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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 36  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 12-18

Critical Review of Rasaratna Samuccaya: A Comprehensive Treatise of Indian Alchemy

1 Department of Rasashastra and Bhaishajya Kalpana, Mahatma Gandhi Ayurveda College Hospital and Research Center, Wardha, Maharashtra, India
2 Division of Ayurveda, CIMR, Manipal University, Manipal, Karnataka, India
3 Department of Rasashastra and Bhaishajya Kalpana, Parul Institute of Ayurveda, Vadodara, India
4 Department of Rasashastra and Bhaishajya Kalpana, AIIA, New Delhi, India
5 Department of Rasashastra and Bhaishajya Kalpana, IPGT and RA, Gujarat Ayurved University, Jamnagar, Gujarat, India

Correspondence Address:
Dhirajsingh Rajput Sumersingh
Department of Rasashastra and Bhaishajya Kalpana, Mahatma Gandhi Ayurveda College Hospital and Research Center, Wardha, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0257-7941.195412

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Rasaratna Samuccaya (RRS) a 13th century C.E. alchemical treatise, authored by Vāgbhaṭa, is a useful compilation related to preparation and properties of drugs of mineral and metallic origin. This text throws light on the state of Indian expertise in the field of alchemy regarding the extraction, purification, conversion of metals/minerals into therapeutically suitable forms, various instruments developed for alchemical purposes and treatment of numerous diseases by using herbo-mineral preparations. The present work is an attempt to summarize the key features of RRS to highlight its utility and contribution in the development of Indian alchemy. To study and summarize the important, comprehensive and specific points mentioned in RRS and to elaborate the contribution of RRS in the field of Indian alchemy. A critical review of RRS from Suratnojjvalā Hindi commentary by Ambikadatta Shastri was done and the collected information was compared with other available literature of Rasaśāstra. Research of modern science was also utilized to explore some facts mentioned by Vāgbhaṭa. RRS is a precise treatise among available ancient literature. It comprises of all eight branches of Ayurveda, although it mainly deals with therapeutic aspects of Rasaśāstra and emphasizes the use of metals and minerals in treating nearly 68 types of ailments. It contains 30 chapters, 3871 verses and detailed description of 960 formulations. Classification of metals and minerals; description of some new instruments, formulations and averting use of metals and minerals in pregnancy are the key features of RRS.

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