One of the very important parts of the Atharva Veda, the practice of Ayurveda originated in India about 5000 years ago. This treatment method is a holistic system of healing which is being divided into 8 different categories called the Ashtavaidyan. These 8 categories of Ayurveda could be defined as the limbs of the system which is loosely connected to the 8 branches of the western medical system that is the allopathic treatment method. The practice of Ashtavaidyan or better called the Ayurveda started between the 13th and 17th century when the treatment method gained importance within the royal families. Kerala to the southernmost part of India was the only state that followed the practice of Ayurveda in the olden times. There were 18 families in the state who practices the 8 branches of Ayurvedic treatment methods. Each family which practised this treatment method have developed its own Ayurvedic treatment centres and developed unique steps and procedures in the treatment pattern which passed down to generations. The state holds a rich history of Ayurvedic treatment in the land.
There are a number of stories and believes rumouring within the practitioners in Kerala. One of the story or believe states that, when the Brahmins were brought to Kerala by Lord Parasurama, he assigned them with the 8 branches of Ayurveda. Each family were assigned with one of the branches and were known as the Ashtavaidyan with the word meaning Eight Physicians. Apart from this, there are a number of other stories rumouring in the state. Being a state that holds behind a rich history of Ayurveda, Kerala is now one of the well known Ayurvedic hubs to the south. The state houses, a number of Ayurveda Resort that follows the ancient practice of Ayurveda which mainly includes the 8 branches. The eight main branches of Ayurveda known as the Ashtavaidyan are listed below.
Vajeekarana Chikilsa: Aphrodisiacs
Vajeekarana is a treatment method offered in some of the best-facilitated treatment centres of the state like Aura Ayurveda & Spa. The branch in allopathic refers to the gynaecology department and mainly deals with virility and offspring. A number of different herbal medicines and oils are used in this treatment method which is said to be very effective. The packages offering the Vajeekarana Chikilsa mostly includes aphrodisiac food materials, yoga and exercises apart from medication treatments. The treatment includes various methods of shodan through vaman, virechan and Sweden. After shodan therapy, the patient is administered with different herbals and herbo-minerals. The need or the capability to produce healthy offspring is a very important aspect of life. Infertility is a serious problem and Vajeekarana Chikilsa is a branch in Ayurveda which deals with such cases and ailment.
Salya chikitsa: Surgeries and operations
This is a branch of Ayurveda which deals with the injuries that occur due to foreign objects like bullets or other such materials. In modern science, the treatment refers to surgeries where modern equipment is used. In Ayurveda, it is mostly the accident cases that are treated with this stream. The treatment centres in Kerala offering the Salya chikilsa includes treatments for accidents, surgeries or operations for stone urine, haemorrhoids, fistulas, cataracts and even for the holes in the abdomen. Salya chikilsa is better referred as the father of “plastic surgery”.
Graharoga chikilsa: Healing of psychological problems
This is a branch of Ayurvedic treatment which is available in almost every treatment centres in Kerala. Being a branch which deals with the mind and the mental health of the individual the medication used in the treatment mostly includes yoga, meditation and such where the mind of an individual is made calm. Different medications like Shirodhara and more are done to treat such ailments. Most of the packages offered in Graharoga chikilsa focus on treating ailments like depression, physics disorders, sleeplessness, tension, stress and more. Most of the treatment methods used under the Graharoga chikilsa are said to be very effective.
Kayachikitsa: Internal and external treatments for the body
The word kaya mainly refers to fire which is basically the digestive fire. The treatment based on this is called the Kayachikitsa. The treatment includes in the Kayachikitsa mainly focus on treatment related to the malfunctioning of the Agni in a human body. Kayachikitsa is mainly very effective for basic ailments like the Jwara (fever), Pandu (anaemia), and ATIS (diarrhoea) and so on. Every basic ailment and its treatment come under this branch of Ayurveda.
Balaroga Chikilsa: Diseases related to infants
Balaroga Chikilsa is a very simple yet complicated branch of treatment in Ayurveda. The branch focus on ailments related to the infants. As the medication method and medicine dosage differ greatly in the case if infant treatments, this branch is being studied and developed separately. There are a number of treatment centres in Kerala focusing on Balaroga Chikilsa and offers the best treatment. The main medication used in these treatment centres includes breast milk to which the medicinal herbs are added. Being a very delicate stream of treatment Balaroga Chikilsa is done with utmost care and seriousness.
Urdhvanga Roga Chikilsa: Treatments related to the Ear, Nose and Throat region
This is a branch which deals with ailments related to head and neck. This treatment is also known as the “Shalakaya Tantric” as the ailment is mostly treated with an instrument known as Shalako”. The state houses a number of treatment centres which offer packages for the treatment of Ear, Nose, Throat diseases and illnesses related to eye and head where Urdhvanga Roga Chikilsa is the main form of medication used.
Roga Chikilsa Danshtra: Toxicology
The branch mainly deals with the treatment of poison. Kerala being a land rich in Ayurvedic history houses a number of Vaidyars offering Visha chikitsa. The poison being injected into the human body is treated with herbal medicines which absorbs the impurities, mostly the toxic element in the body. The treatment mostly offered in the branch mainly includes snake bites, scorpion stings, etc. The practitioners in the treatment centres first analyse the symptoms and then offer medication depending on the behaviour of the poison.
Jara Chikilsa: Methods to rejuvenate the spate dhatus
Beauty and youth is something that every individual tries to maintain. It is mainly this habitual behaviour in the individuals that promoted the growth of Ayurvedic treatment centres which facilitates Jara Chikilsa in the land. The branch mainly deals with diseases related to ageing and a number of other skin diseases. It is mostly for the rejuvenation of body tissues that the branch is preferred. The branch is also known to provide longevity and youth.
Most of the Ayurvedic practitioners in Kerala now are following the most ancient methods of treatment that was followed by the Vaidyars in the 13th and 17th century. Now the state houses a number of Ayurvedic treatment centres in almost every destination. The Kerala government and the health department of the state are also supporting the rise of Ayurvedic centres in the land by offering different packages and promoting the growth of treatment centres as it is one of the oldest treatment methods in the land which attracts a whole lot of travellers to the state.
The eight branches of Ayurvedic treatment are one thing that is gaining popularity and importance in the state with the development of the treatment method.
It is the eight branches of Ayurvedic treatment that hold it together. Like any other modern treatment methods, Ayurveda also believes and focus on treating different body parts. Most of the Ayurveda packages offered in Kerala mainly focus on any of the 8 branches of Ayurveda so as to provide the patient with complete cure of the ailment. Ayurvedic treatments being dominating in Kerala most of the treatment packages and treatment centres in the state would have practitioners focusing on different branches. The health department even offers specialised packages focusing on different branches and Ayurvedic centres with the same feature. In most treatment centres when a patient approaches they are first diagnosed, by a detailed examination by checking the symptoms of the diseases. After the diagnosis is made the patient will be treated under any of the above given 8 branches of Ayurveda.