Veerya (also spelled as Virya) means potency or active components. The ayurvedic pharmacological principles include five factors, viz. rasa (taste), guna (qualities), veerya (potency), vipaka (post-digestive effect), and prabhava (significant effect). These are commonly known as rasa-panchaka or dravyagat pancha padartha. Veerya is one of the crucial factors in constituting the pharmacology of drug. In pharmacology, as per Ayurveda, the word Veerya [SAT Code- F.22] is envisaged as the potential factor of the drug by which it performs specific actions in the body. This broad term is employed to explain lesser or greater potential drug factors concerning different processes and procedures to achieve the desired effect in the body.
Bhojani M. K. 1,|
Joglekar Aishwarya 2,
Joshi Sumedh 3
1 Department of Sharir Kriya, All India Institute of Ayurveda, New Delhi, India |
2 Department of Samhita Siddhant, All India Institute of Ayurveda, New Delhi, India
3Department of Dravyaguna, All India Institute of Ayurveda, New Delhi, India
4 Rheumatologist, Orlando, Florida, U.S.A.
5 Department of Kayachikitsa, G. J. Patel Institute of Ayurvedic Studies and Research, New Vallabh Vidyanagar, Gujarat, India
|Publisher||Charak Samhita Research, Training and Development Centre, I.T.R.A., Jamnagar, India|
|Date of publication:||Febraury 04, 2023|
The term ‘Veerya’ is derived from the grammatical Sanskrit root ‘Veer’ or ‘Vri’ meaning ‘Vikranti’ or specific power to express vigour, strength etc. Monnier Williams dictionary mentions veerya means vigour, strength, power; heroism, prowess, valour, fortitude, courage, firmness; virile energy, virility; dignity, consequence; splendour, lustre, vigour, energy and virility. It also synonymous with terms like shukra dhatu (reproductive components including semen, virility), param dhatu (ultimate dhatu, nectar of all the dhatu), shakti (potency), dravya karma (drug action), prabhava, parakrama (valour or courage) as termed in Vachaspatyam.
Dravya is classified into two types: rasa pradhana (dominated by rasa) and veerya- pradhana (dominated by veerya). [Chakrapani on Cha.Sa. Sutra Sthana 2/17] The dietary items (ahara dravya) are considered rasa pradhana, while medicines (aushadha) are deemed to be veerya pradhana. The aushadha are again divided into three types based on veerya, namely mild (mrudu veerya), moderate (madhyama veerya) and sharply acting (teekshna veerya) [Chakrapani on Cha.Sa. Sutra Sthana 2/17]. This can be summarised in the table given below:
|Veerya wise classification||Examples||Matra (dose) to be used|
|Teekshna veerya||Shunthyadi (herbs like Shunthi- Zingiber offincinale)||Karsha (12 grams)|
|Madhyama veerya||Bilva-agnimanthadi (herbs like Bilva- Aegle marmelos and Agnimantha- Premna serratifolia etc.)||Ardhapala (24 grams)|
|Mridu veerya||Amalakadi (herbs like Amalaki- Phyllanthus emblica)||Pala (48 grams)|
|Sr. No||Author name||Opinion||Reference|
|1.||Charak||Considers chintya (explainable) and achintya (unexplainable) veerya.||Cha. Sa. Sutra Sthana 26/70|
|Defines veerya as the potency or power of the drug through which it performs its work or action||Cha.Sa. Sutra Sthana.26/65|
|2.||Sushruta||Denoted veerya as the generator of a drug action||Su.Sa. Sutra Sthana.40/3|
|3.||Dalhana||Karma (action) that cannot be performed by dravya, rasa, guna, or vipaka is veerya. Veerya is activity potential or karyashakti of dravya.||Dalhana on Su.Sa. Sutra Sthana.40/3|
|4.||Chakrapani||The term veerya is meant for all rasa, guna, vipaka, or prabhava of a dravya||Chakrapani on Cha.Sa. Sutra Sthana 26/64-65|
|Divides the veerya into chintya and achintya, where the latter can be termed as the prabhava of a particular dravya.||Chakrapani on Su.Sa. Sutra Sthana.40/5|
|5.||Arundatta||The prominence of ushna guna will lead to development of ushna veerya, while sheeta guna prominence results in sheeta veerya.||Arundatta on A.H. Sutra Sthana.1/17|
|6.||Hemadri||The digestion and metabolism (kayagnipaka) leads to the development of eight guna, amongst which sheeta and ushna are considered the most dominant termed as ushna and sheeta veerya. It is termed as shakti arising from the transformation of guna.||Hemadri on A.H. Sutra Sthana.1/17|
