Manahshila (Realgar) Information and Uses

Manahshila/Mansil/Manshila or Realgar is Sulphide of Arsenic. Its chemical formula is Arsenic disulphide- AS2S2. It has bright orange-red color and soft monoclinic crystalline structure. It occurs in nature as an ore and can be prepared artificially by combining Arsenic and Sulphur.

In Ayurvedic System of medicine, Manshila is used for therapeutic purpose from time immemorial. Its description and use is given in Veda. In Rigveda, its usage has been mentioned for environmental purification, in Athrvaveda, its externo-internal usage is mentioned. In Ayurveda, Mansil is placed in Uparasa varg (there are eight uparasa viz. gandhaka (sulphur), gairic (ochre), kasis (ferrous sulphate), sphatica (potash alum), hartal (orpiment), manashila (realgar), anjana (lead), kankustha (rhubarb)).

In classical Ayurvedic treatise, internal and external usages of Mansil is mentioned in treatment of hiccough, dyspnea, cough, bronchitis, emesis, psychological disorders, respiratory, ophthalmic, leprosy and other skin diseases. Other indications include poisonings, emaciation, fever, loss of appetite, apasmara (epilepsy), insomnia and bhootavesha bhaya (fear of ill effects of evil forces).


  • Sanskrit:मनःशिला, मनोगुप्ता, नागजिहिविका, नैपाली कुनटी, गोला, शिला, मनसिल, Manahshila, Mainsil.
  • Hindi, Gujrati, Marathi, Kannada: Mansil
  • Bengali: Man-ganch
  • Telugu: Manushila
  • Tamil: Kudire-Palpashanam
  • Malyalam: Warangan
  • English: Realgar, Red orpiment

Description: orange-red, soft, lustrous monoclinic crystalline solid.

Shodhan (detoxification and Purification) of Manshila

For therapeutic use only purified Manshila is used in Ayurveda. For Purification generally two methods are used.

Method1: pieces of Manshila are put in a muslin cloth and tied to form a poultice. This poultice is cooked in decoction of Haldi with help of a Dolayantra for 1 Prahar (about three hours). After the process is completed, Shudh (purified) Manshila is obtained.

Method 2: Manshila pieces are processed (triturated) 7 times with Ardraka Svarasa (ginger juice) for 7 days. At the end of processing, an orange colored, smooth, heavy, powder, the Shuddha Manahshila (pure realgar) is obtained.

Medicinal Properties of Mansil

Mansila is prescribed in Ayurveda for treatment of variety of diseases due to its medicinal properties. Mansil is used for removing toxins from body, piles, cough, ophthalmic diseases (as Anjan), and diseases of skin (topical application).

  • Antibacterial, anti-inflammatory
  • Alterative, antipyretic, and tonic
  • Aphrodisiac
  • Sedative, Hypnotic
  • Rejuvenator
  • Detoxifying
  • Laxative
  • Warming
  • Reduces cough
  • Anti-leprotic (Kusthaghna)

Ayurvedic Properties and Action of Manashila

  • Rasa (taste on tongue): Tikta (Bitter)
  • Guna (Pharmacological Action): Guru (Heavy), Snigdha (Unctuous), Sara (Unstable)
  • Virya: Ushna (Heating)
  • Vipaka (transformed state after digestion): Katu (Pungent)
  • Action: Vata-Kaphahara (balances Vata-Kapha), dastavar, Lekhan, Kushthaghna.

Medicines containing Mansil

Shvaskuthar Ras (for asthma with cough and in remittent fever with cerebral complications).

Smriti Sagar Rasa (for psychotherapy).

Unmada Gajakesari Rasa (psychological disorders).

Vatkulantak rasa (diseases of brain and nervous system).

Externally, the paste of Mansil is applied on diseases of skin.

Manahshiladi Lepa (external).

For internal use only purified Mansil is used. Purified Manshil is heavy, warming, laxative, bitter and detoxifying. Internal use of purified Mansil, detoxifies body, cures constipation, cough, and diseases caused due to vitiation of blood.

Impure or unpurified Mansil should never be used for internal administration as it causes decreased digestive power, renal calculi, painful urination, burning micturition, obstructed micturition, retention of fluid in body, loss of strength, reduced bowel, constipation and sugar in urine.

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