Decocted extracts(arista) or cold infusion extracts(asava) of different herbs are fermented with the flowers of dhataki (woodfordia fruticosa) at a ratio of 1part herb of 5 parts honey to 10 parts jagggery of 25 parts water. They are sealed in a wooden barrel and left to transform into nourishing medicines. They are used as tonics and to stimulates the digestive fire. They are often prescribed at doses of 1-2 karsa of 12-24 ml twice a day.
Although not traditionally used in ayurveda tinctures are commonly used these days in western countries to administer herbs. Herbs are macerated or percolated in water and alcohol with varying weights and volumes. For examples 1 part herbs is macerated in 5 parts menstruum at a 25% alcohol ratio for 2-4 weeks and then pressed out. The resulting extract in then stored and has a long shelf life from 1 to 5 years, depending on the herb. This ratio is written as ‘1:5@25%’ and means that 5 ml tincture is equal to 1gm herbs and thus the dose can be accurately measured. A tincture does have a usna quality of alcohol is added to the preparation, tinctures are easily assimilated and they spread quickly round the body. They are usually taken at 1-5ml three times a day with warm water, depending on the ratio of the extract, the type of herb used and the effect desired.