Share This Article
Many of us restrict our knowledge of Ayurveda to herbal treatments and oil massages, but Ayurveda encompasses everything from internal medicine to pediatrics to geriatrics, rejuvenation, surgery, and even sexual wellness.
Ashtang Ayurveda comprises of the eight major disciplines that are the Eight Branches of Ayurveda:
1: Kaaya Chikitsa also called the Internal Medicine
The word ‘Kaya’ means ‘body’. Here, the digestive system has been projected as important as the life of the body itself. This system is responsible for the breakdown of food and the metabolism in the body. The Ayurveda deals with the treatment of general ailments of the body, like fever, cough, lung diseases, constipation, etc.
The theoretical knowledge which focuses on Kaya Chikitsa is called Charaka Samhita.
The Charak Samhita focuses on the medical and non-surgical aspects of Ayurvedic therapy, such as tailored nutrition, hygiene, a healthy lifestyle, and general wellness.
2: Baala Chikitsa also known as the Treatment of Children or Paediatrics
Children and babies are unable to communicate their discontent. Their doses differ from adults’, and the medications they take must be safe for their bodies. These disparities necessitated the creation of Baala Chikitsa, a unique discipline of medicine that focuses only on children within the Ayurvedic sciences.
Bala Chikitsa is an Ayurvedic healing science for children and infants that details disorders, treatments, and dietary recommendations, as well as natural and herbal remedies for a variety of diseases affecting children and infants, including digestive disorders, teething problems, bone health, etc.
3: Graha Chikitsa or the Psychology
Graha Chikitsa is the Ayurvedic area that deals with mental disorders and diseases having psychosomatic roots. Psychosomatic disorders usually don’t have any visual symptoms but are caused by the mind and take place deep within the mind. Herbs, nutrition, the use of particular mantras, pranayama or breathing methods, meditation techniques, and yogic treatments are all discussed as ways to cure and bring peace to the mind.
4: Urdhvaanga Chikitsa or the Treatment of disease above the clavicle
Shalakya Tantra uses holistic therapies, and herbal formulations to cure illnesses and imbalances in the body above the shoulder level. Shalakya Tantra is an Ayurvedic discipline that deals with the eye, ear, nose, lips, brain, central nervous system, skull, and throat problems. This field is further divided into Nethra chiktsa (ophthalmology), Karna chikitsa (otology), Nasachikitsa (rhinology), Mukharoga chikitsa (includes dentistry and laryngology), and Shiroroga chikitsa (craniology).
5: Shalya Chikitsa also known as Surgery
According to Dr. Manikantan, the Sushrut Samhita includes more than 300 types of procedures and 42 types of surgeries that use 125 different surgical equipment like scalpels, needles, rectal speculums, and even tourniquets. He advises Shalya Tantra for cysts or tumors, lymph node enlargement, hemorrhoids, stone removal, and rectal infections, among other things. Pre-operative procedures, post-operative procedures, general procedures, energy points (marmas), and even anesthetic procedures are all detailed in Shalya Tantra, along with the appropriate equipment, bandages, or sutures to employ for each treatment.
6: Damstra Chikitsa (Toxicology)
Damstra Chikitsa, also known as Agada Tantra, is an Ayurvedic branch of toxicology concerned with the treatment and prevention of poisons in the body. Getting bitten or attacked by animals, birds, insects, or worms was typical before urbanization as there was more wildness around which humans lived. So, in the form of Damstra or Agada Tantra, medical studies emerged to give a cure for the terrible poisoning that ensued from these occurrences. It dealt with poisoning caused by animals, plants, and vegetables, as well as metals and man-made poisons.
7:Jara Chikitsa (Geriatrics, Rejuvenation)
Ayurveda focuses not only on alleviating symptoms, but also on preventing illnesses, and rasayana chikitsa, or rejuvenation treatment, is one method Ayurveda accomplishes this objective of preventative care. There are three sub-branches of Rasayana Chikita—Naimittika Rasayana which is the curative rejuvenation, Ajasrika Rasayanaor the promotion of health and a healthy lifestyle and Kamya Rasayanawhich is longevity, fertility, and memory enhancement.
8: Varsha Chikitsa also known as Aphrodisiac therapy
This section is concerned with improving men’s and women’s sexual health and fertility. It focuses on reproductive and genetic organs’ health and diseases. It is a branch of medicine that deals with sexuality, virility, potency, strength, excitability, methods, regimens, diets, herbal medications, and therapies for reproductive organs.