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Table of Contents
REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 40-48

Importance of Ghrita (clarified butter) as an antitoxic medicine in Visha Chikitsa


1 Sri Sai Ayurvedic PG Medical College, Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, India
2 P.G. Department of Agad Tantra, National Institute of Ayurveda, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India

Date of Submission29-Jun-2021
Date of Decision06-Nov-2021
Date of Acceptance10-Nov-2021
Date of Web Publication31-Mar-2022

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Seema Yadav
Department of Agad Tantra, Sri Sai Ayurvedic PG Medical College, Aligarh 202001, Uttar Pradesh.
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/JISM.JISM_61_21

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  Abstract 

Background: Ghrita (clarified butter), which is being used as a medicine or as an adjuvant in various Agad formulations for the treatment of different poisoning conditions such as animate and inanimate poisons and for establishing its action with a contemporary view. Settings and Design: The review method adopted was a critical review in which classical and contemporary literature was extensively researched and critically evaluated. The conceptual contribution of Ayurveda science in the field of toxicology has been symbolized. Methods and Materials: The classical texts, mainly Charaka, Sushruta, Ashtanga Samgraha, and Ashtang Hridaya, were researched along with their commentaries in Sanskrit as well as Hindi. All collected matter of various research articles were searched and scrutinized for discussion, and an effort is made to exert some productive conclusions. Results and Conclusions: Ghrita used with various formulations plays an important role in Visha Chikitsa because of its Vishaghna (antipoisonous), use in skin disease, cardioprotective, and blood-purifying properties. It is used as an antidote having an antipoisonous property either as medicine or as an adjuvant by various routes such as oral, local application and Nasya, Anjana (corrylium). Ghrita is not only used in all kinds of poison, but it is also used in all states of poisoning. Different therapeutic measures such as Santrasan (mild purgation), Pralepa (external application of paste on skin), Bhojya (food), and Aushdh (drugs) should not be utilized without adding Ghrita for the management of different poisoning conditions.

Keywords: Ghrita, poisons, Visha Chikitsa, Vishaghna


How to cite this article:
Yadav S, Kadu A, Patel N. Importance of Ghrita (clarified butter) as an antitoxic medicine in Visha Chikitsa. J Indian Sys Medicine 2022;10:40-8

How to cite this URL:
Yadav S, Kadu A, Patel N. Importance of Ghrita (clarified butter) as an antitoxic medicine in Visha Chikitsa. J Indian Sys Medicine [serial online] 2022 [cited 2022 Oct 3];10:40-8. Available from: https://www.joinsysmed.com/text.asp?2022/10/1/40/342316




  Introduction Top


Ghrita (clarified butter) is the preeminent element of Indian food for hundreds of years. Indian cow Ghrita is used in the daily routine diet. Ghrita is not only used as an excellent base for preparing Ayurveda medicines, but it is also used as a traditional adjuvant/ vehicle in Ayurveda. Ghrita is used as one of the parts of various ancient medicines because of its capacity to reach upto a molecular level in the human body. So it is used as a perfect base for manufacturing various Ayurveda formulations. Due to the amplifying and inheriting properties of Ghrita, it has been referred to as excellent liquid medium. It is used for internal administration as well as an adjuvant; that is why it is given predominant value in daily routine diet.

Agadtantra is one of the important branches of Ashtang Ayurveda represents the branch of clinical toxicology arising from envenomations from the Sthavar (inanimate), Jangam (animate), and Kritrima Visha (concocted poisons). Considering its emergency nature, this branch of Ashtanga has a unique position. The properties of Visha described their fatal activities and also the severe toxic effects that are caused by various Visha. The properties of poison are exactly opposite the properties of Oja and they also have some specific action on Dosha, Dhatu, and Mala. Visha (poisons), after entering into the body, vitiate the blood first; next the Kapha, Pitta, and Vata along with their respective seats; and finally involve the heart (seat of Para Oja) and lead to the death of the body.

