Rasashastra the branch of Ayurved that exclusively deals with Metals, Minerals & all other Non – Herbal resources has evolved over a period of time. The history of this science dates back to 7th Century (Nagarjuna bringing it into medical use) & in order to make the most potent medicinal combinations for the use of humans made the then seers whoever Physicians themselves to evolve. Combinations containing Rasa – Parad (Mercury) in appropriate quantum, this was the beginning of the Ayurvedic Alchemy which from the 7th Century continued to evolve resulting formulations that could be given in smallest of the quantum to get instant result. The evolution started from Khalvi Rasayan & evolves through Parpati Rasayan and Kupipakva Rasayan culminating with Pottali Rasayan. In the sphere of Ayurved, the words that are in use in common parlance have not been used as only a tradition but have come into being as per the specific grammar rules and later as have become popular. The understandings of the word, therefore, has to be on the basis of the evolution of the word and then alone are we in a position to appreciate as to why a particular word becomes imperative / unreplacable in usual practice. Pottali is one such word that is in Ayurvedic pardance that denotes a dosage form. To understand this unique concept, it is important to go to the basics of the evolution of the word itself.
From the root ’ल’ with ’आय’ Pratyaya the word Pottali has been formed.
विसतारितस्य वस्तुनो अल्पऽपिभवनं
पोट्टं पोट्टल इति गृह्णाति इति पोट्टली ।
Pottali in colloquial language means a roundish substance prepared by collecting scattered material into a compact comprehensive size. It can also be explained w. r. t. the topic concerned as a technique or process which gives compactness to the scattered particles.
Ayurvedic products, though effective, are considered to be difficult to consume because the quantity in which they need to be consumed, can be a bit more. The points like convenience & enhancement of property of a medicine are not new & have been in existence for centuries.
In today’s times, when the people want compact medicines, in earlier times also it was required due to the severe problem of transportation, as the Physicians would prefer to travel long distances to reach the patients along with their medicines.
And this resulted in the advent of Pottali Kalpana. The Parad Kalpa got divided into 4 clear types: Kalvi Rasayan, Parpati Rasayan, Kupipakva Rasayan and Pottali Rasayan. The concept of trituration of Parad with equal amount of Shodhit Gandhak by weight to form Kajjali, gave a material that was in solid state.
Perhaps the thought of mixing Mercury & Gandhak when Gandhak is in the molten stage might have given rise to Pottali Kalpana as due to the process followed for the preparation of Pottali, the Parad comes into contact with Dravit Gandhak (Molten Gandhak) & this might have been the origin of the concept behind Pottali Kalpana.
In addition, the Kajjali prepared for Pottali which has lesser quantity of Gandhak comes in contact with excess Gandhak by which the bonds between Parad & Shodhit Gandhak becomes even more strong.
The end product Pottali that gets delivered through the process of Pottali Karan has the advantage of being able to deliver potent medicines in small doses alongwith giving the end user the ability to have it in small doses which are easy to prepare & consume.
The preservation of such a highly potent medicines is easy to use and compact and has great relevance in today’s scenario when the expectations of the delivery of result from medicines quickly are on the rise.
Various Pottalies have been mentioned in the text of Ayurved. However, taking into consideration today’s lifestyle & diet related commonly found disorders, Six specialized Pottalies by Shree Dhootapapeshwar Limited are being brought into the market having niche areas of important applications – not only in acute condition but in chronic ailments & conditions too.