ArticlePDF Available


  • State Unani Medical College & Hospital, Prayagraj, UP, India


Phitkari (Alum) is a very renowned and useful drug in Unani and Ayurvedic system of medicine. It is a drug of mineral origin, found in the form of crystals resembling to salt. It is called Zaj-e-Abyaz in Arabic and Shibb-e-Yamani in Persian, and Alum in English. It is a very ancient medicine; first time Alum was prepared in Bilade Mashriqiya (Asian countries). The earliest surviving discussions of Phitkari in the literature of antiquity are the works of the Greek physician Dioscorides. Arab physicians especially Razi discussed it in details. Razi included Alum among the types of vitriol, probably due to the similarities in their astringent qualities and mode of occurrence in his Book of Secrets (Kitab al-asrar). It is used as antiseptic, antipyretic, antispasmodic, hemostyptic. It is also used in many compound formulations in various dosage forms. In this paper, Alum is reviewed for its pharmacological and physicochemical properties due to its importance and beneficent medical indications. Keywords: Shibb-e-Yamani, Alum, Phitkari, drug, Unani, medicine, physicochemical, pharmacological activity
Akhtar Ali et al / Int. J. Res. Ayurveda Pharm. 8 (2), 2017
Review Article
Akhtar Ali 1, Hamiduddin 2*, Mohammad Zaigham 1
1Department of Ilmul Saidla (Unani Pharmacy), Z.H. Unani Medical Collage & Hospital, Siwan
2Lecturer, Department of Ilmul Saidla (Unani Pharmacy), National Institute of Unani Medicine (NIUM) Kottigepalya,
Magadi main Road, Bengaluru, India
3PG Scholar, Department of Ilmul Saidla (Unani Pharmacy), National Institute of Unani Medicine (NIUM)
Kottigepalya, Magadi main Road, Bengaluru, India
Received on: 03 /01/17 Revised on: 18/02/17 Accepted on: 22/02/17
*Corresponding author
DOI: 10.7897/2277-4343.08255
Phitkari (Alum) is a very renowned and useful drug in Unani and Ayurvedic system of medicine. It is a drug of mineral origin, found in the form of
crystals resembling to salt. It is called Zaj-e-Abyaz in Arabic and Shibb-e-Yamani in Persian, and Alum in English. It i s a very ancient medicine; first
time Alum was prepared in Bilade Mashriqiya (Asian countries). The earliest surviving discussions of Phitkari in the literature of antiquity are t he
works of the Greek physician Dioscorides. Arab physicians especially Razi di scussed it in details. Razi included Alum a mong t he types of vitriol,
probably due to t he similarities in their astringent qualities and mode of occurrence in his Book of Secrets (Kitab al-asrar). It is used as antiseptic,
antipyretic, antispasmodic, hemostyptic. It i s also used in many compound formulat ions in vari ous dosage forms. In t his paper, Alum is revie wed for
its pharmacological and physicochemical properties due to its importance and beneficent medical indications.
Keywords: Shibb-e-Ya mani, Alum, Phitkari, drug, Unani, medicine, physicochemical, pharmacological activity
Phitkari (Alum) is a mineral origin drug, named due to its Qabiz
(astringent) property and action.1 It is called Zaj-e-Abyaz in
Arabic and Shibb-e-Yamani in Persian, and Alum in English.2
According to Unani medicine literature it is styptic (Kasela), and
some are sour in taste, It is soluble in water, dissolve when
heated.3 Phitkari is transparent, Burraq (type of salt) like
friable.4 It is soluble ten times in normal water and three times in
warm water.5 Its weight is less than salt.15 Alum is a general
double sulphates containing aluminium.6
Historical aspect: For the first-time Alum was prepared in
Bilade Mashriqiya (Asian countries), it is very ancient medicine.
According to author of Umdatul Muhtaj, Hippocrates mentioned
about Phitkari.3 The earliest surviving discussions of Phitkari in
the literature of antiquity are the works of the Greek physician
Dioscorides (first century AD)3 and the Roman naturalist Pliny
the Elder (79 AD). Dioscorides mentioned Alum as mineral due
to its type of origin. Greeks called it chalcanthon, in Latin it
was called Atramentum sutorium (blackening agent for leather).7
Ancient Greeks and Romans used aluminium salts as dyeing
mordents and as astringents for dressing wounds; Alum is still
used as a styptic.
Nature and types: According to Ibn Hubal Baghdadi Zaj are
four types (1) Zaj-e-Abyaz (white Alum): that is free from sands
and stones, also known as Qalqadees (2) Zaj-e-Asfar (yellow
Alum) also known as Qalqatar (3) Zaj-e-Akhzar (green Alum)
also known as Qalqand (4) Zaj-e-Ahmar (Red Alum) also
known as Soori and Soghmar. All types of Zaj are soluble in
water except Zaj-e-Ahmar because it is very tough, hard and
coagulated. Zaj-e-Abyaz and Akhzar are best quality of them;
Zaj-e-Asfar is Mutadil. The best quality of Zaj is that, which is
easily breakable.8,9 According to Al-Maghribi it has five types,
and best type is Sabz Qabrisi, i.e. Lateef QawiI.10 Najmul ghani
mention in Khazain al-Advia that there are 17 to 18 types of
alum3 but only three special types are used in treatment. (1)
Sahti (Mushaqqaq) (broken in pieces) (2) Istriqooli means
Mustadir (round shape) (3) Awagira means Ratab (wet). The
best type of these is Mushaqqaq it is bright, white, fresh, more
sour and clean from all types of adulterated sands like Tarheeli
(another Shora) that is found in Egypt.2 According to Majusi it
is found of various types, but best quality is Misri Zaj that is
round, compact and light golden in colour.11 In nearly all the
market in India, Alum (potash alum) in a more or less
contaminated state is sold under the name of Phitkari
(Hindustani / Indian name). It may be rendered fit for medicinal
uses by dissolving it in water, to obtain crystals, evaporating the
solution. It forms the main constituent, conjoined with peroxide
of iron, of Salajet or Alum earth of Nepal, which forms an
important article of the inhabitant Materia Medica. It is probably
a form of iron-alum for an account of this drug and its uses.
Another aluminous earth, named Pah. It was distinct to be a
variety of feather alum, in which the potassa is replaced by
peroxide of iron. Another earth from the same locality called
Meth or Met; contain 13.16 percent of alumina and 17.80
percent of peroxide of iron.12
Types of Alum
Potassium Alum: It is aluminum potassium sulfate also known
as tawas or potash alum. This is the type of alum that is found in
the grocery store for pickling and in baking powder. It is also
used in leather tanning, in water purification as a flocculants, in
Akhtar Ali et al / Int. J. Res. Ayurveda Pharm. 8 (2), 2017
after shave as an ingredient and as a treatment to fireproof
textiles. Its chemical formula is KAl (SO4)2.
Soda alum: Soda alum has the formula NaAl (SO4)2.12H2O. It
is used in baking powder and as an acidulent in food.
Ammonium Alum: Its formula is NH4Al (SO4)2.12H2O. It is
used for many of the same purposes as potassium alum and soda
alum. Ammonium alum finds applications in tanning, flame
retardant, textiles, dyeing making textiles, in the manufacture of
porcelain cements in water purification, vegetable glues, and in
some deodorants.
Chrome Alum: It is also known chromium alum. It has the
formula KCr(SO4)2.12H2O. It is deep violet compound used in
tanning and can be added to other alum to grow lavender or
purple crystals.
Selenate Alums: It occurs when selenium takes the place of
sulfur, so that instead of a sulfate you get a Selenate, (SeO42-).
The selenium containing alums are more strong oxidizing
agents, so as antiseptics they can be used, among other uses.
