What is Ayurveda
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Natural Skin Care through Ayurveda
Ayurveda is one of the world's ancient medical systems. Ayurveda is a system of self-care that originated in India more than 5000 years ago. It originated in India & has evolved as a primary medical therapeutic system along the lines of the modern medical system. In other regions like Europe, North America, Ayurveda is becoming very popular, with hundreds of healers incorporating it into their practices and thousands of people using its well-tried principles and therapies to improve their well-being. It is a qualitative, holistic science of health and longevity, a philosophy, a system healing the person as a whole (mind, and body).Ayurveda consists of two words-Ayu & Veda, where, “ayu” means life, & “veda” means science. Thus Ayurveda is considered as a “science of life." Meaning of “Ayu” “Sharirendriya sattwa atma samyogo ayuhu” . Sharir means physical body; indriya means senses. Sattwa refers to the combination of mind and heart--overall psychological strength, and atma means soul or spirit. When all of these--body, senses, heart, mind and spirit--are in proper balance and function in a harmonious, coordinated manner, that is true life--"the living body." Meaning of “Veda” Veda means science of knowledge, built on “siddhantas”, fundamental unchanging principles tested over the years. Ayurveda for Wellness through BalanceIn ayurveda, health is defined as an active state of wellness--a state in which one truly lives, not merely exist. This active state of wellness, according to the ancient texts of “vedas”, extends beyond the physical body to the mind, heart, senses and spirit as one subject. In this "zone," a person experience physical vitality, mental alertness, emotional bliss, sensual balance and spiritual awareness, not just for a brief time but, day after day, and year after year. The ayurvedic approach to health is comprehensive, extending to a person’s daily diet, work routine, and environment. This active healthy state is achieved thorough balance, changes-over-time, age, environmental factors, stress levels, lifestyle choices and dietary imbalances (excesses or deprivation). Any gap to either of them causes imbalance in our body’s physiology, leading to unhealthy body and mind, resulting in an illness/disease.Ayurveda and Skin Care. According to Ayurveda, skin is a mirror to an individual's health. Skin gives clue to one's Ayurvedic constitution. This is usually understood by the type of skin that one has. Ayurveda description about normal skin Even though skin harbors tri-doshas it is mainly dominated by vata. Vata is responsible for the perception of touch, secretions from glands (sweat, sebum) blood circulation and movement of nutrients between cells and interstitial fluids. According to Acharya charaka, “Kupitastu khalu shareere shareeram nanavidhairvikaarairupatapati balavarnasukhaayushaamupaghaataaya”, which means- vata when aggravated afflicts the body with various types of diseases and affects the strength, complexion, happiness and span of life. For a healthier skin the vata should be always in normal balanced condition. The balanced vata keeps all other tissues and remaining two doshas in healthy condition. The imbalanced vata vitiates the tissues of skin and leads numerous skin problems."The Inner Physiological processes and Skin The inner physiological processes like digestion, metabolism, elimination of waste products etc directly affect the beauty of skin. The process of digestion is carried out by agni or fire, which is present in our digestive system. Agni is the body fire, which is responsible for transformation of one substance to another. It breaks down the food substances, eliminates toxins and wastes, maintains body temperature, and resists the invasion of microbes by maintaining strong body immunity. The body fire, which is assisted by balanced doshas, digests the food completely to form Pakwa Anna rasa (the liquid form of food which is completely digested by digestive enzymes), which is ready to get absorbed by body tissues. According to ayurveda Pakwa Anna Rasa nourishes the body and its components to keep the body devoid of diseases. But when body fire is impaired there will be an incomplete digestion of food forming Apakwa Rasa (indigested food). The indigested food fails to nourish the body components leading to lowered body resistance. Due to indigestion toxins start accumulating in body.
