Published 09-05-2022

What is Ayurvedic Toxicology?


What is Ayurvedic Toxicology?

Dr. Shivani Nautiyal

Dr. Shivani Nautiyal is a renowned Ayurvedic physician, Panchakarma therapies specialist, and detox expert who has made significant contributions to the field of natural holistic healing and wellness. With her profound knowledge, expertise, and compassionate approach, she has transformed the lives of countless individuals seeking holistic health solutions. She is a Panchakarma expert, which are ancient detoxification and rejuvenation techniques. She believes in the power of Ayurveda to restore balance and harmony to the body, mind, and spirit.

Toxicology, or the study of poisons, is generally considered a new field. But it's not. It has existed for as long as people have experimented with different diets and used the occasional deadly plant or animal. Toxicology, in a nutshell, is the study of the effects of chemical, biological, and physical agents on living creatures, especially human beings.

The subject of toxicology is quite unknown to most people. In this blog, you will learn about the ayurvedic approach to toxicology, the different types of toxins, who is a toxicologist, medical toxicologist, and ayurvedic toxicologist, and when you should consult a toxicologist. So keep reading!

Understanding Toxicology in Ayurveda

Ayurveda is a holistic discipline that emphasizes maintaining and improving the fitness of healthy people and giving way to disease treatment. Ayurvedic toxicology, known as "Agadtantra", is a sub-discipline of Ashtanga Ayurveda that detects poisons, including poisonous kinds from the mineral, plant, and animal kingdoms, as well as artificial poisons and their treatment.

Ayurveda has developed and maintained a sophisticated toxicology system that combats the effects of natural poisons that offer long-term or immediate dangers to continuing the life process. This area of medicine was so advanced in ancient India that it gained the respect of Alexander the Great, whose soldiers were miraculously cured of snake bites by native poison healers.

Ayurvedic Toxicology 

Toxicology, or Visha chikitsa, in Ayurveda, deals with various techniques of clearing poisons out of the body and recommends antidotes for specific poisons. It deals with a wide range of natural toxins derived from - 

  • wildlife such as (animals, birds, insects, and so on)
  • plants such as herbs (belladonna, aconite, Cannabis or Datura, and so on)
  • vegetables (raw cashews, raw kidney beans, and many more)
  • minerals (leads, mercury, arsenic, and so on)
  • man-made poisons derived from dangerous medications

This division also addresses air and water pollution, the root causes of many severe illnesses.

Types of Poison or Toxins

Poison (Visha) is described as any material that enters the body (exogenous) or is formed within it (endogenous) and therefore is capable of threatening life or impairing health. Medical toxicologists or Ayurvedic toxicologists possess knowledge about the genesis, development, and toxicity expression of accumulated toxins and offer appropriate treatment and remedial measures to treat poison.

In the Agada tantra, there are two types of poisons or toxins described: 

  1. Natural toxins: These are classified as Inanimate (Sthaavara) or Animate (Jangama). Poisons of plant origin and hazardous minerals, metals, or metal ores in their natural state embedded in the earth are examples of Inanimate poisons. Animate poisons include living venoms such as reptiles, scorpions, worms, and insect venoms.
  2. Artificial toxins: It is often known as devised poison and is made by combining numerous live and inanimate toxins. They contain parts of insects, animal blood, feces, ashes of various hazardous herbs with opposite activities, toxic minerals, and low potency poisons. The other type of artificial poison is gara, in which some non-poisonous substances become poisonous by their mere combination. In simple words, due to their diametrically opposed effects on the physiological system, some foods become incompatible with the body such as bitter almonds, raw honey, mushrooms, and raw cashews, and cause toxicity manifestations, generally in the long term.
Types of Toxins

Aside from the poisons mentioned above, the three Samhitas (Ayurvedic texts in Sanskrit) describe this field of toxicology and mention the disadvantages of food with opposing properties, medications, and food that causes chronic poisoning symptoms. There are also accounts of specific poisons that are used as remedies after proper processing and measurement, such as precious stones like diamonds and rubies and deadly elements like lead and mercury. This part of Ayurveda also contains information on the lethal doses of many toxins.

Who is a Toxicologist, Medical Toxicologist, and Ayurvedic Toxicologist?

A Toxicologist imparts training in toxicology, jurisprudence, and forensic medicine, which explores the causes of unnatural behavior and death.

Medical Toxicologists are experts in preventing, evaluating, treating, and monitoring injury and sickness caused by medications, chemicals, biological, and radioactive agents.

An Ayurvedic toxicologist uses an ayurvedic therapeutic method that helps in managing emergency circumstances, such as in the case of chronic poisoning. They help clean the poisons out of the body by recommending and giving antidotes for particular poisons.

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When should you consult a Toxicologist?

You can consult a toxicologist in the following scenarios:

  1. Drug Overdose
  2. The side effects of some medicines or the interactions with some medicines may cause clinical problems.
  3. Bites and stings (envenomation)
  4. Chronic diseases like Cancer, Tuberculosis, migraines, joint pain, etc.
  5. Arsenic, Mercury, Cyanide, Aconite, and Alcohol Intoxication
When should you consult a Toxicologist

Note: Toxicology, as well as its drugs and preparations, is a very critical subject. It is strongly recommended that you not take any medication before consulting a doctor. It should only be taken under the supervision of a specialized doctor only. Furthermore, many pharmaceuticals, including toxicological medicines, cannot be marketed without a prescription from a registered medical practitioner. For more information, you can consult Dr. Chitranshu (Toxicologist, Ayurvedic Practitioner, BAMS, MD, Ph.D. with 9 years of experience) at HealthyBazar.


In order to live a healthy life, it is necessary that the toxins and poisons present in the human body must be removed. Our human body's natural efforts to expel toxins are through routes of elimination such as urine, feces, sweat, etc. It should be supplemented by the consumption of the proper diet at the right time, as per Ayurveda. 

Any obstruction or inadequacy of the excretory system and process accumulates toxins in the body, which causes sickness. There are various other reasons why toxins/poisons accumulate in the body, such as pollution, because of some medications, etc.

In such cases, the help of a medical toxicologist or ayurvedic toxicologist may be helpful. An Ayurvedic toxicologist checks that all the body humor (doshas), the tissues, digestive process, the body's ability to distinguish tastes, and sensory and motor organs are structurally and functionally normal. If not, they suggest various therapies and medicines detoxify the individual's body. To gain more information on the topic and buy the best ayurvedic products online, check out HealthyBazar.

Last Updated: Jun 16, 2022

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