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    History & Origin of Ayurveda ( Introduction about Ayurveda)

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    History & Origin of Ayurveda ( Introduction about Ayurveda) Empty History & Origin of Ayurveda ( Introduction about Ayurveda)

    Post by Admin Sat 06 Nov 2010, 5:40 pm

    A life science, illuminating precise methods of living, eating and behaving. Ayurveda literally means a science that deals about living and knowledge of life. As believed by many, ayurveda is not only a medicinal system but a complete manual of living and leading healthy and happy life. A carefully designed system of living, with time tested results helps in preventing instability, caused in body. Whole ayurvedic system is based on the principle that every object in this world made from five basic matters i.e. space, air, water, fire and earth. All living and non living things both are composed of these five basic elements better known as panch mahabhoot. This basic design is analogous in all the objects existing on the planet and hence contributes in creating a similar system in all.

    Homeostasis of the body gets disturbed when the ratio of these panch mahabhoot gets dissipated or imbalanced. Now, to again make that system in balance ayurveda applies the external constituents to make that loss compensated.

    Ayurveda is a complete self-being system, which dominantly stresses on living a good and healthy lifestyle that does not have any imbalance in the harmony and rhythm of the body. A holistic skill that works on harmonizing the vital forces of the body and helps in providing steadiness to our body systems. If there is disparity in the customary flow of energy in the body, it will cause deviation in normal functioning, thus leading to roga (disease) that eventually will cause dukha (misery).

    When ever there is imbalance in the vital forces, the body gets diseased and faces misery. This disease and suffering causes sorrow in humans and hence leads to discomfort in normal living. Ayurveda relates prevention of diseases and misery by five basic methodologies. These are detoxification and clean-up of bodies’ negativities, stimulating the functioning of immune system, dealing and administrating with stress, impede premature aging progression, and rejuvenating the lost energies with time.

    This concept of ayurveda shows that every individual in this universe has his own bodily system which is called prakruti (nature) that is decided after the conception in the womb of the mother. Every individual has different prakruti and this prakruti decides the fate and nature of the entity. Ayurveda can be considered as an observational science which developed as per the need of humans during his evolution towards today’s world and has got time proven results. The whole ayurvedic system is designed in such a way that normal homeostasis is maintained by following particular lifestyle and supplementing the deficiency with new similar part, by which homeostasis is maintained.A system well cross linked by healthy lifestyle and high thinking values that helps in creating the gesture of pleasure and ecstasy in body. Ayurveda believes in eternal, internal and external sukha (delight).

    According to ayurvedic philosophy human body is achieved after crossing 84 lakh births, and only human body has the capability that helps in achieving the ultimate goal of life i.e. moksha. Ayurveda teaches self development of an individual at both physical and physic level. It also helps in eliminating all types of negativities present in the body and refreshes our body and soul with the youth and bliss. Ayurveda laid emphasis on curving our soul to such a path that helps in maintaing wellness and purity towards others. Ayurveda is considered as the oldest system of medicine still in practice world wide. Ayurveda also shows its diversification as it spreads around the globe. The great Alexander, when he invaded India, took some well qualified vaidya (ayurvedic physicians) with him. This ultimately led to the creation of Unani system of medicine. Influence of ayurveda is very visibly seen on Tibetan and Chinese medicine system. Roots of ayurveda can still be traced in Far East i.e. China, Korea, Japan, Burma, Bhutan, Sri Lanka to western countries like Greece, Persia and Portugal. Presently ayurveda is creating lots of talks in western galleries, as its wonders are being felt in far western world. Benefits of ayurveda are now exposed to western culture and are now gaining huge popularity and curiosity amongst the different faces of the world. People are taking great interest in ayurveda and there is huge wave of learning and practicing ayurveda is created. Many centers of learning ayurveda are now set up in different countries and people are being taught ayurvedic lifestyles and therapy. People are deriving huge benefits using ayurvedic techniques and concepts. Yoga is creating waves in every corner of this world. Ayurvedic massages and panchkarma techniques are now famous worldwide. Ayurvedic herbs and there formulations are not only relieving people from there problems but also curing them.

