The pharmacological action which is responsible for the main line of treatment is Shamana. It is the ability of the substance to pacify the causative factor that is responsible for causing a disease condition. The causative factor for any disease as per AYURVEDA are the त्रिदोष (Tridosha) and hence depending on the दोष (Dosha) concerned they are are also of three types. But irrespective of the factor upon which it acts, the methodology of action remains the same so is the effect. The details of the pharmacological activity is explained below:
DETAILS OF THE ACTION
ALL PHARMACOLOGICAL ACTION THAT HAS PALLIATIVE EFFECT
The reference is from Sharangadhara Samhita (शा. स.) respectively
SYNONYMS (IF PRESENT)
MODE OF ACTION / PHARMACODYNAMICS
The action SAMSHAMANA deals with variety of systems and components of the body and their relative activities. Among the various the components of the it is the दोष (Dosha) that plays an important role in causing diseases by undergoing vitiation. The action is so generalised that it is considered as a a class of medicine itself while classifying the medicinal substances on the basis of its action. Thus a substance that has the action of SAMSHAMANA should have the ability to pacify the vitiated दोष (Dosha) as specified in the definition. Thus depending on the दोष (Dosha) that is being acted upon, the substances are classified into three namely:
Vatasamshamana substances are those which are having the ability to pacify the vitiated Vatadosha (वातदोष). This category of substances should be having the qualities that are opposite to Vatadosha (वातदोष) namely स्निग्धगुण (Snigdha), गुरुगुण (Guru), उष्णगुण (Hot), श्लक्ष्णगुण (Shlakshna), मृदुगुण (Mridu), पिच्छिलगुण (Picchila), मधुररस (Sweet), अम्लरस (Amla), लवणरस (Lavana), मधुरविपाक (Sweet) and उष्णवीर्य (Hot). As per the reference from Kashyapa Samhita (का. सं. खि. 6) while using substances that are grouped under this category, one should start with those having लवणरस (Lavana), followed by अम्लरस (Amla) and मधुररस (Sweet). This order facilitates proper recovery from the disease resulted due to vitiated वातदोष (Vatadosha). Here due to the effect of लवणरस (Lavana) which contains प्रक्लेद (moisture), उष्ण (Heavy) and गुरु (Guru) properties lead to the removal of विबन्ध (Blocks) in channels, control of शीत (Cold) and relief from लघु (Light) properties of वातदोष (Vatadosha) respectively. The properties of अम्लरस (Amla) namely तीक्ष्ण (Penetrating), स्निग्ध (Unctous) and उष्ण (Hot) will result in the opening of channels, moistening of these pathways and restore movement of वातदोष (Vatadosha). Lastly the properties of मधुररस (Sweet) namely गुरु (Heavy), पिच्छिल (Sticky) and स्निग्ध (Unctous) will act against लघु (Light), विशद (Clear) and रूक्ष (Dry) properties of वातदोष (Vatadosha) thus completely pacifying it.
Pittasamshamana substances are those which are having the ability to pacify the vitiated Pittadosha (पित्तदिष). This category of substances should be having the qualities that are opposite to Pittadosha (पित्तदोष) namely रुक्षगुण (Ruksha), गुरुगुण (Guru), शीतगुण (Sheeta), सान्द्र (Sandra), मृदुगुण (Mridu), स्थिर (Sthira), मधुररस (Sweet), तिक्र्त (Tikta), कषायरस (Kashaya), मधुरविपाक (Sweet) and शीतवीर्य (Sheeta). As per the reference from Kashyapa Samhita (का. सं. खि. 6) while using substances that are grouped under this category, one should start with those having तिक्तरस (Bitter), followed by मधुररस (Sweet) and कषायरस (Astringent). This order facilitates proper recovery from the disease resulted due to vitiated Pittadosha (पित्तदोष). The initial administration of तिक्तरस (Bitter) will digest the आम (Unmetabolised matter) completely making the Pittadosha (पित्तदोष) free from आम (Unmetabolised matter). The administration of मधुररस (Sweet) will lead to the control of pacifying of the Pittadosha (पित्तदोष) due to its शीत (Cold), गुरु (Heavy) and स्निग्ध (Unctous) properties. Even the मधुर भाव will be helpful in pacifying Pittadosha (पित्तदोष). Lastly administration of कषायरस (Astringent) removes the excessive द्रव (Liquid) nature of Pittadosha (पित्तदोष) through रूक्ष (Dry) and शोषण (Absorb or drying) properties thus pacifying it.
