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Int. J. Ayur.

Pharma Research, 2014; 2(5): 50-57 ISSN: 2322 - 0910

International Journal of Ayurveda and Pharma Research

Research Article


Seeneevassen Ajaghen1*, Nagras Madhuri2
*1P.G. Scholar, 2Assistant Professor, Sinhgad College of Pharmacy, Off Sinhgad Road, Vadgaon
(Bk), Pune, Maharashtra, India.
Received on: 24/08/2014 Revised on: 10/09/2014 Accepted on: 26/09/2014
Background: In the present study, Kajjali (black sulphide of mercury) has
been prepared by two different methods. The first method is the traditional
method in which the purified mercury and sulphur are rubbed in a clean
khalva (earthen vessel) for approximately 24 30 hours until the Kajjali is
formed. The second method which is also referred to as the modern method
involves the use of a grinder to facilitate the formation of Kajjali.
Aim & Objective: The products from the two methods are then compared by
assessing different organoleptic, alchemical and physicochemical parameters.
Materials & Methods: There are different proportions of purified Parada
(Mercury) and Gandhaka (Sulphur) mentioned in the Ayurvedic texts for the
preparation of Kajjali. The present work was aimed at the preparation and
standardization of Samagunabalijarita Kajjali (equal parts of purified
Mercury and Sulphur) by both the traditional and the modern methods.
Result and conclusion: It was found that both the methods yielded Kajjali
possessing similar attributes and qualities.
KEYWORDS: Samagunabalijarita Kajjali, Parada yoga, Khalva yantra,
In the Ayurvedic system of treatment, When the theories stipulate that
Mercury plays a vital role. The ancient Kajjali is not absorbed in the GI tract, it is
authors described Rasa-Chikitsa as the best postulated that it eventually acts as GI
treatment.[1] Rasashastra, the pharmaceutical stimulant, locally also as neuro-chemical
science, deals mainly with the processing irritant for the intestinal mucosa.[5] It also
and therapeutic utilization of Mercury, acts as catalyst and hence through its
metals and minerals.[2] It aims at designing catalytic activity, better absorption of herbal
novel drugs with better curative attributes at pharmacological molecules is achieved.
minimal doses.[3] Hence, the net resultant activity of Kajjali is
There are two classes of thoughts as that it eventually increases the
far as the pharmacology of Kajjali is bioavailability of ingested drugs.
concerned.[4] One is by considering the Internal administration of Kajjali
proposals that Mercury and mercurial pacifies the Tridosha (disorder of the three
compounds such as Kajjali are not absorbed humours of the body) and acts as Vrushya
though the GI tract and the other way (an aphrodisiac). Furthermore, it is also used
considers mercurial absorption. as Sahapana (taking together with the
medicine) and Anupana (as a vehicle taken
after the medicine). In addition to that,

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Seeneevassen Ajaghen, Nagras Madhuri. Comparison of Kajjali Prepared by Traditional and Modern Methods

