Makshika (Pyrite) Types, Shodhana, Marana, Satvapatana

Makshika is the 3rd maharasa told by Rasaratnasamuchaya. Makshika is told for medicinal use from samhita period and later was used for ‘lohavada’ purpose.

In the field of Rasashastra, makshika is classified into 3 types-


i. Swarna makshika – Copper pyrite ( Cu2 S1 Fe2 S3)
ii. Rajata makshika – Iron pyrite ( Fe2 S3)
iii. Kamsya makshika – Iron pyrite ( Fe2 S3)
Read – Swarna Makshik Bhasma Benefits, Dosage, Ingredients, Side Effects

Swarna makshik:
This is known as Copper pyrite or chelco pyrite.
It is a mixture of sulphur and copper.
The best variety of Swarnamakshika is golden colored, devoid of angles, heavy and leaves dark spots in hands upon rubbing. It is an ore of copper.

Rajata makshika is a combination of iron and and sulphur and has silver color.
It has a rain drop appearance, devoid of any angles and heavy in weight.

Kansya makshikam:
Kamsya makshika is also a combination of iron and sulphur but with copper color appearance.
It is also devoid of any angles and has a drop like appearance.
Swarna makshik is considered as the best among the three and used for therapeutic use.

Before swarna maksheeka is used for therapeutic use, it should be subjected for the process of shodhana.
Use of impure makshika can cause indigestion, eye diseases, skin diseases and diseases related to thyroid.

Classical reference

Makshika shodhana:
Makshika is made into pottali and subjected for the process of swedana for 3 hours using equal parts of nimbu rasa and eranda taila (castor oil). Later it is heated to red hot and washed in hot water.

Powder of swarna makshika is added with 1/3 rd parts of saindhava lavana and kept in a pan. After covering the pan, it is subjected to heat for 3 hours. Later, the mixture is added with sufficient quantity of lemon juice and again subjected for intense heat for 3 hours after covering the pan. The pan is removed from the source of fire and allowed for self cooling. Next day, the purified makshika is scrapped from the pan and washed for a couple of times to remove the salt content.
Read related: Vaikranta Shodhana, Marana, Satvapatana

Other methods of shodhana:
• Swarnamakshika is heated to red hot and dipped in either lemon juice or triphala kashaya for 21 times.
• Swarnamakshika is subjected to swedana using kadalikanda rasa for 3 hours.
Read – Introduction To Rasashastra: Using Metals And Minerals To Heal

Makshika marana:
Equal quantity of makshika powder and sulphur powder is taken in a khalvayantra and trituration is done using nimbu rasa. Small and flat cake is prepared and kept for drying. After complete drying, the cakes are subjected for ‘varaha puta’. The whole procedure is repeated for 5 times to obtain makshika bhasma.

Other methods:
800 grams of swarnamakshika powder is mixed with 100 grams of purified hingula powder and triturated with adequate quantity of lemon juice. Later small cakes of it is prepared and dried. It is subjected for ‘gaja puta’. The whole procedure is repeated for 8 times.

Medicinal dose

Color and dose of bhasma:
Color of makshika bhasma is red and the dose is 60-125 mg depending upon the strength of the patient and disease.


Triphala kashaya, Ghee, Honey, Trikatu powder

Satwapatana of makshika bhasma:
Swarna Makshika powder is mixed with 1/4th quantity of Tankana, taken in Musha, and subjected to intense heat to get its Satwa.

Alternate method:
The powder of makshika is triturated 7 times with madhu, gomutra, ghrita and kadalikanda swarasa and made into a bolus. Later it is put in a musha and subjected for heat to get the satwa of makshika which is in copper color.

Ash properties

Makshika bhasma properties:
Rasa: Tinge of Amla (sour), Kashaya (astringent) and Madhura (sweet)
Guna: Laghu (light)
Veerya: Sheeta
Vipaka: Katu

Use of Makshika bhasma:
Swarna makshika bhasma can be used in proper dose and anupana to treat conditions of long standing fever, epileptic, indigestion, insomnia.
Read related: Abhraka Shodhana, Marana, Satvapatana

Studies done

Research articles related to Makshika:
Review on Swarna makshika:
The references about Swarna Makshika are found in ancient Ayurvedic texts like Charaka Samhita, Sushruta Samhita, Ashtanga Sangraha etc. Swarna Makshika is the most abundant Copper bearing mineral. The present study aims at comprehensive literary review on Swarna Makshika. (1)

Analytical study of raw Swarna makshika:
Analysis reveals the presence of iron, copper, and sulphur in Swarna makshika. In addition to these elements, Swarna makshika bhasma found to contain Potassium, Magnesium, Aluminum, and Silicon in trace amount.

Pharmaceutical standardization of swarnamakshika bhasma:
Pharmaceutical standardization is phenomenal requirement of Swarna Makshik Bhasma. Shodhana and marana procedures causes physicochemical changes in the raw material which ultimately attribute to its medicinal efficacy and safety. (2)

Metallographic study of Swarna makshika bhasma:
The raw Swarna makshika shows the crystallinity, conchoidal structure and larger size of the grain, metallographic microscope shows similar pattern of darkness and brightness where as in bhasma crystalinity was not found and grain size reduced significantly, in metallographic microscope different color and patterns are seen due to presence of different compounds formed due to process effect. ()

Notable formulations

Important formulations containing makshika:
Chandraprabha Vati – A traditional Ayurvedic medicine used to the treatment of disorders pertaining to urinary tract.
Rasamrita Rasa
Ratnagarbha Pottali
Panchamrita Rasa
Jayamangala Rasa – It is an Ayurvedic medicine used in fever, chronic and intermittent fever.
Trailokyachintamani rasa – A traditional Ayurvedic medicine used in general debility.
Chaturmukha Rasa – Ayurvedic medicine in tablet form used in the treatment of asthma, anemia, diabetes etc.
Navagraha Rasa

M.D (Ayu), Ph.D
E mail: [email protected]
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