Anupaan (Adjuvant): Vehicle or Medium to Take Ayurvedic Medicine

Anupaan is a specific vehicle or medium for taking ayurvedic medicines and herbal remedies. It can be translated into English as ‘Adjuvant’. Generally, these vehicles are in liquid form. The common adjuvants used in ayurveda include:

  1. Water
  2. Honey
  3. Milk
  4. Buttermilk
  5. Herbal Decoctions
  6. Svarasa (Juice)

Svarasa (Juice), herbal decoctions (Kashayam or Kwath) can be very specific according to different diseases.

Generally, adjuvants have opposite properties and are compatible with primary medicine. In addition, these mediums also assist primary medicine to exert the desired effect precluding adverse effects.

In some cases, the recommended vehicles have similar indications for the same disease.

In a few cases, vehicles may have similar properties and can be selected for maximizing the efficacy of primary medicine.

Also Spelled as Anupaan, Anupan, Anupana

Purpose of Anupaan (Adjuvant)

Anupaan is not only a medium of taking medicines, but it also has therapeutic importance.

The main purpose of taking medicines with different Anupaan is to enhance the action of medicines by the following ways:

  1. To accelerate the action of main medicine (e.g. Punarnava with warm water to increase urination)
  2. To provide additional support in the treatment (e.g. Shatavari with milk to increase weight)
  3. To improve absorption, circulation, and assimilation of medicines
  4. To reduce the adverse effects of some medicines (for example, Vishtinduk Vati and nux vomica are recommended with Cow’s Ghee and Milk to prevent and reduce their side effects including muscle spasms, dizziness, restlessness, and convulsions). In such cases, Anupaan is compatible with medicine and has opposite ayurvedic properties.
  5. To balance the effects of medicines on Tridosha
  6. To prevent an imbalance of other Doshas when treating a specific Dosha

Anupaan According to Dosha

Ayurveda believes in three Dosha called Tridosha. It includes Vata Dosha, Pitta Dosha, and Kapha Dosha. According to the aggravation of a specific Dosha, Anupaan may have different properties and actions. A general reference is given below:

AggravationAnupan Properties
Vata DoshaMADHURA (Sweet), LAVANA (Salty), AMAL (Sour), SNIGADH (Oily) and USHNA (Hot)
Pitta DoshaKASAYA (Astringent), MADHURA (Sweet), TIKTA (Bitter) and SHEETA (Cool)
Kapha DoshaKATU (Pungent), TIKTA (Bitter), KASAYA (Astringent), RUKSHA (Dry) and USHNA (Hot)

According to the strength of a person, the adjuvant can also be different. If a person is weak, the doctor can include strengthening adjuvant. If a person is obese, the doctor can include adjuvants that help to reduce weight.


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