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Preparing Red and Black Mercury Sulphide in an Ayurvedic Setting

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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.

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1. Palbag S. , Gautam D. N. S. "‘Chemical Anomalies of “Parada” (Mercury) and Structural Dissimilarities of Fundamental Groups of “Parada” (Mercurial) Preparation: A Study’" Rasamruta 2012 Vol 4 11 1 12
2. Puaranik G. V. (Vaidya) , Dhamankar P. V. (Vaidya) Ayurvedeeya Aushadhikaran (in Marathi) 1964 Mumbai Shree Dhootapapeshwar Ltd.
3. Rao S. K. R. , Vidyalankar Encyclopaedia of Indian Medicine 1985 Vol vol. 1 Bombay Popular Prakashan on behalf of Dr V. Parameshvara Charitable Trust, Bangalore
4. Saper R. B. , Kales S. N. , Paquin J. , Burns M. J. , et al "‘Heavy Metal Content of Ayurvedic Herbal Medicine Products’" Journal of the American Medical Association 2004 Vol 292 23 2868 2873 [Crossref]
5. Sharma S. Shastri K. Rasa Tarangini 1967 New Delhi Motilal Banarsidass
6. Vāgbhaṭṭa II Kalidas Vaidya J. Rasaratnasamuccaya 1965 Mumbai Shri Venkateshwar Press

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