Yoga and Alternative system of medicine in India

Today is the time to go to the nitty gritty of Yoga philosophy. It is important to have knowledge of ‘YOGA’ as it is not only have a dedicated day of ‘International day for Yoga’ but it is also capable in curing many deadly diseases naturally. However, it is one of six major orthodox school of Hinduism. The origin of such schools is unclear, although we found there first reference in “Upanishad’ which were written in 1st millennium BCE.” The UNESCO has also included in intangible cultural heritage.

Extensive or systemic collection of yoga philosophy was found in book named Yoga sutra by Patanjali. The book mentioned, that there are Eight limbs or Astangyog in the school one can follow to attain Moksha.

Eight limbs or Astangyog of Yoga school

  • Yamas- Practice 5 yamas to transform negative energy and cultivate a deep, abiding sense of peace (Ahimsha, Satya, Asteya, Brahmacharya, Aparigraha)
  • Niyamas- positive duties or observances to be followed are cleanliness, tapa, santosh, svadyaya, surrender.
  • Asana– The physical exercises
  • Pranayam– The breathing exercise
  • Pratyahara- Withdrawal of sense
  • Dharana- state of meditation
  • Dhyana Smadhi- State of oneness

Yoga and Mental health

In 2014 Indian government has declared a separate ‘Ministry of Aayush’ to encourage Indian’s for yoga. The yoga was involved in government school curriculum, at workplace, and communities to make people aware of these practices, and integrate it with scientific evidence. It is helpful in relaxing whole body, make respiration quiet and deep, calm mind. It reduce cortisol level, which is a stress hormone released from adrenal gland, and also reduce neuro inflammation.

In 1995 a new Department of Indian System of Medicine and Homeopathy under Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. In 2003 the department was renamed as AYUSH which stands for Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy and Naturopathy.

Yoga not only talks about exercises but also attach to some of activities including:

  • Ahara (Food)- 50% food+25%water+25%air
  • Vihars (Relaxation)- asana, meditation, sleep
  • Achara (Conduct)- controlling desire
  • Vichara (Thinking)- control thinking
  • Vyavahara (Behavior)- right action

Alternate system of medicine in India

  • Egyptian- advance medicine (2800 BC)
  • Chinese- well documented records (2700 BC)
  • Mesopotamian- Codes of Hammurabi (2000 BC)
  • Greek- Hippocrates ‘Father of Medicine’ (460 BC)
  • Roman- emerge from Greek (130 AD)
  • Arab medicine (Unani)- Damascus, Cairo and Baghdad adopted

During 3000 to 3500 BC medicine came to existence in India, around 200BC there were many form of medicine started influencing one another. In mid 15th century there came the scientific and modern medicines. In mid 19th century Allopathy was distinguished from Homeopathy by CFS Hahneman.


Indian medicine was started with vedic period called ayurveda means ‘knowledge of life’ not of veda, and considered as upaanga of atharvaveda (give divine authority). It take man in entirety with physical, chemical, biological, and spiritual effects. According to it human body is composed of Earth, Water, Fire, Air, and Sky.

This medicine system is based on balance of Tridosha (kapha- phlegm, vaata- wind, and pitta- bile). It is further connected to three Gunas (sattva- goodness or constructive or harmonious; rajas- passion or active or confused; and tamas- darkness or destructive or chaotic). The treatment was based on observation of diet regime. However, later the medicine were composed of Fe, cu, Pb, Au, and Hg.

Important works were: Sushruta samhita, Charak samhita, Madhava nidhana, and Shranghdhar smahita.

  • Siddha system was a chemical based medicine system flourished in Tamil Nadu.
  • Unani system was flourished during Akbar regime.
  • Allopathy system was a modern medicine, its creation was based on opposite effect.
  • Homeopathy system based on “Like cures Like” concept. Substance that cause same symptom of disease in healthy can cure disease in sick.
  • Sowa Rigpa system has its origin may be India, China or Tibet.
  • Naturopathy system treat diseases with natural elements. It says diseases are caused by accumulation of toxins. The treatments resembles: Earth- mud bath; Water- hydrotherapeutic method of bath; Air- breathing exercise; Fire- sun bath and Fasting therapy etc.

Published by Neel Kamal

My name is Neelkamal. Here, I will provide the content effective for everyone who want to learn more and more. And if you want, I am open for your suggestion to write on. I have done M.Sc in Biotechnology and also read about the Political, Social, Environmental issues. So, my blog will surrounds upon topics related to these subjects.

7 thoughts on “Yoga and Alternative system of medicine in India

  1. Sushruta Samhita is one of the oldest books in Ayurveda that was written by Sushruta, the legendary Ayurvedic Physician of ancient India. The Sushruta Samhita is the complete book that deals with the practical problems of surgery and midwifery or obstetrics. In India the practice of surgery is very ancient that dates back to around 800 BC. Surgery was termed as ‘Sastrakarma’ and was one of the eight branches of Ayurveda, which is the ancient Indian system of medicine.

    Liked by 2 people

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