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Review Article

J. res. tradit. med. 2016; 2(4): 103-112

Role of Vegetables (Shaka Dravyas) in Prevention and Management of Gastro - Intestinal Tract Diseases: A Critical Review

Raghavendra Naik*, Mital Buha, Rabinarayan Acharya, Sneha D Borkar.


Background: Ayurveda describes diet as the best preventive medicine and mentioned its role for the prevention and management of many diseases. Classical texts of Ayurveda delineated different vegetables under “Shakavarga”, with their properties and indications in different disease conditions. These vegetables are advocated as Pathya Ahara (wholesome diet) in clinical practice for treating different lifestyle diseases due to faulty food habits. Aims: To critically evaluate the role of vegetables indicated as Pathya for gastrointestinal tract diseases. Material and methods: Four Samhita and eleven different Nighantu were reviewed. The obtained data have been analyzed and being presented in a precise manner with regards to their various reported activity on gastrointestinal diseases. Results: Analysis of the compiled data reveals that out of 324 plants, described under Shakavarga, 58 vegetables are indicated in the diseases related to gastrointestinal tract like Ajirna (Dyspepsia), Arshas (Hemorrhoids), Grahani (Malabsorption syndrome) etc. Among them, botanical identity of 57 classical plants has been established and maximum number of vegetables belongs to the family Cucurbitaceae & Solanaceae. Different parts of the plants like leaves, fruits, rhizome/tuber, stem, owers are recommended as vegetables in gastrointestinal diseases. Some of these vegetables are also reported for their effect in the management of peptic ulcer, chronic inammatory bowel disease etc. Conclusion: The observed results may be helpful in planning further scientic studies about the efcacy of these plants on prevention as well as management of gastrointestinal diseases.

Key words: Ayurveda, Gastro-Intestinal Tract Diseases, Pathya, Shakavarga, Vegetables

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