Gandhaka Rasayana – Benefits, Dosage, Ingredients, Side Effects

Gandhaka Rasayana is an Ayurvedic medicine in herbal powder or tablet form. It is used in the treatment of skin diseases, itching, chronic fever, urinary tract disorders etc.

Gandhaka Rasayana  uses: 

  • It is used to treat chronic fever, skin diseases, diarrhoea, urinary tract disorders, pruritis, malabsorption syndrome, bleeding disorders, oligospermia.
  • It is anti aging medicine, improves digestion, skin complexion and immunity.

Effect on Tridosha – Balances Vata, Pitta and Kapha.

Gandhaka Rasayana

Traditional indication:
Veeryakara – improves immunity, fertility and potency
Pushtikara – improves nourishment
Drudhadeha – improves body strength and stamina
Vahnikara – improves digestion strength
Prajakara – improves fertility in men and women
Kesha Krushnakara – Reileves grey hairs

Indicated in –
Dhatu Kshayaja Roga – diseases arising due to depleted body tissues – such as muscle wasting, tuberculosis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, leading to severe weight loss etc.
Kandu – itching
Kushta – skin diseases
Shiro roga – diseases pertaining to head, headache
Visha – toxic conditions
For the treatment of above conditions, it is administered for a period of two months.
For the treatment of below conditions, it is administered for a period of six months.
Atisara – diarrhea, dysentery
Grahani – Malabsorption syndrome, Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Raktadosha – blood vitiation disorders such as abscess, bleeding disorders, vascular disorders etc
Hrutshoola – pain in cardiac region, gastritis
Jeernajwara – later stages of fever
Prameha – Urinary tract disorders, diabetes
Vatavyadhi – Neurological disorders such as paralysis, hemiplegia, neuropathy,  joint disorders etc
Koshtaroga – Intestine related disorders such as IBS, Ulcerative colitis

Gandhak Rasayan Dosage:
Traditional dose – 1 Masha – 1 gram
1 – 3 grams, once or twice a day before or after food or as directed by Ayurvedic doctor.

Dose based on age:
Children up to 5 years of age: not more than 250 mg per day.
5 – 12 years of age: 250 mg – 1 gram in divided doses per day.
Adults – 1 – 3 grams in divided doses per day.

How long to take?
This medicine can be safely taken for a period of upto 2- 6 months, based on your doctor’s advice.

Gandhak Rasayan  Side Effects:
Self medication with this medicine is strictly not recommended. Take this only under strict medical supervision.
Take this medicine in precise dose and for limited period of time, as advised by doctor.
Diabetic, hypertensive patients, cardiac patients, obese people, pregnant ladies, lactating mothers and children should take this medicine strictly under medical supervision.
People with diabetes should check if the product contains sugar, before taking it.
Keep out of reach and sight of children. Store in a dry cool place.

Gandhaka Rasayanam ingredients and how to make?
10 g fine powder of Gandhaka – Purified Sulphur
Godugdha – Cow milk
It is ground till dryness for 8 times each with the following.
Water decoction / juice extract of
Twak – Cinnamon – Cinnamomum zeylanicum
Ela – Cardamom – Elettaria cardamomum
Patra – Cinnamomum tamala
Nagakeshara – Mesua ferrea
Guduchi – Indian Tinospora (stem) – Tinospora cordifolia
Haritaki – Chebulic Myrobalan (fruit rind) – Terminalia chebula
Amalaki -Indian Gooseberry- Emblica officinalis / Phyllanthus emblica
Vibhitaki – Belliric Myrobalan – Terminalia bellirica
Shunti – Ginger (rhizome) – Zingiber officinalis
Bhringaraja – Eclipta alba
Ardraka – Ginger (rhizome) – Zingiber officinalis
Sita – Sugar Syrup

Method of manufacture:
As per classical reference, the Purified Sulphur (Shuddha Gandhaka) is ground with cow milk for three times.
Then, it is ground for 8 times with each of the following liquids.
Triphala Kashaya – water decoction of Triphala (Haritaki, Vibhitaki and Amalki)
Chaturjata Phanta – A tea prepared with Chaturjata – Cardamom, cardamom leaves, cinnamon and Nagakesar (Mesua ferrea)
Guduchi Kashaya – decoction of Indian Tinospora
Bhringaraja kashaya – decoction of Eclipta alba
Shrungavera rasa – fresh ginger juice extract.

