History of Ayurveda

Ancient ayurveda

Ayurveda, an ancient system of medicine that originated in India over 5,000 years ago, during the Vedic period of ancient Indian history which offers a holistic approach to achieving balance and wellness. The history of Ayurveda is rich and diverse, and it has significantly influenced the development of medicine and wellness practices around the world.

Ancient Period ( Vedic Contributions 3000 BCE – 600 BCE) : The Vedas, India’s oldest sacred texts from around 3000 to 600 BCE, provide some of the earliest references to the principles of Ayurveda. within the Rigveda, for example, hymns elaborate the medicinal properties of various herbs and plants. It has a collection of 1028 Vedic hymns in Sanskrit and as many as 10,600 verses in all which are organized into ten books known as mandalas. During this era, the teachings of Ayurveda were primarily disseminated through oral tradition, passed down from teacher to Student.

Formative Era ( The Classical Phase 600 BCE – 600 CE) : Between 600 BCE and 600 CE, Ayurveda was in the phase of formalization and systematization. Two foundational texts The Charaka Samhita and the Sushruta Samhita yielded in this era. The Charaka Samhita Focused on Internal medicine and diagnostic techniques, while the Sushruta Samhita focused on surgical practices. These texts played a key role in shaping Ayurvedic theory, The concepts like doshas (biological energies), dhatus (body tissues), and Agni (digestive fire) were introduced with the help of these two texts.

Ashtanga Sangraha and Ashtanga Hridaya, , were written by an Ayurvedic physician from the Sindh region of India dating back to approximately 400 CE. The Sangraha is primarily written in poetry, while The Hridayam is presented as prose. These texts define the five subdoshas of Kapha and emphasize the material value of life. The Hridaya is still highly regarded as a primary Ayurvedic medical textbook.

Continuation and Evolution: ( Post-Classical Times 600 CE – 1600 CE) : From 600 CE to 1600 CE, witnessed further development and refinement of Ayurvedic concepts. The classical books’ commentary were written by scholars, who expanded on the basic concepts of Ayurveda. However, in some areas, the preservation of Ayurvedic knowledge during this time was hampered by foreign invasions.

Encounter with Colonialism ( The Colonial Period 17th – 19th Century) : Traditional treatments like Ayurveda were suppressed once colonial powers came in India, and they frequently suffered from being viewed as inferior to Western medicine. Ayurveda survived in rural areas and maintained its role in healthcare despite these obstacles.

Revival and Modernization: (20th Century – Present period) : Ayurveda’s rise coincided with greater cultural and spiritual revivals in India during the 20th century. There have been initiatives to record, conserve, and modernize ayurvedic practices. The Indian government took action to control and support Ayurvedic teaching and practice, and educational institutes and colleges with a focus on the discipline were formed. Ayurveda is now acknowledged as an alternative and complementary medical system both in India as well as on International stage.

Frequently asked question (FAQ)

Q. Where Does Ayurveda Come From ?

Ans. Ayurveda originated  5,000 years ago in India and was recorded in Sanskrit in sacred oldest books called Vedas.

Q. Charak Samhita elaborates on which technique?

Ans. The Charaka Samhita Focused on Internal medicine Focused on Internal medicine and diagnostic techniques

Q. Sushrut Samhita elaborates on which technique?

Ans. The Sushrut Samhita Focused on Surgical Practices.

Q. Which Ayurveda books are considered as key role for today ayurvedic fundamentals ?

Ans. Charak Samhita, Sushrut Samhita, Ashtanga Sangraha, Ashtanga Hriday etc plays a key role for today’s ayurvedic fundamentals.

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