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Table of Contents
REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 75-82

A review on Lepa Kalpana: An inherent topical formulations described in Sharangadhar Samhita


1 Department of Rasashastra and Bhaishajya Kalpana, Mahatma Gandhi Ayurved College Hospital and Research Centre, Wardha, Maharashtra, India
2 Department of Dravyaguna Vignyan, Mahatma Gandhi Ayurved College Hospital and Research Centre, Wardha, Maharashtra, India

Date of Web Publication21-Nov-2019

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Mangesh Dhote
Department of Rasashastra and Bhaishajya Kalpana, Mahatma Gandhi Ayurved College Hospital & Research Centre, Salod (H), Wardha, Maharashtra.
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/JISM.JISM_40_19

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  Abstract 

Background: Being one of the major texts in Ayurveda herbal pharmaceutics, Sharangadhar Samhita contributes a very significant part in the world of Ayurveda. It is a major book for reference to academicians as well as physicians. It is an ancient text written by Acharya Sharangadhar in fourteenth century. It is divided into three parts, which are called Khanda. The Khanda includes Prathama Khanda (first part)—7 chapters, Madhyama Khanda (second part)—12 chapters, and Uttara Khanda (last part)—13 chapters, that is, total chapters in Sharangadhar Samhita are 32 and comprises 2600 verses. Materials and Methods: In this work, the review of relevant literature of Lepa Kalpana was carried out from Hindi and English commentary on Sharangadhar Samhita by Pandit Durgadutta Shastri and P. Himasagar Murthy, respectively. In Uttara Khanda, 11th chapter is described as Lepadi Vidhi Adhyaya (chapter on topical dosage formulations) and the same chapter was considered for review. Observation and Results: Total 94 types of Lepa formulations are narrated, of which 80 Lepa formulations contain herbal ingredients, whereas remaining 14 formulations contain herbo-mineral ingredients. Most of these formulations are indicated in skin disorder, hair disorder, migraine, abscess management, anti-inflammatory, and so on. Conclusion: Under the heading of Lepa, Acharya Sharangadhar has provided medicament for local application in common skin diseases. There is a huge scope for research as well as drug discovery and development in the context of Lepa formulations such as Stana and Lingavriddhikar Lepa (breast and penis enlargement), Kurandaghna Lepa (hydrocele), and Suryavarta Ardhavabhedakahara Lepa, mentioned by Acharya Sharangadhar.

Keywords: Lepa, Samhita, Sharangadhar, topical formulations


How to cite this article:
Dhote M, Rathi B, Rajput DS, Dongre R. A review on Lepa Kalpana: An inherent topical formulations described in Sharangadhar Samhita. J Indian Sys Medicine 2019;7:75-82

How to cite this URL:
Dhote M, Rathi B, Rajput DS, Dongre R. A review on Lepa Kalpana: An inherent topical formulations described in Sharangadhar Samhita. J Indian Sys Medicine [serial online] 2019 [cited 2020 Mar 29];7:75-82. Available from: http://www.joinsysmed.com/text.asp?2019/7/2/75/271415




  Introduction Top


In Ayurveda, major ancient texts are divided into two major groups Bruhatrayi and Laghutrayi. Bruhatrayi is named to the group of three major texts, namely Charak Samhita, Sushruta Samhita, and Ashtang Samgraha, whereas on the contrary, Laghutrayi is combined of Sharangadhar Samhita (SS), Madhava Nidana, and Bhavaprakash. Being one of the major texts in Laghutrayi, SS contributes a very significant part in the world of Ayurveda. It is a major book for reference to academicians as well as physicians.

SS is an ancient text written by Acharya Sharangadhar in fourteenth century. It is divided into three parts, which are called Khanda. The Khanda includes Prathama Khanda (first part)—7 chapters, Madhyama Khanda (second part)—12 chapters, and Uttara Khanda (last part)—13 chapters, that is, in total, SS has 32 chapters and comprises 2600 verses.

