Rasa Shastra
Release Date:21 Apr 2014

Rasa Shastra

The Hidden Art of Medical Alchemy

Jessica Kingsley Publishers, Singing Dragon

The first comprehensive analysis of Asian Medical Alchemy, this book describes the use of herbo-mineral-metal based medicines as used in some of the world's oldest healing traditions. It offers a detailed exploration of Âyurvedic medicinal purification practices that seek to enhance the therapeutic potential of materials, metals and gemstones, as well as offering a concise overview of traditional and modern equipment and methods used in the manufacture of these medicines.

The author's unique and fascinating account of the hidden alchemical arts also explains some of the historical background behind the on-going quest amongst Asian alchemists for immortality.

An extraordinary book. Andrew Mason has succeeded in documenting the knowledge from this secret oral tradition that would otherwise have been lost forever.

– Philip Weeks, master herbalist, acupuncturist and author of Make Yourself Better and Painful Bladder Syndrome

An in-depth and informative read that tackles the complexities of Rasa Shastra (Indian Alchemy). Andrew presents the precepts of this ancient science in a very readable and concise way, helping demystify the processes conceived by the masters of this ancient science. From introductory to advanced concepts, this book aims to guide the reader through the historical aspects of the work to its modern day equivalents. Rasa Shastra: The Hidden Art of Medical Alchemy remains an illustrative, interesting and insightful journey, for those seeking knowledge into this lesser understood science of Ayurveda. Highly recommended as an essential text for students of Ayurveda, and an excellent book for those interested in the alchemy of Ayurveda, particularly the western reader.

– Dr Mauroof M. Athique, MD(Ayur), PhD., Director, College of Ayurveda (UK), Milton Keynes

Rasa Shastra: The Hidden Art of Medical Alchemy is a great introductory book on the concepts behind this time-honoured traditional medicine from Asia. Easy-to-read, profusely illustrated and presented from the standpoint of personal experience, I think any reader would gain a great deal of knowledge from this book

