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 Table of Contents  
REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 147-153

Amrutikarana of Ayurvedic metallic preparations: A systemic review


Department of Rasa Shastra and Bhaishajya Kalpana, I.P.G.T. and R.A. Gujarat Ayurved University, Jamnagar, Gujarat, India

Date of Submission29-Oct-2020
Date of Decision02-May-2021
Date of Acceptance05-May-2021
Date of Web Publication4-Jul-2022

Correspondence Address:
Om Pandey
Department of Rasa Shastra and Bhaishajya Kalpana, I.P.G.T. and R.A. Gujarat Ayurved University, Jamnagar - 361 008, Gujarat
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/joa.joa_260_20

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  Abstract 


Objectives: Ayurvedic metallic preparations are always a concern for the safety issue. A special process was also designed in the ancient classics of Rasashastra to remove the blemishes of such metallic preparation known as Amrutikarana. Different materials and methods are elucidated for this purpose which modifies the efficacy and glance of the incinerated metals and minerals. Data Sources: Eighty one Ayurvedic classical text books and published research studies were searched in the context of Amrutikarana. Online search engines namely J gate, Google scholar, Pubmed, DHARA online and AYUSH research portal were used for data mining of published research works. Review Methods: References and studies including the methods of preparation, safety, efficacy or toxicity studies of 'Amrutikarana' or 'Amritikarana' of Ayurvedic Bhasma were reviewed. Results: Amrutikarana process was invariably seen in the contexts of Abhraka, Lauha and Tamra Bhasma only in few texts. Research articles show that there are various physico-chemical changes involved in this process along with variations in the elemental level of Fe, Cu, C, oxides and particle size. Pharmacological studies clearly support the claim that Amrutikarana helps in reducing the toxicity of metallic preparations. However, clinical data is not available in support of the increased efficacy by this process. Conclusion: Amrutikarana process of metallic Bhasma preparations is an important tool to counteract the possible ill effects by changing its physico-chemical property but the scientific published data still lacks the Standard manufacturing procedures of Amrutikarana for such Bhasma and efficacy evaluations on clinical grounds.

Keywords: Abhraka, Amritikarana, Amrutikarana, Bhasma, Lauha, Tamra


How to cite this article:
Pandey O, Bedarkar P, Patgiri B. Amrutikarana of Ayurvedic metallic preparations: A systemic review. J Ayurveda 2022;16:147-53

How to cite this URL:
Pandey O, Bedarkar P, Patgiri B. Amrutikarana of Ayurvedic metallic preparations: A systemic review. J Ayurveda [serial online] 2022 [cited 2022 Nov 29];16:147-53. Available from: http://www.journayu.in/text.asp?2022/16/2/147/349765




  Introduction Top


Rationale

Rasashastra achieved its pace as an alchemic science in the period of Nagarjuna and a vast variety of metals and minerals were successfully used in the transformation and physicochemical processes with Parada (mercury) at its prime center. In the course of human development, this science got shifted toward therapeutic intervention of physical ailments, but adverse reactions due to malpractices became a major point of concern. Higher therapeutic efficacy in lower dose and faster therapeutic action of bhasma ignited the avarice of bulk production in short time which led to serious adverse effects. Amrutikarana of bhasma was a major step to remove the remaining blemishes after the incineration process of metals and minerals and increase their efficacy.[1]

Objectives

This review work was intended to describe the concept of Amrutikarana along with its classical methods and to find its correlation with the safety and efficacy of the metallic/mineral bhasma preparations through available research articles.


  Materials and Methods Top


Following classical texts of Ayurveda and online search engines were screened for the available references of Amrutikarana.

Samhita Grantha (Treatise)

Treatises include Charaka Samhita, Sushruta Samhita, Ashtanga Sangraha, Astanga Hridaya, Kashyapa Samhita, Bhela Samhita, Bhavaprakasha Samhita, Harita Samhita, and Sharangdhara Samhita.

Sangraha Grantha (Compendias)

Compendias include Vrindamadhava, Chakradatta (CD), Gadanigraha, Vangasena, Yogaratnakara, Bhaishajya Ratnavali, Sahasrayogam, Chikitsa Kalika, Rajamartanda, Anupana Manjari, Vaidyaka Jivana, and Vaidya Rahasya.

