Journal of Pharmacy And Bioallied Sciences

LETTER
Year
: 2016  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 80--81

Nanotechnology in medicine: Leads from Ayurveda


Rohit Sharma1, PK Prajapati2,  
1 Department of Rasashastra and Bhaishajya Kalpana, Abhilashi Ayurvedic College and Research Institute, Abhilashi University, Mandi, Himachal Pradesh, India
2 Gujarat Ayurved University, Jamnagar, Gujarat, India

Correspondence Address:
Rohit Sharma
Department of Rasashastra and Bhaishajya Kalpana, Abhilashi Ayurvedic College and Research Institute, Abhilashi University, Mandi, Himachal Pradesh
India




How to cite this article:
Sharma R, Prajapati P K. Nanotechnology in medicine: Leads from Ayurveda.J Pharm Bioall Sci 2016;8:80-81


How to cite this URL:
Sharma R, Prajapati P K. Nanotechnology in medicine: Leads from Ayurveda. J Pharm Bioall Sci [serial online] 2016 [cited 2019 Dec 11 ];8:80-81
Available from: http://www.jpbsonline.org/text.asp?2016/8/1/80/171730


Full Text



Sir,

With growing importance of nanotechnology in medicine and healthcare,[1] the advent of engineered nanoparticles in therapeutics is alarming for their possible harmful effects.[2] The ancient application of nanomedicine in the form of Ayurvedic Bhasma throws a light on the safer usage of present nanomedicine for a living being and the environment.[3],[4],[5] The use of nanoparticulate metals in therapeutics has been a common practice in Ayurveda. The present attempt is to revisit the Ayurvedic Bhasma concept as organometallic ethno-nanomedicine in the surging area of nanomedicine.[6]

Bhasma, literally meaning ash, is unique Ayurvedic herbo-mineral-metallic compounds in the size of nanodimensions (usually 5–50 nm, as established by modern microscopic and spectroscopic techniques). These are the products of classical Indian alchemy, the “Ayurveda Rasa Shastra,” used for treating diverse chronic ailments.[7] The essence of metal/mineral based drugs is that they function best when converted from their original metal/mineral state to oxide state. The manufacturing process is very systematic and elaborate, called “Bhasmikarana” which converts the metal from its zerovalent state to a form with higher oxidation state, and eliminates the toxic nature of metal and its oxide while rendering the metal oxide with high medicinal value.[8] During Bhasmikarana, metals/minerals are subjected to various processes of purification and incineration before internal administration, aimed to reduce the particle size (for instance, the particle size of Swarna Bhasma [gold calx] was found between 1 and 2 µ)[9] and thus, converting them into biocompatible, bio-assimilable, absorbable, and suitable form for the human body. Bhasma nanoparticles are organo-metallic/organo-mineral complexes as they are integrated with biological molecules (of organic liquid media), having improved stability, functionality, absorption, assimilation, bioavailability, biocompatibility, targeted delivery of ingredient, and effectiveness.[2],6,[10],[11],[12],[13],[14] It is also noteworthy that Ayurvedic Bhasma is considered very safe and economical in comparison to contemporary metal based nanomedicines.[2],[15]

All Bhasma have some common properties such as Rasayana (immunomodulation and anti-aging quality), Yogavahi (target drug delivery), Alpamatra (prescribed in minute doses i.e., 15–250 mg/day), Rasibhava (readily absorbable, adaptable, assimilable, and nontoxic), Shigravyapi (spreads quickly and fast acting), and Agnideepana (increases metabolism at cellular level and acts as catalyst) Bhasma can be employed for selective/targeted/controlled drug delivery as they are biocompatible, nontoxic, and nonantigenic in nature.[4],[6]Bhasma is biologically produced nanoparticles with quick and targeted action e.g., gold nanoparticles in Swarna Bhasma at 27 ± 3 nm size have been found effective in ameliorating symptoms of arthritis and at 4 nm size helped in increased apoptosis in B-chronic lymphocytic leukemia.[6] Few more examples of frequently used Bhasma include: Mukta Shukti Bhasma (pearl-oyster calx) at 22.52 ± 0.45 µm size in acidity, pyrexia, tuberculosis, cough, asthma, etc., and also to increase the bone mineral density; Mandura Bhasma (iron calx) in microcytic anemia and hemolytic jaundice, Tamra Bhasma (copper calx) as hepatoprotective and antioxidant, Yashad Bhasma (Zinc calx) in myopia, diabetes, leucorrhea, etc.[16]

The benefits of nanomedicines are indubitable and unstoppable, nevertheless, and safety-related studies should also be carried out rigorously and planned in order to provide guidelines for safer manufacturing practices, keeping care of ecology, and environment. Hence, Ayurvedic Bhasma may hold strong relevance in the emerging era of nanomedicine and can serve as an excellent template for the development of nanomedicine for an efficient therapeutic cure.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

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