The pharmacological action that is considered as a type of VIRECHANA karma and does the evacuation process of MALA (faecal matter) which may be either in consolidated or unconsolidated form is known as BHEDANA. The action is more on the intestinal part of GIT where the substance will be undergoing the process of digestion. The word meaning of BHEDANA is to break or the ability to break. Here the ability of the drug to break a hard or a complex structure is to be taken into consideration. Then it also has the ability to expel the same through the lower orifices. There is a group among CHARAKA’s 50 GANA named as BHEDANEEYA

DETAILS OF THE ACTION

ACTION NAME
भेदनीय
MODERN EQUIVALENTS
PURGATIVES, EMOLLIENT LAXATIVES or LUBRICANTS

DEFINITION

DEFINITION
EXPLANATION/MEANING
REFERENCE
मलादिकमबद्धं वबद्धं वा पिण्डितं मलैः । भित्वाऽधः पातयति यद् भेदनं कटुकी यथा ।। (शा. स. पू. 4th Chapter) भेदानीयो भेदनाय शरीरान्मलदोषनिर्हाणाय हितः । (गं)
The action of the substance that will evacuate Mala (bye-products of metabolism) are removed either in the form of consolidated or unconsolidated form forcefully is known as BHEDANA. It is the action through which the MALA (bye-product of metabolism) and even MALARUPA DOSHA are removed from the body.
The reference is from Sharangadhara Samhita (शा. स.) and reference from the Gangadhara Commentary on Charaka Samhita

SYNONYMS (IF PRESENT)

SYNONYMS
EXPLANATION/MEANING
REFERENCE

भेदनं

The action of the substance that will evacuate Mala (bye-products of metabolism) are removed either in the form of consolidated or unconsolidated form forcefully is known as BHEDANA.

The reference is from Sharangadhara Samhita (शा. स.)

भेदी, पुरीषभेदी, विडभेदी, etc

Anything that breaks a complex formation such that they are expelled out or becomes rudimentary. 

The reference is from Sharangadhara Samhita (शा. स.)

MODE OF ACTION / PHARMACODYNAMICS

AYURVEDA EXPLANATION
MODERN EXPLANATION

The action of BHEDANA or BHEDANEEYA are those set of substances that are bit more irritant and powerful than ANULOMANA & SRAMSANA. But the same is less irritant and powerful than RECHANA among the four types of VIRECHANA considered by SHARANGADHARA. It is due to the property that it can penetrate the hard and complex formations by breaking it and allowing it to perform the action of evacuation of the MALA (bye-products of metabolism). By use of this substance there may be increased peristaltic movement along with squeezing type of pain or colic pain if not used judiciously. Hence these substances are not to be used without proper guidance. 

The properties that are responsible in bringing out this action are तीक्ष्णगुण (Teekshna), सूक्ष्मगुण (Sukshma), उष्णगुण (Ushna) along with अधोभागहर प्रभाव as in case of any VIRECHANA substances. It is the degree of the properties that are important in attaining the different varieties of VIRECHANA. Even the व्यवायी and विकाषी गुण or कर्म is necessary for the activity to result as per Charaka. The substances are predominant with जल & पृथ्वी महाभूत due to which the action of VIRECHANA is resulted. 

The BHEDANA action can be seen in case of RAKTASANGHATA BHEDANA, ASHMARIBHEDANA, GULMA BHEDANA, etc. In all these contexts the activity will be different according to parts that are involved. But the properties remain the same. Along with the above mentioned properties the substances are seen to possess कटुरस (Pungent) along with क्षारीय गुण (Alkaline) properties can be observed.

The said action is commonly correlated to the action named PURGATIVES mentioned in the modern Pharmacology. 

A purgative is a substance that is taken orally with an aim to promote defecation as per the article “Purgatives.” British medical journal vol. 4,5682 (1969): 543-4. Even though there are different varieties of Purgatives mentioned in the same article, the most suitable with respect to the said action is Lubricant purgatives. The lubricants are those which soften the stools and lubricate it such that its evacuation is easier. 

In the context of Laxative there is a mention of a variety known as Emollient agents which are also known as stool softeners. These have the capacity to incorporate additional water and fats into stools making them soft and easier for evacuation. There are other form of purgatives mentioned in the paper namely Bulk purgatives and Irritant purgatives which can be considered as the varieties of purgatives but as other types of VIRECHANA namely SRAMSANA or RECHANA. 

The activity also can be equated to Irritant or Stimulant purgatives where they irritate or stimulate the myentric plexus or Auerbach’s Plexus or other nerve endings such that they increase the peristaltic movement of intestines. This is considered as the main cause for the action to result. 

INVESTIGATIVE PARAMETERS TO ASSESS

Sl. No.
CATEGORY OF PARAMETER
INVESTIGATION NAME
TYPE OF INVESTIGATION

1.

NOT YET COMPILED

NOT YET COMPILED 

NOT YET COMPILED

LIST OF PLANTS THAT EXHIBIT THE ACTION

भेदनीय गण/BHEDANEEYA GANA of CHARAKA

Charaka has enumerated the BHEDANEEYA GANA consisting of 10 substances. It also includes the plant which Sharangadhara had mentioned as example for the action BHEDANA.

Sl. No.
SANSKRIT NAME
BOTANICAL NAME
PART USED

1.

सुवहा
Operculina turpethum (Linn) Silva Manso
Root

2.

अर्क
Calotropis gigantia (L) W T Aiton
Latex, Leaves, Root & Stembark

3.

उरूबक
Ricinus communis Linn
Root, Seed oil & Leaves

4.

अग्निमुखी
Gloriosa superba L
Root

5.

चित्र
Balispermum montanum (Willd) Mull Arg
Root, leaves & Seed

6.

चित्रक
Plumbago zeylanica Linn
Root

7.

चिरबिल्व
Holoptelea integrifolia Roxb Planch
Stem Bark & Leaves

8.

शङ्खिनी
Euphorbia dracunculoides Lam
Latex

9.

शकुलादनी
Picrorhiza kurroa Royle ex Benth
Root

10.

स्वर्णक्षीरी
Argemone mexicana Linn
Root, leaves, seed & Latex

RESEARCH PAPERS ON THE PHARMACOLOGICAL ACTION

Sl. No.
TITLE OF THE PAPER
PUBLISHING JOURNAL
CITATION

1.

BHEDANA KARMA VIVECHANA

Ayurveda Patrika

Amit Ashok Gajarmal.”Bhedana Karma-Vivechana”. Ayurveda Patrika. Vol 68 Issue 12 No. 984. June 2015. Pg 32-34

2.

PURGATIVES

British Medical Journal

“Purgatives.” British medical journal vol. 4,5682 (1969): 543-4.

3.

Effect of irritant purgatives on the myenteric plexus in man and the mouse

GUT Official Journal of British Society of Gastroentrology

Smith, B. “Effect of irritant purgatives on the myenteric plexus in man and the mouse.” Gut vol. 9,2 (1968): 139-43. doi:10.1136/gut.9.2.139

4.

UNDERSTANDING THE APPLIED ASPECTS OF SHARANDHAROKTA VIRECHAN KARMA” – A REVIEW

Prayeshana International Journal of Ayurvedic Research

Manikrao Kulkarni et.al.. “UNDERSTANDING THE APPLIED ASPECTS OF SHARANDHAROKTA VIRECHAN KARMA” – A REVIEW”. PIJAR. Vol.1. Issue 6. July-August 2017. Pg. 18-27

ANIMATED VIDEO OF THE ACTION

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