Zinda Tilismath is a herbal formulation made according to the ancient Unani principles and knowledge of medications. Since its origin, in 1920, it has remained a highly trusted herbal product in Indian subcontinent, and now, its popularity is crossing borders as the scientific research studies are proving the therapeutic effects of the natural herbal ingredients used in Zinda Tilismath. It is recognized as an Over-the-Counter medication being used to treat multiple ailments.
Over-the-counter (OTC) medicine is also termed as non-prescription medicine. This pharmaceutical drug status is used for those medications that can be bought without any kind of prescription from a medical practitioner. It is so because they are safe and effective when you use them just according to the directions mentioned on the label, or as instructed by the healthcare professional (“Understanding Over-The-Counter Medicines”).
Zinda Tilismath is also one of these Over-the-Counter medications easily available in the market. The reasons of why it has earned this status are described in detail below;
No Side Effects
The major thing which makes medicines dangerous to use without the doctor’s prescription is their side effects. These side effects are due to various causes. For instance, it may be due to the chemicals which along with killing the harmful pathogens also affect the healthy cells of the body, or due to the patient who is allergic to that particular chemical.
As far as the harms of chemicals are concerned, no artificially manufactured chemical is the part of formulation of Zinda Tilismath. It is a pure blend of naturally occurring herbs and essential oils commonly used in our daily lives.
Another cause of side effects is the dose of the drug. Paracelsus, a well-renowned Swiss physician of 16th century, says,
“All substances are poisons; there is none which is not a poison. The right dose differentiates a poison from remedy.”–Paracelsus
This point were kept in mind while the formulation of Zinda Tilismath. As discussed below, either its ingredients are completely harmless, or the amount of each constituent is perfectly safe and far below the toxic concentrations. Just follow the directions for usage. (Directions are mentioned in “Uses and Ingredients” section. Click here to see)
Eucalyptus oil is seen to cause side effects, like abdominal pain, burning, reduced muscle tone, shallow breathing, and can be fatal, but mostly when the dose exceeds ~ 4 ml, and 30 ml, respectively, specifically when it is taken through the mouth in an undiluted or a highly saturated form (Patel and Wiggins 406; Webb and Pitt 368). However, in the case of Zinda Tilismath, the dosage of eucalyptus essential oil is significantly lower than these toxic levels as only few drops of this formulation are taken and diluted with water, milk, butter, curd, etc, before its use.
Similarly, the estimated fatal dosage of menthol is reported to be as low as 2 g when taken orally in pure form, however, survival is also seen even up to 8 to 9 g intake(Duke 564). Likewise, 2 to 4 g of oral camphor poses threats to life. These concentrations are way higher than that of naturally extracted menthol and camphor present in each dose of Zinda Tilismath.
Regarding thymol, in 2009, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), after reviewing the research literature, deduced the conclusion that thymol had minimal potential risks of developing toxicity (“Thymol; Exemption from the Requirement of a Tolerance”).
Although Alkanna tinctoria is generally considered toxic for liver and may cause birth defects when used during pregnancy due to the pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) present in it, however, its use in minute doses of less than 0.1 µg is useful to cure many illnesses (Duke 12). Such minute quantities are present in the dose of our herbal medication ensuring that the beneficial therapeutic effects of alkanna significantly outclass the risks of undesirable side effects.
In short, if used in recommended doses just according to the usage directions, Zinda Tilismath is completely safe and poses no risks of harmful side effects.
Recommended for All Age Groups and Sex
Apart from the health and metabolic status, other host variables which determine the treatment’s efficacy or potential side effects are the person’s age and gender. That’s why; medicines are usually seen labeled with an age range of people for whom it is safe to use, and sometimes the gender also.
Zinda Tilismath use is not bounded by the tags of age and gender as it is recommended for all (Dosage rules are applicable). Both males and females can enjoy the benefits of its therapeutic effects. Even, it can be used in infants to treat ailments like breathing problems. The reason behind this universal applicability is that the amount of ingredients present in each dose recommended for adults or children are perfectly safe for that particular age group.
For instance, experts says that for children between 3 to 6 years of age, eucalyptus essential oil in 1% dilution or lower concentrations (6 drops per 1 ounce of a carrier) is acceptable, while it should not be given in more than 0.5% diluted concentrations (3 drops per ounce) to the children younger than 3 years of age (“On Everyone’S Mind: Safe Use Of Peppermint And Eucalyptus With Children“; Tisserand and Rodney 649). As mentioned in the usage guide, only 2 drops of the ‘whole’ formulation of Zinda Tilismath is mixed with breast milk when given to children below 3 years. This amount very much lies in the safe range for this age group.
Wide Spectrum of Therapeutic Effects of Zinda Tilismath
Another reason of why Zinda Tilismath is an over-the-counter medication is its wide range of therapeutic effects. Zinda Tilismath works as an effective anti-bacterial, antifungal, analgesic, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and spasmolytic medication (Chaudhari et. al. 696; Kumar et. al. 67). A large number of pathogens have shown susceptibility against it (check out our blog on Antimicrobial Activity of Zinda Tilismath). As it can treat multiple common ailments of different etiologies without posing any undesirable effects on health, it can be used without any compulsion of doctor’s prescription and diagnosis.
Multiple Modes of Usage
Likewise the age restrictions, medications often contains “For external/ internal use only” tags because they are effective only in specific modes of usage, and cause harms when used otherwise. However, no such restrictions are applicable to Zinda Tilismath as it can be used externally as well as internally. It can be applied topically to treat skin diseases, headache, muscle aches, etc; can be painted inside the mouth or throat to cure dysphagia (difficulty in swallowing), sore throat; can be inhaled to relieve respiratory symptoms; or can be administered orally to treat gastrointestinal and systemic disorders.
Is Zinda Tilismath Safe to Use during Pregnancy and Breastfeeding?
There are no contraindications in the use of Zinda Tilismath. It is also completely safe to use during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Research data supports our claim, as described below.
Eucalyptus leaf extract is one of those essential oils which are generally regarded as safe in pregnancy and breastfeeding when used in diluted forms (Walls 32). Regarding camphor, it is also considered safe during pregnancy and lactation when applied topically or when used within the safe range of dosage (Briggs et. al. 189).
Experts also mark thymol safe to use in the days of pregnancy as no rise in the incidence of birth defects was observed when 52 pregnant women were exposed to thymol during their first trimesters (Alsaad et. al. 8).
Very little research data is available regarding the use of menthol during pregnancy. Therefore, nothing can be claimed with surety. While alkanna is generally unsafe for pregnant women due to the pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) present in it. However, as mentioned above, very little concentrations of menthol and alkanna are present in Zinda Tilismath, the risks of congenital birth defects or negative effects on mother’s health are very low.
Despite of the vast therapeutic effects and limited risks of potential side effects, you should keep a close eye on the progression of patients’ symptoms while using Zinda Tilismath. It may be because of allergy as a person can be allergic by birth, or can acquire it after the exposure to otherwise non-allergenic natural herbs or essential oils. Problems may also occur as a result of interactions with other medications the person is taking at that time. So, if you observe any worsening of the symptoms, stop the treatment and consult a doctor at once.
To conclude the above discussion, we can say that Zinda Tilismath is recognized as an over-the-counter medication. It has earned this pharmaceutical status because it has no apparent side effects and contraindications; has a wide range of beneficial therapeutic effects; and can be used both externally and internally. People of all age groups and gender can use it to cure their ailments, and there is also no prohibition regarding its usage during pregnancy, as it is completely safe for both the mother and the child. However, if you experience worsening of symptoms, seek medical assistance at once.
Alsaad, Abdulaziz MS, Colleen Fox, and Gideon Koren. “Toxicology and teratology of the active ingredients of professional therapy MuscleCare products during pregnancy and lactation: A systematic review.” BMC complementary and alternative medicine 15.1 (2015): 40.
Briggs, Gerald G., Roger K. Freeman, and Sumner J. Yaffe. Drugs in pregnancy and lactation: a reference guide to fetal and neonatal risk. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2012.
Chaudhari, Shilpa P., Priyatama V. Powar, and Mahesh N. Pratapwar. “Nutraceuticals: A review.” World J. Pharm. Pharm. Sci 6 (2017): 681-739.
Duke, James A. Handbook of medicinal herbs. CRC press, 2002.
Kumar, K. & Choudhary, R.K. & Anand, Y.D. & Vidya, B. & Solomon, R.. “Determination of chemical composition of essential oil portion of reputed marketed unani formulation Zinda Tilismath.” International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences 3.3 (2011): 67-68.
“On Everyone’S Mind: Safe Use Of Peppermint And Eucalyptus With Children | Aura Cacia”. Auracacia.Com, 2017, https://www.auracacia.com/community/blog/article/on-everyones-mind-safe-use-of-peppermint-and-eucalyptus-with-children. Accessed 26 Nov 2020.
Patel, S., and J. Wiggins. “Eucalyptus oil poisoning.” Archives of disease in childhood 55.5 (1980): 405-406.
“Thymol; Exemption From The Requirement Of A Tolerance”. Federal Register, 2009, https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2009/03/25/E9-6262/thymol-exemption-from-the-requirement-of-a-tolerance. Accessed 26 Nov 2020.
Tisserand, Robert, and Rodney Young. Essential oil safety-e-book: A guide for health care professionals. Elsevier Health Sciences, 2013.
“Understanding Over-The-Counter Medicines”. U.S. Food And Drug Administration, 2020, https://www.fda.gov/drugs/buying-using-medicine-safely/understanding-over-counter-medicines. Accessed 26 Nov 2020.
Walls, Donna. “Herbs and natural therapies for pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding.” International Journal of Childbirth Education 24.2 (2009): 29.
Webb, N. J. A., and W. R. Pitt. “Eucalyptus oil poisoning in childhood: 41 cases in south‐east Queensland.” Journal of paediatrics and child health 29.5 (1993): 368-371.