An unhealthy diet and life style imbalance doshas and the imbalanced doshas impair agni. Due to impaired agni toxins accumulate in body. These accumulated toxins affect the health of skin and the skin loses its luster and glow, acne and pimples start appearing, wrinkling of skin starts in an early age.Hence a well nourished diet, a healthy lifestyle and regular detoxification is very important to keep skin healthy. Skin Types according to Ayurvedic system Ayurvedic Skin Care for “Space” Predominant Skin :The fundamental element “Space” reflects the impact of the environment on your skin. Space predominant skin is thinner than other skin types, and dull in luster, and prone to flaking, bruising and getting scratched. The pores are also very small. As this type of skin ages, it becomes even thinner. This type of skin receives great benefit from soft massage and soft touch. Space predominant skin is very delicate and therefore susceptible to too much exposure to the wind or sun. Facial skin of this type, in particular, is very sensitive to electromagnetic vibrations and negative energy in the environment.Ayurvedic Skin Care for “Air” Predominant Skin :The fundamental element “Air” imparts lightness and delicacy to the skin. Air predominant skin tends to be dry and is almost always very dry during the winter season. This skin type also tends to be dry during the summer time. The pores are a little larger than those of the space predominant skin type. Air predominant skin is particularly sensitive to cold and windy weather. This skin type is delicate, but not as delicate as space predominant skin. Like space predominant skin, air predominant skin is prone to flaking, bruising and getting scratched.
Ayurvedic Skin Care for “Fire” Predominant Skin. The fundamental element “Fire” gives the skin, its natural glow and luminosity. In Fire predominant skin, skin has a pinkish tone and also warm to touch. This type of skin has medium pores. Fire predominant skin is susceptible to the impact of emotional trauma. Also, people with this skin type tend to have almost zero tolerance to the sun and hot foods such as long hot red peppers and cayenne pepper etc. Ayurvedic Skin Care for “Water” Predominant Skin The fundamental element “Water” gives the skin its suppleness and a dewy look. If the skin is pale, relatively thick, that feels cool to the touch; water is the element most predominant in the skin. Skin of this type has a tendency to be a little dull, overly hydrated and is semi-thick. Pores are semi-dilated and can become clogged easily. The skin tends to hold toxins. This type of skin is prone to breakouts and more serious problems such as eczema. This type of skin is more resistant to light or, any negative vibrational impact from the environment in comparison to space, air and fire predominant skin.Ayurvedic Skin Care for “Earth” Predominant Skin. The fundamental element “Earth” imparts firmness and thickness to the skin, giving it form and structure. If the skin is typically greasy, accumulates toxins easily, then earth is the predominant element in the skin. Skin of this type looks rather dull if not meticulously cleansed and exfoliated regularly. This is the thickest of all skin types, with large pores. But if kept properly cleansed, earth predominant skin doesn't show the usual signs of aging, such as wrinkles or sags. Earth predominant skin tends to retain toxins more than any other skin type. Because of its inherent oiliness, without proper cleansing, there is a tendency to develop more serious skin problems.
Oily Skin and its Care
Causes of Oily Skin:
Hormonal imbalances in adolescence cause oily skin. This type of skin is common in teenagers. The oil secretion in skin increases during teen age and decreases as age advances. Hormonal imbalance may appear during pregnancy and menopause, which lead to increase secretion of oil from oil glands of skin. Contraceptive pills and cosmetics also tend to increase the oil secretion. Humidity and Hot weather naturally increase oil secretion from oil glands of skin. The oil producing glands of skin is overactive and produces more oil. The excess oil, which oozes out gives the skin a greasy shine and the enlarged pores make the skin look coarse.
Ayurveda description about oily skin:
The qualities of skin are determined by tri-doshas. The Dosha, which is dominant in skin,
determines the type and quality of the skin. When Kapha dosha is dominant the skin will be oily, shiny and soft. The skin will have a glowing complexion. Wrinkles develop much later in life. When Kapha dosha gets imbalanced in body and skin. Skin pores get enlarged and acne pimples start appearing.
The problems of Oily skin:
• Enlarged pores
• Black heads.
• Acne and pimples
• Coarse pores.
• More Oily.
• Dark skin due to excess oil.
• More prone to moist eczema.
• Fungal infections are common.
