Studying the pharmacological basis of an antiepileptic ayurvedic formulation - Sarasvata churna

Rahul Kaushik


Epilepsy or Apasmara is a common chronic neurological disorder affecting millions worldwide. Abnormal neuronal discharge occurs during seizures. A person with epilepsy is loaded with a variety of synthetic anticonvulsants, which has associated toxicities and degenerative effects on some essential biochemicals and brain antioxidant enzymes on prolonged use. Ketogenic and Atkins diet are sometimes prescribed by neurologists as adjuvant with modern antiepileptics, but their limited use and associated side effects have led to focus on some alternatives. Nidanparivarjan, Shodhan chikitsa, Bahiparimarjan, Rasayana chikitsa, Sattvavajaya and Avasthika chikitsa are basic approaches for treatment of disorders or ailments in Ayurveda. Rasayana chikitsa is preferred for the long-term management of epilepsy, which involves the use of Medhya Rasayana which is a collection of herbs in minute quantities such as Mandukaparni, Yashtimadhu, Guduchi, Tinospora, Ashwagandha, Shankhpushpi, Vacha, and Brahmi. Sarasvata churna is an ayurvedic formulation and as mentioned by Bhavaprakasha and Ayurvedic Formulary of India and is a compound ayurvedic formulation containing Saussurea lappa, Withania somnifera, Rock salt, Carum roxburghianum, Cuminum cyminum, Carum carvi, Piper longum, Piper nigrum, Zingiber officinale, Cissampelos pareira, Convolvulus pluricaulis, Acorus calamus, and Bacopa monnieri. Besides possessing tremendous curing potential, Sarasvata churna is not being prescribed by neurologists for the treatment of epilepsy due to lack of animal and clinical safety data. In this study, the individual component drugs of Sarasvata churna are intensively investigated on pharmacological basis for their respective role in overcoming epilepsy so as to understand the actual mechanisms behind the potential of this thousand years old remedy for epilepsy.

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