USE of GOLD IN INTERNAL MEDICINE
By- Dr. Vijaya lakshmi
Ayurveda Acharya, M.A. (Samskruta)
When we talk of films, Heroes, Heroin we say this hero and this heroin has good chemistry. When we say about two persons chemistry, then what is the meaning of chemistry? Chemistry means proper interaction of two objects. The two objects may be two chemicals, metals, minerals, alkalis each other or these with any herbs, with human beings or with any other animal products like milk, urine, etc.,. We all know metals and minerals are non living things, while a herb or a human being is a living thing. How can a nonliving thing will interact with living thing? Non living thing can interact with a living thing when it is mixed and come in contact in a particular way. That was known to our ancestors and they were using the chemicals only after reforming it to a biochemical product. these procedures were explained in Ayurveda.
Our ancestors knew many types of metals and minerals since the time of वेद. In य़जुर्वेद चमकप्रश्न "हिरण्यं च मे अयश्च मे सीसं च मे, त्रपुश्च मे----" Person prays the god to provide him with gold, Iron, tin, lead etc., they were using these things in their daily life. Medicinal uses of these were seen in Indian medical text चरक संहिता.
सुवर्णं समलाः पञ्चलोहाः ससिकताः सुधाः ।
मनःशिलाले मणयः लवणं गैरिकाञ्जने ।।
पञ्चलोहाः ताम्ररजतत्ररुशीसखृष्णलोहाने ग्रहणं। समलाः शिलाजतुः ।चक्रपाणि
Gold, five Lohas (copper, silver, tin, lead and iron) along with their by products (different types of bitumen) calcites along with silica, red arsenic, yellow arsenic, gems, salts, red chalk, collyrium these are in brief the metals and minerals used in medicine.
Apart from this they were using many more materials in medicine. Ayurveda classifies objects (द्रव्य) into two types 1.चेतन (living thing) 2.अचेतन (non living thing).Those with sense organs are identified as living things e.g. Animal and plant kingdom, those without sense organs are considered as nonliving things. E.g. Chemicals, stones, metals, minerals etc., सेन्द्रियं चेतनं द्रव्यं निरीन्द्रियमचेतनम् । च.सू.1.41 to make these अचेतन द्रव्य to become one with the body many processes like trituration (मर्दन), processes of heating or burning (पुटपाक), dipping in varieties of liquids are mentioned. These procedures were called as शोधन, मारण. जारण. द्रावण, अमृतीकरण etc.,
Whether they were using these medicines only in disease condition or otherwise also? They were using these as preventive and protective purposes also. For eg. Gold was used before the conception by the couple as geriatric (रसायन) and aphrodisiac (वाजीकरण),to get a healthy child, after conception at 2nd month as पुंसवन to get the desired sex of the child. And at जातकर्म immediately after birth before the umbilical cord is cut, and as a substitute to mothers milk, and during post delivery period for मेधाजनन, and before उपनयन forमेधाजनन. And even at the death bed (दृष्टरिष्ट) gold is given. So starting before the conception till the death gold was used in one or the other way. So gold has a good chemistry with the body.
What is the chemistry between gold and body has been explained in तैत्तरीय ब्राह्मण अग्नयाधान विधि (1.1.3). It is said that gold is the रेत of अग्नि. It is the vigor and virility of agni. If one consume gold, his vigor and virility will be increased. In purana's and in Ayurvedic texts gold is said to be the semen (शुक्र) of अग्नि. Ayurveda says kaya means Agni and general medicine (कायचिकित्सा) means अग्नि चिकित्सा. On the basis of सामान्य विशेष सिद्धान्त Gold has important role to play in treatment of many diseases and as a preventive and protective treatment..
GOLD AS A MEDICINE
Then the question comes wheather gold can be consumed independently? No. Gold is administered along with the herbs depending on the condition of the disease and the patient, or the person who consumes it. It acts like a catalyst which carries the medicine to the targeted region or organ and enhances the action of the herb, helps to bring back the normal function of the organ targeted. If it is targeted to enhance the स्मृति (memory) it will act on brain cells, same way it will have action on digestive system, nervous system, sense organs, endocrine system etc.,.
