The word Rasashaastra literally means the “Science of Mercury”. It is a specialized branch of Ayurveda dealing mainly with materials which are known as ‘Rasa dravyaas’.
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What is “Rasa Medicine”?
It is a system of medicine which is based on Mercury and other elements such as Gold. Silver, Lead, Copper, Arsenic etc and various minerals as well. Due to the advantages and the superiority over the other methods of treatment, this method of treatment developed into a great system which is called RASA SHASTRA.
How do the Herbal base treatments differ from Rasa treatments?
Unlike herbal based drugs Such as decoctions [ Kashaya ] which are widely used in Ayurveda, Rasa preparations are taken in very small doses at a time, as little as 1/2 grain, or a quantity just about the size of a seasamum seed. They are normally taken with an Anupana like Bees’ Honey. Butter, Ghlliec or Juice of Ginger. Diseases that are considered to be difficult to cure by herbal medicines, have found to be curable by Rasa Medicines.Rasa medicines react instantly against the diseases to produce quick results. Rasa preparations have no unpleasant taste or odour and therefore can be easily given even to a child patient, with an Anupana like Bees Honey.
Aren’t those elements like Mercury, gold, silver lead and copper poisonous to the human body ?
Yes they are poisonous in their raw form. In addition to those & elements, we use herbs such as Niyangala, Goda Kaduru and kansa which are highly poisonous. But, please remember that, none of these materials are used in their raw form to prepare drugs
So how do you make drugs from such things ?
Raw materials are subjected to various traditional purification processes called “Shodhana” which means Washing off. Materials are “washed” with medicinal decoctions, herbal extracts for days. These processes remove all impure ties found in the raw materials.These are then heated at extremely high temperature for a long time to incinerate, and form in to “Bhasma” or Ashes. Materials like Lauha [Iron] and Mica are heated as long as 2 years before they are formed in to Ash.This converts the Metal into a readily digestible powder free of harmful impurities.
System of Rasa medicine ideally suits to face these conditions due to the inherited characteristics of quick action and the ease of use of the Rasa preparations. Rasa preparations can be stored for a very long time without changing their properties. They can be taken even at the workplace with a readily available Anupana like Bees honey or butter, New kind of diseases are being found in the human being for which cures are yet to be invented. Among the various systems of eastern medicine Rasa medicine is considered to be the best to meet the present day challenges of the health of mankind.