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Draksharishta: Uses, Benefits and Side Effects By Dr. Smita Barode 

By Dr Smita Barode +2 more

Introduction: 

Ever heard of Draksharishta? Draksharishta is an ayurvedic preparation generally used for digestive issues, respiratory disorders and weakness. Draksharishta is a polyherbal medicine made using Draksha (Vitis vinifera), as its main component and 5-10% self-generated alcohol content. Polyherbal formulations include several medicinal herbs to increase their therapeutic effect.1,2 

Nutritional Value of Draksharishta: 

Herbs Parts used 
Vitis vinifera Fruit 
Cinnamomum zeylinicum Bark 
Callicarpa mycrophylla Flower 
Woodfordia fructicosa Flower 
Piper nigrum Fruit 
Piper longum Fruit 
Embelia ribes Fruit 
Mesua ferra Stamens 
Cinnamonium tamala Leaves 
Eletteria cardamomum Seeds 

Table 1. Nutrient composition of Draksharishta 


Vitis vinifera, belongs to the family Vitaceae and contains a high concentration of phenolic compounds. Resveratrol, catechins, epicatechin, quercetin, gallic acid and procyanidins are some of the phenolic compounds present in V. vinifera. These phenolic compounds show anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory as well as antimicrobial effects on the body. 

For the preparation of Draksharishta, 48.9 gms of draksha (V. Vinifera) is soaked in 1000ml of water. This mixture is then boiled till the water is reduced to 250ml and then filtered. 200 gms of jaggery is then added to this along with 1gm powdered mixture of all herbs [piper nigrum, piper longum, embelia ribes, Cinnamomum zeyleynicum (stem bark), Eletteria cardamomum (seeds), Cinnamomum tamala (leaves), Mesua ferrea (stamens) and Callicarpa macrophylla (flowers)] and 8 gms of Woodfordia fruticosa. The formulation is filtered again and fermented.1,2 

Properties of Draksharishta: 

  • It may have the property to help patients with physical weakness. 
  • It may ease the stomach disorders. 
  • It may have the ability to increase water loss by more urine formation. 
  • It might reduce pain caused by sciatica. 
  • It may have the property to decrease lower back pain. 
  • It may be helpful in the common cold.1,2,5 

I recently came across a study that says that according to research, ingesting a combination of Draksharishta with other herbs may help irritable bowel syndrome. Draksharishta is known for its anti-inflammatory properties.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, B.A.M.S, M.D (Ayu)

Potential Uses of Draksharishta for Overall Health: 

Potential use of Draksharishta as an Antimicrobial agent 

Draksharishta is shown to have antimicrobial activity. A study was done by Tiwari in 2014 on the antimicrobial activity of Draksharishta as Draksharishta-M and Draksharishta-T (M- prepared using modern method and T- prepared using traditional method). Draksharishta prepared by both the methods displayed a considerable zone of inhibition with significant antibacterial action against common human infections like Staphylococcus aureus, bacillus subtilis, Salmonella typhii, Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Although, Draksharishta has the potential to be used as an antimicrobial agent, it is best to consult a doctor for any signs of infection. Also, further studies are required in humans.3 

Potential use of Draksharishta as an Antihyperlipidemic 

In a study performed by Tiwari et al. in 2011, a high-fat diet given to hyperlipidemic rats for nine weeks showed a notable decrease in the atherogenic (the process of fat deposit formation in the arteries) index as compared to the rats given a normal diet. This shows the potential for the anti-hyperlipidemic property of Draksharishta in rats. However, more studies are required in humans to prove its efficacy.4 

Potential use of Draksharishta as an Analgesic 

Kabir et al. in 2012 carried out studies in healthy mice and rats. These studies showed a significant pain-relieving effect in inflammation. Thus, there is a chance that Draksharishta shows pain-relieving activity. We suggest you take a professional opinion if you are suffering from pain of any kind. Although Draksharishta may have a potential benefit in managing pain, further studies should be conducted for the same.5 

