Evaluation of chemical constituents and free-radical scavenging activity of Swarnabhasma (gold ash), an ayurvedic drug.

From ancient times, Swarnabhasma (gold ash) has been used in several clinical manifestations including loss of memory, defective eyesight, infertility, overall body weakness and incidence of early aging. Swarnabhasma has been used by Ayurvedic physicians to treat different diseases like bronchial asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes mellitus, nervous disorders, etc. In the present investigation, Swarnabhasma was prepared after proper purification and calcination as per Ayurvedic pharmacy which consisted of Realger (As(2)S(2)), Lead oxide (Pb(3)O(4)), Pure gold (Au) and Latex of Calotropis gigantea. Qualitative analyses indicated that Swarnabhasma contained not only gold but also several microelements (Fe, Al, Cu, Zn, Co, Mg, Ca, As, Pb, etc.). Infrared spectroscopy showed that the material was free from any organic compound. The metal content in the bhasma was determined by atomic absorption spectrometry. Acute oral administration of Swarnabhasma showed no mortality in mice (up to 1 ml /20 g b.w. of Swarnabhasma suspension containing 1mg of drug). Chronic administration of Swarnabhasma also showed no toxicity as judged by SGPT, SGOT, serum creatinine and serum urea level and histological studies. In an experimental animal model, chronic Swarnabhasma-treated animals showed significantly increased superoxide dismutase and catalase activity, two enzymes that reduce free radical concentrations in the body.
AuthorsA Mitra, S Chakraborty, B Auddy, P Tripathi, S Sen, A V Saha, B Mukherjee
JournalJournal of ethnopharmacology (J Ethnopharmacol) Vol. 80 Issue 2-3 Pg. 147-53 (May 2002) ISSN: 0378-8741 [Print] Ireland
PMID12007704 (Publication Type: Journal Article)
Chemical References
  • Drug Combinations
  • Free Radical Scavengers
  • Latex
  • swarnabhasma
  • Lead
  • Gold
  • Catalase
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • Arsenic
  • Animals
  • Arsenic
  • Body Weight (drug effects)
  • Calotropis
  • Catalase (metabolism)
  • Drug Combinations
  • Free Radical Scavengers (chemistry, toxicity)
  • Gold (chemistry, toxicity)
  • Kidney (drug effects, pathology)
  • Latex (chemistry, toxicity)
  • Lead
  • Liver (drug effects, pathology)
  • Male
  • Medicine, Ayurvedic
  • Mice
  • Spectrophotometry, Atomic
  • Spectrophotometry, Infrared (methods)
  • Superoxide Dismutase (metabolism)
  • Toxicity Tests, Acute

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