Module on “Swarnaprashan” by Dr. Prashant Gupta

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Introduction

Lehana (to lick or lickables) is unique concept of balroga given in Indian ancient classics. Lehana is semisolid combination contains ghrit(clarified butter), madhu(honey), and various herbal drugs adopted to make drugs easily palatable or lickable to children. In Kashyap Samhita a separate chapter on Lehana is devoted to explain its various forms, uses, indications and contraindications etc.

The purpose of Lehana is to supplement nutrition, enhance immunity, develop physical and mental strength and a convenient method of administration of medicine to children.

Swarnaprashan is one of the Lehana type in which Swarna bhasma, honey, ghee and herbal drugs are given in various combinations for desirable benefits.

Evolution of swarnaprashan

Time Ancient Classic content Indication/ benefit
6th BCE Kashyap Samhita Swarna, Ghrit, Honey Medha, Agnibala, Aysuhya,

Mangalam, Punyam, Vrishyam,

Varnyam, Grahapaham, Shrutdhar

2nd – 1st BCE Sushrut Samhita Swarna (Kanchan, Kanak, Hema), Ghrita, Honey, Herbs- Kushta, Vacha, Matsaykshi, Shankhapushpi, Arkapushpi, Kaidarya, Shweta Durva. Medha Bala Vardhan
6th AD Ashtang Sangrah Swarna (hema raja), Vacha Medha, Rakshoghna

and Agnivardhan

7th AD Ashtang hriday Swarna, Ghrita, Honey, Sweta Vacha,

 Matsaykshi, Shankhapushpi, Arkapushpi,

Kaidarya, Shweta Durva.

Medha, Bala Vardhan, Varnyam
13th AD Sharangdhar Swarna Bhasma, Ghrita, Honey Given at birth
13th-14th AD Rasaratna

Sammuchaya

Swarna Bhasma, Pipalli, Honey
16th AD Bhavprakash Swarna Bhasma, Ghrita, Honey, Kushtha, Vacha, Matsaykshi, Shankhapushpi, Arkapushpi, Kaidarya, Shweta Durva. Medha Bala

Pushtikara

16th AD Yogaratnakar Same as Bhavprakash Medha Bala Vardhan
18th AD Bhaishajya

Ratnawali

Swarna Bhasma, Ghrita, Honey,

Kushta, Vacha, Abhya, Brahmi

Varna, Ayu , Kanti Vardhan

 

 

General Information about Swarnaprashan (SP)

Dosage of SwarnaprashanAcharya kashyap has not mentioned the precise doses of Swarnaprashan. Classical text dosages of Swarna bhasma is considered routinely for calculation of  SP dose.

2 Gunja (250mg) Rasaratna Samucchaya

1/8 -1/4 ratti (15 mg -30mg) Rasatarangini

15.5-62.5 mg – Ayurvedic Pharmacopia of India.

 

Current Swarnaprashan publication

 

Preparation Name Gold Form Other herbs Dose and adjuvant Indication Duration Result References
Swarnabindu Prashan Bhasma Honey, Ghrita 4mg gold/dose Healthy children Daily on the day of pushya nakshatra for 6 months Improved eating habit, weight, height , mood, reduced  frequency and severity of illness, improvement in IQ, behaviour complaints, Patil aniket etal ,july 2017
Swarnamrita prashan Bhasma Honey ,Ghrita, Guduchi, Kashaya Vacha,

Jatamansi,

Ashwagandha, Shankhapushpi Yashtimadhu, Pippali,, Maricha

2mg gold/dose Cough and common cold (3 to 8yr Children) 30 days daily/ empty stomach Reduction in complain of cough, rhonchi, tonsillitis, sleep disturbance, dysponea, pharyngitis Rao N Prasanna etal. 2012
Swarnaprashan Bhasma Honey, Ghrit 1mg gold bhasma upto 5 year, above 5 year, 2mg gold bhasma Children with recurrent respiratory, GIT, and other recurrent infections   (3 -10 year children) 30 days daily/empty stomach Improvement in recurrent sneezing, nasal discharge, cough, loose stool, vomiting, loss of appetite Kritika Joshi et. al
March 2018
Swarnaprashan Bhasma Honey ,Ghrita, Vacha, Kushta 1mg/kg body weight Healthy children(up to 12 year) Every 27th day of month upto 1 year, Singnificant weight gain Ramteke RD et. al, 2014
Swarnaprashan Bhasma Honey, Ghrita 0.7mg Swarna bhasma Full term newborn – 0 to 3 days, Daily once a day in morning for 6 weeks Episodes of common illnes (recurrent respiratory tract infection, diarrheal episodes and skin problems) infrequent or absent, Renal and liver function test were normal, increase weight, height, HC, CC, increase in lymphocyte count. Poonam singh et al
2016
Swarnamritaprashan Bhasma Honey ,Ghrita, Guduchi, Va, Jm, Ag, Sp, Ym,  Pi, Ma. 4 drops of swarnamrita prashan( 2 mg gold /dose) Healthy children ( 1 to 2 year) Daily on the day of pushya nakshata for 9 months Improvement in development and deviation quotients of motor and mental age .Improvement in weight, height, head, chest, mid upper arm circumference. Kannan
Sagar Shailaja U
Etal.2018
Swarnaprashan Bhasma Honey ,Ghrita , Brahmi Sp,Va, Ym, Ag Bala Swarnaprashan 1mg/ml Children ( 0- 15 yr ) complain of recurrent respiratory illness , gastrointestinal ailments Pushya nakshata for 1 yr 9