SS was the first Ayurveda treatise to describe in detail regarding NadiPariksha (examination of pulse) as a method of diagnosis of disease,[1] which says that movement of Nadi (pulse) changes according to the vitiation of Doshas (biological energies). For example, Nadi resembles the movement of leech in Vata, resembles movement of sparrow, crow, or frog in Pitta, and resembles movement of Swan or pigeon in Kapha. Acharya described the mechanism of respiration with new terms such as Ambarapiyusha and Vishnupadamrita (absorption of oxygen from environment to blood stream).[2] He also described the anatomy and physiology of human body organs with Kala (lining membranes, sheath, coverings, and secreting membranes), Aashaya (cavity or sac, which accommodates Dosha, Dhatu, and Mala), Dhatu (tissues), Mala (waste product), Upadhatu (secondary tissues), and Twak (skin). He explained seventh layer of Twak as Stula. The term “Tila” is mentioned instead of Kloma, which is the Mula Sthana (origin) of Jalavahi Sira (channels). Suchika Bharan Rasa (an injectable formulation) and Snayuka Krimi Roga[3] (guinea worm infection) are described for the first time in this text.

SS is the most systemic treatise of Bhaishajya Kalpana (Indian herbal pharmaceutics), which explained Panchavidha Kashaya Kalpana (five basic preparations) in Madhyama Khanda. Panchavidha Kashaya Kalpana is the basic most Kalpana (preparation) of any raw drug into medicine form, which can be easily prepared and used by a person. On the basis of these basic Kalpana, few Upkalpana and modified Kalpana are developed to make the administration of drugs easy. SS gave more importance to Kalpana as each Kalpana was explained as a separate chapter in this Khanda. In each chapter, respective Kalpana was defined in much more detail regarding its principle, dose, Anupana (a vehicle with or after medicine or food), and modification than in previous texts.

Kalka Kalpana (fine paste) is one of the Kalpanas explained under Panchavidha Kashaya, which means making bolus of fresh or dry herb by adding some water. Kalka Kalpana can be used for external as well as internal purpose, and Lepa Kalpana is one of the Upakalpanas, which is used for external purpose in Ayurveda. In last Khanda, that is, Uttara Khanda of this text, in 11th chapter entitled “Lepadi Vidhi Adhyaya,” different types of Lepa preparations are explained. Some of them are taken from previous classical texts but it can be said that many more are unique of their type and are first time explained in this text. Here in this article, an attempt has been made to gather and elaborate information and types of Lepa Kalpana explained in SS as well as the rationality behind them. As Lepa Kalpana is the major mode of drug application in skin diseases, the review of such Kalpana will enlighten its significance as well as will provide scope for further research. Considering the increasing prevalence of skin diseases and the need of discovery of new better medicament, this work was planned as the review will provide information of externally used formulations, most of which are not available in market and thus need to be studied on scientific grounds.


  Materials and Methods Top


In this work, review of relevant literature of Lepa Kalpana was carried out from Hindi and English commentary on SS by Pandit Durgadutta Shastri and P. Himasagar Murthy, respectively. As Lepa Kalpana has synonyms such as Lipta, Lepa, Lepana, and Lepa; therefore, literature was compiled where formulations containing these terms were mentioned. In SS, few formulations are narrated under single heading, for example, Agnidagdha Lepa includes three formulations. Hence, for feasibility of understanding as well as prescription, such formulations are summarized in table by adding numbers such as Agnidagdha Lepa-1 and Agnidagdha Lepa-2. In nearly all formulations, proportion of ingredients is not mentioned; therefore, the proportion of ingredients is excluded in the presented tables. Lepa is of three types, namely Doshaghna (which alleviates Doshas), Vishaghna (which nullifies the poisonous effect), and Varnya (for complexion) also known as Mukhalepa (which cures facial disorders). However, while describing the formulations, type of Lepa is not mentioned by Acharya Sharangadhar. Moreover, the categorization in the mentioned three types is based on the clinical point of view, that is, pathology of the disease. Due to this limitation, the classification of collected formulations according to three types of Lepa was not carried out.