Aluminum Sulfate: Another name of this compound is
papermaker's alum. However, it is not technically alum.13 As
found in the market, it is frequently mixed with impurities; it
can be rendered fit for the medical uses by dissolving it in
boiling water, straining the solution and evaporating it to obtain
crystals. Alum is a general name for a class of double Sulphates
containing aluminium and such metals as potassium,
ammonium, iron etc.6 A double Sulphate of Ammonia and
alumina, NH4O, SO, Al2O8, 3SO8+24HO or NH4Al
(SO4)2.12H2O, prepared by different processes from aluminous
shale. It occurs in the form of colorless, transparent, crystalline
masses, exhibiting the faces of the regular octahedron, and
having an acid sweetish astringent taste.6
Alumen exsiccatum (dried Alum): Prepared by taking four
ounces of Alum and heating in a suitable vessel or other
porcelain dish till it liquefies, heat is then raise and continue till
aqueous vapor ceases to be disengaged, and the salt has lost 47
percent of its weight. Then residue is reduced to powder, and
preserve in wall stopped bottle. Its property is similar to Alum,
and more powerful. It is mild escharotics, its dose is 5-15
Controversies (Unani & general): Zaj in Unani medicine is
referred to vitriol in several texts which is a group of mineral
substances having sulfates of divalent metals. Vitriol are
recognized in modern science as hydrated sulfates of divalent
metals (iron, copper, magnesium and zinc), form as secondary
minerals inside the weathering zones of metallic sulfide
deposits, ancient time referred as ipyritesi. The iron and copper
varieties of vitriol were widely recognized and utilized in the
past, and were commonly referred to respectively as green
[melanterite (FeSO4. 7 H2O)] and blue vitriol [chalcanthite
(CuSO4 .5H 2O)]. An early attempt Persian physician and
alchemist Muhammad ibn Zakkariya ar-Razi (c. AD 854-
925/935) systemize the classification of mineral substances
beyond the level of metals, stones, and earths. In his Book of
Secrets (Kitab al-asrar), written around 900 AD, Razi classified
all substances known to him, first dividing them into four main
groups: mineral, vegetable, animal, and derivatives of these. The
latter included substances that ar-Razi was unable to include into
any of the three preceding groups, as for example Litharge
(basic lead carbonate), Verdigris (basic copper acetate), and
Tutia (zinc oxide). Among Ar-Razis table of mineral categories
vitriol appears as a class of six substances.
Razi included Alum among the types of vitriol, probably due to
the similarities in their astringent qualities and mode of
occurrence According to Razi Six Atraments (metallic sulfates
and their impurities) are: 1. Black atrament (impure FeSO4), 2.
Alum (a rather vague category including KAl(SO4)2 in varying
degrees of purity as well as other metallic sulfates) 3. Calcandis
or white atrament (qalqant in Arab it is a weathering product of
copper/iron ores or alum) 4. Calcande or green atrament
(qalqadis in Arab is iron and / or copper sulfate) 5. Calcatar or
yellow atrament (qalqatar in Arab is decomposition product of
sulfide and sulfate rich copper or iron ores, burnt iron vitriol
/iron sulfate and iron oxide) 6. Surianum or red atrament (suri in
Arab it is same as calcatar).7 Unani philosophers explains Zaj
and Shibb both are different thing. According to Al-Majoosi, Zaj
is Hot and dry and Shibb-e-Yamani is cold and dry in
temperament.11 Zaj has more sour property. But in some text,
both are equal with some conditions.3 Razi mentioned Alum as a
type of vitriol, probably due to its mode of occurrence and
astringent qualities and as if Alum had different medicinal and
industrial use in comparison with vitriol, but both were prepared
by similar way and even can be find together.7
Habitat: About all type of Alum are found in Egyptian mines. It
is also found like Geru (red ocher) in Milas, Maqdunia, Linara,
Soroon, Linaroos, Fruia, Nanwa, Arminia etc and various sites,2
also found in Yeman, Rajasthan, Bihar and Punjab.5,12 It is
procured from various parts of countries especially from Lahore
and Khushab.4 It synthesize in factories in north area of Sindh
River, Khateri and Singhada in Jaipur, Mumbai, Chennai and
Punjab.14 Alum predominantly found with peroxide of iron in
Silajit or in Alum earths of Nepal or prepared from the alum
shales for commerce in the Punjab, Bihar, Rajputana, and
Cuttack and else-ware States. Mostly in the soil in many parts of
India, and it is prepared for commerce in Sindh, Cuttack, Bihar,
Punjab, and elsewhere 6,12 Alums occur naturally in various
minerals. Potassium alum is found in the minerals Kalinite,
Alunite, and Leucite, which can be treated with Sulfuric acid to
obtain crystals of the Alum.15
Vernacular Name
Arabic: Zaj-e-Abyaz,2,4,6 Zaj, shibbe6, yaman.14 Urdu:
Phitkari.14 English: Alum,2,14 Sulphate of Alumina and Potash
or of Aluminium and Ammonium, Aluminous sulphate.6 Latin:
Aluminum Sulphate14 Persian: Shibb-e-Yamani,2,6 Zake safed
4,14 Zake bilore.6 Hindi: Phitikhar,6 Phitkar.2,14 Sanskrit:
Phatikari, Surashtraja, Kamakshi, Tuvari 6 Sithi, Angda,14
Venmali.16 Bengali: Phatkiri.6 Guajarati & Duk: Phatkari.6,14
Tamil: Patikaram, Adikharum, Shinacrum.6 Telgu:
Pattikaramu, Padikharam.6 Canra: Phatikara.6 Sindh: Shina-
aran.6 Malay: Tawas.6 Maratha: Trae phitki.6,14 Punjabi:
Unani morphology (mahiyat): It is a famous drug of mineral
origin, found in the form of crystals resembling to salt but lesser
in weight.4 (Figure 1) Shibb-e-Yamani (SY.) is a mineral origin
drug. It has no odor, styptic and some sour in taste, soluble in
water, dissolve when heated. According to Unani physician best
quality of Alum is that, which is brittle on rubbing between the
fingers.3 It was named due to its qabiz (astringent) property and
action and as its jouhar is ghaleez. The lateef variety comes
from Yemen; other variety is mustadeer (round). Shibb-e-Ratab
and Shibb-e-Safayeh are very ghaliz in characteristic.1 (also
Akhtar Ali et al / Int. J. Res. Ayurveda Pharm. 8 (2), 2017
available in crystal form17 of white in colour and some are
yellowish also.4
Taste: Bakhatta kasila tez maza qadre shore (styptic sour and
briny), 4, 18 shireen wa kasiala (sweet and styptic).5, 8, 17
Mizaj (Temperament): Hot & Dry 3°,17,19,20 Hot1° & Dry 2°,3
according to others Hot2° & Dry 3° 14,18 according to Some
Hot4° & Dry 4°,3 Hot & dry,11 Hot & dry3° (at first stage/
Martabe awwal),4 Hot &dry2°.21
Figure 1: Phitk ari (Alum)
Afal (pharmacological action) as per Unani literature: Akkal
(corrosive),4,5,21 dafe naubate tap (anti intermittent fever),17,21
dafe tashannuj (antispasmodic / anticonvulsant),3 dafe taffun
(antiseptic),5 dafe tape larza (antipyretic),5 habis-i-dam
(hemostyptic),3,5,17 jali (detergent),4,10,19 mane-aashobe-chashm
(anti-conjunctivitis) ,5 mudir (diuretic),17 mufattite-sange-gurda-
wa-masana (antilithiatic) ,4 mughalliz-i-mani (retentive of
semen),3,17 muhallile auram (resolvent),3 muhallile riyah
(resolvent of flatulence),4 muharriq (stimulant),8,9,11 muhayyij,17
muhazzil (Anti obesity),10 mujaffif (desiccant),10,17,19 mukhrije,
janeen wa mashima (abortifacient) ,21 mulattif (demulcent),3,11
munbite shar (hair grower),10 mundamile qurooh (cicatrizant /
healing agent),5 muqawi dandan wa lissa (strengthen the teeth
and gums),4,19 muqi (emetic),17,21 musahhij (ulcerative),17
musakhin (calorific),2,17,19 muzayyiqe raham,41 nafe lissa damia
(useful in bleeding gums),19 nafe zufra wa qaruhe lahme
zaeda,19 qabiz (astringent).3,8,11
Nafa khas (Important benefit): Amraze gurda wa masana and
ain (diseases of kidney, urinary bladder and eyes),4 habisuddam
