Ayurveda is the oldest discipline of medicinal discipline in the world developed in India. The Ayurveda develop from a Sanskrit word Ayur that means life and Veda mean knowledge. Ayurveda is known as the science of life, is a well-organized system of healthcare that is widely practiced in many parts of Asia. Ayurveda is both preventive and curative in nature entails a 5000 years old tradition behind it. This ancient system of medicine was first shaped in the ancient land of India. It is said that according to Hindu Vedas, Ayurveda is a gift to mankind from gods, which was manifested to sages and saints of India through meditation. The vital information on how to achieve a healthy and balanced life was first recorded in the sacred text Veda, especially in Atharva Veda.
Maharishi Ved Vyasa was one of the greatest sages of India who has written the Vedas for the first time. There are four main Vedas named Rig-Veda, Yajurveda, Samaveda, and Atharva Veda (Ayurveda is a subsection of Atharva Veda). These Vedas hold the record of various topics of health and usage of herbs to cure various diseases. Earlier, the only brahmana holds the right to learn the principles of health and wellness, but later many people from different social classes started learning these practices and known as vaidya.
After the Vedic time period, Ayurveda was established as a separate entity as a medicinal science. Hence it leads to the further division of the Ayurveda into two divisions, the first three classic of Ayurveda and fewer classics of Ayurveda.
The first three classics of Ayurveda is composed of Charak Samhita, Ashtanga Hridyam Sangraha and Sushrut Samhita.
During the time period of the second century, Charak Samhita really thrived; it is believed that Agnivesha wrote it. He was a disciple of great ayurvedic scholar Punarvasu Atreya. It is believed that Agnivesha, with his co- disciples created it by drawing all the knowledge received from his teacher, but later on Charak defined the work of Agnivesha by focusing on the detailed diagnosis of diseases and its treatment. This channeled Ayurveda into a more powerful text of preventing and treatment of various ailments.
Developed in approx first millennium BCE; it is believed to be written by Sushruta. It is the first scripture that describes the detailed practices and the concept of surgery in Ayurveda. It is composed of at least 184 chapters with approx 1100 health ailments and 300 different types of operations with at least 42 different surgical processes. Sushruta, along with his students, developed 121 different kinds of instruments and 650 types of medicines that were derived from plants and animals. Vagbhata wrote ashtanga Hridayam Sangraha after the Charaka and Sushruta Samhita, and it is mainly focused on Kayachiktsa. It specializes in internal medicine and presents the detailed descriptions of doshas in the body and its sub-parts.
The lesser classic of Ayurveda is composed of Sharangadhara Samhita, Madhava Nidanam, and Bhava Prakash. Sharangadhara Samhita explains the pharmacological formulation, which is utilized in panchakarma treatments
Bhava Prakash, developed across the 16th century, deals with Kayachikitsa and explains what kind of food you need to consume to balance your doshas.
Madhava Nidanam created around 700 CE and explained ailments specifically about women and children and conditions of toxicology.
The conquest of the British Empire in India around the 15th century leads to a decline in the practices of Ayurveda. At this time period, Britishers discouraged and prohibited the practices of Ayurveda and made it the second option of treatments that was mostly used by poor peoples. However, Ayurveda started restoring its glory back after independence.
Modern Ayurveda is divided into eight branches that include