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The Eight Branches of Ayurveda

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Ashtanga Ayurveda

Kayachikitsa (Internal medicine)

Baala chikitsa (Pediatrics)

Graha chikitsa (Demonology)

Urdhvanga Chikitsa (Diseases of head & neck)

Shalya chikitsa (Surgery)

Visha chikitsa (Toxicology)

Jara chikitsa (Rejuvenation)

Vrsha chikitsa (Aphrodisiac therapy)


"Kaaya baala graha urdhvaanga shalya damshtra jara vrshan Ashtau angaani tasyaahuh chikitsa yeshu samsthitaah."

-Ashtanga hrdayam



Ayurveda has 8 branches in it. They are-

1. Kaaya Chikitsa (Internal Medicine),

2. Baala Chikitsa (Treatment of Children / Pediatrics),

3. Graha Chikitsa (Demonology / Psychology),

4. Urdhvaanga Chikitsa (Treatment of disease above the clavicle),

5. Shalya Chikitsa (Surgery),

6. Damstra Chikitsa (Toxicology),

7. Jara Chikitsa (Geriatrics, Rejuvenation),

8. Vrsha Chikitsa (Aphrodisiac therapy).

Kayachikitsa:

The word 'Kaya' represents 'Agni' - the digestive fire in the body. It is responsible for the metabolism in the body. The imbalance to this 'Agni' is the cause for many diseases. Kaya chikitsa deals with the treatment of general ailments, such as fever, diarrhea and cough, by treating Agni.

Baala chikitsa:

This deals in treating children. This is also called kumara Brtya. There are three aspects that must be remembered while treating children-

Children cannot explain their complaints

The dosage of medicine is different for them

The medicines given to them must be palatable to them.

Due to these conditions, treating children is done in a different manner. Hence a separate branch is devoted for them.

Graha chikitsa

This branch of Ayurveda deals with diseases like insanity, epilepsy and diseases caused by affliction of external factors such as evil sprits and ghosts. In other words it may be known as the branch that deals with the treatment of psychosomatic diseases.

Urdhvanga chikitsa

This branch of Ayurveda deals with the treatment of diseases of the organs above the clavicle. It includes the treatment of eyes, ears, nose, throat, mouth, teeth and head.

Shalya chikitsa

It deals with treatment of diseases caused by foreign bodies and diseases that need surgical therapies. It is carried out only for diseases, which cannot be cured by medicines.

Visha chikitsa

This form of treatment deals with the treatment of poisoning from animals, such as snakes, insects, spiders, scorpions and also of plants, metals and minerals.

Rasayana chikitsa

It deals in rejuvenation and restoring the youthfulness of an individual and deals with various therapies and herbs that have to be taken to restore the youth & vitality.

Vajikarana chikitsa

This branch of Ayurveda deals with treatment that helps to get good progeny. It provides various medicines and therapies to improve the virility and the sexual prowess of a person to help him to get a good progeny.

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History of Ayurveda
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