Ayurveda is a detailed study and one of the most ancient as well as documented systems of medicine. No doubt it deserves equal importance in modern times too. The sanskrit term Ayurveda translates to knowledge of life and also defines the ancient principles of this ancient wisdom. As mentioned in many articles the body works with three humors of the body that is vata, pitta and kapha. The whole ayurvedic science is based on balancing these three doshas. In this article we are going to discuss loha bhasma which is very well explained in Ayurvedic texts and is very potent in balancing doshas. The article contains information regarding classical indications, ingredients, preparation method, dosage and medicinal properties of loha bhasma.
Loha bhasma is a complex herbomineral preparation which is widely used in many conditions due to its fantastic properties. The loha bhasma is being mentioned in many texts using various preparatory methods. This article is based on Loha Bhasma being mentioned in Rasa Tarangini. It is a rasashastra preparation which is having a great importance in dealing with many metabolic conditions. The formulation also possesses rejuvenation or rasayan properties and also possesses vitality enhancing power. Loha bhasma is also very popular in all Ayurvedic classics for promoting strength. Loha bhasma is prepared to have benefits of loha or iron with administration of small doses.
- Shwas roga
- Krimi nashak
- Shol nashak
- Kshaya roga nashak
- Shooth nashak
- Paleha roga
- Yakrit roga
- Loha (Purified iron)
- Nimbu swaras (Juice of Citrus limon)
Reference:- Rasa Tarangini
Loha (Purified Iron)
Loha, which is called iron in English, has many properties. Following is the detailed description about iron:
Synonyms: Shastrak, tikshna, pind, kalayas, Ayas
Region of origin: In India it is generally found in bihar, odisha, west bengal,madhya pradesh, uttar pradesh, punjab, Tamil nadu, karnataka. In these places generally ores of iron are found.
Appearance: The iron has the same appearance as silver. After polishing iron is lustrous. After rubbing it a specific type of smell is generally noticed.
Metallic properties: Lustrous, heavy in weight, hard to mold
In nature the iron is generally found with impurities and is not commonly found in free form. It is generally available in mineral form. Generally found in oxide form which is known as oxide of iron. In rasashastra oxide of iron is called Gerik.
In preparation of Ayurvedic mineral or herbo mineral formulation purified form of iron is generally used. The purification of loha or iron is called shodhan. After shodhan loha maran is done. Maran is basically a procedure through which loha bhasma is prepared.
After maran, a bhasma or calcined iron has to go under niruth pariksha. It is basically a process through which the quality of a bhasma is checked. Loha bhasma niruth pariskha is done using mitarpanchak. Finally amritikaran of bhasma is done. After amritikaran the loha bhasma becomes effective like Amrit and hence can be used in treatment of various conditions.
Nimbu swarasa (Juice of Citrus limon)
Nimbu is said to have many benefits both according to Ayurvedic point of view and also according to modern science. Nimbu swarasa is basically the juice extract of lemon. The nimbu has properties like its taste is sour, it has inherent properties like tikshna (sharp) and laghu (light). The veerya (potency) of nimbu is ushna (hot) and its vipaka (post digestion effect) is amla. Charaka has mentioned it in phala and amla varga. On another hand sushruta has mentioned it in phala varga alone. The nimbu has anthelmintic, appetizing and astringent properties. In addition, it also has diaphoretic, hydrating and also helps in balancing electrolytes if taken with brown sugar and saindhav lavan. In burning sensation, it is very helpful and is a very effective source of vitamin C. If taken in controlled amounts it has a blood purification effect and is very effective in treatment of anorexia and vomiting. Generally the fruit of nimbu is used. But fruit juice also has its own importance. The appetizing effect is due to the digestive enzyme enhancing property of nimbu swarasa.
Qualities of Loha Bhasma
- It has a sheet or cold potency, tikta (bitter) and kashaya (astringent) taste.
- It is madhur pakki, heavy to digest and aggravates vata dosha in the body due to its ruksha guna.
- The bhasma is really beneficial for eyes, increases life expectancy, pacifies kapha and pitta,enhances strength, acts as an aphrodisiac agent, and increases skin complexion.
- Moreover, it also has a very good effect on memory, helpful in managing abdominal diseases or disorders, has digestive effect and is considered as an excellent formulation as a rasayan.
- Loha bhasma is considered as the best ranjak and raktavardhak (enhances blood count)
- The bhasma is considered as tridosha nashak which means it can pacify all the three doshas: Vata, pitta, kapha.
- In rasa tarangini it is mentioned that loha bhasma can pacify the increased pitta dosha which is equivalent to mala, situated in the shakha (dhatu) and koshta (amashaya).
Method Of Preparation
- There are various methods which are being mentioned in Rasa tarangini which can be used for preparation of loha bhasma. Following is the most commonly followed method:
- Take a specific amount of purified loha churna or pondered iron.
- Then this powder is added into a mortar.
- In mortar the loha churna is now mixed well with nimbu swaras or citrus limon juice. This process is termed as mardan.
- After mardan with nimbu swaras or Citrus limon juice small cakes are made of this mixture.
- These cakes are kept in the sunlight for drying.
- After drying, pack them in a samput and heat in Gajputa.
- It is heated for a total of 50 times in the Gajputa and finally an excellent bhasma of loha or calcified iron is achieved.
Appearance of Bhasma
The uttam bhasma appears like red lotus and is a bright red in colour. This can be used in many conditions.
- In rakta pitta loha bhasma can be used with chatujata mixed along with rock sugar.
- Five types of kasa can be managed with loha bhasma. In this case loha bhasma is administered with Adhatoda vasica (vasa) powder. It can also be administered with Piper nigrum powder.
- In case of breathlessness, shunthi powder (Zingiber officinalis) can be Mixed and administered to the patient.
- Loha bhasma pacifies kapha if given with honey.
- Pitta pacification is done when it is administered with rock sugar.
- In case of excessive hair fall it can be administered with triphala for over a total span of one year.
- Conditions like amla pitta and rakta pitta can be ananged using this formulation if given with rock sugar.
- In kamla (jaundice) and pandu (anemia) the loha bhasma can be administered with ghrita, honey or haridra swarasa (Curcuma longa juice).
- Skin disorders
- Respiratory disorders
- Blood toxification
- Pain in abdomen
- Abdominal disorders
- Liver disorders
- Spleen disorders
The loha bhasma can be administered in varying doses of 32-250 mg . It can be given once or twice a day after meals.
Anupana: The loha bhasma has many anupana. But most commonly can be used is honey and lukewarm water. Sometimes mishri (rock sugar) is also advised to be taken along with loha bhasma.
- It is advisable to take this medicine only under medical supervision, especially for children, pregnant and lactating mothers.
- Take this medicine only in prescribed dosage for a particular time period only.
- Store in a cool dry place.
- Keep out of reach and sight of children.
Loha bhasma as mentioned above has been mentioned in many Ayurvedic texts and holds a very big importance in mineral and herbo mineral formulations. It is a rasashastra base preparation and it can pacify pitta and kapha dosha. The formulation is fit to be used in various kinds of diseases. Metals when used in formulation, their purification and quality is always kept in mind.