|7.||Shivdas Sen||Veerya is the the most supreme and nectar part (atishaya sara bhaga) of the panchamahabhuta, further dividing it into chintya and achintya.||Shivadas Sen on Su.Sa. Sutra Sthana.40/5|
|8.||Bhavamishra||Bhavamishra has clearly differentiated the veerya from prabhava. He quotes the prabhava as shakti of the drug.||Bhavamisra, Bhavaprakasha with commentary by Dr Bulusu Sitaram, Mishra-Prakarana, Poorvakhanda, Shloka Number 161, Volume 1, Reprinted 2015, Chaukhamba Orientalia, Varanasi Page No. 117|
|9.||Acharya Yadavji Trikamji||Interprets veerya as the active principle of the drug.||Acharya Yadavaji Trikamji, DravyaGuna Vidnyanam, Poorvardha,Published by Nirnay Sagar Press, Bombay Page no 249-277|
|10.||Prof P.V.Sharma||The active principle is also a dravya and veerya being a type of guna cannot be equated with active principle||PV Sharma, DravyaGuna vijnana, Vol I, Chaukhambha Bharti Academy, Varanasi, Edition year 2013, Page no 263-278|
|11. 13.||Prof. C. Dwarkanath||The term veerya conveys the idea of energy. The energy of a body is its capacity for doing work and the measure of energy is work. Energy may be potential or kinetic,2 where the sheeta veerya can be considered as potential energy, while ushna veerya as kinetic energy.||Veerya A general principle of drug action [Ayusoft] 2|
Thus in order to summarize various forms of veerya can be depicted in following figure-
Types of veerya
Charak and Sushruta Samhita mention the eight types (ashtavidha) and two types (dwividha veerya) of veerya. However, emphasis is given on the two types (dwividha veerya) [Cha.Sa. Sutra Sthana 26/64, Su.Sa. Sutra Sthana 40/5]. Other types can be considered as chintya-achintya and sahaja-kritama as mentioned in the previous point.
Eight types (ashtavidha veerya vaada)
Ashtavidha veerya or eight types of veerya are as below:
- Guru (heaviness)
- Laghu (lightness)
- Snigdha (unctuousness)
- Ruksha (dryness)
- Teekshna (piercing, sharp)
- Manda (slowness, mildness)
- Sheeta (coldness)
- Ushna (hotness). [Cha.Sa. Sutra Sthana 26/64]
These are considered as eight representatives of twenty gurvadi guna mentioned in the Samhita. These are also termed as guna possessing veerya like properties or guna named as veerya i.e. veeryakhya guna. Sushruta Samhita mentions the vishada and pichchhila guna in place of guru and laghu guna while stating the veerya. [Su.Sa. Sutra Sthana 40/5]
The rationale behind ashtavidha veerya vaada can be discussed as given in the table below [Arunadatta on A.H. Sutra Sthana 9] :
|Samagra Guna Saarataa (Stability after metabolism)||
|Shaktyutkarshata (High potency of action)||
|Vyavahaara mukhyatva (More practical utility)|
The effect of eight potencies (ashtavidha veerya) on dosha, probably contributing to systemic effects / therapeutic effects, can be described in the table below. These can be determined through the karma of dravya possessing the particular guna- (Su.Sa. Sutra Sthana 46/515-524)
|Sr. No||Veerya||Effect on doshas||Systemic effects|
Kapha hara Pitta vardhaka
|Deepana (~appetizer), pachana (~digestive), dahajanana (~causes burning sensation), murchhana (~cause fainting), |
swedana (~induce perspiration), vamanakarak (induce emesis), virechana (~purgative), vilayana (~escharotic),
bhramakaraka (~induce giddiness), trushnajanana (~induce thirst), aashupaaka (~cause quicker digestion and suppuration), avrushya (~reduces fertile strength)
Vata kapha vardhaka
|Prahlaadana (~soothing), vishyandana (~secretogogue), sthirikarana (~stabilizer), |
kledana (~moistening), jeevaniya (~enhance life expectancy), stambhana (~styptic), raktaprasadana (~enhances quality of rakta dhatu), balyam (~giving strength)
|Snehana (~sudation), brimhana (~increases mass), santarpana (~nourishing), vajikarana (~aphrodisiac), |
vayasthaapana (~increase viability)
|Samgrahana (~astringent), peedana (~cause obscuration) , virookshana (~causing dryness), ropana (~cause healing)|
|Kapha vardhaka vatahara||Upalepana (~cause act of smearing), brimhana (~nourishing), balya (~strengthening)|
|Kaphahara vatavardhaka||Lekhana (~cause scrapping), langhana (~cause lightness), dhatu kshaya (~ destruction of dhatus)|
|Pittahara||Rakta and mamsa prasaadana (enhances the quality of rakta and mamsa dhatu)|
