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The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India: Part-I, Volume-VII (Minerals and Metals)

The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India: Part-I, Volume-VII (Minerals and Metals)
Item Code: NAC276
Publisher: Government of India, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Department of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy, New Delhi
Edition: 2008
ISBN: 9788190595223
Pages: 190 (21 Color Illustrations)
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details: 11.4 Inch X 8.5 Inch
weight of the book: 700 gms


Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India Part I, six volumes are compilations of monographs on single drugs commonly used in the practice of Ayurveda. This seventh volume of Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India, Part-I consist of 21 monograph on Metals and Minerals used in Ayurveda. Though Metals and Minerals are used in other systems of medicine also, their use in Ayurvedic preparations is unique in view of the detailed Shodhan (detoxification) process contained in the Ayurvedic classical text.

The validation of all these processes requires the help of other related branches of science such as Geology, Organic and Inorganic chemistry, Analytical chemistry, Phytochemistry etc. Apart from this, advances in Nanotechnology are also important to provide a better understanding of the changed state of the Metals and Minerals after their processing by the recommended classical methods.

The genuine basic raw material is very much essential for quality medicines. Comprehensive tests and parameters for authenticity of raw materials have been described in this volume for the first time. This volume will be useful for the Pharmaceutical industry and Ayurvedic drug laboratories to assure the quality of drugs involving Metals/Minerals. Academicians, scientists and researchers engaged in this field will be also benefited from this publication.

This volume is the result of the untiring efforts of the expert members of Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia Committee. The commitment and hard work of scientists from different organizations like IBM (Ajmer), NIA (Jaipur), members of APC. Scientists and staff of APC cell at CCRAS Hqrs. and the Deptt of AYUSH accomplishing this task is highly appreciated.

The Department of AYUSH. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare have great pleasure in presenting the seventh volume of the Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia, Part I comprising of 21 monographs of quality standards of metals and minerals used in Ayurvedic medicines. Suggestions and comments for further improvement of the Pharmacopoeial work are welcome.


General Notices

These General Notices provide basic guidelines to help, interpret the provisions and terms used in this volume, in connection with the implementation of the recommended standards and methods of tests prescribed therein. In addition, they also include the features of a monograph that are mandatory standards.

Title: The title of this book is “Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India, Part-I, Vol.Vll (Minerals and Metals)”. Monographs on twenty-one raw drugs (minerals! metals / ores) are included in this volume.

Monograph: Each Monograph carries prescribed mandatory standards and general information, including those from Ayurvedic Classics. The Monographs are arranged in the English alphabetical order, based on the main Samskrta official name.

Monograph Title: The title given on top of each monograph indicates the name of the material in Samskrta, and is the same as mentioned in the single drugs list on the Ayurvedic Formularies for Minerals, Metals and Ores. It is the “Official Name” along with synonyms in Samskrta. This is followed by a scientific nomenclature in English that is nearest and most appropriate to the article described, and is also “Official”.

Synonyms: Taking into account the multilingual nature of the country, other names of the drug have been listed in Indian languages other than Samskrta as far as these are available. The Urdu and Tamil equivalents, however, are those appearing for the same drug in their respective Formularies.

Broad Classification: The raw materials obtained from the earth’s crust and used in the indigenous systems of medicines are of great complexity, being a mixture of various elements, compounds and gangue (waste rock i.e. the non-metalliferous part of an ore, not useful for the intended purpose). They may be chemically classified only in a broad sense, and exact chemical nomenclature cannot be assigned. Therefore, a broad classification, such as Silicate, Sulphide, Oxide and Metal etc., is added for basic information.

Origin and occurrence: The nature and forms in which a raw drug occurs in the earth’s crust and its association with other minerals and rocks are included to give an idea about geology of the substance. The occurrence and availability of the article in India are also incorporated. This important information reflects the commercial potential of the article as a source for the drug required by the Ayurvedic, Siddha & Unani practitioners, and to the manufacturers.

Standards: For mandatory purposes, the statements made under the following headings in a monograph shall constitute “Official Standards” Title, Definition, Identification (Physical, Optical and Chemical properties), Tests and Assays, Distinction from substitutes and adulterants, Heavy metals, and the “Sodhana” process described and recommended in classics quoted in Appendix -5.