Potential use of Draksharishta as an Anti-inflammatory agent 

Inflammation is the body’s response to the presence of foreign substances. It aids in the removal of toxic substances from the body. An investigation done by Kabir et al. in 2012 on mice and rats showed a reduction in the release of prostaglandins (a chemical released in inflammation). Thus, Draksharishta may be used as an anti-inflammatory agent. However, for a safer and more efficient application, additional research is needed to completely comprehend the pharmacological profile of Draksharishta.5 

Potential use of Draksharishta in Respiratory issues 

According to Pillai et al. in 2016, the main component of Draksharishta, i.e. draksha (V. vinifera) may have potential benefits for the management of various respiratory disorders such as cough, bronchitis, pulmonary disorders, tuberculosis and common cold. Draksharishta may have a potential use in respiratory issues but further studies have to be done for safe consumption in humans. Always talk to a doctor before taking any ayurvedic or herbal medication.2 

Potential use of Draksharishta in Digestive issues  

A study conducted by Pillai et al. in 2016 states that Draksharishta, being a polyherbal formulation has potential in the management of many digestive disorders. However, it is not a substitute to conventional medicine. Furthermore, these claims have to be verified on humans. It is better to take a professional opinion before replacing any kind of medication.2 

Potential use of Draksharishta as a Diuretic 

Tiwari et al. in 2011 carried out a study on the diuretic activity of Draksharishta in rats using two methods of preparation namely, Draksharishta M and Draksharishta T (where M and T indicate the preparation by modern and traditional methods respectively). This study shows a lot of potential for the use of Draksharishta as a diuretic. However, more studies are needed in humans to prove its further use. Consult a healthcare professional before consuming Draksharishta.7 

Also Read: Is Jaggery Good for Diabetes? Evaluating the Effects on Blood Sugar Levels

Other Potential Uses of Draksharishta: 

  • It may have a protective nature towards the functioning of the heart.6 
  • It may be useful in restoring energy loss caused by fatigue or weakness. 
  • It may be useful for patients suffering from arthritis. 

Although there are studies that show the benefits of Draksharishta in several conditions, these are insufficient and there is a need of further studies to establish the true extent of benefits of Draksharishta on human health. 

I recently came across a study that says that liquid Draksharishta is an Ayurvedic drug that has qualities for Balakaraka (tonic), Dipana (appetiser), Pachana (digestive), Malashodhana (laxative), Rasayana, and Hridya. It is used for constipation, Kshaya (debility), Kasa (cough), Swasa (asthma), Galaroga (throat disease), and Urakshata (chest problem).

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

How to Use Draksharishta? 

Draksharishta is available in the form of syrup and is used for managing and potentially managing various diseases. It may be consumed after meals or as prescribed by any health care provider. 

You must consult a qualified doctor before taking any herbal supplements. Do not discontinue or replace an ongoing treatment of modern medicine with an ayurvedic/herbal preparation without consulting a qualified doctor. 

I recently came across a study that says that due to its potent effects and pleasant taste similar to alcohol, people may take Draksharishta in excess and for extended periods regardless of a doctor’s prescription. I strongly recommend Draksharishta should be consumed with the doctor’s prescription.

Dr. Smita barode, B.A.M.S, M.S.

Side Effects of Draksharishta: 

  • Consumption of Draksharishta with NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) may cause gastric mucosal damage or gastric bleeding.8 
  • It may also cause mouth ulcers.  
  • It may not be advised for people with diabetes as it contains large amounts of jaggery.1,2 
  • Before taking or replacing Draksharishta with any medication, consult an ayurvedic doctor or a healthcare professional. 

Precautions to Take with Draksharishta: 

As Draksharishta contains self-generated alcohol, it should be avoided in the case of pregnant and lactating women. Ayurvedic literature states the possible dangers of consuming medication which is improperly produced. The safety and efficacy of Draksharishta are not proven; so it is advised to consult a healthcare provider before consumption.9 

Also Read: Resveratrol Benefits: An In-Depth Research-Based Exploration

Interactions with Other Drugs: 

Draksharishta is a fermented medication which contains 5-10% self-generated alcohol. Alcohol is shown to cause interactions with aspirin and NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). This can increase the risk of gastric mucosal damage and bleeding. Pepper is also used in Draksharishta, which is known to interact with barbiturates and NSAIDs.8 

Consult your doctor before taking any other prescription or non-prescription (over-the-counter) medication along with Draksharishta. 