|Kaphahara||Sangraahi (astringent), aachushana (~absorbs unwanted secretions) , avadarana (~cause tearing), stravana (~secretogogue)|
|Kaphahara||Kledachooshana (~absorbs moisture), virookshana (~cause dryness), uparohana (~cause healing)|
|Kaphavardhaka||Upalepana (~cause act of smearing), Purana (~cause healing), brumhana (~increases mass), Samsleshara (~avoids binding to the dhatus), vajikarana (~aphrodisiac)|
|Type of veerya||Panchamahabhoota prominence||Method of assessment|
|Sheeta||Ambu (Jala)||Sparshagrahya (~assessed by touch)|
|Ushna||Agni||Sparshagrahya (~assessed by touch)|
|Snigdha||Prithvi + Ambu||Chakshugrahya(~assessed by visionary sense)|
|Ruksha||Vayu||Chakshugrahya (~assessed by visionary sense)|
|Mrudu||Jala + Aakasha||Sparshagrahya (~Assessed by touch)|
|Tikshna||Agni||Mukha dukhotpeedanat (~assessed by the effect on buccal mucosa)|
|Picchila||Jala||Chakshu + sparshagrahya (~assessed by visionary sense and touch)|
|Vishada||Prithvi + Vayu (Kshiti-sameerana)||Chakshu + Sparshagrahya (~assessed by visionary sense and touch)|
The assessment of the gurvadi guna as type of veerya can be studied through the effect they depict on the metabolism of body and body tissues. Qualitative assessment through the means of questionnaires or interviews is more commonly done recently. Amongst the 20 guna, snigdha (unctuous) and ruksha (dryness) guna are more extensively studied. For instance, sneha guna is assessed by determining the presence of snidghata or oiliness or unctuousness of skin and the contrary for ruksha guna. Biochemical parameters like lipid profile are also used to determine the sneha guna in the body. Similaly the cell line studies are conducted to study the snigdhata in terms of adipocytic and anti-adipocytic activity in herbs like Terminalia belerica. The different tools and instruments like glossometer, and sudometer can be used in the assessment of snigdha and ruksha guna. The assessment of basic panchabhoutika structure can also help in assessment of guna. The organoleptic assessment can also help in determining the general quality of dravya. However, there is immense scope for creating more evidence to prove the veerya in gurvadi guna.
Two main types of veerya (dwividha veerya vaada)
Most of the scholars accepted two types of veerya (the dwividha veerya vaada). The hot and cold are considered as two main contrasting energies responsible for carrying out various functions in body. These can be equated to soma and agni i.e. the moon and the sun in the universe. These also represent the concept of Yin and Yang as put forth by traditional Chinese medicine. The three dosha are either considered to sheeta (kapha, vata dosha) or ushna (pitta dosha) in nature. The approach of ayurveda regarding two types of veerya can be summarised as below:
1. Although all the dravya are panchabhautika in nature they can either be divided as ushna (hot) or sheeta (cold) based on the dominancy of ushna and sheeta guna [A.H. Sutra Sthana .9/17, Indu commentary on A.S. Sutra Sthana 1/26]
These can be considered the most suitable types of veerya which can also be equated to karya-karana hetu according to ayurveda. These two are best representatives of the dual energy i.e. heat and cold in the universe and hence rightly termed as dwividha veerya.[ A.H. Sutra Sthana 9/17]
There are two other types of veerya: kritrima (artificial) and sahaja (inherent) veerya. Shivadas sen quotes the example of the heaviness of black gram (masha) and lightness of green gram (mudga) for inherent veerya (sahaja veerya), while that of lightness of puffed paddy (laja) to explain the aritificial veerya (kritrima veerya). [Chakrapani on Cha.Sa. Sutra Sthana 26/66 Shivadas Sen commentary on Cha.Sa. Sutra Sthana 26/65]
Different theories pertaining to concept of veerya (veeryavada)
- Action-based potency (karma veerya vaada):
The potency of a dravya is observed according to its major pharmacotherapeutic actions. [Bhadanta Naagaarjuna in Rasavaisheshika] Certain veerya such as emetic (Chhardaneeya veerya), carminative (Anulomana veerya) etc. are described. Fifteen types of Veerya are described by Acharya Nimi.
- Quality-based potencies (Guna Veerya Vaada or Shakti Veerya Vaada):
The quality based action (Guna Veerya Vaada or Shakti Veerya Vaada) is as described above.
