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  • Cover of Ayurveda capsules -whether vegetarian or not

    Are you having a query regarding ayurvedic medicines? Want to know if the cover of ayurvedic capsules is vegetarian? On this page our experts shall answer your question.

    Similar to allopathic medicines in ayurveda also medicines are coming in capsule forms. It is heard that the cover of the capsules made of non vegetarian elements. How far it is true. Because followers of strict vevegetarianism hesitate to consume. I am for that stopped taking allopathic capsules. But recently a Ayurveda medicine in capsule format have been suggested to me. Unable to give up the medicine I am consuming the medicine directly by splitting the capsules.
    Can any one clarify whether the cover of capsules vegetarian or not?
  • Answers

    4 Answers found.
  • The Capsule covers are two types.
    1. Gelatin capsules: They are called gel caps. These are made of gelatin, This gelatin is manufactured from the collagen of animal skin or bone. These capsules are only nonvegetarian type.

    2. Vegetable capsules: There are manufactures from hypromellose. This is a polymer synthesized from cellulose. or Pullulan. This is a polysaccharide polymer made from tapioca starch. These capsules are purely plant-based and there is no nonvegetarian in this.

    I know an Ayurvedic company which is a very famous company in South Indian and manufacturing capsules and tablets. They use Vegetable capsule covers only. They never use gelatin type capsule covers. These days even allopathic medicines are also using Ayurvedic capsules only as they cost less than the other variety.

    always confident

  • Capsule covers are based on the materials from animal origin or cellulose origin. So the people who are vegetarian have a big issue in gulping down the capsules having animal sourced covers. Generally these covers are prepared by the hydrolysis of collagen. Collagen are present in the animal sources. Cellulose or starch based covers are not from animal sources and can be safely taken.

    Today the capsule covers are used by the medicine industry for various medicines and they do not discriminate between the veg or non-veg covers. So a person can not be sure whether a particular cover is eatable for him or not. Some Ayurvedic medicine manufacturers are also using the capsules for their medicines and due to this issue of veg versus non-veg they are now resorting to the vegetarian covers only. If they do not adhere to that then the danger of their sales plummeting can start as in India many people are vegetarian.

    I am not sure but Ayurvedic medicine manufacturers might be writing this on the label of the medicine bottle or box that the cover used is from the non animal sources. One should check it on the label before purchasing it. So far, this matter has not been taken care by the drug authorities and there are no strict stipulation in this regard. However some agencies have approached the central drug authorities in India to examine the issue so that some guidelines can be issued to the manufacturers. There are many other items other than the drugs where also this question comes in picture so there is a feeling that Ministry of Health should take up this issue for clarifications so that a needy patient or customer is not deprived of the requisite item just because it is from non-veg origin.

    Knowledge is power.

  • This will be a herculean task for the medical industry if they are asked to prepare separate covers for the medicines indicating veg or non-veg. Some time back I read that people even went to court to get clarification on this issue and the honourable court had directed that medicine were basically for life saving purposes and there is no need of distinguishing like that and it would not be practical to do so. On the other hand if some Ayurvedic and natural medicine manufacturers want they can definitely make the covers from vegetarian sources so that their sales are not affected. I do not think that allopathic medicine manufacturers would take any initiative in this direction. So the patient has to take a call accordingly.

    Thoughts exchanged is knowledge gained.

  • The contents being put under the capsule may be either gelatine- type or cellular one giving guarantee of efficacies of medicines being put under the cover. Prior to making such descriptions between the veg and non veg cover, we should examine the following points -
    1) Efficiency of medicine - There are numerous Ayurvedic firms such as Organic India, Himalayas etc producing their herbs with the exterior cover coated with gelatine type but their products such as Aswagandha, Gokhru, Amalaki etc do have the excellent properties in curing the underlying disease. Hence main thrust should be given on the quality of herb rather than going on the type of cover.
    2) Discontinuation of putting cover - Ayurvedic - firms can produce the herbs in the form of tablets of the appropriate potency discarding the exterior shells composed of gelatine or cellular type. In that way, their selling is not going to be affected on the issue of cover.
    Even many Ayurvedic - firms are adopting such patterns currently.
    3) To create awareness among the customers regarding the nature of cover if required - Ayrvedic - firms should come up with the proper advertisements regarding their quality of products including the type of cover used for coating of the capsules.
    4) Changing the version of the product- Instead of resorting to capsule- form, the firms can go in for syrup or churn( powder) so as to offer the consumers of the real benifits of the medicine. In that way, the suspicion regarding nature of cover can be resolved.

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