Kaphasamshamana substances are those which are having the ability to pacify the vitiated Kaphadosha (कफदोष). This category of substances should be having the qualities that are opposite to Kaphadosha (कफदोष) namely रूक्ष (Ruksha), लघुगुण (Laghu), उष्णगुण (Hot), तीक्ष्णगुण (Teekshna), सरगुण (Sara), विशदगुण (Vishada), कटुरस (Pungent), तिक्तरस (Bitter), कषायरस (Astringent), कटुविपाक (Pungent) and उष्णवीर्य (Hot). As per the reference from Kashyapa Samhita (का. सं. खि. 6) while using substances that are grouped under this category, one should start with those having कटुरस (Pungent) followed by तिक्तरस (Bitter) and कषायरस (Astringent) in order. This order facilitates proper recovery from the disease caused by Kaphadosha (कफदोष). The initial administration of कटुरस (Pungent) will lead to the removal of the पिच्छिल (slimy or sticky) and गुरुगुण (Heavy) of Kaphadosha (कफदोष). This being followed by तिक्तरस (Bitter) will lead to removal of sweetness of mouth and also removes moisture of Kaphadosha (कफदोष). Lastly on administration of कषायरस (Astringent) will lead to further drying of the vitiated Kaphadosha (कफदोष) and its complete removal thus pacifying it.
The said action of Ayurveda has no equivalent in the Modern Pharmacological science. Infact all the actions that are useful to subside the different symptoms can be considered here. Even Ayurveda explains this as a larger set of substances. This makes it more generalised than any specificity. Hence considering any pharmacological action as an equivalent to this action would be a very wrong approach. Hence I have considered it to be the group that consists of all the pharmacological activities that result in subsiding a given condition. Depending on the disease, system and class of medicine the pharmacological activity may vary. But the only aspect that is to be kept in mind is that the substance should produce the soothing effect on the patient by subsiding the disease symptoms.
As described the subclassification is based on Doshas which will include all the pharmacological activities in its fold. Hence this action should be understood as a set of properties that are more of soothing and pacify the disease without any forceful removal unlike SAMSHODHANA.
INVESTIGATIVE PARAMETERS TO ASSESS
CATEGORY OF PARAMETER
TYPE OF INVESTIGATION
NOT YET COMPILED
NOT YET COMPILED
NOT YET COMPILED
LIST OF PLANTS THAT EXHIBIT THE ACTION
EXAMPLES OF PLANTS THAT EXHIBIT THIS ACTION
Tinospora cordifolia (Thunb) Miers
Adathoda vasica Nees
Phyllanthus emblica Linn
Terminalia chebula Retz
Zingiber officinale Roscoe
RESEARCH PAPERS ON THE PHARMACOLOGICAL ACTION
TITLE OF THE PAPER
Clinical effect of Virechana and Shamana Chikitsa in Tamaka Shwasa (Bronchial Asthma)
A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW OF UTKLESHANA, DOSHAHARA AND SAMSHAMANA VASTI IN AYURVEDA
Ayu – International Journal
Internation Journal of Research in Ayurveda and Pharmacy
Ghosh, Kuntal A, and Paresh C Tripathi. “Clinical effect of Virechana and Shamana Chikitsa in Tamaka Shwasa (Bronchial Asthma).” Ayu vol. 33,2 (2012): 238-42.
Mahantagouda Biradar et al. A systematic review of Utkleshana, Doshahara and Samshamana vasti in Ayurveda. Int. J. Res. Ayurveda Pharm. 2017;8(6):18-25