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    History & Origin of Ayurveda ( Introduction about Ayurveda) Empty Know about Ayurveda: Origin of Ayurveda

    Post by Admin Sat 06 Nov 2010, 5:41 pm

    Know about Ayurveda: Origin of Ayurveda

    Ayurveda originated about 5000 years back. It is said that it has a divine origin and was initially possessed by gods. It is believed that ayurveda was created by Lord Brahma. Lord Brahma is considered as creator of this universe according to Indian mythology. Brahma the creator, created ayurveda much before human came into existence. It was an unscripted knowledge which was passed to Daksh Prajapati. Daksh Prajapati is said to be the father of Parvati, a goddess who is well known as the wife of lord Shiva, the destructor. Daksh Prajapati obtained the knowledge of ayurveda in the form of shloka hymned by Lord Brahma. Lord Brahma gave the knowledge of ayurveda in a hundred thousand verses. These shlokas were in Sanskrit language and were verbally addressed to him by Lord Brahma. Daksh Prajapati is also known as the king of Himalaya obtained complete knowledge about ayurveda and learned it word by word. This knowledge of ayurveda was then passed on to two twin brothers popularly known as “physician of Gods” and was famous with name Ashwani kumar. These two brothers were excellent healers and did wonders by ayurvedic treatment. They performed such surgeries which are still considered very difficult and risky even in present scenario. Ashwani kumar were perfect in performing surgeries that they even had been successful in repairing and amputated body parts. They were even expert in medicine and had treated many people with there medicine. They had even done eye surgery which is only possible in this era. They had a famous and a very beautiful chariot made of gold. This heritage of ayurveda was then transferred to lords of rain and king of heaven lord Indra. Lord Indra a very well known God in Indian mythology graced the ayurveda by helping people in curing from there misery. He devised certain line of treatments that proved to be very helpful to people who were suffering from diseases and sorrows. But during that era, diseases and immorality started dominating the planet and people were badly affected with the miseries and diseases. Health of people was deteriorating day by day and epidemics were causing loss of human and animal life. People were getting corrupted and truthfulness was losing its ground in the heart of people. Domestic animals like cows, goat etc. played very important part in human evolutions were also dying. Life style of people was also getting disturbed which intern was inviting trouble to the society.

    Seeing all these mishapennings and sorrows few learned men approached lord Indra to help this planet in getting diseased free. They went to lord Indra and dictated him about the grievances mankind was facing. After hearing all these grievances Lord Indra decided to shower them with the knowledge of ayurveda, by which they could resolve the problems. A team of scholars were selected under rishi Bhardwaj and were blessed with the complete knowledge of ayurveda. This is the first time ayurveda descended on earth. Till lord Indra, ayurveda had been in the hands of gods but when the knowledge of ayurveda was given to rishi Bhardwaj, it came in the hands of humans. It was a very important day in the human history according to mythology, as this was the first time people on earth could achieve longitivity by applying ayurveda in there lives. Ayurveda also provides the lifestyle techniques for healthy living and also teaches us social manners to improve over all personality. Now this prestigious life science was taught to Punarvasu Atrey a disciple of rishi Bhardwaj. Punarvasu Atrey was a very renowned scholar of his time. Due to his capabilities and learning skills he learned knowledge of ayurveda from rishi Bhardwaj. Punarvasu Atrey devoted his full life in treating people from ayurvedic remedies. Punarvasu Atrey had 6 disciples named Agnivesh, Bhel, Jatukarna, Parashar, Harit, and Ksharpani. Punarvasu carefully narrated all the light of ayurveda amongst his disciple. Each and every disciple observed and accessed the knowledge in his own way and all scripted this knowledge in there texts. Out of all these all the text written by Agnivesh became very popular. It was known as Agnivesh tantra. This text also exists in this era and is very popularly known as charak samhita. Charak samhita is considered as this golden book of the ayurvedic medicine. Any body who wants to become an ayurvedic physician must have complete knowledge of charak samhita.

    There are other views present which are depicted in the chart below.There is one another view famous about the origin of ayurveda.According to the legends famous in India. There were two sections of powerful people on earth. One was devas (gods) and others were the daityas (devils). Once gods came to know that there is amrit (nectar) beneath the sea. By consuming even a single drop of that nectar, Gods becomes could live for ever and also can also enjoy youth for ever. All gods met and decided to extract that nectar from the bottom of the sea. But there was a big problem that the sea had to be churned (samundra manthan) in order to get that pot full of nectar. For this great amount of force was required and only this could be achieved with the combined effort of both devils and gods.

    With some efforts Gods convinced devils for helping them in churning the sea to extract nectar. Sea was churned with help of shesh nag (big snake) and mountain in the center. Churning of sea was done rigorously. Many divine gifts came out of the sea. Then came out the visha (venomous) pot. It was so venomous that even a single drop it may lead to destruction of earth, so lord Shiva, the destructor came to rescue. He drank that poison and retained in the throat. Hence the problem was resolved.

    The sea was churned again. This time came out a God named Dhanwantry with a pot full of nectar for gods and a science in his hand called ayurveda for human beings. Lord Dhanwantry is also considered god in ayurveda as he was blessed with healing skills of ayurveda. Though these mythological versions may seems to be unbelievable or unreal but in the back ground it is related to the sentiments of people and shows there respect towards ayurveda. It is a fact that ayurveda has been a gods gift to people so as to get rid off of their miseries and troubles.

