A specific time when a patient should take prescribed medicine is called ‘Timing’ with respect to medication. In ayurveda, timing can be different based on Dosha and specific health conditions. Sushruta Samhita has provided some guidelines for timing of taking ayurvedic medicines.
|Abhukta||Empty Stomach in the early morning|
|Pragbhukta||Immediately before food|
|Adhobhukta||Immediately after food|
|Madhayabhukta||In between the meal (in middle of the meal)|
|Antrabhukta||Between morning meal and evening meal|
|Sabhukta||With food or by mixing in cooked with food|
|Samudgabhukta||Before and after taking a light meal|
|Muhurmuha||Given frequently regardless meal|
|Sagrasa||Taking medicine along with every bite|
|Grasantar||Between subsequent bites|
Abhukta refers to taking medicine on empty stomach in the early morning after having a bowel movement. Medicine taken on empty stomach acts faster and provides benefits within a short period.
- Decoctions (Kashayam or Kwath) should be given on empty stomach.
- According to Sharangadhara Samhita, medicines that induce purgation or emesis should be given in this time.
Who should not take medicine on empty stomach?
- Aged people
- Weak or sensitive people
Pragbhukta refers to taking medicine immediately before food. Medicine taken immediately before meal easily digests and it also does not have any negative effect on patient’s strength.
According to Acharya Vagbhata, medicines should be taken immediately before a meal in the following cases:
- Apana Vayu Vikriti
- To provide strength to organs located below the umbilicus
- Diseases of organs located below navel line
- Obesity (to lose weight)
Organs below navel line include reproductive organs, urinary bladder, thighs, legs, feet etc.
List of diseases in which medicine should be taken immediately before a meal:
- Pelvic Pain
- Groin Pain
- Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
- Inflammatory bowel disease
Adhobhukta refers to taking ayurvedic medicines immediately after food. Medicines should be taken immediately after a meal to strengthen organs located above the navel line and treat diseases of organs located above the navel line.
According to Acharya Vagbhata, medicines should be taken immediately after a meal in the following cases:
|Vyana Vayu Vikriti||After Morning Food|
|Udana Vayu Vikriti||After Evening Food|
In addition, medicines taken during Adhobhukta time increase body weight. So, the best time to take medicine by underweight people is after a meal.
Madhayabhukta refers to taking medicine in between a meal.
It is the time when you have finished half of your meal and half of the meal remains. Take medicine and eat the remaining meal.
Medicine taken in Madhayabhukta helps in diseases of the digestive system.
According to Vagbhata, medicine should be given in between meal in the following conditions:
- Samana Vayu Vikriti
- Abdominal diseases
- Pitta Disorders
Antrabhukta refers to taking medicine between morning meal and evening meal. In ancient time, people eat two meals – morning meal and evening meal. Dinner was eaten before or during the sunset. Medicine is given when the patient has digested his breakfast. The evening meal is given when the patient has digested the medicine.
Medicine taken during this time helps in the following cases:
- Strengthens heart and mind
- Increases digestion
- Helps in Vyana Vayu Vikriti
- Treats digestive disorders
Sabhukta refers to taking medicine along with food or by mixing in cooked food. According to ayurveda, taking medicine by this way is advisable for patients with the following condition: –
- Weak patients
- Aged patient
- People with the sensitive physique
- Patients who dislike medicine
- If the patient has loss of interest to eat food
- If a patient suffers from diseases that affect the whole body
Samudga or Samudgabhukta refers to taking medicine before and after taking a light meal. Taking medicine in this way is helpful in the health conditions mentioned below:
- Patients suffer from Dosha aggravation in both channels – Adhomarga and Udarvamarga
Muhurmuha refers to taking medicine at infrequent intervals with or without taking food. There is no need to worry about food. Whenever medicine seems to be required, it should be given.
Sagrasa refers to taking medicine along with every bite. It helps patients with weak digestion capacity or poor appetite. In addition, it is the best time to take aphrodisiac remedies.
Grasantar refers to taking medicine between two subsequent bites. Taking medicine in this way is helpful in cases of a cough and breathing problems including asthma. According to Vagbhata, this way is highly beneficial for people with Prana Vayu Vikriti.