Ayurvedic interventions have largely been considered helpful in chronic debilitating conditions where active management of a clinical condition is not required. It is for this notion; Ayurvedic therapies have never been approached in any critical care condition requiring an active management. A perception that herbo-metallic components of various Ayurvedic drugs may actually harm the patients who are in compromised vital status has further added to this apprehension against use of such medicines in critical care. Contrary to the conventional belief, we observed a case of grade three hepatic encephalopathy with severely compromised liver function that was successfully treated with Ayurvedic therapy containing many heavy metal containing compounds. The liver function got improved in this case following the Ayurvedic intervention. The symptomatic improvements in this case were also identifiable through biochemical tests showing the functional status of liver. This case therefore is worthy of taking a note for possible inclusion of Ayurvedic interventions in critical care where Ayurvedic therapies are discarded without being given a chance of getting evaluated.
Critical care; heavy metals; hepatic encephalopathy
This study was conducted to estimate the heavy metal profile and determine the safety of Mahayograj guggulu, an Ayurvedic herbo-mineral preparation.
Mahayograj guggulu, manufactured by Shree Baidynath Ayurved Bhawan Pvt. Ltd., Gwalior Road, Jhansi - 284 003 (of batch number-07 and manufacturing date October 2004) was procured from the local market. Heavy metal concentrations were measured using an atomic absorption spectrophotometer. A total of 40 Charles Foster strain albino rats of either sex with an average body weight of 160–250 g were divided into four groups (Groups I, II, III and IV), with 10 animals in each group. Group I served as the control, while Group II, III and IV rats received Mahayograj guggulu at a dose of 54 (dose equivalent to human therapeutic dose), 270 (five-times the dose equivalent to the human therapeutic dose) and 540 (10-times the dose equivalent to human therapeutic dose) mg/kg, p.o. for 120 days. The effect of drug administration was noted on the ponderal, biochemical, hematological and histopathological parameters. In addition, urine examination was also carried out. At the end of the study, only six rats per group were sacrificed as per the IAEC advice.
Mahayograj guggulu was found to be safe at all dose levels tested. No significant behavioral changes were noted in any of the groups studied. The effect on food and water consumption and fecal and urine output remained unaffected in all groups during the study period. No major alterations were observed in hematology, serum biochemistry, necropsy and histopathology at the therapeutically advocated dose level. Heavy metal content measurement indicated levels of 25.8 µg/g for lead, 0.07 µg/g for mercury and 5.19 µg/g for arsenic.
The test drug is well tolerated as no changes of a serious nature could be observed in any of the parameters assessed.
Heavy metal content; Mahayograj guggulu; safety; toxicity
The aim of the present study is to prepare and characterize Naga bhasma on structural and elemental basis to address the role of the raw materials used during the preparation, compound form of the lead bhasma, nature (crystalline/amorphous) and crystallite/particle size of the drug. The study also covers the toxicological effect of the drug on albino rats. It was found that drug contains lead in nano-crystalline (~60 nm) lead sulfide form (Pb2+) associated with the organic contents and different nutrient elements coming from the herbs used during the preparation. Naga bhasma prepared was found to be totally safe in histopathology study on rats at a dose of 6 mg/100 g/day. The different characterization techniques used present a role model for the quality control and standardization of such kinds of herbo-metallic medicines.
Ayurvedic drug; Naga bhasma; nano particles; traditional medicines
Lead, mercury, and arsenic have been detected in a substantial proportion of Indian-manufactured traditional Ayurvedic medicines. Metals may be present due to the practice of rasa shastra (combining herbs with metals, minerals, and gems). Whether toxic metals are present in both US- and Indian-manufactured Ayurvedic medicines is unknown.
To determine the prevalence of Ayurvedic medicines available via the Internet containing detectable lead, mercury, or arsenic and to compare the prevalence of toxic metals in US- vs Indian-manufactured medicines and between rasa shastra and non–rasa shastra medicines.
A search using 5 Internet search engines and the search terms Ayurveda and Ayurvedic medicine identified 25 Web sites offering traditional Ayurvedic herbs, formulas, or ingredients commonly used in Ayurveda, indicated for oral use, and available for sale. From 673 identified products, 230 Ayurvedic medicines were randomly selected for purchase in August–October 2005. Country of manufacturer/Web site supplier, rasa shastra status, and claims of Good Manufacturing Practices were recorded. Metal concentrations were measured using x-ray fluorescence spectroscopy.