Kajjali is also one of the prime ingredients in dark in color. And at this moment, the juice
various Rasayoga (herbo-mineral was said to be saturated with impurities
formulations) and is used as a medicine from the impure Mercury. The juice was
separately.[6] taken out of the Khalva and the surface of the
The process of constant trituration of Mercury was washed with water and cleaned
Parada (mercury) and Gandhaka (sulphur) with cotton.
will eventually pack the Sulphur molecules in Fresh garlic juice was then added and
between the layers of Mercury molecules.[7] the trituration process continued. Ayurvedic
As the trituration continues, the compact texts stipulate that this step should be
placement of Sulphur becomes more fixed. repeated at least 7 times. In other words,
Thus, owing to this compact there should be at least 7 trituration cycles
structure, after oral administration of with fresh garlic juice.
Kajjalikalpa, the sustained release of active After that, Mercury is eventually
molecules takes place. Hence, also in clinical washed with warm water till a clear, mirror
practice, it is observed that timed release like surface is obtained. Then only, the
and sustained release theories of drugs Mercury could be assumed to be purified.
triturated with Kajjali are more than the The actual purification process of the
drugs administered without Kajjali. Mercury used for the study was done over a
MATERIALS AND METHODS period of 3 days comprising of 8 hours of
trituration daily.
It is important to note that only
1. Shuddha Parada (Purified Mercury) purified Mercury can be employed in
2. Shuddha Gandhaka (Purified Sulphur) Ayurvedic treatment, as per the texts;
The ingredients were procured from because impure Mercury can be the cause of
Punarvasu Aushadhshala Pvt Ltd. Shiv Kamal various imbalances and hence lead to the
industrial estate, Shivanegaon, Pune, India advent of toxicity. (Fig. 1)
and all the materials were thoroughly Purification of Gandhaka (Sulphur)[9]
screened by rasashastra experts based on A wide mouth Ghata (earthen vessel)
the GrahyaLakshanas (characteristics) was taken and filled with Goghrita (Cows
mentioned in the classics. ghee), then the mouth of the vessel was
The study was conducted at Sinhgad covered by a cloth and tied by iron wire.
College of Pharmacy, Vadgaon (Bk), Pune Coarse powder of Gandhaka was spread
41. However, the SEM and the determination upon the cloth and closed with another
of the % of Mercury and Sulphur by AAS earthen vessel by placing upside down.
(Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy) were The edges of both the vessels were
carried out at Diya Labs, Mumbai. sealed with Multanimitti (Fullers earth). The
Purification of the Ingredients cloth was then smeared for ten minutes and
Purification of Parada (Mercury)[8] allowed to dry under sunlight. This Yantra
(apparatus) was kept inside a pit (1.5 feet)
The purification of Parada (Mercury) beneath the surface of the soil in such a way
was achieved using garlic juice. The impure that the brim of the vessel was at ground
Mercury, procured from the market by level. Empty spaces of the pit around the
Punarvasu Aushadhshalam Pvt Ltd, was apparatus were filled with soil. Cow dung
taken in a clean and dry khalva and fresh cakes were kept on the brim of the vessel
garlic juice was added. Quantity of which and set on fire.
should be sufficient to cover the entire
mercury surface. The Sulphur, after melting by fire,
flows down through the cloth into the vessel,
The Mercury was triturated in a slow which contained milk and ghee. After
and steady fashion till the garlic juice turned Svangasita (self cooling), the apparatus is
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Int. J. Ayur. Pharma Research, 2014; 2(5): 50-57 ISSN: 2322 - 0910
taken out of the pit and Sandhibandhana rubbed for a specific time period (24 30
(seal) was opened carefully. Purified hours) till a fine black powder was obtained.
Gandhaka (in granule form) was collected This was done over a period of three days
from the bottom of the vessel and washed comprising of eight hours of rubbing
with hot water. (Fig. 2) continuously for each day.
Preparation of The Kajjali The process was stopped after three
Four types of Kajjali can be prepared days as the Kajjali was confirmed to have
in a ratio of weight of Mercury to weight of been formed. (Fig. 3 and Fig. 4)
Sulphur and these types are categorized into 2nd method: Modern (Grinding) Method
four different groups as per the ancient 500 g of purified Sulphur was taken in
Ayurvedic texts. They are as follows:- a Khalva and rubbed for 15 minutes and then
Group 1= 1:1 500g of purified Mercury was added and
Group 2= 1:2 rubbed for 45minutes till a coarse faint black
powder was obtained and the mixture was
Group 3= 1:3 ground in a mixer grinder for 30-60 seconds.
Group 4= 1:6 This procedure was repeated with an
Group 1: Samagunabalijarita Kajjali was interval of 10-15minutes till a black powder
taken for study. was obtained and rubbed for 12 hours in a
Khalva. (Fig. 5)
This group of Kajjali was choosen as it is the
most frequently used in Ayurvedic Note: For both the methods, the completion
treatment. of the process was confirmed when there
was no sign of Chandrika (shiny particles of
Within this group two methods of Kajjali Mercury) in the black powder obtained. This
preparation were tried. was checked by assessing the presence of
1st method: Traditional method shiny particles, if any, under sunlight.
(Rubbing) The general procedure and the timing have
350g of purified Mercury and 350 g of been tabulated below.
purified sulphur were taken in a Khalva and