GOLD AS A PREVENTIVE MEDICINE
वाग्भट in अष्टाङ्ग सङ्ग्रह says
आयुष्कामः शङ्खपुष्प्या समेतं ।
मेधः कामः काञ्चनं सोग्रगन्धं ।।
लक्ष्मीकामः पद्मकिञ्जल्क युक्तं ।
युक्तं खादेत् कामकामो विदार्या ।। अ.स.उ.49.34
He who desires long life (आयुस्) should consume gold with शङ्खपुष्पी (convolvulus) he who desires intelligence (मेधा) should consume gold along with वचा (acorus) he who desires लक्ष्मी should consume gold along with पद्म किञ्जल्क (Lotus), he who wishes aphrodisiac properties (काम) along with विदारि (Ipomea).
Before conception to get a prosperous child, men should consume Pancharavinda Gritha – प्रभृष्ठपौरुषबलप्रतिभैर्निषेव्यम् ।। अ.हृ.उ.रसायनाध्यायः to get good excellent vitality etc intake of gold should be with Pancharavinda gritha.
शतारवी धृतं सम्यगुपयुक्तं दिनेदिने। स क्षौद्रं ससुवर्णं च नरेन्द्रं स्थापयेद्वशे । सु.शा.18.21
Women should consume ,Shatavari gritha along with honey and gold will make her fertile and she can keep king under her control.
In the second month of conception Charaka advises Pumsavana karma to get desired sex of child.
कनकमयान् राजतानायसांश्च पुरुषकारानग्निवर्णान् अणुप्रमाणान्
दध्निपयस्युदकाञ्जलौ वा प्रक्षिप्य पिबेत् अनवशेषेण पुष्येण ।। च.शा. 8.19
During Pushya nakshatra women should be made to drink without leaving any remnant, an अञ्जलि (handful of) curd, milk, or water along with red hot minute statue of men or women dipped in it. The statue should be prepared out of gold silver or iron.
Immediately after delivery during Jatakarma Shushruta says
जातकर्मणि कृते मधुसर्पिरनन्त चूर्णं अङ्गुल्या अनामिकया लेहयेत्। सु.शा.10.15 (सुवर्णस्य गुञ्जाप्रमाणेन मिश्रम्)
Father should make the baby lick 120 mg of gold along with honey and ghee using ring and fore finger. This is done prier to giving mothers milk. Sushruta says mothers milk starts only after 3rd or 4th day, till then honey and ghee along with gold should to be given three times per day.
In post delivery period Shushruta and Kashyapa advise to give gold for मेधाजनन
सौवर्णं सुकृतं चूर्णं कुष्टं मधुघृतं वचा । मत्याक्षः शङ्खपुष्पी मधुसर्पिः सकाञ्चनम्
अर्कपुष्पी मधुघृतं चुर्णितं कनकं वचा । हेम चुर्णानि कैडर्यं श्वेतदुर्वा घृतं मधु ।।
चत्वारोभिहिता प्राशः श्लोकार्धेषु चतुर्ष्वपि सु.शा.10.68-69
Gold is mixed with Madhu -Gritha along with (Kushta + vacha) / (Bramhi + Shankha pushapi) / (Vacha+ Arka pushpi) / (White doorva + Kaidaraya) either of them can be given. By doing this child will get high level of intelligence, digestive strength, long life, happiness, physical strength, complexion, avoids ill effects. In one month child will become very intelligent(मेधावी), Gets good immunity towards diseases and in six months gets capacity to remember whatever is heard.
In Sayana bhashya of Atharvaveda advise to give Shankha nabhi (dakshinaavarta) , Vacha and Gold during उपनयन for मेधाजनन so that the child will be able to retain, recite, reproduce Veda mantra without stress.