(hemostyptic), mundamile qurooh (cicatrizant / healing
Istemal (uses) as per Unani literature: Aag se jalna (post burn
condition),2 aakila (rodent ulcer),20 aakilae dehan (gangrenous
stomatitis) aakilae bini (scabies of the eye-lashes),20 aankh ki
mail (cleaning eye),4,14 amraze farj zanana (vaginal diseases) ,22
amraze lissa wa dandan (diseases of gums and tooth),21 aqr
(sterility),14 arqun nasa (sciatica),20 ashob-i-chashm (acute
conjunctivitis),14,17,18 aurame balghami,2,3aurame jufn,
(blepharitis),4 bad gosht from eye lids (malignant ulcer of eye
lids),2 baghal ki badbu (bad ouder from axilla),2 baras wa bahaq
(vitiligo and ptyriasis) ,3,10 bauluddam (heamaturia),6 bawaseer
(hemorrhoid),10,14,21 bichhu ka zahar (scorpion poison),41 busoore
labania, (acne vulgaris),2,3,14 busur (creeping ulcer),20 damma
(asthma),14 daton ka hilna (shaky teeth),8 difda al-lisan
(ranula),8,20 dufe Dandan wa lissa,11,14 ganj (baldness),8,9 gastric
and intestinal catarrh,6 hummae mewi (typhoid fever),14 ihtebase
haiz (amenorrhea),17 indimale qurooh (cicatrization),9,17 ishal
(purgation),14,21 ishale muzmin (chronic diarrhea),17 istisqae
lahmi (anasarca),3 jala (vision problem), jiryan, sayalane mani
(spermatorrhoea),14,22 jiryan al-dam, (heamorrhage),10,17,21 nafsud
dam (hemoptysis),6,14 ruaf, (nakseer) (apistaxis),8,17,20 kasrate
haiz (menorrhegia),6,10 kharish tar wa khushk (pruritis and
scabies),4,17 kharishe mahbal (vaginal itching),17 khrujul maqad
(rectal prolapse),17,21 khunaq (diphtheria),17,21 khushk kharish
(dry scabies),2 khushkie sadr (dryness of the lungs) ,20
khushunate ajfan (dryness of eye lids),16 mashara (erysipelas),20
nakhuna, (pterygium),14 nasoor (fistula),8,9,10 nasur (fistula),20
naubati bukhar (paroxysmal fever),17,21 nisyan (dementia),14
pasina (perspiration),14 qai (vomiting),22 qarhul uzun (auricular
ulcers),20 quladehan (stomatitis),2,3,17 quroohe gurda wa masana
wa ihleel (ulcers of kidney, urinary bladder and urethra),4,14
quroohe khabeesa (malignant ulcer),8 quroohe uzun (ulcer of
ear),8 quruhe litha mutaffina (malignant gum swellings) safa
(favus),20 sange gurda wa masana (stone of kidney and urinary
bladder),4,18 sanp ka zahar (snake poison),14 sar ki bhusi
(dandruff),2 sayalan al-rahim (leucorrhoea),6,17,18 shaheeqa
(whooping cough),9,14,17 shaqeeqa (migraine),14 siql samat
(hearing impairment),3 sozak (gonorrhea),17 suda
(headache),3,14,18 taffune lissa (infected gums),8 taakkule asnan
(dental caries),20 tahabbuje atraf (peripheral edema),3 taqteerul
boul (dribbling of urine),22 tar kharish (wet scabies), 3,8,20 tarikiee
chashm,2 tishnagi atash (thirst),22 wajul asnan (toothache), 3,9,14
wajul uzun wa quroohul uzun (otolgia and ulcer of ear),9,14
warme halaq (laryngitis),17,21 warme louzatain (tonsillitis),17,21
warme mahbal (vaginitis),17,21 white spot in nail (koilonychia),2
yarqan (jaundice),14 zarirul asnan (shaky teeth).2,20
Pharmacological action and uses as per other literature:
Antiseptic,6,12 albuminuria, antispasmodic, aphonia, arrest
excessive menstrual bleeding, in asthma,6 astringent,2,6,12 atonic
diarrhea,12 atony of the Larynx bed sores, bleeding from Gums,
Nose, Vagina or Rectum and other mucous surfaces, bleeding
Piles,6 bronchoroea catarrhal affections of the stomach,
catarrhal ophthalmia,12 caustic, chronic and purulent ophthalmia,
chronic Conjunctivitis,6 colica pictonum,12 concussion of the
Brain or Spinal Cord, Cough, Diabetes, Diphtheria,6
ecchymosis of the eye (as a collyrium),12 emetic in repeated
dose, enteric fever, excessive salivation,6 exuberant
granulations,12 Fissures of the tongue, fluxes profuse ropy
mucous phlegm, fractures, Gonorrhea,6,12 Cholera, haemostatic,
hemorrhage from Kidneys Lungs and other organs such as
Stomach, Uterus and Kidneys, in hiccup,6 hospital gangrene
infantile cholera,12 Injuries, Insect and Scorpion Bites, Irritant
and purgative (in large dose) Chronic diarrheas, Diarrhea of
phthisis,6 leucorrhoea,6,12 Loose Teeth, Malaria,6
Menorrhagia,6,12 Narcotic poisoning 6 Ophthalmia neonatorum,
ophthalmia tarsi,12 Otorrhoea,6 passive hemorrhages,12
Pharyngitis,6 Post Partum Hemorrhage,6 profuse discharge
ulcerations,12 Prolapsus Ani,6 prolaps of Uterus and Rectum (as
an injection),12 Vomiting, relaxed or ulcerated sore-throat,
severe sprains, spongy or bleeding Gums, strangury,6 styptic,12
sweating feet, swollen Gums, bronchospasm, toothache, Ulcers
of the Mouth and Tongue, Urethral discharge, Urethral
stricture,6 Whooping cough.6,12
Ayurveda and other traditional medicine uses: Wound/
Ulcer, Leprosy, in poisoning, gonorrhea, Meningitis, disorder of
phlegm and bile, vomiting, Cholera, Epistaxis, Stomatitis,
Asthama, ear ache, absorbent, astringent, steptic, light irritant,
quatrative, wormicidal6
Sozishe, Burning, Uvulitis, Irritation in tonsils, mouth ulcers,
diphtheria, hoarseness of voice, chronic cough, chronic diarrhea,
hemorrhage, dysentery, prolapsed of rectum, throat pain, Mouth
Ulcers, Conjunctivitis,3 adjuvant in vaccines, skin whitener.15
Other than medicinal uses: Useful as coloring agent so it is
called Randa .14 It is constantly applied in saturated cloths 6after
shave treatment for centuries, for Water Purification as
Akhtar Ali et al / Int. J. Res. Ayurveda Pharm. 8 (2), 2017
flocculating agent, as a wonderful deodorant due to its antiseptic
and anti bacterial properties, for body hair removal for women,
for wrinkles.23 In paper making, as a mordant (binder) in dyeing,
it fixes dye to cotton and other fabrics, rendering the dye
insoluble, in pickling, in baking powder, in fire extinguishers. In
toothpaste, an ingredient in some homemade and commercial
modeling clay, flame retardant etc.15
Mazarrat (Toxicity as per Unani medicine): For lungs,
sometimes destructs lungs cells by his Quwate tajfeef,8,9,19
Produce sil wa diq (Tuberculosis) ,10 for Intestine,3 for
Stomach,3,4,19 karab wa khunaq (distressing pain and ludwigs
angina).5 All kind of vitriol are caustic, produce dandruff white
vitriol is most astringent while the yellow one is moderately so,2
irritation of the skin and mucous membranes. Breathing alum
can cause lung damage; ingesting alum will make you vomit.13
Reported toxicity: Peazella et al. reports the case of a patient
with renal failure following a bone marrow transplantation that
developed an acute encephalopathy from apparent aluminum
intoxication following intravesical alum.24 Kanwar et al.
reported mental status changes, speech disturbance, coarse
tremor, and abnormal EEG findings following intra-vesical 1%
alum irrigation and administration of aluminum-containing
antacids in a teenage girl with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Slightly elevated serum albumin levels and bone marrow biopsy
demonstrated aluminum deposition 25 Perl et. al. studied three
cases of senile dementia (Alzheimer type) and three
nondemented elderly controls, Foci of aluminum were detected
within the nuclear region of a high percentage of neurons
containing neurofibrillary tangles from the cases of senile
dementia as well as the elderly controls. The adjacent normal-
appearing neurons from both groups of patients were virtually
free of detectable aluminum. These findings suggest that the
association of aluminum to Alzheimer's disease extends to the
neuronal level.26 Aluminium can be deposited in bone and the
central nervous system, particularly in patients with reduced
renal function. Because aluminium competes with calcium for
absorption, increased amounts of dietary aluminium may
contribute to the reduced skeletal mineralization (osteopenia)
observed in preterm infants and infants with growth retardation.