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    History & Origin of Ayurveda ( Introduction about Ayurveda) Empty The History of Ayurveda

    Post by Admin Sat 06 Nov 2010, 5:42 pm

    The History of Ayurveda

    Ayurveda , the science of life, prevention and longevity is the oldest and most holistic medical system available on the planet today. It was placed in written form over 5,000 years ago in India, it was said to be a world medicine dealing with both body and the spirit. Before the advent of writing, the ancient wisdom of this healing system was a part of the spiritual tradition of the Sanatana Dharma (Universal Religion), or Vedic Religion. VedaVyasa, the famous sage, shaktavesha avatar of Vishnu, put into writing the complete knowledge of Ayurveda, along with the more directly spiritual insights of self realization into a body of scriptural literature called the Vedas and the Vedic literatures. There were originally four main books of spirituality, which included among other topics, health, astrology, spiritual business, government, army, poetry and spiritual living and behavior. These books are known as the four Vedas; Rik, Sama, Yajur and Atharva. The Rik Veda, a compilation of verse on the nature of existence, is the oldest surviving book of any Indo-European language (3000 B.C.). The Rik Veda (also known as Rig Veda) refers to the cosmology known as Sankhya which lies at the base of both Ayurveda and Yoga, contains verses on the nature of health and disease, pathogenesis and principles of treatment. Among the Rik Veda are found discussions of the three dosas, Vayu. Pitta and Kapha, and the use of herbs to heal the diseases of the mind and body and to foster longevity.

    The Atharva Veda lists the eight divisions of Ayurveda: Internal Medicine, Surgery of Head and Neck, Opthamology and Otorinolaryngology, Surgery, Toxicology, Psychiatry, Pediatrics, Gerontology or Science of Rejuvenation, and the Science of Fertility. The Vedic Sages took the passages from the Vedic Scriptures relating to Ayurveda and compiled separate books dealing only with Ayurveda. One of these books, called the Atreya Samhita is the oldest medical book in the world! The Vedic Brahmanas were not only priests performing religious rites and ceremonies, they also became Vaidyas (physicians of Ayurveda). The sage-physician-surgeons of the time were the same sages or seers, deeply devoted holy people, who saw health as an integral part of spiritual life. It is said that they received their training of Ayurveda through direct cognition during meditation. In other words, the knowledge of the use of various methods of healing, prevention, longevity and surgery came through Divine revelation; there was no guessing or testing and harming animals.

    These revelations were transcribed from the oral tradition into book form, interspersed with the other aspects of life and spirituality. What is fascinating is Ayurveda's use of herbs, foods, aromas, gems, colors, yoga, mantras, lifestyle and surgery. Consequently Ayurveda grew into a respected and widely used system of healing in India. Around 1500 B.C., Ayurveda was delineated into eight specific branches of medicine. There were two main schools of Ayurveda at that time. Atreya- the school of physicians, and Dhanvantari - the school of surgeons. These two schools made Ayurveda a more scientifically verifiable and classifiable medical system People from numerous countries came to Indian Ayurvedic schools to learn about this world medicine and the religious scriptures it sprang from. Learned men from China, Tibet, the Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Afghanistanis, Persians, and more traveled to learn the complete wisdom and bring it back to their own countries. Ayurvedic texts were translated in Arabic and under physicians such as Avicenna and Razi Sempion, both of whom quoted Indian Ayurvedic texts, established Islamic medicine. This style became popular in Europe, and helped to form the foundation of the European tradition in medicine. In 16th Century Europe, Paracelsus, who is known as the father of modem Western medicine, practiced and propagated a system of medicine which borrowed heavily from Ayurveda. There are two main re-organizers of Ayurveda whose works are still existing in tact today - Charak and Sushrut. The third major treatise is called the Ashtanga Hridaya, which is a concise version of the works of Charak and Sushrut. Thus the three main Ayurvedic texts that are still used today are the Charak Samhita (compilation of the oldest book Atreya Samhita), Sushrut Samhita and the Ashtangha Hridaya Samhita. These books are believed to be over 1,200 years old. It is because these texts still contain the original and complete knowledge of this Ayurvedic world medicine, that Ayurveda is known today as the only complete medical system still in existence. Other forms of medicine from various cultures, although parallel are missing parts of the original information.