– Dr Tasnim Munshi, Senior Lecturer in Chemistry, University of Bradford, UK

Andrew Mason is an expert in Eastern Alchemy. He started studying holistic medicine 20 years ago, completing his training as an Ayurveda practitioner in 2006. He then undertook a unique and intensive apprenticeship in the East, learning the closely guarded processes involved in the manufacturing of these ancient remedies. Since his return to the U.K., Andrew has undertaken the task of recording and cataloguing these traditional processes, preserving these techniques which in some cases would have remained as tenuous oral traditions only.
Introduction. Sri Lanka. 1. Introduction. 2. Return to Sri Lanka. 3. Practical. 4. Journey to the Factory. 5. Setting-up Shop. 6. Contents. 7. Final Result. 8. Return. Part 1. What is Rasa Shâstra? 1. Ancient Technology. 2. Origins. 3. Rasa Shastra. 4. Health and Longevity in Ayurveda. 5. Sadkiryakalas. 6. Ojas and Sapta Dhatu. 7. Actions of Taste. 8. Sadupakarmas. 9. Pancakarma. 10. Patients Unsuited for Samsodhana. 11. Metallurgy and Healing. 12. Loha (Metal). 13. Ariloha and Dhalana. 14. Metallic Immune Booster. 15. Churning of the Milky Ocean / Sagar Manthan. 16. Visha (Toxins). 17. Visha as Antidote. 18. Signs of Visha. 19. Visha as Medicine. 20. Caste of Visha. 21. Smake Venom. Part 2. Workshop, Equipment, Method and Apparatus. 1. Rasashala (Pharmacy/Alchemical Workshop). 2. Sighting of the Workshop. 3. Sarpa / Snakes. 4. Modern Interpretations. 5. Celestial Considerations. 6. Final Note. 7. Alchemist and Apprentice. 8. Samudrik Shastra. 9. Hast Rekha Shastra. 10. Shodhana / Purification. 11. Testing of Alchemical Preparations. 12. Mercury (A Special Case). 13. Khalwa Yantra (Pestle and Mortar). 14. Automation (Man vs. Machine). 15. Mediums used for Bhavana. 16. Marana / Calcination. 17. Puta Paka (Temperature). 18. Pisti (Anagnitapta Bhasma). 19. Anupana – Vehicle of Delivery. Part 3. Materials, Formula and Processing. 1. Catalogue of Materials and their Use. 2. Mercury. 3. Origins of Mercury and its Impurities. 4. Transmutation of Base Metals. 5. Extraction of Mercury from Cinnabar. 6. Ancient Sources of Mercury. 7. Common Purification of Mercury. 8. Kajjali / Black Sulphide of Mercury. 9. Rasa Parpati. 10. Makara Dwaja / Mercuric Sulphide. 11. XRD – Makara Dwaja. 12. Mercury – Planet and Metal. 13. Hingula / Cinnabar. 14. Purification of Cinnabar. 15. Hingula / Cinnabar – XRD. 16. Preparation of Kushta Sangraf. 17. Summing Up and Dangers of Mercury. 18. Minerals. 19. Sulphur. 20. Bitumen. 21. Arsenic Trisulphide. 22. Rasa Maanikya. 23. Metals. 24. Copper. 25. Tin. 26. Zinc. 27. Gemstones. 28. Diamond. 29. Red Agate. 30. Blue Sapphire. 31. Animal Products. 32. Deer Horn. 33. Pearl. 34. Peacock Feather. 35. Visha – Plants. 36. Datura. 37. Aconite. 38. Bhallataka / Bhilawan Nut. 39. Rasa Formulae. 40. Rasa Shastra in Therapy. 41. Research into Rasa. 42. JAMA (The Journal of American Medicine). Part 4. Celestial Connections. 1. Visit to a Sri Lankan Shaman. 2. Jyotish – The Science of Light. 3. Applying Jyotish. 4. Ayanamsa – 00.00 Aries. 5. Applying Ayanamsa. 6. Story of the Kalapurusha / Medical Astrology. 7. Health in the Zodiac. 8. Planet / Sign Rulership. 9. Element, Dosha and Karma. 10. Orientation, Strength and Disposition of Signs. 11. Introduction to the Graha / Planets. 12. Surya / Sun. 13. Chandra / Moon. 14. Buddha / Mercury. 15. Kuja / Mars. 16. Shukra / Venus. 17. Guru / Jupiter. 18. Shani / Saturn. 19. Rahu & Ketu. 20. Mandi (Upagraha). 21. Friendships, Enmity and Neutrality of Planets. 22. Propitiation – Pacifying the Graha. 23. Planetary Gemstones. 24. Nava Ratna. 25. Yagyas, Yantra and Astrological Talisman. 26. Houses and Signs. 27. The Signs. 28. The Houses. 29. Special Houses. 30. The 27 Nakshatra. 31. Soma, Moon and Nakshatra. 32. Medical Nakshatra. 33. Directing Outcomes – The Demon King of Lanka. 34. Jyotish and Rasa Shastra. 35. Summing Up. Appendix 1. Classification of Materials in Rasa Shastra. Appendix 2. Types of Iron. Appendix 3. Quick Reference for Rasa Materials. Appendix 4. Nyu Mountain. Appendix 5. The Moon Transits through Rohini Nakshatra. Appendix 6. Western Alchemical Tradition. Appendix 7. Sir Isaac Newton – Scientist or Heretic. About the Author. Bibliography. Index.
Find what you’re looking for...
Free Shipping   Blue
Desk and Exam Copy Requests Click Here
Stay Informed

Receive the latest UBC Press news, including events, catalogues, and announcements.

Read past newsletters
Current Catalogue
Fall 2019 Canadian Cover
Publishers Represented
UBC Press is the Canadian agent for several international publishers. Visit our Publishers Represented page to learn more.