of Dravyaguna, Govt. Ayurved College, Raipur,
Chhattisgarh.
2
Professor & HOD, Post Graduate Department of Dravyaguna, Govt. Ayurved College,
Raipur, Chhattisgarh.
3
Lecturer, Post Graduate Department of Dravyaguna, Govt. Ayurved College, Raipur,
Chhattisgarh.

ABSTRACT
Article Received on
Ayurveda plays vital role in curing Arsha (Haemorrhoids) without
14 July 2017,
Revised on 04 August 2017, surgical intervention there are so many herbal drug having Arshoghna
Accepted on 24 August 2017
property. Many treatment modalities have been explained in
DOI: 10.20959/wjpr201710-9442
8533 Brihattrayi (Charaka, Sushruta & Vagbhatta) and Laghuttrayi
(Sharangdhara, Bhavaprakash & Madhav Nidan). In Arshas
*Corresponding Author
management the systemic medicines act by improving appetite,
Dr. Rout Om Prakash
regularize bowl habits, astringent action on blood vessels and
Lecturer, Post Graduate
Department of Dravyaguna, maintaining Agni and Srotas in equilibrium. Among all the Arshoghna
Govt. Ayurved College, drugs described in Arshoghna mahakashaya of Charaka Samhita,
Raipur, Chhattisgarh. maximum drug are Tikta or Katu or Kasaya Rasa Pradhana and most
of the drug are Ushna in Virya. It can also be said that the drugs having
Katu, Tikta, Kashaya Rasa, Laghu & Ruksha Guna, Ushna Virya and Katu Vipaka play major
role in the treatment of Arsha. This review made a humble effort to highlight the 'Arshoghna
Mahakashaya’ from Charaka Samhita as a natural and safe remedy treatment of Arsha.

KEYWORDS: Ayurveda, Arshoghna Mahakashaya, Haemorrhoids,Charaka Samhita.

INTRODUCTION
Lifestyle diseases refer to diseases that result because of choices people make in their life.
They are mostly common in developed nations where people are inclined towards eating
unhealthy foods, having a sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy habits like smoking and drinking

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Rout et al. World Journal of Pharmaceutical Research

alcohol.[1] Haemorrhoid is a very common medical complain. Extrapolated incidence of


haemorrhoids in India is 3,915,700 and population used for this estimation was
1,065,070,607. These statistics are calculated extrapolations of various prevalence or
incidence rates against the population of a particular country or region. Men are more likely
than women to suffer from haemorrhoids that require professional medical treatment.[2]
Haemorrhoids are swollen blood vessels around the anus. Haemorrhoids may protrude
externally or be internal to the body. Although haemorrhoids are definitely irritating and
sometimes debilitating, they are almost never life threatening or a symptom of something
worse.[3]

For haemorrhoids many drugs have been mentioned in Ayurveda classics.


Fifty Mahakashayas, which are ascribed in Charaka Samhita, are named according to the
action they have. On the other hand, in Sushruta Samhita’s Gana are named on the first drug
of the every Gana and the action has been mentioned as Dosha Pratyanika (against Dosha)
and Vyadhi Pratyanika (against Vyadhi). Many drugs have been mentioned in Ayurveda
classics. Acharya Charaka has described group of ten plants known as Mahakashaya, having
some common properties. There are 50 Mahakshaya described in Charaka Samhita. Out of
these 50 Mahakashayas, one is Arshoghna Mahakashaya which has anti heamorrhoidal
properties.[4] According to Acharya Vagbhatta Bhallataka and Kutaja tawk are superior drug
for treatment of Arsha. Similarly Sushruta Samhita has also mentioned Mushkakadi Gana
containing many medicinal plants having Arshoghna properties and actions.[5] Besides the
Dravyas mentioned in Charaka and Sushruta Samhita literature of many more plants with
Arshoghna action is available in ancient texts. Here an attempt has been made to critically
analyze the various types of arsha and their treatment strategy by using plants of Arshoghna
Mahakasaya.

