Prakshape condiment in Chavanprash: Harnessing Synergy of the Ages
by Sharadendu Bali1*, Randhir Singh2
1General Surgery, TMMC, Moradabad, UP, India
2Department of Pharmacology, Central University of Punjab, VPO, Ghudda, Bathinda, Punjab, India
*Corresponding Authors: Sharadendu Bali, Professor, General Surgery, TMMC, Moradabad, UP, India.
Received Date: 2 November 2023
Accepted Date: 6 November 2023
Published Date: 8 November 2023
Citation: Bali S, Singh R (2023) Prakshape condiment in Chavanprash: Harnessing Synergy of the Ages. Curr Res Cmpl Alt Med 7: 212. https://doi.org/10.29011/2577-2201.100212
Towards the conclusion of the tedious process of preparing chavanprash, a powdered herb combination known as prakshape is introduced. Many of these herbs have already been utilized in the initial stage of creating the decoction, which is the basis of chavanprash. The perplexing aspect is the necessity to incorporate the same herbs once more as prakshape during the final step, highlighting the intriguing nature of this addition and its associated benefits. The inclusion of prakshape proves to be ingenious for multiple reasons. Firstly, the incorporation of powdered herbs in prakshape ensures that the entire herb, along with all its phytochemical components, becomes part of the formulation. In contrast, the decoction process only extracts water - soluble components into the solution. This inclusion allows for a broader range of active compounds to be present in the final product. Secondly, the addition of prakshape serves to reintroduce volatile and heat-labile compounds that may have been lost during the extended heating process. Additionally, the inclusion of bamboo (Bambusa arundinacea) manna particles in prakshape contributes to an enhanced drug-delivery system. From a pharmacological standpoint, the incorporation of prakshape ingredients reinforces the therapeutic effects of the formulation and promotes synergy among the herbs. The principles underlying the use of prakshapecan further be utilized for the development of new awaleha and ksheerpakformulations, potentially yielding more potent effects.
Keywords: Prakshape; awaleha; chawanprash; bamboo manna; silica lipid hybrid; essential oils
Abbreviations: SLH: silica lipid hybrid; LBDDS: lipid based drug development systems; ROS: reactive oxygen species; SCFA: short chain fatty acids; GIT: Gastro-intestinal tract; EO: essential oil; CEO: cardamom essential oil; PCM: paracetamol; MRSA: methicillin resistant Staphylococcus Aureus; MF: Messua ferrea; CFA: complete Freund’s adjuvant
Prakshape is a finely powdered mixture of herbs that is added to Ayurvedic preparations like decoction, paste or awaleha (semi-solid preparation) at the end of the manufacturing process, after the heating has been terminated . In a typical 20 kg batch of Chavanprash, the prakashape spices consist of equal amounts (20 gm each) of Dalchini (Cinnamomum verum bark), Tejpat (Cinnamomum tamala), Nagkesar (Messua ferrea) and Elaichi (Elettaria cardamomum), along with 160 gm Pippali (Piper longum), all in powdered form . These herbs have been used earlier in preparing the poly- herbal decoction . This raises the question of why the same herbs/spices are reintroduced. In addition to these ingredients, some new components are also included in prakshape, such as bamboo manna (white concretions consisting mainly of silica, found in nodes of female Bambusa arundinacea stems), saffron (Crocus sativus) and honey (mellifluous) .
The decision to add these substances only after the heating process has been stopped holds significance for several reasons. While one reason aligns with Ayurvedic therapeutic principles, others can be explained by new research in phytochemical pharmacotherapeutics. The addition of honey at the very end, after the cooking process is complete and the awaleha has cooled down, follows Ayurvedic guidelines that prohibit heating honey . One explanation for incorporating raw powdered spices as prakshape is to replenish the volatile aromatic essential oils that may have been lost during the prolonged heating process (section 3.5).
Another rationale for the addition of prakshape is its ability to synergistically increase the bioeffects of the formulation. This can be achieved through several mechanisms. Firstly, by adding prakshape, the absorption and bioavailability of the bioactive components present in the herbs can be enhanced, through the mechanisms of bio-potentiation and novel drug delivery systems. Secondly, Prakshape provides nutrients that support the growth of favourable gut flora which can contribute to overall gut health. Additionally, the inclusion of Prakshape can facilitate the sustained production of bioactives even after the formulation has been delivered, resulting in prolonged therapeutic effects. This is known as the holobiont effect. Furthermore, the direct synergism between the herbs in prakshape enhances the overall therapeutic effects of the formulation. Lastly, the use of Prakshape dravya (medicament) allows for the modification of taste and therapeutic effects according to individual preferences and requirements, offering versatility in adapting the formulation to specific needs.
Manufacturing process of awaleha rasayans:
The manufacturing process of Awaleha Rasayans, such as Chavanprash and Kantakari Awaleha, follows strict adherence to the procedure detailed in the ancient Ayurvedic texts. This is mandatory if the full therapeutic potentiality of the formulation is to be attained. The process is explained in Figure 1.
Significance of Adding Prakshape
Prakshape, in Sanskrit, means forcefully throwing something forwards . In the traditional process of preparing Chavanprash, prakshape is incorporated by forcefully flinging the powdered herbs into a large cauldron . Due to the highly viscous and intensely hot awaleha in the cauldron, the powdered prakshape needs to be swiftly thrown into the mixture and vigorously stirred without delay . The forceful action is necessary since the cauldron contains a substantial amount of awaleha (about 20-30 kgs) with a glutinous consistency. This process ensures proper and uniform blending of the prakshape dravya, thereby justifying the name given to this powdered herbal condiment.