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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 33  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 198-202

The scientific basis of rasa (taste) of a substance as a tool to explore its pharmacological behavior

1 Department of Dravyaguna, National Institute of Āyurveda, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India
2 Department of Basic Principles, National Institute of Āyurveda, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India

Correspondence Address:
Sudipta Kumar Rath
B - 45, Gole Market, Jawahar Nagar, Jaipur 302 004, Rajasthan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0257-7941.147419

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Background: A rational and well-developed pharmacological basis forms the foundation of therapeutics in Ayurveda. The principles and theories of Ayurveda need to be validated in the scientific context in order to harness the millennia old knowledge. Rasa (taste) of the substance is the foremost tool in Ayurveda to assess and determine the pharmacological properties and actions of the substance. Similarity in rasa is said to signify similar structure and consequently similar pharmacological behavior. Depending on skills developed over the course of long-term clinical experience one, can register the minute variations in rasa of substances and accordingly the possible variations in pharmacological actions. Thus, rasa can be used as a scientific tool in the drug discovery process to limit and focus the target areas. Aim: To sensitize scientific community to the utility of rasa as a tool in the process of drug discovery. Materials and Methods: All relevant ancient and contemporary literature was reviewed critically to form a scientific basis of the Ayurvedic concept of rasa as a tool to identify the pharmacological behavior of a substance. Conclusion: The review finds that rasa (taste) can be used as a guide to identify potential targets in drug discovery.

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