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Rasasindhura is not toxic

Why Rasasindura is not toxic?

K.S. Parthasarathy

The Hindu |  September 7, 2015 

Researchers have employed state-of-the-art analytical tools and elegant computational methods in a truly multidisciplinary project to prove that Rasasindura, the mercury-containing Ayurvedic drug, is not toxic. Mercury is one of the top ten chemicals of major public health concern. (WHO Worksheet No 363, Sept 2013). Metallic mercury is highly mobile, soluble in water depending on its chemical form and oxidises relatively easily. Bacteria convert environmental mercury in to methyl mercury. Mercury interacts with human body and turns it into methyl mercury. Methyl mercury is more toxic. As per conventional wisdom, Rasasindura will be toxic. Ayurvedic physicians claim that they have been using this drug for ages without any harm. The study carried out in Bhabha Atomic Research Centre and Raja Ramanna Centre for Advanced Technology tries to solve the riddle.“...Our work not only helps to understand the non-toxicity of Rasasindura but also establishes the Ayurvedic synthesis method for a well controlled end-product,” researchers led by Dr Gebdutta Lahiri from BARC wrote in the latest issue Journal of Synchrotron Radiation.

In this study, researchers used virgin samples of Rasasindura prepared as per Ayurvedic protocols. “Bhasmikaran” (making into powder), is simple in theory; it involves repeated, controlled and prolonged heating of metals with suitable ingredients to make metal powders and to remove residual metals and toxic organic molecules. The results obtained by the scientists apply only to the sample they used and not to any commercially available sample of Rasasindura. Regrettably, Ayurvedic formulations do not have any applicable standards.

Scientists used five analytical tools and procedures with Rasasindura and nanoparticles of lab-based red á-HgS to prove that the structure of Rasasindura is indeed the very stable, á-HgS. Surface organic groups or organic groups were absent in both .The drug has thus the followin g attributes: because of the special affinity of Hg to Sulphur, Hg-S bonds are very strong. Other workers have shown that accumulation of á-HgS in the human body is very low. Absorption of á-HgS by the gastro-intestinal tract is only 0.2 per cent; the fraction reaching the kidney is much lower at only 0.02 per cent. HgS is 10,000 times less toxic than methyl mercury.

The researchers showed that complete oxidation occurred in Rasasindura and free mercury or organic mercury was absent in it. They used synchrotron-based X-ray Absorption Fine Structure (XAFS) method to prove 100 per cent HgS formation in Rasasindura.

They found that that Rasasindura contains nanocrystals of about 20 nm size. Particle distribution is better controlled in Rasasindura than in á-HgS, made in laboratories. The paper proves that toxicity cannot be decided by elemental analysis alone.

In December 2004, Dr Robert B. Saper from the Boston University School of Medicine and his colleagues stated that 20 per cent of the Ayurvedic medicines they purchased from Boston contained high levels of lead, mercury and arsenic ( Journal of American Medical Association ). We do not know whether companies prepared any of these drugs as per Ayurvedic protocols. Saper's paper led to the banning of such drugs in many countries.

Since then a few papers showed that some of the drugs are not toxic Let me reiterate that the present study does not endorse any sample of Rasasindura available in the market.

The author is former Secretary, Atomic Energy Regulatory Board. Email: ksparth@yahoo.co.uk

ayurveda news

Ayurveda has key role in treating mental illness’

Ayurveda, the ancient Indian system of medicine, has an important role in treating mental illness, M.K. Raghavan, MP, has said.

Inaugurating the Ayurveda medical camp organised by the Arya Vaidya Pharmacy at the Asha Bhavan in Kozhikode on Tuesday, he said Ayurveda soothes both body and mind. The MP also promised all help to develop infrastructure facilities at the Asha Bhavan and to market the products created by the inmates.

Asha Bhavan is the government-run rehabilitation centre for those who are cured of mental illnesses. There are currently about 75 inmates at the centre.

Sub-judge R.L. Baiju inaugurated the distribution of medicines to the inmates. Arya Vaidya Pharmacy DGM (marketing) Dr. Shaju Thomas presided. Sabeesh Raj, area sales manager, welcomed the gathering and field staff Lipin proposed a vote of thanks. Dr. Ravindranathan Nambiar, Dr. Jayasree, Dr. Babitha and Dr. Ashida Vasudevan led the camp.

 Castor oil, a common cure

From eons, Castor Oil has been used worldwide to treat a variety of health conditions. A common cure for many ailments, grandmothers would reach out for it whenever needed to naturally speed up the healing.

Castor Oil is produced by cold-pressing the castor seeds of the castor bean plant, it is then clarified by heating the oil. It has traces of dense, concentrated source of ricinoleic acid which has many healing abilities. This rare compound - Ricinoleic acid is not found in any other substances, thus making Castor oil unique. Castor oil also contains certain beneficial salts and esters that function primarily as skin-conditioning agents. They help stabilize the texture and consistency of products, which is why castor oil is used in so many cosmetics, hair and skin-care treatments.

Important uses of Castor Oil

Castor oil helps with the production of proper levels of lymphocytes, which are the immune system's natural disease fighters towards bacteria, diseases and toxins. It also improves blood circulation making oxygen to move freely throughout the body.

Since Castor oil is completely natural and synthetic-free, it is useful for skin disorders. It effectively reduces unnatural swelling, redness and inflammation of the skin.

It is an age-old tradition to give castor oil orally to pregnant women to induce labour. The side-effect for this can be nausea.

Castor Oil heals the skin and makes for an excellent moisturiser and anti-ageing solution to get rid of various signs of ageing by increasing the production of collagen.

It is a mild laxative when taken orally and can relieve one of Constipation and regularise the process of digestion.

Castor Oil has Omega 6 fatty acid useful for hair growth and makes it shine by reaching the roots to improve circulation. The antifungal and antibacterial properties also help in clearing dandruff and scalp infections.

Did you know?

Castor Oil was ages ago also known as 'Palma Christe' since the shape of the plant's leaves resemble the palm of the Christ.

In ancient Egypt it was used to treat eye irritations and was also used as natural skin solution.

Ayurveda has known the benefits of castor oil since long and in India it is used for healing the skin and getting the digestive system back on track.

ayurveda news on september 2015


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