Ayurveda (Sanskrit Āyurveda आयुर्वेद, “life-knowledge”;) Ayurvedic medicine is a system of Hindutraditional medicine of Vedictradition native to the Indian subcontinent, and a form of alternative medicine. Some of the oldest known Ayurvedic texts include
the Suśrutha Saṃhitā, Charaka Saṃhitā. These Sanskrit texts are among the foundational and formally compiled works of Ayurveda…….
Eight components of Ayurveda
In classical Sanskrit literature, Ayurveda was called “the science of eight components” (Sanskrit aṣṭāṅga अष्टांग), a classification thatbecame canonical for Ayurveda:
- Kayachikitsa(General medicine): “cure of diseases affecting the body”.
- Kaumāra-bhṛtyaand Bala Roga : “treatment of children”.
- Shalya tantra:surgical techniques.
- Śālākya-tantra(Ophthalmology): cure of diseases of the teeth, eye, nose or ear etc.
- Bhuta-vidyadeals with the causes, which are directly not visible and not explained directly from tridosha.:pertaining to micro-organisms or spirits.
- Agada-tantra: Gada means Poison. “doctrine of antidotes”
- Rasayana-tantra(Geriatrics)/(Anti Agings) : Doctrine of Rasayana/Rejuvenation.
- Vajikarana tantra (Aphrodisiacs): deals with healthy and desired progeny.
Ayurveda is a discipline of the upaveda or “auxiliary knowledge” in Vedic tradition. It is treated as a supplement or appendix of theRigveda. However, some believed that Atharva-Veda is the prime origin of Ayurveda. The samhita of the Atharvaveda itself contains 114 hymns or incantations for the magical cure of diseases. Charak has advised in his samhita that physicians should adhere to Atharva-Veda. Origins of Ayurveda have been traced back to 5,000 BCE, originating as an oral tradition and later as medical texts, Ayurveda evolved from the Vedas.There are various legendary accounts of the “origin of Ayurveda”, e.g., that the science was received byDhanvantari (or Divodasa) from Brahma. Tradition also holds that a lost text written by the sage Agnivesa, a student of the sageBharadwaja, influenced the writings of Ayurveda.
There are three principal early texts on Ayurveda, they are Charaka Samhita, the Sushruta Samhita and the Bhela Samhita. TheSushruta Samhita is based on an original written during the 6th century BCE, this work was updated by 2nd century Buddhist scholar, Nagarjuna. The Charaka Samhita, written by Charaka, it is dated to the period of 6th century BCE. Bhela Samhita is also dated to a period of 6th century BCE, and attributed to the sage Atreya Punarvasu, who was the personal physician of King Nagnajit ofGandhara Kingdom. During early centuries of common era, Dridhabala had added updated Charaka Samhita. The Bower Manuscript, is also of special interest to historians due to its inclusion of Samhitas and its concepts in Central Asian Buddhism. A.F. R. Hoernle in his 1897 edition identified the scribe of the medical portions of the manuscript as a native of India, using a northern variant of the Gupta script, who had migrated and become a Buddhist monk in a monastery in Kucha. The Chinese pilgrim Fa Hsien (c. 337–422 AD) wrote about the health care system of the Gupta empire (320–550) and described the institutional approach of Indian medicine, also visible in the works of Charaka, who mentions a clinic and how it should be equipped.
Other early texts, mentioned alongside the Sushruta, Charaka and Bhela Samhita, are Agnivesha Samhita, Kasyapa Samhita and Harita Samhitas. The original edition of Agnivesha Samhita can be dated to 1500 BCE, it was written by Agnivesa and the text was later modified by Charaka. Kasyapa Samhita includes the treatise of Jivaka Kumar Bhaccha and it is dated a period of 6th century BCE.While Harita Samhita is dated to an earlier period, it is attributed to Harita, who was a disciple of Punarvasu Atreya. Some later texts includes Astanga nighantu (8th Century) by Vagbhata, Paryaya ratnamala (9th century) by Madhava, Siddhasara nighantu (9th century) by Ravi Gupta, Dravyavali (10th Century), Dravyaguna sangraha (11th century) by Cakrapanidatta, among others.