8 Branches of Ayurveda: A Comprehensive Analysis


Ayurveda is a comprehensive system of healing with elite therapies and countless remedies for treating everything related to humanity. This extensive science of life is categorized into 8 different branches and is jointly known as Ashtang Ayurveda.   Ayurveda is the only science that treats every human being as a unique individual with exceptional physical and mental set up. It does not recommend the same medicine for different persons and takes the principle of the popular adage that says, ‘One man’s food is another man’s poison’. All the credit goes to Ayurveda for introducing separate branches for surgery, aphrodisiacs and pediatrics as a part of the universal system of medicine. The 8 imperative branches of Ayurveda are:

1. Kayachikitsa (Agni Treatment) or Internal Medicine: The Ayurvedic treatment based on digestive fire known as ‘Agni’ is defined as Kayachikitsa. This branch deals with general medication mainly due to improper functioning of the digestive fire, which is solely responsible for transforming food into the essential elements of energy for the human body.  It takes care of treating many health disorders related to Agni like diarrhea, fever, anemia, nausea and few other general health conditions that mainly occur when there’s a change in an individual’s way of living.

2. Balaroga chikitsa (Child Disease Treatment) or Pediatrics: This branch is also known as Kumaraya Bhritya, deals with the treatment of diseases of children including pregnancy and childbirth. Generally the Ayurvedic medicines according to this branch are not very powerful and low doses are recommended to protect the health mechanism of children.  An extensive range of sickness issues related to children are treated and Ayurveda always recommends quality breast-feeding (without any germs in breast milk) for the complete growth of children.

3. Graharoga chikitsa or Psychiatry: Ancient people trusted that their life was often being affected by Grahas (bhoot) means ‘demons or devils’. This branch deals with treating the psychological problems like psychosis, epilepsy, lunacy and other mental disorders due to the influence of ghosts, evil spirits etc.

4. Urdhvanga Roga chikitsa (Treatment of Disease in Head and Neck) This part specially handles the prediction, diagnosis, prevention and treatment of diseases in the upper part of the body like head and neck. Eyes, ears, nose, throat, head, teeth and mouth related health conditions are treated with an unique tool known as Shalaka, for which this branch of Ayurveda is also known as Shalakaya Tantra.

5. Shalyaroga chikitsa (Treatment of disease caused by a foreign body) Shalyaroga chikitsa can also be called as the surgical science that has been healing human race for thousands of years together.  This branch of Ayurvedic healing was of great use during the wartimes where the warriors were affected by foreign bodies like swords, arrows and other such sharp weapons. It also deals with diseases caused by external sources that need surgical treatment. Piles, urinary stones, abdominal damages, cataract, fistula and accidents are also treated through this system. The ancient physician ‘Sushruta’ is still remembered for his expertise in this field and is celebrated as the father of plastic surgery.

6. Damstra Roga Chikitsa (Treatment of diseases caused by poisons) This division of Ayurveda is also known as Toxicology as it treats the diseases caused by the poisonous insects, reptiles, plants, minerals, metals and certain other toxins.

7. Jara Chikitsa or Gerontology: It is also known as Rasayana for its power of revitalizing and preventing the body from the symptoms of aging. This branch provides special treatment for augmenting the quality of living along with prolonged existence. Geriatrics or Jara chikitsa suggests natural herbs, Ayurvedic oils and other natural medications to retain the texture of the skin, body’s natural shine, enhanced memory power, munificence and improved physical strength as well.       

8. Vrsha Chikitsa or Aphrodisiac treatment: According to the spiritual science of Ayurveda, sex is one among the essential component of human life that enhances his health and grants him the endurance and the power to pave way for his future generations. This branch is also known as Vajikarana and it deals with the aphrodisiacs therapy for being paid with good descendants and virility, proffering remedies for contentment and delight in real sex. It washes away the problems related to infertility in men and women.

