Dravaka is a form of medicine that has been mentioned in the ‘Charaka Samhita’ during the ancient period. It is distilled mineral acids. To prepare this medicine several formulae are given in different works for the preparation of mineral acids. A number of mineral substances or salts are heated in a retort and the distilled fluid collected in a glass receiver. The test of acids is said to be their property of dissolving a cowrie or shell thrown into them. The following are two examples of the compositions used for preparing mineral acids.
Svalpa Dravaka: Take of alum, chloride of ammonium, borax, sulphide of antimony, impure carbonates of potash and soda called ‘Yavakshara’ and ‘Svarjikakshara’, and rock salt, each 8 tolas, nitre 6 tolas, orpiment 4 tolas ; powder, mix and rub them together repeatedly with lemon juice and dry. Introduce the mixture into the receptacle of a distilling apparatus, and distill over the fire. The dose of the acid thus distilled is 2 drops. It should be taken with 6 grains of long pepper. One week’s use of this medicine is said to cure spleen disease, dyspepsia, etc.
Sankha Dravaka: For this preparation take of sulphate of iron 32 tolas, alum and rock salt 16 tolas each, nitre 128 tolas; powder, mix and distill the mixture from a glass retort. The dose of this acid is said to be 12 minims. The tongue should be anointed with clarified butter before using this medicine. It should not also touch the teeth.
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Classification of Medicine by Charaka
Traditional Indian Medicines
Traditional Indian Medicine in Ancient Period
Ancient Hindu Medicine
Ancient Vedic Medicine Practitioners
Primitive Medicinal Practices in India
(Last Updated on : 25-06-2016)
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