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Asthisamharaka (Vitis quadrangularis): A Medicinal Plant with Promising Health Benefits and Therapeutic Potential

Introduction: Asthisamharaka (Vitis quadrangularis), also known as the Devil's Backbone or Hadjod, is a medicinal plant that has been widely used in traditional medicine systems for centuries. With its origins in India, this plant belongs to the Vitaceae family and is characterized by its unique four-angled stem. Hadjod holds significant importance in various cultures due to its potential health benefits and therapeutic properties. Its traditional use can be traced back to ancient Ayurvedic texts, where it is highly regarded for its ability to promote bone health and treat musculoskeletal disorders. Historically, Hadjod has been used as a natural remedy for fractures, bone loss, and joint-related conditions. In Ayurveda, it is classified as a 'Asthisandhaneeya' herb, meaning it has the potential to strengthen bones, promote fracture healing, and improve overall bone health. The plant's name, "Hadjod," is derived from the Hindi word "hadjod,"

Swarnamakshik Bhasma: Unveiling the Historical Significance and Therapeutic Potential in Ayurveda


Swarnamakshik Bhasma, also known as Swarna Makshik Bhasma or Makshika Bhasma, is a traditional Ayurvedic preparation that holds great significance in Ayurveda, the ancient Indian system of medicine. It is a mineral-based formulation that has been used for centuries in the treatment of various ailments.

Composition and Main Ingredients:

Swarnamakshik Bhasma is primarily composed of Makshik (chalcopyrite), a naturally occurring mineral rich in iron and copper. The preparation involves a series of meticulous processes to transform Makshik into a potent therapeutic compound.

Historical Usage and Importance:

The historical usage of Swarnamakshik Bhasma can be traced back to ancient Ayurvedic texts such as the Rasaratna Samuccaya and the Bhaishajya Ratnavali. It has been highly valued for its medicinal properties and has been extensively used in traditional Ayurvedic formulations.

Swarnamakshik Bhasma is believed to possess a wide range of therapeutic properties. It is often used in the treatment of disorders related to the liver, spleen, and gastrointestinal system. Additionally, it is considered beneficial for various skin conditions, anemia, jaundice, and general weakness.

The historical importance of Swarnamakshik Bhasma lies in its traditional use as a rejuvenating and tonic preparation. Ayurvedic practitioners have valued its ability to balance the doshas (Vata, Pitta, and Kapha) and promote overall well-being. Its historical usage and continued practice in Ayurveda highlight its enduring significance in traditional medicine.

In recent times, scientific research has also shed light on the potential therapeutic benefits of Swarnamakshik Bhasma. Studies have explored its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and hepatoprotective properties, supporting its traditional use in the management of various health conditions.

Swarnamakshik Bhasma continues to be an important ingredient in Ayurvedic formulations, demonstrating its continued relevance and significance in contemporary Ayurvedic practice.

Historical Background:

Swarnamakshik Bhasma has a rich historical background that can be traced back to the origins of Ayurveda, the ancient Indian system of medicine. The use of mineral-based preparations, including Swarnamakshik Bhasma, has been documented in ancient Ayurvedic texts and scriptures.

The origins of Swarnamakshik Bhasma can be found in the classical Ayurvedic texts, such as the Rasaratna Samuccaya and the Bhaishajya Ratnavali. These texts describe the preparation methods, therapeutic properties, and indications for Swarnamakshik Bhasma.

According to Ayurvedic principles, the preparation of Swarnamakshik Bhasma involves a meticulous and elaborate process. It begins with the selection of high-quality Makshik (chalcopyrite) mineral, which is purified to remove impurities and undesirable components. The purified Makshik is then subjected to a series of calcination and grinding processes to transform it into a fine powder. This powder is further processed and subjected to specific herbal treatments to enhance its therapeutic efficacy.

Traditional practices and beliefs associated with the preparation and usage of Swarnamakshik Bhasma include the following:


The process of calcination is considered crucial in the preparation of Swarnamakshik Bhasma. It involves subjecting the mineral to controlled heat and combustion to bring about its transformation. This process is believed to enhance the therapeutic properties of the mineral and eliminate any toxic substances.

Herbal Treatments:

In some traditional practices, Swarnamakshik Bhasma may be subjected to specific herbal treatments. These treatments involve mixing the Bhasma with herbal extracts or juices to enhance its therapeutic qualities and mitigate any potential side effects.