Arsha
A disease which tortures patient’s vital force (prana) as enemy is called as Arsha according to
Ayurveda.[6] In modern day to day life of urgency and emergency patients neglects proper
diet and lifestyle habits. It ends in reducing Agni or making it mandagni. Mandagni means
patient is not able to digest food material at proper speed and time. It results in accumulation
or stagnation of half digested food material (Aam) in the form of stool inside or throwing it
before time in watery or semisolid form which disturbs doshas at anorectal region. To treat

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Rout et al. World Journal of Pharmaceutical Research

these diseases completely one need to know the root cause and try to eradicate it. Ayurveda
correctly explains the physiology, pathology and treatment of these diseases.

Table 1: Classification of Arsha according to Samhita.


S. No. Samhitas Types Name of types of Arsha
Charaka 2 1. Shushka 2. Ardra
1.
Samhita 2 1. Sahaja 2. Janmottarakalaja
1. Bahya 2. Abhyantara
2
1. Sadhya 2. Yapya 3. Asadhya
3
Sushruta 1. Bhaishajasadhya 2. Ksharsadhya
2. 4
Samhita 3. Agnikarmasadhya 4. Shastrasadhya
1. Vataja 2. Pittaja 3. Kaphaja
6
4. Raktaja 5. Sannipataja 6. Sahaja
1. Shushka 2. Ardra
Ashtanga 2
3. 1. Vataja 2. Pittaja 3. Kaphaja
Hridaya 6
4. Raktaja 5. Sannipataja 6. Dwandwaja
1. Shushka 2. Ardra
Ashtanga 2
4. 1. Vataja 2. Pittaja 3. Kaphaja
Samgraha 6
4. Raktaja 5. Sannipataja 6. Dwandwaja
Madhav 1. Vataja 2. Pittaja 3. Kaphaja
5. 6
Nidan 4. Raktaja 5. Sannipataja 6. Sahaja

Classification of haemorrhoids according to modern texts


A) According to site of origin:
1. Internal haemorrhoids
2. External haemorrhoids
3. Interno- External haemorrhoids
B) According to symptoms of GABRIEL:
1. First Degree Haemorrhoids
2. Second Degree Haemorrhoids
3. Third Degree Haemorrhoids
4. Fourth Degree Haemorrhoids

Treatment principle of piles


Any type of treatment of piles needs strict diet and life style pattern according to one’s
prakriti.AcharyaCharaka and Susruta have described four types of treatment for Arsha:
1. Aushadhachikitsa
2. Ksharchikitsa
3. Agnikarm
4. Shastra karma

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According to Acharya Charaka Ausadha Chikitsa is best for treatment of Arsha. Aushadha
treatment of Arsha should be done first and then we may proceed further to Shalya Kriya.

Arshoghna Mahakashaya[4]
AcharyaCharaka has classified the dravyas as per pharmacological actions into 50
mahakashaya (50 groups of dravyas). Each group contains ten dravyas for a particular action.
Out of these 50 Mahakashaya, Arshoghna Mahakashaya is the 12th number Mahakashaya.
The names of dravyas mentioned in this Mahakashaya are Kutaja, Bilva, Chitraka, Nagara,
Ativisha, Abhaya, Dhanvayasa, Daruharidra, Vacha & Chavya. Acharya Chakrapani has
commented Dhanvayasa as Duralabha.[7] The scientific data of the Dravyas of Arshoghna
Mahakashaya is mentioned in table 2 & 3.

Table no. 2: Drugs of Arshoghna mahakashaya.[8,9,10,11,12,13,14]


Sl. Sanskrit
English name Latin name Family Habit Parts used
No. name
Holarrhena Bark, Leaves, Seeds
1. Kutaja Kurchi Apocyanaceae Tree
antidysenterica & Flowers
2. Bilva Bael tree Aegle marmelos Rutaceae Tree Fruit, leaves & Root
3. Chitraka Leadwort Plumbago zeylanica Plumbaginaceae Herb Root bark
4. Nagara Ginger Zingiber officinale Zingiberaceae Herb Rhizome
5. Ativisha Indian atees Aconitum heterophylum Ranunculaceae Herb Tuberous root
6. Abhaya Chebulic myrobalan Terminalia chebula Combretaceae Tree Fruit
7. Dhanvayas Khorasan thorn Fagonia cretica Zygophyllaceae Herb Panchanga
8. Daruharidra Indian berbery Berberis aristata Berberidaceae Shrub Root, Stem & fruit
9. Vacha Sweet flag Acorus calamus Araceae Herb Rhizome
10. Chavya Java long pepper root Piper retrofractum Piperaceae Creeper Root