  Observation and Results Top


The 11th chapter of Uttara Khanda of SS named Lepadi Vidhi Adhyaya explains total 94 Lepa formulations, of which, there are 80 Lepa formulations, which contain only herbal ingredients [Table 1], whereas the remaining 14 formulations contain herbo-mineral ingredients [Table 2]. In these formulations, different types of materials are used as liquid media or base. In most of the Lepa formulations, Godugdha (cow’s milk), Goghrita (cow’s clarified butter), and Gomutra (cow’s urine) are used. In 11 types of Lepa, Goghrita is used. Godugdha and Gomutra are used nine and four times, respectively.
Table 1: Types of Lepa in Sharangadhar Samhita of herbal ingredients

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,
Table 2: Types of Lepa in Sharangadhar Samhita of herbo-mineral ingredients

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  Discussion Top


Ayurveda therapy suggests that Lepa, that is, the topical formulations should be gently rubbed in an upward or reverse direction of the hairs over the skin to make the action of application more quick and effective.[4] Due to this, the drug enters into the pores at the root of the hair through which the drug gets absorbed in the capillary network to minor veins and then further into systemic blood circulation. This ultimately results in the absorption of medicament and desired effects. This method of rubbing increases the skin temperature, which might be speeding up the pilosebaceous uptake and skin permeation of the drug as heat causes dilation of the capillary end.[5]

In Lepadi Adhyaya, Acharya has explained Lepa formulation for almost all types of skin ailments. In this chapter, along with this, he has also covered Lepa for specific conditions such as Stana and Lingavriddhikar (for the development of penis and breast), Yoni Dravakar Lepa (for quick orgasm), and Suryavarta Ardhavbhedakahara Lepa (for migraine and one-sided headache). He has also given due importance to cosmetic and skin disorders, which is why, he explained a total of 15 formulations of Lepa for facial disorders and hair enrichment. It may be interpreted that till the period of SS, the climate and food habits were more natural and nourishing to health; therefore, the prevalence of skin disease was considered negligible. Hence, Acharya might be focused more on formulations related to the beauty care. The formulations related to genital organs can be considered as a special contribution in the field of Ayurveda. It can be interpreted that the aim of mentioning such formulations was only to treat cases that were having unsatisfactory sexual life and willing to continue their progeny. The actual effect of such formulation is a matter of research and hence any definite claim cannot be made regarding their effectiveness.

Lepa is a preparation where powdered drugs are mixed with some liquid or other media and made into fine paste and used as an external application on the skin.[6] Liquid media or bases in Lepa play an important role in enhancing its action. Different media such as cow urine, goat urine, and ghee have been mentioned for Lepa preparation. These different media have special therapeutic potential and hence they may have a supportive role in increasing the efficacy of the formulation.[7] It is observed that ghee is the most commonly used media and it is evident that fats and oils have better skin penetration and thereby better bioavailability on local application.[8] It can be understood that there must be a specific reason for the use of a specific base. However, an attempt can be made to research the Lepa formulation by changing the base media and studying the level of change in efficacy.

For the management of Vranashotha (abscess), Acharya explained the Chikitsakrama (line of treatment) and then the Lepa formulations. Under the Chikitsakrama, at the very initial stage, he has explained Shothahar Lepa (anti-inflammatory) and Raktavshechan (bloodletting) to stop the conversion of Vrana (simple boil) into Vranashotha (abscess). Even after the aforementioned application, if the Vrana is converted into Vranashotha then Upanaha (poultice), Patana (incision), Shodhana (detoxifying), Ropana (healing), and then Savarnikarana Kriya (process to maintain discoloration) are given. In SS, a total of 12 Lepa formulations are explained for the management of Vranashotha. He explained very precisely Lepa sequence according to different conditions and then further according to different types of abscesses. In modern medicine also, conventionally wound is treated with antiseptic to stop sepsis formation. In case of conversion of wound into abscess, it is suggested to prepare fresh wound by giving incision and then it is treated with antiseptics and antibiotics to get healed. There is very much similarity can be seen in both ways of management which shows the futuristic view of author.

