Screening for performance enhancing substances and quantification of ethanol in different Arishta manufactured in Sri Lanka

Screening for performance enhancing substances and quantification of ethanol in different Arishta manufactured in Sri Lanka / Punchividanelage Nilu Jayashika Fernando, Shehani Pigera, Suraweera Arachchilage Nimesha Rashani, Ravindra Fernando, Pabasara Weerasinghe, Tharaka Deepal Godakumbura, Madunil Anuk Niriella, Seevali Jayawickreme, Arjuna Priyadarshana de Silva

  • Ceylon Medical Journal 65 (2020) 4 (31 December); p. 112-117
  • PMID: 34825559
  • DOI: 10.4038/cmj.v65i4.9282


Background: Arishta have been used in Ayurveda medicine for over thousands of years in Sri Lanka to treat various diseases. Ashwagandharishta, Balarishta and Dashamoolarishta are usually prescribed to obtain an anabolic effect, and Ashwagandharishta and Dashamoolarishta for androgenic effect in males. Thus, these arishta have been shown to have similar effect as anabolic androgenic steroids and stimulants in Western medicine. Therefore, arishta could potentially be used by athletes to improve their performance in sports leading to unintentional doping. Additionally, ethanol develops in-source during arista fermentation, which can affect athletes health.

Objective: The aim of this study is to investigate whether the anabolic androgenic steroids or stimulants banned by World Anti-Doping Agency are present in these arishta, and to determine their ethanol content.

Methods: Methanol extractions of Ashwagandarishta, Balarishta, Dashamoolarishta from four different manufacturers were screened for 21 stimulant and 22 anabolic androgenic steroids banned by World Anti-Doping Agency, using Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometer. Ethanol content of the twelve Arishta samples were also measured.

Results: Anabolic androgenic steroids or stimulants were not present in the tested Arishta samples, and percentage volume / volume ethanol content of all Arishta was between (5.80-8.35) ±0.5.

Conclusion: The tested brands of Ashwagandharishta, Balarishta and Dashamoolarishta did not contain stimulants or anabolic androgenic steroids banned by World Anti-Doping Agency.

Original document


Research / Study
31 December 2020
Arjuna Priyadarshana, Silva
Fernando, Punchividanelage Nilu Jayashika
Fernando, Ravindra
Godakumbura, Tharaka Deepal
Jayawickreme, Seevali
Niriella, Madunil Anuk
Pigera, Shehani
Rashani, Suraweera Arachchilage Nimesha
Weerasinghe, Pabasara
Sri Lanka
Other organisations
General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University (KDU)
Sri Lanka Anti-Doping Agency (SLADA)
Sri Lanka National Dangerous Drugs Control Board (NDDCB)
University of Kelaniya
Analytical aspects
Mass spectrometry analysis
Doping classes
S1. Anabolic Agents
Ethanol (alcohol)
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Scientific article
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Date generated
1 December 2021
Date of last modification
7 December 2021
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