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A History of Hindu Chemistry Vol 1/The Transitional Period/Chapter 2




(Circa 1060 A. D.)

Black Sulphide of Mercury (KAJJALI) or Æthiops Mineral

The first process consists in the purification of mercury.

"Quicksilver, rubbed repeatedly in the juice expressed from sesbania aculeata, ricinus communis, zingiber and solanum nigrum, becomes purified."

"Take one part of mercury and one part of sulphur, rub the two together in a mortar and thus prepare kajjali or rasaparpati.[1]"

Tamrayoga (lit. Powder of Copper Compound)

"Take a thin leaf of Nepalese copper and embed it in powdered sulphur. The substances are to be placed inside a saucer-shaped earthen-ware vessel and covered with another. The rims are luted with sugar or powdered rice-paste. The apparatus is heated in a sand-bath for three hours. The copper thus prepared is pounded and administered with other drugs."

Process of Killing Iron

"I shall now describe the science of iron as promulgated by the sage Nāgārjuna." [A tedious process given with wearisome minutiæ of which the substance only is reproduced below.]

A bar of iron is to be rubbed with the levigated powder of the following vegetable products among others: the belleric myrobalans, clitoria ternatea, vitis quadrangularis, boharhaavia diffusa and verbesina calend. It is then strongly heated to the fusion point and plunged into the decoction of the myrobalans. The iron is then powdered by being beaten with an iron hammer. The powder is then digested in the decoction of the myrobalans and roasted repeatedly in a crucible.

Mandūra or Rust of Iron.

Rust of iron is prescribed in combination with other drugs.

Recipe for a Soap to be used as a Depilatory.

The ashes of schrebera swiet. and cassia fist. are to be mixed with lime from burnt shells and lixiviated with the urine of the ass. The lye is then to be boiled with a definite weight of mustard oil.

Preparation of Caustic Alkali

[Much the same as in the Susruta]

Calx of Silver

In a preparation named "yogarāja" रूप्यमल or calx of silver (probably in the shape of sulphide) figures as a component.



  1. Chakrapáni himself claims its discovery or at any rate its introduction:रसपर्पटिका ख्याता निवद्धा चक्रपाणिना। Vrinda, however, recommends its use as well.