Nagabhasma, a lead-based Ayurvedic medicine is used to treat certain diseases like diabetes and epilepsy. There are many reports to indicate the toxicity of lead used in such Ayurvedic preparations. However, according to Ayurveda, if prepared by following the stringent ancient instructions, during the preparation of Nagabhasma, lead loses its metallic toxicity and gets converted into an organo-metallic compound that is easily acceptable by the human body and carries the medicinal properties. The present study is designed to evaluate the effect of such detoxified lead (organometallic compound) in various stages of authentically prepared Nagabhasma on oxidative stress, liver and kidney functions and to compare the results with the lead acetate treated and commercially available bhasma treated animals. Using the human equivalent doses of Nagabhasma, four stages of its preparation were fed orally for 30 days and 60 days (short term and long term treatment) to Wistar rats. Blood from these animals were subjected to biochemical evaluation for oxidative stress, liver and kidney function tests. The biochemical results of the short term and long term treatments showed a gradual decrease in the toxic effect of lead in the animals treated with Stages 1 to 4 of Nagabhasma preparation when compared to the animals treated with lead acetate and commercially available branded bhasma. This indicates that the lead in the bhasma loses its metallic toxicity as the preparation of bhasma progresses. The results indicate that, following the traditional way of preparation of bhasma using highly toxic substances like lead is necessary to avoid the innate metallic toxicity. The traditional procedures followed during preparation converts the metallic lead into non-toxic and health beneficial organometallic compound. Additionally, this organometallic lead imbibes the medicinal properties of the different herbs and other reagents used during the preparation of the bhasma.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Health(social science)
- Computer Science(all)
- Environmental Science(all)