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Pharmaceutical Standardization of Traditionally Prepared Lauha Bhasma Incinerated Iron, Characterised as Alpha Haematite

Author(s): S. B. Chavan*, Sushama Bhuvad, T. B. Walunj, Vidya Gupta, Vineeta Deshmukh, S. S. Sardeshmukh and S. P. Sardeshmukh
Drug Standardization Laboratory, Bharatiya Sanskriti Darshan Trust’s Integrated Cancer Treatment and Research Centre, 1Research and Development and Bhasma Section, Atharva Nature Healthcare Pvt. Ltd., Pune, Maharashtra 412207, 2Department of Instrumentation, Merieux Nutriscience Pvt. Ltd., Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra 400703, India

Correspondence Address:
S. B. Chavan, Research and Development and Bhasma Section, Atharva Nature Healthcare Pvt. Ltd., Pune, Maharashtra 412207, India, E-mail:

Lauha Bhasma being incinerated metals, minerals and animal products attributed with specific therapeutic value needs standardization. Present study validates the pharmaceutical process of Lauha Bhasma/incinerated iron and characterizes it using traditional as well as modern techniques. Lauha Bhasma was prepared by traditional method. Pure iron turnings were sequentially quenched, 7 times each, into liquid media (1:4 w/v, for each) viz., sesame oil, cow’s butter milk, cow’s urine, sour gruel, Dolichus biflorus seed decoction and decoction of equally mixed pericarp of three myrobalans (Triphala). It was further mixed with sulphur, triturated with Aloe barbadensis leaf pulp and incinerated at 650°-850°, till the achievement of desired characters. The obtained reddish-violet powder contained 60 %-65 % of iron while characterized as crystalline ferric oxide, alpha haematite, on X-ray diffraction simulation. Vibrating sample magnetometer revealed hysteresis with less magnetisation saturation but high coercivity. Thermo-gravimetric analysis showed loss of ~3.5 % w/w between 300°-900°. Both, scanning and transmission electron microscopy visualised variably sized agglomerates of spherical to irregularly shaped particles with smooth edges. Dynamic light scattering analysis illustrated distribution of agglomerates as <250 nm (10 %), <515 nm (50 %) and <1050 nm (90 %) while negative zeta potential upto 14 mV. Elemental assay depicted heavy metals within permissible range and presence of trace elements up-to 2.75 %. Such Lauha Bhasma, characterized as alpha haematite, is traditionally prescribed in blood, liver, intestine and eye disorders. This study will help to explore this micro-nanomedicine as a therapeutic agent using in vitro and in vivo mechanistic studies.

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