(Last Updated on : 26/08/2017)
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.
Sushruta: Composer of Sushruta Samhita
Sushruta is recognized today as the Father of Plastic Surgery all over the world. He was the first person who studied human anatomy. Sushruta was the specialist of Rhinoplasty or plastic surgery and Opthalmology or the elimination of cataracts
. He was equipped with excellent surgical skills and elevated the practical science of surgery to the level of art.
Context of Sushruta Samhita
In the Sushruta Samhita this detailed study of anatomy is described. It consists of 184 chapters and is divided into two parts, The Purva Tantra and Uttara Tantra.
The Purva Tantra gives the signs and symptoms of important surgical diseases, obstetrics, geriatrics, anatomy, embryology, nature of poisons and their removal.
The Uttara Tantra gives account of various diseases of the ear, eye, head and nose and solutions to complications that may arise out of surgery.
Sushruta Samhita mentions about 1,120 medical conditions, including injuries and illnesses relating to ageing and mental illness. There are eight main divisions of human surgery in Sushruta Samhita namely;
Classification of Medicine in Sushruta Samhita
Sushruta details 650 drugs of animal, plant and mineral origin. He divided medicines into 37 classes. The medicines
included in each class have certain common properties, such as acidity, sweetness, astringency, etc. He also described more than 300 kinds of operations that call for 42 different surgical processes and 121 different types of instruments.
Sushruta Samhita recorded the detailed description of the steps of operation and most amazingly the steps are followed in the modern plastic surgery even today.