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11 Jun, 23 tweets, 5 min read
A brief story of origin of indigenous medicine of Bharata:

By modern estimates Adikala / primal age before Ayurveda is said to be "at least" 5th millennium BC to 2300/1700 BC.

But All ancient seers state one fact unanimously -
Ayurveda is sahwata / eternal with no beginning.+
Brahma, after creation, taught "science of life" - Ayurveda to Prajapati.
Prajapati then transfered this knowledge to Ashwini Kumars, who are celestial physicians.
They then imparted this knowledge to Indra.

There are 3 documented instances where Rishis learnt this from Indra.+
1. Dhanwantari appeared at the end of the 'Churning of the Ocean'
He is said to be initial Avatar of Vishnu & is among first one to get this knowledge from Indra.
His specialty was Shalya Chikitsa / Surgery.
2. Rishi Kashyapa, a Brahmarishi (self realized seer) received this knowledge from Indra.
Original Brahmarishis r the Saptarishis -Bhrigu, Angiras, Atri, Vishwamitra, Kashyapa, Vasishta & Shandilya.
His speciality was Kaumarbhritya.
Below Saptarishis are Maharishis, Great Rishis+
3. Maharishi Bhardwaja is 3rd one to get this knowledge from Indra.
He is variously known as son of Brahaspati (or in later puaranas as son of Brahmarishi Atri).
He was father of Dronacharya.
His speciality was Kayachikitsa / Internal medicine.+
So the story says that once in ancient times, there happened a great conclave of Rishis in Himalayas.
The Rishis were not only concerned about Human welfare. They were also concerned about the welfare of soil, trees, animals, birds & other sentient inhabitants of the Earth.+
It was decided that someone should volunteer to get that knowledge from Indra.
Maharishi Bhardwaja volunteered for the task.
He learnt Trisutra Ayurveda from Indra:
1. Hetu (causative factors)
2. Linga (sign & symptoms of disease) &
3. Aushadha – Medicines as cure.+
He came back to Earth & taught Ayurveda to other Rishis & his disciples.
His foremost disciple was Punarvasu Atryea who then taught it to his 6 disciples - Agniveśa, Parashara, Harita, Bhela, Jatukarna and Ksharpani.
Rishi Agniveśa was most prominent & also Guru of Dronacharya.+
Vahnivesha, Hutashavesha, Hutasha, Hutasa, Vahni were other names of Agniveśa which are synonyms of Agni.

These 6 Rishis formed the 6 schools of early Ayurveda.

The only surviving text from this period is the Bhela Samhita which is not available completely.+
Mriga Ayurveda (Ayurveda for animals),
Vriksha Ayurveda (Ayurveda for plants and trees)&
Krishi Ayurveda (Ayurvedic farming science) are also ancient branches of Ayurveda.
Rishi Parashara wrote excellent texts on these subjects.
“Pancha kavya” is from Krishi & Vriksha Ayurveda.+
Acharya Agnivesa’s text exists in its modified and redacted form.
Agnivesh tantra / Agnivesha Samhita is mentioned in Charaka Samhita:
agniveśakṛte tantre carakapratisaṃskṛte - "the tantra (Agnivesha) as written by Agniveśa, is compiled, edited and modified by Charaka"+
Ayurveda is said to be derived from Atharva Veda and is technically known as Upa-veda or applied knowledge.
4 Upa-vedas:
1. Ayurveda
2. Dhanur Veda (Science of weaponry)
3. Gandharva shastra (Music & dance derived from Vedas like Samaveda)
4. Artha Shastra (Science of Commerce)+
The compendia of Ayurveda are the Samhitas.
The earliest compendium which we still use today in Ayurveda is the Charaka Samhita, variously dated between 3000-5000 years before.
The Charaka Samhita, contains 12,000 verses in 120 chapters and covers eight branches of Ayurveda.+
1.Kayachikitsa – Internal medicine
2.Shalakya – ENT medicine
3.Shalya – Surgery
4.Vishagarvyrodhikachikitsa – Toxicology
5.BhutaVidya – Psychiatry
6.Kaumarabhritya- Ob-Gyn &Paediatrics
7.Rasayana- longevity &rejuvenation
8.Vajjikarana- Infertility &Reproductive medicine+
Acharya Sushruta, (2000-3000 years before) compiled Sushruta Samhita.
It is famous for its extra-ordinary depth in Surgery.
He has written extensively about Vector control (rats and insects) & also of anti bacterial and anti fungal measures to be followed in hospitals and wards+
3rd great Ayurvedic text in the Ayurvedic formulary is Ashtanga Hridayam – Heart of 8 Branches of Ayurveda, written by Acharya Vagbhatta, who redacted the text written by his grandfather, Acharya Vagbhatta Senior, “Ashtanga Samgraha” – a compilation based on Charaka Samhita.
Charaka Samhita, the Sushruta Samhita & Ashtanga Hridayam are called the “Brihat Trayee” / The Great 3 texts” in Ayurvedic lexicon.
Even until halfway through colonial rule, “Chattrams” (pilgrim rest stops) also carried an Ayurvedic chikitshalaya with a physician attached to it.+
There's an article on origin of medicine in ancient India by C. Dwarkanath of ICMR
There's a publication by @WHO on "Benchmarks for Training in Ayurveda" +…
Paleomedicine and the Medicinal Plant Use is NO fringe topic in current Evidence Based Medicine / EBM.

