The history of India begins with evidence of human activity of Homosapiens as long as 75,000 years ago The Indus Valley Civilization, which spread and flourished in the northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent from c. 3300 to 1300 BCE, was the first major civilization in IndiaFrom the time of the Harappans to the time of the Islamic conquests,Indian scientists and mathematicians were leaders in many differentfields.Around 500 BC, thanks to Persian influence, the city of Taxila (in modernPakistan) became a great scientific center. Atreya, a great botanist (plantspecialist) and doctor, was working at Taxila about this time. Around the300s BC, Indian farmers seem to have been using water wheels to liftwater for irrigation - the earliest water wheels in the world.By 250 or 200 BC, under Mauryan rule, Indian scientists were the first inthe world to be smelting iron with carbon to make stell.
Zinc, mining and medicinal use: Zinc was first recognised as a metal inIndia. Zinc mines of Zawar, near Udaipur, Rajasthan, were active during 400BCEThere are references of medicinal uses of zinc in the Charaka Samhita (300BCE).(B.C. stands for Before Christ, and it means the number of years before thetime of Jesus Christ)
Ancient India saw great advancements in medical science. Some of these fields were dental surgery, and plastic surgery. It isamazing that even in the absence of anesthesia some of thecomplex operations are performed. Around 800 B.C the firstinstances of surgery were recorded. It was considered as one ofthe eight branches of Ayurveda.Shushruta- Samhita is the oldesttreatise dealing with surgery. The main medical practitionerswere Atraya, Charaka and Shusruta. Shushruta studied humananatomy with an aid of a dead body. He had described in greatdetail surgery .He excelled in plastic surgery and ophthalmology(removing cataracts).The restoration of mutilated nose orrhinoplasty was one of the greatest contributions ofShushruta.The success rate was very high attracting people fromall the country and outside. He meticulously carried out theoperation almost similar to the steps followed by modern dayplastic surgeons.
Charaka put more emphasis on prevention rather than cure. He made these remarks in his famous treatise Charaka Samahitawhich are held in great reverence even today. The other notablefields were physiology, etiology and embryology. He also wroteextensively on digestion, metabolism and immune system. Hewrote that body functions as it contains three dosha- bile,phlegm and wind. These are produced when dhatus - blood,flesh and marrow act on food consumed. The body becomes sickwhen there is imbalance between three doshas. He prescribeddrugs to restore this balance. Charaka also wrote about geneticslike the factors responsible for sex of a child. Agnivesa anotherfamous physician wrote an encyclopedic treatise in the eighthcentury B.C.
AYUR-VEDA is the oldest existing medical system, having its heritage in ancient India. It is recognized by the World Health Organization and is still widely practiced. Current interest in disease prevention and health promotion has led to its investigation by a growing number of Western physicians who are finding it to add valuable knowledge that is complementary to modern allopathic medicine. The word Ayur-Veda comes from two Sanskrit roots: Ayus, meaning life or life span, and Veda, meaning knowledge or science. Ayur-Veda is therefore translated as "the science of life," which emphasizes its orientation toward prevention.Hygiene is an Indian cultural value and a central practice ofayurvedic medicine. Hygienic living involves regular bathing,cleansing of teeth, skin the body with oil is also precare, and eyewashing. Occasional anointing of scribed.