( total 14 dose )

Improvement in weight, height, HC, CC and decrease frequency of illness ,improves in dhi ,dhriti, smriti Dr depak Khawale et al  2017
Swarnaprashan Bhasma Honey, Ghrita, Brahmi, Shankhapushpi, Vacha,

Guduchi

4 drops of swarnaprashan Preterm(less than 37 wk)  0- 3 yr Daily on the day of pushya nakshata for 6 month Improvement in weight , height , recurrency of disease decreased Rathi renu et al 2017
Swarnaprashan Pure gold as shalaka (24 carat) Honey,

Ghrita

Pure gold 3 circle ( 0.07235% w/w) Children upto 5 year Daily on the day of pushya nakshata ( total 20 doses ) Improvement in wt., ht, HC, frequency of respiratory and GI tract infection decreased. No any clinical toxicity , adverse effect seen Jayabhay vikas et al 2016

 

 

 

Swarnaprashan and Market

Now these days due the popularity and awarness about Swarnaprashan lot of preparations in the name of swarnaprashan are available in the market. We have gone through the gold content and price of the 17 different swarnaprashan. Surprisingly there is huge variation in the cost of swarnaprashan from 100rs/5ml upto 642rs/5ml and if we see the mean it is almost 284rs. Only 4 among 17 brands have shown the concentration of gold. When we go for the swarnaprashan it becomes quite difficult to choose and rely on which brand? In this regard authorities should come forward for quality control and regulation of the rates of swarnaprashan. But any swarnaprashan whose cost ranging between  218-284rs is optimum to purchase.

Ghrit

  • Immunomodulator

Due to presence of short chain fatty acids

  • Antioxidant

Vitamin A, E, carotene,SCFAs prevents lipid peroxidation

Increases the antioxidant enzyme activities (SOD, CAT, GST)

  • Hypolipidemia

MUFAs-Decreases total cholesterol, LDL, TGs, CLA, LDL

Vitamin D, Steroid, Sex hormones synthesis

Cholesterol

Honey

  • Antioxidant

Low Ph, acidic environment, hydrogen peroxide, flavonoids, phenolic contentsrestore antioxidants  enzymes (CAT, GPx)

  • Antimicrobial

Phenolic and flavonoids content, increase beta carotene, vitamin C, GR enzyme

  • Anti inflammatory

Decreases proinflammatory cytokines such as IL- 6, TNF-α, COX-2 , PGE2, NO, iNOS

  • Immunomodulator

Stimulate T, B lymphocytes, neutrophils

  • Wound healing

Increase stimulation and production of lymphocytes, phagocytes, monocytes /macrophages

Swarna bhasma

  • Immunomodulator

Increases peritoneal macrophage and   phagocytic   index  of macrophages

  • Antioxidant

Increases antioxidant enzymes SOD, Catalase, GST, GSH, GPD, GR and decreased lipid peroxidation, so act as neuroprotective, rejuvenator.

  • Antistress

Restored the altered level of brain catecholamines (norepinephrine,  epinephrine, dopamine),  serotonine, corticosterol

Increases  Acetylcholine level in brain by decreasing AChE activity ,and improving learning and memory.

 

Collective properties of Swarna, ghrit, honey in the form of swarnaprashan promotes generalised immunity, intelligence, digestion capacity and strength.

In context of swarnaprashan in sushrut samhita sharir sthan 10 achrya has told about Matsyakshi among herbs used in swarnaprashan. Now in some available commentaries of sushrut samhita author has considered it as Brahmi. But, there is difference in the phytochemistry of Alternanthera sisselis and Bacopa monnieri. Use of Alternanthera sisselis is recommended.

