Among all sciences, medicine
was the most advanced considering the fact
that the Atharva Veda, (about 1500 BC)
one of the four ancient scriptures of India,
mentions certain herbs with curative powers.
Several ancient texts on physiology identified
factors as those which determined good or
ill health. The traditional Indian medicine
focused on longevity and prescribed several
remedies for the same. Gold, silver, mercury,
garlic and honey are described as having specific
curative powers in the vast treasury of India's
pharmacopoeia. medical texts of ancient India.
Some of these have subsequently been credited
with the same curative powers by modern scientists.
stressed the holistic approach to health
based on proper diet and physical exercise.
Today, even modern scientists accept its
efficacy as one of the most efficient ways
to stress-free, healthy living.
Charaka, the great Ayurvedic physician
of the 1st Century AD, had written Charaka
Samhita, the first scientific medical
text. Charaka's work consisted of eight
chapters devoted to pharmacology, diet,
treatment of major diseases like fever,
diarrhoea, consumption, leprosy and tumour
among others. He also wrote on such specialised
subjects as pathology, embryology and anatomy.
In the fourth century, came Sushruta, who
is considered the father of surgery. In
his treatise Sushruta Samhita, he
lists about 125 surgical instruments used
by him in his surgeries, details methods
of operations among other subjects. In his
time he is believed to have performed Caesarean
sections, done plastic surgeries and
set compound fractures.
Veterinary science was another field which
had been developed well in ancient times,
with hospitals for horses, elephants and
cattle. A special branch of Indian medicine
was devoted to the treatment of elephants
and was called Hastyayurveda.
has also played a major role in Traditional
Medical Science of India