Medicines and Properties

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Medicines and their properties


It is the examination of the patient and is divided into 3 steps

Madhura (Sweet) V- P- K+
Amla (Sour) V- P+ K+
Lavana (Salty) V- P+ K+
Tikta (Bitter) V+ P- K-
Kadu (Pungent) V+ P+ K-
Kashaya (Astringent) V+ P- K-
V = Vatha P = Pitta K = Kapha + = Causes increase - = Causes decrease
Rasa – Bhutha Relation
Elements Rasas
Ether + Air Tikta - bitter
Air + Fire Katu - pungent
Fire + Water Lavana - saline, salty
Water + Earth Madhura - sweet, plain taste
Earth + Fire Amla - sour
Earth + Air Kashaya - astringent


Guna is a quality, mode or property. Out of the Gunas, only twenty are used in Pharmacology. They are known as Gurvadi Guna (Vimsathi Gunas).

Guna Composition Action
Guru (Heavy) E-W Building (Brimhana)
Laghu (Light) F-A- Eth Reducing (Langhana)
Seetham (Cold) W Cooling (Stambhana)
Ushnam (Hot) F Heating (Swedana)
Snigdham (Unctuous) W Moistening (Kledana)
Ruksham (Dry) E-F-A Absorbing (Shoshana)
Mandam (Dull) E-W Slowing-pacifying (Shamana)
Theekshanam (Sharp) F Penetrating-purifying (Shodhana)
Sthiram (Firm) E Stabilizing (Dharana)
Saram (Mobile) A Stimulating (Prerana)
Mridu (Soft) W- Eth Loosening (Shlathana)
Kadhina (Hard) E Hardening (Dridhikarana)
Vishadam (Clear) E-F-A- Eth Cleansing (Kshalana)
Pichilam (Sticky) W Adhering (Lepana)
Slekshnam (Smooth) W-E Healing (Roopana)
Kharam (Rough) A


The potency by which the action of a substance is taking place.

Type Action on Doshas General Effect
Hot Pacifies Kapha and Vatha, aggravates Pitta. Helps digestion, causes hot sensation, thirst, diaphoresis.
Cold Pacifies Pitta, aggravates Kapha and Vatha Cooling, exhilarant, moistening, enlivening, enhances reproductive functions.


The food ingested is acted upon by the digestive fire, in the process of which the six tastes (Rasas) are resynthesised into post digestive effect. This is called Vipaka. And the post digestive effect is inferred from the final action of the ingested food or medicine.

Tastes Post-Digestive Effect Action
Madhura (sweet) Lavana (saline) Sweet Promotes Kapha, smoothly eliminates faeces and urine, increases reproductive fluids.
Amla (sour) Sour Promotes Pitta, smoothly eliminates faeces and urine, diminishes reproductive fluids.
Kadu (pungent) Tikta (bitter) Kashaya (astringent) Pungent Promotes Vatha, suppresses faeces and urine, diminishes reproductive fluids.