Restoring the Authenticity of Dashamula: Embracing Sustainability and Tradition

Restoring the Authenticity of Dashamula: Embracing Sustainability and Tradition

Dashamula holds a cherished place in the world of Ayurveda, thanks to its remarkable health benefits. The name itself translates to "ten roots," signifying its ten herbal ingredients.

Dashamula has a time-honored reputation for its ability to balance vata dosha and support healthy nervous system function. 

It also has a traditional association with respiratory well-being: this rich blend of roots is considered a natural expectorant and supports healthy lung function. Dashamula provides grounding support for imbalanced vata dosha and plays a pivotal role in directing the downward flow of vata energy.

Dashamula's essential role in the Ayurvedic pharmacopeia is undisputed. However, in the pursuit of preserving nature's balance and adhering to our social and environmental responsibility commitments, sourcing some of dashamula's traditional roots has become a growing concern.

Dashamula Ingredients

Beneficial Action

Bilva root (Aegle marmelos)

Balancing for vata and a natural expectorant1

Agnimantha root (Premna integrifolia)

Balancing for vata, bitter tonic, nervine, and rejuvenative2

Shyonaka root (Oroxylum indicum)

Balancing for pitta, directs downward movement of vata, and a natural expectorant3

Patala root (Stereospermum suaveolens)

Balancing for pitta and supports healthy liver function4

Kashmari root (Gmelina arborea)

Acts as a tonic and directs the downward movement of vata5

Bruhati root (Solanum indicum)

Supports throat comfort and balances vata and kapha6

Kantakari root (Solanum xanthocarpum)

Supports throat comfort and removes natural toxins7

Shalaparni root (Desmodium gangeticum)

Nourishing tonic and rejuvenative, balancing for vata dosha8

Prushniparni root (Uraria picta)

Digestive support, balancing for all doshas9

Gokshura root (Tribulus terrestris)

Nourishing rejuvenative,supports throat comfort10

The Challenge of Sourcing

The significance of dashamula lies not only in its health benefits but also in the ethical approach towards sourcing its ingredients. Unfortunately, some of these herbs are now considered threatened species due to over-harvesting for commercial purposes, shifts in climate patterns, and habitat destruction.11

This poses a significant challenge to maintaining the integrity of the traditional formulation while preserving the delicate balance of nature.

In the face of these concerns, embracing sustainable practices becomes the beacon guiding us back to the roots of dashamula—both literally and figuratively. By taking a conscious approach to sourcing, we can ensure that these precious herbs continue to thrive for generations to come.

API's Guidance: Allowing for Substitutions

The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India (API) has taken a step in the right direction by addressing this sourcing dilemma and acknowledging the possibility of using substitutions for certain roots in dashamula.

For the brhat panchamula (main five ingredients), stem bark has been suggested as a suitable substitute for roots, while for the laghu panchamula (lesser five ingredients), the whole plants have been identified as a viable alternative.

The following table shows the specific ingredients used in Banyan's dashamula as compared to the traditional recipe.


Traditional Dashamula

Banyan's Dashamula

Brhat Panchamula

  1. Bilva root

  2. Agnimantha root

  3. Shyonaka root

  4. Patala root

  5. Kashmari root

Brhat Panchamula

  1. Bilva fruit

  2. Agnimantha root

  3. Shyonaka root

  4. Patala root

  5. Kashmari root

Laghu Panchamula

  1. Bruhati root

  2. Kantakari root

  3. Shalaparni root

  4. Prushniparni root

  5. Gokshura root

Laghu Panchamula

  1. Bruhati aerial plant parts

  2. Kantakari aerial plant parts

  3. Shalaparni aerial plant parts

  4. Prushniparni aerial plant parts

  5. Gokshura aerial plant parts


Our commitment to authenticity and sustainability has led us to use the whole plant for laghu panchamula herbs. This decision allows us to remain true to the essence of dashamula while ensuring the responsible sourcing of its ingredients.


Efforts Towards Sustainability: Bilva Sourcing

Among the brhat panchamula herbs, bilva stands as a majorly vulnerable species in India that is now considered as "near threatened," according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)'s red list of threatened species.12

To address this concern, the government of India has initiated efforts to revive bilva's longevity, such as contractual farming to promote sustainability.13 In our commitment to preserving this precious herb, we have chosen to source the fruit of bilva as a viable alternative to the root, supporting these sustainable initiatives along the way.

The story of dashamula is not merely about ten roots coming together—it is a tale of tradition, reverence, and responsibility. 

By embracing API's guidance and incorporating sustainable practices, we can confidently offer dashamula as a timeless remedy that honors its past and safeguards its future.

At Banyan, our commitment to nature's gifts goes beyond herbal formulations; it extends to nurturing the very roots of the traditional wisdom of Ayurveda. Join us in our journey as we revive the authenticity of dashamula, rooted in sustainability and tradition, for a healthier and more harmonious world.

About the Author

Tikka Kumar, AP

Tikka is a trained Ayurvedic Practitioner, who is currently the Research and Product Development Manager at Banyan. As part of her role, she acts...

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6 The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India, Part 1, Volume II.

7 The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India, Part 1, Volume I.

8 The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India, Part 1, Volume III.

9 The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India, Part 1, Volume IV.

10 The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India, Part 1, Volume I.

11 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: 

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