- Substance (dravya veerya vaada):
Veerya is a special power of dravya that is capable of performing actions.[Shivadasa Sen] The ability of rasa, vipaka, or prabhava to perform any action is termed veerya. However, dravya and veerya are different as veerya resides in dravya. [Shivadas Sen commentary on Cha.Sa. Sutra Sthana 26/64-65]
- Paribhashika veerya vaada:
The two types and eight types of veerya (dwividha veeryavada and ashtavida veerya vada) are considered under the heading of paribhashika veerya vada. It is mentioned by Charak and Vagbhata.
Determination of veerya (veerya upalabdhi)
The veerya can be determined by two means: nipatat (immediately after coming in contact with the tongue) and adhivasat (after proper digestion and assimilation in the body). [Cha.Sa. Sutra Sthana 26/66] For example, the potency of meat of animals in marshy area (anupa mamsa) can be determined after porper digestion and metabolism (jatharagnipaaka) i.e. adhivasat. The potency of black pepper (maricha) is determined immediately after it comes in contact with the tongue. Similarly, the hot potency (ushna veerya) of maricha can be determined after the process of digestion when signs like appetite stimulation (deepana) and burning (daha) are observed. [Chakrapani on Cha.Sa. Sutra Sthana 26/66]
Veerya can be determined through inference (anumana pramana) and direct perception (pratyaksa pramana). For instance, the cold potency (sheeta veerya) of rock salt (saindhava lavana) and hot potency (ushna veerya) of marshy animal’s meat (anupa mamsa) can be determined by inference (anumana pramana). The sharp potency (tikshna veerya) of Rajika (brown mustard) can be determined by olfactory perception (ghrana pariksha) as per direct perception. Similarly, the qualities like sharp (teekshna) and soft (mridu) can be determined through the visual perception and tactile perception (chakshu and sparsha pariksha respectively. [Chakrapani on Cha.Sa. Sutra Sthana 26/66]
General rules with exceptions regarding the determination of veerya (veerya nirdhaarana samanya siddhaanta and apavada)
Ayurveda has termed the general rules regarding the relation and determining veerya of any dravya based on its rasa (taste) and vipaka (post digestive effect). This can be equated to the basis of the panchabhautika constitution of the dravya. However, this rule has a few exceptions due to the variable panchabhautika configuration. More research studies can be carried out to further validate these concepts.
The general rule states that a substance of madhura rasa (sweet in taste) and madhura vipaka most commonly possesses sheeta veerya. The sour substance (amla) in rasa and vipaka is generally hot (ushna) in veerya. Similarly, dravya with pungent (katu) rasa and vipaka is hot (ushna) in veerya. [Cha.Sa. Sutra Sthana 26/45]
In this category usually by assessing rasa of a dravya (rasa-upadeshena), one can conclude the veerya of that particular dravya. [Cha.Sa. Sutra Sthana 26/46] Thus, the variation in vipaka or veerya of a dravya can result in variation of its karma and guna (properties) despite the quality of rasa. [Cha.Sa. Sutra Sthana 26/46] The following table the general rule and the exception with examples are mentioned as below:
|Rasa Samaanya Siddhanta
(post digestive effect)
|Madhura rasa||Madhura vipaka||Sheeta veerya||Paya (~milk) [Cha.Sa. Sutra Sthana 26/47] |
Ghrita (~ghee) [Cha.Sa. Sutra Sthana 26/47]
|Amla rasa||Amla vipaka||Ushna veerya||Amrataka (Spondias mangifera), |
Kapittha (Feronia limonia) [A.H. Sutra Sthana 9]
|Katu rasa||Katu vipaka||Ushna veerya||Chavya (Piper chaba) [Cha.Sa. Sutra Sthana 26/47] |
Chitraka (Plumbago zeylanica) [Cha.Sa. Sutra Sthana 26/47]
Veerya can lead to the variation in actions (karma) of two dravya having similar rasa or vipaka. It is also observed that in exceptional cases, veerya may not be following rasa.2 Thus, there are few exceptions to the rules mentioned above, as given in the table below. [Cha.Sa. Sutra Sthana 26/48-49]
|Amalaki (~Emblica officinalis)||Amla||Sheeta|
|Saindhava lavana (~common salt)||Lavana||Anushna|
|Guduchi (~ Tinospora cordifolia)||Tikta||Ushna|
|Maha panchamoola||Kashaya, Tikta||Ushna|
Thus the dravya whose rasa- vipaka- veerya are following the panchamahabhuta prominence and follow the general rule are termed as ‘Samana pratyayarabdha dravya’. That dravya which have contrasting or opposing rasa vipaka veerya are termed as ‘Vichitra pratyayarabhdha dravya’. [Arundatta on A.H. Sutra Sthana 9/27-28] The peculiar action performed by dravya irrespective of its rasa-vipaka- veerya is termed as prabhava. [Cha.Sa. Sutra Sthana 26/67] This helps differentiate the veerya from prabhava and exceptions to the general action of veerya.
