Kashayam (Decoction)

How to Make Decoction (Kwath or Kashayam)

Sharangdhar Samhita has provided a standard method of making a decoction. Further, it also provides information about the ratio for adding other ingredients after making a decoction. In ayurveda, the decoction is also called Kwath, Kashayam, Kashaya and Shrita, Kwatha and Niryuha.

What is Decoction?

A decoction is herbal liquid preparation made from 1 part of herbs in 16 parts of water, which is reduced to 1/8th part of liquid after simmering or cooking on a low flame. Generally, we take 48 grams of herbs in 768 ml water and simmer to reduce it to 96 ml liquid. This 96 ml liquid is call decoction in ayurveda.

Decoction Herbs and Water Ratio

Coarse Powder of Herbal Mixture 48 grams
Water 768 ml

How to Make Decoction

  1. Take 48 grams coarse powder of herbs in 768 ml water in a saucepan.
  2. Stir to mix herbs in water.
  3. Place saucepan on the stove.
  4. Simmer the mixture on low flame until 1/8 part remains i.e. 96 ml remains.
  5. Filter the decoction.
  6. Drink it warm.

Note: Don’t cover the pan with lid. Pan should remain open from the top. According to Sharangdhar Samhita, if we cover the pan while preparing a decoction, it becomes very difficult to digest. If herbs are aromatic, then you can prepare herbal distillate instead of decoction.

The same method has been described in Bhaishajya Ratnavali.

Ratio for adding Other Ingredients in Decoction

Sharangdhar Samhita has also given ratio for adding other ingredients, as follows.

Adding Honey

You can add Honey in the following ratio.

Disease Type Honey Ratio Dosage for 96 ml Decoction
Vata Disorders 1/4th part 24 grams
Pitta Disorders 1/8th part 12 grams
Kapha Disorders 1/16th part 6 grams

Adding Sharkara (Desi Khand)

Sharkara is an ayurvedic sugar. It is also called Desi Khand in locals in India. You can add desi sugar in decoctions in the following ratio.

Disease Type Sugar Ratio Dosage for 96 ml Decoction
Vata Disorders 1/16th part 6 grams
Pitta Disorders 1/8th part 12 grams
Kapha Disorders 1/4th part 24 grams

Adding Herbal Powders

The most common herbal powders are added in decoction include:

Herbal Powder Ratio Dosage for 96 ml Decoction
1/32 part 3 grams

Note: Dosage can be reduced according to Dosha and the patient’s health condition. This is a general principle for adding herbal powders in a decoction.

Adding Milk, Ghee, Jaggery or Oil in decoction

In some diseases, the ayurvedic doctor may ask to add the following things in the decoction:

  1. Cow’s Ghee.
  2. Milk.
  3. Jaggery.
  4. Medicated ayurvedic oil.
  5. Lemon juice.
  6. Herbal powder or herbal paste other than listed under “adding herbal powder”.
Milk, Ghee, Jaggery or Oil Ratio Dosage for 96 ml Decoction
1/8th part 12 grams

Decoction Dosage

Sharangdhar Samhita recommends 96 ml decoction for adults. However, it has further mentioned, the ayurvedic physician should decide dosage according to the patient’s health conditions. Generally, we consider the following factors while deciding dosage for any patient.

  • Patient’s age – child, adult or old aged person.
  • Ayurvedic body type.
  • Mental tolerance.
  • Digestive capacity.
  • Dosha dominance in the patient’s health condition.

The further decoction can be given once a day or twice a day depending on these factors.

Reference

  1. Sharangdhar Samhita, Madhyam Khand, Chapter 2, Verse 1-7.
  2. Bhaishajya Ratnavali, Chapter 4, Paribhasha Prakarana, Verse 127-128.

Dr. Jagdev Singh

Dr. Jagdev Singh (B.A.M.S., M. Sc. in Medicinal Plants) is an Ayurvedic Practitioner and Herbalist. He has successfully treated thousands of patients with Ayurveda (including Herbal Ayurvedic Medicine and Ayurvedic Diet). Ayur Times is an initiative of his efforts to bring quality information on Indian Medicine with the highest level of relevancy and scientific evidence.

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