Ayurveda tips for Oily skin condition
1. Wash skin with plenty of warm water (2-3 times a day) and mild soap or herbal scrub to prevent clogging of Pores.
2. Avoid using harsh chemicals to remove oil, as some amount of natural oil is needed to maintain the texture of skin.
3. Avoid too much washing of skin as it leads to overproduction of oil to compensate the loss.
4. Always use hot water to wash face as it dissolves clogged oil and also balances Kapha.
5. Use a moisturizer free of oil.
6. Avoid sticky make up, which clogs the pores.
7. Apply half spoon of lemon juice mixed with half spoon of cucumber juice to face half an hour before taking bath.
8. Mix equal parts of lemon juice and water. Apply this mixture on the face and rinse it first with warm water and then. Followed by cold water after it dries.
9. Avoid heavy, fried fatty food.
10. Avoid cheese and sugar rich deserts.
11. Consume light, well-spiced food as they balance kapha.
12. Avoid constipating foods.
13. Include ginger, pepper, and long pepper in diet.
14. Exercise regularly.
15. Take plenty of leafy green vegetables and fresh fruits.
16. Avoid excessive consumption of soft drinks, alcohol, tea, coffee and chocolates.
Dry Skin and its Care
The skin loses its capacity to retain moisture, as we grow old. The extreme climatic conditions to which we get exposed, as we grow old worsen the condition and skin becomes more dry. Ayurveda description about dry skin: The type of skin is determined by tri-doshas. The Dosha, which is dominant in skin, determines the type and quality of the skin. When vata dosha is dominant, the skin will be dry, thin, delicate, and cold to touch. When vata dosha becomes imbalanced in body, a nd skin, the skin becomes rough, scaly, and wrinkled.
The problems of dry skin:
• Dry and rough skin.
• Development of wrinkles at an early age.
• Scaly and cracked skin
• Aged looks.
• Dull and lifeless appearance.
• More prone to fungal infection and dry eczema.
• Ayurveda tips for dry skin condition
• Preventing further drying of skin as it does not contain much moisture.
• Avoid stale, over fried, dry food.
• Always consume fresh warm food with little fat like ghee or olive oil.
• Include sour and salty food in diet.
• Sweet juicy fruits are recommended.
• Drink 7-9 glasses of warm water everyday. (Do not drink cold water as it increases vata)
• Good 8 hrs sleep.
• General Recommendations for the healthy skin
The key to skin care is matching the diet-regime and skin care routine to the specific skin type one has. Meanwhile, there are some valuable recommendations for lustrous skin, regardless of skin type.
1 . Diet: Without adequate nourishment, collagen layer thins and a kind of wasting takes place. Over time, the skin can shrivel up from lack of nourishment. To keep your skin plump and glowing:
A. Eat fresh, whole organic foods that are freshly prepared. Avoid packaged, canned, frozen, processed foods and leftovers. These foods have little nutritional value and also they are often poorly digested which creates impurities that localize in the skin. The resulting buildup of toxins causes irritation and blocks circulation depriving the skin of further nourishment and natural cleansing processes.
B. Favor skin nourishing foods.
a. Leafy green vegetables contain vitamins, minerals (especially iron and calcium) and are high in antioxidant properties. They nourish the skin and protect it from premature aging.
b. Sweet juicy fruits like grapes, melons, pears, plums and stewed apples at breakfast are excellent for the skin in almost everyone.
c. Eat a wide variety of grains over different meals and try mixed grain servings at breakfast and lunch. Include amaranth, quinoa, cous -cous, millet and barley to the wheat and rice to the food.
d. Favor light, easy to digest proteins like legume soups (especially yellow split mung dhal), whole milk, paneer (cheese made from boiling milk, adding lemon and straining solids) and lassi (diluted yogurt and spice drinks).
e. Oils like ghee (clarified butter) and organic, extra virgin olive oil should be included in the diet as they lubricate, nourish and add luster to the skin.
f. Use of spices like turmeric, cumin, coriander, and black pepper to improve digestion, nourishment and cleansing of the skin from impurities.
g. Avoid microwaving and boiling your vegetables, as it causes loss of about 85% of the antioxidant content. Thus, steaming and sautéing are best.
The Importance of Ayurveda as a Therapeutic System. It is an often-repeated question. It is a fact that among all methods of treatment, Ayurveda stands out as the most holistic and significant form of treatment. As on now, many countries like America and Japan are getting more and more interested in Ayurveda, and lot of research work is going on in these countries, regarding the use of 'bhasmas' prepared from heavy metals like mercury and how these medicines, if properly used can be effective and without any side effects. However, more research should be carried out in India to raise the global acceptance and recognition of Ayurveda as a complete therapeutic system.
