Tankan Bhasma (Suhaga or Borax)
Tankan Bhasma (Calcined Borax or Suhaga) is an ayurvedic-calcined formulation prepared from borax powder. In ayurveda, Tankan Bhasma or calcine borax is used for productive cough, breathing problems, wheezing, bronchitis, abdominal pain, dysmenorrhea, dandruff, bad breath and foul-smelling urine.
Borax (Suhaga in Hindi) is only ingredient of Tankan Bhasma.
Chemically, Borax is Sodium borate with chemical formula Na2B4O7·10H2O. It is also called disodium tetraborate or sodium tetraborate. Tankan Bhasma is reduced borax.
Tankan Bhasma has following healing properties.
- Expectorant – main action
- Digestive Stimulant
- Fat Burner
- Antimicrobial – this action appears in Urinary Infections
|Taste – RASA||KATU (Pungent), LAVANA (Salty)|
|Main Quality – GUNA||LAGHU (Light), RUKSHA (Dry), TIKSHNA (Sharp)|
|Potency – VIRYA||USHNA (Hot)|
|Resultant – VIPAKA||KATU (Pungent)|
|Therapeutic Effect – PRABHAVA||Expectorant|
|DOSHA KARMA (Effect on Humors)||Pacifies KAPHA & VATA|
|Effects on Organs||Lungs, Uterus, Stomach, Urinary Bladder|
Tankan Bhasma is helpful in following health conditions.
- Productive Cough
- Breathing Problems with Wheezing
- Chest Congestion
- Abdominal pain
- Bad Breath
- Foul-Smelling Urine
- Urinary Tract Infections
Benefits & Medicinal Uses
Tankan Bhasma is mainly given in respiratory diseases when any of following symptoms present.
- Production of sputum (mucus), which is thick white or yellow-green in color
- Shortness of breath with wheezing
- Chest congestion due to excess mucus
These are main symptoms of recommending Tankan Bhasma. It should not be given to person with throat irritation, dry (nonproductive) cough and persistent dry cough attacks.
Tankan Bhasma has expectorant action. It melts the thick mucus and help flushing it out from the lungs, which ultimately relieves productive cough. However, productive cough is actually symptom and it may have several underlying causes. One should also rule out these causes and treatment should be added accordingly.
However, Tankan Bhasma does not alone work in bronchitis. There is also a requirement of other remedies including Sitopaladi Churna. It is used in bronchitis when mucus is thick and harder to expelling it out.
Due to antispasmodic action of Tankan Bhasma, it can be used for treating dysmenorrhea. However, commonly it is not used for dysmenorrhea, but it can become beneficial when heavy clots are present in menstrual blood. In such case, one Praval Pishti, Ashoka Powder and Chandraprabha vati should also be used along with Tankan Bhasma.
The scalp application of Tankan Bhasma along with coconut oil or mustard oil helps in curing dandruff.
How to Use:
- In dandruff, mix a half tsp. of Tankan Bhasma in coconut oil and apply it on scalp. To increase its effectiveness, add a few drops of Neem Oil in the paste mixture. It also reduces scalp itching. Massage for 3 to 5 minutes. Leave it for 15 to 30 minutes and wash off your head with shampoo.
- Alternatively, one can mix Tankan Bhasma and Neem leaves powder. Make a paste with water and apply it on the scalp. Wash off the scalp with shampoo.
Caution: Tankan Bhasma should be used twice a week. The excessive use of Tankan Bhasma application can weaken hair and result in hair fall.
Dosage & Administration
The general dosage of Tankan Bhasma is as follows.
|Infants||10 mg per Kg body weight *|
|Children||50 to 125 mg *|
|Adults||125 to 500 mg *|
|Geriatric (Old age)||125 to 250 mg *|
|Maximum Possible Dosage||1000 mg **|
* Twice a day ** Total Daily Dosage in Divided Doses
Usually, Tankan Bhasma should be taken in combination with Sitopaladi Churna and honey.
Tankan Bhasma is LIKELY SAFE & WELL TOLERABLE in dosage less than 250 mg twice daily for a short-term use (less than 4 weeks).
The long-term use (more than 4 weeks) is not advisable. Its long-term use in low dosage and short-term use in high dosage can result in following side effects.
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea & Vomiting
- Hair fall
- Swelling – Generalized
- The long-term use may affect bones and cause bone mineral density loss.
- In some cases, a short-term use may also cause heartburn or burning sensation in abdomen.
- The long-term use of Tankan bhasma may also lead to oligospermia.
- It may also affect ovulation in women and affect fertility. The possible reason may be it affects hormones.
Tankan Bhasma is not potentially toxic and no acute toxicity symptom appears. In the therapeutic dosage, it is safe and well tolerated because it is very minimal amount as compared to its lethal dose. The lethal dose of Tankan Bhasma or Borax is 2.66 grams per kg body weight in animal model, according to research study.
Pregnancy & Breastfeeding
The safety of Tankan Bhasma is not well established in pregnancy. Tankan Bhasma (Borax) can cross the placental barrier. Therefore, the long-term use (more than 2 to 4 weeks) of Tankan Bhasma in pregnancy may affect birth weight and fetal bone or skeletal development.