Bhasma & Pishti

Naga Bhasma

Naga Bhasma is an ayurvedic medicine, which contains Naga (calcined Lead). It contains nano-particles of lead and the size of nano-particle is about 60 nm. The compound found in Naga Bhasma is lead sulfide, which is mixed with organic substances and several other minerals that may come from the herbs in which lead is processed before and during its preparation.

In ayurveda, Naga Bhasma is used for the management of the frequent urination, urinary incontinence, diabetes mellitus, spleen enlargement, leucorrhoea, hiatus hernia, impotency, rheumatoid arthritis, etc. It is likely to act on the organs such as stomach, intestine, pancreas, urinary bladder, testes, bones, muscles, joints and ligaments.

Ingredients & Preparation

The main ingredient in Naga Bhasma is Shuddha Naga (processed and detoxified lead) powder. It is processed with some of the following herbs and minerals based on the different classical texts:

  1. Pipal Tree (Sacred Fig or Ficus Religiosa) bark
  2. Calotropis Procera root
  3. Lime Water
  4. Nirgundi (Vitex Negundo) Leaves
  5. Turmeric (Curcuma Longa) Powder
  6. Manahshila (Realgar; Arsenic disulphide- As2S2)
  7. Chichiri (Plectranthus Coesta)
  8. Neem (Azadirachta Indica)
  9. Adhatoda Vasica leaves

The preparation of Naga Bhasma requires a long ancient process for purification (correctly detoxification). Then it is processed with herbs like Pipal Tree (Sacred Fig or Ficus Religiosa) bark, or Calotropis Procera root, Adhatoda Vasica juice etc. and heated/calcined to obtain Bhasma. Still it contains calcined Lead in form of nano-particles.

Therapeutic Indications

Naga Bhasma has following therapeutic indications as per ayurvedic science.

  • Acidity and heartburn due to Hiatus hernia
  • Spleen enlargement
  • Chronic constipation
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Frequent urination
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Leucorrhoea
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Ligament injury
  • Impotency

Dosage & Administration

The general dosage of Naga Bhasma is as follows:-
Children2 mg per Kg body weight *
Adults125 mg *
Maximum possible dosage500 mg per day in divided doses
* Twice daily with honey, butter or milk cream
Note: However, 125 mg is recommended dosage, but there is no need to use it in larger doses in many cases. Its reduced dosage of 20 to 25 mg twice daily also works well. Larger dose does not increase its effect in several diseases especially in severe constipation, impotency, rheumatoid arthritis etc. But its continuous use for 3 to 4 weeks in smaller dose is more beneficial.
As, it is dubious regarding the effects of lead content in the body and safety profile is also not well established, so one should not consume it more than 4 weeks on daily basis in its recommended dosage. We should try to avoid it when other better alternatives are available.

Safety Profile

The study for toxicological effect was conducted on albino rats in which 6 mg /100 g body weight/day dose is given to the rats. The study found that there were no histopathological changes observed in skin, kidneys, brain, testes, liver, lungs, and small intestine of the rats. (Reference)

Still the safety profile is not well established for its long-term use in human.

Side Effects

Clinically, there are no observable side effects found with Naga Bhasma when used for less than 4 weeks, but it may have adverse effects when used for a longer duration.

However, we are not sure about the side effects due to its lead content. According to lead content level, its long-term use may result in kidney damage and other symptoms of chronic lead poisoning.

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