Monday, May 17, 2010

Hindu Medicine

Hindu Medicine
The earliest Sanskrit documents the Rigveda (about 500 BC) indicates the treatment of disease mainly by spells and incantations.

Latter a series of works called Ayurveda (about 700 BC )contains much medical information.

Charaka and Susruta were among the contributors. But the first original book was made before those great Hindu physicians.

Charaka lived in the beginning of Christian era and Susruta lived about fifth century AD.

Susruta wrote about Malaria caused by mosquitoes, Plague followed by when many dead rats were seen and Phthisis showed by Haemoptysis, fever and cough and also gave description of small pox.

Ancient Hindus were extremely good in Surgery. In an Indian rock inscription, king Asoka (226 BC) records the erection of Hospitals by him. India and Ceylon were one country. Chingalese records indicate the existence of Hospitals in Ceylon in 437 and 137 BC.

The three leading textbook of Hindu medicine which were mainly predominated by the Brahmin priest and scholars are the

Charaka Samhita
Charaka Samhita, a compendium made by Charak from an earlier works of Agnivera, based upon the lectures of his master Atreya (6th century BC).

The Susruta (5th century AD)

Vagbhata (7th century AD)

Of these the most remarkable is Susruta described more than a hundred surgical instruments. Hindus treated fractures with bamboo splints and performed caesarean section, excision of tumors, lithonomy and rhinoplasty which originated in India.

Susruta mentioned seven hundred and sixty medicinal plants, oilments, bath, sneezing powders and inhalations which were used as external application. Hindus may be called as pioneers of modern plastic surgery.

Diabetes Mellitus was recognized as “Madhu Meha” and the symptoms of thirst, foul breath and general weakness were noted. Evidence of inoculation against small pox has been found in Sanskrit text “Sacteya” attributed to Dhanwantari.

The Hindu system of respiratory exercise or gymnastics is highly praised till to day. In Marco Polo’s travel experience there is a direction of a kind of mosquito netting used on the coromandal coast.

The Soporitic effects of Hyoscyamus and Cannabis Indica were known to the Hindu surgeons as Surgical Anesthesia.

The Hindus may have borrowed something from the Greek. Some writers even maintain that Aristotle who lived at the last part of real Hindu culture got some of his ideas from the east.
Hindu Medicine
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