is the ancient medicinal science of India. Before the four
vedas were formally compiled, all branches of knowledge
were termed as veda of the branch. Hence the branch of science
related to health was termed as Ayurveda. It was believed
to be fifth veda or part of Atharvaveda. In recent years
the interest in ayurveda has risen throughout the world.
However, it has given rise to many misconceptions as well.
It is commonly believed that Ayurveda is herbal medicine.
In reality, there is nothing under the Sun that cannot be
used as medicine. Thus herbal medicine is a section of the vast
plethora of curative measures prescribed by Ayurveda.
Any Ayurvdic medicine cannot be blindly administered to any
one. In reality Ayurveda thinks of various factors such
as age, gender, their body constitution, season of the year.
Needless to say, it has to be decided by competant medical
practitioner called as vaidyas.
Actually the medicines do have side effects. But the vaidya
is aware of them and hence he thinks in totality to come
out with a combination of medicine with optimised results.
The medicines take a long time to cure, and hence cannot
be administered at the time of emergency. Actually, there
are some medicines which show immediate effect while some
of the medicines have a slow but radical effect.
It is useful in chronic ailments only. Generally
patients who are not strict followers of ayurveda, try all
other possible paths to cure an ailment which is ordinary
and convert it to a chronic one and then resort to Ayurvedic
way of healing.
It is an alternative medicine or complimentary medicine. In reality
it is full fledged branch having diagnosis, surgery, preventive and curative
Then, what is Ayurveda? It is defined by Charak as a
branch of knowledge wherein the proportion and measures of happiness and
unhappiness, pleasures and displeasures of life are discussed.
The God Brahma taught this science to Atreya punarvasoo. Thus
it landed on earth from heaven. Atreya taught it to six of his students
which includes Agnivesh, Jatukarna, Parashara, Bhel and Harit. All of
them compiled their knowedge as Samhita named after the respective writer.
Agnivesh was most talented one and his Samhita after a few additions by
Charak, is known as Charak Samhita. Ayurveda is divided into eight parts.
Hence it is also known as ashtanga ayurveda.
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These are as follows: Kaya, Bal, Graha, Urdhwa, Shalya, Dhanstra, Jara, Vrishan.
1. Kaya: The part of ayurveda which mainly related with
diseases related with body, related with digestion.
It is related with the paediatric age group. It is the treatment
for the proper growth and diseases of children.
It deals with stars and planets and other mental disorders.
The diseases of upper part of the body above the neck. This
part is also known as Shalakyatantra. In this part, disorders
of ear, nose, throat, eyes, and oral cavity are considered.
This is surgical branch of Ayurveda which is well developed
It is related to the tooth where animal bites, poisoning
and its treatment is considered.
It is the branch related to geriatrics. It deals with treatment
to avoid old age.
It is the branch related with healthy sex life and treatment related to
complaints about intercourse etc.
is based on many theories amongst which some of them are discussed here.
1.Dosha-Dhatu-Mala: The body is composed of three doshas viz Vata-Pitta-Kapha.The
body is maintained with the help of these three doshas. There are seven
Dhatus named as rasa, rakta,mansa, meda, asthi, majja, shukra. There are
three types of malas as sweda, mutra, and pureisha. The whole physiology
of the body takes place with the help of these dosh-dhatu -mala.
Prakruti: At the time of conception, the particular dosha dominating
is the prakruti of that individual.According to individuals prakruti,
he or she is prone to some types of disease. To cure those disorders,
some hints related to day to day life "dincharya" and seasonal behavior
Panch Mahabhoot Siddhanta: The whole body is considered to be made
up of five basic elements such as Prithvi, Aap, Tepa, Vayu and Aakash
.When there is disturbance in dosha-dhatu-mala, the individual suffers
from disease. Hence they should be treated accordingly.
The treatment part includes Shodhan and Shaman. In Shodhan, the doshas
are expelled out of the body with the help of medicines and in Shaman
, doshas are suppressed in the body. Shodhan includes five ways of cleansing
named as Pancha karma. It includes;
Nasya: medicine administered by nostrils.
Raktamokshan: letting out blood, Basti: medicated material
administered through anus. Charak, Sushrut and Vagbhata are considered
to be the on Ayurveda authorities.