Dravyaguna Vijnayan (Science of Medicinal Herbs)

The term “Dravyaguna Vijnana” means the pharmacological & Clinical properties and the actions of medicinal plants with morphological & clinical application. 

It is the branch of medicine dealing with the properties (Guna),  action (Karma) therapeutic uses of Dravya and also the knowledge of the properties, Karma and action of the drug. This subject also includes identification the drug and source of drug 

It includes 7 padartha , Dravy, Rasa, Guna, Virya, Vipaka , Prabhava and Karma. Discussion of each terms are given below.

Dravya – Dravya is a substratum in which guna and karma are inheritly associated (Samawaya) and they are applied for therapeutics by the law of similarity (samanya) and dissimilarity (vishesha)


Rasa – Rasa is the object of the gustatory sense organ which is located in the tongue . It is not only perception of taste but is an indicator of the composition , properties and probable action of the tongue. There are six type of rasa.

Rasa Panchamahabhoota(Five Great Elements)
Madhur P + J (Earth+Water)
Amla P+A (Earth + Fire)
Lawana J+A (Water+ Fire)
Katu V+A (Air+Fire)
Tikta V+Aakash (Air+ Ether)
Kasaya V+P (Air+Earth)


Guna – These are properties inheret in Dravya and it modulates the drug action. There are 41 types of guna categorized into 4 classes.

Artha 5 in number
Gurwadi Guna 20 in number
Paradi guna 10 in number
Adhyatmik Guna 6 in number

Virya- Potency through which the drug acts.
2 types-

  1. Sheeta
  2. Ushna

Vipaka-  Action exhibited after digestion

3 types-

  1. Madhura
  2. Katu
  3. Amla

Prabhava-  Specific action of drug that cannot be define through their properties. It is most potent among all guna

Some example- Tridoshhara = Haritaki, Guggul, Vamana = Madanphal, Hridya = Arjuna, Asmaribhedan = Pashanveda, Medhya = bhrami, sankhapushpi

Karma –  It is that which causes samyogo and viyoga. It is of 5 types.

This is the very basic concept of Dravyaguna in Ayurveda.

Leave a Comment