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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 34  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 294-296  

Preliminary physico-chemical profile of Brahmi Ghrita

1 Junior Resident, Department of Rasa Shastra, Faculty of Ayurveda, IMS, BHU, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India
2 Associate Professor, Department of Rasa Shastra, Faculty of Ayurveda, IMS, BHU, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India
3 Associate Professor, Department of Medicinal Chemistry, Faculty of Ayurveda, IMS, BHU, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India

Date of Web Publication17-Dec-2013

Correspondence Address:
Alka Agarwal
Department of Medicinal Chemistry, Banaras Hindu University, Varansi, Uttar Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0974-8520.123130

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Brahmi Ghrita was processed as per the process of Snehapaka procedure described in classics. It contained Brahmi (Bacopa monneri), Vacha (Acorus calamus), Kushtha (Sassurea lappa), Shankhapushpi (Convolvulos pluricalis), and Purana Ghrita. In the preparation of Brahmi Ghrita, Brahmi Swarasa, Kalka Dravya of Brahmi, Vacha, Kushtha, and Shankhapushpi were mixed in Purana Ghrita and heated for three hours at 110΀C every day for three days. On the third day Ghrita was filtered to obtain the finished product. In this manner, three samples of Brahmi Ghrita were prepared. To understand the changes that occurred during the preparation, Brahmi Ghrita and Purana Ghrita were analyzed by using modern parameters such as Acid value, Saponification value, and so on. After the analysis, it was found that the Acid values of Sample A, B, and C of Brahmi Ghrita were 4.26, 4.03, and 4.03; the Saponification values of Samples A, B, and C of Brahmi Ghrita were 227.2, 230.01, and 230.01, and the Iodine values of Samples A, B, and C were 34.75, 35.88, and 35.88, respectively, and the Acid value, Saponification value, and Iodine value of Purana Ghrita were 1.57, 199.15, and 31.04, respectively. The present study revealed that, there was no significant variation in the analytical values among all three samples of Brahmi Ghrita.

Keywords: Brahmi Ghrita , acid value, saponification value, iodine value

How to cite this article:
Yadav KD, Reddy KR, Agarwal A. Preliminary physico-chemical profile of Brahmi Ghrita. AYU 2013;34:294-6

How to cite this URL:
Yadav KD, Reddy KR, Agarwal A. Preliminary physico-chemical profile of Brahmi Ghrita. AYU [serial online] 2013 [cited 2021 Jul 23];34:294-6. Available from: https://www.ayujournal.org/text.asp?2013/34/3/294/123130

   Introduction Top

Brahmi Ghrita is a polyherbal formulation of Ayurveda representing the group of Snehakalpa. In the present study, the selected Brahmi Ghrita contained Brahmi (Bacopa monneri), Vacha (Acorus calamus), Kushta (Sassurea lappa), Shankhapushpi (Convolvulos pluricalis), and Purana Ghrita mentioned for the treatment of Apasmara (Epilepsy) and Graha disorders. [1] It is an important formulation mentioned in Charakasamhita as well as in many others classical books of Ayurveda, with different compositions, for the treatment of different disorders. Snehakalpana (medicated Ghrita) is a unique oleaginous dosage form used both for tropical as well as systemic administration. Brahmi Ghrita is indicated for the treatment of various mental disorders, which are discussed with rationality. What is significant in Ayurvedic classics is the reason for the occurrence of this disease, which is classified under categories of mental, social, and spiritual causes.

The standard of quality of any medicine is quite important for the reproducibility of the therapeutic effect. Certain organizations are working on preparing certain parameters, for Ayurveda medicine, of a different kind. The Central Council of Research in Ayurveda and Siddha has published a standard protocol, wherein analytical parameters must be followed for the quality production of Ayurveda medicine.

Brahmi Ghrita is prepared by heating Brahmi Swarasa with Kalka, made with Brahmi, Vacha, Kushta, Shankhapushpi, and Purana Go Ghrita, in the prescribed quantity. In Vaidyak Paribhasha Pradeep, it is mentioned that when Swarasa is used in the Snehapaka process, the Sneha paka must be completed in three days. Initially three hours of heat is provided for the first two days and on the third day, heat is provided up to the completion of the Sneha Siddhi Lakshana. The chemical changes that occur during the process on account of heating the Kalka Dravya, liquid, and Purana Go Ghrita, are observed in the present study. This would help us to determine the efficacy of Brahmi Ghrita for the above-cited therapeutic purpose.

