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Loha Bhasma (Lauh Bhasma) And Its Benefits

Abstract

Ayurveda is a branch of ancient medical science that has a lot of hidden gems buried in its core. All we have to do is dig and find. That’s how we gain knowledge about the depths of Ayurveda and why it is called the science of life. The gems of Ayurveda include herbs, minerals and many herbo mineral combinations also. Some peculiar mineral combinations are also there. Even certain metals are also used when it comes to preparation of formulations and these metals are only used after purification. This article is about one such metal formulation called loh or simply iron. The article has information about loh bhasma which is the calx of iron and its uses along with benefits.

Introduction

Loh bhasma which is the calx of iron is a classical preparation. Here classical means that this preparation is being mentioned in the Ayurvedic texts. The text also explains how the bhasma is to be prepared and how firstly how the purification of the iron is to be done. Loh bhasma is also mentioned for some really specific conditions in the Ayurvedic texts and its use even in small quantities gives very great and effective results. Loh bhasma helps in reducing the general weakness due to its balya or strengthening properties and also has Vrishya or aphrodisiac effect. Moving further in the article we will discuss all about loh bhasma, its uses and its indications. This article also covers the importance of metal based formulation in Ayurveda.

Starting With All About Loha Or Iron

After the systematic knowledge of gold, silver and copper the population of earth came to know about iron. Due to extensive use of iron the present age is termed as The age of iron as well. The Indians especially, are in touch with the uses and benefits of loha or iron from quite a time. Even in ancient Indian texts, the references of Iron can be seen very often. In India, iron is not only used for weapon making but also for many purposes related to our day to day life like utensils etc. In this the knowledge to have fine varieties of iron was also established. From Ancient history it is very clear that India has extensive ores of Iron and this iron was even transported to many parts for the world so that production of weapons can be done.

Even many of the top scientists of the world have no answers on how the Iron pillar of Delhi stands rust free after standing tall in an open environment, how the iron doors of somnath temple still appears almost new, why the big iron pillars in jagannath temple still stand without any damage and many more examples like that. The examples explain the knowledge and creativity of Indian ironsmiths at that time.

Though the medicinal knowledge of Iron came into limelight a bit later. In the middle of the time of acharya charak the loh or iron was used in the form of power, calx, tablets, varti that is a type of suppository and aasav aarisht. At the time of acharya Sushruta the preparation of iron calx was done in a more significant way. But when it was the era of rasashastra that was the time when the actual use of iron in Ayurvedic and Unani medicine started.

Facts About Iron Or Loha

  • Iron is a brownish coloured lustrous metal
  • It is affected by environmental factors, presence of oxygen and water due to which it catches rust.
  • When the surface of iron is cleared well then with a microscope, small or tiny bumps can be seen over its surface.
  • Pure iron is strong and malleable

Types Of Loha

There are three types of loha or iron:

  1. Mundh loha (Cast Iron or pig Iron)
  2. Tikshna loha (Wrought Iron)
  3. Kant loha (Magnetic iron ore pr Magnetite)

In these three kant loha or magnetic iron ore is the best one. Further, the kant loha is divided into three types that is bhramak kantloha, chunbak kantloha, karshak kantloha, daravak kantloha abd romkant kantloha.

Now after discussing facts and other things about loha or Iron let’s get together some knowledge about Loh bhasma.

Facts About Loh Bhasma

Loh bhasma is prepared using the kant loha. Kant loha is tested using various methods to find out whether it is finest or not. In rasashastra that is one of the medicinal branches of Ayurveda, following pariksha are suggested to test its quality:

  • The oil poured in the kant loha utensil will not spread
  • When hing paste (Asafoetida) is applied over the kant loh utensil, the smell of hinga will disappear.
  • If water is boiled in the kant loha utensil then it will smell like Hing (Asafoetida).

All three can be performed and if the utensil passes then it is the finest type of  Kant loha which is Such easy ways, no doubt Ayurveda science has many hidden gems..!!

Loha bhasma, aforementioned, is a calx of iron that contains fine iron particles. The bhasma is prepared through the method of high calcination under high temperature. The type of iron which is used in the preparation of bhasma is kant loha and it is only used after purification of that particular type of iron.

Now The Question Arises Why The Purification Of Iron Is Done?

The loha is having many dosha that are impurities like its guru which means heavy and consumption of unpurified loha can cause heaviness in the body, stiffness, nausea, irritation, burning, calcification and bad odour from the body.

The consumption of unpurified loha also causes vata vyadhi, apasmar (epilepsy), abdominal diseases, skin disorders, madhumeha (diabetes) and tuberculosis.

Next, part of the article is having knowledge about ingredients of Loh bhasma.

Ingredients Of Loha Bhasma

The main content of Loh bhasma is loha or Iron alone but with some liquids its grinding is done.

Classically it is mentioned to be done with decoction of triphala kwath and cow’s urine.

What Effect Does Loha Bhasma Have On The Human Body?

  • Loha bhasma is known to have pitta balancing effects.
  • The formulation is known to have nourishing effect
  • It is sweet, sour and bitter in taste
  • The metal calx is rich in the source of iron and helps in almost all types of anaemia.
  • The formulation also has an effect on general weakness as it has body strengthening properties and is libido enhancer as well.
  • Apart from anemia, which is its most general indication, the loha bhasma is effective in male sexual problems as well. 
  • As it is in fine powder form, its absorption is quite easy from the digestive tract. It enters smoothly into the microchannels of the body and thus has its effect directly on the dhatus of the body.  
  • The best part of this formulation is it gives great results even in small quantities.
  • Loh bahsma, when used alone gives great effects but in combination with other herbs, mineral and metal preparation the calx of iron works as fantastic as it works alone.
  • It is herbo mineral preparation and is one of the Ayurvedic hematinic agents. Hematinic agents are the one who helps in the formation of proper components of the blood.
  •  In addition, lauha bhasma is an exclusive remedy for fever (Jirna jwara), Phthisis (kshaya), breathlessness (shwas) and has rasayanik effects as well.
  •  The loha bhasma has scraping qualities and is used in cardiovascular diseases as well.
  • The preparation is also enhances the skin texture and complexion due to its endotoxins eliminating effect
  • It might be surprising but this calx can increase your memory, intelligence and digestive power as well.
  • Apart from classical indications loha bhasma is of great importance in eye disorders, bloating, splenomegaly, chronic respiratory disorder and liver disorders. Even in piles, fistula, dizziness and delusions as well.
  • It also has kapha balancing effect

Dosage Of Loha Bhasma

125-250 mg once or twice daily as per the advice of your physician.

Anupana

Traditionally it is administered with honey, ghee, trikatu churna, triphala churna and turmeric.

Side Effects Of Loha Bhasma

There are many studies done to estimate the toxicity of purified Iron after intake. But, the results came out loud and clear and iron calx is known to have zero side effects on the human body. It does not accumulate in the body and neither deposits in the kidneys. But its dosage is to be decided by your physician only. If taken in excess amounts then it may cause gastritis.  Keep it away from the reach of children.

Conclusion

The article starts with a discussion about the gems of Ayurveda and ends with a complete knowledge of one of these gems that is loha bhasma. Even being a heavy metal calx, loha bhasma do not put your body in any type of danger but the opposite it saves your body from various types of conditions. But this is only possible if you take it in control amounts and especially under the guidance of your physician.

Note:- This is pure classical Ayurvedic medicine and should be strictly consumed only after prescription of an Ayurvedic doctor and to be taken under medical supervision only.
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Best Ayurvedic Doctor in Mohali - Dr. Vikram Chauhan

Dr. Vikram Chauhan

MD (AYURVEDA)

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