Development of validated spectrophotometric method for routine analysis of an Ayurvedic formulation, Pancasama Churna

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About Authors:
Megha Sharma,
M.Pharma (quality assurance)
Shoolini university of life sciences,
Bhajol, Solan, Himachal Pradesh.

Traditional medicine, especially ayurveda, is gaining tremendous popularity in modern times due to several reasons. Though, there is still a lack of scientific tests to evaluate the quality, quantity, potency, safety and efficacy of ayurvedic formulations. Need of the hour is to develop simple routine analysis methods to eliminate the problems faced by both practitioners and patients due to sub standard medicines.[4]


Traditional medicine has seen a dramatic revival in recent times. Traditional medicine is also called alternative medicine or holistic medicine.

WHO defines traditional medicine as follows:

Traditional medicine can be defined as the knowledge, skills and practice of holistic health care, recognized and accepted for its role in maintenance of health and treatment of disease. It is based on indegenious theories. Beliefs and experiences handed down from generation to generation[2].


Traditional medicine is sum total of knowledge, skills, practices based upon the theories, beliefs, experiences indegeneous to different cultures that are used to maintain health as well as to prevent, diagnose, improve or treat illness[2].

Ayurveda : the backbone of traditional medicine

“Ayurveda is the most ancient, continuously practiced health care discipline in the world.” [3] 

World Health Organization, Quality Control Methods For Medicinal Plants Materials, Geneva.(1998)[2] had listed the benefits and limitations of ayurvedic formulations as under : Benefits of ayurvedic formulations

1.      Less side effects –If used properly, they have fewer side effects as compared to their synthetic pharmaceutical counterparts.

2.      Mother nature advantage-Since they are natural, body responds to them better.

3.      Age old practice-They are thousand years old and have a long track record of successful, safe and effective use. Whereas, modern medicines are relatively new.

4.      More effective-In some cases they prove to be more effective than their synthetic pharmaceutical counterparts. For example, successful use of plant Artemesia in malaria.

5.      Grass root treatment-Modern medicine focuses on treating symptoms, whereas ayurveda focuses on treating the disease itself.

Limitations of ayurvedic formulations

1. No side effects is a half truth-If used improperly, plenty of plants are poisonous and deadly. Various side effects may appear if –

· Poor quality herbs are being used.

· Ayurvedic formulation is used in conjunction with other incompatible drug

· Dose or dosage regimen is improper.

2. Delayed action-They take longer time to act as compared to their pharmaceutical synthetic counterparts.

Types of Ayurvedic formulations:[5]
Ayurvedic medicines are formulated in various dosage forms as follows :
· Churnas – powder form
· Vati – tablet form
· Arishta and Asava – liquid fermented form
· Kwaath – concentrated semi liquid form
· Gutika – pill form
· Ghrita- medicated ghee form
· Kashayam- decoction form

Out of above mentioned dosage forms, churnas are the most common.

Ayurvedic churnas
Churna is a fine powder of a drug or drugs which is prepared by mixing clean, finely powdered, and sieved drugs

 Ayurvedic churnas are tasty and delicious powders taken after or before meals.They are taken-

1.      With water
2.      With milk
3.      With honey
4.      Alone

Churnas are oldest form of ayurvedic formulations .Churnas are most common as well as they have various advantages like

· since they are in powder form, disintegration step is bypassed and drug is absorbed faster than in tablet form (vati and gutika).
· Churnas are easier to be swallowed therefore they are a preferred choice for children and elderly patients
· Their formulation is comparatively simple.



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