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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 36  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 182-186

A metallurgical study of Nāga Bhasma


Department of Rasa Shastra, Faculty of Ayurveda, IMS, BHU, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Dev Nath Singh Gautam
Department of Rasa Shasrta, Faculty of Ayurveda, IMS, BHU, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/asl.ASL_206_15

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Background: The metal Nāga (Lead) is being used by Indians since ancient times. Its external and internal uses have been described in Caraka, Suśruta and other Ayurvedic Saṃhitā. According to most of the Rasa texts, Nāga Bhasma and its formulations are used in many diseases such as Prameha, Jvara, Gulma, Śukrameha etc. Objectives: In the present study, Nāga Bhasma was prepared by the traditional Puṭa method (TPM) and by the electric muffle furnace Puṭa method (EMFPM) and standardized using Metallographic studies. Doing so helps in the study of the microstructure of Nāga Bhasma and also helps in the identification of the metal particles along with the nature of compound formed during the Māraṇa (Bhasmīkaraṇa) process. Setting and Design: Different samples from initial raw material to final product of Nāga Bhasma were collected during the pharmaceutical process (1st, 30th and 60th Puṭa) from both methods i.e. TPM and EMFPM. Samples from both methods were studied using metallographic examination. Materials and Methods: The processing of the Nāga Bhasma (ṣaṣṭipuṭa) was done according to Ānanda Kanda[9] Samples from the raw material i.e. Aśodhita Nāga (raw Lead) and that processed after 1st, 30th and 60th Puṭa from both methods i.e. traditional Puṭa method (using heat from burning of cow dung cakes) and electric muffle furnace Puṭa method were taken. They were mounted on self hardening acrylic base. After careful polishing to obtain scratch free surface of product, they were used for metallurgical study. Conclusion: This study shows that traditional Puṭa method may be better than electric muffle furnace Puṭa method because of more homogeneous distribution of Lead sulphide in the Nāga Bhasma which is prepared by traditional method.


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