Isn’t it really amazing to hear that most of the sophisticated healing therapies of these days were in practice even before Edison threw light on this dark world?!!! This is more than enough to prove the supremacy of this age old medicinal science and its acumen in treating mankind.

Reference Links:

  1. Sushruta Samhita by Wikipedia
  2. Eight Branches Of Ayurveda by Ayurvedamrita
  3. The Eight Branches Of Ayurveda by MED INDIA

Think Ayurveda To Think Better


Your thoughts decide your actions and your actions define ‘YOU’. There are myriad emotions that are exclusively indulged with humanity. Only you can smile, you can talk, you can discover and you can create. Thinking positive indicates that you are a proud owner of a healthy physique that keeps your thinking sound as well. Ayurveda talks about the constructive effects of positive thinking that helps you keep going on and on. Pessimism or negative thinking can even stop the functioning of your heart and collapse the brain’s functionality. Every human being has his own problems but just the severity of the problem differs. You can laugh at a person if he says he is free of troubles because in this materialistic world only a five-headed snake can be free of worries. It does not count whether you have problems or not but it matters how you deal with it and Ayurveda paves way for such an optimistic living.

Optimistic thinking: There’s a popular book named ‘You Can Win’ by Shiv Khera where the author beautifully lists the mentality of Pessimists’. 3 of my favorite lines in that excellent piece of writing are:

‘Pessimists don’t see the doughnut, only the hole,

Pessimists forget their blessings and count their troubles

Pessimists stop sleeping in bed when they hear that more people die in bed than anywhere else’

Yes my dear friends! This is the way that negative thinking affects your life and the best way to come out of this dark world is to think better with the natural and holistic healing of the ancient science named Ayurveda.

Ayurvedic treatment for optimism: According to Ayurveda, a healthy mind is the key to a healthy body and your attitude decides it. In this mechanical epoch that drains you, demands more than your potential with taut deadlines and cumbersome workload ends up in mental stress, difficulty in striking balance between your work and your family, anxiety, fear, fatigue and deep depression. When every single problem is placing you in the darker side of the world, let it know that you are strong with the real power granted by the natural Ayurvedic essential oils, meditation and yoga along with the robustness to turn the tide.

Ayurvedic essential oils for positive thinking: Essential oils of lavender, marjoram, grapefruit, thyme, sandalwood, jasmine, lemon, peppermint and ylang ylang possess an adorable fragrance in nature. These oils have soothing, calmative, stimulating, energizing and revitalizing properties that can enrich your spirits along with your mind and body. Using these essential oils either as a massage oil or to your bath tub or in your diffuser will calm your nerves, relax your muscles, alleviate stress, lighten your pressure, uplift your mood, kindle your thoughts, augment your mind power, improve your memory power, balance your emotions, fortify your immune system, strengthen your will power, encourage a peaceful sleep while invigorating your system for a replenished crack of dawn.

Meditation: Ayurvedic way of treating humanity can never be fulfilled without meditation. Spend some quality time for yourself and let that time of eminence be your meditating time especially in the early hours of the day when your environment is calm and composed. Meditation with deep breathing exercises can empower your mind while promoting positive feelings and preparing your body to adapt to new challenges and your mind to learn luminously, think undeniably, regulate stressful situations, recall your past and retain your balanced system for the days of harmony ahead you.

Being an optimist is the best way to setting your life as a role model for your younger ones to lead their life with great trust as real optimists always see an opportunity in every threat:)

Reference Links:

  1. You Can Win by Shiv Khera
  2. The healing force is within ourselves by Ayurveda France
  3. Attract more positive energy by Rejuvenation Lounge

Top 5 Ayurvedic Tips To Treat Prostate Cancer


I was literally shocked when I came to know that Prostate cancer is the second-prominent reason for deaths due to cancer among men in the United States. It was much more deplorable when I heard that an autopsy analysis proved that approximately 1 in 3 men above 50 years old had histologic confirmation of Prostate cancer. The contemptible news was that there was about 33, 720 estimated deaths in the year 2011 due to prostate cancer in the United States. The number of the male populace diagnosed with prostate cancer remains high and is expected to increase in the forthcoming years also. Our ancestors have suggested numerous natural healing methodologies in the Ayurvedic texts to treat prostate cancer and reduce its complexities on par with nature.

