A little history…

In Sanskrit, Ayurveda originates from the terms “ayus,” meaning “life,” and “veda,” meaning “science” or “knowledge acquired.” In reality, “ayus” implies the conjunction of body, mind, senses, and soul.
Ayurveda teaches us everything that is good or bad in relation to life, everything that is pleasant and unpleasant. One of the purposes of Ayurveda is to endow humans with a long and healthy life.
Ayurveda involves prescribing various regimens to ensure human health: for daily life, for different seasons of the year, for various temperature regimes, etc. For this purpose, it is necessary to understand human beings as they are.
Ayurveda focuses more on acquiring certain beneficial aspects of human beings. It is not just a medical system, but a true way of life: treatment, prevention, a way of living. This science considers that maintaining health and preventing diseases are more important, and treatment is administered only when conditions arise.

The six major historical stages in the evolution of Ayurveda

PERIOD I (prehistory-2500 BCE)
The “Vedas” describe three types of physicians, but the term Ayurveda does not appear.

PERIOD II (2500-500 BCE)
The term “ayurveda” is first recorded in history, and the three lines of transmission are specified.

  1. Celesta – the gods
  2. The saints (rishi) – the exponent of this line is Dhanvantari.
  3. The editors – those who transcribed the orally transmitted teachings.

During this period, the major Ayurvedic treatises emerge: Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita.

PERIOD III (500 BCE – 600 CE) – known as the Buddhist period “the most illuminated”

  • During this period, the work Asthanga Hridayam appears, known as the “Great Triad.”
  • During the Gupta dynasty, the first hospitals are recorded.
  • Emperor Ashoka spread Ayurveda, and the great Indian sage Nagarjuna interpreted Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita.

PERIOD IV (600-1000 CE)

  • The spread of Ayurveda continues in Tibet (mentioned in the renowned Tibetan treatise Tanjur) and also in the Arab world.
  • Asthanga Hridayam is translated into Arabic. The Arabs adopted and developed Rasashastra, the Indian alchemy, which uses the ash of certain toxic metals that become true panaceas through special processing and are used in specific quantities.

PERIOD V (1000-1700 CE) – known as the Mughal period

  • Indian alchemy (Rasasastra) reaches its peak of flourishing during this period.
  • During the Arab domination, Chakrapani distinguishes himself as the great commentator of the Charaka Samhita treatise.

PERIOD VI (1700 CE – 1947) – known as the “colonial” period

  • Although Ayurveda is no longer encouraged and subsidized by the state, and even prohibited, it still spreads in the West, being translated into English.
  • A highly valuable synthetic treatise, Yogaratnakar, is developed during this period, and the West adopts elements of plastic surgery and catgut – surgical thread – from the East, with profound implications for the subsequent development of surgery.