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History of Ayurveda

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Historical Background of Ayurveda

Ayurveda, Ancient Scientific System of Indian Medicine to lead a healthy purposeful life , originated from India. All ancient civilizations have evolved own medicinal systems depending upon their social beliefs & resources and practices to cope up with diseases. Some of them are practiced in their regions but Ayurveda and Chinese have worldwide presence.

According to the references available in Vedas, Ramayana, Mahabharata and all other literary work in India, Ayurveda was originated with the origin of life to improve the quality and span of life. It was initially taught by word of mouth along with practical training. The documentation of Ayurvedic practices and facts starts from Vedas i.e. from Rig-Veda in which a lot of description about disease symptoms their treatments with different kinds of herbs and with some mantras are described. The most detailed and systemic description of Ayurveda is available in Atharvaveda (6000-4000 BC).

An Ancient famous Ayurvedic Physician Agnivesha, the disciple of Maharishi Punarvasu Atreya did the first independent documentation of Ayurveda. This work is available till today as Charaka Samhita that was revised and updated (2000-1500 BC) by great physician Maharishi Charaka. In 120-chapter of Charaka Samhita, Ayurvedic principles of Internal medicine based on system biology approach, Pharmacology, Pharmacy, Panchakarma, Rasayana, Vajikarana, Naishthiki- therapy, basics of preventive, predictive and curative medicines are described in details. This is the most authentic work available on Ayurvedic medicine and is an important part of syllabus in under graduate, postgraduate and research purpose till date.

The eight branches of Ayurveda are described in this text but internal medicine is described in detail-

Kayachikitsa [Internal Medicine]
Shalakya [Medicines & Surgery of ENT, EYE]
Shalya [Surgery – General, & super specialized]
Agada Tantra [Toxicology & Forensic Medicine]
Bhootavidhya [Psychiatry and Mantra Healing]
Kaumarbhritya [Pediatrics, Gynae – obstratics]
Rasayana [Preventive, Anti-ageing, rejuvenation& Geriatrics]
Vajikarana [Endocrinology, Reproductive Medicine, Genetics & Natural Stem-Cell Therapy]

Great Ancient Surgeon, Sushruta documented the surgical branch Sushruta Samhita (1000BC), which is available till date that was edited and updated by Nagarjuna (200AD). The procedures adopted and the instruments used are described in detail. Some of the procedures are done in the same manner in modern day surgery also. Concepts of modern plastic surgery is developed from the Principles and techniques described in Sushruta Samhita.

The great universities in India in olden days (1500BC to 200AD) where Ayurveda medicine and surgery were taught along with other sciences. One was at Banaras on the bank of River Ganga in the east where head of medicine was Sushruta- followed by Nagarjuna where surgical techniques and principles were taught. The other was at Takshashila in the west on the bank of Jhelum River where medicine was taught under the leadership of Atreya- Agnivesha followed by Charaka. Other great university was at Nalanda where Kashyapa was the head of medicine, pediatrics, Gynae-obstratics specialties. A lot of references are available which indicate that the students from other regions of the world also came here for study.

Thus Ayurveda has so long golden period; once again due its unique holistic approach it is gaining its ground not only in Indian but entering every home in the world in some or the other way. Some reasons are as follows-

1. World wide researches on various dimensions including stem cell therapies are going on to find the treatment for a nos of chronic disease like muscular dystrophies,ALS, multiple sclerosis etc with conventional disease focused approach but partial / no success.Side effects of modern medicines.

2. Other kind of diseases which can be managed but cannot be reversed like Rheumatoid Arthritis, Cancer, Diabetes, Asthma, AIDS, Auto- immune disorders; these are basically life style generated disorders, viral disorders, Genetic diseases.

3. Disease oriented approach of modern treatment plan not diseased nature taken into account that plays an important role.

4. The life style generated & genetic disorders can be predicted by following the Ayurveda principles of diagnosis and can also prevent, treated successfully.

5. Immunocompromised state of health can be improved through personalized Rasayana Therapy.

6. Concept of Panchakarma therapies is unique in Ayurveda which meant for prevention & disease reversal therapies thru focused detoxification

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