The Old Ayurvedic treatises and manuscripts on palm leaves
Ayurveda owes its history to Sanskrit and the Vedas and the wisdom accompanying these great scriptures. Sanskrit has always been known as the language of the learned. It is a product of refinement over various centuries and prakritis. Prakritis are considered to be the language of the masses. The Vedas have also contributed immensely to the enlightenment of the human minds, creating spontaneous thoughts and thereby encouraging innovation.

The Rig Veda provides us with a picture of a well-knit village life. The spirit of scientific enquiry based on a correlation of cause and effect in explaining natural phenomena started from the early days of Rig Veda. It was also observed that the ancient seers looked at nature and functioning of human life in a  very scientific manner. Atharva Veda on the other hand contains passages on treatment of diseases. Later on, efforts seem to have been made to analyze and systematize human anatomy, as seen in Satapatha Brahmana. Ayurveda is hence also known as Vaidya-shastra and went on to become an upang of Atharva Veda.

Ayurveda, from ancient times, mentions eight important topics: Major surgery, minor surgery, healing of diseases, dermatology, children’s diseases, toxicology, elixirs and aphrodisiacs. Some sages who have been associated with Ayurveda include Atreya, Chanakya, Kashyapa, Harita, Agnivesha Bhela and Jivaka, who incidentally was an expert on children’s diseases. Charaka Samhita came into being long ago as a comprehensive text on Ayurveda and deals with eight sthanas or centres. It is also known that Charaka Samhita was translated into Persian at a very early date and into Arabic at around 800 AD. This only strengthens the fact that Ayurveda has evolved from as early as human existence and that we have only discovered the tip of the iceberg, so to say. Lot more remains to be discovered from the scriptures, knowledge that could potentially change the way we analyze and treat several diseases.

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