When death threatens
मध्वामलक चूर्णानि सुवर्णमिति त्रयम् प्राश्यारिष्टगृहीतोऽपि मुच्यते प्राणसंक्षयात् | सु.चि.18.16
हेमधात्रीफलंक्षौद्रं गायत्रीपरिमन्त्रितम् लिहन्ननुपिबन् क्षीरं दृष्टरिष्टोऽपि जीवति ।। अ.स.उ.49.29
Goose berry powder Potentiated with Gayatri mantra is to be mixed with honey and gold should be licked and then milk should be drunk to prevent death..
Like this starting before life (Conception), till death use of Swarna was in vogue.
INVENTION OF PHARMACOLOGY
As the time passed many more inventions took place and Rasa shastra OR Rasa Vidya (pharmacology) became independent branch of science. Technology was so much advanced that they converted other metals to gold and to biochemical matter through many process. This increased bio-availability of the metals and minerals and increased use of metals in medicine.
In this regard Indian pharmacological texts explain about the metals other than the chemicals mentioned in Vedas.
The varieties, and availability of metals, physical and pharmacological qualities, purification methods, process of conversion of metals and minerals into bio available state, their pharmacology, dosage, and its toxic effects and also usage in many other medicinal preparations, use in various diseases. A new technology was developed where minerals were converted to चेतन द्रव्य (biochemical material) and used as catalyst to carry the qualities(गुण) of herbs to targeted system or organ or tissue. This reduced the quantity of plants to be used. And increased the potency of the medicines. In the present context we talk about gold only.
VARIETIES AND IDENTIFICATION OF GOLD
In Rasa Ratna Samuchaya (RRS) 5 types of gold is mentioned. They are
प्राकृतं सहजं वह्निसंभूतं खनि संभवं रसेन्द्रवेध संभूतं स्वर्णं पञ्चविधं स्मृतम् - RRS 5/2
प्राकृतं (covering of bramhanda) सहजं (Sumeru parvata roopa) वह्निसंभूतं(Veerya of Agni ) खनि संभवं (obtained from mines) रसेन्द्रवेध संभूतं (Artificially created using mercury) .
Raja nighantu (ref.Shabda kalpa druma) says Gold is available in three ways.
रस वेधज- Obtained by processing with mercury it is yellow mixed with red in colour
स्वयंभूमिजातं - mined gold is Red coloured
लोह सङ्करभवं - Mixed with other metals which is fair or white coloured . This last variety of gold should not used for medicines.
Details of artificial preparation of gold is explained in गरुड पुराण and मातृका भेदतन्त्र(S.K.D.) which I will not explain in detail. But as per Raja nighantu artificially prepared gold is better for medicinal purpose than natural gold. When natural gold is used it should have specific qualities, such as
दाहे रक्तं सितं छेदे निषेके कुङ्कुम प्रभं| तारशुक्लनिभं स्निग्धं कोमलं गुरु हेम सत् । भा.प्र
Red when hot, shiny when cut, maroon when melted, shining like star, soft and heavy. Gold with these qualities should be used in medicine.
Pharmacological properties of gold
As per R.R.S. properties of gold are स्निग्ध, मेध्य, बुद्धिवर्धक increases intelligence, विषगदहर cures diseases related to toxins, बृम्हण increases body, वृष्य increases strength, अग्न्यं increases digestion, useful in diseases like यक्ष्म (tuberculosis), उन्माद(insanity), diseases of मेधा, बुद्धि, स्मृति, Improves Intelligence, efficiency and memory power, induces रुचि and दीप्ति. As per Bhavaprakasha same properties he adds कुष्ठ(skin diseases) in diseases list and adds हृद्य (good for heart) and चक्षुष्य (eye) in properties list. Its taste is astringent, bitter and sweet, heavy in quality. (R.R.S.-5/10 and B.P.)