Main Outcome Measures
Prevalence of medicines with detectable toxic metals in the entire sample and stratified by country of manufacture and rasa shastra status.
One hundred ninety-three of the 230 requested medicines were received and analyzed. The prevalence of metal-containing products was 20.7% (95% confidence interval [CI], 15.2%–27.1%). The prevalence of metals in US-manufactured products was 21.7% (95% CI, 14.6%–30.4%) compared with 19.5% (95% CI, 11.3%–30.1%) in Indian products (P=.86). Rasa shastra compared with non–rasa shastra medicines had a greater prevalence of metals (40.6% vs 17.1%; P=.007) and higher median concentrations of lead (11.5 μg/g vs 7.0 μg/g; P=.03) and mercury (20 800 μg/g vs 34.5 μg/g; P=.04). Among the metal-containing products, 95% were sold by US Web sites and 75% claimed Good Manufacturing Practices. All metal-containing products exceeded 1 or more standards for acceptable daily intake of toxic metals.
One-fifth of both US-manufactured and Indian-manufactured Ayurvedic medicines purchased via the Internet contain detectable lead, mercury, or arsenic.
Iron is one among the major metals present in the earth's crust and is essential for sound sustenance of human body. Its deficiency leads to various health ailments. Contemporary medicine advises iron supplements in iron deficiency anemia. Ayurvedic classics also quote significant information about administration of iron. Lauha Kalpas are the unique compound herbo-mineral formulations where iron (Lauha) is used as a major ingredient. Relevant literature (Bhaishajya Ratnavali, Charaka Samhita, Rasendra Sara Samgraha etc.) reviewed to gather information about Lauha Kalpas. Critical analysis of these Lauha Kalpas reveals that ancient seers administered iron in a better acceptable form. Unlike popular understanding these are not only Khalviya preparations; but Churna (powders), Avaleha (confectionaries), Rasakriya (solidified decoctions), and Putapaka (incinerated) form of preparations are also found. Apart from solid dosage forms, semisolid dosage forms mentioned in classics are very much useful. Unfortunately most of the formulations are not found in the market. Hence Pharmaceutical firms may bring these unique dosage forms in to the market to supply the healthcare needs of the community. It is interesting that iron preparations are used in Ayurveda in different medical conditions apart from anemia (Pandu). This leaves a scope for further researches on different dosage forms of iron and their indications.
Ayurveda; Bhasma; Hematinics; Iron; Lauha Kalpa; pharmaceutics; Rasaushadhi
Balarishta and Dhanvantara gutika are ayurvedic medicines prescribed in different diseases including rheumatism. These medicines were screened for anti-inflammatory activity against cotton pellet induced granuloma in albino rats. There was significant reduction in cotton pellet weight by both the tested drugs. Dhanvantara gutika significantly reduced the ascorbic acid in adrenal. Acid phosphatase, GPT and GOT activities were significantly reduced by Balarishta, Dhanvantara gutika and phenyl butazone in liver. In the serum acid phosphatase activity was significantly reduced by both the tested drugs and phenul butazone while GPT activity was lowered by Balarishta alone and GOT activity was reduced by Balarishta and Dhanvantara gutika. Phenyl butazgone reduced the activity of GPT.
Folk medicine uses preparations of Arrabidaea chica (pariri) leaves to treat various liver pathologies. We evaluated the effects of the hydroethanolic extract of these leaves (CHEE) on an in vivo model of liver intoxication.
Materials and Methods:
Different groups of rats were treated orally for 7 days with CHEE at doses of 300, 500 or 600 mg/kg or silymarin at 35 mg/kg. The control group received only 0.5 ml of distilled water. After 7 days of treatment, both the groups received CCl4, and activities of glutamic pyruvic transaminase (GPT), glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase (GOT) and bilirubin level were assessed. The ability of CHEE to suppress hepatic injury triggered by CCl4 was evaluated based on suppression (%) of activities of GOT, GPT and bilirubin levels.
