Shankh (Shankha) Bhasma
Shankh Bhasma (also spelled as Shankha Bhasm) is an ayurvedic remedy prepared from conch shell. In ayurveda, Shankh Bhasma is used for treating diarrhoea (loose stools), acne, pimples, liver enlargement (hepatomegaly), splenomegaly, abdominal pain, indigestion, loss of appetite, heartburn, acid reflux, abdominal distension and irritable bowel syndrome. It has several other health benefits and medicinal uses.
|Raw Material Used||Conch Shell|
|Medicine Type||Bhasma (Calcined Medicine or Calx)|
|Ayurvedic Name||Shankh Bhasma|
|English Name||Chank, Turbinella Pyrum, Chank Shell, Sacred Chank, Divine Conch|
|Other Names of Conch Shell||Shankh Calx, Chank Calx, Shankh Ash, Conch Shell Ash|
|Also Spelled As||Shankha Bhasma, Shankh Bhasm, Shankha Bhasm|
|Chemical Composition||Calcium Carbonate|
- Purified Conch Shell (Purified Shankh)
- Lemon Juice
|Calcium Carbonate (CaCO3)||92 to 95% *|
|Organic Matter (Conchiolin)||5% *|
|Water (H2O)||1 to 2% *|
* This is an estimate. Chemical composition may vary according to species and collection location of Conch Shells.
Shankh Bhasma (Processed Conch Shell Calx) has following healing properties.
- Stool binding agent
- Appetite stimulant and Digestive stimulant
- Anti-inflammatory (effects appear on liver, spleen and intestines)
- Calcium Supplement (not used alone)
|Taste – RASA||KATU (Pungent)|
|Main Quality – GUNA||LAGHU (Light), RUKSHA (Dry), TIKSHNA (Sharp)|
|Potency – VIRYA||USHNA (Hot) *|
|Resultant – VIPAKA||KATU (Pungent)|
|Therapeutic Effect – PRABHAVA||KSHAAR (Alkalizer)|
|DOSHA KARMA (Effect on Humors)||Pacifies TRIDOSHA (mainly KAPHA)|
|Effects on Organs||All organs in the abdomen|
* According to above ayurvedic properties, you may have a question that why does it work in acidity if it is hot. According to ayurvedic properties, it pacifies VATA and KAPHA humors, but in addition, it is also KSHAAR (Alkalizer), which neutralizes the hydrochloric acid and provides relief from acidity. Undigested food particles develop into toxin called AMA, which is also responsible for acidity. Shankh bhasma help to digest and remove the AMA from the body.
Shankh Bhasma (Processed Conch Shell Calx) is helpful in following health conditions.
- Loss of appetite
- Liver enlargement
- Spleen enlargement
- Gas or flatulence
- Abdominal distension
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Acne or pimples
Benefits & Medicinal Uses
The effects of Shankh Bhasma appear on the abdomen including liver, spleen, gall bladder, small intestine, large intestine, colon, eyes and face.
Loose Motion or Diarrhea
Ayurveda does not suggest using any medicine initially to stop loose stools. Therefore, Shankha Bhasma should be used when patient has passed at least six stools or in moderate to severe diarrhea. Shankha Bhasma works well when patient has frequent stools with small amount of stool, severe abdominal cramps and abdominal gas.
Indigestion, Heartburn, GERD
Shankh Bhasma is a good acid neutralizer, which helps reducing hyperacidity in the stomach and may rectify the acid production.
In addition to neutralizing acid in the stomach, it also eliminates AMA toxins, which may also be associated with heartburn or indigestion.
Shankha Bhasma is more effective when patient has abdominal distension, heaviness in the abdomen, gas, nausea with feeling of eaten food or sour and burning sensation in the throat or mouth.
Abdominal Cramps or Pain
Shankha Bhasma has potent antispasmodic action on abdominal muscles. It reduces abdominal cramps, which may occur due to either diarrhea or any other underlying cause. However, Shankh bhasma works well with Praval pishti and Sootshekhar Ras in spasmodic dysmenorrhea.
Shankh Bhasma is effective with 125 mg in abdominal diseases when used along with other medicines.
|Minimum Effective Dosage||10 to 30 mg in infants, 60 mg in children & 125 mg in adults *|
|Moderate dosage (Adults)||125 mg to 500 mg *|
|Moderate dosage (Children)||60 mg to 250 mg *|
|Maximum Possible Dosage||1000 mg **|
* Twice a day ** Total Daily Dosage in Divided Doses
Shankh Bhasma can cause fissure (fine cracks or cuts) on tongue when kept on tongue without mixing it with honey or any other remedy. Secondly, it may also cause constipation in some patients when it is used alone.
Therefore, adjuvant is very important for using shankha bhasma. The most appropriate adjuvants and combinations should be used for getting more benefits and preventing side effects.
Pregnancy & Breastfeeding
Shankh Bhasma may not be appropriate medicines during pregnancy when pregnant woman experience constipation. Shankh Bhasma is POSSIBLY SAFE for lactating mothers.
Constipation is the main contraindication for Shankh Bhasma. It is also used for local application for removing hair and treating acne and pimples. In such cases, the local application of Shankh Bhasma is contraindicated in fissured, cut or cracked skin.