The word Ayurveda, translated in Sanskrit, is known as “The Science of Life”. Science is, about facts, more than a theory, proven results and methods. So the ancient form of healing is not a hypothesis but full of progressive outputs.
Although the healing is definite, the medicine is struggling to achieve faith among people. Ayurvedic medicines have multiple myths and misconceptions around the globe. There are lot of rumors which is not true.
One common rumor is Ayurvedic Medicine does not have expiry dates. No it is not true. Expiry date of Ayurvedic medicines is a real thing. The herbs added in the medicines tend to loose their medicinal properties after a while.
The medicine comes in different formulations and each have different expiry date. Many factors influence the shelf life or the expiration date of ayurvedic medicines.
Expiry Date of Ayurvedic Medicine & Formulations
1. Kashayam (decoction): Brown to Black coloured syrup obtained by boiling the herbs for a long time. Now it is available in concentrated form or as tablets.
Expiry date of Ayurvedic medicine like Kashayam, that is prescribed by the doctors have 6 months of validity and they must be consumed within that timeframe. This is different from the home-made kashayam, which is advised to drink immediately after the preparation. Kashyams are usually intaken in empty stomach because they have potential to be anti-inflammatory.
2. Asava/Arista : these are fermented syrups usually contain sugar
This Ayurvedic medicine is free from shelf life because of the safe fermentation process. The potency of the herb increases as it ages. Expiry date of Ayurvedic medicines like Asava, Arista is forever. Yes, Arista is forever lifetime. The drug is highly effective formulation. It is given usually for conditions that has excess toxins due to chronic ailments.
3. Lehya: Thick medicines in jam like consistency.
The healthy medicinal jam has 3 months of expiry date. Ayurvedic medicine will have different expiration date because of the method of the preparation. Lehyam is suitable for digestion issues. They are also given along with choornam or Kashyam, and mostly intaken after food.
4. Choornam: Dry powder of various herbs.
Since the herbs are dried and then powdered, the expiry date of this ayurvedic medicine is 3 months. The potency is after 3 months. Choornam is also used in preparing medicated water, used for detoxification process.
5. Gritham: Medicated ghee
Ghee by nature itself does not rot. So just like Asava, this ayurvedic medicine don’t hold expiry date. Gritham are also intaken in empty stomach. This formulation is suitable for treating nerve disorders, chronic pain, and other GI disturbances for prolonged time.
6. Gulika: Tablets, some of them needed to be powdered or mixed with other medicines
Expiry date of Ayurvedic medicine Gulika is 3 years. The tablet can be stored in normal room temperature.
7 Points to remember while taking Ayurveda medicines
Ayurvedic medicines gives best result only when they are used consistently.
If your Ayurvedic doctor has prescribed you any Ayurvedic medicine, it is better if you know the following very important facts. These are general guidelines but the doctor may prefer other ways of usage suitable for your condition. If not specified by the doctor, kashayam should be taken before food.
- Kashaya bottle should be shaken well, before it is consumed. Most of the Kashayas are sold in concentrated form. So you need to dilute the Kashaya with equal quantity of water, just before taking it.
- If not specified by the doctor, Asavas and Arishtas should be taken after food.
- Asava/ Arista and Gritha have no expiry date. The expiry date of ayurvedic medicines vary from each formulation. Discard the product after the expiry date mentioned on the product.
- Guggulu tablets should be taken after food, if not specified by the doctor.
- Chyawanprash is best taken in the morning, before / after food, with half a glass of milk.
- Jar containing Churnam, opened once, should be consumed (or discarded) within 6 months.
- Jar containing Ayurvedic Gulikas (or tablets) should be consumed in 1 year if expiry is not mentioned.