Atibalā (Atibala) is one of the eight herbs used in consecration or bathing ceremony of a deity (or his/her idol). Apart from Balā (Bala) and Atibalā, some of the other herbs mentioned in this context are Byāghrī (Byaghri), Śaṅkhapuṣpī (Sankhapushpi) and so on. In Rāmāyaṇa (Ramayana) we find Sage Viśvāmitra (Viswamitra) imparting to Rāmacandra (Ramachandra) and Lakṣmaṇa (Lakshmana) the knowledge [vidyā (vidya)] of two yogic practices called balā and atibalā. These yogic practices are believed to be quencher of hunger and thirst of the practitioner. Whether the herbs called Balā and Atibalā also serve to reduce the partaker’s hunger and thirst is a point of debate and demands close scientific research.
Caraka Saṃhitā (Charaka Samhita) mentions Atibalā as one of the most potent medicines. It praises this herb while observing that the potion made of Balā, Atibalā, Jīvantī (Jivanti) and Kalka mixed with milk four times the amount of the said mixture bestows upon the drinker a lifespan of a hundred years devoid of attacks of ageing and diseases –
ataḥparaṃ vidārī svarasena jīvantī-kalpasaṃprayuktena, ataḥparaṃ caturguṇena payasā balātibalākaṣayeṇa śātāvarī kalkasaṃyuktena… asya prayogād varṣaśataṃ vayo’jaraṃ tiṣṭhati, śrutamavatiṣṭhate, sarvāmayā prasmyonti apratihatagatiḥ strīṣu, apatyavān bhavatīti.
Caraka Saṃhitā also categorises Balā and Atibalā as two of the ten principal herbs –
balātibalā-candanāguru-dhavatiniśakhadira-śiṃśapāsana-svarasāḥ punarnavāntāścauṣdhayo daśa.