Ashtanga Ayurveda: Ayurveda Basics

Ashtanga Ayurveda

Ashtanga Ayurveda

Ashtanga Ayurveda

Ayurveda is based on its eight divisions or parts, so its called Ashtanga Ayurveda. These are: Kayacikitsa , Salakya, Salyapahartrka, Visa- gara–vairodhika-prasaman, Bhuta Vidhya, Kaumarabhrtya, Rasayana and Vajikarana.

Summarized as under:

1.Kayacikitsa (Medicine)

2.Salakya (dealing with disease of supra-clavicular region- ENT. & Optha.)

3.Salya (dealing with extraction of foreign bodies- Surgery)

4.Visa Vigyan (dealing with alleviation of poison, artificial poison and toxic symptoms due to in take of antagonistic substance – Toxicology)

5.Bhuta Vidya (dealing with spririt or organisms- Psychiatry Medicine)


7.Rasayana (dealing with promotive measures – Rejuvenates)

8.Vajikarana (dealing with aphrodisiacs-Aphrodisiac)

These can be classified Preventive and Curative as follows :
Promoting Health Curatives / Treatment of diseases
Rasayana Kaya cikitsa
Vajikarana Salya


Under the Ashtanga Ayurveda, a number of treatise were composed on each branch. All of them are full fledged and a complete specialization. At the same time keeping room for inter-disciplinary approach and coordination.

Two specializations developed have made two distinct schools. One, the school of medicine and the other the school of surgery. The former was known as Kaya Cikitsa, Atreya or Punarvasu sampradaya. The latter is known as Salya or Dhanvantari sampradaya.

Although all the eight branches of Ashtanga Ayurveda have been described in each Brahatrai (three big compendiums) , each emphasizes on one or two specializations:

Kaya-cikitsa Caraka samhita, Astanga Hridaya Astanga samgrha, Susruta uttara tantra.
Shalya tantra Susruta samhita, Astanga Samgrha
Shalakya tantra Susruta samhita, Astanga samgrha, Nimitantra
Kaumarbhritya Kasyapa samhita, Astanga samgrha, caraka samhita, susruta samhita
Rasayana Caraka samhita, susruta samhita, Astanga samgrha
Vajikarana Caraka samhita, susruta samhita, Astanga samgrha
Agada Tantra susruta samhita, caraka samhita
Bhuta Vidya Astanga samgrha, Kasyapa Samhita, caraka samhita

In the next Article we are going to learn about Fundamental Principles of Ayurveda

References: Traditional Knowledge Digital Library

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