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Prem Shankar Pandey
Department of Rasa Shastra and Bhaishajya Kalpana, Faculty of Ayurveda, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi-221005, India
Chapala is of controversial drug in the field of Rasa Shastra having medicinal importance in Ayurvedic system of medicine. Many Rasa Shastra texts described Chapala as mineral Bismuth or mineral Selenium. In view of this, the present study was undertaken on physicochemical characterization of Chapala for its validation and authentification. Chapala is used therapeutically in the form of Bhasma for the treatment of pain, tumor, cachexia, diabetes mellitus, fever, gynecological disorders and mansural rhythm. However, raw drug identification and characterization plays a vital role for assuring the therapeutic potential of the final drug. The sample of Chapala was collected from local market and authenticated by the subject expert and analysed through properties of the mineral, following classical and physicochemical methods. The results of physical properties of Chapala were compared with the reported physical properties of mineral Bismuth and mineral Selenium. It was observed and concluded that Chapala is a mineral Bismuth with metallic luster, high specific gravity and melting point, hexagonal crystal structure and unseen fracture. All these properties of mineral Bismuth are very well match with the acceptable characteristics of Chapala as described in Ayurvedic classics.
Keywords: Chapala, Maharasa, Mineral, Bismuth, Selenium, Rasa Shastra.
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