Āyurveda - Indian system of Medicine
कायबालग्रहोर्ध्वाङ्गशल्यदंष्ट्राजरावृषान् ॥ 5 ।।
Aṣṭāngahṛdayam lists eight branches of the Āyurveda. They are-
In Indian tradition, Brahmā is known as the creator of the world. Many diseases also emerged with the advent of life on the earth. To protect / cure from such diseases Brahmā passed the knowledge of Āyurveda to Prajāpati. Later knowledge passed on to Aśvinīkumars’ to Indra to Bhāradvāja to Ātreya- Punarvasu. Ātreya- Punarvasu had six students namely- Agniveśa, Bhel, Jatukarṇa, Parāśara, Hārīti and Kṣārapāṇi. All of them contributed for the development of Āyurveda. Agniveśa was the most intelligent and his compilation is known as “Agniveśa Saṁhitā” or “Agniveśa Tantra”. Ācārya Caraka edited this text and added some commentary, which was later known as “Caraka Saṁhitā”.
Suśruta, a student of Dhanvantari has contributed greatly in the area of surgery (Śalya Cikitsā) through his text known as Suśruta Saṁhitā. However, there were many parallel streams of knowledge (medical) practiced at that time, are evident through the texts like Kāśyapa Saṁhitā (by Kaśyapa), Śālākya Tantra (by Nimi or Videha) etc. There are two main re-organizers of Āyurveda whose works are available today - Caraka and Suśruta. Caraka Saṁhitā is mainly a medical text while Suśruta Saṁhitā concentrates on surgery. The third major treatise is called the Aṣṭāngahṛdayam by Vāgbhaṭa, which is a concise version of the works of Caraka and Suśruta.
Ancient Indian healing system used mix of religious practices with secular medicine. They used incantations in combination with administering drugs and performing operations. It involved observing the patient as well as observing their natural environment. They also used an extensive range of medicine; Caraka Saṁhitā listed 500 medicines while Suśruta Saṁhitā mentioned over 700 vegetable-based medicines. Indian medicine relied on the concept of marmas, which identified a series of points where an injury or damage could be fatal. Surgery was widely used and surgeons performed the most elaborate operations. Over 121 different steel instruments were used to sew up wounds, drain fluid, remove kidney stones and to perform plastic surgery.
Āyurveda is practiced in different parts of India since Vedic times.
Over 70 percent of Indian population is dependent on this ancient
knowledge of healing. The fundamental principles of Āyurveda are at
the heart of many "alternative" therapies used in the West, today.
Through this portal, an attempt has been made to establish the
relevance of this ancient system of medicine in today’s world, by
publishing the available texts and researches (analysis of the
knowledge using modern scientific methods and standards practiced
worldwide), in public domain.
Books on Ayurveda
LIST OF BOOKS ON AYURVEDA - KALANIDHI
Ancient texts on Āyurveda:
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