The chromatograms of the CHEE obtained at 330 and 400 nm show features of two main classes of secondary metabolites: quinones and flavonoids. The administration of 300, 500 or 600 mg/kg of CHEE resulted in the reduction of GPT levels by 85.34%, 88.59% and 93.72%, respectively. The suppression of GOT levels was 56.86%, 65.27% and 68.95%, respectively, and that of plasma bilirubin was 83.81%, 83.12% and 84.14%, respectively. These results demonstrate the protective character of CHEE and its ability to maintain the functional integrity of hepatic cells.
The results obtained are possibly due to the presence of quinones and flavonoids in A. chica CHEE, both detected using high performance liquid chromatography.
Arrabidaea chica; carbon tetrachloride; flavonoids; hepatic protection; quinones
Syndecan-1 is a trans-membrane heparan sulfate proteoglycan that localizes in epithelial cells and has been shown to be present in normal hepatocytes. It is thought to be involved in processes such as cell growth, differentiation and adhesion. However, the clinical data regarding syndecan-1 in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) are scarce and controversial. Therefore, we need to evaluate the effects of HCC on the serum levels of syndecan-1. Thus, 40 patients with HCC and 31 patients with liver cirrhosis were physically examined. Blood samples were taken for measurements of routine markers (sGPT, sGOT, bilirubin, albumin, and α-fetoprotein), as well as serum levels of interleukin (IL)-6 and syndecan-1. Patients with liver cirrhosis showed significant increase in serum IL-6 as compared with HCC patients and the control subjects. Serum level of syndecan-1 was significantly increased in HCC patients as compared with the cirrhotic and control groups. In addition, significant positive correlations between syndecan-1 and serum levels of ALT, AST in HCC patients were found. Moreover, syndecan-1 increased significantly with increasing stage of Barcelona-Clinic Liver Cancer Group diagnostic and treatment strategy. In conclusion, the development of HCC is accompanied by a significant elevation in serum syndecan-1 levels. The increase in serum syndecan-1 may be linked with progression of HCC.
Syndecan-1; IL-6; HCC; Liver cirrhosis; α-Fetoprotein
At present there are effective drugs in eradicating microfilariae but treatments to control the progression of manifested filariasis, periodic adenolymphangitis (ADL) and lymphedema are not available in conventional system of medicine. So far National Ayurveda Research Institute for Vector-borne diseases, Vijayawada, has conducted many clinical trails on manifested filariasis patients with the classical Ayurvedic herbal, herbo-mineral drugs and found significant results on ADL, lymphedema and other acute and chronic clinical manifestations. An effort has been made to find the effect of Kuberaksha Patra Churna [Caesalpinia bonduc (L.) Roxb.], Vriddhadaru Mula Churna [Argyreia nervosa (Burm.f.) Boj.] and Kandughna Taila (oil prepared from 10 Ayurvedic drugs) in manifested filarial patients. Based on inclusion criteria 133 patients were included in three groups (45 in Gr.I, 45 in Gr.II and 43 in Gr.III) and 120 patients completed the study (40 in each group). In Gr. I Argyreia nervosa (Burm.f.) Boj. root powder, Caesalpinia bonduc (L.) Roxb. leaf powder mixed equally was given in the dose of 5 g twice a day for 30 days. In Gr.II along with Gr. I internal drugs Kandughna Taila was applied externally in sufficient quantity once a day for 30 days. Gr. III is a control study with Ayurvedic established drug ‘Nityananda Rasa’ 1 tablet thrice daily for 30 days. Group I and II drugs showed highly significant effect on lymphedema, lymphadenitis, lymphangitis, pain, tenderness, heaviness, deformity, fever and rigors (P<0.0001). Group III drug showed highly significant (P<0.0001) effect on lymphedema, deformity and heaviness; statistically significant (P=0.0018) on pain and tenderness; Significant effect on fever (P=0.0290), rigor (P=0.0290) and in lymphangitis (P=0.0384) and non-significant effect on lymphadenitis (P=0.1033). On statistical analysis effect of treatment on Hb and eosinophil count was found non-significant in three groups. On ESR, effect of treatment was found significant in Gr. III and non-significant in Gr. I and Gr. II.
