August 12, 2016
Learned how to make herbal decoctions at my Ayurveda classes this week! I also learned how to make medicinal ghee or vicarana sneha. Ghrita is the Sanskrit word for ghee. There is medicated ghee called Tikta Ghrita. Tikta means bitter so these are bitter herbs mixed with ghee. Tikta Ghrita is used for skin and blood disorders. Ghee is so important to Ayurvedic cooking and medicine. Ghee is believed to penetrate deep into the vital tissues of the body. It is used both internally and externally. Internally, ghee cleanses the dhatus or bodily tissues and helps to eliminate excess dosha. Externally, it calms skin inflammation and swelling, nourishes tissues and promotes calmness and serenity.
The book pictured is the ancient text of Ayurveda called the Charaka Samhita. The 2 great Ayurvedic books are the Charaka Samhita and the Sushruta Samhita. Charaka focuses on the internal body and mind medicine of Ayurveda while the Sushruta discusses Ayurvedic surgery. Around 800 B.C., Ayurveda was formed into 8 branches of medicine and 2 primary schools of Ayurvedic thought named after the sages Atreya and Dhanvantari. Charaka belonged to the Atreya school and Sushruta to the Dhanvantari school.