   Materials and Methods Top

Procurement of drugs

Brahmi was collected from Ramnagar, situated near Varanasi. Vacha, Kushta, and Shankhapushi were collected from the local raw drug market (Goladina nath) of Varanasi and Purana Ghrita (ten-year-old) was collected from a Jalan shop (Local Market) of Varanasi. [2]

Preparation of Brahmi Ghrita

In the process of preparing Brahmi Ghrita[3] Brahmi Swarasa was used as the Drava Dravya and Kalka was prepared by using Brahmi, Vacha, Kushta, and Shankhapushpi as per the procedure mentioned in Ayurveda. As Brahmi Swarasa is one of the liquid ingredients mentioned in the reference, as per the general procedure of Bhaishjya Kalpana, Brahmi was also incorporated in the Kalka Dravaya along with the others ingredients, that is, Vacha, Kushta, and Shankhapushpi. Subsequently, this Kalka was mixed with Brahmi Swarasa and Ghrita, and it was processed by moderate heating (around 110°C), till Sneha Siddhi Lakshana, like Sabdahinoagni-nikshipto, Vartivat Sneha Kalka, and so on, were [4] observed. When the Sneha Siddhi Lakshna appeared then the Ghrita was filtered and Brahmi Ghrita was procured.

   Analytical Study Top

To ensure reproducibility of the Brahmi Ghrita, the analytical methods were applied to three samples, which were prepared with the same ingredients, following the same manufacturing method, and were coded as Samples A, B, and C. These were analyzed to obtain parameters, such as, organoleptic study, moisture content, acid value, saponification value, iodine value, and refractive index, according to the Quality Control Manual of Ayurveda, Siddha, and Unani Medicine (the standard protocol mentioned in books). [5]

Acid Value, Saponification value and Iodine Value

The test was done as per the standard pharmaceutical laboratory process given in Appendix 3 (Physical test determination) of the Ayurvedic Pharmacopeia of India. [6]


Organoleptic properties

The color of Brahmi Ghrita was different from the Puran Go Ghrita. The organoleptic characters of both the Ghritas are mentioned in [Table 1]. Puran Go-Ghrita wass golden yellow in color and had a peculiar smell. All three samples, that is, Samples A, B, and C of the Brahmi Ghrita had yellowish-green Color and a peculiar smell, which is different from the Purana Go-Ghrita.
Table 1: Organoleptic of Purana Go‑Ghrita and Brahmi Ghrita

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Analytical parameters

Purana Go-Ghrita had a lower acid value, saponification value, iodine value, as well as, a low refractive index, as compared to Brahmi Ghrita. The results are mentioned in [Table 2].
Table 2: Different analytical parameter of Purana Go‑Ghrita and Brahmi Ghrita

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   Result and Discussion Top

Acid value

The acid value indicates the free fatty acid (FFA) present in the Ghrita, which is related to its stability of that Ghrita. Formation of free fatty acid might be an important measure of rancidity for the Ghrita. FFA is formed due to the hydrolysis of triglycerides and may be promoted by the reaction of the Ghrita with moisture. [7] The fatty acid profile affects the shelf-life, flavor, and the stability of the Ghrita. The FFA present in the Ghrita indicates its identity or purity. [8] Brahmi Ghrita has higher acid value than Purana Go Ghrita [Table 2]. This indicates that during the process of Snehapaka, hydrolysis of Ghrita takes place, which may be promoted by the reaction of the triglycerides in the Ghrita with the active ingredients present in Brahmi Ghrita, resulting in glycerol and free fatty acids. High amounts of free fatty acid (Acid Value) favor a decrease in the quality of the Ghrita. This shows that quality (nutritive), stability, and shelf life of Brahmi Ghrita is less than that of Go Ghrita.

Saponification value

Long-chain fatty acids found in fat have low saponification value, that is, short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) have a high saponification value. [9] Short-chain fatty acids are recognized as an essential fuel source for colonocytes, particularly in the distal colon. [10] The histological, endoscopic, and metabolic similarities between diversion colitis and ulcerative colitis suggest that a nutritional SCFA-deficiency state may play a role in the pathogenesis of these disorders. [10]

Short chain fatty acids are readily absorbed; a greater increase in SCFA production and potentially a greater delivery of SCFAs, specifically butyrate, to the distal colon, may result in a protective effect. [11] Brahmi Ghrita has a higher saponification value than Purana Go Ghrita [Table 2]. As Ghritas are esters that undergo a hydrolysis process in the presence of an alkali (in the presence of the alkaline nature of Kalka Dravya or the other Drava Dravya used in the Snehapaka process), the formation of fatty acid (short chain) occurs. This shows that Brahmi Ghrita has greater short chain fatty acid than Go-Ghrita. Thus, Brahmi Ghrita improves the colonic and systemic health and it is easily absorbed and digested, and plays a protective role greater than Purana Go-Ghrita.

