Sneha Kalapana is an Ayurvedic process to extract a high spectrum of medicinal properties of a plant. Both water soluble and fat soluble properties are extracted. The process ensures enhanced shelf like and excellent absorption into the body.
[ Herb + Water + Fat (Oil/Milk) + Fire ]
The process of extraction, or cooking (paka), is an ancient art that involves monitoring a delicate balance of herbal extraction points and formula viscosity.
There are several important check points during the extraction process:
Stage 1: Ama Paka
This stage is undercooked. The plant matter is not yet broken down enough. which causes irritation and reduced digestion. Water is present from not being cooked long enough. Must be cooked longer than 1 day.
Stage 2: Mridu Paka
The formula has reached a useful extraction point. Noted as sticky to the touch with trace amounts of water present. While this stage is therapeutic from the water soluble properties being extracted - the extraction of fat soluble properties is not complete at this stage. Generally used for internal application like nasya (nasal drops).
Stage 3: Madhya Paka
This stage is when the water content has disappeared. It is soft to the touch and can be rolled between fingers. The water soluble AND fat soluble properties are high at the Madhya stage. Use for Pana & Basti.
Stage 4: Khara Paka
The formula now becomes harder in consistency. This is the stage that is optimum for external application/Abhyanga (body massage).
Stage 5: Dagdha Paka
Overcooked. This is the stage to avoid — when the formula is burnt from to much heat exposure. The therapeutic benefits are now gone.