Know about Ayurveda: Ayurvedic Pharmacy as described in Various Samhitas. The origin of Ayurveda is deemed to be from the Vedas. Hence the authentic references about the description of Ayurveda in Vedic literature are still to come. Ayurveda after the Vedic era or the post Vedic times developed a lot and attainted the position to be termed as the fifth Veda. The very first documentation over Ayurveda is said to be Aganivesaha Tantra. Aganivesaha wrote Aganivesaha Tantra. In later times Charka revised this text and tiled it as Charak Samhita. Dridabala then illustrated the Charak Samhita. After Charka Samhita it comes the Sushrut Samhita. Later Vagbhatta compiled both the Charka Samhita and the Sushrut Samhita and developed Ashtaang Samgraha and further revised it to Ashtaang Hridya.
Then come the Madhava Nidaan, Bhavaprakash, Chukradutta, Sharangdhar Samhita, Rastarangini and Bhaishajya Ratnavali. However the various archeological and historical descriptions lead us to the age of Ayurveda; but all these text can be taken to be produced between 1200BC to 200years back i.e. 18th century. Thus about a very long time passed away in the development of different kalpanas. All these points are to be taken into historical consideration. The more descriptions about it will come in history of Ayurveda.
The Hindu mythology believes in the passing of Ayurveda from being to being, initially. This is the very basic point of the difference found in various Ayurvedic references and text; because the oral traditions are transcribed from multiple sources. The Ayurvedic practices started from the use of fresh preparations and developed into tradition of complex mineral (i.e. mercuric/sulpher) based preparations. Now in Charak Samhita it is written in the 4/6-7 sutra sthan that madhur, amla, katu, tikta, kashaya, are the five sources of the panchavidh kalpanas and adding to it swaras, kalka, shrut, sheet, and phant are five types of kalpanas.
These five are fundamental preparations and rest all are derived and developed from these kalpanas. Charak Samhita is basically a medicine based textbook .In Charak Samhita the 27 chapter of sutra sthan describes the single drug usage of 44 drugs in accordance of their action. The Charak samhita includes about 128 forms of food and medicinal preparations. These kalpanas are likely to be 1200 years BC. After it Sushrut made the description of about 129 kalpanas which are nearly 1000years BC. Than after a long period ranging in between 4-6th century Vagabhatt wrote Ashtaang Samgraha, which contains 88 kalpanas and revised it to 76 in the Ashtaang Hridya.
Further Chukradutta nearly 11th century that is compiled of all the above text has reduced the number of preparations to 90 kalpanas including the parpati kalpana for the first time. After that comes the Sharangdhar Samhita which illustrated 74 kalpanas. Now comes the very latest Samhita Bhaishjya Ratnavali it contains 98 preparations including the parad kalpanas (mercuric complexes).
Generally all these kalpanas are near the same but they keep on changing and developing from one form to other in due course of time .The all kalpanas can be classified into following major groups. Those are the fundamental kalpanas and the derived kalpanas. The panchavidh kashaya kalpanas are the fundamental preparations and the all other are derived preparations.
The derived preparations are combinations of the fundamental preparations in combining the preparation process as well as the combination of various preparations. Mainly the preparations found in all the samhitas can be grouped in following ways. Single drug based and single preparation process based. Multiple process and mixed drugs based. The process of preparation of medicine was so much developed that in Charak Samhita there are eighty-four types of liquor preparations described. Of these 84 liquors the major types are-
• Six types of dhanayasva (food grains based),
• Twenty six types of falasava (fruit based),
• Eleven types of moolasava(root based),
• Twenty types of sarasava (concentration based),
• Ten types of pushpasava (flower based),
• Four types of kanadasava (stem based),
• Two types of patarasava (leaf based),
• Four types of twakasava (bark based),
• And one sharakarasava(sugar based).