Table 1: Preparation of Kajjali by 1St Method

S. No. Group of kajjali Total rubbing time No. of days required
1 1 30 hours 6
Table 2: Preparation of Kajjali by 2nd Method
S. No. Group of 1st rubbing Grinding 2nd rubbing Total time
kajjali time time time required
1 1 1 hour 1 hour 11 hours 13 hours
Table 3: Weight and Yield of Traditional and Modern Method
Method Weight of Weight of Weight of % Yield
Mercury (g) Sulphur (g) Kajjali (g)
1st: Conventional 350 350 692 98.8%
2nd: Modified Method 500* 500* 995 99.5%
*The minimum capacity of the grinder is 1000g

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Seeneevassen Ajaghen, Nagras Madhuri. Comparison of Kajjali Prepared by Traditional and Modern Methods

Table 4: Results of Organoleptic Tests[10]

S. No. Parameters Observations for Group 1 Observations for Group 1 Kajjali
Kajjali prepared by 1st method prepared by 2nd method
1. Texture Dull, no shiny particles Dull, no shiny particles
2. Colour (after Black Black
3. Taste Tasteless Tasteless
4. Smell Indistinct Indistinct
5. Touch Smooth and soft fine powder Smooth and soft fine powder
Table 5: Results of Alchemical Tests
S. No. Parameters Observations for Group 1 Observations for Group 1
Kajjali prepared by 1st Kajjali prepared by 2nd
method method
1. Rekhapurnatva (should Passed Passed
enter furrows of finger)
2. Varitaratva (should float Passed Passed
on still water
3. 1. Nishchandratva (free Passed Passed
from glittering particles)
4. Mridutva and Passed Passed
Slakshanatva (softness
and smoothness on
5. Kajjalabhasa (smooth Passed Passed
and black powder)
6. Apunarbhava (should Passed Passed
not regain its initial
metallic luster)
7. Gatarasatva (should Passed Passed
retain its tastelessness)
8. Visistavarnotpothi Passed Passed
(specific colour)
Table 6: Results of Physicochemical Tests [11,12,13]
S. No. Parameters Observations for Group Observations for Group 1
1 Kajjali prepared by 1st Kajjali prepared by 2nd
method method
1. pH of suspension 7.0 7.2
2. Ash value 0.12% 0.15%
3. Acid-insoluble ash 0.10% Nil
4. Water-soluble ash 0.03% Nil
5. Loss on drying Nil Nil
6. % mercury 83.4% 82.6%
7. % free mercury Nil Nil
8. % sulphur 85.3% 85.7%
9. % free sulphur 0.07% 0.07%
10. Carrs index 30 27.3
11. Angle of repose 23o 27o
SEM Results: Fig. 6 & 7