Along with qualities of pure gold they have mentioned qualities of impure gold. They are
तत् श्वेतं कठिनं रूक्षं विवर्णं समलं दलम् । दाहे छेदेऽसितं श्वेतं कषे त्याज्यं लघु स्फुटम् ।। B.P.
Gold which is white in colour; dry, hard, and with impurities, that which becomes black on heating or cutting, it becomes white when melted, which is light in weight and brittle should not be used in medicine.
Toxic effects of gold
Toxic effects of Swarna are also described as
सौख्यं वीर्यं बलं हन्ति रोगवर्गं करोति च अशुद्धं अमृतं स्वर्णं । तस्मात्शुद्धं च मारयेत् ।। R.R.S. 5/11.
Ashuddha Swarna if used for medicinal purpose will destroy health, wealth, vigor, vitality and creates many diseases and may cause death. Even Swarna is shuddha and if bhasma is not done properly it leads to harmful effects. R.R.S says to prepare bhasma out of 100% pure gold, or what is available should be made 100% pure.
Purification of gold (स्वर्ण शोधन)
कर्ष प्रमाणं तु सुवर्णपत्रं । शराव संस्थं पटुधातु युक्तं ।।
अङ्गारसस्थं प्रहरार्धमानं । ध्माच्न तस्मान्नतु पूर्णवर्णम् ।। R.R.S 5/12
One karsha (12gms) of gold leafs should be mixed with equal quantity of rock salt (सैन्धव लवण) and puta is to be given for ½ prahara (1 ½ hours). By this method gold gets pure (Original colour). If original gold colour is not seen process is to be repeated till it becomes pure.
In R.S.S another way (R.S.S. 249-50) is given to purify gold वल्मीक, गृहधूम, गैरिका, इष्टिका, पटु, (salt) are called pancha mruttika and these to be triturated with lemon juice and kanji and this paste is to be applied over Swarna patra and puta is given for three days. This will make Swarna shuddha (pure).
Popular way of gold purification followed even now is
तैले तक्रे गवां मूत्रे आरनाले कुलत्थजे। तप्ततप्तानि सिञ्चेत तत्तद्रव्येन सप्तधा ।
Gold is made red hot and dipped in gingily oil, butter milk, cows urine, fermented kanji, decoction of horse gram; seven times in each. Then gold is considered as shuddha. these process of making gold shuddha is called shodhana in Ayurveda, which is done to purify gold and to make it ready for conversion to bio-available state.
Change to Bio-available state is done by doing marana or bhasmeekarana. This process of bhasmeekarana increases bio-availability and helps to target metals to a particular system/ organ/ disease; which is specialty of Ayurveda.
In R.R.S. it is said that
लोहानां मारणं श्रेष्टं सर्वेषां रस भस्मना मूलिभिर्मध्यमं प्राहुः कनिष्ठं गन्धकादिभिः । अरिलोहेन लोहस्य मारणं दुर्गुणप्रदम् ।। (R.R.S. 5/13)
If marana is done with mercury it is the best, with herbs it is better, with sulphur it is good, if done with arsenic etc it gives bad qualities to gold. To make bhasma, bhasma of mercury(पारद भस्म) is triturated with मातुलुङ्ग स्वरस and applied over gold leaf and puta is given. In the same way mixture of mercury and sulphur is triturated with kanchanara twak or langali or tulasi swarasa is applied and bhasma is prepared. (र.र.स.5, शार्ङ्गधर संहिता)
Using different plants in the process of bhasma preparation changes the action gold to different tissues. In Vedic literature we find use of gold as an intelligence booster and rejuvenator. After the development of rasa shastra it was used in different diseases along with different medicines. Bhasma prepared by application of काञ्चनार if used in diseases of endocrine systems (defects of feed back mechanism) , लाङ्गली if used in inflammatory diseases, तुलसी in infectious diseases will have more potentiated and targeted effect. E.g., bhasma prepared with तुलसी has more action in T.B., and other respiratory diseases; with काञ्चनार has more action on diseases of endocrine system like diabetes, thyroid etc.
