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 Table of Contents  
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 20-27

Quality assessment of Kajjali yoga: A classical Ayurvedic formulation


1 Department of Chemistry and Department of Ayurveda, Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences, Janakpuri, New Delhi, India
2 Rasashastra & Bhaishajya Kalpana, All India Institute of Ayurveda, Sarita Vihar, New Delhi, India
3 Department of Analytical & Structural Chemistry, Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, Tarnaka, Hyderabad, India

Date of Submission27-Jul-2021
Date of Acceptance07-Sep-2021
Date of Web Publication14-Dec-2021

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Arjun Singh
Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences, 61-65, Institutional Area, Opp. D-Block, Janakpuri, New Delhi 110058.
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jdras.jdras_26_21

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  Abstract 

BACKGROUND: Kajjali (black sulfide of mercury) is prepared with mercury and sulfur as per Ayurvedic classics and is an important ingredient in many Rasaushadhis (herbo-mineral/metallic drugs)/Ayurvedic medicines. Here, an attempt has been made to understand its chemical composition and microstructure characterization of this drug using AAS/ICP-AES, X-ray diffraction (XRD), and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). MATERIALS AND METHODS: Kajjali was prepared in three batches by taking equal proportions of Shodhita Parada (purified mercury) and Shodhita Gandhaka (purified sulfur) and ground in Khalwa yantra (mortar and pestle) till the disappearance of metallic luster of mercury and conversion of the compound into black powder. Ayurvedic specifications for the analysis of Kajjali yoga were carried out. Physico-chemical analysis, assay of elements by AAS and ICP-AES, and microstructure characterization by XRD and XPS were performed to ensure the chemical nature. RESULTS: The chemical analysis revealed that Kajjali yoga contains 49.50% of mercury and 45.50% of sulfur on average together with minor elements. It usually contains free sulfur as evident from a peak at 21.3° in the XRD pattern. The XRD pattern confirms to the low temperature cubic crystalline form of mercuric sulfide. CONCLUSION: The developed in-house quality standards for the Kajjali yoga may be used as quality standards for the Kajjali yoga and will also help the scientists and researchers for further studies.

Keywords: Black sulfide of mercury, Kajjali, quality standard, XRD


How to cite this article:
Singh A, Ota S, Srikanth N, Galib R, Bojja S, Dhiman KS. Quality assessment of Kajjali yoga: A classical Ayurvedic formulation. J Drug Res Ayurvedic Sci 2021;6:20-7

How to cite this URL:
Singh A, Ota S, Srikanth N, Galib R, Bojja S, Dhiman KS. Quality assessment of Kajjali yoga: A classical Ayurvedic formulation. J Drug Res Ayurvedic Sci [serial online] 2021 [cited 2022 Jan 17];6:20-7. Available from: http://www.jdrasccras.com/text.asp?2021/6/1/20/332498




  Introduction Top


Rasashastra is the branch of Indian alchemy which deals with scientific application of processed metals, minerals, precious stones, bovine, and marine products along with various herbs for curing ailments and for rejuvenation. Kajjali is made up of processed mercury and sulfur.[1],[2]Kajjali is the most commonly used Ayurvedic formulation, which is named Kajjali due to its black color like Kajjal (collyrium).

Kajjali is used externally, while its internal use is limited to very few conditions.[3],[4] It is prepared with Shodhita parada (purified mercury) and Shodhita gandhaka (purified sulfur) by triturating them in Khalva yantra till they turned into black colored smooth powder.[5] Generally, it is used as an ingredient in different formulations. Kajjali owns properties such as Rasayana (anti-aging), Yogavahi (as catalyst), Jantughna (anti-microbial), and Sarvaamayahara (useful in many diseases).[6] The Yogavahi property has importance in pharmacokinetics of drug as it imbibes whatever is mixed with it toward the target tissue down into the deeper and most inaccessible parts of the system. When Kajjali is mixed with other ingredients, the formulation becomes potent and acts in low doses. Kajjali increases the bioavailability of drug which helps to obtain greater efficiency of the drug. It also delays the aging process and prevents disease, thus works as a preventive medicine, which is the foremost aim of Ayurveda.

