What is Ayurveda-An Introduction and History of Ayureveda

By | April 30, 2015

What is Ayurveda Definition:Ayurveda means science of life(Ayur=Life,Veda=Science),Ayurveda is the traditional medical science which was developed by India thousands of years ago,based on the idea of balance in body systems by using five basic element of nature earth,air,fire,water and ether.

Introduction of Ayurveda:The evolution of the Indian art of living a healthy life comes from the four Vedas namely : Rigveda , Samaveda , Yajurveda and Atharvaveda.Ayurveda attained a state of admiration and is classified as one of the UpaVedas a subdivision attached to the Atharva Veda.The AtharvaVeda not contains only the magic spells and the occult sciences but also contain the Ayurveda which deals with the diseases,injuries,fertility,sanity and health.

History of Ayurveda:The golden area of ayuved was start from B.C 6th to A.D. 4th century. Charaka, Sushruta and Vaghbata are the three main pillars who give a tremendous support to ayurveda.The details about these three pillars are given below.

Charaka Samhita(900 BC – 600 BC):The Charaka Samhita is the first book on Ayurveda(Indain Taditional Medicine).This book is divided in eight section and 120 chapters.These section are:

  1. Sūtra(General principles) –Healthy living,collection of drugs and their uses,remedies,diet and duties of a physician. .
  2. Nidāna(Pathology) – 8 chapters discuss the pathology of eight chief diseases.
  3. Vimāna(Specific determination) 8 chapters contain pathology, various tools of diagnostics & medical studies and conduct.
  4. Śārīra(Anatomy) – 8 chapters describe embryology & anatomy of a human body.
  5. Indriya(Sensorial prognosis) – 12 chapters elaborate on diagnosis & prognosis of disease on the basis of senses.
  6. Chikitsā(Theraputics) – 30 chapters deal with special therapy.
  7. Kalpa(Pharmaceutics and toxicology) – 12 chapters describe usage and preparation of medicine.
  8. Siddhi(Success in treatment) – 12 chapters describe general principles of ‘Panchkarma’.

According to Charaka Samhita a successful ayurveda medical treatment depends upon four factors:the physician,subatnces,nurse and patient.The The qualifications of physician are: clear grasp of the theoretical content of the science, a wide range of experience, practical skill and cleanliness; qualities of drugs or substances are: abundance, applicability, multiple use and richness in efficacy; qualifications of the nursing attendant are: knowledge of nursing techniques, practical skill, attachment for the patient and cleanliness; and the essential qualifications of the patients are: good memory, obedience to the instructions of the doctors, courage and ability to describe the symptoms.

Sushruta Samhita(1200 BC – 600 BC):Susruta is the author of Sushruta Samhita.He is  also called the father of surgery and his book Sushrut Samhita is the first authentic book to describe medical science of surgery which include plastic surgery, cosmetic and prosthetic surgery, Cesarean section and setting of compound fractures.

This book contain 184 chapters which include detail of 1,120 illnesses, 700 medicinal plants, 64 preparations from mineral sources and 57 preparations based on animal sources. The text discusses surgical techniques of making incisions, probing, extraction of foreign bodies, alkali and thermal cauterization, tooth extraction, excisions, and trocars for draining abscess, draining hydrocele and ascitic fluid, the removal of the prostate gland, urethral stricture dilatation, vesiculolithotomy, hernia surgery, caesarian section, management of haemorrhoids, fistulae, laparotomy and management of intestinal obstruction, perforated intestines, and accidental perforation of the abdomen with protrusion of omentum and the principles of fracture management, viz., traction, manipulation, appositions and stabilization including some measures of rehabilitation and fitting of prosthetics. It enumerates six types of dislocations, twelve varieties of fractures, and classification of the bones and their reaction to the injuries, and gives a classification of eye diseases including cataract surgery.

Vaghbata:Vaghbata in the 5th century compiled two sets of texts called Ashtanga Sangraha and Ashtanga Hridaya. It details the Kaya-chikitsa of Charaka Samhita and the various surgical procedures of Sushruta Samhita. The emphasis seems to be more on the physiological rather than the spiritual aspects of the disease processes. Ashtanga Sangraha is written in prose whereas the Ashtanga Hridaya is in poetry for recitation of the Verses.






2 thoughts on “What is Ayurveda-An Introduction and History of Ayureveda

  1. Pamala Walke

    Im not a fan of commenting on websites because I think that the writer never pays attention. Though, your article was great to read. Undoubtedly the best I’ve read in a long time. Good job.


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