We all are aware of
poisons. There are poisonous snakes, insects, spiders, plants,
Toxicology or science of poisons deals with diagnosis, symptoms
and treatment of poisons and the methods of overcoming them.
In ancient times, vishkanyas (poisonous girls) were used to kill
enemies. These girls were made poisonous from the very childhood
by giving poisons in very small doses. Then the doses were
increased slowly. By the time they reached adolescence, they
used to be deadly poisonous. In those times, poisons were
used in wars also. The poison was applied to the tip of the
weapon to kill.
Presently, new poisons are being invented everyday. Their use is
increasing in constructive as well as destructive forms of work.
They are widely used in drugs, cosmetics, insecticides,
pesticides, household cleaning chemicals, industries etc.
The increased use of poisons is giving rise to new problems
everyday. We know how dreadful the Bhopal Gas Tragedy was. We are
also aware of the destructive effects of nuclear war. All these
things are giving rise to new diseases, which in return gives
rise to the increased responsibility of science of poisons and
Toxicology has two main aims: Firstly, to protect healthy people
from effects of poisons and secondly, the treatment of the
influence of poison through bites of snakes, insects, spiders
etc. or consumption of natural, artificial and mixed poisons. In
this module, a brief idea of toxicology has been
provided. We all know about poisons but we are hardly aware
of its origin. Therefore, the mythological
origin of poison has been described.
Poisons are of two types i.e. artificial
and natural. Each having different characteristics. Sometimes, it is
too late to give treatment for poisoning. To prevent this
situation, the clinical features and general
methods of treatment according to Ayurveda are given.