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J Res Educ Indian Med . 2012; 18(1): 27-32


SPECTROSCOPIC INVESTIGATIONS OF PALAKARAI (COWRIE SHELL) PARPAM

S. JOSEPH VEDHAGIRI, K.GANESAN, P.C. JOBE PRABAKAR.

Abstract
Parpam (Bhasma) is one form of internal medicine widely and effectively used in
Siddha system of medicine. Shells of Cypraea moneta Linn. is commonly known as cowrie or
cowry. In Siddha, it is known as Palakarai and in Ayurveda it is used as Varatika bhasma. The
ingredients that are being used for the preparation of a parpam have to be subjected to several stages
of pudam, known as calcination process. The three intermediate stages during the preparation of
Palakarai parpam were taken for the study. All the three stages were subjected to particle size
analysis, atomic and weight percentage of elemental variations using Scanning Electron Microscopy
and Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (SEM/EDS). Also the vibrational frequencies and their related
functional groups were assigned using Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) and finally
the crystallographic phase changes by X-ray diffraction (XRD) were analyzed. The results of SEM/
EDS, FTIR Spectra and XRD are reported and discussed.

Key words: Cypraea moneta shells, Palakarai parpam, SEM EDS analysis, FTIR and XRD analysis, Siddha medicine, Varatika bhasma.



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