Rasashastra texts

Anandakanda (AK), Rasaratnakara, Rasa Chintamani, Rasa Hridaya Tantra, Rasa Kamdhenu, Rasa Prakasha Sudhakara, Brihat Rasa Raja Sundara (BRRS), Rasendra Chintamani (RNC), Loha Sarvaswam, Rasendra Mangalam, Haramekhala, Rasa Kaumudi, Rasa Manjari, Ayurveda Prakasha (AP), Brihata Bhaishajya Ratnakara, Rasa Chandanshu, Rasa Ratna Samucchaya (RRS), Rasa Tarangini (RT), Rasendra Sara Sangraha, Rasa Pradipika, Rasadhyaya, Rasamruta (RAM), Rasa Tantra Sara evam Siddha Prayoga Sangraha, Siddha Bhaishajya Manimala, Rasarnava, Rasendra Chudamani (RCD), Rasa Paddhati, Rasa Sanketa Kalika (RSK), Arka Prakasha, Rasa Raja Mahaudadhi, Rasa Yoga Sagara, Rasa Jala Nidhi (RJN), Rasoddhara Tantra, Parada Vijnaniya, Brihat Nighantu Ratnakara.

Nighantu

Nighantu include Abhidhan Manjari, Abhidhan Ratnamala, Amarkosha, Ashtanga Nighantu, Chamatkara Nighantu, Dravya Guna Sangraha, Dhanwantari Nighantu, Nighantu Shesha, Paryaya Ratnamala, Bhavaprakasha Nighantu, Madanpala Nighantu, Madanadi Nighantu, Madhava Dravyaguna, Raja Nighantu, Raja Vallabha Nighantu, Laghu Nighantu, Shabda Chandrika, Shiva Kosha, Saraswati Nighantu, Siddha Mantra, Siddha Sara Nighantu, Shodhala Nighantu, Saushruta Nighantu, and Hridaya Dipaka Nighantu.

Database

Online search engines J-gate,[2] Google scholar,[3] PubMed,[4] DHARA (Digital Helpline for Ayurveda Research Articles) online[5] and AYUSH research portal.[6] Last assessed date: Oct 25, 2020.

Terms “Amrutikarana” and “Amritikarana” were searched from above classical text books of Ayurveda and search engines to collect online data available. Study selection-classical references and full-text research articles related to conceptual, pharmaceutical, analytical, pharmacological, or clinical studies of Amrutikarana were selected for the study. Rejection studies not involving the process of Amrutikarana or without any comparison group, duplicate search results, and studies without full-text articles were rejected from the inclusion.


  Results Top


Among 81 classical texts screened, the relevant information about the Amrutikarana process was found only in few books, namely AK, AP, RNC, RRS, RT, RAM, BRRS, RJN, RSK, Rasa Ratnakara and some related informations from RCD and CD. A total of 90 eight records were identified through the above-mentioned databases search for research articles. Out of them, the remaining 70 articles were screened after removing duplicate articles. Thirty articles were excluded for not having the term or any information about Amrutikarana in the article. In the remaining 40 articles, 25 were excluded because the study included the Amrutikarana process without any comparison groups and hence were not qualified to draw any inference about the role of Amrutikarana. The remaining 15 articles were included in this review.

The term “Amrutikarana” or ”Amritikarana” is seen in classical Rasashastra texts like AK,[7] AP[8] and Rasatarangini.[9] It is a bio-enhancing process in the pharmaceutics of Rasashastra which helps in retaining the Rasayana (rejuvenation) effect of Bhasma, which might be lost in the process after repeated incineration or Agni samskara in Marana.[10] The references of this process are preferably seen in the context of three bhasmas, namely Tamra (copper), Lauha (iron), and Abhraka (mica). AP has stated that Amrutikarana of Aruna Varna (reddish brown color) Abhraka Bhasma will result in Guna vriddhi (increase in property) but Varna hani (loss in color).[8]

Amrutikarana as Samskara

AK has described five Samskara of Abhraka, namely Nirmalakriya (Shodhana), Dhanyabhrakarana, Sumratikarana (Marana), Satvapatana, and Amrutikarana.[11] The author has also advised to follow Amrutikarana in Abhraka Bhasma prepared by all methods, but the method and ingredients for the same are not given.[12] Samskara in Ayurveda refers to any variable which may influence the properties of any substance.

Amruta Lauha[13]

In this process, the paste of Matsyakshi (Alternanthera sessilis), Kshira (cow milk), and Gandhaka (sulphur) is applied over Lauha followed by twenty Gajaputa to prepare Lauha Bhasma. Then, after Marana, 32 Tola Bhasma mixed with 256 Tola Gomutra is heated in a Lauha Patra in a mild fire with Lauha Darvi till moisture loss. The product is termed as Amruta Lauha, but the process is not termed as Amrutikarana.

