About Ayurveda

Ayurveda is the oldest healing science in the world. Derived from its ancient Sanskrit roots - 'Ayu' (life) and ‘Veda' (wisdom), offering the holistic and natural approach to a healthy life, its origins go back nearly 5,000 years. It is said that this is a God given science to Mankind. The creator, Brahma, taught it to the Daksha, Prajapati. From whom it is taught to the divine twins - Ashwinikumars. They taught Ayurveda to Lord Indra. When mankind started suffering from various diseases the wise men like Bharadvaja learnt from Indra the knowledge of medicine.

The main source of knowledge in this field remains in the Vedas, the holy scriptures of Ancient India, more specifically the Atharvaveda or the Eight Veda that dates back to around 1000 BC.

During this time Ayurveda was developed into eight branches and two schools: Atreya, the school of physicians and Dhanvantari, the school of surgeons. The chanting of mantras and religious aspect of medicine in the Vedas was gradually supplemented by observations based on scientific thinking. The material scattered in the Vedas was collected, subjected to rigid test of efficacy and rearranged. Such compilations are called 'Samhitas' which is written in Sanskrit.

The three oldest Samhitas are Charak Samhita, Sushrut Samhita, Ashtang Hridaya Samhita.

Gradually the huge amount of knowledge accumulated was divided systematically into eight different branches called Ashtanga Ayurveda.

  1. Internal Medicine ( Kayachikitsa ) deals with prevention, etiology, prognosis and management of disease.
  2. Surgery ( Shalya Tantra )Various surgeries are described in this book. The first plastic surgery was described in the Sushrut Samhita.
  3. Ear ,Nose, Throat and Eye Diseases ( Shalakya Tantra ) The Ayurvedic branch of ophthalmology and Oto-rhinolaryngology - diseases of eye and ear, nose and throat.
  4. Pediatrics ( Kaumarbhritya) This branch deals with prenatal and postnatal infant and toddler care and with the care of the mother before conception and during pregnancy. Ayurveda describes methods for conceiving a child. Various diseases of children and their treatment come under this branch.
  5. Toxicology (Agada - tantra) This branch deals with the toxicity and purification of herbs, the mineral and animal products.
  6. Psychiatry ( Bhuta vidya ) Ayurveda is equally concerned with mental diseases and their treatment. Treatment methods include not only diet and herbs, but also yogic methods for improving state of the mind. There is ample material for research on this branch in the Atharva Veda and other Ayurveda chapters.
  7. The Science of Rejuvenation ( Rasayan ) This therapy is used to prevent diseases and to promote healthy living.
  8. The Science of Aphrodisiacs ( Vajikarana ) This branch deals with increasing sexual vitality and efficiency. For achieving a healthy and intelligent progeny, the therapy of rasayana and vajikarana are closely interrelated. Vajikarana medicines also act as rejuvenatives.

Among the six philosophies – Sankhya Philosophy of creation and manifestation has the greatest influence on Ayurveda. All creation is an expression of Pure Consciousness, which is beyond time and space, shape and qualities. When pure consciousness (Purusha) unites with primordial energy (Prakriti), the "dance of creation" comes alive. From cosmic energy comes matter.

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