Monday, December 28, 2009

The origins of Ayurveda

Ayurveda is said and nityam apurusheyam (literally, "eternal and not created by humans"). It has been preserved in spite of its great principles to foreign influences (Greek, Chinese, Persian, Tibetan). This system has fallen into disuse for several centuries after the Muslim invasions in northern India from the eighth century. Along with the revival in Europe, Ayurveda has reappeared. With the various European colonization, mainly British, this medicine has been repeatedly harassed, and was banned by the English. Only with independence in 1947, under the influence of Mahatma Gandhi, that Ayurveda has again been recognized. Today, Ayurveda seems to generate more interest for its approach to holistic well-being for its medical aspect (the latter is becoming more and more medical research is ongoing).

The origin of Ayurveda dates back to the Vedas - the Atharva-Veda in particular - hymns of India. Ayurveda is a branch of the Atharva Veda. It is therefore upaveda, Veda subordinate. Originally, the healing principles outlined in the Atharva-Veda were mainly based on the sound or speech. The hymns were then ways of healing and their simple recitation had, according to the text, the ability to heal everything. Drugs, as we know them today were not yet developed. Subsequently, two medical treatises, the Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita on, came detail and shape to the Ayurveda. In Indian universities, students use the Astanga Hrdayam Vagbhata, a simplified summary of the first two compilations, especially in southern India. The Sushruta Samhita of Sushruta date in the first millennium BC. In Dwivedi & Dwivedi (2007) - On the surgeon's work - Sushruta wrote:

"The main route of transmission of knowledge during this period was the oral tradition. The language used was Sanskrit - Sanskrit Vedic period (2000-500 BC). The most authentic compilation of his teachings and his work is currently available in a treatise called Sushruta Samhita. It contains 184 chapters and the description of 1120 illnesses, 700 medicinal plants, 64 preparations of minerals and 57 preparations of animal. "

Underwood & Rhodes in 2008 argued that the first phase of traditional Indian medicine identified fever (takman), cough, consumption, diarrhea, edema, abscesses, seizures, tumors and skin diseases (including leprosy). The treatment of complex medical conditions - including angina pectoris, diabetes, hypertension and calculations - were also charged during this period, plastic surgery, surgery Cataract aspiration for evacuation of fluid in the abdomen (ascites), extraction of foreign bodies, treatment of anal fistula, treatment of fractures, amputation, caesarean section and suturing wounds were known. The use of herbs and surgical instruments became widespread.

Other ancient books on Ayurveda, Charaka Samhita is the account, attributed to Charaka. The oldest written document relating exhumed work Sushruta is the Bower Manuscript-dated the fourth century. The Bower manuscript cites directly from Sushruta and is of particular interest to historians because of the importance of Indian medicine and its concepts in Central Asia. Vagbhata - the son of a former doctor named Simhagupta - has also compiled his work on traditional medicine. In the beginning, Ayurveda included a medical school and a school of surgery. Tradition says that the text Agnivesh Tantra - written by the legendary sage Agnivesh, a student of the mythological saga Bharadwaja - has influenced the writings of Ayurveda.

The Chinese pilgrim Fa Hsien (ca. 337-422) wrote about the health care system of the Gupta Empire (320-550) and - in passing - described the process of the institutional approach of Indian medicine that appears also in the works of Caraka, which refers to a clinic and its equipment described. Madhava, Sarngadhara, and Bhavamisra (1500) have compiled works on Indian medicine. The medical works of Charaka and Sushruta have both been translated into Arabic during the Abbasid Caliphate. These works have made their way Arab in Europe through them. In Italy the Branca family of Sicily and Gaspare Bologna Tagliacozzi are familiar with the techniques of Sushruta.

British physicians traveled to India to attend a rhinoplasty performed by local methods. Articles on Indian Rhinoplasty were published in the Gentleman's Magazine in 1794. Joseph Constantine Carpue spent 20 years in India studying local plastic surgery methods. Carpue was able to achieve the first major surgery of the Western world in 1815. The instruments described in the Sushruta Samhita were later modified in the West.


Ayurveda or Ayurvedic or "Ayurvedic medicine" (in Devanagari script: आयुर्वॆद, the science of life) is a wisdom and medicine from India and practiced in other parts of the world as non-conventional medicine. In Sanskrit, the word Ayurveda is a combination of words, Ayur meaning life and veda means science. Ayurveda owes its origins to the Vedas, a set of sacred texts of ancient India, and its principles are those of what is now called the "natural medicine". In this case, it is called holistic approach of Vedic culture, which was loosely based on Hinduism.

Ayurveda is a form of traditional medicine still alive in Southeast Asia. The earliest literature on Ayurveda originated in India during the Vedic period. The Sushruta Samhita and the Charaka Samhita are important works of traditional medicine written during this period. Ayurvedic practitioners have also developed a number of medicinal preparations and surgical procedures for curing various diseases and disorders.

Ayurveda has become a form of alternative medicine in the West, although patents on its medicines have been disputed by official institutions of Western countries and India.