Graha chikitsa also known as bhuta vidya is one of the eight branches of asthang ayurveda which deals with the physic and psychiatric problems of an individual. These are the idiopathic diseases whose exact reason is unknown to us. It has a great importance in asthang ayurveda as it is considered to be the science of spiritual healing.
According to ayurveda, most of the mental disorders are the results of action of evil spirits or supernatural powers, which are also called bhootas. These have been mentioned as Gandarvas, pisachu (devil), bhoota (ghosts) and atma (spirits). These devil spirits cause adverse effect to our psychology. Graha chikitsa involves the use of several astrological techniques, mantra or hymns and tantra for the treatment of these conditions.
The experts of ayurveda believed that the past karma of an individual also brings out these diseases. Graha chikitsa explains that the causes of these diseases are invisible and generally results due to the contribution of rajas (passion) and tamas (ignorance) habits that disturbs our mind.
Apart from the use of mantra and tantra graha vidya also recommends various herbal disinfectants called 'graha vidya dravya' which helps in making the atmosphere germ free. Moreover ayurveda also advocates certain diet, mantras, yoga, meditation and pranayama in order to mollify the psychological disturbances of a person.
Though the exact knowledge of the psychological diseases is not known, graha chikitsa first try to explore the reason behind the problem and then give a proper remedy to it.