Gutika, which are otherwise known as Vati, are pills or tablets.
1. Drugs mentioned in the recipe.
2. Dishes for keeping the paste.
3. Stone mortar and pestle.
4. Drying pans – enamelled iron trays are preferred. (In large scale manufacture of pills and tablets, the preparation of the paste of drugs is done by electrically driven mortars and grinders. For making pills or tablets, pill and tablet pressing machines are used which produce pills or tablets of uniform size and weight in large numbers within a short time. Counting is also done by machine).
Process of preparation
Gutika are made by rolling, between the fingers, a fine paste of the drugs ground for the particular period of time prescribed. The paste is prepared by grinding the drugs in mortar with the juices or decoctions of some drugs.
When metals like gold or iron are to be included in a preparation, usually they are added in a calcined state (bhasma) unless the contrary is mentioned. The organic drugs are dried well, powdered and then subjected to grinding with plant juices or decoction. The paste has to be ground for a long time (the time mentioned in the recipe) to attain a homogenous consistency.
To facilitate easy rolling between the fingers, traces of ghee are taken on finger tips. Modern methods of grinding and pill making are employed, in large scale manufacture. The gutika should be of the prescribed size and/or weight.
The wet pills are dried in shade for hardening and removing the moisture.
Pills are stored in glass bottles with good lids. Unbreakable plastic or polythene boxes may also be used. Insufficient drying or subsequent dampening of pills by improper packing lead to the development of foul odor and fungal growth. Such material should be discarded.