In Agadtantra, Ghrita is aptly used in various poisoning conditions either in the form of Siddha Ghrita (medicated Ghrita) as an antidote or it can be used as an Anupana (adjuvant) for the administration of different Agda. Emphasizing the prime importance of Ghrita in Agadtantra, Vagbhata mentioned that there is no medicine better than Ghrita in all kinds of poisons and in all stages of poisoning, which is specifically indicated in vata predominance poisoning conditions. Ghrita is to be considered as the best antidote that provides the support to Ojas. It is Madhura Rasa, Madhura Vipaka having Guru, Snigdha, Mirduguna, and SheetaVeerya. It increases the digestive fire, provides strength, is good for the brain as it increases the memory, is good for eye vision, and is good for the heart. It is refulgent, indiscreet, an aphrodisiac, and antipoisonous in nature. It rejuvenates the body, increases appetite, and also increases the luster of the skin.

The modern classics of Toxicology also mention Ghrita for the treatment of poisoning. Among the mechanical (physical) antidotes, fats, oils, milk, and egg albumin are mentioned. Ghrita, being an animal fat, comes under this group of antidotes. This group of substance delays the absorption of poison. They basically form a coating on the mucous membrane of the stomach and prevent the absorption of the poison. It is a complex lipid of glycerides (majorly triglycerides), free fatty acids, phospholipids, sterols, sterol esters, fat soluble vitamins (vitamin A, D, E and K), carbonyls, and hydrocarbons. It is used as media for the absorption of lipid-soluble vitamins or other active principles in the food or medicine. It is also used as a carrier media in certain medicines to facilitate the transport of active principles across the cell membrane, which is permeable only to lipid molecules such as the blood–brain barrier.

Keeping this view in mind, an attempt has been made to assemble the scattered information of Ghrita and its use in different animate, inanimate, and concocted poisoning conditions as a medicine or as an adjuvant along with its pharmacological actions in the contemporary view.


  Materials and Methods Top


The whole article is based on the literary review regarding Ghrita, which is collected from the Ayurveda compendium. The texts from Brihattrayee, that is, Charaka Samhita, Sushruta Samhita, Ashtanga Samgrha, and Ashtanga Hridaya, and their respective commentaries in Sanskrit as well as Hindi have been referred for this literary work. Research articles are also searched from various websites. All compiled matter is reorganized and critically analyzed for the discussion, and an attempt has been made to draw some fruitful conclusions. The observations have been made according to the use of Ghrita in different types of poison and the use of Ghrita in various formulations. Depending on the classical information, the antitoxic nature of Ghrita was justified.

Observations

Importance of Ghrita in Visha Chikitsa (Treatment of poisoning)

Ghrita has been extensively used as a medicine/ an adjuvant in all kinds of poison and all stages of poisoning for different purposes such as Stransan (mild purgation), Pralepa (application of paste on the skin), Bhojya (food), Aushadha (medicine) etc. in Visha Chikitsa. There is no medicine better than Ghrita in all kinds of poisons and in all stages of poisoning, especially indicated in Vata predominance conditions of poisoning. The uses of Ghrita in various conditions has been tabulated in 1-9.

Use of Ghrita in Hridayavaran Chikitsa

Hridyavaran is one of the most important treatment modalities mentioned in Chaturvinshati Upakarma (24 therapeutic procedures) by Charaka and it must be incorporated as the first line of treatment in all kinds of poisoning cases. Poison, after entering into the body, immediately vitiates the blood; then, simultaneously it vitiates all the Tridosha and its respective sites; and at last proves to be fatal for an individual after entering into the Hridaya. Poison, due to its penetrating property, weakens the heart; so in order to protect the heart, a person should be made to drink pure Ghrita, Ghrita mixed with honey, or Ghrita mixed with Agada (antipoisonous drugs) followed by Vaman (therapeutic emesis).

Use of Ghrita in various poisoning conditions


  Discussion Top


Poisoning is a situation that has been experienced by people in day-to-day life since ancient times and it causes serious aliments in life. In Agad tantra, which is an important branch of Ashtanga Ayurveda, Ghrita is judiciously used in the management of different poisoning conditions as Visha Guna is exactly opposite of Oja Guna. In daily routine diet, Ghrita is used in original form or as an adjuvant in various Agad formulations or it is assorted with different food items. As Ghrita is the most desirable substance, it is not only used in daily routine diet but also used for the treatment of various disease conditions.