Like wise many preparations are there in the samhitas ranging from food to local applicators, and surprisingly inject able also. (Suchika bharan rasa) as found in Sharangdhar samhita. About 200 years ago, Pranacharya Shri Sadanand Sharma wrote the Ras Tarangini, which was the "base book" for modernizing Ayurveda practices. The book describes the use of many mineral substances as medicine and their successful uses. This book, stared the process of developing the traditional herbs in sulphate, muriate phosphate as well as combinations of the above. Thus from Charak to bhaishajya ratnavali the traditions of Indian medicine develop from fresh preparations to that of complex herbo mineral perpetrations. The samhita has contributed a lot for the present systems of Indian medicines as well as the, life style in many ways as the traditional food preparations also arise in the samhitas.
How ayurvedic pharmacy developed?
The basic concept of Ashtaang samgraha and Ashtaang hridya are based upon the Charka and sushrut samhita. The development of bhaishajya kalpana as seen in Ashtaang hridya is clearly distinguished when we compare the preparation found in Ashtaang samgraha with Ashtaang hridya. At the time of Ashtaang samgraha the basic processing methods and preparation were the same as described in charka and sushrut. But we can clearly observe that the medicines and food-based preparation were gradually separating from one another as. A major variety of food-based preparations were eliminated like. yaskrita, yushrasa, poop, puplika, are not found in Ashtaang sangraha and while convey up to Asthaang hridya aahar kalpana is found to be present in save forms of peya, yavagoo yush, maansrasa, veshvaar. A remarkable feature of Ashtaang sangraha is that the variety of liquor is very less and only B type of alcoholic preparations are there as compared with 17 types of sushrut and Charka. Ashtaang sangraha also point out the development of kingdoms as various types of preparations are described there in; that are to be used for king and ministerial staffs. A very unique concept of vishkanya is seen in Ashtaang sangraha: -
• This is a specific for point out Ashtaang sangraha and the time when it was written. The same description in various historical references point in the direction that
• It could be formed in 3 rd to 6 th century B.C. As in Kautilya Arthasastra the concept of Vishkanya is described in short manner. The ashtaang samgraha was written prior to ashtaang hridya. The ashtaang hridya is revised version of Ashtaang Samgraha and written in prose style.
• The bhaishajya kalpana from Ashtaang hridya are much different from Ashtaang sangraha. The developmental aspect of Bhaishajya kalpana is easily portrayed by the word "Agad". The Agad preparation is described in Ashtaang hridya as antidote to poison. The literary meaning of Agad is "drug removing gada" gada means poison and disease. The use of antidote for poison as medicine barely indicates that the knowledge of poisons and other complex were growing. See history of.
• The more stabilized form of preparations is seen, as vati is included for the first time in Ashtaang hridya.
Above all the use of bhasma in both Ashtaang Samgraha & Ashtaang hridya gives us a clear indication of that the complicated methods of calcinations process of ores and minerals were used for the first time in Ayurveda at that time period. Perhaps this was due to gradual degradation of shalya (surgery) chikitsa as that was meant to be asuri chikitsa (treating by devils method as it involves blood oozing, cuts and wounds etc.). As in ashtaang hridya the achaar chikitsa in well stressed upon as that of charka in prior times.
Thus from charka to vagbhatt the bhaishajya kalpana developed to diversity and specialty treatment and therapeutics were seen, but not very clearly observed. In Ashtaang hridya there is a clear ideology of adding much sustainability to preparation is observed. Now after a comparative analysis of bhaishajya kalpana from Brihatta tryee and other ayurveda text we can point out to classify Bhaishajya kalpana in following three segments: -
(i) B.C. Era and Bhaishajya kalpana.
(ii) Ayurveda & Bhaishajya Kalpana after Christ up to 18th century and
(iii) Modern & Bhaishajya Kalpana.
