Ayurveda is a system of medicine with historical roots in the Indian subcontinent. Globalized and modernized practices derived from Ayurveda traditions are a type of complementary or alternative medicine. In the Western world, Ayurveda therapies and practices have been integrated in general wellness applications and as well in some cases in medical use.
The main classical Ayurveda treatises begin with legendary accounts of the transmission of medical knowledge from the Gods to sages, and thence to human physicians. Thus, the Sushruta Samhita narrates how Dhanvantari, “greatest of the mighty celestial,” incarnated himself as Divodāsa, a mythical king of Varanasi, who then taught medicine to a group of wise physicians, including Sushruta himself. Ayurveda therapies have varied and evolved over more than two millennia. Therapies are typically based on complex herbal compounds, while treatises introduced mineral and metal substances.
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