Ayurveda is oldest science known to mankind and mainly aims at maintenance of health. According to Ayurvedic science from the time of birth to death, doshas influence the health status and physical constitution of a person, either positively or negatively. Ayurvedic science is so elaborate and vast that it is divided into eight branches of Ayurveda known as Ashtang Ayurveda and each branches is specialized in a particular treatment. Agada tantra or toxicology is a branch of Ashtang Ayurveda, which includes the science of poisons. Damstra chikitsa branch of ayurveda deals with various methods of cleaning the poisons out of the body as well as recommends antidotes for particular poisons. It deals with a wide range of natural toxins originating from wild lives like animals, birds, insects etc., plants including herbs (belladonna, aconite etc.), vegetables, minerals (leads, mercury, arsenal etc.) and artificial poisons prepared from poisonous drugs. This branch also deals with air and water pollution, which are basically the causes of various dangerous epidemics.
The three samhitas described about this branch of toxicology, which also include description, and disadvantages of food of opposite qualities, drugs and food causing chronic poisoning symptoms. In ayurveda certain poisons are used as medicines after proper processing and quantification. Precious stones like diamond, ruby and poisonous minerals like lead and mercury were in use for this purpose. This branch also has information regarding fatal doses of various poisons, which are resorted to in a view to administer those into an enemy’s body system.