Ayurveda is a medico-lifestyle system of healing which originated in India over 5000 years ago. It is made up of two Sanskrit words. ayur, which means life, and veda which means knowledge or science. Thus Ayurveda may be defined as the science of life.
Ayurveda is known as Upaveda in the Atharvaveda. For the welfare of humans, Brahma, the Creator, memorized the science of Ayurveda and taught it to Daksha Prajapathi, Ashwini Kumar and Indra. Then it was taught to the eminent sages, Bharadwaja, Dhanwanthari, Kashyapa, Nimi and a few others. And in this way the life science descended to Earth, was refined and established as Ashtangaayurveda.
The eight branches of Ayurveda are as follows:
- Kaya Chikitsa – General Medicine.
- Bala Roga Chikitsa – Pediatrics.
- Graha Chikitsa – Treatment for evil spirits.
- Urdwanga tantra – E.N.T & Ophthalmology.
- Shalya Chikitsa – Surgery.
- Visha Chikitsa – Toxicology.
- Rasayana Chikitsa – Rejuvenation Therapy.
- Vajeekarana Chikitsa – Aphrodisiacs.