Causes and symptoms of Prostate cancer: It has been found that 1 out of 3 men of age group 60 to 69 are affected by prostate problems like prostatitis and when left unnoticed it gradually develops prostate cancer. Prostate is a walnut-sized small yet a vital part of the male reproductive system found in front of the rectum and below the bladder. The vital function of the prostate gland is to secrete a fluid that is a part of the semen. Prostate cancer is the second most common category of cancer in American men and stays as the second predominant cause of cancer death in America.

The appropriate reason for prostate cancer still remains as a myth. The factors that enhance the risk of prostate cancer are hereditary, aging, prolonged smoking, continuous intake of alcohol, excess indulgence in sex, accumulation of phlegmatic constitution mainly for men in colder areas, ethnicity (African American doubles have a higher risk of developing prostate cancer), irregular eating habits and the lack of essential vitamins in the diet.

The most common symptoms of prostate cancer are frequent urination, dreary pain in the lower pelvic region, blood in the semen or urine, reduce in weight, lack of appetite, burning sensation while urinating, destabilized urine flow, swelling of the prostate gland, painful ejaculation, increased pain in upper thighs, hips, bones and lower back.

Ayurvedic treatment for prostate cancer: The best way to treat prostate cancer is to follow Ayurvedic treatment as it is claimed to be natural, safe and treats the system without any adverse side effects. Prostate, being a part of the male reproductive system known as Shukra dhatu shows signs of the emotional, spiritual and physical relationship that the affected individual has previously had with his reproductive potential. According to Ayurveda, prostate cancer is a slowly growing syndrome that gets adverse with age and it involves aggravation of all the three doshas. The most fruitful Ayurvedic remedies for prostate cancer are:

1. Healthy Ayurvedic diet: Hippocrates rightly said that ‘Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food’. Ayurveda states that a healthy eating habit can help you prevent enormous diseases and prostate cancer is one among them. When nature has gifted us with natural cures in the form of fruits and vegetables, why should we trust machines and chemicals in treating our illness? The best diet tips to combat prostate cancer are to take in cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower as they have anti-cancerous properties attributed to the presence of indole-3-carbinol, acting as a powerful anti-androgen and proven to fight the production of cancerous cells in the prostate.

Choose low glycemic foods like legumes, fresh juicy fruits that reduce the risk of cancer, remember to add turmeric in your daily diet as the presence of Curcumin has been proved to arrest the spread of cancerous cells and prevent the cancer causing elements in the prostate, make it a practice to add garlic in your diet everyday as the presence of selenium and allicin in garlic has been witnessed to prevent and control prostate cancer.

Reduce the intake of food items with animal fat and excess protein as they take much time to digest and have a higher risk of developing prostate cancer. Make sure that you always choose fresh food items instead of processed or stored food varieties. Add enough of vitamin C, vitamin E, carotenoids (present in carrot, spinach, cantaloupe, kale, sweet potato etc,) and vitamin A as these nutrients have promising antioxidants that can help you in fighting numerous cancerous diseases and aid in strengthening the immune system.

2. Yogasana: Practicing certain Yogasanas regularly in the early morning can help you in fighting prostate cancer with power and confidence. The most promising asanas for treating prostate cancer are Sarvangasana, Garudasana, Shirshasana, Sinhasana, kapalbhati, bhastrika and Pranayama, the art of yogic breathing. Get proper guidance from a practiced Yoga expert, who can aid you better in performing these asanas in the right manner.

