It is a known fact that Iron is nephrotoxic, causing various urinary diseases which when untreated results in fatal condition like renal failure. But Ayurveda, after subjecting to various Samskaras (processing's), has used Loha (Iron) in bhasma (calx) form in numerous formulations to treat urinary diseases. These diagonally opposite perceptions form the very base of the present work where in Varunadi loha, a formulation containing Loha bhasma, described in Bhaishjyaratnavali was studied for its pharmacological action using Sprague Dawley rats as an experimental model. The study was carried out at National Toxicology Center (NTC), Pune (IAEC Clearance no.RP 128-181211).
The acute toxicity study showed Varunadi loha to be safe at the maximum dose of 2000mg/kg. Gentamycin induced nephrotoxicity model was used for the study. In the pilot study of 15 days, it was noted that rats in the prophylactic group died at the end of 8th day. So in the main study, prophylactic group was omitted. The main study was carried out with 24 rats which were equally divided in 4 groups as normal control, disease control, curative and safety.
In control group the results were not significant as the rats were non diseased and kept on normal diet. In disease control group, results were highly significant in serum creatinine and serum urea levels as the levels were raised. In curative group results were significant in serum levels as there was moderate decrease in serum creatinine and serum urea levels after the treatment with Varunadi loha. In the safety group the results were non-significant indicating the drug showed no adverse reactions at therapeutic dose. achieved by analysing SGOT (Serum glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase), SGPT (Serum glutamic pyruvic transaminase) and Histopathology profile.
Significant decrease in serum creatinine and serum urea in curative group was suggestive that the drug Varunadi loha was delivering its best to improve the lost kidney function.