Physical Properties: These include nature, colour, streak, cleavage, fracture, lustre, tenacity, transparency, hardness, specific gravity, taste and magnetism. These are reliable and easy identification features for minerals and metals. Fluorescence and XRD analysis applied for identification of a few articles have also been included. Physical properties serve as the preliminary but powerful parameters for identification of raw drugs. Definitions of geological terminology used in the monographs and methods of determination of various parameters are given in Appendix-I.

Optical Properties: These include the application of optical crystallography in identification of minerals that are crystalline and transparent, irrespective of their chemical composition. This is a time-tested petrographic/ mineralogical method of analysis using thin sections of mineral or ore samples, but adapted and applied to powdered materials to suit Pharmacopoeial requirement. Several parameters can be computed from only a few fragments using immersion liquids of known Refractive Indices, by a method known as the ‘Immersion Method’. Description of the principle and the method of determination of various constants are given in detail in Appendix-2.

Chemical Properties: Under this, confirmatory identification tests for raw drugs are mentioned. These include charcoal test, flame colouration test, effect of heat, solubility in water and acids and reaction with different acids. The most important, however, are determination of assays for major ingredients and minor constituents, presence of heavy metals and other elements of significance. Details of various tests and methods of determination of elemental assays etc., Details about Chemical & Reagents are given in Appendix-4.

a) Except a few very simple chemical tests which have been given in monographs, all methods of determination of physical, optical and chemical properties are given in detail in the Appendices.
b) Instructions, explanations of technical terms, and the methods, given in different Appendices, are the standard ones employed in the identification of the ores, minerals, metals and inorganic substances. More than one method for determination of a particular parameter in a monograph is given in this volume and the choice of method to be adopted is left to the user, provided the actual method used is on record with laboratory data.

Temperature: Except where specifically mentioned, ambient temperature in Celsius scale is intended.

Pressure: Atmospheric pressure of 760 torr at 0, unless stated otherwise.

Weight and Measures: ‘Constant Weight’ implies that under the given circumastances, no two consecutive weighs shall differ by more than 0.5 mg per gram of substance taken for analysis. ‘Weight taken for analyses is the amount to be taken for quantitative analysis stated in the procedure within an approximate range, but shall be accurately weighed and shall not differ from the stated weight by more than 10 percent.

Abbreviations, used in the monographs, are given in a table on next. Page.



Ayurveda is very much rich in many aspects and the number of drugs and their sources. The use of a few minerals and metals in Ayurvedic medicines is since Vedic period but scientific and systematic studies were conducted from 8th century onwards forming an integral part of Ayurvedic medicines called Rasasastra and the formulations called Rasyogas.

The brief history of Rasasastra reveals many aspects of this science when viewed in perspectives of identification, Sodhana (Purification), Marana (Calcination), indications and dietetic regimen.

Caraka has used ‘Rasa’ in Kustha cikitsa but it is not sure whether it is Parada or else. Six metals viz. Svarna, Rajata, Tamra, Loha, Vanga and Naga have been coined under drugs of mineral origin. These metals have been indicated for preparation of different devices like Bastinetra, Dhumanetra, etc. Specialized procedures like Lohadi Rasayana, Ayaskrti have been described so that these metals can be converted into a consumable and efficacious dosage form for therapeutic use. For this, the thin sheets of metals are repeatedly heated and quenched in a series of liquids viz. Triphala kvatha, Gomutra, Godugdha, Lavanalala, etc. until conversion to fine powder. Apart from metals, various other minerals like Gandhaka, Svarnamaksika, Haritala, Mana/zi1a, Mandura, Gairika, etc.; alloys viz. Kamsya, Pittala and gems viz. Mukta, Pravala have been mentioned for therapeutic and other uses. Susruta, in addition to all this, has used Parada (first non-ambiguous reference) tropically.

Astangasangraha, for the first time, clearly indicates administration of Parada for its Rasayana effect. Blowing up metal in a crucible to convert into powder form has also been described by him.