Dosage and Administration:

Traditional beliefs emphasize the importance of proper dosage and administration of Swarnamakshik Bhasma. Ayurvedic practitioners prescribe specific doses and recommend the Bhasma to be taken with appropriate anupanas (adjuvants) to enhance its absorption and effectiveness.

Rejuvenative and Tonic Properties:

Swarnamakshik Bhasma is often associated with rejuvenating and tonic properties in Ayurveda. It is believed to promote vitality, strengthen the body, and restore balance in the doshas.


The historical background of Swarnamakshik Bhasma showcases its deep roots in Ayurvedic traditions and the careful practices employed in its preparation. These historical references and traditional beliefs contribute to its recognition as a valuable therapeutic preparation in Ayurveda.

Preparation and Manufacturing:

The traditional process of preparing Swarnamakshik Bhasma involves several steps that require careful attention to detail. Here is a description of the process:

Selection and Quality Control of Raw Materials:

·        The first step is to select high-quality Makshik (chalcopyrite) mineral as the primary raw material. The mineral should be free from impurities and contaminants.

·        Strict quality control measures are applied to ensure the purity and authenticity of the raw material. It undergoes rigorous testing for its mineral composition and absence of toxic elements.


·        The selected Makshik mineral is purified to eliminate impurities and undesirable substances. Purification is typically carried out by subjecting the mineral to various processes like washing, soaking, and drying.

·        Traditional purification methods may include treating the mineral with specific herbal decoctions or formulations to enhance its purification and therapeutic properties.


·        Once the Makshik mineral is purified and dried, it is finely ground into a powder. Traditional grinding techniques involve the use of a mortar and pestle to achieve a fine and uniform particle size.

·        The grinding process is crucial to increase the surface area of the mineral for subsequent calcination and to ensure better absorption and assimilation in the body.


·        The powdered Makshik mineral is subjected to controlled heat and combustion in a specific type of furnace called a "puta" or muffle furnace. This process is known as calcination.

·        Calcination involves subjecting the mineral powder to varying temperatures for specific durations to bring about chemical and physical transformations. This process converts the mineral into its Bhasma form.

·        The calcination process is repeated several times, following specific protocols and guidelines, to ensure the desired potency and purity of Swarnamakshik Bhasma.


·        After calcination, the resultant Bhasma undergoes post-processing steps, which may involve treating it with specific herbal extracts or juices to enhance its therapeutic qualities and eliminate any remaining traces of impurities.

·        The Bhasma is then carefully stored and packaged in airtight containers to maintain its efficacy and prevent contamination.


Specific guidelines and protocols followed during the manufacturing process of Swarnamakshik Bhasma may vary among different Ayurvedic maufacturing pharmacies and practitioners. However, adherence to quality control measures, purity standards, and traditional techniques are generally emphasized to ensure the production of a high-quality and effective Bhasma. These guidelines may include the use of specific furnace temperatures, duration of calcination cycles, and standard operating procedures to maintain consistency and potency in each batch of Swarnamakshik Bhasma.

Composition and Properties:

Swarnamakshik Bhasma is primarily composed of Makshik (chalcopyrite), a naturally occurring mineral that contains iron and copper. However, the composition of Swarnamakshik Bhasma may vary slightly depending on the specific manufacturing process followed. Along with Makshik, other herbal ingredients may be incorporated during the preparation to enhance its therapeutic properties.

Key Ingredients:

Makshik (Chalcopyrite):

Makshik is the main ingredient in Swarnamakshik Bhasma and provides the mineral-rich foundation of the preparation. It contains iron and copper, which contribute to its potential therapeutic effects.

Herbal Additions:

In some traditional practices, Swarnamakshik Bhasma may be combined with specific herbal extracts or juices during post-processing to further enhance its therapeutic properties. The choice of herbal ingredients may vary depending on the intended therapeutic use.


Potential Therapeutic Properties:

Swarnamakshik Bhasma is believed to possess several therapeutic properties according to Ayurveda:

Rejuvenating and Tonic:

Swarnamakshik Bhasma is considered to have rejuvenating and tonic effects on the body. It is believed to promote vitality, improve strength, and restore balance.


It is traditionally used to support liver health and protect against liver disorders. Swarnamakshik Bhasma is believed to have hepatoprotective properties, helping to maintain liver function and support detoxification processes.


Swarnamakshik Bhasma is often used as a hematinic, which means it can help improve hemoglobin levels and treat conditions associated with anemia or low blood count.

Anti-inflammatory and Antioxidant:

It is attributed with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which can help reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in the body.

