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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 193156, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/193156
Review Article

Jasada bhasma, a Zinc-Based Ayurvedic Preparation: Contemporary Evidence of Antidiabetic Activity Inspires Development of a Nanomedicine

Centre for Nanobioscience, Agharkar Research Institute, G. G. Agarkar Road, Pune Maharashtra 411004, India

Received 31 July 2014; Revised 13 October 2014; Accepted 20 October 2014

Academic Editor: Cicero L. T. Chang

Copyright © 2015 Rinku D. Umrani and Kishore M. Paknikar. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The roles of metals in human physiology are well established. It is also known that many metals are required in trace amounts for normal metabolism and their deficiency leads to diseases. In Ayurveda, metal-based preparations, that is, bhasmas, are indicated for the treatment of several diseases. Standard textbooks of Ayurveda recommend Jasada bhasma (zinc based bhasma) as the treatment of choice for diabetes. Modern medicine also recognizes the important role of zinc in glucose homeostasis. Yet, studies that validate the use of Jasada bhasma are few and uncomprehensive. There is an imminent need for a systematic study on physicochemical characterization, pharmacological efficacy, and toxicity assessment of several bhasma preparations to generate scientific evidence of their utility and safety. Interestingly, recent studies suggest that bhasmas comprise submicronic particles or nanoparticles. Thus a bhasma-inspired new drug discovery approach could emerge in which several metal based nanomedicines could be developed. This would help in utilizing the age old, time-tested wisdom of Ayurveda in modern medicine. One such study on antidiabetic activity of Jasada bhasma and the corresponding new drug, namely, zinc oxide nanoparticles, is briefly discussed, as an example.