What is Ashtanga?
Ashtanga are the eight branches of Ayurveda:
Internal Medicine (Kayachiktsa)
The word ‘Kaya’ means “Agni’ – the digestive fire in the body. It is responsible for the entire metabolism in a human body. If there is an imbalance in this ‘Agni’, it might lead to many diseases. Kaya Chikitsa deals with the general diseases such as viral fever, diarrhea and cough by treating and balancing ‘Agni’.
This part deals with the diseases of small children upto age of 16 yrs. There are three important aspects that must be remembered while treating children.
This is a chikitsa of graha baadha. This section deals with diseases such as insanity, epilepsy and diseases causes by affliction of external factors such as evil spirits and ghosts.
Ears, Eyes, Nose and Throat (Shalakya tantra)
Urdhwang means all the parts of the body above the neck. This is also called Shalakya tantra, coz, many of the chikitsas are done through Shalaka ( slender tube ).
Surgery (Shalya chikitsa)
This includes various operations. Sushrut is considered to be the “Father Of Surgery”. Shalya means anything that causes harm to the body. Removal of such shalya is considered to be Shalya chikitsa.
Toxicology (Damshtra chikitsa)
Damshtra means the Poisonous molar teeth. This section deals with the treatment of poisoning from animals, such as snakes, insects, spiders, scorpions and also of plants, metals and minerals.
Rejuvination (Jara chikitsa)
Jara means Old age. This obviously refers to the chikitsa of jara or how to prevent jara. This department of ayurveda deals with rejuvenation and restoring the youthfulness of an individual. It deals with various therapies and herbs that have to be taken to restore youth and vitality.
Fertility Therapy (Vrushya chikitsa or Vaajekaran)
This section deals with the treatment that helps to get good progeny. It provides various medicines and therapies to improve virility and sexual powers.