Frequently Asked Questions: 

What is draksharishta made of?

Draksharishta is mainly composed of draksha (V. vinifera) along with other herbs like piper nigrum, piper longum, embelia ribes, Cinnamomum zeyleynicum (stem bark), Eletteria cardamomum (seeds), Cinnamomum tamala (leaves), Mesua ferrea (stamens) and Callicarpa macrophylla (flowers). 

What are the benefits of Draksharishta?

Draksharishta has various potential benefits such as antimicrobial activity, analgesic activity, anti-inflammatory activity and in reducing heart diseases.

How is Draksharishta available in the market?

Draksharishta is available in the market in syrup form marketed under different brand names. 

Is Draksharishta ayurvedic?

Yes, Draksharishta is a polyherbal ayurvedic formulation in the Ayurvedic Formulary of India. 

Are there any skin benefits of Draksharishta?

No, there are no proven skin benefits of Draksharishta. 

References: 

  1. Pandita, Nancy and Divya Pillai. “Determination of Quality Standards for Draksharishta, a Polyherbal Ayurvedic Formulation.” Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, vol. 78, no. 1, 2016, p. 129., https://doi.org/10.4103/0250-474x.180262. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4852562/  
  1. Pillai, Divya and Nancy Pandita. “Validated High Performance Thin Layer Chromatography Method for the Quantification of Bioactive Marker Compounds in Draksharishta, an Ayurvedic Polyherbal Formulation.” Revista Brasileira De Farmacognosia, vol. 26, no. 5, 2016, pp. 558–563., https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bjp.2016.03.015. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0102695X16300898  
  1. Tiwari P. Antimicrobial activity of draksharishta prepared by traditional and modern methods. Asian Journal of Pharmacy and Technology. 2014;4(3):131-3. https://ajptonline.com/AbstractView.aspx?PID=2014-4-3-2  
  1. Tiwari, Prashan & Patel, R.K.. (2011). Evaluation of antihyperlipidemic activity of Draksharishta prepared by traditional and modern methods in hyperlipidemic rats. Pharmacologyonline. 2. 576-585. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/287014783_Evaluation_of_antihyperlipidemic_activity_of_Draksharishta_prepared_by_traditional_and_modern_methods_in_hyperlipidemic_rats  
  1. Kabir AU, Samad MB, Hannan JM. Investigation of the central and peripheral analgesic and anti-inflammatory activity of Draksharishta an Indian Ayurvedic formulation. Journal of Basic and Clinical Pharmacy. 2012 Sep;3(4):336. https://www.jbclinpharm.org/articles/investigation-of-the-central-and-peripheral-analgesic-and-antiinflammatory-activity-of-draksharishta-an-indian-ayurvedic-formulati.html  
  1. Tiwari P. Cardioprotective Activity of Draksharishta on Isoproterenol Induced Myocardial Infarction. Research Journal of Science and Tec hnology. 2014;6(3):151-5. https://rjstonline.com/HTMLPaper.aspx?Journal=Research%20Journal%20of%20Science%20and%20Technology;PID=2014-6-3-6  
  1. Tiwari, P. and Patel, R.K., 2011. EVALUATIO OF DIURETIC POTENTIAL OF DRAKSHARISHTA PREPARED BY TRADITIONAL AND MODERN METHODS I EXPERIMENTAL RATS. Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/290307443_Evaluation_of_diuretic_potential_of_draksharishta_prepared_by_traditional_and_modern_methods_in_experimental_rat
  1. Dhanya, R. and Shukla, A.K., 2017. Drug interactions between ayurvedic and allopathic medicines–A review. World J Pharm Res, 6, pp.478-86.  
  1. Paudyal B, Thapa A, Sigdel KR, Adhikari S, Basnyat B. Adverse events with ayurvedic medicines- possible adulteration and some inherent toxicities. Wellcome Open Res. 2019 Nov 1;4:23. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31641694/ 

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