Ayurvedic medicine is a system of traditional Hindu medicine native to the Indian subcontinent. Contemporary practices derived from Ayurvedic traditions are a type of alternative medicine. Ayurveda is a discipline of the upaveda or "auxiliary knowledge" in Vedic tradition. The origins of Ayurveda are also found in the Atharvaveda, which contains 114 hymns and incantations described as magical cures for disease. There are also various legendary accounts of the origin of Ayurveda, e.g., that it was received by Dhanvantari from Brahma. Ayurvedic practices include the use of herbal medicines, mineral or metal supplementation (rasa shastra), surgical techniques, opium, and application of oil by massages.
Ayurveda is "the science of eight components" called as"Ashtanga". The components are:
- Kayachikitsa (general medicine): "cure of diseases affecting the body".
- Kaumara-bhrtya and Bala Roga: deals with the treatment of children.
- Shalya tantra deals with surgical techniques.
- Shalya tantra deals with diseases of the teeth, eye, nose, ear etc.
- Bhuta-vidya deals with the causes, which are not directly visible and not directly explained by tridosha, pertaining to micro-organisms or spirits.
- Agada-tantra deals with antidotes to poison.
- Rasayana-tantra (Geriatrics)/Anti Agings) : deals with rejuvenation.
- Vajikarana tantra (aphrodisiacs) deals with healthy and desired progeny.