The Metal Group

Gold has a sweet and agreeable taste, acts as a tonic or restorative elixir, imparts rotundity to the body, and subdues the action of all the three deranged humours of the body. It is cooling and antitoxic in its potency and invigorates the eyesight. Silver has an acid taste, is laxative and cooling (in its potency), presents a glossy or oily aspect, and destroys the Pittam and Vayu. Copper has a sweet and astringent taste, and acts as a liquefacient and corrosive agent. It is laxative and cooling in its potency. Kansya Indian bell-metal) has a bitter taste, and acts as a liquefacient agent. It subdues the Kapham and Vayu, and is beneficial to the eyesight. Iron generates Vayu, is cooling in its potency, allays thirst and subdues the deranged Pittam and Kapham. Zinc and lead are vermifugal, as well as liquefacient and corrosive. They have a saline taste. Pearls, corals, diamonds, sapphires, Vaidurya (lapis lazuli), crystals, etc. are beneficial to the sight, and cooling in their potency. They are antitoxic and act as liquefacient or corrosive agents. They are possessed of sacred prophylactic virtues, and bring good luck to men who wear them, and cleanse their wearers from all impurities. Thus the description of the salt group is ended.

Metrical Texts

The intelligent shall determine the properties of cereals, flesh, fruits, potherbs, etc., (other than those described under their respective heads in the present chapter), which should be determined with the help of their respective tastes, as well as from the nature of the predominant material principles which enter into their composition. The Shastika, barley, wheat, Rakta-Shali, and the pulses such as the Mudga, the Adhakia, and the Masura should be regarded as the best and by far the most nutritious of the cereals which fall under the respective heads of the Paddy Group (Dhanyavarga). The flesh of the Lava, Tittiri, Saranga, Kuranga, Ena, Kapin-jala, Mayura (peacock), Varmi and Kurma (tortoise) should be regarded as the best of those of all other animals respectively belonging to their own species. Of fruits, those called Dadimva, Ama/aka, Draksha, Kharjura, Parushaka, Rajddana and Matulunga should be considered as the most commendable and efficacious. Of potherbs those known as the Satina, Vastuka, Chuchchuka, Chilli, Mulaka-Potika, Mandakaparni, and Jivanti should be regarded as possessed of the most commendable properties. Cow's milk is the best of milks, and similarly, clarified butter made from the milk of a cow should be considered as pre-eminently the best and the most efficacious of clarified butters.

Saindhava salt is the best of all other salts. Dhatri and Dadimva fruit are the best of all the acid kinds; Pippali and Nagara of all pungent, and Patola and Vartrikam of all bitter vegetable substances. Honey and clarified butter occupy the highest place in the list of all sweet articles. Pugaphalam and Parushakam are the best of all astringent fruit. Sugar is pre-eminently the best of all the modifications of the sugar-cane juice, while Madvirka and Asava (grape-juice) are the best of all cordials. Similarly, the corn (lit: paddy) of a year's standing or matured for a year after being harvested, is the most efficacious. The flesh of a young animal, as well as well-cooked rice prepared, that day, fully ripe fruit, and fresh and tender potherbs should be deemed as the best of their respective kinds.