Shastrokta Rasa shala – Classical Ayurvedic pharmacy set up

Rasa shala= Bheshajgara= Ayurvedic Pharmacy


In Ayurvedic pharmacology, pharmacy is a well advanced branch.  Crude drugs are rarely administered, various formulations ranging from simple distillates (arka), decoctions (Kwatha), linctus (leha, avaleha) and powders (churna) to elaborate pharmaceutical preparations like pills of different sizes and medicated oils are available.  In liquid formulation too a wide range exists.  These are swarara kwatha, phanta and alcoholic extracts.  The potency is highest in fresh juice and lowest in cold water.

ayurvedic pharmacyBefore entering into the selection and processing of aushadhi for therapeutic purpose, it is necessary to get acquainted about the selection of place and construction of the pharmacy.

Construction of Ayurvedic Pharmacy

While selecting a place for the establishment of a pharmacy and during construction, following points should be kept in view:

1. It should be free from impediments – both man-made and providential.

2. Green & dried herbs should be available in the campus or nearby or they can be cultivated and stored inside.

3. It should look beautiful and be located near the sources of water like well, ponds and river.

4. The area should be surrounded by a boundary wall.

5. The statue of Rasa Bhairava should be located in the eastern side.

6. In agni kona (south-east direction) fire place should be located in the southern side.

7. Equipment for trituration, making paste, etc., should be located in the southern side.

8. Nairutya kona (place in the south-east direction) should be used for manufacturing and storing yantra (cooking equipment).

9. The place in western side should be used for washing.

10. Green herbs and freshly prepared medicines should be dried in the vayuvya kona.

11. The place in the northern side should be used for processing mercury and other metals as well as minerals.

12. Bhasma (processed fine powders of mercury, metals and minerals) tablets, medicated oils, medicated ghee, linctus should be stored in the house located in the ishana kona (north eastern direction).

Equipment & raw drugs used in Ayurvedic pharmacy

The following equipment and raw drugs which are frequently required should be stored in the pharmaceutical laboratory:

1. Pestles &  mortars of  different size and shape.  These are made of either stone or iron or crystals.

2. Bottles, pots, cups, plates, utensils & jars made of glass, mud, wood as well as metals for storing raw drugs and finished products.

3. Equipment like forceps, spatula, spoon, knife, scissors, sieves, crucibles & yantras.

4. Weighing machines and balances of different capacity & shape.

5. Different types of fuel like wood, cow-dung cake, coal, charcoal & husk.

6. Mercury, other metals, minerals, drugs of vegetable origin, animal products, poisons of vegetable origin, salts, alkalies, gems & jewels.

Plan for pharmacy

According to modern pharmaceutics, the pharmacy should be constructed near to hospital.  The space and equipment required for the manufacture of pharmaceuticals depends on the number and type of products to be prepared and the processes involved in the production.  Since each dosage from required specialized production equipment and techniques, there may be separate areas of production for tablets, capsules, liquids, ointments and parenteral preparation, etc.  In the manufacture of all sorts of preparations, various steps are involved which require space and special equipment.  The total pharmacy is planned in the form of square shape, it will be divided into two parts the space is allowed for the passage.  In one part, the total area is divided into three divisions, first division is meant for sterilization purpose which is called aseptic section.  Second division contains different machines related with manufacturing of medicines.  The next division is divided further into three parts in one part raw material is stored, in second part, the semi processed raw materials will be stored and on the third part the finished products will be stored.

The second major division of the pharmacy is again further divided into one small part and large part in small part the administrative unit is arranged , the large part contains different types of counters meant for dispense different types of medicines this part also includes reception.

Factory premises

1. Manufacturer should have adequate space

a) Receiving & storing raw materials (it may be animal / herbal origin).

b) It should have adequate space for manufacturing process area.

Eg. In Ayurvedic pharmacy they prepare taila, Aasava, Arista, etc. there are some particular places are mentioned for preparation of pisti there should be 100 sq.ft. for

Churna, Aasva, Arista – 200 sq.ft.

Kajjali – 100 sq.ft.

Syrups – 150 sq.ft.

All the section of these preparation should be separately made.

c) Each Ayurvedic pharmacy / factory should have adequate space for quality control.  Each and every batch of medicine should be experimented by giving to animals.  This is known the efficiency of medicine.

d) Should have adequate space for finished good store.  The finished product should be stored in well hygienic place.

1. Adequate space for rejected gods / drugs.  By quality control some of the products of medicines are rejected.  Even the breakage goods should be discarded.  Even some of the raw materials also rejected.

2. Location & surroundings

Medicine should be prevented by contamination products like –

  • Open sewage
  • drainage
  • public factory which produces some dust fumes or some chemical gases.

3. Buildings

Some minimum standard of materials should be used to construct a building.

The building should have –

  • Adequate light and ventilation
  • The walls should not be damped, i.e., moisture which may spoil the medicine.

Arrangement of section is done to avoid the mixing of some drugs contamination, etc.  Thus the building should be like this where no step of manufacture should be missed.

