Talk:/Medical Institutions in ancient india/Pharmacy/Vedic Period
Veda is spoken of as having six limbs, viz , phonetics, grammar, etymology, astrology, canons of ritual and prosody.
Out of these, or the canons of ritual is defined as the order of rituals is spoken of as Kalpa.
Ayurveda was considered to be on a par with the Vedas, and as in the Vedas we get a section on Kalpa in Ayurveda too, Kalpa meaning the canons of pharmaceutics.
In Vedic period we find that single herbs are prescribed. They also prescribed minerals and animal substances, but the prescriptions were not compound. This is the pre-historic period. At that time simple prescriptions were the order of the day throughout the world. It is probable that magic and black art were practised to some extent in the Misra Desa ( Egypt ) which is called the Syama, Syava or the black county. It is likely that the word Syama might be the origin of the words kimia, alchemy and chemistry. The secret pres�cription for the preservation of mummies is an instance to prove their advanced knowledge in chemical pharmacy. We are getting more and more enlightenment on Mohenjo-daro and from the findings that have come to light we learn that ghlajlt (mineral pitch) and other drugs have been found there even after thousands of years of obli�vion. This definitely shows that this special branch of knowledge had developed in India also.
The art of preserving dead bodies was not unknown in ancient India. In Ramayana, Ayodhya-kanda, we find that the corpse of king Dasaratha was preserved in medicated oil In Visnu Purana we find that the corpse of Nimi was preserved by being embalmed with fragrant oils and resins.
In Kasi-khanda, there is the description of the corpse of a Brahman�s mother being preserved in the following manner. The corpse was washed and then embalmed in yaksakadarma i e. specially medicated balm and enveloped severally with Netra-vastra (flowered muslin), silk cotton, coloured cloth and Nepalese blanketing. The corpse was conveyed in a copper coffin from Rameswara to Kasi.