Almost of the marked developments of Rasasastra have taken place in this period (from 8tui century A. D.). The science attended its peak of advancements and opened new horizons in the field of medicine. Several Rasasiddhas (disciples of Tantrika doctrine) have contributed to this process. The outcomes of their extensive experimentations have been documented in the form of test. Nagarjuna was the most significant contributor to establish the aims, principles and methodologies of Rasasastra in an organized and systematic manner. Numerous texts viz. Rasaratnakara, Rasendramangala, Rasarnava have been composed in this period explaining Sodhana, Marana, properties, therapeutic uses, dose specifications and various formulations of Rasausadhis. The Sodhana and Marana methods may either be characteristic for some specific material or applicable to a group/category. Moreover, specifications for construction of a pharmacy have also been given instructing specific directions for specific procedures and arrangements required inside and outside the pharmacy campus.

Mainly three types of Physical treatments are adapted in metal/mineral preparations i.e. Heat, Beat and Treat. Here the treat means the material is treated with many organic preparations, the sequence of physical treatments may be varied considering the type of material and formulation but the sequence may get changed. In compiling the monographs, the title of each drug had been given in Sanskrit as already obtained in the Ayurvedic Formulary of India. Then comes the definition physical properties / Explanations of Geological! Technical terms — Terminology used in pharmacopoeial Monographs and methods of determination of the drug giving its identity in scientific nomenclature and very brief information about its source, occurrence, distribution and precautions in collection if any, etc.

This is followed by a list of synonyms in Samskrta and also the other Indian regional languages. The monographs then record the Definitions and Methods of determination of different optical parameters followed by Chemical properties along with qualitative chemical tests of minerals by Blow pipe method. Apart from this, the distinct photographs of all included materials are exhibited.

Since the efforts is to compile pharmacopoeial monographs of Ayurvedic drugs, in the accent of the classical attributes of respective drugs according to the doctrine of Rasa, Guna, Virya, Vipaka and Karma has not been lost sight of, though some of them appear to be abstract and subjective in the absence of established experimental methods to quantify them.

The Legal Notices and General Notices have been given for guidance of the analysts, the Pharmaceutical suppliers and manufactures and the research workers engaged in this field. Details about the apparatus, reagents and solutions, tests, methods of preparation of specimens for microscopic examinations have been given in the Appendices.

The Committee hopes that with the publication of Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India Part 1, Vol. VII comprising of 21 single drugs of mineral, metal origin, as per the format and procedure laid down, the different research units under Deptt. of AYUSH under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the other involved laboratories would plan their research enquiries such that the output of work would be accelerated.

The Committee urges the Government of Indian to recommend the adoption of these monographs for the purposes the identity, purity and strength of drugs for use in their Government, Semi-Government and Government aided institutions and voluntary public organizations. The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India, Part-I, Vol. VII may also be notified by Government as a book of reference for implementation of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 all over India as Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of Inida Part-I, Vol. I, II, III, IV and V is already included in the First Schedule of Drugs and Cosmetic Act 1940.

This volume is specific in nature consisting of monographs on raw materials of mineral and metals used in the mineral, metallic and herbo-mineral/metallic preparations.