4. Building should be constructed such a way that the insect, worms should not enter.

5. Flooring should be smooth and even, should not permit the accumulation of dust and waste product

  • water supply
  • disposal of waste
  • workers health
  • some records should be maintained
  • record of market complaints.

In ancient day certain rules and regulations, to construct pharmacy, they constructed in such a way that they give importance to all things like raw drug collection, preservation and preparation.  It is adopted in 1940 June 22.

The concept of ancient, modern pharmacy are same but techniques are different:

6. Water supply

Water used in manufacture of medicine should be pure and potable quality, adequate, provision of water supply.

7. Disposal of waste

There should be separate chamber for disposal of waste.  To avoid the contamination of the medicine, the waste should be disposed in such a way that it should not hamper the environment.

8. Containers cleaning

In pharmacy some containers like bottle, jars, vessels, there should be adequate arrangement to wash clean and drying of the containers and such others.

9. Stores

Storage should have proper ventilation and free from dampness.

It should have adequate space for storage of raw material:

  • package material
  • finished products

10. Raw materials are of different category:

  • metallic origin
  • mineral origin
  • animal sources
  • fresh herbs & dry herbs

11. Packing materials

Bottles, jars, capsules

All packing materials should be moist free.

12. Finished goods store

means the prepared medicine, packed labelled finished goods are dispatched from the production area and this is moved to approved goods store are and then it should be marketed. Along with this a minimum quality standard of equipment should be used in the preparation of medicine.

13. Batch manufacturing records.

Record of market complaints through some medical representatives, the medicine is dispatched.  The medical representatives should consult with the physician and then it is dispatched to the market.

Quality control section

1. Quality control section shall verify all the raw materials, monitor in process quality checks and control the quality of finished product being released to finished good store.  Preferable for such quality control there should be separate expert quality control section.

2. For identification of raw drugs, reference book and reference sample should maintain.  Manufacturing record should maintain for various process.

3. To verify the finished product controlled sample of finished product of each batch will be kept for 3 years.

4. Manufacturers who are manufacturing patent proprietary ayurveda medicine shall provide their own specification and control references in respect of such formulation drug.

5. The record of specific method and procedure of operation i.e., Bhasma, Mardana, Puta of every process carried out by the manufacture shall be maintained.

6. The standards for identity, purity and strength as given in respective pharmacopoeias of Ayurveda system of medicine published by Govt. of India shall be compiled with.

7. All the new material will be monitored for fungal, bacterial contamination with a view to minimize such contamination.

8. Quality control section will have minimum of 1 person with degree qualification in Ayurveda as per Schedule II of Indian Medicine Central Council Act, 1990 of a recognised university or Board provided the Bachelor of Pharmacy, Pharmacognacy & Chemistry may be associated with quality control section.

A site for the Ayurvedic pharmacy is chosen where there is no obstacle of any kind where all medicinal herbs are available which is beneficial and beautiful to look at and consists of a well pharmacy building is built at the north position and north-west portion or eastern part of a site this Rasashala should be equipped with all kind of equipment and is beautiful to look at and should be surrounded with the compounds.

Rasa Bhairava is installed at the eastern side of the pharmacy all the instrument relating to fire work are assembled at the southern part grinding work is performed.  An arrangement is made for the process using sharp instrument at the south west position of pharmacy.  In the western region, there should be facility for all kinds of cleaning, washing, etc. drying operation should be done at north western corners and the vedha karma is carried out at southern region of pharmacy.  At north eastern part, arrangement is made for storage of prepared medicine as well as raw mineral drug.

Equipment & Raw Drugs

All the equipment such as Kosti like Satava Pathana, Pathala Kosti, , water storage tank or container of different stage or Vastrika metalic and bamboo, pipes, vessels and utensils of gold, iron, copper, bronze, leather and many other useful instrument equipment as well as material drugs, etc. are collected and stored in the pharmacy.  Similarly, different type of Peshani, Droni, kinds of mortars and suitable pestles, the sieves consisting 1000 of tiny holes for filtering of liquid, knives and such other things are kept, ready in the Ayurvedic pharmacy apart from these mud used for preparation of Musa, tula,  cotton, cow-dung cakes, floor and all the 3 kind of drugs are stored also coal dried cow-dung powder, sand bottle made of glass mud, etc., should be preserved in the pharmacy various type of pot and vessels specially for heating, cooking the medicine and large knife for cutting are stored.

The following equipment and raw drugs which are frequently required should be stored in Ayurvedic pharmacy:

1. Pestles & mortars of different size & shape – these are made of either stone or iron or crystals.

2. Bottles, pots, cups, blades, utensils and jars made of glass, mud, wood as well as metals for storing raw drugs and finished product.

3. Equipment like forceps, spatula, spoon, knife, sieves, yantras, weighing machines and balances of different capacity and shape.

4. Different types of fuel like wood, cow-dung cake, coal, charcoal & husk.

5. Hg other metals, minerals, drugs of vegetable origin, animal products, poison of vegeable / animal origin, salt, alkalies, gems & jewels.

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