THE REAL CONCEPT OF SUBSTITUTION IN AYURVEDA LITERATURE AND ADULTERATION THE MISLEADING CONCEPT OF MODERN ERA
A quality drug is central to the success of any therapeutic plan. The quality of drug is determined right from the collection to delivery to the patients. The commonest problem involving the medicinal plant stating materials is intentional or unintentional substitution and adulteration owing to multiple reasons like unavailability, higher costs, unfair trade etc. This trend was also present in the olden days, as evident from the concept of substitute drugs (Pratinidhi Dravya) as available in Yogratanakara, Bhavaprakasha and Bhaishajyaratnawali. Therefore, Charka and later Acharyas also have dealt with authentication and standardization of herbal drugs and formulations in detail by using four Pramanas (tools of knowledge) Ch.Vi.8/87. Nowadays the concept of substitution is entirely converted into intentional and unintentional malpractices of adulteration. The established authenticity parameters for plant material identification and standardization like organoleptic, physical, chemical and genetic parameters are relatively inaccessible for routine use. Not withstanding the accuracy and usefulness of these lab parameters and delay in the development of easy to perform parameters for reasonable drug authentication. These adulteration malpractices spoils the market of herbal industries. In this article we discuss about concept of substitution in ancient Ayurveda and at present intentional and unintentional adulteration practices.
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