Shankh (Shankha) Bhasma

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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.

Basic Information

Raw Material UsedConch Shell
Medicine TypeBhasma (Calcined Medicine or Calx)
Ayurvedic NameShankh Bhasma
English NameChank, Turbinella Pyrum, Chank Shell, Sacred Chank, Divine Conch
Other Names of Conch ShellShankh Calx, Chank Calx, Shankh Ash, Conch Shell Ash
Also Spelled AsShankha Bhasma, Shankh Bhasm, Shankha Bhasm
Chemical CompositionCalcium Carbonate

Ingredients (Composition)

  1. Purified Conch Shell (Purified Shankh)
  2. Lemon Juice

Chemical Composition

Calcium Carbonate (CaCO3)92 to 95% *
Organic Matter (Conchiolin)5% *
Water (H2O)1 to 2% *
OthersNegligible *

* This is an estimate. Chemical composition may vary according to species and collection location of Conch Shells.

Medicinal Properties

Shankh Bhasma (Processed Conch Shell Calx) has following healing properties.

  • Antacid
  • Stool binding agent
  • Anti-diarrheal
  • Appetite stimulant and Digestive stimulant
  • Antispasmodic
  • Anti-inflammatory (effects appear on liver, spleen and intestines)
  • Calcium Supplement (not used alone)
  • Antioxidant
  • Anti-emetic

Ayurvedic Properties

Taste – RASAKATU (Pungent)
Main Quality – GUNALAGHU (Light), RUKSHA (Dry), TIKSHNA (Sharp)
Potency – VIRYAUSHNA (Hot) *
Resultant – VIPAKAKATU (Pungent)
Therapeutic Effect – PRABHAVAKSHAAR (Alkalizer)
DOSHA KARMA (Effect on Humors)Pacifies TRIDOSHA (mainly KAPHA)
Effects on OrgansAll 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.

Therapeutic Indications

Shankh Bhasma (Processed Conch Shell Calx) is helpful in following health conditions.

  • Hyperacidity
  • Loss of appetite
  • Indigestion
  • Diarrhea
  • Liver enlargement
  • Spleen enlargement
  • Gas or flatulence
  • Bloating
  • Abdominal distension
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Acne or pimples
  • Hiccup

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.

Dosage

Shankh Bhasma is effective with 125 mg in abdominal diseases when used along with other medicines.

Minimum Effective Dosage10 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 Dosage1000 mg **

* Twice a day ** Total Daily Dosage in Divided Doses

Side Effects

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.

Contraindications

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.

Ayurvedic Consultation

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Questions & Answers (4)

  1. Nur says

    I have found in ayurvedic books that SHANKHA PASTE with other ingredients applied on tumor dissolves the tumor. Do you have any experience regarding this?

    Secondly, in some books it is written that Poisonous ingredients could not be used for Tuberculosis patients. But in the internet, it is found that “Raj Mriganka Ras” is indicated to tuberculosis patients. What is the correct opinion regarding this?

    1. Dr. Jagdev Singh says

      Shankha Bhasma paste can be applied on acne, pimples, abscess and non-malignant growths (like skin tags etc.) on the skin.

      Can you please tell me those ingredients that you assume poisonous and should not be used in T.B.?

      Raj Mrigank Ras does not contain any such ingredient, which cannot be used in Tuberculosis.

      1. Nur says

        Raj mriganka ras contains both “Manashila” and ” Harital” which’s potency is hot in nature and which are penetrating ( Tikshna), which may me inappropriate for T.B patients with haemaptosis.

        Is “Shankaha churna” is ok in lieu of “Shankha Bhasma” ? Have you seen results of using Shankha paste on tumor?

        1. Dr. Jagdev Singh says

          Raja Mrigank Ras is not suitable in PITTA condition or hemoptysis, but it is beneficial in KAPHA condition.

          Shankh bhasma paste would be better than Shankh powder.

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