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    History & Origin of Ayurveda ( Introduction about Ayurveda) Empty Test and History or Ayurveda – 1 to 5-caraka & susrutha samhitha

    Post by Admin Sat 06 Nov 2010, 5:43 pm

    Test and History or Ayurveda – 1
    The Origins - The Myths and Legends

    Indian art of healing is almost as old as the religion of Hinduism itself. Ayurveda attained a state of reverence and is classified as one of the Upa-Vedas - a subsection - attached to the Atharva Veda. The Atharva Veda contains not only the magic spells and the occult sciences but also the Ayurveda that deals with the diseases, injuries, fertility, sanity and health. However, the secrets of life were revealed even in the first Veda, the Rg Veda. The five elements of creation, the Pancha-maha-bhuta, namely the earth, water, fire, air and ether form the basis and essence of all life forms. Out of these arise the three doshas, namely Vata, Pitta and Kahpa. These three doshas unfortunately have been crudely translated as air, bile and phlegm. But the Ayurveda texts, which treat all diseases based on the disequilibrium of these three doshas, are lot more complex. The knowledge consists of three aspects ofAyurveda known as the Tri-Sutras — cause of illness (etiology), symptomatology of disease process and treatment of disease. Ayurveda incorporates all forms of lifestyle in therapy. Thus yoga, aroma, meditation, gems, amulets, herbs, diet, astrology, color and surgery etc. are used in a comprehensive manner in treating patients. Treating important and sensitive spots on the body called Marmas is described both in Ayurveda and in Dhanur Veda (another Upa-Veda dealing with martial arts and military science). Massages, exercises and yoga are recommended.

    The venerable state of the art of healing was enhanced by the myths and legends of the god of healing, Divodasa Dhanvantari, a patron deity of medicine. The science of medicine was said to have been taught to the sages by Divodasa Dhanvantari, who later wrote them down in the text of Ayurveda. According to another legend, the knowledge of healing originated from the creator Brahma himself, who taught it to Daksha (protector of all beings), who in turn taught it to Indra. When diseases and death became rampant a gathering of the great sages was held in the Himalayas. Sage Bharadvaja volunteered to learn the craft from Indra. He then taught the science to his pupil Atreya, a legendary healer, who then transmitted this knowledge through his disciples. Compilations of this knowledge are called the Ayurveda. Other patron saints of medicine were the twins called Ashvins, who were patrons of eyesight and were physicians that treated the gods themselves.


    Text and History of Ayurveda – 2
    A Hindu Heritage of Healing

    Compilations of Atreya and Agnivesha are lost. The knowledge we now have is by three surviving texts of Charaka, Sushruta and Vaghbata. Charaka (1st century A.D.) based his Samhita on Agnivesha Samhita. Sushruta (4th century A.D.) based his Samhita on the Dhanvantari School of Ayurveda. Vaghbata (5th century A.D.) compiled the third set of major texts called Ashtanga Hridaya and Ashtanga Sangraha. The former is more succinct and is based on both Atreya and Dhanvantari schools. Atreya’s School of Physicians and Dhanvantari’s School of Surgeons became the basis of Ayurveda and helped organize and systematically classify into braches of medicine and surgery.

    Sixteen major supplements (Nighantus) were written in the ensuing years – Dhanvantari Bahavaprakasha, Raja and Shaligrama to name a few – that helped refine the practice of Ayurveda. New drugs were added and ineffective ones were discarded. Expansion of application, identification of new illnesses and finding substitute treatments seemed to have been an evolving process. Close to 2000 plants that were used in healing diseases and abating symptoms were identified in these supplements.

    Dridhabala in the 4th century revised the Charaka Samhita. The texts of Sushruta Samhita were revised and supplemented by Nagarjuna in the 6th century in a treatise called Upa-hridaya.

    There developed eight branches/divisions of Ayurveda:
    • Kaya-chikitsa (Internal Medicine)
    • Shalakya Tantra (surgery and treatment of head and neck, Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology)
    • Shalya Tantra (Surgery)
    • Agada Tantra (Toxicology)
    • Bhuta Vidya (Psychiatry)
    • Kaumara bhritya (Pediatrics)
    • Rasayana (science of rejuvenation or anti-aging)
    • Vajikarana (the science of fertility).

    The dates of the authors are still very controversial. Some historians place the lifetimes of Atreya, Charaka and Sushruta in the Vedic period, around 600 B.C. These are based on the references to the authors that seem to have surfaced in earlier texts than the proposed dates mentioned in this article. When the history is completely rewritten and there is no more controversy, everyone hopefully can agree upon a constant date. Until then we should not worry about the timeline and only admire the scientific approach these ancient authors followed, striving to perfect the art of healing that could rival a modern scientific research.

    Many modern medications were derived from plants alluded to in Ayurveda texts. The oft cited example is that of Rauwolfia serpentina that was used to treat headache, anxiety and snakebite. Its derivative is used in treating blood pressure today.


    Text and History of Ayurveda – 3

    Two areas of contribution of Indian physicians were in treating snakebite and prevention of small pox. Detailed account of steps to be followed after a poisonous snake bite including application of tourniquet and lancing the site by connecting the two fang marks and sucking the poison out is described. A decoction of the medicinal plant Rauwolfia serpentina is next applied to the wound.