The ancient scholars of Rasashastra have preferred using Hingulottha parada (parada extracted from Shodhita Hingula),when parada is required which is said to be equally potent to Ashta samskarita parada.[7] In Ayurvedic texts, different types of Kajjali have been described according to the ratio of Mercury and sulfur, i.e., Samaguna (1:1), Dwiguna (1:½), Sadguna (1: 1/6), etc. If, in the formulation, the ratio of mercury and sulfur is not indicated, then both these ingredients are to be taken in equal quantities.[8]Kajjali has a broad range of therapeutic availabilities; therefore it has been used in many formulations described in the Ayurvedic Formulary of India (AFI).[9]

Use of mineral and herbo-mineral preparations in therapeutics is an integral part of Ayurveda system of medicine. But with the recent concerns on the safety issues of such Ayurvedic formulations, it becomes essential to scientifically evaluate and establish the safety of preparations to deliver this heritage of ancient knowledge in a more convincing and acceptable manner to modern scientific community. Thus, an effort has been made to evolve preliminary physico-chemical profile of Kajjali.


  Materials and Methods Top


Preparation of Kajjali yoga

The composition of Kajjali yoga is provided in [Table 1].
Table 1: Composition of Kajjali yoga

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The process of preparation of Kajjali consists of the following three steps, viz., (i) Parada shodhana (to obtain Shudha parada), (ii) Gandhaka shodhana (to obtain Shudha Gandhaka), and (iii) trituration of Shudha parada and Shudha gandhaka.

  • (i) Parada shodhana: One part of Hingula was levigated with Nimbu swarasa (juice of Citrus limon) in khalva yantra for 3 h. Small chakrikas (pellets) of levigated cinnabar were prepared, dried, and kept in the Damru yantra and subjected to heat treatment to collect parada.[10]


  • (ii) Gandhaka shodhana: Four parts of Godugdha (cow milk) were taken into a stainless steel vessel. A four-layered muslin cloth was tied to the mouth of the container and smeared with Go-ghrita. Gandhaka was heated on mild temperature in the presence of Goghrita and on complete melting, it was poured into the vessel containing Godugdha through the muslin cloth smeared with Go-ghrita. Gandhaka that was settled at the bottom of the container was taken out and crushed to small pieces. This process was repeated for six more times. At the end of seventh processing, Gandhaka was washed thoroughly with hot water until complete removal of Go -ghrita. It was then dried and pulverized to obtain powder of Shuddhagandhaka.[11]


Preparation of Kajjali yoga

Shudha parada and Shudha gandhaka were taken in equal quantities (2.5 kg each) in a khalva yantra and triturated thoroughly until the formation of black, soft, and fine powder and absence of lusterness.

Initial wt. of the ingredients : 5 kg

Wt. obtained at the end of process : 4.8 kg

The various steps involved in the preparation of Kajjali yoga are shown in [Figure 1].
Figure 1: Various steps involved in the preparation of Kajjali yoga

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Chemical analysis

Reagents and standards

All chemicals, reagents, and solvents used were of analytical grade.

Physico-chemical analysis: Physico-chemical analysis, viz., description, estimation of loss on drying, ash content, acid insoluble ash, water/alcohol soluble extracts, pH, qualitative/quantitative elemental testing, etc., was carried out by the following standard methods laid down in Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India (API) guidelines.[12],[13],[14],[15] The quantitative estimation of metals, viz., Hg, Fe, Mg, B, Ca, and Al, was carried out by an atomic absorption spectrometer [Perkin Elmer (USA) Analyst 400] and ICP-AES (Thermo Electron Corporation’s model IRIS Intreprid II XDL). However, sulfur was quantified by using a CHNS analyzer as well as conventional methods.[12] X-ray diffraction, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) survey scans, and CHNS analysis were performed to evaluate the elemental composition ratio.[16],[17]

X-ray diffraction: Powder X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis of Kajjali yoga was carried out using a Rigaku Ultima-IV X-ray diffractometer with CuKα radiation (λ = 1.54 A°) operating at 40 kV and 30 mA. Pattern was recorded for angle (2θ) ranging from 10° to 100° at a scanning rate of 1°/s and a scan step of 0.1°. Sample identification was done by matching d-spacing with the standard database.

