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Ayurveda Prakasha – Book On Ayurveda

Ayurveda Prakasha is an important book on Ayurveda, the Hindu system of medicine. Ayurveda Prakasha was compiled by Acharya Madhava (18th century CE). It is an important work on Rasa Shastra, which deals with chemical compounds prepared for human medication.

Rasa Shastra in the text systematizes the knowledge of treatment by potent substances – rasa (mercury), ma rasa (mica, copper pyrites, etc.), uparasa (sulphur, potash alum, etc) and simple rasas (arsenic, ammonium chloride).

Ayurveda Prakasha also records the use of metals (gold, silver), precious stones (diamonds and rubies), visha upavisha (primary and secondary poisons like vatsanabha, opium) and minerals, animal substances and herbal substances for the treatment of diseases. Various methods of achieving the concoctions of these rasa, their properties and their quantity of intake, morphology, purification, and maran (ash formation) are discussed in detail.

Thoughts of many other acharyas (teachers) are also included in this book. Out of the five main chapters, the first chapter discusses in detail the prevailing theories and ideas about mercury alone. The method of formation of gold and changes in iron are described.

In the study of Rasa Shastra, Ayurveda Prakasha occupies a special place. This is the only book in which use of gold foil is described.