    A form of vaccination for small pox was commonly practiced in India long before the West discovered the method. A small dose of pus from the pustule of small pox lesion was inoculated to develop resistance. Such methods of building immunity were practiced in other fields as well, against other diseases in order to develop antibodies against the infecting organism or a poison.

    Charaka Samhita

    Charaka was said to have been in the court of the Kushana king, Kanishka during the 1st century A. D. Some authors date him as far back as the 6th century B.C. during Buddha period. The sacred trust between physician and patient was held in high esteem by Charaka and patient confidentiality, similar to the Hippocratic Oath, was deemed the proper conduct for a practicing physician. Charaka also told us that the word A yurveda was derived from Ayus, meaning life and Veda. Nevertheless, according to Charaka the word Ayus connotes more than just life. Ayus denotes a combination of the body, sense organs, mind and soul. The principles of treatment in Charaka’s teachings took a holistic approach that treated not just the symptoms of the disease but the body, mind and soul as single entity.

    Compiled by Charaka in the form of discussions and symposiums held by many scholars, Charaka Samhita is the most ancient and authoritative text that has survived. Written in Sanskrit in verse form, it has 8400 metrical verses. Following the Atreya School of Physicians, the Samhita deals mainly with the diagnosis and treatment of disease process through internal and external application of medicine. Called Kaya-chikitsa (internal medicine), it aims at treating both the body and the spirit and to strike a balance between the two. Following diagnosis, a series of methods to purify both the body and spirit with purgation and detoxification, blood letting and emesis as well as enema (known as Pancha-karma) are utilized. The emphasis seems to be to tackle diseases in the early phase or in a preventative manner before the first symptoms appear. Ayurvedic diagnosis and treatment is traditionally divided into eight branches (sthanas) based on the approach of a physician towards a disease process.

    Text and History of Ayurveda – 4
    A Hindu Heritage of Healing

    Detailed accounts of various methods of diagnosis, study of various stages of symptoms and the comprehensive management of debilitating diseases like diabetes mellitus, tuberculosis, asthma and arthritic conditions are to be found in the Charaka Samhita. There is even a detailed account of fetal development in the mother’s womb, which can rival descriptions of modern medical text books. Charaka lists more than 500 remedies in his Samhita.

    Charaka also wrote details about building a hospital. A good hospital should be located in a breezy spot free of smoke and objectionable smells and noises. Even the equipment needed including the brooms and brushes are detailed. The personnel should be clean and well behaved. Details about the rooms, cooking area and the privies are given. Conversation, recitations and entertainment of the patient were encouraged and said to aid in healing the ailing patient.

    Sushruta Samhita

    Sushruta was a surgeon in the Gupta courts in the 4th century A.D. He followed Dhanvantari School of Surgery and is one of the earliest surgeons of recorded history. Though Indian mythology is full of accounts of healing through transplantation of head and limbs as well as eye balls, Sushruta Samhita is the first authentic text to describe methodology of plastic surgery, cosmetic and prosthetic surgery, Cesarean section and setting of compound fractures. Sushruta had in his possession an armamentarium of 125 surgical instruments made of stone, metal and wood. Forceps, scalpels, trocars, catheters, syringes, saws, needles and scissors were all available to the surgeon. Rhinoplasty (plastic surgery of the nose) was first presented to the world medical community by Sushruta in his Samhita, where a detailed method of transposition of a forehead flap to reconstruct a severed nose is given. Severed noses were common form of punishment. Torn ear lobes also were common due to heavy jewelry worn on ear lobes. Sushruta described a method of repair of the torn ear lobes. Fitting of prosthetics for severed limbs were also commonly performed feats.

    Sushruta wrote, “Only the union of medicine and surgery constitutes the complete doctor. The doctor who lacks knowledge of one of these branches is like a bird with only one wing.” While Charaka concentrated on the kaya-chikitsa (internal medicine), Sushruta’s work mainly expounded on the Shalya Tantra (surgery).

    The Samhita contains mostly poetry verses but also has some details in prose. 72 different ophthalmic diseases and their treatment are mentioned in great detail. Pterygium, glaucoma and treatment of conjunctivitis were well known to Sushruta. Removal of cataract by a method called couching, wherein the opaque lens is pushed to a side to improve vision was practiced routinely. Techniques of suturing and many varieties of bandaging, puncturing and probing, drainage and extraction are detailed in the manuscript. Sushruta lists more than 700 herbal medicines.


    Text and History of Ayurveda – 5

    Vaghbata in the 5th century compiled two sets of texts called Ashtanga Sangraha and Ashtanga Hridaya. The latter of the two combines both the Atreya and Dhanvantari schools. It details the Kaya-chikitsa of Charaka Samhita and the various surgical procedures of Sushruta Samhita. Exhaustive descriptions of kapha, vayu and pitta are given. However, the emphasis seems to be more on the physiological rather than the spiritual aspects of the disease processes. Ashtanga Hridaya is written in prose whereas the Ashtanga Sangraha is in poetry form.