The references, ingredients, and procedures involved in the Amrutikarana of these bhasmas can be summarized in [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3].[14],[15],[16],[17],[18],[19],[20],[21],[22],[23],[24],[25],[26],[27],[28],[29],[30],[31],[32],[33],[34],[35],[36],[37] No study was found regarding the pharmaceutical standardization of Amrutikarana process. The articles were also lacking evidence-based studies for clinical efficacy of the Amrutikarana process.
Table 1: Methods of Abhraka Amrutikarana in classical texts of Rasashastra

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Table 2: Methods of Tamra Amrutikarana in classical texts of Rasashastra

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Table 3: Methods of Lauha Amrutikarana in classical texts of Rasashastra

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The most common ingredients used in the process of Amrutikarana are Triphala kwatha and Goghrita in case of Abhraka and Lauha. Both Abhraka and Lauha have iron as the major content. In case of Tamra Amrutikarana, most common ingredients are Nimbu Swarasa, Gandhaka, and Suranakanda.

Mild-to-moderate and some marked changes can also be seen after the process of Amrutikarana in the physicochemical parameters such as ash value, loss on drying, pH, and acid-insoluble ash etc., while in sophisticated instrumental analysis like thermogravimetric analysis, X-ray diffraction, inductive coupled plasma-atomic emission spectroscopy, wavelength dispersive spectroscopy-scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive X-ray analysis-atomic absorption spectroscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and particle size analyzer have depicted various changes in the chemical structure, nature of bonding, elemental compositions, and particle size after the process of Amrutikarana [Table 4].
Table 4: Analytical studies related to Amrutikarana

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[38],[39],[40],[41],[42],[43]

Pharmacological studies have indicated that Amrutikarana definitely reduces the metal toxicity and increases the drug tolerance limit which implies its practical significance [Table 5].
Table 5: Pharmacological studies on Amrutikarana and their results

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[44],[45],[46]

Staging in Amrutikarana

According to RJN, there are three stages of Lauha Amrutikarana, namely Mridu, Madhyama, and Khara, as shown in [Table 6].[47]
Table 6: Depiction of stages in Amrutikarana

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A person with Madhyama Doshas (Sama Prakriti) should use Sama Paka, i.e., neither too dry nor too sticky stage in Lauha Amrutikarana. A similar reference of Trividha Lauha Paka can also be seen in Chakradatta.[48]


  Discussion Top


This special procedure is indicated in the context of mainly Abhraka, Tamra, and Lauha, but some authors suggest that minerals containing these metals like Makshika (containing copper) should also undergo through Amrutikarana process.[49] From the above literature, it can be stated that Amrutikarana is the scientific procedure to convert any unprocessed proportion of metallic incinerated products into biologically more active processed end product to ensure the efficacy of the bhasma with minimum or no residual adverse effects.

The ingredients used in the process are well designed to counteract the specific Doshas of such Bhasma. Triphala is a rich source of tannins and ascorbic acid. These play an important role in absorption of food iron in gastrointestinal tract. Tannins act as a binding agent, while ascorbic acid increases the bioavailability of Fe by converting Fe3+ to Fe2+. Thus, it helps in maintaining the required amount of iron in blood and avoids accumulation in body. Excessive Rukshata induced in Abhraka and Lauha Bhasma by repeated incineration is counteracted by Goghrita. Increase in the organic carbon content and reduction in elemental copper in the context of Tamra Bhasma Amrutikarana by Suranakanda also support the carbon reduction process.

Analytical studies have shown that the samples differ in their physicochemical properties as well as the particle size after the process of Amrutikarana. Variations in the elemental composition and the bond structures also signify the chemical importance of this process. In pharmacological activity, Amrutikarana process has shown a significant reduction in the toxicity at all hematological and histological grounds. Thus, it indicates toward the reduction in harmful toxic levels of elemental metals like iron and copper in the biological system after Amrutikarana and better availability of the required amount for therapeutic activity, although negligible role seen in anticancer activity might be due to the decreased dissolution of the compound in water after treatment with Ghrita.

Further research works are needed to be carried out for the safety and efficacy of Amrutikarana process in pharmaceutical and clinical fields along with the analytical and pharmacological research works.

[37],

The study shows that all the processes involved in the Amrutikarana have a scope of variation in the proportion and ingredients according to the target metal and desired property in the end product. Various procedures used in Amrutikarana are able to bring about variations in the physical, chemical, and therapeutic properties as claimed. Analytical studies showed that this process results in the reduction of particle size and change in the percentage of elements such as Fe, Ca, C, Al, Mn, and Si. It was also found that Amrutikarana can be a major tool for reducing the acute and chronic toxicity in animal models, thus increasing safety margin and tolerance limit of Bhasma preparations. There is a wide scope of research in the areas like pharmaceutical and clinical aspects of Amrutikarana.

Financial support and sponsorship

This study was financially supported by IPGT and RA, Gujarat Ayurved University, Jamnagar.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.





 
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    Tables

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4], [Table 5], [Table 6]



 

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