Ghrita is used as one of the parts of various ancient medicines because of its capacity to reach up to a molecular level in the human body. So it is used as a perfect base for manufacturing various Ayurveda formulations. Due to the amplifying and inheriting properties of Ghrita, it has been referred to as an excellent liquid medium.

In Agadtantra, Ghrita is extensively used in the management of different Sthavar, Jangam and Kritrima Visha poisoning conditions. It is used as an antidote having an antipoisonous property either as a medicine or as an adjuvant by various routes such as oral, local application and Nasya, Anjana (corrylium). Ghrita is not only used in all kinds of poison, but it is also used in all states of poisoning. Different therapeutic measures such as Santrasan (mild purgation), Pralepa (external application of paste on skin), Bhojya (food), and Aushdh (drugs) should not be utilized without adding Ghrita for the management of different poisoning conditions. There is no medicine equal to Ghrita, especially in Vata predominance poisoning condition.[79]

It is good for the eyes as it increases vision and the production of semen, increases Agni, has MadhurVipaka, SheetaVirya (cold in potency), pacifies the Tridoshas, increases retention power/capacity (memory), and increases beauty, Ojas (immunity), and Teja (luster) etc. Go Ghrita is composed of saturated fat; it is also readily metabolized by the body and is a far safer choice. It can stimulate the secretion of stomach acids, hence fastening the digestive process. Go Ghrita can help in reducing cholesterol level in the intestine as well as the serum, because it can enhance the secretion of biliary lipids. It helps the body readily absorb the vitamins and minerals present in the food, offering complete nutrition and also strengthening the immune system. Go Ghrita can enhance the availability of enzymes that are responsible for the detoxification of cancer-causing substances.

Hridyavaran is one of the most important treatment modalities mentioned in Chaturvinshati Upakarma described by Caraka, and it is considered the first line of treatment in all kinds of poisoning cases specifically indicated in animate poisoning. It is specifically mentioned in the context of snake and scorpion bite management. Poison, after entering into the body, not only vitiates the Shonita-Tridosha but also vitiates the Oja and its site (heart). Poison, due to its penetrating property, weakens the heart; so for protection of the heart from the poison/venom, a person should be made to drink pure Ghrita, Ghrita mixed with honey, or Ghrita mixed with Agada (antipoisonous drugs) followed by Vaman (therapeutic emesis). So, Hridyavarana Upakarama is useful for protection of the heart from the poisonous effects of animate and inanimate poisons.

In ancient times, the king was seen as being vulnerable to different poisons through different routes administered by his enemies; so it is the imperative duty of a royal physician to protect the king against the future effects of poisoning. For that purpose, a preventive kind of Hridayavaran Chikitsa is mentioned by Sushruta, which can be considered as a preventive measure to protect the heart of the king from the poisonous effects of different types of probable poisoning. For that purpose, the king should every day regularly drink different wholesome cordials such as honey, clarified butter, curd, mild and cold water and consume the meat and soup of flesh of a peacock, mongoose, Godha (a species of lizard), or Prsata dear. Along with these cordials, different medicated Ghrita have been used, such as Ajeya Ghrita and Amrita Ghrita. In these ways, Ghrita is extensively used in the Hridyavaran Chikitsa, which is the first line of treatment in all poisoning conditions.

The treatment of Sthavara Visha is elaborated in Agad Tantra, where Ghrita is judiciously used. It is used as an adjuvant in the first, second, third, and fourth Sthavar Visha Vega Chikitsa; however, it is used as a medicine in the seventh Sthavar Visha Vega Chikitsa. The seventh Sthavar Visha Vega is a dreadful condition in which a patient who is going to die is treated with Avapeedaka Ghritapana. It is a special method of oral administration of Ghrita in 2 Kala that is, Pragbhakta (before food) in Hrishva Matra (minimal dose) and in Jeernantha Avastha (after digestion of food) in Uttama Matra (maximal dose).