Again when we describe Ayurveda & Bhaishjya Kalpana before Christ Era apart from Brihatta tryee there is a specific type of segment in Bhaishajya kalpana was developing. This segment was the rasa paddhati. The main role in the development of Rasashastra was the degradation of surgery. There are specific textbooks written on Rasshastra. This is specialty segment of Ayurveda and bhaishajya kalpana, which flourished at coast of surgery. Ashtaang samgraha stated about bhasma kalpana, but the parad kalpana and other herbo-mineral complexes are not seen. But as observed the "Kshaar kalpana" in noticed in Ashtaang hridya and the Rasratna Samuchaya describes about the "Kshaar panchak" and "Kshaar traya". Therefore it can be assumed that when at that time rasashastra was quite developing or initial stage. Thus there are not clear indications about the development of Bhaishajya Kalpana in context of Rasashastra. Now
(ii) After Christ Ayurveda and Bhaishajya kalpana. The documented evidence for the Brihatta tryee and Rasashastra are scattered seen and found after Christ. Thus the Ayurveda in second phase of development has combined effect of Rashastra and Brihatta tryee on Bhaishajya kalpana. The texts related with Rasashastra are Rasarnavam, Rasendrasaar samgraha, Rastratna Sammuchay, and more. Actually the basic of Bhaishajya kalpana has got two bases one from that of herbal based. And second that of the Pharmaceutics and medicines that are prepared from ‘‘Rasa’’(mineral based). Thus after analyzing the Brihatta tryee up to Chakradutta combining Nighantus and other texts the herbal part of Bhaishjya kalpana is observed. Now it comes to the mineral complexes or mineral based preparation of bhashajya kalpana. The documented versions of Rashastra based text are ranging from Nagarjuna up to Abhinava gupta. The first drug and medicine manual of medicine i.e. Sharangdhar Samhita contained in it the processed mercuric preparation and first inject able drug (suchika bharan rasa). This way it is clear that the Bhaishajya Kalpana can be fully understood only after going thoroughly by both
sections i.e. herb based & mineral based Bhaishajya Kalpana
Know about Ayurveda: Complete Overview on development of medicaments
The chronological study of all medicaments from ayurveda related text we can easily understand that the beginning of pharmacy is directly concerned with the diet preparation and almost every variety of cuisine is present in the ayurveda related text. After studying the complete developmental aspect of Bhaishajya Kalpana from various samhita text, the Vedic descriptions and 18 th century Ayurveda text Bhaishjya Ratnavali we can easily classify the medicaments into following groups: - Kritannavarga-(Food based preparations). All the variety of Indian cuisine and diet preparations are found in ayurveda related text. The word Krita means processed in general. It means the frying of food using a little oil cumin, mustard or other species. Simply now days we call it for example fried dal vegetables/cereals. Maansa- (meat based/or nonveg preparations). The various samhita text describe about a variety of nonveg preparations. The pratapta maansa , sushka maans and more are variety of these preparation. Almost all Indian delicious nonveg preparations are found in Sushrut Samhita. Apart from this there are certain medicines containing the animal parts and ingredients. Like samish mahamash tail, Mushak tail are prepared by using some animal parts. Specially the kshyarogi (patient with tuberculosis) and patients with dystrophies are given the nonveg soup of mutton. This is called santarpan therapy.
Phenika, Pyasa, and Modaka are some example of sweets found in ayurveda. The Bhavaprakash nighantu describes much about this.
Panaka -(Squash, Juices, syrups)-
There are a variety of squash and other preparations are described in ayurveda related text.
Shushka Kalpana- (Flour type dried preparations)-
There are saktu, laja like preparations, which can be stored easily and are dried in nature.
Rasavigyan Kalpana -(Mineral based preparations)-
This is the beginning of long sustainable medicines that can be stored for a long time. All the vati , varti , gutika can be covered in this. The mercuric preparations are the basic of rasavigyan kalpana. This was the time when the metallic and mineral preparations were developed.
After having a look at the different categories of preparation we must observe the modern history of medicines so as to under stand the influence of development of pharmacy and medicaments. This is nearly the same as history of modern medicine and its development. From modern point of view the medicament developed into 3 main time durations or 3 eras. They are as follows-
The B.C. era- The Egyptian history tells us about the use of medicines and medicaments. The Egyptian king Thomaha IIIrd sent a group to collect medicines to Syria. This description is found on the sculptures on the temple of kharnak. The famous scientist Theophrastus (372 to 287) wrote a text containing 450 drugs in it.
During 460 to 377 B.C. Hippo crates wrote a book about diseases. He described about the drugs peppermint (menthol), Dhatura (stromonium dhattur) and Baladona in his book.