Iodine value

Iodine values determine the unsaturated fatty material present in the Ghrita. The higher the iodine number, the more are the unsaturated bonds present in the fat. Unsaturated fat supplementation increases the total dietary energy intake to the recommended levels, and it has no adverse impact on the blood lipids. It also improves the nutritional status and reduces systemic inflammation. [12] A high iodine value indicates that the fats are a rich source of polyunsaturated fatty acids that possess health benefits such as regulating blood cholesterol levels. [13] Brahmi Ghrita has a higher iodine value than Go Ghrita, which indicates that Brahmi Ghrita contains more unsaturated fatty acid than plain Go Ghrita. This analytical value shows that despite the fatty acid, Brahmi Ghrita does not produce an adverse impact on blood lipids; it improves the nutritional status, and reduces systemic inflammation. It may be due to the Snehapaka process that the unsaturation of the Ghrita is increased.

Refractive index

The refractive indices of the Brahmi Ghrita sample A (1.4582), sample B (1.4582), and sample C (1.4582) were higher than the Purana Go Ghrita (1.4545), which indicates that some active substances of Brahmi, Vacha, Kushta, and Shankhapushpi were incorporated into Purana Go ghrita.

   Conclusion Top

Purana Go Ghrita and other raw materials were taken in the mentioned quantities for all three samples (Samples A, B, and C) of Brahmi Ghrita and prepared by the Snehapaka process. From the present study it was found that the acid value, saponification value, iodine value, and refractive index of all three samples (A, B, C) of Brahmi Ghrita were higher than those of the Puran Go Ghrita, but sample A of Brahmi Ghrita had the highest acid value among all the samples of Brahmi Ghrita and this change was not significant. The saponification and iodine values of samples B and C were also higher than that of sample A. It was concluded that the analytical values, namely, the acid value, saponification value, and iodine value of Brahmi Ghrita were higher than those of Purana Go Ghrita. These variations in their values indicate that various active components of the ingredients used in the preparation of Brahmi Ghrita were incorporated in it. From the present study it was also revealed that, there was no significant variation in the analytical values among all three samples of Brahmi Ghrita. Hence, the average values of the analytical parameters may be used for quality assessment and standardization of Brahmi Ghrita.

   References Top

1.Shastri G. Charaka Samhita with Vidhyotani Hindi commentary Chikitsa Sthana 9/60. Reprint ed. Varanasi: Chaukhambha Bharti Acadamy; 2004. p. 332  Back to cited text no. 1
2.Shastri G. Charaka Samhita with Vidhyotani Hindi commentary Chikitsa Sthana 9/60. Reprint ed. Varanasi: Chaukhambha Bharti Acadamy; 2004. p. 321.  Back to cited text no. 2
3.Srikantha Murthy KR. Ashtang Hridaya with English translation Uttar Sthan 6/23-24. Vol. 3. 2 nd ed. Varanasi: Krishnadas Academy; 1997. p. 60.  Back to cited text no. 3
4.Srivastava S. Sharangadhar Samhita with Jiwanprada Hindi commentary Madhyam Khand 9/13. Reprint ed. Varanasi: Chaukhamba Orientalia; 2009. p. 217.  Back to cited text no. 4
5.Lohar, Protocal for Testing of Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani medicine page 124-126, Department of Ayush, Ministry of health and family welfare, pharmacopoeial laboratory for Indian medicines, Ghaziabad.  Back to cited text no. 5
6.The Pharmacopeia of India. Part II (formulations). Appendices 1 to 5. Vol. 2 First ed. New Delhi: Govt. of India Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Dept. of AYUSH; 2008. p. 221-3.  Back to cited text no. 6
7.Frega N, Mozzon M, Lercker G. Effects of free fatty acids on oxidative stability of vegetable oil. J Am Oil Chem Soc 1999;76:325-9.  Back to cited text no. 7
8.Pritchard JL. Analysis and properties of oil seeds. In: Rossel JB, Pritchard JI, editors. Analysis of oil seeds, fats and fatty foods. Oxford: Elsevier, Science; 1991. p. 305-8.  Back to cited text no. 8
9.Available from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saponification_value [Last accessed on 2011 Dec 12].  Back to cited text no. 9
10.Rabassa AA, Rogers AI, The role of short-chain fatty acid metabolism in colonic disorders. Am J Gastroenterol 1992;87:419-23.  Back to cited text no. 10
11.Wong JM, de Souza R, Kendall CW, Emam A, Jenkins DJ. Colonic health: Fermentation and short chain fatty acids. J Clin Gastroenterol 2006;40:235-43.  Back to cited text no. 11
12.Ewers B, Riserus U, Marckmann P. Effects of unsaturated fat dietary supplements on blood lipids, and on markers of alnutrition and inflammation in hemodialysis patients. J Ren Nutr 2009;19:401-11.  Back to cited text no. 12
13.Babalola TOO and Apata DF (2011). Chemical and quality evaluation of some alternative lipid sources for aqua feed production" Agriculture and Biology Journal of North America. 2:935-943..  Back to cited text no. 13


  [Table 1], [Table 2]

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