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History and Evolution of Ayurveda

Ayurveda is the oldest system of traditional medicine native to the Indian subcontinent and a form of alternative medicine and is the oldest surviving complete medical system in the world.

By the medieval period, ayurvedic practitioners developed a number of medicinal preparations and surgical procedures for the treatment of various ailments. Ayurveda is derived from its ancient Sanskrit roots - ‘ayus' & ‘ved’ which means ‘life’ and ‘knowledge’.

The main source of knowledge in this field therefore remain in Atharvaveda, the divine book of knowledge that dates back to around 1000 BC. Of the few other treatises on Ayurveda that have survived from around the same time, the most famous are Charaka Samhita and the Sushruta Samhita which concentrate on internal medicine and surgery respectively.

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