We only need to be aware of our roots & keep it relevant in modern scientific context. That's all what is needed.
"Father of Surgery"- Maharishi Sushruta, at the Australia College of Surgeons.
"Father of Indian Medicine" - Maharishi Charaka
Research on medicinal plants & herbal formulations is no taboo in modern medicine.
I remember there's always some research or the other going on in KGMC pharma department on herbs.
This is one recent paper on DM herbal formulation research done in KGMC…

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More from @dr_gsharma

11 Jun
This topic is literally a minefield.
Just putting 2 cents before I go back to safety.😊
"Allopathy" now thought of as a synonym of "modern medicine" got its name in 1810 actually as a "cuss-word" or at least as derogatory by Samuel Hahnemann, the inventor of homeopathy.
It literally means "other than the disease" which he called for "Heroic medicine", the traditional European medicine of the time& a precursor to modern medicine, that did not rely on evidence of effectiveness!
It was seen as symptomatic treatment as "opposites treating opposites"
He called this practice of treating diseases by means of drugs producing symptoms opposite to those of the patient "enantiopathic" (from the Greek ἐνάντιος (enántios), meaning "opposite") or "antipathic medicine"

His "Homeo" treatment is based on the principle of "same"
Read 12 tweets
10 Jun
7 layers of Tvaka are from gross anatomical view point based on color/texture. And it's difficult to comprehend such minute detailing in ancient times without aid to eye (I suspect that they had some aid). Still more amazing is ancient embryology.
However, drawing parallel with current version is tricky. Many have tried & there's partial success. Yet, it's still some leap of faith. For ex..
In quoted study, prima facie, I find missing out of Lohita (2nd) layer. One can't miss something from in between.
Another issue is with layer 5 & 6.
They seemingly fit nicely with superficial (papillary) & deep (reticular) dermis.
But there's no clear demarcation between them even under microscope.
Junction isn't sharp but undulating & progressive with depth.
Also BOTH have nerves & vessels.
Read 5 tweets
10 Jun
On a related note..
In recently published study, there's a risk of disappearing of knowledge of medicinal plants as human languages become extinct.
30% of 7400 languages on Earth are expected to disappear by end of the century.
This is something similar to what has happened to us
"Over 75% of all 12,495 medicinal plant services are linguistically unique. Whereas most plant species associated with linguistically unique knowledge are not threatened, most languages that report linguistically unique knowledge are."…
"In one of the great tragedies of our age, indigenous traditions, stories, cultures and knowledge are winking out across the world.
Whole languages and mythologies are vanishing, and in some cases even entire indigenous groups are falling into extinction."…
Read 5 tweets

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