9 Incredible Medical Contributions By India To The world

Indian sub-continent has always contributed massively to the world of Medicine. When compared to the rest of the world, India has produced a lot of able doctors. Since time immemorial, the contribution of Indian doctors towards Medicine has been quite remarkable. As you go deeper into the history of Medicine, the reputation of Indian doctors has always been a class apart.
The doctors of India have always been able to invent medicines for various diseases much earlier than anyone else. Even the modern medicines of today’s world have a link to the ancient medical practices from the bygone era. The wisdom of the ancient medical practitioners is extremely commendable, Indians have always been exceptional when in terms of their contributions in the stream of Medicine.

Ayurveda


Ayurveda is regarded as the ‘Mother of all medicines.’ It is the science of longevity and is one of the ancient streams of medicines that still have its strong influence all over the world. This line of Medicine has been proven to be one of the best and well-reputed forms of treatment. Unlike modern medicines, Ayurveda does not use any chemicals in the line of treatment. The medicines are made using the formula as per the scripts available. The medicines used in Ayurveda are totally manufactured using the herbs and medicinal plants. Atreya and Agnivesa are the two ancient Ayurveda masters who used this science to cure people in the 800 B.C. However, the first compilation of all these Ayurvedic medicines is found in Charaka Samhita. Charaka was the Ayurvedic physician who created theories around the complex processes like metabolism, digestion, and immune system activities. He was a pioneer in using Ayurvedic medicines to treat people suffering from various health disorders.

It is good to know:
A lot of people feel that the spices in India have been used to enhance the taste of food or as preservatives. Well, that is partially true! The actual reason to use these spices and herbs is to increase the immunity in the body as these herbs are known as preventive medicines. This is also one of the theories of Ayurveda that dates back to the 1st millennium B.C.

Siddha


Since Ayurveda’s line of treatment was quickly picking up in the Northern part of India, it became quite tough for the same to be followed down South. The herbs that were available up North weren’t accessible to people in the Southern regions. The dearth of herbs and medicinal plants gave rise to the Siddha Saints. This is another line of Medicine where the Siddha saints started conceptualizing their own way of treatments and called it ‘Siddha Medicines.’ These medicines are made using a combination of fruits, spices, metals, and minerals. At times, they also made use of some of the chemical products too to treat the patients. This started in 5 B.C., and this is yet another incredible contribution of Indians towards the line of Medicine.

It is good to know:
The Siddha medicines also helped to prevent the bodies from decomposing, and these medicines are regarded as the world’s first preservatives.

Surgery

Susruta was the first-ever physician to perform surgery, and he is also popularly referred to as ‘Father of Surgery.’ His book Sushruta Samhita is a masterpiece and is one of the sacred books for all the medical professionals even to this day. The book has over 300 surgical procedures listed in detail, along with 120 surgical instruments. Well, all the instruments were invented by Susruta himself, and that’s again an achievement. The surgeries written in his book are classified into eight broad categories for better understanding. Surgeries related to bones, tissues, and organs of the body have been explained in detail in his book. Along with the symptoms, he has also written the steps to treat the disease. The translation of his book happened in the Arab countries, and it reached the European continent after several years

It is good to know:
Ant heads with wine were used in his surgery to hold the skin together, and this acted as anesthesia.

Plastic Surgery

The term Plastic Surgery or Cosmetology might seem quite modern, but it was the Indian doctors that carried out the first Plastic Surgery way back in 2000 B.C. The instruments used then are still being manufactured, and that shows the greatness of the surgeons then.

It is good to know:
In the 21st century, plastic surgery focuses largely on the improvement of the aesthetic appearance of an individual. But, way back then, it was used largely to fix the deformed parts like noses, ears by using the skin from the other body parts. Well, skin grafting used then has become quite popular these days, isn’t it?

Treatment of Lithiasis

While everyone gets panicked the very moment they get to hear ‘Kidney stones,’ or Lithiasis these days, it did exist even then. The treatment to cure this stone formation also happens to be from India. The exposure of bladder during the surgery is explained in detail in the book written by Susruta.

It is good to know:
Louis Napoleon, who fought the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, was defeated miserably because of the kidney stones formation.

Cure for Leprosy

Both the records on a cure for Leprosy have pointed out to India. Although both the methods are found out in India, there has been a lot of ambiguity in terms of accuracy. While a few people feel the first procedure is accurate, the rest argues the latter to be more accurate. The treatment of Leprosy has been can be seen from the books of Susruta, and according to the Kearns and Nash, that’s the first mention that ever happened. But according to Oxford, the cure for Leprosy was mentioned in Arth-Veda that dates back to 2000 B.C., and this was pretty much earlier to Susruta. These arguments do not matter much as both of them originated in India.

It is good to know:
Leprosy was considered to occur in people due to demonic curses. This belief disappeared soon in India once the treatment was found.

Treatment of Visceral Leishmaniasis

The treatment for Visceral Leishmaniasis also happened in India by Upendra Nath Brahmachari in the year 1929. He was the first person to discover the Urea Stibamine, which is regarded as the first-ever treatment for this strange disease. The Visceral Leishmaniasis is also called as black fever. Mr. Brahmachari was also nominated for the Nobel Prize in Medicine for this discovery. This disease was completely eradicated from India, although Upendra did not bag the Nobel Prize.

It is good to know:
Black fever was popularly known as the disease of the poor. This disease was largely found in people who belonged to the Below Poverty Lines. These people lacked basic hygiene and amenities; hence, they were largely affected by this disease. This disease occurred due to breeding of sand flies in large numbers as the poor people lived in thatched huts made of muds. These sand flies multiplied during the monsoon season, and they made the crevices of the huts their abodes and spread the Black fever rapidly.

Cataract Surgery

Well, it was again Susruta who made the impossible possible. He was the first medical virtuoso to operate Cataract. A special tool called Jabamukhi Salaka was used to perform the cataract surgery. He used the tool to first loosen the lens of the eyes and ensured the Cataract was pushed out of the field of vision. Later, he used warm butter to apply around the operated region of the eyes and covered it gently with a cloth. The surgeries were extremely successful, but Susruta mentioned performing these operations if and only if they are a must. With this, India gets another feather in her cap for medical innovations.

It is good to know:
Susruta’s expertise in Medicine has reached the nook and corners of the world. Philosophers from Greece visited India to get a live experience of these surgeries.

Yoga

Well, Yoga may not fit into the line of Medicine directly; however, this is one of the most used techniques to keep the mind, body, and soul in harmony. Practicing Yoga regularly is known to have a lot of health benefits. Since this was the first form of work-out and exercise that humans got introduced to, it makes a lot of meaning to include it in this write-up. Performing the postures or Asanas of Yoga regularly can enhance both physical and mental well-being. Yoga makes the body flexible and calms the mind. It has been practiced quite a lot by everyone off-late. Well, India is the land where Yoga took its birth too.
These are some of the tremendous medical innovations that happened in India. If you know any do, help us out by writing them down in the comments section below!

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