XPS: XPS measurements of Kajjali yoga were obtained on a KRATOS AXIS 165 instrument equipped with dual aluminum–magnesium anodes using Al Kα radiation. The X-ray power supply was run at 15 kV and 5 mA. The pressure of the analysis chamber during the scan was 10–9 Torr. The peak positions were based on calibration with respect to the C 1s peak at 284.6 eV. The obtained XPS spectra were fitted using a non-linear square method with the convolution of Lorentzian and Gaussian functions after the polynomial background subtraction from the raw data.


  Results and Discussion Top


Kajjali yoga is a black-colored fine, tasteless powder with a characteristic odor. The qualitative analysis shows the positive test for the presence of mercury and sulfur. Chemical analysis revealed that it contains 49.50% of mercury and 45.50% of sulfur on average, together with minor elements, viz., iron, Boron, magnesium, calcium, and aluminum. Moisture content of 0.06% was found when determined loss on drying at 105°C. Total ash content (approx 0.20%) is left after burning of volatile matter. The observations show that water soluble (0.75%) and alcohol soluble (3.50%) matter are also present in this formulation (details are mentioned in [Table 2]). Particles size is about 20–250 μm and is homogeneously distributed which showed the presence of micro-fine particle.
Table 2: Observations of three-batch analysis

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Kajjali was prepared by grinding together mercury with stoichiometric excess of processed sulfur (1:1 by mass), until the luster of the metallic mercury fades away. Kajjali usually contains free sulfur as is evident from the presence of a small peak at 21.3° in the XRD pattern.

The XRD pattern confirms to the low temperature cubic crystalline form of mercuric sulfide. All three samples (batches) confirm to this form. The XRD pattern is shown in [Figure 2] and [Figure 3].
Figure 2: XRD pattern of Kajjali yoga (batches—I, II, III)

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Figure 3: Overlay of XRD pattern of Kajjali yoga (batches—I, II, III)

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XPS survey scans do not show any remarkable changes for all the three batches as shown in [Figure 4]. The atomic concentration quantification report for the elements Hg and S shows Hg:S in the ratio of 46:54.
Figure 4: Typical ESCA (XPS) Kajjali yoga

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Sulfur content in batches I, II, and III as determined by the elemental analysis by CHNS showed 46.49%, 44.29%, and 45.25%, respectively.

The observed binding energy peaks for Hg 4f7/2 at 100.48 and 101.95 eV clearly suggest that Hg is present as HgS as well as Hg2SO4 in Kajjali yoga, the latter only about 6.9% as indicated from the area under the curve.


  Conclusion Top


In the present study, modern analytical techniques were employed to evolve QC parameters, chemical composition, and characterization of Kajjali yoga. It contains 49.50% of mercury and 45.50% of sulfur on average together with minor elements. The XRD pattern confirms to the low temperature cubic crystalline form of mercuric sulfide. The result of the study may be used as a standard for the Kajjali yoga and will also help the scientists and researchers for further studies.

Acknowledgments

The authors express their heartfelt thanks and would like to acknowledge Dr S. K. Sharma, Former Advisor (Ayurveda), Ministry of Ayush, Government of India; Dr M. M. Padhi, Former Dy. Director General, CCRAS; Dr Ravinder Singh, Assistant Director (Chemistry) for valuable guidance and Dr. Shruti Khanduri, Resarch Officer (Ay.); Dr. B. S. Sharma, Resarch Officer (Ay.), CCRAS; Dr V. K. Singh, M/s Maharishi Ayurveda Products Pvt Ltd, Noida, India, for technical inputs. The authors are thankful to Dr J. Arunachalam, Former Head, National Centre for Compositional Characterization of Materials (BARC), Hyderabad, India, for helping in data analysis and interpretation of the results. Thanks are also conveyed to Drs Aarti Sheetal, Suman Singh, Bhavna Dwivedi, Divya Mishra, and Yadunandan Dey, Senior Research Fellows of CCRAS for technical assistance.