In very high doses, aluminium is associated with altered
function of the blood-brain barrier.27 A small percentage of
people allergic to aluminium experience contact dermatitis,
digestive disorders, vomiting or other symptoms upon contact or
ingestion of products containing aluminium (antiperspirants and
antacids). In Person without allergies, aluminium is not as toxic
as heavy metals, but there is evidence of some toxicity if it is
consumed in amounts greater than 40 mg/day per kg of body
mass.28 Long Evans rats were treated for 90 days with water-
soluble, insoluble or chelated aluminium compounds. Soluble
and chelated aluminium compounds seriously worsened the
learning ability, and the aluminium content of the brain was
elevated. Acetylcholinesterase activity increased and choline-
acetyltransferase activity decreased, resulting in a diminished
cholinergic activity, which is a characteristic of Alzheimer's
disease.29 Use of aluminium cookware, has not been shown to
lead to aluminium toxicity in general, excessive consumption of
antacids containing aluminium compounds and excessive use of
aluminiumcontaining antiperspirants provide more significant
exposure levels. Studies have shown that consumption of acidic
foods or liquids with aluminium significantly increases
aluminium absorption.30
Musleh (Corrective) as per Unani & other literature:
Roghane zard (ghee) and milk for lungs and intestine,4,18,19 Use
of Roghane sard (Cold oil), Tar ashya (wet things),4,19 Shakar
(sugar) wa Luabaat (mucilage) for cough,3,5 womens milk.10
According to Vedas: Sheera of coriander leaves (Coriandrum
sativum Linn.).6
Badal (Substitute): Noushadar (Ammonii chloridum),3,5,18
namke siyah (sodium chloride),3,10,18 ashkhar / khar / sajji,10
Phitkari Surkh (red alum),4,5,21 kafe darya (Cuttlefish bone).4,5
Miqdare khurak (dose): Sawa char jau,3 2 masha (2 gm),3 1
masha (1 gm),18 according to vedas: 5-10 ratti (0.625-1.250 gm),
upto 7 masha (7 gm) if necessary,3 2-4 ratti (250-500 mg),17,21
15 mg (Shagufta),5 1-5 ratti (125-625 mg) (2 gm in some special
case).14 from ten to twenty grains, it is best given conjoined with
aromatics. For external or local application, the strength may
range from four to ten grains to the ounce of fluid.12 miqdare
muqi 3 masha (3 gm).21
Murakkabat (Important Unani formulations): Dawae sozak,
habbe siyah, habbe sozak, jauhare kalan,31 jauhare naushadar,32
kuashate para,33 kuhl gule kunjad, kushate hadtal,31 kushate
murakkab, kushtae gaudanti,32 kushtae sammulfar, kushtae
sange basari, kushtae sange jarahat, kushtae seesa, kushtae
shangarf,32 majune kundur, manjan musakkin, safoofe indar
julab, safoofe Phitkari, safoofe surkh, shiyafe ahmar, shiyafe
zufra degar, sunoon zard, sunoone kalan, sunoone khas, sunoone
supari, surma muqawwie basar, susoone chob chini, tilae surkh,
zaroore bhodal kushat.31
Reported Pharmacological Activity
Anti-Hemorrhagic: Patients of malignant hemopathies who
developed cyclophosphamide-induced hemorrhagic cystitis were
treated by continuous irrigation of the bladder with potassium
alum. Hematuria ceased with 75% success rate in the
treatment.34 In a trial of 45 patients with tonsillectomy,
Aluminium potassium sulphate (>99% pure) used as
haemostatic agent and gauze pack on the other side in the
tonsillar fossae reduced the operation time significantly (28.6%),
functioning blood loss by 19.7% and the number of ties used by
33.3% in comparison with control.35 The efficacy of alum in
intravesical irrigation was analyzed after application to 9
patients with continuous and severe Urinary bladder
haemorrhage. The bleeding Causes were radiation cystitis in 4
patients, vesicle invasion by cervical cancer in 3, bladder cancer
in 1 and cyclophosphamide-induced cystitis in 1. Although alum
treatment was initially efficient for control of considerable
bladder haemorrhage in all patients, eventually it failed to check
the bleeding in 2 patients (78% success rate).36 Continuous
vesicle irrigation was performed with 1 per cent alum solution
without anaesthesia in 9 patients in whom massive bladder
haemorrhage persisted despite evacuation of clots and normal
saline irrigation for at least 24 hours. Hematuria ceased
promptly in all patients, although the effect was transient in 3.
There was no side effect observed. No alteration showed in the
histological characteristics in biopsy of the tumour subsequent
to alum irrigation. Biopsy of the normal-appearing bladder
mucosa also showed no evidence of epithelial damage.37
Antimicrobial activity: Antibacterial activity was reported of
potash alum when it is added to water, against various epidemic
causing enteric pathogens like Vibrio cholerae 01, V. cholerae
0139 and Shigella dysenteriae 1, by lowering the pH of water
(from 6.0 to 4.0). Potash alum was found to check the growth 10
(5) viable counts per ml of most of the organisms examined,
particularly V. cholera 01 and V. cholerae 0139 in a dose
dependent fashion. Reduction of colony forming units in
presence of 0.25 g/dl of alum after 5 h was observed and no
Akhtar Ali et al / Int. J. Res. Ayurveda Pharm. 8 (2), 2017
growth was noticed after 24 h.38 A in vitro study on efficacy and
safety of Potassium Aluminum Tetra-oxo-sulphate (Alum) in the
treatment of tuberculosis using the proportion method revealed
that at 0.003g/ml of highest concentration, Mycobacterium
tuberculosis showed resistant to the alum extract where as
Streptomycin (standard drug) inhibited the growth of M.
tuberculosis at the similar concentration. Various organ on
histological analysis displayed normal morphology with no sign
of inflammation. No significant weight difference was observed
and no any mortality recorded during the experimental process.
The histological studies revealed that at concentration used alum
was relatively safe for mammalian use, but it was insignificant
against M. tuberculosis.39
Antimicrobial activity was evaluated of crude extract prepared
from alum and clove against S. aureus, S. epidermidis, E. coli,
Klebsiella pneumonia. Over different concentration (10, 20, 30,
40 and 50) w/v %, by in vitro bioassay using agar well diffusion
method and minimum inhibitory concentration and the diameter
of inhibition zone were determined. It exhibited antibacterial
and growth inhibition activity of gram positive and negative
bacteria isolated from different sites of infection and the effect
was also compared with standard cefotaxime.40
Antimicrobial activity of Alum, propolis and plant aqueous
extracts at 50% concentration by well-diffusion method was
characterized by inhibition zones, the maximum inhibition zone
diameters 35mm, 40 mm were found in Salvadora persica and
alum respectively, for propolis the inhibition zone was 30 mm.41
Spermicidal activity: Spermicidal effect Viability and motility
of alum vary with different concentration of potash alum. In
case of 15% concentration the death time was 51.9% sec in case
of 10% it was 87.2 sec and in case of 5% it was 122.1sec.42
Anticariogenic effect: The anticariogenic effect of alum
containing mouth rinses by measuring the salivary S mutans
levels of children showed significant reductions in S mutans
levels in children.43 In another study children using saturated
saline rinse and alum rinse showed significant reductions in
salivary S. mutans counts after 10 and 21 days over the placebo
rinse group, the alum group showed significant difference over
the saturated saline rinse group.44
Anti-obesity effect: In Wistar rats fed on high fat diet, oral
intake of potash alum exhibited significant reduction in body
weight, food intake, serum triglycerides, total cholesterol and
high density lipoproteins, whereas increased the dry weight of
feces, total lipids in feces compared to control.45
Ulcer healing activity: Randomized double-blind placebo
controlled study was done on 52 patients with recurrent
aphthous ulceration divided in 5 groups (1, 3, 5, 7 %) of alum
suspension, and placebo (applied topically four times daily for
five days). In clinical evaluation of subjective treatment
response and duration of lesion healing significant reduction
was noted in 3, 5, 7 % of alum concentrations in respect of the
time required for complete healing of the ulcer when compared
with placebo group.46
Larvicidal effect: Larvicidal potential of potash alum was
investigated on A. stephensi under laboratory conditions. Potash
alum was also found to be effective against all instar larvae. The
LC50 and LC90 value of alum among various larvae on 24
hour exposure ranged between 2.1 to 48.74 ppm and 15.78 to
93.11 ppm, respectively.47
Shibb-e-Yamani is a mineral origin drug, named due to its Qabiz
(astringent) property and action. It is a very ancient drug /
medicine. In nearly all the market in India Alum (potash alum)
in more or less contaminated state is sold under the name of
Phitkari (Indian name). Arabs literatures indicate that the Arab
Physicians are well known about Shibb-e-Yamani. Razi included
Alum among the types of vitriol, probably due to the similarities
in their astringent qualities and mode of occurrence. In Unani
System of Medicine the Shibb-e-Yamani is very useful and
valuable drug. It is used in various types of diseases as a dafe
taffun (antiseptic), dafe tape larza (antipyretic), habis-i-dam
(hemostyptic), muhallile auram (resolvent) etc.