  Legal Notices X
  General Notices XI
  Preface XVII
  Acknowledgement XX
  Introduction XXI
  Special Introduction XXVII
  Prologue XXXIII
  1. Abhraka 1
  2. Akika 3
  3. Gairika 5
  4. Gandhaka 8
  5. Godanti 11
  6. Gomeda 13
  7. Jaharamohara 15
  8. Kanta Lauha 17
  9. Kasisa 19
  10. Khatika 22
  11. Mandura 25
  12. Rajata 27
  13. Samudra Lavana 29
  14. Sauviranjana 31
  15. Svarna 34
  16. Svarnamaksika 36
  17. Svarnamaksika Sandrita 38
  18. Tamra 40
  19. Tankana 42
  20. Tuttha 45
  21. Vaikranta 48
  Appendix-1. Physical Properties of Minerals and Metals (Definitions of Geological Terminology and Methods of Determination of Various Parameters) 51
  1.1 Nature 53
  1.1.1 State of Aggregation 53
  1.1.2 Crystal Habit 53
  1.2. Colour 54
  1.3. Streak 54
  1.4. Cleavage 55
  1.5. Fracture 55
  1.6. Lustre 56
  1.7. Tenacity 57
  1.8. Light Transmission (Transparency) 57
  1.9. Magnetism 58
  1.10. Hardness 58
  1.11. Specific Gravity (Density) 60
  1.12. Fluorescence 60
  1.13. XRD Analysis 61
  Appendix-2. Optical Properties of Minerals and Metals (Definitions and Methods of Determination) 63
  2. Apparatus 65
  2.2. Reagents 65
  2.3 Mixtures 65
  2.4. Refractive Index (R.I) 66
  2.4.1 Definition 66
  2.4.2 Principle 66
  2.4.3. Method of Determination of R.I. 66
  2.5 Method of Determination of Other Constants 67
  Appendix-3. Chemical Properties of Minerals and Metals (Description of Various Methods of Chemical Analysis and Other Studies) 71
  3.1. Chemical analysis of rock/ore samples by classical methods (Gravimetric-Wet-Analysis) 73
  3.1.1. Preparation of powdered sample 73
  3.1.2. Determination of Loss on Ignition (LOI) 73
  3.1.3. Determination of Silica (SiO2) 73
  3.1.4. Determination of Iron (Fe) 74
  3.1.5. Determination of Calcium Oxide (CaO-EDTA) – complexometric method 75
  3.1.6. Determination of Magnesium Oxide (MgO-EDTA)-complexometric method 75
  3.1.7. Determination of Alumina (Al2O3-EDTA complexometric method) 76
  3.1.8. Determination of Sulphur (total)-(Gravimetric method) 77
  3.1.9. Determination of Lead, Zinc and Copper (complexometric method) 77
  3.1.9.i. Determination of Lead 78
  3.1.9.ii. Determination of Zinc 78
  3.1.9.iii. Determination of Copper 79
  3..1.10. Determination of Chloride in Sodium Chloride (Common Salt) 79
  3.2. Chemical analysis of rock/ore samples by Instrumental Methods 80
  3.2.1 Determination of Silver by Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (A.A.S.) 80
  3.2.2 Determination of Copper, Lead, Zinc, Nickel, Cobalt and Cadmium by A.A.S. 80
  3.2.3 Determination of Tin by A.A.S 81
  3.2.4 Determination of Antimony by A.A.S 81
  3.2.5 Determination of Bismuth by A.A.S 82
  3.2.6 Determination of Gold by A.A.S 82
  3.2.7 Determination of Chromium by A.A.S 83
  3.2.8 Determination of Arsenic (Gutzeit method) 83
  3.2.9 Determination of Mercury by cold vapour Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer (Mercury Analyzer) 84
  3.2.10 Determination of Gold and Silver by XRF (X-Ray Fluorescence Spectrometry) 85
  3.2.11 Determination of small amount of Titanium (TiO2) by Spectrophotometer method 85
  3.2.12 Determination of Manganese (MnO) by Spectrophotometric method 86
  3.2.13 Estimation of Na2O and K2O by Flame Photometry 87
  3.2.14 Determination of Boron by ICPA 87
  3.3 Methods of determination of other important chemical components 87
  3.3.1 Determination of Acid-Insoluble 87
  3.3.2 Reaction with Hydrochloric Acid, Nitric Acid and Sulphuric Acid 87
  3.3.3 Effect of Heat 88
  3.3.4 Qualitative test for Carbonate and Sulphate 88
  3.4 Qualitative chemical tests of minerals by Blow Pipe Method 88
  3.4.1. Essence and potentialities of the method 88
  3.4.2. Structure of candle flame 89
  3.4.3 Flame colourations 90
  3.4.4. Charcoal tests 90
  3.4.5. Closed Tube and Open Tube Tests 91
  3.4.5.i Closed Tube Text 91
  3.4.5.ii Open Tube Text 91
  3.4.6. Colour Reactions with Fluxes 91
  3.4.7. Recommended Procedure of Blowpipe Tests 92
  Appendix-4 Chemicals and Reagents 95
  Appendix-5 Classical Ayurvedic References 123
  Appendix-6 Bibliography 141
  Appendix-7 Coloured Photographs of Raw Drugs 147


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