The relevant descriptions about the use of mercury are found in 1496-1541 by Parasallous. He used mercury in treatment of syphilis.This can be correlated with that 1496 Bhavaprakash described about various disease and symptoms of “Firang” just and after words. So we can think of that the use of medicines and medicaments found are relatively comparable and are influenced by one another at that time also. Thus various descriptions are found in modern text also with development of various medicaments.
The revolutionary change in the pharmacy came the discovery of circulatory system (evolvement) by William Harvey in 1622. Then after Timothy & Quark for the first time in 1680 used the medicines intravenously. Than after the discovery of active ingredients of herbs or drugs lead to different type of medicament used. In the 19 th century and late 18 th century the concept of biochemistry and use of animal based pharmacological chemicals and substances made a new invention that entirely changed the modern pharmacological studies. This was the discovery of penicillin that made revolutionary changes into allopathic system of medicine. The use of penicillin and other antibiotic medicines made the surgery part of modern medicines extremely successful. This way we can observe that though starting from a like or comparatively similar conditions the ayurveda cant develop its way of action to find out how a medicine works on physiological system at modern parameters but established the pharmaceutics and therapeutics for various herbs and drugs that is strange. It is an astonishing fact that without knowing about the lie of action of any drug how can you state that it will perform a particular action upon body. As Arjuna Treminallia Arjuna is said to be cardiac tonic and modern researches also state the cardiac stimulant properties of Arjuna. The basic guana ,veerya – prabhava theory and the vata pitta kafa diagnosis is the basic of depicting the effect of a drug in ayurveda. But the modern approach to the pharmacokinetics is not described or reveled any ways in the ayurveda related text.
This particular segment of pharmacokinetics and actions in ayurveda is a missing link and further need to be explored by various nighantu or other text to establish the use of a drug and how it works to give particular result. We can deem that Charka used single drug system and classified different drug groups according to actions. Than he must know the line of action of the drugs but unfortunately didn’t disclosed it in any description.
This is very research oriented concept to be explored. When we study all forms of medicines that are found in Ayurveda related text from 3000 B.C. to 18 th century it is quite clear that medicines developed a lot as the primarily found medicines are generally cuisine based. And this way Ayurveda added a lot to the Indian taste. The inferences about the development of medicines are quite the same like development of civilization as from the most ancient times be it from the harrapan culture the residues found in pottery were containing the sugarcane juice like substance. After this we can see the use of sugar in its crude form also exists thus sugar cane juice was developed in to more stable form sugar. Likewise the other forms of medicines developed from the perishable from to a more stable form. This gradual development can be classified into two major time frames the pre historic times or from 3000 B.C. to1000.B.C and from 1000B.C 18 th century. All these kalpanas found in the text from Charka Samhita up to Bhaishajya Ratnavali can be classified into two groups; they are –
1. Kalpanas from Charka Samhita to Ashtaang Samgraha, and –this time frame is supposed to be from 3000B.C. to. 500.B.C.
2. Kalpanas as in Chukradutta, Sharangdhar Samhita and Bhaishjya Ratnavali. -This time frame is from 500.B.C onwards and up to 18 th century. During this age the ayurvedic pharmacy developed a lot. And more stable and complex form of medicines are seen.
The first group has the largest number of kalpanas as compared to the second group because many of these kalpanas were compiled and some diet preparations were eliminated. The kalpanas found in the second group are refined version of those found in the first group and a specific difference between the diet preparations and medicinal preparations is seen for the first time in Chukradutta poop, pooipka, navaneet, mastu are not added while as herb and mineral combinations preparations like parpati kalpana are included.
Chukradutta is the text written in the transition period of Ayurveda as by side the dravya guna vigyana (study of herbs) was flourishing and major variety of diet preparations later added to that. The textbook Bhavaprakash written during this time is the first authentic sources of dravya guna vigyana in Ayurveda. Later on we find it that Sharangdhar Samhita the system of mineral processing i.e. parad (mercury) gandhak (sulphor) was developing and for the first time in the history of medicine the inject-able drugs or medicine Suchika bharan Rasa was prepared.
Than after 4 centuries in the 18 th century the Bhaishajya Ratnavali and Rastarangini are the two major texts of Bhaishjya Kalpana (pharmacy) are found. These two consist of the most refined versions of kalpanas from samhitas. The modern ayurvedic pharmacy is based on all these ayurvedic text. The kalpanas (from of medicines) found in Ayurveda can be classified as-
1. Diet preparations
2. Medicinal preparations.
The first group can again be subdivided into-
Animal based and vegetable based.