Argyreia nervosa; Caesalpinia bonduc; fever; filariasis; lymphadenitis; lymphangitis; lymphedema; Shlipada
Free radicals are implicated in various chronic diseases. There has always been a search for new antioxidants. In this paper we have investigated Tamra bhasma, a metallic ayurvedic preparation. It is a time-tested medicine in Ayurveda and is in clinical use for various ailments specifically the free radical mediated diseases. Our results show that Tamra bhasma inhibits lipid peroxidation (LPO), prevents the rate of aerial oxidation of reduced glutathione (GSH) content and induces the activity of superoxide dismutase (SOD) in rat liver homogenate in the bi-phasic manner. The drug was orally given for 7, 15 and 30 days in different doses. Best protective response was found at the dose of 0.5mg/100g body weight in albino rats, although it showed some histopathological changes at the dose of 20mg/100g body weight. The results suggest that this Ayurvedic preparation is not merely a source of copper metal, but it is a strong anti-oxidant with no detectable adverse effect in lower doses of therapeutic range.
Copper; antioxidant; superoxide dismutase; Tamra bhasma; Ayurvedic metallic preparation; antilipid peroxidation; toxicology of metals
Swarna – Vanga, an Ayurvedic preparation, is used in the treatment mainly of Pramehas (genitor urinary and metabolic disorders), Sveta Pradara (Leucorrhoea), Kasa – Swasa (Respiratory disorders), etc. The drug contains tin and sulphur as major components along with traces of mercury, iron and aluminum. According to modern point of view certain metals have been claimed toxic to both human and animal. Since Svarna – Vanga contains these metals, it is essential to screen out its toxic effect, if any, although it is claimed in Ayurveda that when a metal is processed as prescribed, it become non – toxic or the least toxic. Considering the above facts, an animal experiment was carried out for short duration (14 days) to screen the toxic effects of Svarna – Vanga (SV) in increasing doses of the drug starting from the maximum therapeutic dose (12.5 mg / 100 gm b.wt / day). The drug was found to have no toxic effects in tissues of the animal at doses of 12.5 mg and 25 mg / 100 gm b.wt. / day. Fine fatty vacuolization in liver and focal superficial mucosal degeneration and necrosis of small intestine confined to one animal each at dose of 50 mg / 100gm b.wt. and 100 mg/ 100 gm. b.wt. / day were observed. Our study indicates that the drug has no toxic effect on tissues at therapeutic dose.
The word Rasashaastra literally means the “Science of Mercury”. It is a specialized branch of Ayurveda dealing mainly with materials which are known as ‘Rasa dravyaas’. The products dealt under this discipline are an important component of Ayurvedic therapeutics. Considering the importance of this discipline in Ayurvedic therapeutics and the fact that there is dearth of comprehensive review on the subject an attempt has been made in this review to provide a brief but all encompassing coverage of different aspects related to it. The subjects covered in the review are: historical background of the evolvement of Rasashaastra as a specialized branch during different time periods; different aspects of classification ‘Rasa dravyaas’; processing of metal and mineral products with a note on the methods used during different time periods; information about methods of pre and post preparation procedures for different kinds of ‘Rasa dravyaas’; importance of mercury in Ayurveda, its processing methods and different preparations along with therapeutic indications. In addition attempt has been made to provide basic information on the metal and mineral based preparations mentioned in Ayurvedic Formulary of India; recent development in the field of Rasashaastra and future requirements for the proper development of the discipline. The main focus is to familiarize the readers, from non-ayurvedic background, on different aspects of this specialized discipline.
Rasashaastra; Rasa dravyaas; Traditional systems of medicine; Mineral and metal based formulations Ayurvedic formulations; Iatrochemistry of Ayurveda
The goal of our study was to evaluate the effects of different medicinal herbs rich in polyphenol (Lemon balm, Sage, St. John's wort and Small-flowered Willowherb) used as dietary supplements on bioaccumulation of some essential metals (Fe, Mn, Zn and Cu) in different chicken meats (liver, legs and breast).
In different type of chicken meats (liver, legs and breast) from chickens fed with diets enriched in minerals and medicinal herbs, beneficial metals (Fe, Mn, Zn and Cu) were analysed by flame atomic absorption spectrometry. Fe is the predominant metal in liver and Zn is the predominant metal in legs and breast chicken meats. The addition of metal salts in the feed influences the accumulations of all metals in the liver, legs and breast chicken meat with specific difference to the type of metal and meat. The greatest influences were observed in legs meat for Fe and Mn. Under the influence of polyphenol-rich medicinal herbs, accumulation of metals in the liver, legs and breast chicken meat presents specific differences for each medicinal herb, to the control group that received a diet supplemented with metal salts only. Great influence on all metal accumulation factors was observed in diet enriched with sage, which had significantly positive effect for all type of chicken meats.
