An Attempt to Standardize Swarna Makshika - A Mineral Drug of Ayurveda
Swarna Makshika(SM) is a brassy golden yellowish mineral with chemical composition of CuFeS2 (chalcopyrite). This deals with the mineralogical characterization of SM following the standards of classical as well as contemporary references. SM is widely used in therapeutics, in the form of Bhamsa to treat diseases such as Kasa (cough), Kushta (disease of skin), Pandu (anaemia), Prameha(diabetes), Jeernajwara (chronic fever), Rajyakshama (tuberculosis), Arsa (haemorraids) and various other diseases. It is thus necessary to validate and establish those properties on the basis of contemporary knowledge for the selection of genuine sample because raw drug standardization plays a vital role in assessing final drug for better therapeutic effects. For this study, the sample of SM was collected from Ayurvedic pharmacy, Banaras Hindu University and authenticated by the subject expert. The identification, physical verification, physical properties and mineralogical description of SM were conducted as mentioned in the Ayurvedic classic texts, Ayurvedic Pharmacopoea of India and Electron Probe Micro Analysis (EPMA) study. The results showed that SM is chalcopyrite (Copper and Iron disulphide) with metallic luster, brassy golden yellow, resembles a tetrahedron crystal habit, brittle tenacity and conchoidal fracture. All these physical properties of mineral chalcopyrite are very well match with the acceptable characteristics of SM as described in Ayurvedic classics.
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