Anupana (After Drink) : An Ayurvedic View

Have your doctor advised you to take medicines along with some specific liquids?  What could be the reason for that special advice? Have you ever noticed this is different for each person? Let’s have a look!

Anu means ‘after/later’ and panam means ‘to drink’. Anupana – After drink is a substance taken along with or after the intake of meal (ahara) or medicine (aushadha). As the basic concept of Ayurveda, which is promotion of health and curing the disease, anupana also can make use of with that intention. Simply it can be used for diet in healthy state as well as in diseased condition.

When appropriate anupana is taken with the food, it provides better digestion and absorption. Food provides best nourishment when consumed with the suitable anupana and enhances strength and span of life. In the management of diseases anupana plays a major role as it enhances the potency, digestion, absorption and assimilation of drugs. There is disease specific as well as medicine specific anupana explained in Ayurveda classics. Anupana carries the essential substances of the herbs/drugs to the targeted area.

Some of the synonyms used for describe anupana indicates its various function. It is called as ‘Vaahan’, which means the ‘vehicle’. The word ‘Sahayogi’ used to denote anupana which means ‘the one which brings together’. Another synonym ‘Maadhyama’ means ‘one which acts as media’. ‘Anutarsha’ means ‘which quenches thirst’ also signifies the importance of anupanaadjuvant/vehicle.

Anupana – After drink is advocated according to different conditions such as honey for obese individual, meat soup for emaciated, milk for one who exhausted due to various diseases etc. According to Ayurveda jala (water – preferably warm water) is considered as the best Anupana for healthy and diseased persons. Some acharyas of Ayurveda opines that mahendra jala (purified rain water) as a good Anupana for common usage.

As per Ayurveda the qualities of anupana should be opposite to the predominant dosha (vata, pitta, or kapha). In condition occurred due to Vata dosha vitiation, unctuous and hot anupana are ideal. In case of Pitta, sweet and cold types of anupana should be preferred. In Kapha vitiated condition anupana which is hot and light quality does its function perfectly.  

The concept of anupana is unique and it contribute through the most ideal and healthy way. The multidimensional usage of anupana gives us the liberty to use it during the healthy as well as disease condition. Therefore choosing the appropriate anupana is very important to receive the entire beneficiary from its intake. As the oil dropped on the surface of still water spreads fast, the medicine taken with appropriate anupana reaches the target organ quickly.

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