Under the influence of medicinal herbs rich in different type of polyphenol, accumulation of metals in the liver, legs and breast chicken meat presents significant differences from the group that received a diet supplemented only with metal salts. Each medicinal herb from diet had a specific influence on the accumulation of metals and generally moderate or poor correlations were observed between total phenols and accumulation of metals. This may be due to antagonism between metal ions and presence of other chelating agents (amino acids and protein) from feeding diets which can act as competitor for complexation of metals and influence accumulation of metals in chicken meat.
Chicken liver; Chicken legs meat; Chicken breast meat; Medicinal herbs; Beneficial metals; Feeding diets; Polyphenol
Vangabhasma is a popular and effective dosage form prepared from tin metal in Ayurvedic practice. Since modern literature attributes certain toxicity to tin salts, an attempt is made to screen the acute and sub-acute toxicity of Vangabhasma in the form, dose and route as is in the practice or Ayurveda. In this paper, dose-effect relation of Vangabhasma on Digestive system (G.I. T., Liver and Pancreas) has been presented. But for local irritation, no significant toxicity attributable to Vangabhasma has been observed even in eight times higher dose than therapeutic dose, on exposure to the drug for ten days.
Lentinus edodes is the medicinal macrofungus showing potential for therapeutic applications in infectious disorders including hepatitis. In an attempt to develop the agent for handling hepatic injury, we used the extracts of Lentinus edodes mycelia (LEM) to screen the effect on hepatic injury in rats induced by carbon tetrachloride (CCl4). Intraperitoneal administration of CCl4 not only increased plasma glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase (GOT) and glutamic pyruvic transaminase (GPT) but also decreased hepatic superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) levels in rats. Similar to the positive control silymarin, oral administration (three times daily) of this product (LEM) for 8 weeks significantly reduced plasma GOT and GPT. Also, the activities of antioxidant enzymes of SOD and GPx were elevated by LEM. in liver from CCl4-treated rats, indicating that mycelium can increase antioxidant-like activity. Moreover, the hepatic mRNA and protein levels of SOD and GPx were both markedly raised by LEM. The obtained results suggest that oral administration of the extracts of Lentinus edodes mycelia (LEM) has the protective effect against CCl4-induced hepatic injury in rats, mainly due to an increase in antioxidant-like action.
Liver damage was induced in rats by injection of dimethylnitrosamine (DMN) or carbon tetrachloride (CCl4). Fibrin clots were observed in the hepatic sinusoids at 12 hours and soluble fibrin monomer complexes were markedly detected at 24 hours only in the rats given DMN. When antithrombin III concentrate was infused at 12 hours there was a dose dependent improvement of the values of serum total bilirubin, SGPT, prothrombin time, peripheral platelet count, and plasma fibrinogen and coagulation factor VIIIC and of the histological degree of liver injury at 24 hours in the DMN group. The CCl4-group showed no such improvement. Intravascular coagulation may complicate the course of certain types of acute liver injury and contribute to its aggravation in rats. Under such circumstances, treatment with antithrombin III concentrate would be beneficial.
Swarna makshika (chalcopyrite) bhasma (SMB) has been used for different therapeutic purposes since long in Ayurveda. The present study is conducted to evaluate the effect of conventionally prepared SMB on different bio-chemical parameters in experimental animals, for providing scientific data base for its logical use in clinical practice. The genuine SMB was prepared by following classical techniques of shodhana and marana most commonly used by different Ayurvedic drug manufacturers. Shodhana was done by roasting raw swarna makshika with lemon juice for three days and marana was performed by 11 putas. The experimental animals (rats) were divided into two groups. SMB mixed with diluted honey was administered orally in therapeutic dose to Group SMB and diluted honey only was administered to vehicle control Group, for 30 days. The blood samples were collected twice, after 15 days and after 30 days of drug administration and different biochemical investigations were done. Biochemical parameters were chosen based on references from Ayurvedic classics and contemporary medicine. It was observed that Hb% was found significantly increased and LDL and VLDL were found significantly decreased in Group SMB when compared with vehicle control group. This experimental data will help the clinician for the logical use of SMB in different disease conditions with findings like low Hb% and high LDL, VLDL levels.
