|Sushruta- A Scene from his Surgery table.|
Ayurveda is an age old medical system in the India. It has its root in Vedas and developed though the golden era of Indian history. Ayurveda is well known for its medicinal treasures and unique concepts about body and mind. It gives a holistic approach about health, diseases and medicines. Ayurveda is believed to be as the gift of gods to the mankind for their health and well being.
The main classical Ayurveda texts (Charaka samhita, Susruta Samhita & Ashtanga Hridaya) begin with accounts of the transmission of medical knowledge from the Gods to sages, and then to human physicians. In Sushruta Samhita, Sushruta wrote that Dhanvantari, the God of Ayurveda, incarnated himself as a king of Varanasi and taught medicine to a group of physicians, including Sushruta. Ayurveda therapies have varied and evolved over more than two millennia.
According to Ayurveda, Health or sickness depends on the presence or absence of a balanced state of the total body matrix including the balance between its different constituents. Both the intrinsic and extrinsic factors can cause disturbance in the natural equilibrium giving rise to diseases. This loss of equilibrium can happen by dietary indiscrimination, undesirable habits and non-observance of rules of healthy living. Seasonal abnormalities, improper exercise or erratic application of sense organs and incompatible actions of the body and mind can also result in creating disturbance of the existing normal balance.
|Vamana- one among the Panchakarma|
Treatment of the disease consists in avoiding causative factors responsible for disequilibrium of the body matrix or of any of its constituent parts through the use of Panchkarma procedures, medicines, suitable diet, activity and regimen for restoring the balance and strengthening the body mechanisms to prevent or minimize re-occurrence of the disease.
Normally treatment measures involve use of medicines, specific diet and prescribed activity routine. These three measures are used in two ways .Therapies are typically based on complex herbal compounds, minerals and metal substances (perhaps under the influence of early Indian alchemy or rasa shastra). Ancient Ayurveda texts also taught surgical techniques, including rhinoplasty, kidney stone extractions, sutures, and the extraction of foreign objects.
Eight branches of Ayurveda
|Nasya- one of the Panchakarma|
Ayurveda is divided into eight branches for the easiness of study and specialised practice.
- Kāyacikitsā: general medicine, medicine of the body
- Kaumāra-bhṛtya: the treatment of children, paediatrics
- Śalyatantra: surgical techniques and the extraction of foreign objects
- Śālākyatantra: treatment of ailments affecting ears, eyes, nose, mouth, etc. ("ENT")
- Bhūtavidyā: pacification of possessing spirits, and the people whose minds are affected by such possession
- Agadatantra: toxicology
- Rasāyanatantra: rejuvenation and tonics for increasing lifespan, intellect and strength
- Vājīkaraṇatantra: aphrodisiacs and treatments for increasing the volume and viability of semen and sexual pleasure.