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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 34  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 188-197

Śodhana: An Ayurvedic process for detoxification and modification of therapeutic activities of poisonous medicinal plants


1 Department of Ayurveda Pharmacy, Ayurvedic Pharmacy Laboratory, Rajiv Gandhi South Campus, Banaras Hindu University, Barkachha, Mirzapur, Uttar Pradesh, India
2 Department of Dravyaguna, Faculty of Ayurveda, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Santosh Kumar Maurya
Ayurvedic Pharmacy Laboratory, Rajiv Gandhi South Campus, Banaras Hindu University, Barkachha Mirzapur - 231001, Uttar Pradesh
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0257-7941.160862

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Ayurveda involves the use of drugs obtained from plants, animals, and mineral origin. All the three sources of drugs can be divided under poisonous and nonpoisonous category. There are various crude drugs, which generally possess unwanted impurities and toxic substances, which can lead to harmful health problems. Many authors have reported that not all medicinal plants are safe to use since they can bear many toxic and harmful phytoconstituents in them. Śodhana (detoxification/purification) is the process, which involves the conversion of any poisonous drug into beneficial, nonpoisonous/nontoxic ones. Vatsanābha (Aconitum species), Semecarpus anacardium, Strychnos nux-vomica, Acorus calamus, Abrus precatorius etc., are some of the interesting examples of toxic plants, which are still used in the Indian system of medicine. Aconite, bhilawanols, strychnine, β-asarone, abrin are some of the toxic components present in these plants and are relatively toxic in nature. Śodhana process involves the purification as well as reduction in the levels of toxic principles which sometimes results in an enhanced therapeutic efficacy. The present review is designed to extensively discuss and understand the scientific basis of the alternative use of toxic plants as a medicine after their purification process.


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