Bio-chemical parameters; makshika bhasma; marana; puta; shodhana
Rasa Shastra is a branch of Ayurveda which deals with the processing of minerals and metals having therapeutic importance. Rajata comes under the group of metals having high therapeutic value. Minerals and metals are mostly used in the form of Bhasma. During the medieval period Rasacharyas extensively worked and developed a number of processing methods for a single drug. They all are standard manufacturing procedures (SMP) which ensure the quality, safety, efficacy and reproducibility of the product. Earlier Ayurvedic physicians were producing medicines by themselves according to their need. Now a day, due to commercialization of Ayurvedic medicines and ignorance of classical methods, quality of drugs has deteriorated. Presently, the demand of Ayurvedic drugs in the global market is increasing day by day. Hence it is the need of time to develop SMP for Ayurvedic products for global acceptability. This paper aims at providing SMP for the manufacture of Rajata Bhasma and also attempts to study the effect of Shodhana process on Rajata. Rajata was obtained from the local market of Varanasi. Rajata Bhasma was prepared and it was observed that during the preparation of Rajata Bhasma, use of Muffle Furnace instead of conventional Puta is more advantageous due to better temperature control. Use of mercury and sulphur together acts as best medium in the preparation of Rajata Bhasma.
Bhavana; Marana; Rajata; Rajata sindura; Shodhana
Amrithadi Churnam – a compound ayurvedic preparation made up of Tinospora cordifolia, Salacia prenoides, Curcuma longa, Tribulus terrestris and Emblica Officinalis was screened for its antidiabetic activity. From the studies it could be established that Amrithadi churnam at a dose level of 100mg/kg b.w. was the optimum dose in alloxan diabetic rats. No toxic effects were observed as evidenced by the study of liver enzymes and blood haematoerit. An extra pancreatic role of the drug cannot be rulled out, since it (100 mg/kg b.w) produced significant decrease in blood sugar level in alloxan diabetic rats.
Mahamrutyunjaya rasa (MHR), an Ayurvedic formulation, used as cardiotonic, contains potentially toxic compounds like aconitine, which are detoxified during preparation using traditional methods. Comparative toxicological evaluation of laboratory prepared formulation (F1) and two marketed formulations (F2 and F3) were performed based on their effects on viability of H9c2 cells and after single oral dose administration in mice. Cardioprotective effect of formulations at 25 and 50 mg/kg doses were studied in isoproterenol- (ISO-) induced myocardial infarcted rats. F1 and F2 did not affect the cell viability, while F3 decreased the cell viability in concentration and time-dependent manner. Rats administered with ISO showed significant increase in the serum levels of glutamate oxaloacetate transaminase, alkaline phosphotase, creatinine kinase isoenzymes, lactate dehydrogenase, and uric acid, while F1 and F2 treatment showed significant reduction in the same. F3 showed further increase in the serum levels of enzymes and uric acid in ISO-challenged rats. High pressure liquid chromatographic analysis of formulations showed higher concentration of aconitine in F3. Study shows that F1 and F2 possess cardioprotective property with higher safety, while formulation F3 cannot be used as cardioprotective due to its cytotoxic effects. Thus, proper quality assessment methods are required during preparation of traditional formulations.
The present study reports protective activity of ethyl acetate fraction of methanol extract of stem bark of Ceiba pentandra against paracetamol-induced liver damage in rats. The ethyl acetate fraction (400 mg/kg) was administered orally to the rats with hepatotoxicity induced by paracetamol (3 gm/kg). Silymarin (100 mg/kg) was used as positive control. High performance thin layer chromatography (HPTLC) fingerprinting of ethyl acetate fraction revealed presence of its major chemical constituents. A significant (P < 0.05) reduction in serum enzymes GOT (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), GPT alkaline phosphatase (ALP), total bilirubin content and histopathological screening in the rats treated gave indication that ethyl acetate fraction of methanolic extract of Ceiba pentandra possesses hepatoprotective potential against paracetamol-induced hepatotoxicity in rats.
