Ayurveda is the oldest documented health care system in the world at 2500 years old with its origins in India. Ayurveda is made of up two syllables. Ayu means life and Veda means knowledge. It is the science of life.

The first consideration of the Ayurvedic health system is the maintenance of good health. The second consideration is to treat the imbalances of a sick person. The science of Ayurveda is for good health and happiness. Other things to consider are the mood of an individual which also indicates measures for self valuation of health status.

Ayurveda has eight well defined branches which deal with various health aspects
They are

  • Kayachikitsa (deals with sicknesses related to the internal organs of an individual)
  • Bala chikitsa (deals with procedures, health and sicknesses related to childbirth, infants and children)
  • Graha chikitsa (mainly deals with sicknesses related to mind and its healing practices.)
  • Oordhwanga or Shalakya (related to ailments and methods to restore normalcy of ear, nose, throat and eye)
  • Shalya (Procedures and methods adopted to remove unwanted/toxic foreign bodies in the human body.)
  • Danshtra/Agada (Techniques employed to remove from an individual affected by various kinds of poisons- could be plant or animal origin)
  • Jara/Rasayana (Procedures applied to enhance one’s body strength and delay the ageing process)
  • Vrisha/Vajikarana (Healing techniques and therapy employed to enhance an individual’s virility or libido)

All these branches are functional in part or full and practiced by various institutions and Individuals. Post graduate studies are available in some of these branches in Ayurveda colleges across India. Specialized Vaids (Ayurvedic doctors) and qualified physicians are available in all these branches all over India. Research centers are engaged in documenting and reaffirming the efficacy of these age old knowledge systems. Ayurveda has two major schools of thought

  • Atreya sampradaya (School of physicians)
  • Dhavantari sampradaya (School of surgeons). Important and major compilation of Medicine is known as Charaka Samhita. An equally exhaustive treatise Sushruta Samhita deals with surgical aspects.

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