It can be concluded that Shibb-e-Yamani (Alum) can be
promoted for its usefulness and utility in Unani system of
medicine owing to its reported pharmacological activity. Further
validation of other activity mentioned in Unani medicine can
also be performed in view of findings of this review.
1. Razi Z. Kitab Al-Hawi (Urdu Translation by CCRUM). Vol.
XXI. Part. I. 1st ed. New Delhi: CCRUM; 2007.p.72.
2. Baitar I. Al-Jame Limufradat Al-Advia wa Al-Aghzia (Urdu
Translation by CCRUM). Vol-III. New Delhi: CCRUM;
1999. p. 118, 119.
3. Najmulghani. Khazain Al-Advia. New Delhi: Idara Kitab
Al-Shifa; YNM. p. 482.
4. Hakim HMA. Bustan Al-Mufradat Jadid. New Delhi: Idara
Kitab Al-Shifa; 2002. p. 176, 177.
5. Rafiquddin M. Kanzul Advia Mufrada. 1st ed. Aligarh:
University Publication Unit, AMU, Aligarh; 1985.p. 54.
6. NadKarni KM. Indian Materia Medica. Vol II. Mumbai:
Popular Prakashan; 1982.p. 3.
7. Vladimõr Karpenkoa And John A. Norris, Vitriol In The
History Of Chemistry, Chem. Listy 2002;96:997-1005.
8. Bhaghdadi AIH. Kitab Al-Mukhtarat. Fi Al-Tibb (Urdu
Translation by CCRUM).1sted.Vol. II. New Delhi: CCRUM;
2005. p. 127-129.
9. Al-Attar Z. Ikhtiyarat-e-Badiei. Lucknow: Matba Nawal
Kishore; 1889. p.108.
10. Al-Maghribi ASBI. Kitab Al-Fatah Fi Al-Tadawa Min
Jamie Sunufil Amraz Wa Al-Shakawa (Urdu Translation by
Hakim Abdul Bari). 1st ed. New Delhi: CCRUM; 2007.p.
11. Majusi ABA. Kamil Al-Sana'h (Urdu Translation by
CCRUM). 1st ed. II(Part II) New Delhi: CCRUM; 2010.p.
12. Waring EJ. Pharmacopoeia of India. Indian Reprint ed.
Delhi: Asiatic Publishing House; 2010.p. 343.
13. What Is Alum? Alum Facts, Types, Uses, and More.
foodchemistryfaqs/f/IsAlumSafe.htm. accessed on
14. Multani HC. Hindustan Aur Pakistan Ki Jadi Butiyan.
Lahor: Maktaba Daniyal; YNM. p. 836-39.
15. Alum, Chemical compound
science/alum, accessed on 21-03-16.
16. Ayub M. Tarjumah Aqsarai sharah mojaz (urdu translation).
Vol I. Lucknow: Matba Munshi Naval Kishore; YNM: 694.
17. Kabiruddin HM. Ilmul Advia Nafisi. New Delhi: Ijaz
Publishing House; 2007.p. 259.
Akhtar Ali et al / Int. J. Res. Ayurveda Pharm. 8 (2), 2017
18. Nabi G. Makhzane Mufradat Wa Murakkabat. 2nd ed. New
Delhi: CCRUM; 2007.p. 89.
19. Halim A. Mufradate Azizi. New Delhi: CCRUM; 2009.p.
20. Sina I. Al-Qanun Fil-Tib (English Translation by Dept. of
Islamic Studies Jamia Hamdard). 1st ed. Vol-II. New Delhi:
Jamia Hamdard; 1998.p. 232-33.
21. Kabeeruddin HM. Makhzan Al-Mufradat. New Delhi: Faisal
Brother; 2000.p. 141, 142.
22. Khan S. Taleefe Shareefi. Delhi: Matba Darul salam;
YNM.p. 61.
23. Amazing Uses & Benefits of Alum/ Fitkari For Health, Hair
& Skin.
uses-benefits-of-alum.html. accessed on 21.03.16.
24. Perazella, Mark, and Eric Brown. "Acute aluminum toxicity
and alum bladder irrigation in patients with renal failure."
American journal of kidney diseases 1993;21.1:44-46.
25. Kanwar, Vikramjit S., et al. "Aluminum toxicity following
intravesical alum irrigation for hemorrhagic cystitis."
Medical and pediatric oncology 1996;27.1:64-67.
26. Perl, Daniel P., and Arnold R. Brody. "Alzheimer's disease:
X-ray spectrometric evidence of aluminum accumulation in
neurofibrillary tangle-bearing neurons." Science
27. Banks WA, Kastin AJ. Aluminum-induced neurotoxicity:
alterations in membrane function at the blood-brain barrier.
Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews. 1989;13(1):47-53.
28. Dolara P. Occurrence, exposure, effects, recommended
intake and possible dietary use of selected trace compounds
(aluminium, bismuth, cobalt, gold, lithium, nickel, silver).
International journal of food sciences and nutrition.
29. Bilkei-Gorzo A. Neurotoxic effect of enteral aluminium.
Food and chemical toxicology 1993;31(5):357-61.
30. Slanina P, Frech W, Ekström LG, Lööf L, Slorach S,
Cedergren A. Dietary citric acid enhances absorption of
aluminum in antacids. Clinical chemistry 1986;32(3):539-
31. Kabiruddin HM. Bayaz-e-Kabeer Vol-II. New Delhi: Idara
Kitab Al-Shifa; 2010.p. 60, 35, 23, 112, 212, 139, 179, 56,
158, 72, 78, 160, 79, 114, 116, 13.
32. Kabiruddin HM. Kitab Al-Taklees. New Delhi: CCRUM;
YNM. p.19, 20, 24, 52, 56-67, 70-204.
33. Firozuddin M. Madanul Akseer. New Delhi: CCRUM;
2007. p.22, 26, 40, 43, 47-171.
34. Gattegno B., et al. "Treatment of hemorrhagic cystitis
caused by cyclophosphamide using intravesical instillation
of potassium alum. Apropos of 5 cases." Annales d'urologie
1989;24(3). p. 190-192.
35. Al-Abbasi AM. The Benefit of Alum in Tonsillectomy.
Gomal Journal of Medical Sciences 2009;7(2):124-127.
36. Takashi M, Kondo A, Kato K, Murase T, Miyake K.
Evaluation of intravesical alum irrigation for massive
bladder hemorrhage. Urol Int 1988; 43(5): 286-8.
37. Goel AK, Rao MS, Bhagwat AG, Vaidyanathan S, Goswami
AK, Sen TK. Intravesical irrigation with alum for the
control of massive bladder hemorrhage. J Urol
38. Dutta S, De SP, Bhattacharya SK. In vitro antimicrobial
activity of potash alum. The Indian journal of medical
research 1996;104:157-9.
39. Osuala FI, Ibidapo-obe MT, Okoh HI, Aina OO, Igbasi UT,
Nshiogu ME et al. Evaluation of the Efficacy and safety of
Potassium Aluminium Tetraoxosulphate (Vi) (ALUM) in
the Treatment of Tuberculosis. European Journal of
Biological Science 2009;1(1):10-14.
40. Bnyan IA, Alta'ee AH, Kadhum NH. Antibacterial Activity
of Aluminum Potassium Sulfate and Syzygium Aromaticum
Extract Against Pathogenic Microorganisms. Journal of
Natural Sciences Research 2014;4(15):11-14.
41. Mohammad HH. In vitro Antibacterial Activity of Propolis,
Alum, Miswak, Green and Black Tea, Cloves Extracts
Against Porphyromonas Gingivalis Isolated from
Periodontitis in Hilla City, Iraq. AJPCT 2013;1(2):140-148.
42. Singh HP, Singh CK, Singh RR. Effect of Potash Alum
(Alluminium Potassium Sulphate) on Human Semen and
Sperm. Indian J Pharmacol 1998;42(2):311-314.
43. Mourughan K, Suryakanth MP. Evaluation of an alum-
containing mouth rinse for inhibition of salivary
streptococcus mutans levels in children-A controlled clinical
trial. J Indian Soc Ped Dent 2004;22(3):100-105.
44. Rupesh S, Winnier JJ, Nayak UA, Rao AP, Reddy NV.
Comparative evaluation of the effects of an alum-containing
mouth rinse and a saturated saline rinse on the salivary
levels of Streptococcus mutans. J Indian Soc Pedod Prev
Dent 2010;28(3):138-144.
