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Decoction – Kashayam

Decoction or Kashayam (also called Kwath, Ayurvedic Decoctions and Kashaya) is a liquid form of Ayurvedic medication. It is actually a decoction or a water-soluble extract, which is obtained after boiling the herbs in the required quantity of water. The therapeutic benefits and healing properties of Kashayam vary depending on the ingredients.

Preparation Method of Kashayam

The preparation of kashayam needs dry herbs. The herbs can be dried under the sun or in the shade, as indicated for the individual herb. Then, the herbs are pounded to form a coarse powder. The power is added to a container and mixed well.

About 8 times of water is added to the herbs and the container is allowed to stay to ensure the herbs get completely soaked in the water for at least one or two hours (or overnight). The mixture is then boiled in a wide-mouth container on a mild flame. A wide mouthed vessel is used as it helps in a faster evaporation of water. This helps to save time during the preparation of Kashayam.

The contents should be boiled under mild flame only as intense heat can cause charring of the herbs. Also, it allows for the slow transfer of the active principles in the herbs into the water, which ensures maximum efficacy of the product.

The mixture in the container should be stirred continuously with a ladle. It should be boiled till the quantity of the mixture is reduced to the one-fourth of the original quantity. The decoction, thus obtained, should be filtered immediately using a clean cloth.

Readymade decoctions are also available in the market, which can be consumed adding warm water, as recommended by the doctor.