Lacunae

  • Sound silence upon swarnaprashan in AFI
  • Precise dose of swarnaprashan according to pediatric age, weight, BMI or parameters of dose calculation not clearly mentioned anywhere.
  • There is variation in the contents of swarnaprashan of individual or different pharmaceutical companies.
  • There is inter centre variation in the use of swarnaprashan for disease or health promotion is high.
  • Variable swarnaprashan practices in different regions are not therapeutically, pharmacologically evaluated.
  • We have searched pubmed, Scopus, google scholar, research gate etc. but there is limited study published on Swarnaprashan.
  • Limited study published upon toxicity of Swarnaprashan
  • Standard operating procedure (SOP) – There is no clear description about method of preparation of There is inter individual variation in method of preparation of Swarnaprashan in different research papers. Ratio of ghrita, honey(equal or unequal) and herbs quantity is not clear.
  • Physicochemical characterisation of Swarnaprashan is still not done. Its absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion (ADME) is also not well undertaken.

 

Future prospect

  • A public health initiative

Now various practitioners, institutions are organizing the swarnaprashan camps due to which its popularity is increasing, people are aware about the benefits of swarnaprashan. So, it may prove as a good public health initiative

  • Standalone or along with immunization

Immunomodulation is a well known and proven effect of swarnaprashan. Various publications has advocated it’s role in enhancing the immunity. It can be stand side by side with immunization or may stand alone.

  • Disease specific intervention

It may play imperative role in prevention of diseases. One such example is from Gorakhpur (UP) where cases of Japanese Encephalitis(JE) has significantly decreased after administration of swarnaprashan in children.

  • Adjuvant capacity

It should be screened

 

Research Potential

Although now research is going on in this regard but there are so many effects of swarnaprashan mentioned in different samhitas which needs to be explored on scientific background. Few of them are as follows

  • Varnya

Melanogenesis pathways

Desqamation pigmentation

Melanin transfer mechanism

  • Chakshushya

Vision correction

Retinopathy of prematurity

Retinal repair

  • Medhya

AChE activities

NMDA receptors

BDNF activities

  • Immunomodulation

Phagocytic activities

TLR signaling pathways

TH1 and TH2

 

Multiple choice questions

1.Purpose of swarnaprashan is

(i) to supplement nutrition

(ii) enhance immunity

(iii) promotes physical and mental health

(iv) all of the above

  1. contents of swarnaprashan according to Acharya Kashyap are

(i) swarna , vacha

(ii) swrana, madhu and ghrit

(iii)swarna bhasma, ghrit and honey

(iv) none of the above

  1. according to Rasatarangini dose of swarnaprashan is

(i)1-3mgmg

(ii)3-5mg

(iii)10-15mg

(iv)15-30mg

  1. Which statement is correct about Ghrit

(i) causes hyperlipidemia

(ii) enhances the immunity by decreasing the short chain fatty acids

(iii) enhances the immunity by increasing the short chain fatty acids

(iv) decreases the activity of SOD, CAT, GST

  1. Which statement is correct about swarna bhasma

(a) improves the cognitive function

(b) decreases the level of acetylcholine in brain

(c) increases the phagocytic index of macrophages

(d)increases antioxidant enzymes

(i) a & b

(ii) a, b & c

(iii) a, c & d

(iv) a, b, c & d

6.According to API recommended dose of Swarnaprashan is

(i)10.5-20.5mg

(ii)15-30mg

(iii)15.5-62.5mg

(iv)62.5-120mg

7.Benefits of Swarnaprashan are

(i)medha, agni, bala vardhanam

(ii)Ayushyam

(iii)Mangalam

(iv)all of the above

  1. The term Swarnaprashan is coined by

(i)Acharya sushrut

(ii) Acharya Vagbhatt

(iii) Acharya Charak

(iv) None

  1. Match the following

(a)Kashyap Samhita   (1) Swarna (hema raja), Vacha

 

(b)Ashtang Hriday      (2) Swarna, Ghrita, Honey, Sweta Vacha,Matsaykshi, Shankhapushpi,Arkapushpi, Kaidarya, Shweta Durva

(c)Ashtang Sangrah    (3) Swarna, Ghrita, Honey

 

(d)Sushrut Samhita     (4) Swarna (Kanchan, Kanak, Hema), Ghrita, Honey, Herbs- Kushta, Vacha, Matsaykshi, Shankhapushpi, Arkapushpi, Kaidarya, Shweta Durva.

 

(i)A-3, B-2, C-1, D-4

(ii) A-3, B-2, C-4, D-1

(iii) A-3, B-1, C-4, D-2

(iv) none

  1. Future prospects of swarnaprashan can be

(i)specific disease intervention

(ii)adjuvant capacity

(iii)immunization

(iv)all

Suggested Readings

Kashyap Samhita, Sutra Sthan, Lehadyaya

Sushrut Samhita, Sharir Sthan, 10/13-15

Ashtang Hridaya, Uttar Sthan, 1/9

Ashtang Sangrah, Uttar Tantra, 49/29-34

doi: 10.4103/0974-8520.158978

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