Ashtanga Ayurveda

The Eight branches

By Dr. Nutan Pakhare

The ashtangas are:

  1. Kayachikitsa (Internal Medicine) deals with treatment of psychosomatic disorders. Ayurveda describes the stages of the development of disease starting from its aggravation and manifestation into an exact disease. Ayurvedic physicians are able to identify an illness at an early phase through ayurvedic unique diagnostic methods described in kayachikitsa.
  2. Shalakya Tantra (Ear nose and shoulder diseases) deals with all disorders related to the organs positioned above shoulder region which includes our main sense organs, ear, nose, throat and eyes along with their treatments. Sage Sushruta has described approximately 72 eye diseases and about several surgical procedures for eye disorders like cataracts.
  3. Agad Tantra (Toxicology) deals with environmental toxins and its effect on human body. It includes numerous topics like air, water pollution, and toxins in animals, minerals, vegetables, and epidemics, along with diagnostics keys to sense anomalies and find their antidotes.
  4. Kaumara bhritya (Paediatrics) deals with prenatal care before, during and after childbirth and its care. The methods of conception, development of child’s sexual identity, intelligence, and constitution, prevention and treatment of are explained in detail.
  5. Shalya Tantra (Surgery) deals with refined methods of surgery and its global awareness.
  6. Bhuta Vidya (Psychiatry) deals with psychological diseases and their treatment. Various preparations of herbs and diet, yogic therapies (breathing, mantras, etc.) have been recommended in this branch of Ayurveda.
  7. Vajikarana (Aphrodisiacs) deals with enhancing fertility and power along with treating infertility too.
  1. Rasayana (Rejuvenation) deals with enhancing health, immunity and longevity.