3. Ayurvedic essential oils: The concentrated and pure oils extracted from plants are known as Ayurvedic essential oils. It has been proved that certain essential oils like Sandalwood essential oil (has been proved to eradicate 90% of the cancerous cells in case of breast and prostate cancer) and Turmeric essential oil (Curcumin in this oil is proved effective in combating cancerous cells in numerous cancers including prostate cancer with its anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive properties) efficaciously kill cancerous cells and are relatively non-toxic to other normal cells of the body.

Clinical studies have revealed that essential oils that are rich in limonene like Orange essential oil, Lemon essential oil, Idaho Balsam Fir essential oil and Tangerine essential oil are useful in fighting cancer. Few other essential oils include Grapefruit essential oil, Frankincense essential oil, Lavender essential oil and Thyme essential oil.

4. Ayurvedic herbs: There are innumerable herbs for reducing the complicacies of prostate cancer. Ayurveda suggests the use of herbs in such a way that it treats the imbalances of the three predominant doshas namely vata, pitta and kapha. The most effective herbs for prostate cancer due to vata vitiation are guggulu, gokshura, roots of the salep orchid and punarvana for their invigorating power. Prostate problems due to pitta vitiation are treated with herbs like barley, hog weed and khus khus as these herbs stabilize increased pitta with their cooling properties. Warm herbs like ginger, cinnamon and guggulu assist in treating prostate cancer due to kapha vitiation.

The other defensive herbs for prostate cancer are milk thistle, with its powerful ingredients like silybin and silymarin that are attributed to the anti-tumor properties of milk thistle herb in the view of the Herbal Safety project from the El Paso University of Texas. Stanford University suggests the use of Green tea for cancer as it acts as a powerful cancer-preventing agent. This is mainly because of the presence of polyphenols compounds in Green tea like flavanols, epigallocatechin and catechins that alleviates the free radicals, which smash up DNA paving way for cancer.

5. Tips to prevent: Prevention is always better than cure and in extremely severe conditions there is no use in crying over the spilt milk. The first and foremost simplest measure in preventing prostate cancer is to strictly follow an Ayurvedic routine that iterates on healthy lifestyle habits like rising up early in the morning before sunrise, regular bowel movement, oral hygiene that helps remove toxins known as ama in the mouth, simple physical exercises, yoga, meditation, Abhyanga or massaging with Ayurvedic essential oils, sufficient intake of water, nutritious diet in the right time and early to bed.

Ayurvedic texts talk about the importance of sunlight for healthy living and numerous research studies have substantiated this fact by proving that good levels of vitamin D protects the body from the risk of cancer and as most of us know, sunlight is the rich natural source of vitamin D. A brisk walk in the morning can not only supply sufficient vitamin D but it also fortifies the immune system, making you strong from within.

Do not panic as nature is the best doctor that can guard your health and protect you from such life-demanding diseases. As determined men, let’s take up a strong revolution to create a world that is free of prostate cancer with the greater support of Ayurveda, the mother of all healing sciences.

Disclaimer: Please do not use any of the herbs or essential oils without the recommendation of your Ayurvedic Practitioner, who knows your health condition and the remedies that would suit you better.

Thought for the day:

“Prostate cancer is like golf. You need to play it as it lies. Because the disease is variable, each treatment solution requires a unique strategy.” – Dr Charles “Snuffy” Myers

Suggested Reading:

  1. Dr. Katz’s Guide to Prostate Health: From Conventional to Holistic Therapies By Aaron E. Katz
  2. The Herbal Remedy for Prostate Cancer By James Lewis Jr.
  3. 21st Century Understanding Cancer Toolkit: Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM), Unconventional Treatments, Herbs, Vitamins, Diets, Naturopathic Medicine, Ayurvedic, Homeopathy By National Cancer Institute

Reference Links:

  1. The Management of Localized Prostate Cancer by American Urological Association Foundation
  2. Prostate Cancer by Urology Care Foundation
  3. Prostate Cancer by Alandi Ayurveda Gurukula