Superiority of veerya
Principles of drug action in ayurveda can be summarized in case of equality of strength. Vipaka overpowers rasa, veerya overpowers rasa. Vipaka and prabhava are considered to be competitive among all these three. [Cha.Sa. Sutra Sthana .26/68-72] [A.H. Sutra Sthana 9/25] These factors act by overpowering and defeating one another. For instance, the hot potency (ushna veerya) of buffalo meat (mahisha mamsa) dominates the sweet taste and sweet post-digestive effect leading to the vitiation of pitta dosha. [Arundatta on A.H. Sutra Sthana 9/25] When there is a combination of antagonistic characteristics (viruddha guna), the dominant factor will overpower the weak one (Bhuyasa Alpam Avajiyate) [Cha.Sa.Vimana Sthana 1/14] For instance, the guru, snigdha guna of milk (ksheera) dominates over its sheeta veerya resulting in vata shamana. [Arundatta on A.H. Sutra Sthana 9/24]
Reasons for superiority of veerya: [Su.Sa. Sutra Sthana 40/5]
- Pharmaco therapeutic actions (aushadhakarma karaka):
The actions of drugs are brought about by their potency.
- Overpowering taste (rasabhibhava):
Veerya suppresses the action of rasa and performs its own function owing to its overpowering property. 2 Examples are as below:
- Brihat Panchamoola (Bilva- Aegle marmelos, Agnimanth- Premna mucronata var. latifolia, Shyonak- Oroxylum indicum, Kashmari- Gmelina arborea, Patala- Stereospermum suaveolens) of tikta rasa alleviate vata due to their ushna veerya.
- Kulaththa (Dolicos biflorus) (kashaya rasa) and palandu (katu rasa) also alleviate vata due to snigdha veerya.
- Ikshu (Saccharum officinarum), though has madhura rasa, increases vata due to sheeta veerya.
- Kakamachi (Solanum nigrum) (tikta rasa), matsya (madhura) increase pitta due to their ushna veerya.
- Moolaka (Raphanus sativus) (katu) increases kapha due to its snigdha veerya.
- Kapiththa (Limonia accidissima) (amla rasa) and madhu (madhura) alleviate kapha due to their ruksha veerya.
- If vata dosha alleviating rasa (madhura–amla–lavana) possess ruksha–laghu–sheeta guna, they do not pacify vata.
- If pitta dosha alleviating rasa (kashaya–tikta–madhura) possess teekshna–ushna laghu gunas, they do not pacify pitta.
- If the kapha dosha alleviating rasa (katu–tikta–kashaya) possess snigdha–guru–sheeta guna, they cannot pacify kapha.
- Authenticity or authoritative statement (agama):
The Acharya or Aapta consider veerya as the most superior principle of drug action (Rasa Vaisheshika). Hence it should be considered as supreme amongst all according to agama Pramana (authoritative statement).
These are the probable reasons given for the superiority of the veerya over rasadi panchaka. We can imply these into clinical practices, for establishment of veerya of an extra-pharmacopeia drug.
Concept of veerya in the context of pharmaceutics
The intactness of veerya or efficacy is also termed as ‘shelf life’ of different pharmaceutical preparations. This concept was described by Sharangdhara in his paribhasha as follows-
- Powder (choorna) – 2 months
- Tablets (gutika), Semisolid preparation of medicine (avaleha) – 1 year
- Medicated ghee (ghrita), oil (taila) – 4 months
- Fermented medicinal preparations (asava), bhasma etc.- Efficacy increases with time duration/ have long term stability.
In some opinions, paste (kalka) and decoctions (kashaya), the veerya remains intact up to one yama (3 hours), in choorna for 3 paksha (45 days); in ghrita and modaka along with jaggery (guda) for six months, in guggulu preparation for 3 months, siddha rasa and bhasma for 3 years, and medicated oils for a considerable long time, the veerya respectively remains intact.
Saviryata Avadhi (~shelf life) of various Ayurvedic preparations as per the guidelines mentioned in Drugs & Cosmetic act are as follows:
|Sr no.||Dosage form||Shelf life or date of expiry with effect from the date of manufacture|
|a) Anjana made from Kasthaushadhi (Coryllium prepared using herbs)||1 year|
|b) Anjana made from Kasthaushadhi along with Rasaushadhi (Coryllium prepared using herbs and minerals)||2 years|
|c) Anjana made only from Rasa/Uprasa/Bhasma (Coryllium prepared using minerlas and metals)||3 years|
|(ii)||Arka (Distillate)||1 year|
|(iii)||Asava Arishta (Self generated alcohol)||10 years|
|(iv)||Avaleha, Khanda, Paka, Guda (Lickables)||3 years|
|(v)||Churna, Kwatha Churna, Lepa Churna, Danta Manjan Churna (Powder)||2 years|
|(vi)||Dhoopan (Medicated smoke/Fumigant)||2 years|
|(vi)||Dravaka, Lavana, Kshara (Salt compounds)||5 years|
|(viii)||Ghrita (Medicated ghee)||2 years|
|(ix)||Guggulu (Formulations containing Commiphora mukul)||5 years|
|(I) Gutika or Vati containing Kasthaushadhi (Herbs) along with Rasa / Uprasa/ Bhasma/ Guggulu (including Lepa Gutika and GhanVati)||5 years|
|(II) Gutika or Vati containing only Kasthaushadhi (including Lepa Gutika and Ghan Vati)||3 years|
|(III) Gutika / Vati containing only Ras / Uprasa / Bhasma except Naga, Vanga and Tamra Bhasma||10 years|
|(xi)||Nasabindu (Formulations for nasal application)||2 years|
|(xii)||Kupipakva Rasayana (Formulations prepared by heating medicines in a glass flask or bottle)||10 years|
|(xiii)||Malahar (Creams/Ointments/Liniments)||3 years|
|(xiv)||Mandura-Lauha (Iron compounds)||10 years|
|(XV)||Naga Bhasma, Vanga Bhasma, and Tamra Bhasma (Calcinated minerals, metals, or marine products)||5 years|
|(xvi)||Netrabindu (Ophthalmic preparations)||1 year|
|(xviii)||Pishti and Bhasma except Naga, Vanga and Tamra Bhasma (Calcinated minerals, metals or marine products except Lead, Tin, and Copper)||10 years|
|(xix)||Pravahi Kwatha (Syrup)||3 years|
|(XX)||Rasayoga- Rasa/Uprasa/Bhasma (Mineral compounds)|
|(I) Rasayoga containing only Rasa /Uprasa/ Bhasma except Naga, Vanga, and Tamra Bhasma||10 years|
|(II) Rasayoga containing Rasa / Uparasa/ Bhasma along with Kasthaushadhi/Guggulu||5 years|
|(xxi)||Sattva (derived from medicinal plant) (Solid extractive)||2 years|
|(xxii)||Sharkar /Panak/Sharbat (Syrup)||3 years|
|(xxiii)||Shveta parpati||2 years|
|(xxiv)||Taila (Medicated oil)||3 years|
|(xxv)||Varti (Suppository)||2 years|
Concept of veerya viruddha (contradictory potencies)
Veerya viruddha is listed as one of the types amongst 18 types of viruddha aahara. [Cha.Sa. Sutra Sthana 26/86-87] Consumption of sheeta veerya dravya in combination with ushna veerya dravya is stated as the example of veerya viruddha. [Cha.Sa.Sutra Sthana 26/92] For instance, milk consumption of cold potency and fish of hot potency are contradictory. The dietary guidelines (aahar vidhi Vidhana) advise avoiding the consumption of veerya viruddha as it can result in occurrence of several diseases [Cha.Sa.Viman Sthana1/24]
Importance of concept of veerya
Veerya is an important factor determining the action of any dravya. The duality of action in the form of catabolism or anabolism is well understood by the two types (dwividha veerya) i.e. ushna and sheeta veerya. Thus it becomes an important factor in mentioning the qualities of any medicine (aushadha) or food (aahara) dravya. The veerya of dravya is mentioned while depicting the action of that particular dravya. For instance, the sheeta veerya of ghee (ghrita) is responsible for the pacifying pitta (shamana) action, especially in fever (jwara) [Cha.Sa.Nidan Sthana1/39] Thus it constitutes the most important factor for administrating any dravya in the body. The dominance of veerya enhances the activity of any particular dravya. The pharmaceutical processes like bhavana (lavation), kala sanskara (time), samyoga (combination with other herbs) may help enhance the potency of herbs.
Recent Researches on concept of Veerya:
Veerya is the subject of extensive research, especially considering the ayurveda pharmacology. Dr. Nisteshwar K. has conducted a few animal experiments to establish the scientific validity of concept of veerya. Following are examples.