Table no. 3: Properties of drugs of Arshoghna mahakashaya.[8,9,10,11,12,13,14]


Sr. Name Rasapanchaka Chemical Constituents Pharmacological properties &
No. of plant action
1. Kutaja Guna- Laghu, Ruksha Conessine, conessimine, Stem bark shows antispasmodic &
Rasa- Tikta, Kashaya conkurchin, holarrhenine, hypotensive activity. Root extract
Virya- Sheeta holarhimine, kurchine, shows antiprotozoal, anticancerous
Vipaka- Katu kurchicine, & hypoglycaemic effect. Its
antidysentericine etc. alkaloids show activity against
amoebic dysentery
2. Bilva Guna- Laghu, Ruksha Marmelosin, aegelin, Fruit and root extracts and Leaves
Rasa- Kashaya,Tikta aegelinin, marmin, showsantihyperglycaemic effect.
Virya- Ushna marmesin, marmesinine, Leaf extract stimulates heart.
Vipaka- Katu umbelliferone,
skimmianine etc.
3. Chitraka Guna- Laghu, Ruksha, Plumbagin, 3- Plumbagine shows antimicrobial,
Tikshna chloroplumbagin, antibacterial, antifungal,
Rasa- Katu elliptinone, chitranone, antihyperlipidaemic, antilukaemic
Virya- Ushna zeylinone, plumbagic activity and also decreases tumor
Vipaka- Katu acid, naphthelenone etc. growth.Root extract shows

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Rout et al. World Journal of Pharmaceutical Research

hypothermia.

4. Nagara Guna- Laghua, Zingiberene, zingiberol, It has shown anti-inflammatory,


Snigdha zingerone, gingerol, hypolipidaemic, antiatherosclerotic,
Rasa- Katu gingirin, shogaol etc. antiemetic, antipyretic, antioxidant,
Virya- Ushna antibacterial, antifungal,
Vipaka- Madhura cholagogic, hypouricemic,
hypoglycaemic& inotropic activity.
5. Ativisha Guna – Laghu, Atisine, heteratisine, It has shown antispasmodic,
Ruksha isoatisine, hetisine, hypolipidaemic, atidiarrhoeal&
Rasa-Tikta,Katu heterophylline, antipyretic activity.
Virya- Ushna heterophyllisine,
Vipaka-Katu heterophyllidine
6. Haritaki Guna – Laghu, Chebulagic acid, It has shown antimicrobial,
Ruksha chebulinic acid, chebulin, antifungal, antibacterial,
Rasa-Madhura, Amla, anthraquinone glycoside, antispasmodic, antioxidant,
Katu, Tikta, Kashaya tannic acid, vitamin C; cardiotonic, hypotensive,
Virya- Ushna arachidic, behenic, hypolipidaemic, hypoglycaemic,
Vipaka- Madhur linoleic, oleic, palmitic purgative and anti-hepatitis B virus
and stearic acid etc. activity.
7. Dhanva Guna – Laghu, Sheeta Fagogenine, alkaloids, It has shown anticancer,
yas Rasa- Kashaya, Tikta, sitosterol, saponins, antimicrobial, antiviral, CNS
Madhur & Katu triterpenoids, ceryl stimulant, antiamphetaminic,
Virya- Ushna alcohol etc. analgesic, antipyretic and anti-
Vipaka- Madhura inflammatory activity.
8. Daruhari Guna – Laghu, Bernerine, oxyberberine, It has shown hypoglycaemic,
dra Ruksha berbamine, oxycanthin, anticancer, gastroirritant,
Rasa- Tikta, Kashaya aromoline, karachine, antifatigue, anticoagulant,
Virya- Ushna palmatine, taxilamine, antipyretic, local anaesthecic,
Vipaka-Katu jatrorrhizine etc. antiprotozoal, anti TB, antibacterial,
antitumour, hypotensive, anti-
inflammatory, antitrachoma& CNS
depressant activity.
9. Vacha Guna – Laghu, Asarylaldehyde, asarone, It has shown sedative-
Tikshna acorin, acoradin, eugenol, tranquillizing, analgesic,
Rasa- Katu, Tikta caffeine, calamol, hypothermic, hypotensive,
Virya- Ushna sesquiterpenes etc. spasmolytic, CNS depressant,
Vipaka- Katu cardiac depressant, antimicrobial,
anthelmintic, antifungal,
antibacterial, anticonvulsant
activity.
10. Chavya Guna – Laghu, Piperine, sitosterol, CNS depressant, hypothermic
Ruksha piplartine, retrofractamide activity.
Rasa- Katu A,B,C & D.
Virya- Ushna
Vipaka- Katu