Financial support and sponsorship

The study was funded by the Ministry of Ayush, Government of India.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Sharma S. In: Shashtri K, editor. Rasa Tarangini, Reprint. 11th ed. Varanasi: Moti Lal Banarasidas, 2/27–28; 2009. p. 16-17.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
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Ayurveda Prakash, Madhava AS. In: Mishra GS, editor. Arthavidyotini and Arthaprakashini Sanskrit and Hindi, Commentaries. 1/396. Varanasi: Chaukhambha Bharti Academy; 1999. p. 193.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Sadananda S. In: Shastri K, editor. Rasa Tarangini. 6/112. New Delhi: Motilal Banarasidas; 1970. p. 126.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Bagbhattacharya S. In: Ambikadatta Shastri KJ, editor. Rasaratna Samuchchaya. 9th ed. Varanasi: Chaukhamba Amarbharati Prakashan; 1995. p. 181.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
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Shah DP, Zala V, Damre A, Sathaye SS. Evaluation of bioavailability enhancement by Kajjali, an ayurvedic proprietary herbomineral product, Conference Paper in Drug Metabolism Reviews, 16th North American Regional International Society for the Study of Xenobiotics Meeting, October, 2009. Available from: www.issx. confex.com/issx/16na/webprogram/ paper 17724. html (accessed on July 12, 2019).  Back to cited text no. 6
    
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Bhatta GK. Rasendra Sara Samgraha. Hindi Commentary by Indradev Tripathy. 4th ed. 1/51–53, Varanasi: Chaukhamba Orientalia; 2006. p. 14.  Back to cited text no. 7
    
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Sharma S. In: Shashtri K, editor. Rasa Tarangini, Reprint. 11th ed. Varanasi: Moti Lal Banarasidas, 6/107–111; 2009. p. 124-5.  Back to cited text no. 8
    
9.
The Ayurvedic Formulary of India, Department of Indian Systems of Medicine and Homeopathy, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, New Delhi, 2nd ed. Part I; 2003. p. 255-79.  Back to cited text no. 9
    
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Sharma AS. Rasa Tarangini. Translated by Shri Kashinatha Shastri, 11th ed. Reprint. 2/31, New Delhi: Motilal Banarsidas; 2009. p. 16.  Back to cited text no. 10
    
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Sharma AS. Rasa Tarangini. Translated by Shri Kashinatha Shastri, 11th ed. Reprint. 8/7–12, New Delhi: Motilal Banarsidas; 2009. p. 176.  Back to cited text no. 11
    
12.
Anonymous. The Pharmacopoeial Standards for Ayurvedic Formulations. New Delhi: CCRAS, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India; Revised Edition. Delhi; 1987. p. 453-6.  Back to cited text no. 12
    
13.
Lohar DR. Protocol for Testing of ASU Medicine. New Delhi: PLIM, Department of AYUSH, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India; 2007. p. 31-3.  Back to cited text no. 13
    
14.
Lohar DR. Quality Control Manual for ASU Medicine. New Delhi: Department of AYUSH, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India; 2008. p. 21-3.  Back to cited text no. 14
    
15.
Anonymous. Laboratory Guide for Analysis of Ayurveda and Siddha Formulations. New Delhi: CCRAS, Department of AYUSH, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India; 2010. p. 12.  Back to cited text no. 15
    
16.
Kumar A, Nair AGC, Reddy AVR, Garg AN. Availability of essential elements in bhasmas: Analysis of ayurvedic metallic preparations by INAA. J Radio Anal Nucl Chem 2006;270:173-80.  Back to cited text no. 16
    
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Krishnamurthy LV, Sane RT. Study on Ayurvedic Bahamas on the basis of modern analytical instrumentation techniques. Indian Res J Chem Environ 2001;5:65-7.  Back to cited text no. 17
    


    Figures

  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4]
 
 
    Tables

  [Table 1], [Table 2]



 

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