The Eight Branches of Ayurveda

Ayurveda_HealthIn Indian medical colleges, students can choose an area of specialty from 8 branches of Ayurveda. These are:1

  • Aphrodisiacs (Vájikarana). Covers fertility issues and spiritual aspects of sexuality.
  • Ears, Nose, and Throat (Shálákya Tantra). Involves medical treatment for a variety of eye, ear, nose and throat disorders.
  • Internal Medicine (Káyachikitsá). This involves basic diagnostic and prescription processes, which focus in the mind, body and soul of the individual. A difference between this Ayurvedic practice and modern medicine is the stage of illness detection. While modern techniques typically only diagnose illness at a later stage, Ayurveda can detect and treat conditions as they are developing—before they can progress to a full-blown disease. This is achieved by supplementing deficiencies in or removing excess of one or more dosha from the body in order to achieve balance.
  • Pediatrics (Kaumára bhritya). Covers the areas of conception, pregnancy care, pre and post-natal care, and childhood diseases.
  • Psychiatry (Bhúta Vidyá,). This branch of Ayurveda deals with diseases of the mind and uses both herbal and yoga prescriptions for their management.
  • Rejuvenation (Rasáyana). This branch in concerned with prevention of disease and longevity.
  • Surgery (Shalyá Tantra). Involves surgical procedures, learned on cadavers as in modern medicine.
  • Toxicology (Vishagara-vairodh Tantra). Involves the diagnosis and treatment of diseases caused by environmental and food toxicity.
 
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