    The Ancient Indian Physician

    Originally only Brahmins were practicing physicians. Later people from other castes became well versed in the art of healing and a term Vaidya came to be applied to the practitioners. Merely by their art and knowledge, the physicians gained high social status regardless of their caste of birth. The court physician was of political importance and sat on the right side of the throne, an important symbolic place. Though the physician, patient, the nurse and the medicine were all important in curing a disease, the physician was thought to be the most important.

    The codes of conduct for physicians and medical students were laid down by the texts of Laws of Manu. The poor and downtrodden were to be treated free of charge. Others were charged according to their ability to pay.

    The physician was expected to behave in an exemplary manner, conforming to the highest ideals of professional and personal life. His dress, manner and speech were expected to be beyond reproach. Medical education was arduous, consisting of many years of sacrifice learning the art of healing. Visiting the sick, collecting herbs and preparation of drugs, memorizing the Vedic texts of Ayurveda, performing procedures on dead animals, melons, and leather bottles and bladders were part of the training. These exercises helped refine both theoretical and practical training of the student. When finally the student is deemed ready to practice on his own, he is certified by the ruler. The system closely resembles that of the Hippocratic Oath of Greece.

    How much influence Greece had on Indian medicine is hard to say. We know that astrology and astronomy were both greatly influenced by the Greeks (solar calendar, for example). Most of the texts available to us were written after the Greeks made their appearance (Alexander in 3rd century B.C.) and stayed in the Northwest India for several decades. How much the Indian physician learned from the Greek counterpart and vice versa is a question not answered.

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    History & Origin of Ayurveda ( Introduction about Ayurveda) Empty Influence of the Vedas on Ayurveda

    Post by Admin Sat 06 Nov 2010, 5:45 pm

    Influence of the Vedas on Ayurveda

    The Vedic literature conations various description about medicine and their uses some preparations found in Vedas are as under. Soma Rasa is the first ever swarasa extracted juice kalpana. About Soma the ninth section of Riga Veda is fully dedicated in its praise but nothing is written about the preparation of Soma Rasa In Riga Veda the annotation 6-68-10 descriptions of different liquors is found. Again the process of preparation is not given. Likewise there are various descriptions about the foods grains cereals, the milk preparations and more. For example dhana (roasted food grains) saktu (flour of roasted food grains), parivaap (roasted food grains), dadhi (curd), amiksha (boiled and clotted milk) are some of the preparations. The some preparations as ksheer paak (medicated milk), takra (curd milk) navaneet (butter), payasya (cheese), tokama (germinated paddy grains), madhu (honey) are also found in the Vedas. The Vedic description is incomplete in respect of the preparation methods but have deep influence on the basics of ayurveda; needless to say that they would have knowledge of ayurveda about, as the Vedas are not the medical text so such descriptions are not found in them.

    The bhaishajya kalpana though do not correlate with the Vedas because they are not the medical text but has a very great influence on the basics principles of the Ayurveda. The Vedas mainly consists of the descriptions of the intellect and wisdom offered by sages from Indian Hindu mythological beliefs. The philosophy of the Hindus namely shada dershan (six basic sections of philosophy) has got very much influence on the ayurveda. This subject matter is mainly found in the Vedas. According to 'Vaisesika theory', whatever is in the Universe can be broadly placed under six categories (Padarthas), one of these categories is substance (dravya), which can be sub divided into nine entities, five of which are prithvi (earth) jala (water), agni (fire), vayu (air) and akasha (space). The Panchabhautkitava theory that supplied the ‘Panchabhuta’, or the five elemental classifications of matter and this forms the basis of the Indian medical system of Ayurveda. The other four entities are mana (mind), atama (soul) kaal (time) and disha (the physical conditions). The bhaishjya kalpanas are mainly dependent upon all these nine entities. As these entities nine concepts are the basis of psychosomatic constitution of the human body. Vaisesika philosophy describes the manner in which combinations of different types of 'Pramanus' (atoms) occur, producing the various substances that we see around us. These combinations can cause even chemical reactions under the influence of agni (fire). This chemical reaction, provided the basis for the concept of digestion and metabolism of food and its conversion into ‘dhatus’ (rasa, rakta, maansa, majja, vasa, ashit and shukra) and ‘doshas’ (vata, pitta, and kafa) of the body, upon which was built the theory of 'Tridosha'. Thus the contribution of Vaisesika to the systematization and development of Ayurveda is fundamental.

