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Saluting the Ancient Indian Doctors

By Shreya PatroSeptember 12, 2022
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The Doctors of Ancient India: Learn About Medicine in India During the Early Times

The history of Indian medicine is quite remarkable. Some of the most ancient practices of medicine and surgery were conducted here in India. Along with a rich cultural heritage, Indians also excel in the field of medicine. During the earlier times, medicine was not made using the synthetic procedures of the modern day. Learned physicians and sages would use natural ingredients and components to create medicinal products for the treatment of diseases. Did you know which plant is called herbal Indian doctor? Well, it is Amla or the Indian Gooseberry. 

A Sage Writing about Ayurveda

A Sage Writing about Ayurveda

Medics and physicians of ancient India not only had such knowledge about medicinal plants and roots but they were also skilled in the art of medical procedures such as surgery. So, for that reason, this article is a tribute to those ancient doctors of India and the efforts that they made. 

The Importance of Medicine and Doctors

The coronavirus was one of the deadliest viruses that shook the entire world. Believed to have originated in China, the virus spread through the world and claimed millions of lives in countries like France, America, South Africa, India and so on. The virus potentially left a huge gap in mankind after its outbreak. But thanks to the doctors, who tirelessly worked throughout days and nights to contain the virus and bring out vaccines for it, the virus finally came under control. 

And that is just one of the many cases where the doctors actually managed to save many lives and contained the major outbreaks. From ancient times, doctors have been treating various ailments and saving many lives. But what do we know about them? Take India, for instance? The ancient Indian doctors have been treating people for a very long time. The modern-day medicine that we see today is a product of their efforts and experiments. 

History of Indian Medicine and Ancient Indian Doctors 

The responsibility of a doctor goes right beyond just providing a simple prescription for medicines. From stopping pandemics to helping the process of recovery in patients, doctors make a positive impact on the lives of individuals. To commend the relentless services provided by Doctors, National Doctor’s Day is celebrated in the country on the 1st of July. This day was first celebrated in the year 1991. This day is also the birth & the death anniversary of Dr Bidhan Chandra Roy, one of the most eminent physicians in India and a recipient of the Bharat Ratna Award. On that note, let us have a look at some of the prominent names in ancient Indian medicine and surgery

Ayurveda: The Science behind Longevity 

Ayurveda is still one of the most popular forms of medicine that are practised in different corners of India. Ancient Indian scholar Agnivesa is credited for the compilation of different Ayurvedic principles in the Ayurveda-Charaka Samhita and that too in 800 BC. He was said to receive guidance from his Guru or master Atreya about the different concepts and principles of Ayurvedic medicine. Apart from that, he was also one of the very first physicians to present the elaborated concepts of metabolism, immunity, and digestion in his works. According to the principles of Ayurveda, this system uses different herbs and their components to create potent medicinal products that can be beneficial in curing a wide range of ailments from leprosy to heart diseases as well. 

Shastrakarma: The Art of Surgery 

Sushruta is one of the few names in the history of Ancient Indian medicine that we know about. He is called the Father of Plastic Surgery as well as the Father of Indian Medicine. He writes in his book, Sushruta Samhita about different surgical procedures and instruments. There are detailed descriptions of 300 different procedures related to the surgery along with other information about 120 different instruments that are used in the art of surgery. Also, the human procedure of surgery is described in 8 different categories in the book.

Siddha: Medicine from Natural Ingredients 

When you are reading about the History of Indian medicine and the ancient doctors of India, it is important to learn about Siddha which is the system that spreads the message of using only natural ingredients. The Siddhars, located in Tamil Nadu were the first scholars who laid a concrete foundation for the medical system we know today as Siddha. These scholars were said to possess the powers of Ashta Siddhi or the 8 different supernatural powers. Sage Agastya is credited with the title of the Father of Siddha Medicine. In the Siddha medicine system, the products were a potent combination of fruits, spices, metals, as well as other important components. One of the most salient aspects of this medicine system is still practised today in the form of Pulse reading. 

Yoga: Science Behind Our Holistic Health 

While yoga doesn’t really fit into the list of medical contributions that had been made by the doctors of ancient India, it certainly deserves a spot on the list. Yoga is responsible for bringing in a state of balance in the mental and physical being of individuals. A saint from the 2nd Century named Patanjali is called the Father of Yoga. Today, yoga is practised all over the world by people who want to attain both physical fitness as well as peace of mind. The origination of Yoga in India is proof of the fact that doctors here were not only concerned with the physical health of a person but the overall well-being too. 


It wouldn’t be an understatement to say that the philosophies, practices, and principles of ancient medicine in India have a very important role to play in the birth of modern medicine. With the age-old wisdom of ancient physicians and doctors, there are modern practices and procedures that help in the efficient and effective treatments of people these days. After all, the presence of a doctor is basically the beginning of the cure, right? These ancient Indian doctors made their contributions to the world and made the modern day and age suitable for people.