Ayurveda is a science of life, which use several traditional medicines for the treatment of almost all types of ailments. The extent of ayurveda is too large and hence it was divided into eight branches, collectively known as asthang ayurveda. These branches were formed on the basis of specialized treatments of diseases of all body parts. Each branch deals with some specific part of body. Ayurveda is the first science of medicine to categorize the treatments of various diseases on the basis of body parts. The eight branches of asthang ayurveda includes:
- Kayachikitsa: The science of Internal Medicine
- Shalya chikitsa: The science of Surgery
- Bala chikitsa: The science of Pediatrics
- Graha chikitsa (Bhoot Vidya): The science of Psychiatry
- Urdhvanga chikitsa: The seience of treatment of eyes, ears, nose, throat and head
- Damstra chikitsa (Agadha Tantra): The science of Toxicology
- Jara chikitsa (Rasayana): The science of Gerentorology
- Vrishya chikitsa (vajikarana): The science of Aphrodisiacs
- Kayachikitsa: Kayachikitsa is the branch of asthang ayurveda is based on the prognoses, diagnosis, prevention and treatment of common internal diseases such as fever, skin disease, diabetes, tuberculosis and many more. This suggests a lot of excercises, sadhna, gati and medicines to live a healthy lifestyle.
- Shalya chikitsa: Shalya chikitsa basically deals with surgery. It deals with the various surgical methods used for the successful surgery of diseases like tumors, in case of fractures, during pregnancy and some many injuries. It describes all the surgical methods and procedures in detail and traces of many surgical tools can be found here.
- Bala chikitsa: Also known as Kaumara Bhritya, it is the branch of asthnag veda which deals with the treatment of all the ailments, related to pregnancy, childbirth and child health. Bala chikitsa provides a complete guide to the mother as how to take care of herself as well as the baby.
- Graha chikitsa or Bhoot Vidya: Graha chikitsa deals with the kind of diseases that are thought to be innate or acquired from some unknown causes. It is basically concerned about the mental and psychic abnormalities, which cause by some super natural forces that are considered evil spirit.
- Urdhvanga chikitsa or Shalakya Tantra: This branch of asthanga yoga mainly focuses on the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of all the ailments of neck reasons. This includes eyes, ear, head and mouth.
- Damstra chikitsa or Agadha Tantra: This is also known as visha chikitasa or toxicology, which deals with the science of poison. Agadha tantra teaches the various methods of cleaning the toxins from our body as well as about the antidotes against those toxins.
- Jara chikitsa or Rasayana: Rasayana involves use different types of rasa for the treatment of several diseases according to the need of the patient. With the use of these drugs one attains the physical, mental and spiritual benefits. One of the most commonly used rasayana is Chyavanaprasha. Moreover, this therapy prevents the process of ageing and makes an individual free from any disease during an old age.
- Vrishya chikitsa or Vajikarana: Vrishya Chtikitsa deals with the art of giving birth to a healthy offspring to create a better and healthy society. It guides a person for the proper nourishment of the body.
Ayurveda is vast science of treatment of different ailments and by dividing it in eight branches of asthang ayurveda it has made the specialized treatment possible.