    The other main system of philosophy is found in 'Nyaya Sutra’, which explains all the knowledge needed to establish the identity of a fact or substance. This philosophy of 'Nyaya', consists of four methods of establishing the true identity of a fact, this is needed for the pharmacogansy, which is the basic of pharmacology. As for identifying the characteristic property of a drug its action and results the four pramaans (Judgment techniques) pratyaksha (perception), anumana (inference), uhamana (comparison) and aptavakya (testrimony) are used in ayurveda. The dravya guna consist of the studies done extensively on various drugs included in Indian medicine. Thus the contribution of the Nyaya system of philosophy to Ayurvedic medicine in establishing scientific methodology is as great as the contribution of the Vaisesika philosophy to Ayurveda. The philosophy of Samyaka leads to the fundamental basis of Ayurvedic treatment and medicine as it correlates the knowledge acquired by the above two i.e. the Nyaya and the Vaisesika. The basis of making homeostasis in the tridoshasa, and adding or subtracting the various drugs for elevation or reduction of the doshas is based on the third samyaka dershan. Thus the Vedas have great influence on the ayurveda. They mainly founded the basis of Indian medicine by developing the basic principle of ayurveda. It is the influence of these philosophical intellects that led the medicos from ancient times to learn the causation of disease from religious rituals to medicinal preparations that is Bhaishajya Kalpana.



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    History & Origin of Ayurveda ( Introduction about Ayurveda) Empty How ayurvedic medicines developed?

    Post by Admin Sat 06 Nov 2010, 5:46 pm

    Know about Ayurveda: How ayurvedic medicines developed?

    The history of bhaishajya kalpana or Indian medicines can be easily classified into three major ages; firstly the Vedic era, secondly the Samhita (ayurvedic text) era, and finally the Drvaya Guna (Modern ayurvedic pharmaceutics’) Age. The most initial developments of bhaishajya kalpana or Indian medicines are found in The Vedas. It is deemed that the Vedas are Apaurasheya (inanimately written i.e. creation of god). They are believed to be the sayings of God Brahma (the founder god of Hindus who founded this universe). Brahma first taught Ayurveda to the twin physicians of the gods; the Aswini kumars, and they gave the knowledge to Indra (lord of the heaven) from Indra it was passed on to Daksha Prajapati and from him to the different sages who in turn passed it on to their sons and disciples. So the knowledge of medicine found in Vedas is divine as per Hindu mythological beliefs.


    There are certain descriptions that tell us abut the tales regarding the Ayurveda being passed by god Brahma to the Above all not going in all this matter we can simply take that the Vedic era is nearly 5000 A.D. The Vedas are the oldest text containing descriptions of Indian medicine. There are many mantra (religious recitations) and prarthana (praying) in the Veda as well as the medicine and herbal descriptions. For example in the 50 chapter the 22 annotation has meaning –that may Agani (fire) drive away the takman (fever) from this place……… In the same manner the Vedas also describes the hereditary diseases as kshetriya vyadhi the most appropriate saying about the medicine and doctor is found in Rig Veda. Its annotations from (1)-(2)-(6)-(7) the 10/97 have the following meaning “The ancient medicines which are 700 in numbers are originated from the god and existed in the all three yuga (eras-satayagua, dwaparyuga, treata yuga and, kailyuga)”. Recent archeological studies of the Indus valley civllization, made the discovery that the people of Indus valley civllization(about 3300BC), had knowledge of medicine and dentistry.

    The scientist carrying out researches claimed that whle cleaning the teeth from one of the men in the same area found evidence of teeth having been drilled, dating back 9,000 years.this also gives us an idea about the historical evidence of Ayurveda or the ancient system of medicin. Vedas - especially to 'Atharva Veda’, which mentions two systems of medicine; first, the system of spiritual and religious chanting that can be termed as what we called holistic medicine in today’s world. The second system of drugs used on an empirical basis. Further in 'Atharva Veda’ there are several descriptions about the drugs and their preparations. Thus the major evolution of Ayurveda is from the Vedic wisdom sources. It developed as a whole new system in long span of time.

    The major documentation of Ayurveda is the Samhita text. Some of the examples of medical descriptions from Ayurveda are as under. They are not directly concerned with the Bhaishajya Kalpana but are basically concerned with the development and sources of drugs. There are descriptions found in the Riga Veda about the Karanja ( Pongamia pinnate) , Kinshuka ( Butea monosperma) , Khadir (Acacia Catechu) , Kamal ( Ludwigia palustris), Amala ( Emblica officinalis Linn), Semal (Bombax malabaricum) . Also the Yazurveda has described the characteristic of Masoor (Lens culinaris) . Ber ( Oenanthe sarmentosa) , Til ( Sesamum indicum), Priyangu (Meliaceae. Albizzia lebbeck) .In the Atahrva Veda that is mainly related with Ayurvead describes about Apamargaarka (Achyranthes aspera) Ashthava ( Ficus religiosa) Arjun (Terminalia Arjuna ) Guguul ( Commiphora mukul) and some other medicine. The 'Atharva Veda’ mainly consists of Bhutavidya (Psychiatry) and Sarpavidya (agada or toxicology). Besides the above two, Rsayana (geriatrics or the science of rejuvenation) and Vajikarana (vitalization) are also traceable in the 'Brahmanas' and the 'Upanishads'. In this way the Vedas are found to be incompletely described and not medicinal text as well; have short descriptions of bhaijshajya kalpana in its primitive form. In Vedas only freshly prepared kalpansa are described in a very short manner.

