Detection of carbonaceous material in Naga Bhasma
Traditional medicines have maintained their popularity in all regions of the developing world and are being adopted increasingly by people worldwide. Indian traditional system of medicine Ayurveda make use of unique metallicâ??herbal preparations (called Bhasma) which involves different processing steps including repeated steps of calcination of metal in the presence of natural precursor (herbal juices, decoctions, and powders, etc). It has been recently established that Bhasma contains nano/subâ??micron size particles and different nutrient elements. However, the role and the end product of the raw materials, especially the herbal parts, used during the synthesis of the drug (Bhasma) is one of the important but unanswered problems in such medicinal preparations. Present work on Naga Bhasma is an attempt to understand the role of natural precursors in detail. Our results on infrared, Raman and Xâ??ray photoelectron spectroscopy along with thermal measurements identify the presence of carbonaceous material (hydrogenated amorphous carbon) in the drug along with other compounds. In addition, this work also suggests the science and mechanism behind such complex preparations which could help in standardization of such medicines.