  Conclusion Top


In Agada Tantra, different treatment modalities and medicines are used for the management of different venomous animal bites, such as snake, scorpion, spider etc. From the earlier discussion, Ghrita is used as a medicine in the different varieties of venomous snake bite. Ghrita is used as an adjuvant in the first, second, fourth, fifth, and sixth Vega of Sarvikara Sarpa Damsa Chikitsa. In Mandali Sarpa Damsa Chikitsa, it is used as an adjuvant in the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth Visha Vega. However, in Rajimana Sarpa Damsa Chikitsa, Ghrita has been extensively used as an adjuvant in the first, second, fourth, and fifth Visha Vega after the detoxification process. Ghrita is also used as an adjuvant in Taksaka Sarpa Damsa. In Kandchitra Sarpa Damsa, Ghrita is used as an adjuvant through oral administration and local application. In Krishan and Vasuki Sarpa Damsa, Ghrita has also been extensively used as an adjuvant. In Vrishchika Dansha, Ghrita has been extensively used through various routes of administration, such as oral, external sprinkling, external application, and external fumigation as an adjuvant or as a medicine. In scorpion bite, Ghrita is used as a medicine along with honey or Dadhi. External sprinkling of Ghrita mixed with Saindhav Lavana is used for getting immediate relief from pain in scorpion bite. In Keeta Visha, Ghrita has been extensively used as an adjuvant or as a medicine. Different medicated Ghrita has been used in various rat bite conditions such as Tanduliyamula Siddha Ghrita, DvinishaadiSidhhaGhrita, and Panchkapittha Siddha Ghrita. In Alarka Visha Chikitsa, the site of the bite is burnt with hot Ghrita. Purana Ghrita is orally used as a medicine in Alarka Visha Chikitsa. In Matsaya Visha, external application of Ghrita is used as a medicine. Acharya Charaka has mentioned the administration of Ghrita in the second and fourth Visha Vega condition.

Table 1: Use of Ghrita in Sthavara Visha[1],[2],[3],[4],[5],[6],[7],[8],[9],[10],[11],[12]

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Table 2: Use of Ghrita in Jangama Visha[13],[14],[15],[16],[17],[18],[19],[20],[21],[22],[23],[24],[25],[26],[27],[28],[29],[30],[31],[32],[33],[34],[35]

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Table 3: Use of Ghrita in Vrishchika Visha(scorpion bite)[36],[37],[38],[39],[40],[41],[42],[43],[44],[45],[46],[47]

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Table 4: Use of Ghrita in Keeta Visha (insect bite)[36],[48],[49],[50]

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Table 5: Use of Ghrita in Aakhu Visha (Rat bite)[51],[52],[53],[54],[55]

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Table 6: Use of Ghrita in Alarka Visha (Rabid dog bite)[56],[57],[58]

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Table 7: Use of Ghrita in Matsaya Visha (Fish bite poisoning)[59]

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Table 8: Use of Ghrita in Visha Vega (stages of poisoning acc to Acharya Charaka)[60],[61]

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Table 9: Use of Ghrita as a medicine (Agada-antidote) or an adjuvant[4],[6],[45],[46],[47],[48],[49],[50],[51],[52],[53],[54],[55],[56],[57],[58],[59],[60],[61],[62],[63]

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Financial Support and Sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of Interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
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Tripathi B Charak Samhita Part 2, Chikitsasthan, 23/ 210. Varansi: Choukhamba Surbharti Publication; 2005. p. 795.  Back to cited text no. 59
    
60.
Tripathi B Charak Samhita Part 2, Chikitsasthan, 23/ 46. Varansi: Choukhamba Surbharti Publication; 2005. p. 758.  Back to cited text no. 60
    
61.
Tripathi B Charak Samhita Part 2, Chikitsasthan, 23/ 48. Varansi: Choukhamba Surbharti Publication; 2005. p. 758.  Back to cited text no. 61
    
62.
Tripathi B Ashtang Hridayam, Nirmala Hindi commentary, Uttarsthanam, 35/ 22. New Delhi: Choukhamba Sanskrit Pratisthan; 2007. p. 786. Reprint.  Back to cited text no. 62
    