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    History & Origin of Ayurveda ( Introduction about Ayurveda) Empty The surgery text and development of ayurveda

    Post by Admin Sat 06 Nov 2010, 5:48 pm

    The surgery text and development of ayurveda

    Just after charka samhita sushrut samhita was written. The time difference between Charka and Sushrut is supposed to be 200 years. But the number of forms of medicines as well as their preparation is about the same only surgical part is different and the procedure that were involved in this were dependent upon the other measures of medicines that are followed commonly by both Charka and Sushrut. Even charka samhita advises about the surgical intervention in some conditions. That is known as shastra karma when the disease is beyond the scope of medicines. But the ever written text of surgery in ayurveda is Sushrut Samhita. The need of study the basics of Sushrut samhita is very much necessary to under stand the development of ayurvedic medicines and pharmacy. The effect of cultural environment is easily seen in the surgical text as it gradually disappears from the field.

    The Sushrut samhita as we know is a surgical textbook of Ayurveda. In sushrut samhita all the focus is upon the surgical procedures. It has got all the necessary details about instrument, surgical procedure, preoperative, and postoperative measures. The majority of instruments that are used till date are somewhat modified form of the yantra (blunt instrument) and shastra (sharp instrument). The use of medicated decoction to heal up the wounds as well as prevent them from infection is the basic ideology of anti septic and anti biotic type of herbs in Ayurveda. The karna sandhana (building earlobe) ,nasa sandhan (building nose) and oshta sandhan (correcting lips) are the first examples of plastic surgery. It is because of this contribution that Sushrut is called as father of surgery. The medicament or kalpanas found in sushrut are nearly the same but it also contained some of the kalpanas that are not found in charka samhita. This is due to that because sushrut samhita is focused upon surgical intervention. The vary basic developmental aspect that changed the pharmacy of Ayurveda is the drugs classification of Sushrut that made it possible that substitutes can be very easily selected as well as the combination of drugs is pharmacological action based. This suggested a new nomination culture for drugs as well as defined all the drugs in more effective manner. Another contribution that Sushrut made in development of ayurveda was dose fixation as per age. We will discus this topic in coming articles. In Sushrut samhita mashi kalpana, kshaar parpat are described. On comparing the kalpanas from charka samhita a clear difference is observed that the medicated food preparation are more concise and specific type of advanced processing in seen as preparation of main medicine.This fact lead us that sushrut was modifying the kalpanas. As he described the classification of drugs upon their pharmacological action like a class of antipyretic drugs named after the first drug in the list suffixed by ‘’adi’’ as Argavadhadi- Cassia fistula (Indian Laburnum) gana contains Laxative drugs . But again the kalpanas are not very much exercised upon by sushrut, as it was a text of surgery. The most important discovery by sushrat was sandhan karma (Plastic surgery) and for that he is known as father of modern surgery. The kshaar parpat was a unique preparation by sushrut.

    The kalpanas that are still in the world of Ayurveda pharmacy by sushrut are masi (unoxidized ash); kshaar kalpana (alkaline preparation) and he added the moongdal (a type of diet preparation made by to Indian cuisine. Apart from that a variety of meat preparation are also described in sushrut samhita. The surgery part gradually destructed as the influence of Buddhism spread over Indian culture. Their basic principle of ahimsa lead to the decay of surgical procedure as they involve the sharp cutting instruments as well as the blood is oozed. The Buddha followers take it as violence and they want it to be stopped at any coast. But the medicinal part flourished a lot as the mercuric preparations were developed at that time. The mineral based preparations changed the basic line of treatment as well as made the medicines more stable and effective. The major development seen from charka to sushrut is that the aahar kalpana was condensed and new kalpanas like masi (unoxidized ash) and kshaar (alkaline preparation) were introduced. Yusha kalpana (various pulses) were developing. As we studies above the Buddhism influence made it possible to prepare the more complex medicines and surgical and instantaneous procedures were lost gradually. The basic form of mineral based ayurvedic preparations were developed at the time of Charka but they were used very frequently at the time of Sushrut.

    Now we will see about how Vagbhatta categorized the knowledge by both Charka and Sushrut and added it to development of bhaishajya Kalpana. Up to sushrut any specific drug book is not observed.

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