Dosage and Administration:

The dosage and administration guidelines for Swarnamakshik Bhasma may vary depending on the individual's age, health condition, and the recommendation of an Ayurvedic practitioner. It is essential to consult a qualified Ayurvedic physician for personalized advice.

As with any Ayurvedic medicine, Swarnamakshik Bhasma should be taken under medical supervision to ensure appropriate dosage, safety, and potential interactions with other medications or health conditions.

Health Benefits and Uses:

Swarnamakshik Bhasma is believed to offer several health benefits based on traditional Ayurvedic knowledge and historical usage:

Liver Disorders:

Swarnamakshik Bhasma is traditionally used to support liver health and treat liver disorders. It is believed to have hepatoprotective properties that may help protect the liver and promote its proper functioning.


Swarnamakshik Bhasma is often recommended as a hematinic, helping to improve hemoglobin levels and treat conditions associated with anemia or low blood count.

Skin Conditions:

It is used in the treatment of various skin disorders, such as eczema and psoriasis, due to its potential anti-inflammatory and rejuvenating properties.

General Weakness and Fatigue:

Swarnamakshik Bhasma is considered a tonic preparation that may help improve vitality, strength, and overall energy levels in cases of general weakness and fatigue.


It is traditionally used as part of the treatment for jaundice, a condition characterized by yellowing of the skin and eyes, as it is believed to support liver function and enhance the elimination of bilirubin.


While scientific studies specifically on Swarnamakshik Bhasma are limited, some research on the individual constituents, such as copper and iron, supports their potential health benefits. Copper is known to play a role in various physiological processes, including antioxidant activity and liver function. Iron is essential for the formation of hemoglobin and red blood cells.

Products containing Swarnamakshik Bhasma as an Ingredient

Rakt Nasak Gutika:

Rakt Nasak Gutika, an Ayurvedic proprietary product containing Swarnamakshik Bhasma. It is primarily used for addressing rakt pitt-related disorders, which are associated with imbalances in the blood.

Other Ayurvedic Medicines:

Swarnamakshik Bhasma can be found in various other ayurvedic formulations targeting specific health conditions. Some examples include:

Hematinic formulations: Swarnamakshik Bhasma is often used in ayurvedic medicines that aim to support healthy blood parameters and manage conditions such as anemia.

Joint health supplements: It is also used in some ayurvedic joint health supplements as it is believed to support healthy joints and manage joint-related disorders.

Digestive health formulations: Swarnamakshik Bhasma may be present in certain ayurvedic formulations that target digestive health issues, including addressing symptoms such as acidity, indigestion, and loss of appetite.

Safety and Side Effects:

While Swarnamakshik Bhasma has been used for centuries in Ayurveda, it is important to exercise caution and consider the following safety concerns and precautions:

Dosage and Administration: Swarnamakshik Bhasma should be taken in the appropriate dosage and under the guidance of a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner. Self-medication or incorrect dosage can lead to adverse effects.

Side Effects: While specific side effects related to Swarnamakshik Bhasma are not well-documented, individual sensitivities or allergic reactions may occur. Some individuals may experience gastrointestinal discomfort, nausea, or skin reactions. If any adverse reactions occur, it is important to discontinue use and consult a healthcare professional.

Personalized Guidance: The use of Swarnamakshik Bhasma, like any Ayurvedic preparation, should be guided by a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner. They can evaluate individual health conditions, provide appropriate dosage instructions, monitor progress, and address any potential risks or concerns.


In conclusion, Swarnamakshik Bhasma holds significant historical importance in Ayurveda, the ancient Indian system of medicine. Its composition primarily consists of Makshik (chalcopyrite), along with potential herbal additions. The preparation of Swarnamakshik Bhasma involves purification, grinding, and calcination processes, following specific guidelines and protocols.

Throughout history, Swarnamakshik Bhasma has been valued for its potential therapeutic properties. It is believed to have rejuvenating and tonic effects, support liver health, treat anemia, alleviate skin conditions, and combat general weakness and fatigue. While scientific research specific to Swarnamakshik Bhasma is limited, studies on the individual constituents, such as copper and iron, provide some support for these traditional claims.

Despite the need for further scientific research, the historical significance and traditional knowledge surrounding Swarnamakshik Bhasma highlight its potential therapeutic value. Continued exploration and research can help deepen our understanding of its benefits, mechanisms of action, and applications in various health conditions.




The information provided here is for informational purposes only and should not replace professional medical advice. Always consult a qualified healthcare practitioner for personalized guidance.

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