Definitions

Agada

Agada

[Seph. Heb. ah-gah-dah, Ashk. Heb. uh-gah-duh]
For other uses, see Aggadah and Haggadah of Pesach.
Agada is one of the eight branches into which medical pseudoscience is divided by the Hindus. Agada treats of the best antidotes to Poisons, or toxicology.

Agada Tantra is defined as a section of toxicology; practitioners claim to be able to deal with food poisoning, snakebites, dog bites, insect bites etc. The school of toxicology was founded and run by Kashyapa, also known as Vriddhakashyapa, another contemporary of Atreya Punarvasu. He lived in Taksashila, Pakistan. His text was called the Kashyapa Samhita. This, however, is a different book than the Kashyapa Samhita of pediatrics. This text is not available now but the references of this text are found mentioned in different commentaries. Some other texts written by Alambayana, Ushana, Saunaka, and Latyayana were known to exist. However except for references to them, the original texts are no longer available.

The traditional practice of toxicology is still practiced by different families of Vishavaidyas (poison doctors) who claim to be specialists in toxicology. In fact, their knowledge is quite limited (especially compared to the knowledge attributed to earlier ayurvedic physicians) but villages still use these practices to attempt to deal with poisonous bites. In ancient times, it was the job of Vishavaidyas to protect members of the royal families from being poisoned, as well to poison enemies of the kings.

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