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What Is Lehya In Ayurveda?

The medicine that is consumed by licking is lehya in Ayurveda. One of the classifications of diet in Ayurveda is based on the method of intake – drinking, eating, chewing, and licking. Lehya is the last of these. Generally, paste-like substances are lickable. Lehya preparations are semi-solid and smooth.

But this concept is not limited just to food. It is also used in drug formulations. Avaleha, paka, prasa, lehya and khanda are different types of lehya preparations. Cyavanaprasa avaleha, vasavaleha, and agasti prasa are famous lehya preparations in Ayurveda. The general recipe for such lehya is as follows – One part of the powder or paste of the main medicine or herbal substance, four parts of sugar or crystal sugar, two parts of jaggery, four parts of the decoction or juice of the associated drug are taken and cooked on fire. When the recipe becomes semi-solid, the powder of the drugs should be added and stirred well. The recipe should be taken off the fire and allowed to cool. Then honey is added to it. The preparation should be stored in an earthen pot or a porcelain jar smeared with ghee (clarified butter). In some lehya recipes when ghee or oil and paste of fruits like amla or white pumpkin are mentioned, the paste of these substances should be fried in ghee or oil, and then jaggery, herbal medicines, etc. should be added and cooked.