45. Ahmed Z, Afzal M, Kazmi I, Gupta G, Ahmad I, Anwar F.
Anti-obesity potential of Potash Alum: Pharmacological and
Biochemical Approach. Int J Pharm Pharm Sci
46. Altaei TS, Al-Jubouri RH. Evaluation of the efficacy of
alum suspension in treatment of recurrent ulcerative
ulceration. J College Dentistry 2005;17(2):45-48.
47. Preet S, Seema KC. Mosquito larvicidal potential of potash
alum against malaria vector Anopheles stephensi (Liston). J
Parasit Dis 2010;34(2):75-78.
Cite this article as:
Akhtar Ali et al. Shibb-e-yamani (alum) a unique drug and its
utilization in Unani medicine: A physicochemical and
pharmacological review. Int. J. Res. Ayurveda Pharm.
Source of support: Nil, Conflict of interest: None Declared
Disclaimer: IJRAP is solely owned by M oksha Publishing House - A non-profit publishing house, dedicated to publish quality research, while
every effort has been taken to verify the accuracy of the content published in our Journal. IJRAP cannot accept any responsibility or liability
for the si te content and articles published. The views expressed in ar ticles by our contri buting authors are not necessarily those of IJRAP
editor or editorial board members.
... Aluminium Potassium Sulphate (potassium alum) is a crystalline solid made up of hydrated potassium aluminum sulfate (AlK (SO4)2.12H2O). Soda alum, Ammonium alum, Chrome alum, Selenate-containing alum, and Aluminum Sulfate are some other alum varieties ( Ali and Siwan, 2017 ). ...
... Alum is used as an astringent at 4% concentration ( Ali and Siwan, 2017 ;Pharmacopoeia, 1954 ). It can also be used to treat nose bleeds, hemorrhoids and as a coagulant in case of internal organ bleeding. ...
... It can also be used to treat nose bleeds, hemorrhoids and as a coagulant in case of internal organ bleeding. It's believed to cause pore contraction and a reduction in humoral secretions ( Ali and Siwan, 2017 ;Al-Huwaizi and Al-Alousi, 2013 ;Hussein, 2019 ). ...
Full-text available
Background : Skin and soft tissue infections are frequent; Candidiasis and Aspergillosis are the most common cutaneous fungal infections. Yemeni alum (Aluminium Potassium Sulphate) is a natural mineral with antifungal and antibacterial properties. Objective : This study aimed to confirm Yemeni alum's antifungal effectiveness against selected fungal strains and develop useful topical formulations. Methods : Using different alum concentrations, we prepared twenty-three formulations, including four non-adjusted aqueous solutions, eight adjusted pH aqueous solutions, eight glycerite solutions, and three Oil/Water cream formulations. Then, we examined the antifungal activity against the suggested fungus. The animal skin irritation test evaluated the local skin sensitivity reactions that might happen upon using the formulations we prepared on the intact animal's skin. Additionally, this study also included six weeks of stability testing to estimate the expected shelf life (t90) of the selected formulations. Results : Alum exerted antifungal effect against Candida albicans, Aspergillus niger, and Aspergillus flavus. The animal's skin was not irritated by any of the formulations examined. The 5 % alum aqueous solution and the 10% alum Oil/Water cream exhibited promising results among all tested formulations. The approximate formulation's shelf-lives (t90) were 2 and 1.52 years with alum content (%) ranging between 105.75 to 106.02 %, respectively. Conclusion : Based on the results we found, 10% alum Oil/Water cream is a promising formulation for large-scale manufacture.
... pneumonia, and Str. mutans with a significant mean compared with the standard cefotaxime according to Ali et al., (2017). Another report of 15 mg/ml of alum showed significant inhibition against Proteus sp., E. coli, B. subtilis and Klebsiella sp. ...
... Since the body doesn't absorb aluminum, alum could be considered as harmless material with low toxicity. However, high levels of alum solution could cause gum tissue destruction, kidney damage and intestinal bleeding(Bnyan et al., 2014;Ali et al., 2017). ...
Full-text available
The current study was designed as the first one in Mosul City to isolate and characterize the three species of red complex pathogens from the mixed population of periodontal anaerobes and identify them by a new molecular method as thirty samples of gingival fluid were obtained from periodontal pockets with ≥ 4mm depth suffering from chronic periodontitis in patients attending the Teaching Hospital- College of Dentistry at the University of Mosul. Three types of media were prepared for culturing the samples on, Schaedler Anaerobic Blood Agar; Tannerella forsythia (TF) Agar and Trypton Yeast extracts Gelatin Volatile fatty acids and Serum (TYGVS) Agar. After 4-7 days of anaerobic incubation, colonies with different morphologies were picked and are subcultured for routine purification and molecular diagnosis by the new Loop Mediated Isothermal Amplification (LAMP) technique. Confirmed isolates by LAMP were more characterized by phenotypic features and their mono- and polymicrobial biofilms were formed in a microtitter plate. The results showed that the three pathogens of red complex were identified in the same specimen and great variations in the phenotypic characters of the same isolate were noticeable. The three pathogens were also able to form mono- and polybacterial biofilms in a synergistic mode. The current study also searched more rapid and easier methods for testing the ability of two natural materials, olibanum and alum and two standard antibacterial agents, Ciprofloxacin (CIP) and Chlorhexidine (CHX) to inhibit many aspects in the pathogenicity of these periodontopathogens. The Minimal Inhibitory Concentration (MIC) of these four antibacterial agents was determined and the manner of interaction between these four agents was studied. The results showed that the easiest method was resazurin- based microdilution. The four agents recorded different MIC values on the three types of bacteria and the MICs of the aqueous crude extract of the two natural materials were higher than that of the standard antibacterial agents. The four agents showed synergistic inhibitory effect against the three types of red complex pathogens. The study also investigated the efficacy of the natural materials to prevent coaggregation between red complex pathogens and it is proved that 2- 12 mg/ ml concentrations prevented this phenomenon. The effect of the four antibacterial agents on the mono- and polymicrobial growth of red complex pathogens and biofilm formation was also estimated. They inhibited the polymicrobial growth but with less significant than that on the monomicrobial growth and interfered with the formation of homotypic biofilms but their activity, except that of olibanum, reduced on polymicrobial biofilms. The study also utilized the fluorescent dyes of LIVE/ DEAD BackLight Bacterial Viability kit to differentiate between live and dead bacteria after treating the polymicrobial plankton and mature biofilm with the four antibacterial agents. The results showed that exposure for one hour to all agents, except CIP, was effective to loss cell viability but not effective against the mature polymicrobial biofilm. Another goal of this study was to design an experiment to make a polymer of antibacterial agents using disk- like film of olibanum and investigate its ability to liberate the antibacterial agents by agar diffusion method. The study successfully made this film which maintained its ability to liberate the antibacterial agents and form an inhibition zone. For the first time locally, this study was successfully able to manufacture a Medicated Chewing Gum (MCG) from olibanum and test its therapeutic activity in several participants infected with chronic periodontitis. Bacterial inhibition was followed by tracking the hydrolytic enzymes' level of periodontal pathogens in the gingival crevicular fluid (GCF) using APIZYM system. The manufactured olibanum- MCG proved its efficacy in reducing the bioburden of periodontal pathogens in term of diminishing the levels of hydrolytic enzymes in the GCF in participants chewing the medicated gum compared to the control group that were only treated with mechanical cleaning of periodontal pocket.
... Potassium Aluminium sulphate or potash alum or alum as a hygroscopi applications in the pharmaceutical, cosmetics, water and food industries because of its astringency and acidifying properties [22,23,24]. It is used as an adjuvant in immunological studies, antibacterial agent and as a drug [25][26][27][28][29][30]. The prevalence of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has heightened the search at every ecological niche including soil, plant, animal and marine as well as from inorganic sources for potentially new and safe antimicrobial agents [31 study of phytomedicinals and possibility of enhancing potency with organic or inorganic substances, there is paucity of literatures on the use of activity. ...
... further explore the anti-microbial potentials in G. latifolium. Bioactivity of alum on a variety of microorganisms and as drug has been well documented [27,28,30,46]. The synergistic effect of potash alum with various extracts was phenomenal and apparently visible by enhancement of bioactivity which corroborates earlier studies on other medicinal plants [26,34,47]. ...