Ceiba pentandra; hepatoprotective; hepatotoxicity; paracetamol
Ayurveda is a unique system of medicine which uses metals and minerals in the form of bhasma (fine powder obtained through calcinations). Mandura is one of such mineral having various therapeutic uses. An effort has been made in the present study to characterize raw and processed Mandura using sophisticated analytical tools as a step forward to standardization. Mandura bhasma was prepared following references of Ayurvedic classics. To assure the quality of the prepared bhasma, Rasa Shastra quality control tests like rekhapurnatvam (particles enter into furrows of human hand), varitara (floating of product particles on water), irreversible etc., were used. Bhasma fulfilling these tests was analyzed using X-ray Diffraction (XRD) analysis. This revealed that raw Mandura contained Fe2Si04, and Mandura bhasma contained Fe2O3 and SiO2. Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) studies showed that the grains in Mandura bhasma were uniformly arranged in agglomerates of sizes 200-300 nm as compared to the raw Mandura, which showed a scattered arrangement of grains of sizes 10-2 microns. It may be concluded that this conversion of raw Mandura, a complex compound, into a mixture of simple compounds having nano-sized particles is due to the particular process of calcination employed.
Mandura bhasma; X-ray diffraction; Scanning electron microscopy
Swarnabhasma, an Ayurvedic preparation containing Calotropis gigantea R. Br. (Asclepiadaceae) is extensively used by Ayurvedic physicians for treatment of diabetes mellitus, bronchial asthma, rheumatoid arthritis and nervous disorders. In the present study, we report the effect of chloroform extracts of Calotropis gigantea leaf and flower on free radical scavenging activity, and lipid profile in streptozotozin-induced diabetic rats. The lipid peroxidation, superoxide dismutase, and catalase were measured in liver homogenate and serum glutamic pyruvic transaminase, serum glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase, alkaline phosphatase, lipid profile were measured in blood serum. Administration of single dose of streptozotozin (55 mg/kg, i.p.) caused significant increases in lipid peroxidation, serum glutamic pyruvic transaminase, serum glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase, alkaline phosphatase, cholesterol and triglyceride levels, while superoxide dismutase and catalase levels were significantly decreased. Further, administration of chloroform extracts of Calotropis gigantea leaf and flower to streptozotocin-induced diabetes rats at a dose of 10, 20 and 50 mg/kg orally for 27 d lead to a significant decrease in lipid peroxidation, serum glutamic pyruvic transaminase, serum glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase, alkaline phosphatase, cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Consequently, superoxide dismutase and catalase levels were significantly increased. Glibenclamide was used as a positive control (10 mg/kg). It was observed that the effect of chloroform extracts of Calotropis gigantea on alkaline phosphatase, cholesterol, superoxide dismutase, serum glutamic pyruvic transaminase, serum glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase, levels are comparable to that of those produced by the positive control.
Calotropis gigantea; diabetes; oxidative stress; swarnabhasma
The Ayurvedic system of medicine has stood the test of time for four millennia or more. The ancient seers found that drugs of different origin (herbal, metal or animal) in addition to codes of conduct and dietary regulations are suitable tools to maintain health in healthy and eradicating diseases in diseased. Use of metallic preparations in healthcare is a unique feature in this system. Processed metals including Mercury, Gold, Silver, Lead, Zinc, Copper etc. were used very frequently by seers of the Indian tradition in different disease conditions with great authority. It is generally claimed, that these metals are detoxified during the highly complex manufacturing processes described in Ayurvedic, especially Rasashastra texts. Charaka Samhita, one of the scheduled books of Ayurveda also holds ample of references regarding the use of metals for different purposes, which are summarized in the current paper.
Ayurveda; Charaka Samhita; lead; mercury; metals
Metals have had a long history in Ayurvedic system of medicine. Mercury (Parada), gold (Swarna), silver (Rajata), copper (Tamra), iron (Lauha), tin (Vanga), lead (Naga), and zinc (Yasada) are used in therapeutics in an incinerated (Bhasma) form. The pharmacological actions, therapeutic indications, adverse effects and management of adverse effects of these metals are described and emphasis has been given to the proper preparation, rational dose and duration during clinical practice in the classics of Ayurveda. Most important observation is, there are no contraindications of these Bhasmas, indicating universal applicability to all age levels with suitable adjuvant, proper dose and duration.
Ayurveda; Bhasma; Marana; Shodhana; Dosha