- Study of action of ushna and sheeta veerya drugs on skeletal muscle
The aqueous extracts (10% water infusion) total of 24 drugs, with 12 each belonging to ushna and sheeta veerya were tested for their activity against contractions of frog skeletal muscle (frog rectus abdominis) by using Burn model (1954). However, statistical analysis showed insignificant inhibition of both the veeryas. Therefore, the skeletal muscle experiment does not reveal any specificity about the nature of veerya.2
- Effect of ushna and sheeta veerya drugs on the frog heart muscle
The aqueous extracts if 16 ushna and 16 sheeta veerya drugs were screened on 32 healthy frog hearts. The effect of ushna and sheeta veerya drugs in different doses (0.2 ml and 0.4 ml) was assessed on the basis of heart rate (chronotropic activity) and amplitude (Inotropic) activity of isolated frog heart during and after perfusion).2 More depressant effect on amplitude was exercised by ushna veerya group in comparison with sheeta veerya group. Both sheeta and ushna veerya drugs showed an insignificant decrease in heart rate. Hence, the action of ushna and sheeta veerya drugs cannot be associated with positive and negative chronotropic and ionotropic effect since both the groups have not shown a specific action on frog heart rate and amplitude (NishteswarK.et.al.)2
- Effect of sheeta and ushna veerya drugs on basic metabolic rate (B.M.R.)
Two sheeta veerya drugs namely yashtimadhu (Glycyrrhiza glabra) and shatavari (Asparagus racemosus) and two ushna veerya drugs namely chitraka (Plumbago zeylanica) and jaatiphala (Myristica fragrans) were studied. In healthy volunteers initially B.M.R. was recorded2 and the drug was administrated three times for one day. A significant increase (P<0.05) was observed with yashtimadhu, while increase in B.M.R. with shatavari was insignificant. Ushna veerya drugs brought about a decrease in B.M.R. after administration. Both chitraka and jaatiphala showed very significant action (P<0.05). Therefore, sheeta and ushna Veerya, which represent the saumyatva and agneyatva of a drug or food, may be responsible for synthesizing or metabolizing the dhatu due to their santarpana or apatarpana actions. (Nishteswar K. et. Al.)
- Study of Veerya Vis–Vis pH value of Drugs
Total 25 ushna and 25 sheeta veerya drugs were screened for pH value in cold water and hot water with pH water. Total 10 gms of each drug was soaked in 100 ml of distilled water and kept for one hour. After one hour, the pH of the sample was tested. Then the sample was kept on water bath for 30 minutes and again pH was recorded.2 All the screened drugs showed acidic reaction and it was evident from the present study that ushna and sheeta veerya drugs do not exhibit specific difference in pH values. (Nisteshvar K. and Dhayani S.C)
Other important researches can be summarised in the table as given below:
|Sr no||Title of the study||Conclusion|
|1.||The Critical Analysis of Ashtavidha Veerya||This article highlights the guna veeryavada to underline the importance of gurvadi guna in determining Veerya, also supporting the Ashtavidha Veerya Vaada|
|2.||Endothermic reaction for Veerya analysis of Patranga (Caesalpinia sappan linn.) - An Experimental Study||This article tries to prove the Sheeta Veeryata of Patranga using laboratory experiments and the principle of enthalpy.|
|3.||Exothermic reaction for Veerya analysis of Atasi Seeds (Linum usitatissimum Linn.)||Atasi (Linum usitatissimum Linn.) showed exothermic reaction as the temperature of water remaining constant, there was rise in the temperature which shows that Atasi has ushna Veerya property.|
|4.||Review on Concept of Potency (Veerya) and its diversity in Ayurveda||The review establishes that the concept of Veerya (potency) in Ayurveda is not just limited to indicating the strength of the drug and it diversifies the drug action|
|5.||Principle of DravyaGuna (Ayurvedic Pharmacology)||
|6.||Rasa (taste) and Veerya (potency) Nirdharana of an extra pharmacopoeial drug – Bridelia stipularis (l.) Blume||Here the Veerya of extra pharmacopoeial drug was assessed using the principle of Exothermic or Endothermic reaction of the drug in distilled water|
|7.||HPTLC profiling of useful parts of fifteen plants in ayurveda with cold potency||HPTLC fingerprint of fifteen drugs with Sheeta Veerya (cold potency) showed a similar pattern to the mobile phase and stationary phase.|
|8.||Experimental Evaluation of Rasapanchak – A Narrative Review||They state that if the law of thermodynamics is applied, Veerya can be considered as Enthalpy. Sheeta Veerya is acting endothermicity, while Ushna Veerya is exothermicity.|
The action of veerya can be understood through the means of chemo sensors.