In the chapter of Lepa formulations, Acharya has explained five Lepa formulations with the major ingredient as Bakuchi (Psoralea corylifolia), which has a potential antimicrobial property.[9] It shows the experience-based scientific approach of our Acharya for their selection of ingredients for any specific formulation. Again in some Lepa preparation, Acharya had used herbo-mineral preparation while using mineral ingredients. He mentioned the use of Hartala (arsenic) in least quantity, and modern research also clearly mentioned that arsenic is a highly poisonous compound.[10] According to the World Health Organization, current recommended limit of arsenic in drinking water is 10 μg/L,[11] and according to API (Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India), it is 3ppm.[12] Although there are only a few studies on absorption through the skin, they indicate that only a small percentage is absorbed by this route.[13],[14]

Manjishtha (Rubia cordifolia), Haridra (Curcuma longa), Daruharidra (Berberis aristata), Karanja (Pongamia pinnata), Nirgundi (Vitex indigo), and Chakramarda (Cassia tora) are the most used ingredients of maximum formulations. These aforementioned drugs are included in Varnya (for complexion enhancer),[15]Kandughna (to stop itching),[16] and Kushthaghna (to treat any skin disorder)[17] groups in Ayurveda texts. There are many modern research that prove the antibacterial and antifungal activities of Karanja,[18]Manjishtha,[19]Haridra,[20]Daruharidra,[21]Nirgundi,[22] and Chakramarda.[23] They prove the suitability of drugs for the treatment of skin disorders and again the broad scientific approach of Acharya to develop the formulations for the management of skin disorders.

According to the Ayurveda principle of medicine, while treating any skin disorder, the internally administrated medicines show their effect according to their Rasa (the taste associated with secretions in the mouth), Virya (potent energy), Vipaka (post-digestive effect), and Prabhava (specific and characteristic effect). In this way, medicine passes through Jatharagni Paka (digestive tract) then it follows the Rasa and Rakta Dhatwagni (tissue level digestion),[24] which nourishes the skin. As the skin is the Saara (essence) part of Rakta (blood), it shows its effect on Twakgata Kala (skin layer). On behalf of the aforementioned principle, it can be said that oral medication takes time to show the result on skin, by the time the patient has the symptoms such as irritation and itching. In such cases, if any local application is used with that of orally administrated medicines, the patient can be satisfied on symptomatic as well as systemic level. It shows the superiority of local application when combined with orally administered medications.


  Conclusion Top


Under the heading of Lepa, Acharya Sharangadhar has provided medicament for local application in common skin diseases. There is a huge scope for research as well as drug discovery and development in the context of Lepa formulations mentioned by Sharangadhar. The review represents the significance of SS in perspective of detail, sequential and scientific description of Lepa. However, along with dosage form modification into ointments as well as pharmaceutical–analytical standardization, in vivo and in vitro studies are needed to establish a scientific database of the clinical effectiveness of all these Lepa formulations.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Shastri D. Prathama khanda, chapter 3, verse 1. In: Sharangadhar Samhita Tatvadipika. Reprint ed. Varanasi, India: Chaukhambha Vidyabhawan; 2014. p. 28.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Shastri D. Prathama khanda, chapter 5, verse 46. In: Sharangadhar Samhita Tatvadipika. Reprint ed. Varanasi, India: Chaukhambha Vidyabhawan; 2014. p. 74.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Shastri D. Prathama khanda, chapter 7, verse 18. In: Sharangadhar Samhita Tatvadipika. Reprint ed. Varanasi, India: Chaukhambha Vidyabhawan; 2014. p. 108.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Sushruta. Sutra stana. In: Sushrata Samhita, Vranalepabandhavidi Adhayay 18/4 edited with Ayurveda Sandipika Hindi Commentary by Kaviraj Ambikadutta Shastri. Varanasi, India: Chaukhambha Sanskrita Sanstana; 1997. p. 96.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Hao J, Ghosh P, Li SK, Newman B, Kasting GB, Raney SG. Heat effects on drug delivery across human skin. Expert Opin Drug Deliv 2016;13:755-68.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
Rathi B, Rathi R, Rajput DS. Pharmaceutical standardization of Avalgujadi Lepaguti. J Indian Sys Med 2016;4:72-6.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.
Shetty M, Suersh B. Yogaratnakara. Vol. I, 1st ed. Varanasi, India: Chowkhamba Sanskrit Bharati; 2005. p. 116.  Back to cited text no. 7
    
