Asava & Arishta

Kanakasava (Kanakasavam): Drug of Choice for Asthma, Biliary and Renal Colic

Kanakasava (also spelled as Kanakasavam) is used for the treatment of respiratory diseases. It mainly contains Purified Datura, which acts as bronchodilator and anti-inflammatory. It gives relief from an acute attack of asthma and increases the airflow to the lungs by dilating and relaxing the bronchial passageways.

Kanakasava is also used for bronchitis, productive cough, phthisis, chronic fever, hemorrhages, and lung injury. In addition, it is also beneficial in the treatment of common cold, rhinitis and abnormal nasal discharges.

Ingredients (Composition)

Ingredient Name Quantity
Shuddha Datura Panchang – Purified Datura Metal (All Parts) 4 Parts
Vasaka – Adhatoda Vasica 4 Parts
Mulethi (Yashtimadhu)Glycyrrhiza Glabra 2 Parts
Pippali (Long Pepper) – Piper Longum 2 Parts
Kantakari – Solanum Xanthocarpum 2 Parts
Nagkesar – Mesua Ferrea 2 Parts
Sonth (Ginger Rhizome) – Zingiber Officinale 2 Parts
Bharangi – Clerodendrum Serratum 2 Parts
Talispatra – Abies Webbiana 2 Parts
Dhataki Flower- Woodfordia Fruticosa 16 Parts
Munakka – Vitis Vinifera Variety 20 Parts
Water 512 Parts
Sharkara (Sugar) 100 Parts
Shahad – Honey 50 Parts

Preparation Method: Take warm water in Asava Vessel and put Sugar and Honey. Mix it well and then add crushed Munakka. Then add Dhataki Flower powder and mix it in the mixture. Then add all other ingredients and mix them. Then leave it for 30 days and then decant the liquid and preserve it in food-grade bottles. Now, Kanakasava is ready.

Pharmacological Actions

Kanakasavam has following medicinal properties:

  • Bronchodilator
  • Expectorant
  • Analgesic
  • Antispasmodic
  • Sedative
  • Cardiac stimulant
  • Soporific (Sleep inducing)
  • Digestive

Dosha Karma

The main action of Kanakasava is observed on Kapha Dosha. It has hot potency, so it may not be suitable for people having Pitta dominance. In such cases, it can cause restlessness and feeling of uneasiness. In such cases, Vasavaleha or Vasarishta should be more useful.

It helps in coughing up the excess sputum and mucus from the lungs and clears the passage. So, it has potent expectorant action.

Therapeutic Indications

Kanakasava is helpful in following health conditions.

  • Productive cough
  • Asthma
  • Bronchitis
  • Whooping cough (pertussis)
  • Rhinitis
  • Persistent Hiccup
  • Chronic fever
  • Hemorrhages
  • Biliary colic – for pain relief
  • Renal colic – for pain relief

Kanakasava Uses & Benefits

Kanakasava mainly acts on respiratory system (lungs and airways). It dilates the bronchial passageways and increases the airflow to the lungs. It also clears the lungs by its expectorant actions. It has analgesic action, which is more useful in the management of biliary colic and renal colic.

Bronchitis & Asthma

Kanakasava reduces inflammation of the bronchi and clears the lungs. The sedative action helps to calm the persistent cough attack. The expectorant action helps to clear the lungs. The bronchodilatory action dilates the airways and helps to improve the airflow, which aids in easy breathing.

Biliary Colic & Renal Colic

The analgesic action Kanakasava helps to manage the acute attacks of biliary colic and renal colic.

In an acute attack, it should be given in small quantity (2.5 to 5 ml), but the dosage should be repeated 3 to 6 times at the interval of 15 minutes. Mostly, the patient gets relief from the pain with this medicine alone. In Biliary Colic, some patients may also require Sutshekhar Ras (250 mg) along with it. In renal colic, it should be used along with Hajrul Yahood Bhasma for good results. If the patient has a burning sensation during urination, then Chandanasava should also be used along with it to reduce burning sensation and to prevent the side effects of Kanakasava due to its hot potency.

Persistent Hiccup

Kanakasava gives relief from persistent hiccup that lasts more than 24 hours.

Kanakasava Dosage

The classical dosage of Kanakasava is as follows.
Children (above the age of 5 years) 1 to 2.5 ml
Adults 6 to 15 ml
Maximum Possible Dosage 60 ml Per Day (in divided doses)
Doses: Twice a day with equal amount of water
Best Time to Take: After Food

Note: In severe cases of breathing troubles or colic, its dosage can be increased up to 30 ml twice daily or small dosage (15 ml) can be given for 4 times, but the total dosage should not exceed 60 ml per day.

Safety Profile

Kanakasava contains Datura Metal, so it should be used under the supervision of an ayurvedic physician. The unsupervised use can be unsafe. In excess, it can also cause some severe side effects.

Side Effects of Kanakasava

Some people can experience the following side effects with Kanakasava:

  1. Headache
  2. Nausea
  3. Vomiting
  4. Restlessness

If these symptoms appear, Kanakasava should be immediately stopped and seek immediate medical attention.


Kanakasava should not be taken in following cases:

  1. Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
  2. Tachycardia – Fast Heart Rate
  3. Glaucoma
  4. Elevated intraocular pressure
  5. Patients with pacemaker
  6. It should also not be used in children under age of 5 years.

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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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