Processing of Orpiment
Haritala is purified for internal use by being successively boiled in Kanjika, the juice of the fruit of Benincasa cerifera (kushmanda), sesamum oil, and a decoction of the three myrobalans for 3 hours in each fluid.
Several methods of roasting orpiment are described. The Bhavaprakasa recommends that orpiment should be powdered and made into a ball with the juice of Boerhaavia diffusa (punarnava) and placed in the centre of a pot full of the ashes of that plant. The pot should be now covered with a dish, luted with clay and heated over a fire for 20 hours. When cool, the ball of roasted orpiment is taken out from the pot and reduced to powder.
Another process is as follows; take purified orpiment and yavakshara, equal parts, rub them together with the juice of Vitex Negundo (nirgundi), and roast the mixture in a closed crucible. The resulting compound from both these processes is described as white camphor like substance.
Benefits of Orpiment
Orpiment is said to cure fevers and skin diseases, to increase strength and beauty and to prolong life. The use of orpiment as a depilatory was known to the ancient Hindus.
Dose of Orpiment in Medicine
In fever, Orpiment is used in combination with mercury, aconite, etc. The following is an illustration.
Vetala Rasa: Take purified mercury, sulphur, orpiment, aconite and black pepper, equal parts. First rub the mercury and sulphur together, then add the other ingredients in fine powder, and make into 2 grain pills. They are given with the juice of fresh ginger in remittent fever with affection of the brain.
Vidyadhara Rasa: Take mercury, sulphur, prepared copper, iron pyrites, realgar and orpiment equal parts rub them together and soak the mixture in a decoction of long pepper and in the milky juice of Euphorbia nereifolia (vajri). Make into pills about 6 grains each. These pills are given with honey in enlarged spleen and other enlargements of the abdominal viscera.
Talakesari Rasa: Orpiment forms the active ingredient of several pills for skin diseases, of which this is an example. Take orpiment, realgar, iron pyrites (Svarnamakshika), mercury, borax, and rock salt, one part each, sulphur and burnt conch-shell 2 parts each, rub them together for a day with lemon juice, then add to the mass one-thirtieth part of its weight of aconite, and mix. Dose should be 5 to 10 grains with butter. After this, powdered seeds of Vernonia anihelmintica (vakuchi), 2 drachms of Talakesari Rasa should be taken with honey and ghee. This medicine is useful in all sorts of chronic skin diseases.
Orpiment forms an ingredient of several external applications for skin diseases. Thus, take orpiment, wood of Berberis lycium (Daruharidra), seeds of Raphanus sativus (mulaka), wood of Pinus Deodara and betel leaves, each 2 tolas, burnt conch-shell half a tola, beat them together with water into a thin paste. This paste is a useful application in psoriasis.
It also enters into the composition of numerous formulae for the removal of hair. The following are examples. Take conch-shell-lime, soaked in the juice of plantain tree, and of orpiment, equal parts, make them into a paste with the aid of water, and apply it to the part from which the hair is to be removed. Another one is, take conch-shell-lime 2 parts, orpiment 1 part, realgar half a part, sarjikakshara 1 part, rub together with water and apply.
|More Articles in Use of Mineral as Medicines (30)|