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Now is related the Rasayana, or preparation of metals for medicinal purposes.

First Recipe

For the curing of disease caused by quicksilver. 1 Take sixty-four Tolas (each three drachms) of the juice of betel-plant (piper betel); mix with equal quantities of the juice of Bhringaraja (edipta postrata), juice of the Tulsi (ocymum basilicum, herb basil) and goat's milk; and rub the mixture into all parts of the body for two days, each day two pahars (six hours) followed by a cold bath.

Second Recipe

For reducing mercury to Bhasma (ashes, metallic oxide). Take of purified quicksilver and sulphur equal parts, and levigate with the sap of the Banyan-tree (ficus indica); place the preparation in an earthen pot over a slow fire and stir with a stick of the Banyan-tree for a whole day. If two Gunjas (1 5/10 grs. troy) of this medicine be eaten at early morning in betel leaf, digestion is improved and the powers of copulation are increased.

Third Recipe

For preparing Hemagarbha, the Elixir Vitæ which contains gold. Take three parts of purified quicksilver; one part and a half of sulphur; one part of gold; two parts of the ashes (metallic oxide) of copper and caIx of pearls and coral, each one-tenth of a part. Levigate in a mortar for seven days with the juice of the Kumari (aloe perfoliata), make into a ball, cover well with a piece of cotton cloth and place in an earthen vessel, containing a little sulphur: the mouth must be well closed, leaving for the escape of smoke a small hole which must be kept open with a needle if necessary. Set the vessel over a Valukayantra (bain marie, or sandbath) under which a slow fire is kindled. After about half a Ghataka (12 minutes) the fire must be diminished and allowed to extinguish. Remove the ball and use as the doctor directs.

Fourth Recipe

For reducing Harital (Sanskrit, hartalaka, sulphuret of arsenic, yellow orpiment) to ashes, or metallic oxide. Levigate yellow orpiment and knead it with the juice of the plant Nagar-juni (a Cyperus grass). Levigate again with the juice of the Pinpalli (piper longum) and the Piper betel for two days. Make balls of the preparation; dry in shade; then set in earthen vessel in a bain marie. A hot fire must be kept up till the orpiment is thoroughly "cooked", and allow the fire to diminish and extinguish. Lastly, remove the balls from the vessel and use in every disease.

Fifth Recipe

For absorbing all other metals by purified mercury.

Thoroughly levigate quicksilver with the juice of the "seven minor poisons", viz., Arka (Callotropis gigantea), Sehunda (Euphorbia), Dhatura (Stramonium, white thorn-apple), Langali (Jussiaea repens), Karavira (oleander) or Soma 2 and opium. By this means mercury loses its wings and cannot fly, while it gets a mouth and eats up every metal with speed.

Sixth Recipe

A sovereign remedy against all diseases and death. Take Abhraka (tale) and levigate with the milky sap of the Arka for the space of a day. Then wrap up the preparation in Arka-leaves and boil in a heap of Gobar (cow-dung) cakes about two feet thick. Repeat this boiling with fresh leaves for seven times, then infuse the preparation three times in a decoction of Parambi Marathi, the fibrous roots of the Banyan-tree. In this way the mineral is "killed"; its impurities are removed and it becomes nishchandra talc. Boil equal parts of this and Ghi (clarified butter) in an iron vessel till the butter is absorbed, and it is ready for use; it cures every complaint, including old age and death.


1 The Hindus are supposed to have introduced the internal use of mercury which, in the shape of corrosive sublimate, found its way to Europe. They must have soon discovered the hideous effects of its abuse: in countries like Central Africa, where mercury is unknown, Syphilis never attacks the bones of the nose or face. The remedy in the text can do neither good nor harm.

2 So the Dictionaries, naming very different plants, Nerium odorum (with poisonous root) and the harmless holy Soma (Sercostamma). But Kara-vira is a word of many meanings.