Article by Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay)
Ayurveda excels in treating osteoarthritis and other diseases related to bones, joints and musculoskeletal system, just like any other diseases.
Adityapaka Guggulu, this term can be split into 3 components:
Aditya means Sun, Paka means processed or cooked or prepared, Guggulu means Commiphora Mukul.
Thus Adityapaka Guggulu means a medicinal formulation or compound with Guggulu as the chief ingredient, prepared or processed by repeatedly processing the ingredients (including Guggulu) in the heat of the Sun.
Adityapak Guggulu is one of the popular Guggulu Kalpas. Guggulu Kalpas are a set of formulations which are prepared with Guggulu or Commiphora mukul as the chief ingredient.
The name of the Kalpas change according to the ingredients used the methods in which they are prepared or the diseases in which they are indicated.
Indications and benefits of Adityapak Guggul –
It is used to treat the below said conditions
Sandhigata Vata – Osteoarthritis
Asthigata Vata – Bone and soft tissue pain
Majjagata Vata / Majjagata vikara – Diseases pertaining to bone marrow due to the affliction by morbid vayu, osteoporosis, osteopenia etc conditions, neuromuscular diseases
Vata Vyadhi / Vata vikaras – Diseases caused due to vitiation and sever aggravation of Vata or Vayu, degenerative diseases, neuromuscular and musculoskeletal diseases
Adityapaka Guggulu is said to ward off the above said diseases especially Vata Vyadhi’s or Vata rogas just like the thunderbolts (lightening) destroys groups of trees in the forest
Adityapaka Guggulu – Ingredients and method of preparation –
पृथक् पलांशा त्रिफला पिप्पली च इति चूर्णितम्।
दशमूल अंबुना भाव्यं त्वक् एला अर्ध पलान्वितम्॥
दत्त्वा पलानि पञ्च एव गुग्गुलोः वटकी कृतः।
एवं मांस रस अभ्यासात् वात रोगान् अशेषतः।
हन्ति सन्धि अस्थि मज्जास्थान् वृक्षम् इन्द्राशनिः यथा॥
लेहवत् द्विगुणेन आयम् आलोड्य आलोड्य च आतपे।
दशमूल अंबुना शोष्यः सप्त वारान् सु गुग्गुलुः॥(चि.सा.सं.२१४-२१६)
Pruthak palaamshaa triphalaa pippalee cha iti choornitam
Dashamoola ambunaa bhaavyam twak ela ardha palaanvitam
Dattvaa palaani pancha eva gugguloho vatakee krutaha
Evam maamsa rasa abhyaasaat vaata rogaan asheshataha
Hanta sandhi asthi majjaasthaan vruksham indrashanihi yathaa
Lehavat dwigunena aayam aalodya aalodya cha aatape
Dashamoola ambundaa shoshyaha sapta vaaraan su gugguluhi (Ref – Chikitsa Saara Sangraha 214-216)
The below mentioned are ingredients of Adityapaka Guggulu:
Haritaki – Terminalia chebula – 1 pala quantity (48 grams approximately)
Bibhitaki – Terminalia bellirica – 1 pala quantity (48 grams approximately)
Amalaki – Phyllanthus Emblica / Emblica officinalis (Indian gooseberry) – 1 pala quantity (48 grams approximately)
Pippali – Piper longum (long pepper) – 1 pala quantity (48 grams approximately)
Twak – Cinnamomum zeylanicum (Cinnamon) – ½ pala quantity (24 grams approximately)
Ela – Elettaria cardamomum (cardamom) – ½ pala quantity (24 grams approximately)
Guggulu – Commiphora mukul – 5 pala quantity (240 grams approximately)
Dashamula Kashayam – Decoction of roots of 10 herbs – For Bhavana and paka of ingredients (impregnation, triturating and processing of the ingredients)
The dashamoolas or 10 roots are as mentioned below:
Bilwa – Aegle marmelos
Agnimantha – Clerodendrum phlomidis / Premna mucronata (obtusifolia)
Shyonaka – Oroxylum indicum
Patala – Stereospermum suaveolens
Gambhari – Gmelina arborea
Shalaparni – Desmodium gangeticum
Prishniparni – Uraria picta
Brihati – Solanum indicum
Kantakari – Solanum surattense / Solanum xanthocarpum
Gokshura – Tribulus terrestris
Haritaki, Bibhitaki and Amalaki together are called Triphala or 3 fruits (because the fruits of these herbs are used in the medicine)
Method of preparation –
The above said medicaments should be taken and impregnated in the decoction (Kashayam) of Dashamoola (Dashamula).
Later the contents are kept in the heat of the Sun and left to stay until the ingredients get saturated with the Kashayam and get dry. This means to tell that the medicines dipped in the Kashayam are kept in the heat of the sun until the water content of the decoction gets evaporated.
The process of impregnating the ingredients in Dashamoola Kwatham (synonym of Kashayam) and drying it in the heat of the Sun is repeated for 7 times. Later the tablets are made out of the ingredients (paste) left out after the evaporation of kashayam. The tablets are dried in the Sun heat.
The tablets thus prepared after drying the ingredients of the compound in the heat of the Sun are called Adityapaka Guggulu.
Usable form –
The medicine is used in the form of Vati or tablets.
1-2 tablets per day or as directed by the physician
Vehicle (Anupana) –
The medicine should be taken with Mamsa Rasa (meat soup) or Ushnodaka (hot water)
Speciality and probable mode of action of Adityapaka Guggulu –
Adityapaka Guggulu is made up of – Guggulu in combination with Triphala, impregnation with Dashamula Kashayam, Pippali, Twak and Ela.
