Ayurvedic hospitals and colleges, especially in India, continue to grow in numbers as this ancient system of medicine regains its popularity and relevance. The Ayurvedic system of medicine known as Ayurveda is the oldest known and documented system of medicine in history.
Ayurvedic Practice in India
Ayurvedic practice has its roots in India and is almost 5000 years old. In this article, you will learn about the inner workings of Ayurvedic hospitals, Ayurveda colleges, and Ayurvedic practice in India.
Ayurveda, despite being the oldest system of medicine, is still being practiced today. Although with time, the development of modern medicine drew the attention of the world because it is fast acting and crucial in emergency cases.
Despite this, the Ayurvedic system of medicine retains its importance today because of its efficacy in managing chronic disorders, lifestyle disorders, and many other health-related issues.
Nowadays, Ayurvedic practice has also gained popularity in the west. Ayurveda is practiced in many western countries although the rules and regulations regarding Ayurveda vary from country to country.
In older times, Ayurveda was the main system of medicine in India. Nowadays, it is merely referred to as an alternative system of medicine. It is, however, a complete system of medicine.
In India, Ayurveda is a part of the daily routine for many people across the country in the form of home remedies which are used frequently. Also, many Ayurvedic herbs are also used as vegetables or in other forms of food.
Therefore, in India Ayurveda plays a significant role in people’s lives both directly and indirectly. Some Ayurvedic texts mention that in the past, the knowledge of Ayurvedic medicine was transmitted from Hindu gods to sages. These sages then transmitted this knowledge to human physicians.
In ancient times, guru shishya parampara was also popular wherein a teacher selected his desired students and passed on his knowledge. Many renowned Ayurvedic physicians passed on their knowledge to their desired disciples, which was mentioned in Ayurvedic texts in detail.
There were many academic institutions in India around this time that taught Ayurveda as well. Nalanda vishwavidyalaya and Takshashila vishwavidyalaya were very well known names throughout history.
Ayurvedic scholars like Charak and Vagbhata were also famous physicians of their time.
Early scholars wrote many texts on Ayurveda and its practice. When India was invaded by foreign armies, these texts ended up being destroyed alongside entire libraries and Ayurveda schools. Fortunately, many texts were recovered over time and Ayurveda managed to survive despite the obstacles.
Charak Samhita, Sushruta Samhita, Ashtanga Hridaya, Yoga Ratnakar, Sharangdhar Samhita, Bhavprakash Samhita, and Madhav Nidan are the names of some renowned classical Ayurvedic texts.
Besides this, many people also practiced Ayurveda based on the knowledge they gained from family, surroundings, and other resources available at that time. Later on, they passed this knowledge to the other members of their family. Even now, many tribes in India use such Ayurvedic home remedies for primary health care, which they have learned from their ancestors.
After India’s independence, modern medicine also developed rapidly. Along with that, the Government of India drafted rules and regulations to control Ayurvedic practice, Ayurvedic academic institutions, and Ayurvedic formulations among other aspects of Ayurveda in India.
In 1970, the Central Council of Indian Medicine (CCIM) act was established. This act was aimed at standardizing qualifications for Ayurveda practitioners and providing accreditation to academic institutions for its study and research. It was passed by the Parliament of India.
In 1971, CCIM was moved under the Department of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha medicine and Homoeopathy (AYUSH).
It was formed by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to monitor higher education of Ayurveda in India. The Indian government supports research and teaching in Ayurveda through various ways at both the national and state levels. The state-sponsored Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS) is tasked with conducting Ayurveda-related research.
On November 9, 2014, India formed the Ministry of AYUSH.
National Ayurveda Day is celebrated in India on the birth of Lord Dhanvantari (Dhanteras). In 2018, it was celebrated on November fifth.
These are the regulatory bodies that regulate the Ayurvedic system of medicine in India.
Ayurvedic Hospitals and Colleges in India
In India, there are more than 300 Ayurvedic colleges. However, the number of colleges which provide graduate degrees in India is more than the number of colleges offering post-graduate degrees to students.
India has both private and public Ayurvedic colleges and almost every Ayurvedic college has its own Ayurvedic hospital.
These Ayurvedic colleges have different departments corresponding to different branches of Ayurveda.
Branches of Ayurvedic Medicine
- Kaya chikitsa can be correlated with internal medicine.
- Kaumarabhritya can be correlated with the management of problems related to children.
