Origin of Ayurveda



It is difficult to date the origin of Ayurveda precisely due to the absence of written records. Ayurveda forms part of the Vedas, which are the oldest known records of human civilization. As the Vedic manuscripts are dated between 4000 and 6000 BC, studies have concluded that Ayurveda existed at that time and may have originated much earlier. Over time, most of the basic understandings were recorded in written form in the ancient Indian language of Sanskrit. Therefore, the essence of this discipline remains unchanged even today. When the Vedas were recorded in written texts, the Ayurvedic wisdom that was spread throughout them was extracted by Ayurvedic scholars and compiled into 'samhitas' (books or treatises). Three of the most ancient and major treatises of Ayurveda still exist today: Charaka Samhita (dealing with fundamental concepts, diseases, and herbal medicines), Sushruta Samhita (dealing with anatomy and surgery), and Astanga Hridaya, which offers an overview of the works of Charaka, Sushruta, and other renowned Ayurvedic scholars.

Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player