Ancient ayurvedic drug a nanomedicine: AKU team

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PATNA: A team of researchers at Patna-based Aryabhatta Knowledge University (AKU) has claimed that the ancient ayurvedic drug ‘tamra bhashm (refined form of copper powder)’ is an excellent nanomedicine with magnetic property indicating its additional uses in other technological applications.

A team led by Rakesh Kumar Singh of nanoscience department of AKU conducted the research and published its report in the recent issue of the journal of ayurvedic and integrative medicine. The study also confirmed the antimicrobial efficacy of ‘tamra bhashm’ on both gram positive and gram negative bacteria which cause various diseases.

Others in the team included Sanjay Kumar, S M Karim, Sunil Kumar, Manoranjan Kar of AKU and Abhay Kumar Aman of IIT-Patna.

Singh said the investigations carried out with the help of sophisticated instruments like X-ray diffractometer, scanning electron microscope and photo luminesce spectrophotometer found the size of ‘tamra bhashm’ prepared in the AKU lab ranging between 1 to 100 nanometers, establishing the ancient ayurvedic drug prescribed for ailments of liver, spleen, abdominal pain, anaemia and tuberculosis as a nanomedicine.

Incidentally, the researchers followed the same principle as mentioned in the Ayurveda texts to obtain the ‘bhashm’ from copper metal, but they used modern tools and technologies like electrical muffle furnace and others for ensuring purification.

“The detection of nanomedicinal properties in Ayurvedic drug further provided a scientific base to the age-old medicine practised in the country. Today, modern science demands scientific analysis of any product used as medicine. Old ones used under the traditional system lacked such authentication,” said Singh.

The research team is now looking forward to making arrangements with some state government agencies and pharmaceutical companies for commercial production of ‘tamra bhashm’ with the label of nanomedicine, Singh said . The AKU team had earlier investigated and analysed lauch (iron) bhashm and shankh (conch shell) bhashm and reported them in different science journals.