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Physicochemical Transformation of Sulfur during Pharmaceutical Processing in Traditional Indian Medicine

Author(s): M.R. Rajalakshmy*, C.V. Sruthi, A.K. Maniyan, S. Vendamirtham, P.T. Neeraj and A. Sindhu
R&D Department, The Arya Vaidya Pharmacy (Coimbatore) Limited, Kanjikode West, Palakkad-678 623, India

Correspondence Address:
R&D Department, The Arya Vaidya Pharmacy (Coimbatore) Limited, Kanjikode West, Palakkad-678 623, India, E-mail:

The wide spectrum of biological properties of sulfur have resulted in its use in pharmaceutical industry, especially in the Indian Traditional Medicines, Ayurveda and Siddha. Native sulfur from rocks, volcanic deposits, hot springs, fossil mineral resources and salt domes has been traditionally used. In the pharmaceutical industry, sulfur is processed to remove elemental and molecular impurities. This purification is performed in Ayurveda through a simple process sodhana mentioned in Rasasastra, which would lead to interesting physicochemical transformations. This paper describes n attempt to evaluate the physical and chemical properties occurring in sulfur due to the sodhana process as well as removal of toxic impurities from native sulfur during this process. The changes to colour, appearance, odour, density, melting point, concentration and structure of sulfur were assessed using physicochemical methods, scanning electron microscopy, inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry and X-ray powder diffraction. The role of medium for incorporation of organic content was analyzed by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy.

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