Introduction about Bhasma

Accumulated toxicity data on the hazardous effects of heavy metals have made health
scientists afraid of heavy metals. As a result, renewed interest in the beneficial effects of
metals and minerals is often viewed with skepticism. However, available literature from
all the ancient civilizations indicates that man has used metals in disease treatment since
time immemorial. Ayurvedic literature is full of the use of metals. Not only have Ayurveda
and other Indian systems of medicine used metals, but their use is also amply described
in Chinese and Egyptian civilizations in 2500
Gold in medicine was also mentioned
by Roman physician Pliny and Greek philosopher Dioscrides. Later, Arabic and Persian
physicians used gold in various forms in a number of their prescriptions. Besides gold,
other metals that are extensively described in Indian and other ancient systems of medicine
include silver, arsenic, copper, iron, lead, mercury, and zinc. As far as Ayurveda is concerned,
metals have been used mainly as
literally means anything inorganic or organic burnt into its ash. The process of
burning in Ayurvedic terminology is known as
(calcination). The process of calcination
is also employed for preparation of
of coral, pearl, and shell. The wellknown
Ayurvedic texts,
Charaka Samhita
Susruta Samhita,
which are regarded as the
texts scripted by the forefathers of Ayurveda, include ample description of the use of the
metals and minerals in the treatment of diseases. It is also reflected in later texts that were
attempted to simplify the knowledge of
(e.g.,Astanga Hridaya,Vagbhata,Mdhahva Nidan,Sharangadhara Samhita, and Bhava Prakash).
Here, an attempt
has been made to describe various medicinal uses of
in general and
swrana bhasma
in particular.
The principles of Ayurvedic treatment are for the most part the same as those of
allopathic treatment. They consist of removing the injurious agent, soothing the injured
body and mind, and eradicating the cause. The difference lies in the methods adopted
by the two systems. In Ayurveda, great importance is given to the study of the various
stages of vitiation of the three
or humours of the body. When an imbalance occurs
among three
, they defile the normal functioning of the body, leading to the manifestation
of disease.
Consciousness or intelligence (sattva), motion or action (rajas), and
the inertia that resist them (tamas) are the three omnipresent nonmaterial qualities (gunas)
that govern all material forms of basic matter. These material and nonmaterial attributes
subsequently dictate the medicinal and healing properties of plants and other healing

Ayurveda uses the concept of purification as a means to eradicate disease rather than
to cure as perceived by modern medicine.

When treating acute and chronic infections,

Ayurveda does not aim to kill the microbes; restoration of
balance and host immunity
(rasayna) ensures elimination of the infectious agent. Numerous Ayurvedic medicinal
plants have shown strong chemotherapeutic and immunomodifying effect in experimentally
induced infections.

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