Did you know that the Atharva Veda contains sections devoted to the science of medicine?
The atharvaveda gave birth to Ayur Veda, the traditional system of Hindu medicine and it was developed around 5000 years ago. This system of medicine is still widely used today in India under the term Ayur Vedic Medicine.
The Greek physician Hippocrates (460-377 BCE) is honored as the father of medicine. However, well before Hippocrates, Maharshi Charaka had already written the Charaka Samhitã ("Handbook of a Physician") in 500 BCE.
World’s First Physician
Did you know that a Hindu was the world’s first physician?
The west is fond of proclaiming Hippocrates (460 – 377 BC) as the father of medicine, but way before him in 500 BC Maharishi Charaka wrote the famous Charaka Samhita or Physicians’ Handbook. The Charaka Samhita went into great detail to describe human anatomy, pathology, diagnostic procedures, and treatment for various diseases. Charaka defined eight major medical disciplines of Ayur Veda: Shailya Chikitsa (surgery), Shaalakya Chikitsa (head, eye, nose, throat), Kaaya Chikitsa (mental health), Kaumarbhrutya Chikitsa (pediatrics), Agada Tantra (toxicology), Rasaayana Tantra (Pharmacology), Vaajeekarna Tantra (reproductive medicine). Charaka also described the functions of the heart and the circulatory system in great detail. The Charaka Samhita was widely translated in various languages and Charaka was a respected medical authority in both the Arab and Roman empires.
World’s First Plastic Surgeon
Do you know that Sushruta is regarded as the father of surgery and the earliest known work relating to human surgery is Shushruta Samhitã?
Sushruta as early as 600 BC used cheek skin to perform plastic surgery to restore and reshape human nose, ears, and lips with incredible results. In his treatise, Shushruta Samhita, he classified surgery into eight types: aaharya (extracting solid bodies), bhedya (excision), eshya (probing), lekhya (sarification), vedhya (puncturing), visravya (extracting fluids), and sivya (suturing). Sushruta worked with 125 kinds of surgical instruments including scalpels, lancets, needles, catheters, etc. Sushruta even devised non-invasive surgical treatments with the aid of light rays and heat. He conducted 300 types of operations such as extracting solid bodies, excision, incision, probing, puncturing, evacuating fluids and suturing. Ancient Indians were also the first to perform amputations, caesarean and cranall surgeries.
Over 2600 years ago Sushrata & his team conducted complicated surgeries like cataract, artificial limbs, cesareans, fractures, urinary stones and also plastic surgery and brain surgeries.
Chanakya's Arthashãstra describes post-mortems, and Bhoja Prabandha describes brain surgery, successfully performed in 927 AD by two surgeons on King Bhoja to remove a growth from his brain. Usage of anesthesia was well known in ancient India medicine. Detailed knowledge of anatomy, embryology, digestion, metabolism, physiology, etiology, genetics and immunity is also found in many ancient Indian texts.
The Earliest School of Medicine Known to Mankind
The father of medicine, Charaka, consolidated Ayurveda 2500 years ago.