Uses of स्वर्ण भस्म
Again R.R.S says एतद्भस्म सुवर्णजं कटुघृतोपेतं द्विगुञ्जान्मितं लीढं हन्ति नृणां क्षयाग्निसदनं श्सम च कासारुचिम् ।।
ओजो धातुविवर्धनं बलकरं पाण्ड्वामयध्वंसनं पथ्यं सर्वविषापहं गरहरं दुष्टग्रहादिनुत् ।। R.R.S 5/19
To cure राजयक्ष्म (tuberculosis) 2 ratti (250mg) Swarna Bhasma is mixed with त्रिकटु and घृत every day. This will cure loss of appetite, difficult breathing, cough, it increases Ojas, improves tissue metabolism, gives strength, body becomes devoid of all toxins including गरविष and acts as a answer for Grahabadha(ग्रहबाधा).
The action of gold in tuberculosis is approved by lab investigations. It is said in Ghosh’s materia medica that “it penetrates lipoid covering of bacilli which it kills. It stimulates phagocytosis of reticulo-endothelial cells of tissues. It has no action on bacilli in vitro” this proves that gold acts or shows its action only in living being (in vivo) not outside the body (in vitro).
In case of visha Charaka says
शुद्धे हृदि ततः शाणं हेम चूर्ण दापयेत् हेमं सर्वविषाण्याशु गरांश्च विनियच्छति ।। न सज्जते हेमपाङ्गे विषं पद्मपत्रमिवांभसि (च.चि)
In case of visha after body cleaning procedure 12 gms of Swarna should be given to the patient. It will remove all toxins inside the body including गरविष. Even if toxins persist in the body it is like water on the lotus leaf, these toxins do not harm the person. Even Vagbhata gives same opinion.
शर्कराक्षौद्रसंयुक्तं चूर्णं ताप्यसुवर्णयोः। लेहः प्रशमत्युग्रं सर्वयोगकृतं विषम् ।। अ.हृ उ. विषचिकित्सा
he advices to give Swarna along with Swarnamakshika bhasma, honey and sugar in all types of visha administered in any manner.
Depending on disease and place or organ affected different types of preparations were developed. In gastro-intestinal tract parpati is used, in ओजो क्षय and infertility कूपीपक्व रसायन like makaradwaja seriesएक गुण जारित, द्विगुण जारित, षट्गुण जारित, स्वर्णघटित, सिद्धमकरद्वज etc. In systemic diseases like gastritis, पक्षाघात,स्मृतिह्रास, in neurological disorders, etc kharaleeya rasayana's like सुवर्ण सूतशेखर रस,बृहत्वात चिन्तामणि रस, योगेन्द्र रस are used. In the same way there are many more preparations like
Lakshmi vilasa with gold in rhinitis
Swasa kasa chintamani with gold in asthma
Garbha chintamani with gold for conception and prevent abortion
Yogendra rasa with gold in spinal problems
A good example of targeting is Bramhi vati (jwara) and Bramhi vati (Buddhi) with gold. Both contains bramhi as the main ingredient, but Bramhi vati (jwara) is indicated, if mental tension caused due to fever and post fever weakness. and Bramhi vati (Buddhi) is used to enhance intelligence. All the above medicines can be used with or without gold. With gold the medicine dose would be in 125 mg range; where as with out gold would be in range of 250mg to 12gms.
Like this conversion of gold in to चेतन द्रव्य (biochemical entity) and using it with herbs led to increase the speed of action, reduce the dose, and to target the medicine to specific organs / specific diseases / specific systems.
In conclusion I would like to say ancients developed metal processing to a state where they converted metals to bio-degradable state and these processes are to be analyzed in the path ancients have provided and changes occur in the metals are to be recorded so that we can understand, analyse, proceed further in the same path and make society respect our ancients who were more advanced than today’s Scientists in understanding chemistry of metals.