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Nov 24, 2010

ASHTANGAS OF AYURVEDA

ASHTANGAS OF AYURVEDA

ASHTANGAS
Ayurveda has eight parts called as "Ashtangas" in Sanskrit. ("Ashta" means eight; "anga" means part). These eight parts of Ayurveda deal with different subjects. They are as follows:
Kaya chikitsa:
Internal and external treatments for the body.
Bala chikitsa:
Diseases related to infants.
Graha chikitsa:
Healing of psychological problems.
Urdvanga chikitsa:
Treatments related to the head region.
Salya chikitsa:
Surgeries and operations.
Visha chikitsa:
The science of detoxification.
Rasayana prakarana:
Methods to rejuvenate the saptadhatus.
Vajeekarana:
Science of aphrodisiacs.

1. Kaya chikitsa:
"Kaya" means body, "chikitsa" means treatment. In Kayachikitsa, treatment is given to the body, both externally and internally. Kayachikitsa can be done by Panchakarma (which means "five methods"). These methods are: Vaman, Virechan, Basti, Nasy and Rakta moksha.Pachakarma includes three phases: Poorva karma, Pradhan Karma, Pashchat Karma. Along with this Panchakarma some other procedures like Shirodahra, Shirobasti, Katibhsati and Sarwangdhara can be used to heal the whole body.
In Kayachikitsa, the detection of disease includes the following basic principles according to Sootra sthana ("Sootra" means principles, "sthana" means part. Sootra sthana means "part with principles of Ayurveda"):
Nadi sodhana [testing of nadi]
Functionality of organs
Vata, Pitta and Kapha doshas
Intensity of the disease and strength of the patient
Disease and its symptoms
Then the disease can be cured by selecting a proper medicine. That medicine may come from any of the following and also as combination:
Oshadi [herbs]
Rasa [mercury etc]
Uparasa [includes bone, hair etc]
Kara [potassium nitras etc]
Sara [ammonium chloride]
Stavara [poisons]
Jangama [poisons]
Pashana [arsenic compounds]
Loha [metals]
Kayachikitsa also includes Kayakalpa, which means rejuvenation of body.

2. Bala chikitsa [Pediatrics]:
It contains "Balaroga prakarana" which means the description about diseases of infants. This part of Ayurveda includes diseases related to infants like "Grahani" [motions], Vantibedhi [vomiting], Jvara [fevers], Graha chikitsa [psychological imbalances].In this part, there are so many methods of fumigations [dhoopa chikitsa] to cure viral infections. Curing of these viral infections is called as Bhoota chikitsa.

3. Graha chikitsa [Psychiatry / Bhutavidya]:
This part of Ayurveda includes healing of psychological problems. The healing of psychological imbalances can be cured by different methods. They are as follows:
Dhoopa chikitsa [Fumigation]
Mantra [by chanting some sacred syllables]
Tantra [Using specific herbs]
Yantra [Sacred symbols]
The description about the herbs for this treatment was given in "GrahaVidya dravya".

4. Urdvanga chikitsa [Shalakya tantra / Salakhaya]:
This part of Ayurveda includes treatment of head [neck, eye, nose, and teeth]. The disease related to those upper parts can be detected by following the principles of "Sootra sthana".

5. Salya chikitsa [Surgery]:
"Susruta" is the father of Surgery. He was the first surgeon who did an eye operation successfully. He used surgical instruments made up of stone and wood. Usage of his instruments is still obscure for modern surgeons. This salya chikitsa includes operation of tumors, bone fractures, internal obstructions, removing foreign substances from body. It may also include operations that ease the delivery in critical conditions.

6. Visha chikitsa [Science of Detoxification]:
This part of Ayurveda includes detoxification methods. It is also called as "Agada tantra". The accumulation of poisons and toxins takes place in the body due to:
Secretions of bacteria, fungi, viruses
Junk food
Bites of insects and snakes
Bad habits like smoking and consumption of alcohol
7. Rasayana prakarana [Jara chikitsa]:
This part includes different methods to rejuvenate the saptadhatus [seven constituent elements] of the body and to increase ojas. In this part "Kuti pravesa" is a method which is useful for preventing the symptoms of old age.Better sex, long life can be attained through this part of Ayurveda.

8. Vajeekarana [Science of Aphrodisiacs]:
"Vajee" means Horse, "Karanam" means to follow. Vajeekarana means a combination of herbs which gives the sexual capability that is equal to that one of a horse. It develops "Sukra dhatu". This part also cures problems like impotency and infertility to some extent. These medicines also develop and strengthen Saptadhatus

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