Ayurveda Ayurveda, meaning the science of longevity, was an indigenous system of medicine in ancient India. The oldest known Ayurvedic texts are the Suśruta Saṃhitā and the Charaka Saṃhitā. It contains information about diseases, their diagnosis and expected cures.
Ayurveda as an art of healing was treated with respect in ancient India. The knowledge systemized as Ayurveda was considered at par with the Vedas. The knowledge of Ayurveda was passed from generations to generations and was spread among sages, hermits and other religious men who moved from one place to another. Those who solely practiced this form of medicine were known as Vaidyas and they belonged to the Brahmin caste.
In classical Sanskrit literature, Ayurveda was called the science of eight components: 1- Kāya-chikitsā (General Medicine) 2 –Kaumāra-bhṛtya (Paediatrics) 3 – Śhalya-chikitsā (Surgery) 4- Śālākya-tantra (ophthalmology/ENT) 5- Bhūta vidyā ((demonology / exorcism/psychiatry) 6- Agada-tantra (toxicology) 7 – Rasayana-tantra (elixirs) 8- Vājīkaraṇa tantra ( Aphrodisiacs) The main medical practitioners of Ayurveda were Atraya, Agnivesa, Charaka and Shusruta.