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Int. J. Ayur. Pharma Research, 2014; 2(5): 50-57 ISSN: 2322 - 0910
There were no differences noted in Mridutva and Slakshanatva,
the two Kajjali samples prepared by the two Kajjalabhasa, Gatarasatva and
different methods as far as the organoleptic Visistavarnotpothi are similar to the
characteristics are concerned. They were organoleptic characters of the powders.
found to be the same. As mentioned by the Both of the powders were smooth and soft,
Ayurvedic texts, the powder should be black black and tasteless.
in color, tasteless, with no shiny particles in Apunarbhava pertains to the ability
addition to being soft and smooth on touch. of the metal to regain its metallic luster such
Yet, the time taken for the powder to change that the original raw material is obtained.
color to black varies for the traditional and And this should not happen as far as the
the modified method. Undoubtedly, it did Kajjali powders are concerned. True is that
not take much time for the powder to turn Ayurveda says that the bond between
into a black and fine powder using the mercury and sulphur is bound to break over
grinder and eventually it took less time for a certain period of time, but as far as it is
the shiny particles to disappear in the used when the Kajjali is still formed, there
grinder. One reason for that may be due to would be no harm.
the difference in the application of pressure
during manually triturating. Anjanabhasa refers to the suitability
of the Kajjali samples to be used as a
As far as the alchemical properties coryllium. However, Kajjali is not used as a
are concerned, the first one is the criteria coryllium. It is just a way to depict that the
pertaining to which the Kajjali powder Kajjali particles are fine enough so as not to
should easily enter and be fixed in between cause any kind of irritation to the eyes. As
the furrows (depressions) of the fingers. In the particle size of both the samples meet
that respect, both the samples complied the requirements, no questions were raised
with the test because of the very fine nature about this property.
of the particles owing to long hours of
trituration. CONCLUSION
Ayurveda stipulates that the Kajjali A modern method, involving
sample should pass the Varitaratva test grinding, was employed to prepare Kajjali.
which means that the particles should be Simultaneously, another Kajjali sample was
able to float on still water. And it is common prepared by the traditional method. The
sense that if the first test was passed then two Kajjali samples were then compared
there should be absolutely no difficulties for and assessed taking into consideration
the particles to float on still water because organoleptic traits, alchemical properties
of the very fine particle size distribution of and physicochemical characteristics for the
the powder. This property can be correlated same.
with the density of the particles, which has Both of the Kajjali samples were
to be less than that of water for it to be able found to possess similar alchemical
to float on it. In turn, density is associated to properties as per the Ayurvedic classics.
the mass to volume ratio of the Kajjali One important observation is that
particles. both the methods yielded Kajjali samples
Nishchandratva is a confirmatory which did not have any trace of free
test of whether the Kajjali has been formed mercury, which remains a primary requisite
or not. This test confirms the absence of to conclude that they will not be exhibiting
shining particles in the powders. This was any kind of toxicity due to free mercury.
an indication of the completion of the Also, the SEM results indicate that
Mardana (trituration process). The powders the particle size distribution for both the
were observed in both sunlight and torch samples was falling in the same micrometer
light.. ranges.
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7. Palbag S, Gautam D. Chemical

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Cite this article as: *Address for correspondence

Seeneevassen Ajaghen, Nagras Madhuri. Comparison of Kajjali Seeneevassen Ajaghen
Prepared by Traditional and Modern Methods. Int. J. Ayur. P. G. Scholar
Pharma Research. 2014;2(5):50-57. Sinhgad College of Pharmacy
Source of support: Nil, Conflict of interest: None Declared Off Sinhgad Road, Vadgaon (Bk)
Pune 411041, Maharashtra, India.
Phone : +918856895814

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Int. J. Ayur. Pharma Research, 2014; 2(5): 50-57 ISSN: 2322 - 0910


Fig 1: Ashuddha Parada Fig 2: Purification of

(Impure Mercury) Fig 3: Purified Mercury
Mercury with garlic juice

Fig 4. Purified Sulphur Fig 5. Mixture of purified Fig 6. Mixture of purified

Mercury and Sulphur at 0 Mercury and Sulphur at 6
hours of trituration hours of trituration

Fig 7. Mixture of purified Mercury and

Fig 8. Mixture of purified Mercury
Sulphur at 12 hours of trituration
and Sulphur at 24 hours of trituration

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Seeneevassen Ajaghen, Nagras Madhuri. Comparison of Kajjali Prepared by Traditional and Modern Methods

Fig 9. Kajjali being prepared in grinder Fig 10. Kajjali being prepared in grinder


Fig 11. SEM of Kajjali prepared by 1st method

Fig 12. SEM of Kajjali prepared by 2nd method

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