... They stated that some local people also utilise the leaves to cure dyspepsia. According to [20], the leaves of G. latifolium is used to cure chicken cough in Nigeria. The spice plant Piper guineense (Uziza) belongs to the Piperaceae family and genus. ...
... This is a traditional treatment, also called Unani Medication (Greek Medication), and is widely used in Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India [37]. The use of alum for treating lesions in the mouth of sick animals has also been reported by others [37,38] as it cauterises the vesicles and erosions present. Another traditional treatment commonly used by the surveyed farmers and animal traders was to stand the infected animal in a stream or river to clean foot lesions and to decrease the pain associated with these lesions. ...
Full-text available
This study was performed to investigate the knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAPs) of farmers, animal traders, and veterinary professionals on FMD in Baghlan province, Afghanistan. Four structured questionnaires were administered to the respondents. Almost half (48.5%) of the farmers had heard of the occurrence of FMD in their neighbourhood or knew the name of the disease. The majority of farmers could recognise the clinical signs of FMD in their animals (salivation, 85.9%; tongue ulcers, 78.8%; gum lesions, 78.2%; hoof lesions, 76.8%). Most farmers stated that the “introduction of new animals” was the primary cause of FMD appearing on their farms and to control the spread of the disease, over half of the farmers (56%) preferred not to buy cattle from unknown or potentially infected sources. Animal traders’ knowledge was limited to recognising some clinical signs of the disease such as: salivation, and lesions in the mouth and on the feet. No animals were directly imported by the traders from outside Afghanistan. Over half of the local veterinary professionals (65%) kept record books of the animal diseases seen and/or treatment plans undertaken, and 80% of them reported the occurrence of FMD to the provincial, regional, and central veterinary authorities. No regular vaccination programme against FMD was implemented in the province. Poor import controls and quarantine were considered to be the main barriers to the control of FMD in the study area and the surrounding provinces. It can be concluded that, despite relatively good knowledge about FMD in the study area, there are gaps in farmers’ and traders’ knowledge that need to be addressed to overcome the burden of the disease in the province. These should focus on strengthening interprovincial quarantine measures and implementation of regular vaccination campaigns against the circulating FMDV within the area.
... Potash Alum is a part of Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine and has traditionally been in use as a topical antiseptic and aftershave solution 12,13 . The safety profile of Potash Alum is well established which is apparent from its use in food processing and preservation 14,15 . ...
Full-text available
Objective: To evaluate the in vitro antifungal activity of Potash Alum (Phitkary) solution on Candida Albicans growth on heat cured acrylic resin. Study Design: Quasi-experimental study. Place and Duration of Study: Department of Oral Pathology, Peshawar Dental College, Peshawar, from Nov 2019 to Jan 2020. Methodology: Acrylic resin discs (n=120) of standard size were prepared following the manufacturer’s instructions. The acrylic discs were contaminated with a suspension of 106cfus/ml of C. albicans in Sabouraud dextrose broth for 24 hours. After contamination, 30 acrylic discs were randomly selected, washed, sonicated, and plated for colony counts. The remaining 90 acrylic discs were randomly divided into 3 groups, 30 acrylic discs in each group. Group A discs were kept in 5.25% Sodium Hypochlrite solution, group B discs were kept in sterile Phosphate Buffered Saline and group C discs were kept in Potash-alum solution (10mg/ml). After 2 hours, all discs were washed, sonicated, and cultured on Sabouraud dextrose agar in serial dilutions for colony counts. Data was analysed using SPSS version-19. Results: Both Potash Alum (10 mg/ml) and Sodium Hypochlorite were effective in completely removing the attached Candida cells from the acrylic resin. In contrast, the negative control was only able to reduce viable counts by 23.6%. Sodium Hypochlorite and Potash Alum both showed statistically significant activity (p
... This development necessitates the studies for synergistic effects of antibiotics or nanoformulations in combination with PTA or plant's derivatives to produce antimicrobial cocktail with a broader spectrum of activity and reduction of adverse side effects [16,33,34]. Potash alum has been used for years for a variety of purposes such as drug (in Ayurveda and unani medicinal systems), food processing and preservation, domestic and industrial water treatments, antibacterial agent, cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries [35][36][37][38][39]. ...
Full-text available
Combination treatment of crude turmeric rhizome extracts with potash alum against four (4) bacterial and five (5) fungal species were investigated using disc diffusion (DD) and agar well diffusion (AWD) methods respectively. The extracts with or without potash alum (PTA/Alum) were sensitive against all the test microbes in dose-dependent manner by inhibiting their growth. The largest diameter of inhibition zone (DIZ) was obtained with ethanolic turmeric extract (ETE) and potash alum (ETE+PTA) at 0.3 g concentration on Gram negative bacteria such as Escherichia coli (16.6±0.8 mm) and Pseudomonas fluorescens (15.3±1.1 mm) and Gram positive bacterium; Staphylococcus aureus (15.0±0.0mm) whereas strong antifungal activity was obtained with potash alum with largest inhibition zone against Aspergillus terreus (17.5±1.0 mm), A. flavus (17±1.0 mm), S. cerevisiae (14mm) and C. albicans (12±1.0 mm) by DD respectively. AWD bioassay, with PTA exhibited the best inhibition activity against Bacillus cereus (17.8±1.0 mm), S. aureus (16.0 ± 0.7 mm) and 14.0 mm on P. fluorescens and E. coli whereas ETE+PTA demonstrated highest antifungal activity on A. terreus (35±1.0 mm), Penicillium crystallium and A. flavus (33.0mm) and S. cerevisiae (24.0mm) respectively. Additionally, the apparent demonstration of antibacterial activity on both Gram positive and Gram negative bacteria as well as against fungi by extracts of turmeric rhizome and potash alum is suggestive of broad spectrum activity. In contrast, however, the high activity of Ofloxacin (OFL) and Ketoconazole (KTA) against test microbes highlights their superiority to the extracts with or without PTA/alum. However, elevation of turmeric rhizome extracts' bioactivity was accentuated by incorporation of potash alum and such novel combinational approaches to research with safe, natural materials would proffer reliable alternative to synthetic antimicrobial chemotherapy for animals and human pathologies.
... Alum has been used for years for a variety of purposes such as drug (in Ayurveda and unani medicinal systems), food processing and preservation, domestic and industrial water treatments, antibacterial agent, cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries [24][25][26][27][28]. During manual polishing, potassium aluminium sulphate (Alum) is used to make turmeric dirt free and peuri to make it colourful. ...
Full-text available
Antibacterial potential of crude turmeric rhizome extracts in combination with Potassium aluminium sulphate (PAS/Alum) against four (4) bacterial species were determined using disc diffusion (DD) and agar well diffusion (AWD) protocols. All the test bacteria were susceptible to the extracts with and without PAS on a dose dependent manner. The highest diameter of inhibition zone (DIZ) by DD was observed with ethanolic turmeric extract (ETE) in combination with PAS (ETE+PAS) at 0.3 g concentration on Escherichia coli (16.6±0.8 mm) and Pseudomonas fluorescens (15.3±1.1 mm) as well as on Staphylococcus aureus (15.0±0.0 mm) respectively. With AWD, PAS exhibited the best activity at 0.3 g concentration on Bacillus cereus (17.8±1.0 mm), S. aureus (16.0 ±0.7 mm) and 14.0mm on P. fluorescens and E. coli respectively. Furthermore, the enhancement of antibacterial activity against both Gram positive and Gram negative bacteria with extracts of turmeric with PAS is suggestive of broad spectrum activity. In contrast, however, the susceptibility of test bacteria to the treatment strategy of the extracts of turmeric and PAS were less efficacious to Ofloxacin. This underscores the preference for use of synthetic drugs for treatments of infections but due to increasing antimicrobial drug resistance (AMR) and obvious side effects, natural substances are preferred alternative as they have nutraceutical, pharmaceutical and less side effects.
Background: Dusta vrana is the severe complication of untreated ulcers caused by varicose vein, Thromboangiitis Obliterans, atherosclerosis, trauma, etc. vrana with poothi gandha, vivarnata, bahu srava, maha ruja is known as dusta vrana. Such ulcers can be managed with Panchakarma chikitsa by following the bahya and abhyantara shodhana management line. Brief case report: A 75 years old male patient came with pain, swelling and ulcer over the left foot for six months with a history of trauma; he was a known case of Thromboangiitis Obliterans, having undergone amputation of 1st, 2nd, and 4th and 5th toes of left lower limb. The patient had a 60-70 % block of distal Anterior tibial artery and dorsalis pedis artery. Bahya shodhana was done by dhara with gomutra, sphatika jala panchavalkala kwatha and abhyantara shodhana by Manjistadi kshara basti in yoga basti pattern. Conclusion: Significant reduction was seen in slough and pain. The appearance of granulation tissue was observed. Sthanika dhara with gomutra, which has ushna, teekshna, and lekhana properties, removes slough and improves local circulation. Sphatika jala does lekhana and shodhana. Panchavalkala kwatha has vrana ropana property. Manjistadi kshara basti does srotoshodhana and enhances circulation by virtue of its kshareeya guna and acts as rakta prasadaka and vrana ropaka.