Rigorous grinding turns the mass into fine paste.
It is rolled into pills or stored in powder form and administered along with equal parts of unrefined sugar.
But some manufacturers add sugar to the ingredients and prepare tablets or powders.

Reference: Yogaratnakara Rasayana Adhikara 1 – 4, Rasatarangini 8th chapter

Diet restrictions:
Usually while taking medicines with Gandhaka (Purified Sulphur) as main ingredient, below things should be avoided.
Kshara – Excess alkaline foods and medicines
Amla – excess sour foods
Lavana – excess salt
Kopa – anger
Vanitasukha – coitus
Dvidalani – dicotyledons
Shaka – excess green leafy vegetables.
Pitta aggravating diet and routines.

Gandhaka rasayana for the treatment of Mercury poisoning:
In ancient times, Vaidyas preparing Purified Mercury containing medicines, called Rasaushadhis were taking Shuddha Gandhaka – purified sulfur continuously. They new that
Mercury is volatile and can enter into body even with inhalation
Impure Mercury is toxic and hence the need for purification before administration.

Hence, many Ancient text books advise to administer Gandhaka (Sulfur) containing medicines to people who work with Mercury.

While discussing mercury poisoning, Dr Hymen states as below –
“The only way it can get out of your body is via urine, feces, expired air, and breast milk. The major reason it is toxic to human biology is because mercury has the ability to bind to sulfur-containing molecules in the body (found in nearly every enzyme and in the mitochondria), as well as other chemical binding sites in the cells.”

“The only way to find out your total body load of mercury is to take a medication with sulfur molecules that binds to the mercury like fly paper.”

Hence, the ancient Vaidyas were right in using Shuddha Gandhaka on themselves and also administering Gandhaka containing medicines in case of Mercurial poisoning.

Gandhak rasayan is a very good way of taking Sulfur.

Another point is,
If you analyse Purified Mercury containing Ayurvedic medicines (called Rasa Aushadhis), 99 % of them have purified Sulfur as an ingredient.
Makaradhwaja – used as heart tonic, aphrodisiac and immunity booster
Shwas Kas Chintamani Ras –  used in the treatment of respiratory diseases
You can further explore many such medicines here

I am not indicating that it is the specific antidote for Mercury poisoning. But if you have suffered from Mercury poisoning, it makes sense to talk about Gandhaka Rasayana with your Ayurvedic doctor for its prescription.

Shelf life: Two years from the date of manufacturing. If you have opened the seal of the container, better to finish the medicine within 2 – 3 months.

Pharmacology of Gandhaka Rasayana:
It is available in powder or tablet format. It is processed with a wide range of herbal teas. For this reasons, Gandak Rasayan is the best way to administer Shuddha Gandhaka (purified sulphur).
It acts as anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti pruritic and anti inflammatory agent.
It is a very good blood purifier (Rakta Shodhaka), widely useful in infective disorders affecting skin such as – scabies,  Hand foot and mouth disease, leprosy, eczema, cystic acne (with infection), tinea infection etc.

Research: Antifungal activity

Manufacturer: Alva Pharmacy, Dabur, Zandu.Baidyanath, Dhootapepshwar, Dabur, Chirayu, Amrita.
Zandu – 30 tablets in a strip.
Baidyanath – 40 tablets in a jar.

Price: 1.5 – 2 rupee per tablet

Strength of the product – 300 – 500 mg tablet.

Dr JV Hebbar is an Ayurveda Doctor, Lecturer, From Mangalore, India. Click here to consult Dr Hebbar
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  1. Can this be given to a 60 year old women having skin issues, because of blood impurities? Also, it is same as Gandhakaraja Rasayana from Kotakkal?

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