|9.||Accreditation Of Concepts Of Rasa (Nutrition) And Veerya (Potency) As Food And Medicine Determinants: A Review||Veerya is determinant of medicine or action of medicine.|
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- Ruchika Dighekar, Kiran Tawalare, Dr. Pankaj Jogi. A Biochemical Approach to Understand the Concept of Snigdha Guna of Ghee and Ruksha Guna of Terminalia Arjuna on Behaviour of 3T3-L1 Cell Line with Respect to Adipocytic and AntiAdipocytic Activity : In Vitro. J Ayurveda Integr Med Sci 2020;6:73-81. http://dx.doi.org/10.21760/jaims.5.6.9
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- Nagarjuna B. Bhadanta nagarjuna’s Rasavaisheshika text with English translation by K Raghavan Tirumulpad, Arya Vaidya sala, First Edition. Kozhikode, India: Geetanjali Offset Prints; 2013, Page No. 228
- D.S. Lucus, Dravyagunavijnana (Basic principles of Dravyaguna, Vol.I, Chapter Veerya Vijanana, Chaukhambha Vishwa Bharathi, Varanasi, First edition, 2006, page No. 218/455.
- Sharangdhar, Sharangdhar Samhita, Paribhasha Prakarana, Prathama khanda, 1/51-53, sixted edition 2016, Chaukhamba Orientalia , Varanasi , Page No. 8
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- Nishteswar K, Basic concepts of Ayurvedic pharmacology , Chowkamba Sanskrit Series Office, Varanasi. Printed-2007, Page No. 110
- Periasamy A, Burns DH, Holdren DN, Pollack GH, Trombitas K. A-band shortening in single fibers of frog skeletal muscle. Biophysical journal. 1990 Apr 1;57(4):815-28.
- Gajarmal AA, Rath SK. The Critical Analysis of Ashtavidha Veerya. Journal of Ayurveda and integrative medical sciences , 2018;8(2):13.
- Subrahmanya Bhat, Pooja Bhat, Chetan M. Endothermic reaction for Veerya analysis of Patranga (Caesalpinia sappan linn.) - An Experimental Study. J Ayurveda Integr Med Sci [Internet]. 2021Nov.7 [cited 2022Dec.4];6(5):91 -93. Available from: http://jaims.in/jaims/article/view/1486
- Arun Kumar Gupta, B. S. Prasad. Exothermic reaction for Veerya analysis of Atasi Seeds (Linum usitatissimum Linn.). AAM. (2016), [cited July 16, 2022]; 5(1-2): 44-46.
- Chaithra SHebbar and Lalitha B.R. Review on Concept of Potency (Veerya) and its diversity in Ayurveda Int J Ayu Pharm Chem. 2017;6(2):16.
- Kumar A, Dubey S. D, Prakas S, Singh P. Principle of DravyaGuna (Ayurvedic Pharmacology). Biomed Pharmacol J 2011;4(1)
- Haritha N. et al. Rasa (taste) and Vīrya (potency) Nirdhārana of an Extra pharmacopoeial drug – Bridelia stipularis (L.) Blume. Int. J. Res. Ayurveda Pharm. 2019;10(6):24-26 http://dx.doi.org/10.7897/2277-4343.1006118
- Chaithra S. Hebbar et al. HPTLC profiling of useful parts offifteen plants in Ayurveda with cold potency. Int. J. Res.Ayurveda Pharm. 2017;8(2):26-30 http://dx.doi.org/10.7897/2277-4343.08257(PDF) HPTLC PROFILING OF USEFUL PARTS OF FIFTEEN PLANTS IN AYURVEDA WITH COLD POTENCY. Available from:https://www.researchgate.net/publication/316475791_HPTLC_PROFILING_OF_USEFUL_PARTS_OF_FIFTEEN_PLANTS_IN_AYURVEDA_WITH_COLD_POTENCY [accessed Dec 06 2022].
- Gaya, Vishwakarma DSK. Experimental Evaluation of Rasapanchak – A Narrative Review. JMSCR [Internet]. 2017 Sep 26 [cited 2022 Dec 24];5(9). Available from: http://jmscr.igmpublication.org/v5-i9/130%20jmscr.pdf
- Hebbar CS, B R L, Krishnamurthy D, Bhandary S. Accreditation Of Concepts Of Rasa (Nutrition) And Veerya (Potency) As Food And Medicine Determinants: A Review. Int J Res Ayurveda Pharm [Internet]. 2017 Jan 12 [cited 2022 Dec 24];7(6):14–8. Available from: http://www.ijrap.net/admin/php/uploads/1667_pdf.pdf