In Ayurveda, drug manufacturing is done by various methods and every process has their unique qualities and properties. In this article you will know a brief information of Arka, how they are prepared and what are characteristics of arka.
Arka is an Ayurvedic preparation/ medicine in liquid form. Arka is obtained by distillation method. This very interesting that in that era (5000 yrs ago), Ayurveda was so much advanced in manufacturing medicines. Arka is an Ayurvedic medicine which is prepared by one of the advanced method in which distillation of certain liquids or herbs soaked in water using a special equipment called Arkayantra or any convenient modern distillation apparatus is performed.
Method of preparation of Arka-
- First, you have to clean herbs, keep it for drying and then make it coarsely powdered.
- Add some quantity of water to the powdered herbs for soaking and keep it over-night. By soaking herbs over night makes them soft and releases the essential volatile principles easily when boiled.
- Pour soaked herbs along with remaining water in to Arka yantra or distillation apparatus. Add some more water (around 4 times of herbs, for example- if you are taking 1 kg of herbs, add 4 liters of water).
- When it starts boiling, the vapors get condensed and collected in a receiver.
- Keep collected essence (Arka) for cooling and then collect in bottle. Ensure its cork should be air tight so that volatile extract will not get evaporated and potency of Arka remains for a longer period.
Important Note- It is found that, in the beginning, the vapors consists of only steam and may not contain the essential principles of the herbs. So it is better to discard that part. The last portion also may not contain therapeutically essential substance and should be discarded.
Characteristics of Arka-
Arka is a suspension of the distillate in water.
- Arka has slight turbidity.
- The color of the Arka will be according to the nature of the herbs used.
- The smell of the Arka will be according to predominant drug.
I think, now you are very much aware of Arka (Ayurvedic medicine). Due its light weight in nature (Laghu Guna), it is highly potent herbal medicine which acts very fast. Some of the common Arka available in market are- Pudina Arka (Dabur Pudina Hara), Punarnava Arka, Tulasi Arka etc.