Ayurveda is considered as the oldest in the field of medicine. With its origin in India, it is more than 5000 years old.
Ayurveda deals with scientific way of leading life. Ayu means life, and Veda means the science of life.
Considered as pioneer in the field of medicine, it is the oldest and richest medical system from which many branches of medicine have evolved.
It is a belief that the great saint Veda Vyasa wrote Ayurveda along with Vedas and vedic literatures.
Mother of all healing is an appropriate name given to Ayurveda. Atreya and Dhanvantari are the two eyes of Ayurveda. The field of general medicine is dealt by Atreya and the field of surgery is dealt by Dhanvantari.
Ayurveda, it’s not only a medicine, but also a way of living life spiritually as its main goal. It also deals with day-to-day activities from government functioning, family life, astrology, health to yoga. With an emphasis on prevention is better than cure, Ayurveda believes strongly in leading life wisely with right thinking, and usage of herbs along with healthy diet.
With its roots and branches in all spheres of life, Ayurveda can be considered as fifth Veda. Atreya Samhita, the oldest book of Ayurveda is compiled from all Vedas. Other best and popular books that are still available are Charaksamhita, Rachayita (Writer), and Sushrut Samhita.
Charak Samhita stands the best, in spite of the availability of many books in Ayurveda, as it is only book that covers the medicine branch of Ayurveda, that is, treatment methods in Ayurveda totally.
Sankhya, Yoga, Nyay, Vaisheshik, Vedanta, and Mimamsa, in verses form are found in Charak Samhita.
Interest and patience are the key factors to master Ayurveda, as each and every Sutra is explained in the form of a novel.
The beginning lines of ‘Jalpakalpatary’ (Tika on Charaksanhita) sings the glory of Charak Samhita by mentioning that it is a tree, which contains all branches of science.
It is believed that the knowledge of Ayurveda was given by Brahma directly to Prajapati, who in turn taught Ashwinikumar, and he, to Indra, who in turn taught it to sage Bharadwaja, and he, in turn taught it to all other sages. Punarvasu Atreya who was a student of Bhardwaja. One samhita was prepared by Agnivesha. Modifications were made in Agnivesh Tantra by Charak, and his name was given everywhere. Moreover, chapters 12 and 17 were latter inclusions of Drudhbala.
Some people like Aupadhenav, Vaitarar, Aurabhra and so on met Dhanwantri, who was leading a retired life and became his students due to their belief that diseases and sorrow were engulfing their lives. Ayurveda was taught to them by Dhanwantri so they everyone could lead a healthy life. Ayurveda is divided into eight branches depending on the lifespan of a person: Shalya ,Shalakya ,Kay, Chikitsa Bhootvidya ,Kaumarbhrutya ,Agadatantra,Rosayantantra and Vajikarantantra.
While Sushrut Samhita was influenced by Dhanwantri, Charak Samhita was influenced by Athreya.