What is the AYUSH system of medicine?

AYUSH is the acronym of the medical systems that are being practiced in India such as Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy.

In 2003, Indian Medicine and Homeopathy (ISM & H) Department was renamed as Department of AYUSH. It comes under Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Ayurveda System of Medicine

  • Ayurveda is a traditional system of medicine originated in the ancient Vedic times of India.
  • Ayurveda is translated as the “Science of Life;” Ayus = Life, and Veda = knowledge/science.
  • According to Ayurveda, matter is composed of five Mahabhutas (basic elements) that have the properties of space (Akasha), air (Vayu), fire (Tejas), water (Jala) and earth (Prithivi). These combine to form three Doshas, known as Vata, Pitta and Kapha.
  • Vata is formed from the lighter elements with properties of space and air.
  • Vata regulates movement and communication, including blood flow, contraction of the heart, breathing, movement of food through the digestive tract and communication of cells through nerve impulses.
  • Pitta is formed from the elements with properties of fire and water.
  • Pitta regulates digestion, metabolism, and transformation, including energy exchange, appetite and endocrine functions.
  • Kapha is formed from the heavier elements with properties of water and earth.
  • Kapha regulates structure and cohesion of the body, including strength, stability, fluid balance and weight.

Unani System of Medicine

  • The Unani System of Medicine originated in Greece. 
  • It belongs to a place called IONIA, which is in Greece.
  • The Arabs called the IONIA as UNAN hence the system named after its place of origin i.e. IONIAN Medicine as UNANI Medicine.
  • Hippocrates put forward the Humoral theory, which formed the basic framework of Unani medicine.
  • According to it, there are four humors in the body i.e. Dam (Blood), Balgham (Phlegm), Safra (Yellow Bile), and Sauda (Black bile).
  • On this assumption, human temperament is also termed as sanguineous (blood), choleric (yellow bile), phlegmatic (balgham), and melancholic (black bile)

Siddha System of Medicine

  • The word ‘Siddha’ is derived from the root word ‘Citti’.
  • The term “Siddha” means achievements.
  • It is of Dravidian origin and has its entire literature in Tamil language.
  • The Siddha system is largely therapeutic in nature.
  • Siddhars were saintly persons who achieved results in medicine.
  • Based on notion that medical treatment has to take into account the patient’s envoirnment, age, sex, race, physiological constitution etc.

Homoeopathy System of Medicine

  • Father of Homoeopathy is Samuel Hahnemann. Discovered in 1796.
  • The term “homoeopathy” was coined Dr. Hahnemann himself and first appeared in print in 1807.
  • The term allopathy was also coined by him to differentiate homoeopathy.
  • The etymological origin of the word homoeopathy, which means ‘Similar sufferings’, is from Greek words hómoios (similar) and páthos (suffering).
  • 1st principle Similia Similbus Curentur, “Let likes cure likes. A substance that can produce disease in a healthy person is used to elicit a healing response in someone presenting with a similar disease.
  • 2nd principle – Single Remedy. Only one homeopathic remedy is given at any one time
  • 3rd principle – Minimum Dose. This refers to the infinitesimal doses of medicine given as well as to the repetition of dose only when necessary.
  • 4th principle –  Potentized Remedy.

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