Full-text available
Skin and soft tissue infections are common. Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pyogenes, Escherichia coli, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa cause most bacterial skin infections. Yemen's alum is a natural mineral with potent antibacterial and antifungal activity. The current study aimed to verify Yemen alum's antibacterial activity against chosen bacterial strains to formulate a valuable topical preparation. We formulated twenty-three formulations involving four non-adjusted aqueous solutions, eight adjusted pH aqueous solutions, three Oil/Water cream formulations, and eight glycerin solutions, all with different alum concentrations. After that, we evaluated the antibacterial efficacy against the selected bacterial strains. Additionally, stability testing (for almost six weeks) was carried out to determine the estimated shelf life (t90) of the chosen preparations. Alum showed antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pyogenes, Escherichia coli, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Finally, it was concluded that Oil/Water cream (10% alum) is viable preparation for large-scale production.
Full-text available
Background: Tonsillectomy is one of the frequent operations performed by Otolaryngologists world over. Otolaryngologists are in search of a technique of tonsillectomy where the operation time and operative blood loss is less. This study was carried out to evaluate the effect of aluminium potassium sulfate on tonsillectomy time, blood loss during the surgery and the number of ties used. Patients & Methods: A prospective trial of 45 consecutive patients was carried out, in which tonsillectomy was performed using aluminium potassium sulfate (>99% pure) as haemostatic agent on one side and gauze pack on the other side. Results: Application of aluminium potassium sulfate in the tonsillar fossae reduced the operation time by 28.6%, the operative blood loss by 19.7% and the number of ties used by 33.3% in regard to control side. All these results were statistically significant. Conclusion: Local application of aluminium potassium sulfate on to Conclusion:nsillar bed in tonsillectomy is beneficial in regard to decreased volume of blood loss, procedure time, and number of ties used.
Full-text available
Natural products have been used for centuries in treating human disease. The present study aimed to determine the antibacterial ability of aluminum potassium sulfate (alum) and Syzygium aromaticum (clove) extract against different types of pathogenic bacteria in scientific way. Antimicrobial activity of crude extract from two commonly used medicinally materials, alum and clove were evaluated against four microorganisms over different concentration (10, 20, 30, 40 and 50) w/v %. Minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and the diameter of inhibition zone were determined by in vitro bioassay using agar well diffusion method against S. aureus, S. epidermidis, E. coli, Klebsiella pneumonia. The two medicinal materials exhibited antibacterial activity and inhibition growth of gram positive and gram negative bacteria isolated from different sites of infection. The inhibition effect of these extracts compared with standard antibiotics cefotaxime. In conclusions, the results of present study revealed that the alum and clove could be used as natural antimicrobial in different ways.
Full-text available
The literature is replete with studies establishing Streptococcus mutans as a major player in the formation of pit and fissure caries in all dentitions. Salivary bacterial levels in turn are related to the number of colonized surfaces. Therefore, decreasing the salivary levels of S. mutans would have a great benefit in decreasing the incidence of dental diseases. Keeping in mind the potential antimicrobial effects of saturated saline and alum solutions, the present study was attempted to compare and evaluate the effects of saturated saline rinse and 0.02 M alum mouthrinse on salivary S. mutans levels in children. The investigation was a double-blind, stratified comparison of three parallel groups of children who used either saturated saline rinse, 0.02 M alum mouthrinse or distilled water (placebo) rinse twice daily under professional supervision for a 21-day period. A total of three saliva samples were taken from each individual - at baseline, on the 10 th day and on the 21 st day, and colony counts of S. mutans were determined. All data were subjected to statistical analysis using Wilcoxon's Signed Ranks Sum and Mann-Whitney "U" test. Children using saturated saline rinse and alum rinse showed statistically significant reductions in salivary S. mutans counts after 10 days and also after 21 days. After 21 days, the saturated saline rinse and alum rinse groups showed statistically significant differences over the placebo rinse group. Again, the alum rinse group showed a statistically significant difference over the saturated saline rinse group.
The objective of present study was to evaluate the pharmacological and biochemical role of Potash Alum as an anti-obesity agent in Wistar rats fed on high fat diet (HFD). Animals were fed on HFD (58% fat) with or without Potash Alum for 24 weeks. Results revealed that oral intake of Potash Alum exhibited significant reduction in body weight, food intake, serum triglycerides (TGs), total cholesterol (TCs) and high density lipoproteins (HDL) whereas simultaneously increased the dry weight of feces, total lipids in feces, compared to HFD fed control. The levels of blood hemoglobin and glucose were also assessed and there were no significant changes in these parameters. We suggest that the inhibitory effects of potash alum on obesity, might be attributed to the inhibition of lipid absorption through the inhibition of pancreatic lipase.
Background: Minerals, metals, clays and rocks were widely used by physicians in the past. However, it was and it is well known that some inorganic elements at high dosage may have curative effects but also serious toxicity. The effects at low or ultra-low concentrations, on the contrary, are less documented, but the idea that low dosage supplementation might be beneficial to human health is widespread even in the present period. Methods: The main information about aluminium, bismuth, cobalt, gold, lithium, nickel and silver was selected and evaluated from a vast body of medical literature. Results: In modern times, most elements are proposed for human use at levels comparable with normal dietary intake, probably for precautionary considerations. Conclusion: Some inorganic trace compounds might have unexpected effects at extremely low dosages, but scientific demonstrations of beneficial effects of supplementation are mostly not available in the medical literature.
Mosquito larviciding may prove to be an effective tool for incorporating into integrated vector management strategies for reducing malaria transmission. Here, we report the potential of potash alum, a traditionally known salt in Indian Ayurveda and Chinese medicine system, in malaria vector control by evaluating its aqueous suspension as larvicide and growth disruptor of Anopheles stephensi, under laboratory conditions. Immature stages of the mosquito were tested using WHO guidelines. 50 and 90% lethal concentrations among various larvae ranged between 2.1 to 48.74 ppm and 15.78 to 93.11 ppm, respectively. The results indicated that larvicidal effects of potash alum were comparable to various biological and chemical insecticides. The study provides considerable scope in exploiting local indigenous resources for the control of nuisance mosquito vectors.
Five patients with malignant hemopathies, including four treated by bone marrow transplantation, developed cyclophosphamide-induced hemorrhagic cystitis that failed to respond to the usual treatments. Each was treated by continuous irrigation of the bladder with potassium alum. Hematuria ceased in three patients followed up for 5 to 10 months. A review of the literature confirmed the 75% success rate of this treatment. No local side effects were recorded, but one patient had a single seizure.
Aluminum is established as a neurotoxin, although the basis for its toxicity is unknown. It recently has been shown to alter the function of the blood-brain barrier (BBB), which regulates exchanges between the central nervous system (CNS) and peripheral circulation. The BBB owes its unique properties to the integrity of the cell membranes that comprise it. Aluminum affects some of the membrane-like functions of the BBB. It increases the rate of transmembrane diffusion and selectively changes saturable transport systems without disrupting the integrity of the membranes or altering CNS hemodynamics. Such alterations in the access to the brain of nutrients, hormones, toxins, and drugs could be the basis of CNS dysfunction. Aluminum is capable of altering membrane function at the BBB; many of its effects on the CNS as well as peripheral tissues can be explained by its actions as a membrane toxin.
The efficacy of intravesical alum irrigation was analyzed after application to 9 patients with continuous and severe bladder hemorrhage. Causes of bleeding were radiation cystitis in 4 patients, vesical invasion by cervical cancer in 3, bladder cancer in 1 and cyclophosphamide-induced cystitis in 1. Though alum treatment was initially effective for control of massive bladder hemorrhage in all patients, it eventually failed to suppress a subsequent hemorrhage in 2 patients (78% success rate). No significant side effects directly related to this therapy were observed. In conclusion, alum irrigation is effective for controlling massive bladder hemorrhage for a rather short time. Therefore, additional treatment modalities should also be considered for primary diseases.