Is a liquid preparation obtained by distillation of certain liquids or drugs soaked in water using the Arkayantra (a type of steam distillation apparatus) or any convenient modern distillation apparatus. It is a suspension of the distillate in water having slight turbidity and color according to the nature of the drugs used and smell of the predominant drug.
Method of preparation of Arka:
First, the herbs are cleaned, left to dry, and then coarse powder is made. Some water is added to the powdered herbs to soak and leave overnight. By soaking herbs over night makes them soft and releases the essential volatile principles easily when boiled. The moistened herbs are poured along with the remaining water into the yantra arch or distillation apparatus. Add some more water (the proportion is 1:4, i.e. for 1 kg of herbs add 4 liters of water). When it starts boiling, the vapors get condensed and collected in a receiver. The collected essence (Arch) is stored for cooling, and then collected in a bottle. Its cork should be air tight so that volatile extract will not get evaporated and potency of Arka remains for a longer period.
Important! It is found that, in the beginning, the vapors consists of only steam and may not contain the essential principles of the herbs. So it is better to discard that part. The last portion also may not contain therapeutically essential substance and should be discarded.
Characteristics of Arka:
– is a suspension of the distillate in water;
– has slight turbidity;
– the color of the Arka will be according to the nature of the herbs used;
– the smell of the Arka will be according to predominant drug.