8.
Available from: http://howmed.net/pharmacology/factors-affecting-absorption-of-drugs/. [Last accessed on 2019 July 19].  Back to cited text no. 8
    
9.
Chopra B, Dhingra AK. Dhar KL. Antimicrobial activity of Psoralea corylifolia Linn. (Baguchi) seeds extracts by organic solvents and supercritical fluids. IJPCR 2013;5:13-6.  Back to cited text no. 9
    
10.
Arsenic poisoning. Available from: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/241860.php. [Last assessedon 2019 Aug 13].  Back to cited text no. 10
    
11.
Environmental factsheets published by New Hampshire department of environmental services in 2019, Available at https://www.des.nh.gov/organization/commissioner/pip/factsheets/dwgb/documents/dwgb-3-2.pdf. [Last assessedon 2019 Sep 18].  Back to cited text no. 11
    
12.
Anonymous. Appendix 2.3. In: Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India. New Delhi, India: Ministry of AYUSH, Govt. of India, Central Council of Indian Medicine; 1999.  Back to cited text no. 12
    
13.
Environmental factsheets published by New Hampshire department of environmental services in 2019, Available at https://www.des.nh.gov/organization/commissioner/pip/factsheets/dwgb/documents/dwgb-3-2.pdf. [Last assessed on 2019 Aug 13].  Back to cited text no. 13
    
14.
Dermal Absorption of Inorganic Arsenic from Water. Available from: http://www.state.nj.us/dep/dsr/research/dermal-arsenic-whitepaper.pdf. [Last assessed on 2019 Aug 13].  Back to cited text no. 14
    
15.
Shastri K. Charak sutrasthan, chapter 4/8. In: “Viddyotini” Hindi Commentary on Charak Samhita with Ayurvdadipika Commentary of Chakrapaanidatta. Reprint ed. Varanasi, India: Chaukhambha Sanskrit Sansthan; 2007. p. 78.  Back to cited text no. 15
    
16.
Shastri K. Charak sutrasthan, chapter 4/14. In: “Viddyotini” Hindi Commentary on Charak Samhita with Ayurvdadipika Commentary of Chakrapaanidatta. Reprint ed. Varanasi, India: Chaukhambha Sanskrit Sansthan; 2007. p. 82.  Back to cited text no. 16
    
17.
Shastri K. Charak sutrasthan, chapter 4/13. In: “Viddyotini” Hindi Commentary on Charak Samhita with Ayurvdadipika Commentary of Chakrapaanidatta. Varanasi, India, Chaukhambha Sanskrit Sansthan; 2007. p. 81.  Back to cited text no. 17
    
18.
Rani MS. Evaluation of antibacterial activity of Pongamia pinnata Linn. on pathogens of clinical isolates. Am J Phytomed Clin Ther 2013;8:645-51.  Back to cited text no. 18
    
19.
Yazan I, Mohammed W, Al-zu’abe M, Salim A. Antimicrobial activity of Rubia cordifolia: Methods to determine antimicrobial activity. Res J Med Plants 2016;10:457-62.  Back to cited text no. 19
    
20.
Soheil ZM, Habsah AK, Pouya H, Hassan T, Sazaly A, Keivan Z. A review on antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal activity of curcumin. Bio Med Res Int 2014;67:1-12.  Back to cited text no. 20
    
21.
Kumar S, Tamil S, Subramanian V, Vasanthi NS, Manonmani E. Antimicrobial potential of Daruharidra (Berberis aristata DC) against the pathogens causing eye infection. Int J Green Pharm 2014;8:153-7.  Back to cited text no. 21
    
22.
Devi PR, Kokilavani R, Poongothai SG. Anti microbial activity of the various leaf extracts of Vitex negundo Linn. Anc Sci Life 2008;27:22-7.  Back to cited text no. 22
    
23.
Sharma S. Antibacterial activity of Cassia tora leaves. Int J Pharm Biol Archiv 2010;1:84-6.  Back to cited text no. 23
    
24.
Gupta N. Concept of nutritional dynamics of tissue (Dhatuposhana)—An Ayurvedic approach. Int Ayu Med J 2016;4:25-6.  Back to cited text no. 24
    



 
 
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