• Entry
  • Reader's guide
  • Entries A-Z
  • Subject index

As the term suggests, Ayurveda is the practice of traditional Indian medicine, the tenets of which were originally derived from the Vedas, the collection of sacred Hindu texts. Ayurveda is quite literally a “science of life” or “life-knowledge,” as the word is a combination of the Sanskrit words ayur (life) and veda (science or knowledge). Ayurveda was initially an “auxiliary” or appendix to the Vedas and consisted of spells and incantations designed to cure disease. Ethnographically, the origins of these practices can even be seen to predate their codification and are rooted in an oral tradition extending back to 5000 b.c.e.

More formally, the three ancient books (the Great Trilogy) that are considered the main texts of Ayurvedic medicine—Caraka Samhita, Sushruta Samhita, Ashtanga Hridaya—were written in ...

    • Loading...
    locked icon

    Sign in to access this content

    Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

    • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
    • Read modern, diverse business cases
    • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles