Etymology of Vipaka

The end product of a Dravya which is the out come of digestion/metabolism is known as Vipaka. It is believed that Vipaka is the bio-transformative phase of rasa.

It is defined as the final transformative state of Rasa of the given Dravya.

Vipaka as a state which is different from Avastha paka. This definition appears to be more important in the context of Dravya guna since the food metabolism and drug metabolism are different in many aspects.

Vipaka defined it as the factor which is the final out come of the bio transformation of Rasa through the action of Jatarhagni (digestive enzymes)

Types of Vipaka

The six tastes are reduced to three in their post-digestive effect, Vipaka. Sweet and salty tastes, have a sweet Vipaka, sour has a sour Vipaka, while bitter, astringent and pungent possess a pungent Vipaka.

Sweet and sour Vipakas, owing to their moistening property, allow for easy and comfortable discharge of urine, feces and intestinal gas. Pungent Vipakas, from their drying property, create difficulty and discomfort in discharge of waste produces. Sweet Vipaka also promotes the secretion of Kapha, including semen and sexual secretions, and allows for comfortable discharge. Sour Vipaka increases Pitta and acid formation in the body, and refuses semen and sexual secretions (though it promotes the other tissue elements of the body).

Pungent Vipaka tends to cause gas, constipation and painful urination. It reduces semen and sexual secretions and gives difficulty and discomfort in their discharge.

Means to assess Vipaka

Vipaka is assessed finally after the complete metabolization of the drug and through the final effect of the drug. That means the end phase of bio-transformation resulting in ultimate therapeutic effect is the source to assess Vipaka.

Vipaka can be determined by means of final therapeutic effect. For example, the effect of food or drug can be finalized by its effect on dosha-dhatu-malas in the form of increase or decrease in their activity.

Vipaka cannot be assessed basing upon Rasa or Virya alone. Some times it must be assessed with out their help also. E.g. Vrishyatwa of pippali indicate that it under goes madhura Vipaka; Srishta Vinmutra of Saindhava lavana indicates its madhura Vipaka etc.

Superiority of Vipaka

Among the constituents of a Dravya, it is Vipaka that is responsible for various pharmacological actions. This again depends upon proper or improper transformation. If a drug is properly metabolized it produces good effects and improperly metabolized drug is responsible for ill effects (or side-effects). These two properties are denoted as ‘samyak Vipaka’ and ‘Mithya Vipaka’ by Sushruta.

Vipaka is explained on the basis of four points:-

  • Stimulation or suppression of the Doshas is under the control of Vipaka. Hence it is important.
  • Tissue construction or building up various tissues of the body is possible through digestion/metabolism. Therefore Vipaka is important.
  • All the food and drug materials will depend upon proper and improper Vipaka to exhibit either good effects or ill effects. Hence Vipaka is important.
  • Vipaka as an important entity of Dravya.

Hence it is superior.