Guggulu is a magical remedy in many diseases. It is the best in the business of rectifying and stabilizing the metabolic errors.
It removes blocks in various channels of the body and facilitates easy transportation of nutrients and essentials. Guggulu effectively alleviates Vata which is basically the causative factor for all the painful conditions including osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, osteopenia, degenerative diseases, Vata disorders etc. It is also a potential analgesic.
Dashamula is known for its anti-inflammatory property. Thus Dashamula cures oedema, swelling and inflammation associated with bone and joint disorders. Dashamula along with Guggulu halts or delays degeneration.
Along with Pippali, Twak, Ela and Guggulu, Dashamula acts in tackling Agnimandhya or sluggish digestion (errors of metabolism) and kindles the fire. Indigestion is the chief cause for the formation of the above said disorders. When indigestion and metabolic errors are tackled in a proper way, the above said diseases are not manifested.
Indigestion causes ama or improperly processed essence of digestion which due to its sticky nature clogs the channels of the body leading to deficit supply of nutrients and essential elements to the bones and soft tissues around the bony joints.
When the bone and muscle tissues are not nourished properly, they get degenerated. When the tissues degenerate, Vata vitiation takes place causing diseases like Sandhigata Vata, Asthigata Vata, Majjagata Vata and a wide set of Vata disorders.
Dashamula along with the above said medicines relieves these blocks and cleanses these channels by setting the metabolism into rhythm. The whole combination is highly effective in destroying morbid Vata.
Koshta shuddhi or clean and sterile gut is very essential for healing the bone and joint disorders. For this to happen, the Apana Vayu functions should be rectified. The Apana Vayu should be allowed to move freely in the downward direction, normal for this subtype of Vata.
The potent laxative action of Triphala helps in evacuating the bowels properly. The excretion of metabolic wastes will help free movement of apana vata. Constipation and the body toxins left over without being eliminated properly will create pressure on the bones and soft tissues thus increasing or aggravating pain, stiffness, swelling etc symptoms.
The vata alleviating property of Trikatu, Guggulu and Triphala in the compound imparts a total and comprehensive effect on the morbid Vata.
The laxative property of Triphala helps in pushing the vitiated Vata in a downward direction, hence clearing the lower passages and keeping the abdomen and pelvis clean and sterile.
Since Pakwashaya or large intestine is said to be the predominant site of Vayu from where the Vayu governs the whole body, this region should be kept clean and sterile. Regular bowel movements will keep the Pakwashaya healthy. The herbs in this compound will help to tackle the vitiated Vata.
Constipation is one common condition which can be found in the backdrop of all the above said conditions. Constipation can cause and aggravate the above said conditions. The need of an effective carminative and a laxative is fulfilled by the potent action of Triphala.
Apart from being a potential laxative, Triphala has Rasayana properties (rejuvenation, anti-ageing, immune modulator) which helps in effective healing and also in preventing relapses.
It also acts as an anti-inflammatory and also reduces oedema associated with piles and fistula. Guggulu, twak, ela and pippali too imparts the properties of Rasayana (rejuvenation, anti-ageing, immune modulator, disease modifying agents).
According to Ayurveda, the tissues are chronologically formed one after the other being nourished by Rasa dhatu (circulating nutrients). Asthi (bone) and Majja (bone marrow) tissues are formed after Mamsa (flesh or muscles) and Meda (fat tissue). Meda (fat tissue) is the immediate precursor of the bone tissue. If the fat metabolism is disturbed, the bone tissue is not formed properly.
This leads to the above said pathological conditions of the bones and joints. Excess body weight and obesity is often found to worsen the complaints of arthritis and back pain.
The lipolytic and fat destroying property of Guggulu along with Pippali and Triphala will take care of fat metabolism. This will bring the bone metabolism back to rhythm. The bone and bone marrow destruction will come to halt.
Since the medicines of this compound are processed and prepared by giving many exposures to the heat of the sun, the compound would have acquired the Sun energy. We know that many bone diseases are caused due to deficiency of Vitamin D, supplement of this vitamin is a must for recovery.
Adityapaka Guggulu can be said to be rich in Vitamin D content due to this method of preparation. Since the body gets sun energy, it fortifies the solar plexus of the body. Sun energy is heat energy.
By balancing the heat energy, Adityapaka Guggulu balances the metabolism in the body. Being antagonistic to Vata and Kapha, the medicine combats vitiated Vata and Kapha and helps in curing the above said diseases.
Limitations of Adityapaka Guggulu –
Adityapaka Guggulu might not be a universal remedy for the above said conditions in everyone, because the treatment and medication differs from person to person depending on their Prakriti (birth constitution) and Vikriti (nature of morbidity).
Other disease modifying medicines might be required to enhance the effect of this compound. Likewise treatments to heal the pain including external treatments like Abhyanga (herbal oil massage), Swedana (various types of fomentation or sweat inducing treatments), Sthanika Vasti (local oil pooling treatments) etc and internal treatments like Vasti (medicated enemas), Virechana (therapeutic purgation) etc might be required in order to enhance the effect of healing. Proper diet and lifestyle modifications also should be added to the prescription.
Just before finishing –
Osteoarthritis, osteopenia, osteoporosis and other musculoskeletal disorders are on a raise in the modern era. Erratic diet, imbalanced and mutually incompatible foods, nutritional deficiency, undisciplined lifestyle, everything are contributing towards number of global cases of these painful conditions.
Being cautious about these things and taking good care of selves wills serve the purpose. After all, prevention is better than cure. But if the symptoms of the above said diseases are felt, you can think about getting it attended in a natural way. Try Ayurvedic way of treatment and medication to enjoy better quality and quantity of health.
Click to Consult Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ayu)