Animal based group
• Shulya maans,
• Chhagrakta paan…
And more are the animal preparations.
Vegetable based group has many preparations. Some examples are.
• Raaga shadava,
And more are the vegetable preparations. Likewise the medicinal preparations can be subdivided into to
1-Medical procedures, and 2-Preperations.
The procedures included in the kalpana are internal and external Internal like
• Yonipoornam, and
The medicinal preparations can also be subdivided into two types herbal and mineral apart from this the combination. Of the two is also a kind of preparation.
• Swarasa, and more…
• Mineral Group
Mixed Group –
Most of all the ayurvedic preparations are mixed now a day.
Know about Ayurveda: The influence of Ancient drug related text (Nighantus) - Ayurveda Encyclopedia
In Ayurveda one sholaka (Sanskrit annotation) states that people use to laugh at a medico who doesn’t have the knowledge of Nighantus (drugs based text). The word nighantu stands for the drug book or the materia medica in Ayurveda. Charaka, Sushruta, Vagabhatta, Bhav Mishra, Shaligram and others have written about the properties and pharmacological charecteristics of the herbs, mineral, metals, chemicals, animal parts, cooked food articles, natural foods, fruits etc.Nighantus are text containing all these descriptions. There were several nighantus as Kaikye dev nighantu, Dhanvantri nighantu, Madan pal nighantu, Shaligram nighantu, Nighantu samgraha, Bhavaprakash nighantu and now days it is the Dravya Guna Vigyan. Basically it is the complete reference book for the Indian medicines of all categories including herbs, minerals and, animal products.
The nighantus are supposed to contain all the descriptions regarding the flora and fauna of Indian subcontinent as till date the drugs described in the Bhavaprakash, which are known to be find in India. Nighantus are basically the specific text dedicated for the study of all aspects of drugs from their place of origin, their pharmacological actions, useful parts up to preparations and dosage. The study of nighantu is correlated with bhaishajya
kalpana as the later one depends upon the nighantus for the knowledge of drugs and their pharmacological properties.
The nighantus have detailed studies about drugs on following parameters-
• Identification of the drug,
• Place of origin,
• Collection, preservation, detoxification and useful parts,
• Pharmacological actions,
• Preparations, and Dosage.
All the action of drugs used in bhaishajya kalpana are taken as it is from the various nighantus .The charka samhita as it self contained specific section related with the drugs their action and dosage (kalpa sthan). Alike that Sushrut samhita also classified its own drug section as Gana and used the single drug use tradition for preparation of different kalpanas. These two along with Ashtaang Samgraha and Ashtaang Hridya contained in them all the necessary drugs listed and their classifications as per their usages in bhaishajya kalpana. The nighantus which are found to be developed later on; are based upon the Brihattryi (Charka Sushrut and Vagbhatta). The later Bhavaprakash Nighantu is deemed to be developed from these all samhita text and scientifically used the various classifications of the drugs found in ancient drug related text by ayurveda. The most appreciated text on nighantu is bhavaprakash written in 14 th century. It contains 426 drugs and substances in it. This is the basic of modern dravya guna sashtara as all the definitions related with the action of drugs started from charka than vagabhatt up to bavaprakash are the same, which are used in modern ayurvedic pharmacy. There are about 1750 action words used to describe the actions of all the drugs. Sharangdhar though do not directly cite the text but used bhavaprakash as a reference at many places. The aspect of nighantus that affect bhaishajya kalpana will be discussed from time to time in bhaishajya kalpana description at their relevant reference and context. Presently the identification aspects are changed into the botanical classifications as per family. Than the Latin nomenclature system is most appropriate system. Thus for completely understanding the bhaishajya kalpana the knowledge of drugs their nature, effect, classification, ecology, nomenclature, actions and dosage must be acquired from the nighantus. The major ayurvedic pharmacy cites the bhavaprakash nighantu, dravya guna vigyan and Indian materia medica by Naadkarni as reference to the pharmacological properties of the herbs and drugs used in bhaishajya kalpana