63.
Tripathi B Ashtang Hridayam, Nirmala Hindi commentary, Uttarsthanam, 35/ 23. New Delhi: Choukhamba Sanskrit Pratisthan; 2007. p. 786. Reprint.  Back to cited text no. 63
    
64.
Gupta KA Ashtang Sangrah, Hindi commentary Part 2. Uttarsthanam 40/ 72. Varansi: Choukhamba Krishnadas Academy; 2016. p. 854. Reprint.  Back to cited text no. 64
    
65.
Gupta KA Ashtang Sangrah, Hindi commentary Part 2. Uttarsthanam 40/ 74. Varansi: Choukhamba Krishnadas Academy; 2016. p. 854. Reprint.  Back to cited text no. 65
    
66.
Tripathi B Ashtang Hridayam, Nirmala Hindi commentary, Uttarsthanam, 37/ 70. New Delhi: Choukhamba Sanskrit Pratisthan; 2007. p. 806. Reprint.  Back to cited text no. 66
    
67.
Tripathi B Ashtang Hridayam, Nirmala Hindi commentary, Uttarsthanam, 37/ 72. New Delhi: Choukhamba Sanskrit Pratisthan; 2007. p. 807. Reprint.  Back to cited text no. 67
    
68.
Tripathi B Ashtang Hridayam, Nirmala Hindi commentary, Uttarsthanam, 37/ 73. New Delhi: Choukhamba Sanskrit Pratisthan; 2007. p. 807. Reprint.  Back to cited text no. 68
    
69.
Gupta KA Ashtang Sangrah, Hindi commentary Part 2. Uttarsthanam 46/ 21. Varansi: Choukhamba Krishnadas Academy; 2016. p. 894. Reprint.  Back to cited text no. 69
    
70.
Tripathi B Ashtang Hridayam, Nirmala Hindi commentary, Uttarsthanam, 38/ 26. New Delhi: Choukhamba Sanskrit Pratisthan; 2007. p. 810. Reprint.  Back to cited text no. 70
    
71.
Gupta KA Ashtang Sangrah, Hindi commentary Part 2. Uttarsthanam 46/ 21. Varansi: Choukhamba Krishnadas Academy; 2016. p. 894. Reprint.  Back to cited text no. 71
    
72.
Gupta KA Ashtang Sangrah, Hindi commentary Part 2. Uttarsthanam 46/ 25. Varansi: Choukhamba Krishnadas Academy; 2016. p. 894. Reprint.  Back to cited text no. 72
    
73.
Gupta KA Ashtang Sangrah, Hindi commentary Part 2. Uttarsthanam 44/ 24. Varansi: Choukhamba Krishnadas Academy; 2016. p. 884. Reprint.  Back to cited text no. 73
    
74.
Gupta KA Ashtang Sangrah, Hindi commentary Part 2. Uttarsthanam 44/ 25. Varansi: Choukhamba Krishnadas Academy; 2016. p. 884. Reprint.  Back to cited text no. 74
    
75.
Shashtri A Sushrut Samhita Part 1. Kalpasthan, 5/74. Varansi: Choukhamba Sanskrit Sansthan; 2005. p. 65.  Back to cited text no. 75
    
76.
Shashtri A Sushrut Samhita Part 1. Kalpasthan, 6/10. Varansi: Choukhamba Sanskrit Sansthan; 2005. p. 69.  Back to cited text no. 76
    
77.
Shashtri A Sushrut Samhita Part 1. Kalpasthan, 6/23. Varansi: Choukhamba Sanskrit Sansthan; 2005. p. 69.  Back to cited text no. 77
    
78.
Tripathi B Charak Samhita Part 2, Chikitsasthan, 23/218. Varansi: Choukhamba Surbharti Publication; 2005. p. 797.  Back to cited text no. 78
    
79.
Tripathi B Ashtang Hridayam, Nirmala Hindi commentary, Uttarsthanam, 35/ 69-70. New Delhi: Choukhamba Sanskrit Pratisthan; 2007. p. 790. Reprint.  Back to cited text no. 79
    



 
 
    Tables

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4], [Table 5], [Table 6], [Table 7], [Table 8], [Table 9]



 

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