Learning Ayurveda: Ancient Ayurvedic Texts

Ayurveda is perhaps the oldest known organised system of medicine.  There is evidence of ayurveda as far back as 3000 BC, which is over 5000 years ago.  It could be even earlier than that as it was through oral instruction that knowledge was shared from one generation to the next before the advent of ‘writing’.

There are quite a few main ayurvedic texts that form the basis of present day Ayurveda.  We’ve covered most of the known texts here.

Principal Texts of Ayurveda

1.  Charaka Samhita – dated 6th century BC

2.  Susruta Samhita – updated by Nagarjuna in 2nd century BC

3.  Bhela Samhita – dated 6th century BC

Other Early Texts

1.  Agnivesha Samhita – dated 1500 BC

2.  Kasyapa Samhita –  dated 6th century BC

3.  Harita Samhita

More Recent Texts

1.  Vagbhata’s Astanga nighantu – 8th Century

2.  Madhava’s Paryava ratnamala – 9th Century

3.  Ravi Gupta’s Dravyavali – 10th Century

4.  Cakrapanidatta’s Dravyaguna sangria – 11th Century

Additional Reading:

Harita Samhita

Charaka Samhita

Susruta Samhita

Bhela Samhita

Anatomy in ancient India: a focus on the Susruta Samhita

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