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Ancient Indian Physicians – important contributions

PM has been reading Dina Nath Batra certainly. He has been unequivocally rooting for Ancient Indian medicine practices and practitioners. UPSC too might be in awe of Modi , and might as well ask us to list some of them and their contributions.

Jivaka

  • belonged to Bihar, 6th century BC – contemporary of Bimbisara and Ajatsatru.
  • studied Ayurveda medicine under the tutelage of Atreya.
  • was the personal physician of Lord Buddha and Sangha.
  • promoted usage of purgatives, herbal remedies for wounds.
  • works illustrated in Bower’s Manuscript, Deepvamsa , Mahavamsa.

Sushruta

  • from Banaras, debate around which time period he existed.
  • known as father of Indian medicine and first plastic surgeon of the world. Greeks called him Sucruta.
  • studied human anatomy in great detail.
  • wrote the oldest treatise on surgery – Sushrut Samhita. It has details about surgical instruments , surgery procedures like rhinoplasty , usage of anesthesia etc.
  • emphasized the importance of balancing theoretical knowledge with practical experience.

Charaka

  • known as Father of Medicine ,debate around which time period he existed.
  • Was an Ayurveda practitioner.
  • Author of Charaka Samhita – deals with physiology, etiology, embryology etc. Emphasis on physical examination and rational cure of diseases.
  • Emphasized on the principle  that  prevention is better than cure.
  • Wrote extensively on digestion, metabolism, immune system, genetics like the factors responsible for sex of a child.
  • probably the first to have made a reference about smallpox.
  • steered Indian medicine towards scientific approach , away from the notions that diseases are caused by supernatural forces and that treatments were possible by rituals and prayers.

Nagarajuna

  • believed to be an alchemist who worked extensively with mercury, and advocated the use of chemical cures rather than preparations made from herbs and vegetables.
  • described details of the circulatory system, and referred to blood as rakta dhatu.
  • made many specially concocted chemicals with therapeutic value called  bhasmas.
  • redacted sushruta samhita.
  • major works in the field of medicine and alchemy include Vigraha Vyavar Vartika , Rasa Ratnakar.

Vagabhatta

  • Vagabhatta I – chief work was Ashtanga Samgraha , a treatise on ayurvedic medicine, therapautics, hygiene, anatomy, surgery and other allied subjects. Emphasized the importance of personal hygiene to good health, and introduced the importance of combating pollution by elaborating the role of contaminated river water in adversely affecting health.
  • Vagabhatta II – wrote Ashtanga Hridaya Samhita

Madhavacharya

  • around 7th century AD.
  • Rugvinischaya or Madhavanidana is his most prominent work.
  • dealt with methods of diagnosis of diseases, pathology.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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