Preparing Red and Black Mercury Sulphide in an Ayurvedic Setting

in Asian Medicine
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Rasauṣadhi, medicinal preparations made of mercury, form an important group of ayurvedic rasaśāstra medicines. Their manufacture, however, is decreasing due to the lack of reliable preparation for its safe and effective use. Rasasindūra is one such mercury-based compound that requires skill and experience to prepare. This practice report describes an event where this product was prepared in the academic setting of Smt. K. G. Mittal Punarvasu Ayurvedic College, Mumbai, in the winter of 1986–7, emphasising the specific skills that are required to make a reliable product, and thus providing a preliminary model for further studies of traditional drug processing techniques.

Asian Medicine

Journal of the International Association for the Study of Traditional Asian Medicine



PalbagS.GautamD. N. S. ‘Chemical Anomalies of “Parada” (Mercury) and Structural Dissimilarities of Fundamental Groups of “Parada” (Mercurial) Preparation: A Study’ Rasamruta 2012 4 11 1 12

PuaranikG. V.(Vaidya)DhamankarP. V.(Vaidya) Ayurvedeeya Aushadhikaran (in Marathi) 1964 Mumbai Shree Dhootapapeshwar Ltd.

RaoS. K. R.Vidyalankar Encyclopaedia of Indian Medicine 1985 vol. 1 Bombay Popular Prakashan on behalf of Dr V. Parameshvara Charitable Trust, Bangalore

SaperR. B.KalesS. N.PaquinJ.BurnsM. J. ‘Heavy Metal Content of Ayurvedic Herbal Medicine Products’ Journal of the American Medical Association 2004 292 23 2868 2873

SharmaS. ShastriK. Rasa Tarangini 1967 New Delhi Motilal Banarsidass

Vāgbhaṭṭa II Kalidas VaidyaJ. Rasaratnasamuccaya 1965 Mumbai Shri Venkateshwar Press


Rao and Vidyalankar (eds) 1985, p. 71.


Vāgbhaṭṭa II 1965, p. 706.


Ibid., p. 13.


Sharma 1967, p. 71.


Ibid., p. 16.


Ibid., pp. 140–1.


Puaranik and Dhamankar 1964, p. 285.


Sharma 1967, p. 135.


Palbag and Gautam 2012.


Sharma 1967.


Puaranik and Dhamankar 1964, p. 284.


Description according to Sharma 1967.


Ibid., p. 52.


Ibid., p. 33.


Ibid., p. 135.


Puaranik and Dhamankar 1964, p. 290.


Vāgbhaṭṭa II 1965, p. 221.


For example, Saper et al. 2004.


  • Kajjali, which was triturated with Aloe vera juice and cow’s milk in a khalvayantra
    View in gallery
  • A vālukayantra, heated from below in a puṭa. The glass bottle is inside the clay pot
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  • Varicoloured flames emerge from the kūpi indicating the process of transformation. The iron rod is seen inserted at the top of the kūpi
    View in gallery
  • The outside of the glass bottle or kūpi is cleaned and its mouth sealed
    View in gallery
  • The burning kūpi at night
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