Over the following centuries, ayurvedic practitioners developed a number of medicinal preparations and surgical procedures for the treatment of various ailments Sesame and sunflower oil are used Hundreds of plant-based in ayurvedic medicine. Both contain medicines are used in ayurvedic linoleate in triglyceride form and medicine—including cardamom may have antineoplastic properties and cinnamon
Cataract surgery: Cataract surgery was known to the Indian physician Sushruta (6th century BCE).In India, cataract surgerywas performed with a special tool called the Jabamukhi Salaka, acurved needle used to loosen the lens and push the cataract outof the field of vision,the eye would later be soaked with warmbutter and then bandagedInoculation and Variolation: The earliest record of inoculation and variolation for small pox is found in 8th centuryIndia, when Madhav wrote the Nidāna, a 79-chapter bookwhich lists diseases along with their causes, symptoms, andcomplications. He included a special chapter on small pox(masūrikā) and described the method of inoculation to protectagainst small pox.Leprosy: Kearns & Nash (2008) state that the first mention of leprosy is described in the Indian medical treatise SushrutaSamhita (6th century BCE).However, The Oxford IllustratedCompanion to Medicine holds that the mention of leprosy, aswell as ritualistic cures for it, were described in the Atharva-veda(1500–1200 BCE), written before the Sushruta Samhita.
Plastic surgery: Plastic surgery was being carriedout in India by 2000 BCE.The system ofpunishment by deforming a Sushruta andCharakwere translated into Arabic language duringthe Abbasid Caliphate (750 CE). These translatedArabic works made their way into Europe viaintermidiateries. In Italy the Branca family of Sicilyand GasparTagliacozziofBologna became familiarwith the miscreants body may have led to anincrease in demand for this practice.The surgeonSushruta contributed mainly to the field of Plasticand Cataract surgery.The medical works of bothtechniques of
Lithiasis treatment: The earliest operation for treating lithiasis, or the formations of stones in the body, is alsogiven in the Sushruta Samhita 6th century BCE). Theoperation involved exposure and going up through thefloor of the bladder.Visceral leishmaniasis, treatment of: The Indian (Bengali) medical practitioner Upendra Nath Brahmachari(December 19, 1873 - February 6, 1946) was nominated forthe Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1929 for hisdiscovery of ureastibamine (antimonial compound fortreatment of kala azar) and a new disease, post-kalaazardermal leishmanoid.Brahmacharis cure for Visceralleishmaniasis was the urea salt of para-amino-phenylstibnic acid which he called Urea Stibamine.Following thediscovery of Urea Stibamine, Visceral leishmaniasis waslargely eradicated from the world, except for someunderdeveloped regions
The Indus Valley Civilization has yielded evidence of dentistry beingpracticed as 7000 BCas far backA Sumerian text from 5000 BC describes a "tooth worm" as the cause of dentcaries Evidence of this belief has also been found in ancient India 7000 BC – The Bow Drill EraDentistry got its start in the Indus Valley of India and Pakistan. Theseindustrious would-be dentists were master beadmakers who used bowdrills to cure tooth problems. This is also the first appearance ofdental assistants, whose duties consisted of restraining the flailingarms and legs of patients during the undoubtedly excruciatingprocedures. Still, this obviously beat a life without teeth
700 BC – The First BridgesThe first society to use dental bridges and appliances were the Etruscans,starting around 700 BC. The image below shows a similar dental bridgecreated by the Egyptians that uses gold wires to hold the teeth together.This is also the first incarnation of a cosmetic dental practice that wouldcome to be know as “blingoral hygiene and its tools (toothbrush, toothpick, use of tooth pastes andtooth-powder) were used long before our times. Already ancient peoplestarted to remove, file, dye and inlay teeth the teeth were dyed red or brown (with henna or betel) in IndiaDentistry was surely practiced in ancient Egypt, India, China, Greece andRome, while odontology and especially suitable dental appliances arose onlyby Etruscan.
dentists in ancient times often used dental extraction to "cure" a variety ofillnesses the instruments composed of: Most antique dental instruments weremade of bone or ivory and metal. The tongue scraper, for example, wasmade completely of ivory, while other metal instruments featured handlesmade from ivory or from bone. Some 19th century dental tools were madeof tortoise shell, like the tongue scraper, for example. In addition, somemirrors were also sometimes made of tortoise shell.Had it not been for antique dental instruments and beliefs of ancienttime,we would not have today.Materials have changed over the years ,some of the instruments ofancient times are still used today.