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Charaka’s contribution to Ayurveda


When did human beings start thinking of their health? No need to rack your brains – the answer is very obvious. The desire to live long with a fit and healthy body would have been there in every human being from time immemorial.

Ayurveda originated from this quest of man to live long with a healthy body. It prescribed the rules and directives for a healthy life. Legends say that Ayurveda originated from Brahma, the creator of the universe. The early references to Ayurveda can be seen in Vedas; later Ayurvedic scholars of different ages collected and compiled the information on Ayurveda, scattered in the Vedas and these were known as Samhitas.

Charaka, Susrutha and Vagbhata are considered the major ancient scholars who contributed much to the development of this science through their compilations, interpretations and experiments in Ayurveda. Among these scholars, Charaka’s treatise on Ayurveda is known as Charaka Samhita, which is divided into eight sthanas (parts) which are again divided to 120 chapters. Charaka through this book, talks about embryology and physiology. It was Charaka who put forward for the first time in the medical history, the principles of immunity, metabolism etc. His writings show that he had an insight into genetics too. Charaka’s knowledge on anatomy and various organs of human body was amazing and it turned out to be the leading light for many Ayurvedic scholars in the later decades. Through his works and detailed comments and descriptions on health-related topics, he strengthened the fundamentals of ayurvedic treatments and thus helped to make it more popular.


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