Chelation therapy and chelating agents of Ayurveda

Shruti Pandey


Consumption of metals and minerals are very common in today’s life either in the form of medicine or in the form of commercial products. However, the accumulation of free metals above the normal level in human body is the prime cause of metal toxicity. To remove this toxicity from human body chelation therapy is adopted by modern system of medicine, where different chelating agents are described. Chelation therapy is the preferred medical treatment for reducing the toxic effects of metals. Chelating agents are capable of binding to toxic metal ions to form complex structures which are easily excreted from the body removing them from intracellular or extracellular spaces. Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid and 2,3-Dimercaprol are some of the common chelating agents, which have been used for the chelation of lead or arsenic poisoning. However, serious side effects of these agents have been reported by causing the loss of essential metals and minerals from the body. This may lead researchers to develop less toxic analogs. In Ayurveda (Ayur = life, Veda = science; the science of life) system of medicine, metals and minerals in the form of medicines (Rasaushadhies) are frequently used to treat different diseases. Yet, the ancient scholars of Ayurveda while practicing came to know about the ill-effects of these medicines on human body which may be caused due to the use of medicines made from improper processed metals and minerals. At the same time, they advised to administer various natural substances in the form of antidotes such as honey, ghee, cow’s milk, garlic, coriander, turmeric, and coconut water to remove ill effects or toxicity occurred from these medicines. These natural antidotes may consider as chelating agents of Ayurveda, which not only helpful to remove the toxic effects of metal and minerals without causing any side effects but also protect the loss of essential elements from the body. Thus, in this review study, we have tried to correlate the natural antidotes as explained in Ayurveda vis-à-vis with the term chelation or chelating agents of contemporary science.

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