Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Ayurvedic Medicine–The Story of Medicine Notes

Exploring History - The Story of Medicine - Medicine Around the World and Across the Ages
By: Brian Ward
 
Ayurvedic Medicine
     
  1. India 1200-900B.C. Hindu text are written called Vedas.
    • A whole body of knowledge containing religious, philosophical teachings, and medical information.
    • In the religious section it explains how the body works and describes diseases.
    • Treatments included herbal remedies.
    • This was practiced until about 1000B.C.
 
  • After this the new medical beliefs were still based on the Vedas but also included the beliefs of Buddhism.
    • The combination of the 2 systems was called Ayurvedic Medicine.
      • Ayurvedic means Knowledge of life.
      • 2 books that were written on Ayurvedic medicine were:
        • Caraka-Samhita (final version written in ~100A.D.) written by Doctor Caraka.
        • Sushruta-Samhita (final version written in ~600A.D.) written by Doctor Sushruta.
      • They believed that desires upset the body's balance, so they have to be satisfied in moderation.
        • We know now that too much of anything (including good things) can be a bad thing.
      • The body is built from 3 essences or elements.
        • Air (breath)
        • Phlegm
        • Bile
          • All of these had to be in good balance for a person to have good health.
            • Curious that these are the things doctors pay the most attention to when the make their preliminary diagnosis.
          • They believed that these 3 interacted and combined to create:
            • Flesh
            • Fat
            • Marrow
            • Blood
            • Bone
            • Chyle (Fatty fluid)
            • Semen
      • Treatment restores the balance of the essences through:
        • Prayer
          • Practicing Yoga helps the body reach a state of spiritual enlightenment and keeps the 3 essences in balance.
            • 200B.C. Yoga-Sutras described Yoga in writing for the first time.
        • Herbal medicine
          • There were a large range of herbal medicines and drugs to choose from.
            • Most were made from animal parts or minerals
        • Diet
        • Surgery (sometimes)
      • The doctors were very skilled in diagnosing patients.
      • Apprentices had to memorize Veda passages.
        • Appropriate verses would come to mind during examination.
          • This sounds similar to what the status quo calls spells (repeating chants over and over again).  Maybe since a lot of people couldn't read and write in these times it was the best way to learn, memorize, and pass down knowledge so that it wouldn't be lost.  Just saying…I am seeing a lot of similarities in a lot of cultures and am angered at the fact that people want to belittle the ancients by calling things like this devil worship or demonic or evil.
        • The verses helped the doctor make a proper diagnosis and suggest the right treatment.
      • Hygiene was very important to surgeons.
        • They stressed washing the body and cleaning the teeth regularly.
      • Surgeons preformed the following:
        • Removed tumors
        • Removed cataracts
          • We have only recently started doing this!
        • Repaired broken bones
        • Stitched wounds
          • Wounds were stitched by fierce biting ants who gripped the edges of the wound and held them tightly together.
            • I read somewhere else (I think a survival article) that all of the ant except the head was then removed.
        • Preformed Caesarean births
        • Preformed Amputations
        • Removed bladder stones
        • Preformed reconstructive (plastic) surgery
          • Hindu Surgeons developed plastic surgery.
          • They preformed skin grafts.
            • They knew it was essential to keep a bridge of living tissue in the skin flap which they used to reconstruct a nose to prevent the grafted tissue from dying.
          • For nose surgery Quills were placed into the nostrils so the patient could breathe while his wounds healed.
            • New to us!
            • The did all of this with a higher survival rate than "Western" European doctors up until the 1800s.
            • Pretty impressive to me!
      • They were forbidden to cut open a dead body but was still able to map a whole system of furnaces, tubes, and valves.
      • Brahma was the God said to have developed Ayurvedic Medicine.
        • Brahma is one of the ruling gods in Hindu tradition.
        • The ruling gods are a TRINITY of gods.
          • Sound familiar?
 
  • 1000A.D. Islamic medical practices were introduced to this system.
  • 1500s European Western Medical ideas were introduced.
 
If you have already researched and wrote an article on the highlighted topics please place your link in the comments section.  If you know of a good book on the topics please place a link to purchase it in the comments section.  Thank you for reading please share!