Ayurveda is a very vast subject, as Ayurveda is not limited to just human beings but also to plants known as Vriksha-Ayurveda, to cows known as Gavya-Ayurveda, horses known as Ashva-Ayurveda and more. now what is Ashtang Ayurveda, Ashtang in Sanskrit means ‘eight components’ and refers to the eight branches of Ayurveda as following:
Ashtang Ayurveda | 8 branches of Ayurveda
8 Parts of Ashtang Ayurveda
Shalakya tantra(शालाक्य तंत्र)
Agad tantra(अगद तंत्र)
Rasayan tantra(रसायन तंत्र)
Vajikaran tantra(वाजीकरण तंत्र)
Kaya-chikitsa is the most major branch of Ayurveda in which prognosis, diagnosis, and treatment take place. ‘Kaya’ refers to Agni (fire) in Ayurveda.
Kaya-chikitsa Also known as Agni chikitsa or internal medicine. Now We need to understand what is ‘fire’ or Agni in Ayurveda to understand what is agni chikitsa, From the basic cells of the body to the entire body system is going through a continuous organism process all the time – in Ayurveda, it is called Tridosha(Vata, pitta, and Kapha) and in modern medical science it is called Anabolism, Catabolism, and Metabolism. As long as the Agni of the body is functioning properly till then tridoshas, sapta dhatu, the action of excretion will work fine.
Looking after all the internal functions of the body are conducted properly, with the happiness of the mind and soul, energy development as well as proper consumption by a person, and remain disease-free and healthy, comes under this branch of Ayurveda known as Kaya-chikitsa. There are a total of 13 types of Agni according to Maharshi Charaka. Kaya-chikitsa Majorly take care of jathar-agni also known as digestive fire.
Bal-chikitsa(बाल-चिकित्सा): the Procedure in which Ayurveda takes care of the health of the mother and a baby from fertilization of eggs up to a growth of the child, in other words, pre-pregnancy, during pregnancy, after pregnancy until the child got 16 year old. In modern medical science, it is also known as Pediatrics and Obstetrics. There is a famous scripture in Ayurveda called Kashyap Sanhita based upon this branch of Ayurveda. Bal- chikitsa also known as Kumar-Bhritya, Kumar refers to child from the age between 1 to 16 and Bhritya means to taking care of health and proper hygiene.
Grah chikitsa also known as bhoot vaidhya. Many authors and vaidya have many definitions of this field of Ayurveda. Conclusively a branch of Ayurveda in which we treatment of mental diseases is mainly done by methods such as stringing, herbal smoke, hitting, injecting drugs into nose, correcting emotions, eradicating illusions, misbeliefs, and focusing on calmness to the mind and soul take place known as grah chikitsa (bhoot vidhya). In modern medical science, it is known as psychotherapy.
Maharishi Sushrut, the Father of Indian Medicine” and “Father of Plastic Surgery. On the topic of shalya-tantra, we are talking about Maharshi sushrut because basically, he had introduced this branch of Ayurveda to the world. The branch of Ayurveda in which we treats and manage injuries and diseases by operative procedures comes under the branch of Shalya tantra. Maharshi Sushruta had written Sushruta Samhita in the 5th century B.C. It would not be an exaggeration to say that without his studies and contributed to surgical medicinal science we wouldn’t be able to imagine this modern surgical medicinal science. He had introduced uses of yantra, kshar, Agni(fire), shastra(weapon), and Padya.
Shalakya tantra(शालाक्य तंत्र):
According to Ayurveda Problem related to ear nose throat and eyes belongs to shalakya tantra. In modern medical science it is known as ENT(otorhinolaryngology).
Ashtang Ayurveda(Shalakya tantra and Agad tantra)
Agad tantra(अगद तंत्र):
A branch of Ayurveda Medicine science deals with the nature and effects of poisons. Enlisted by plants, metals, and minerals(sthavar vish), by wild animals (jangad vish), produced by mixing two or more different natured herbs and medicines(sanyojak vish) comes under agad tantra.
Rasayan tantra(रसायन तंत्र):
Rasayan a word contains two subwords ras+ayan, ras refers to ras rakta and dhatu of body. And ayan means “way of acquiring”. Combine definition can be “a study of rejuvenation of the body, prevention of diseases, aging symptoms, and a way of long and healthy life. Rasayan medicines are used to prevent diseases, detoxification, and immunology.
Ashtang Ayurveda(Rasayan Tantra and Vajikaran Tantra)
Vajikaran tantra(वाजीकरण तंत्र):
A branch of Ayurveda in which reproduction capacity, impotency, sperms related diseases, sperm deficiency, physical weakness, etc. are treated is called as Vajikaran. it looks after improving physical strength, increasing sexual potency, pleasure, and behavior through herbal and ayurvedic medicines. in other words a “science of aphrodisiacs”.