- Shalya tantra which deals with surgical and para surgical procedures as mentioned in the Ayurvedic texts.
- Shalakya tantra handles ailments related to the eye, ear, nose, throat, and mouth according to Ayurveda.
- Bhuta vidya: Psychiatry is not a new subject to the world. This branch of Ayurveda deals with the psychological and psychiatric aspect of ailments.
- Agad tantra: This branch of Ayurveda deals with various kinds of toxins and poisonous substances.
- Rasayana tantra: This branch promotes longevity and increases intellect and strength with various tonics which rejuvenate mind and body.
- Vajikarana: This branch deals with the reproductive sciences and includes various topics like Ayurvedic aphrodisiacs and fertility.
These are the main departments which are generally present in an Ayurvedic hospital. Along with the departments mentioned above, an Ayurvedic hospital can have other departments, for example a department for panchkarma and another for diet.
List of Public and Private Ayurvedic Colleges and Hospitals in India
- National Institute of Ayurveda, Jaipur, Rajasthan
- Gujarat Ayurved University, Jamnagar, Gujarat
- Ayurvedic and Unani Tibbia College, New Delhi
- Gurukul Kangri Vishwavidyalaya, Haridwar, Uttarakhand
- Ashtang Ayurved Mahavidyalaya, Pune, Maharashtra
- College of Ayurveda, Pune, Maharashtra
- Shri Dhanwantri Ayurvedic college and hospital, Chandigarh
- RA Podar Ayurved Medical College, Mumbai, Maharashtra
- Himalayiya Ayurvedic Medical college and hospital, Dehradun, Uttarakhand
- Dr. BRKR government Ayurved college, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh
- Sir Sunder Lal Ayurvedic Hospital, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi
- Arya Vaidya Sala Ayurveda Hospital, Kottakkal (Kerala)
- Arya Vaidya Chikitsalayam & Research Institute, Ramanathapuram, Coimbatore (TN)
- Govt. Regional Ayurvedic Hospital Paprola, Distt. Kangra (H.P)
- Dr. NTR University of Health Sciences, Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh
- Dayanand Ayurvedic College and Hospital, Jalandhar, Punjab
Besides these hospitals, almost every state in India has its own government Ayurvedic hospitals and Ayurvedic dispensaries.
There are quite a few private Ayurvedic hospitals throughout India as well.
Criteria For Practicing Ayurvedic Medicine in India
In India, a degree in Ayurveda called BAMS (Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine & Surgery) is offered. The curriculum of BAMS includes various subjects related to the Ayurvedic system of medicine.
After graduation, masters degrees are also offered in both clinical and research work. They include MS Ayurveda and MD Ayurveda.
In MS Ayurveda, various surgical and parasurgical procedures are taught in accordance with Ayurveda.
MD Ayurveda includes specialization in various subjects.
- Kaya chikitsa (internal medicine according to Ayurveda)
- Panchakarma therapy (purification therapies according to Ayurveda)
- Kaumarbhritya (pediatrics according to Ayurveda)
- Stri avam prasuti tantra (gynecology and obstetrics according to Ayurveda)
- Swasthavritta and yoga (it includes various aspects related to yoga, hygiene, and primary healthcare)
- Agad tantra (toxicology according to Ayurveda)
- Dravya guna (Ayurvedic Herbology)
- Maulik siddhanta (basic principles of Ayurveda)
- Roga and vikrit vigyan (pathology according to Ayurveda)
- Rasa shastra (iatrochemistry of Ayurveda)
- Sharir rachana (anatomy according to Ayurveda)
- Sharir Kriya (physiology according to Ayurveda)
- Shalakya tantra (eye, ear, nose, and throat according to Ayurveda)
After BAMS, various post-graduate diplomas in subjects related to Ayurveda are also available.
The main aim of these diplomas is to produce efficient Ayurveda specialists in various clinical specialties.
The specialties for post-graduate diplomas are panchakarma, swasthavritta (healthy living) and yoga, twak roga or skin diseases, Ayurvedic dietetics, manasik swasthya or psychiatry according to Ayurveda and clinical research.
Therefore, an Ayurveda student can either do general practice after BAMS or he/she can practice in a particular field after receiving a post-graduate (PG) diploma.
In Ayurvedic practice, Ayurvedic physicians regard physical existence, mental existence, and personality as a unit during a clinical examination.
This is a holistic approach used during diagnosis and management. It is a fundamental aspect of Ayurveda.