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Fig. 1: Holarrhena antidysenterica.

Fig. 2: Aegle marmelos.

Fig. 3: Plumbago zeylanica.

Fig. 4: Zingiber officinale.

Fig. 5: Aconitum heterophylum.

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Fig. 6: Terminalia chebula.

Fig. 7: Fagonia cretica.

Fig. 8: Berberis aristata.

Fig. 9: Acorus calamus.

Fig. 10: Piper retrofractum.

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DISCUSSION
It is seen that most of the above dravyas which Acharya Charak has included in his
'Arshoghna' Mahakashaya are having Kashya, Tikta and Katu Rasas. It is observed that, of
the total drugs mentioned in Arshoghna Mahakashaya Tikta Rasa dravya (7) & Katu Rasa
dravya (7) are maximum in number followed by Kashaya Rasa Dravya (5) then Madhura
Rasa Dravya (2) & then Amla Rasa dravya (1) and Lavana Rasa dravya (0) in number. Katu
Rasa are Agnidipana, Swyathunasanaand Rochayatiasanam.[5] Tikta Rasa are Arochakaghna,
Dipanaand Pachana.[6] Kashaya Rasa are Ropana, Sosanaand Stambhana.[7] This is indicating
that the drugs with Tikta, Katuand Kashayarasa play major role in the treatment of Arshas.
As Arsha is a Raktadoshaja vyadhi and Mamsaja vyadhi it requires Tikta and Kashaya Rasa
dravya to reduce the Raktadosha and Katu Rasa helps to reduce the Mamsaja doshas. Most of
the drugs mentioned are Ushna Virya in nature (9) and only a few are Sheeta Virya (1).
Ushna Virya destroys constipation and expels the stools freely and also helps to reduce the
haemorrhoids especially if the haemorrhoids are dry. Sheeta Virya dravyas help in the
bleeding piles for stopping the excessive blood flow.

Madhura (3) and Katu Vipaka (7) Dravyas are mentioned to have the property of Arshoghna.
Madhura and Katu vipaka can be considered to reduce bleeding piles and dry piles
respectively. Amla Vipaka increases Pitta and Rakta dosha there by worsening the disease
hence Amla vipaka dravyas may not have been mentioned.

Laghu (10), Ruksha (7) and Tikshna (2) guna dravya are mentioned to be mostly acting on
the Arshas. Laghu guna help for treating the indigestion caused in the Arshas. Tikshna Guna
help to expel the faeces properly. Laghu, Ruksha, Tikshna Guna and UshnaVeerya removes
Sroto rodhaas. It penetrates minutest Srotas in management of Arsha. The systemic medicines
act by improving appetite, regularize bowl habits, astringent action on blood vessels and
maintaining Agni and Srotas in equilibrium.

CONCLUSION
From the above analysis, it is evident that Acharya Charaka has correctly described the herbal
drugs in a qualitative manner to combat the particular disorder. The herbal agents of
ArshoghnaMaha Kashaya has shown antihaemorrhoidal properties. These herbal drugs can be
used as effective agents against haemorrhoids and many disorders. Moreover these herbal
drugs provide better options to prepare formulations on the basis of their pharmacological
actions.

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Reference
1. http://www.thehealthsite.com/topics/lifestyle-diseases-diseases-conditions/.
2. http://www.rightdiagnosis.com/h/haemorrhoids/stats-country.htm#extrapwarning; 2014.
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