Tuesday, April 5, 2016

D for Doctor

Welcome to the "Believe it or Not- That's Incredible India!" series. India is home to some of the most astonishing wonders in the world. The rich culture, heritage, food, scriptures, architectural marvels and scores of known and unknown facts come together to create this multicolored melange that is India. Throughout this month, read about the various believe it or not facts about India and know what goes into the making of this incredible country!


The knowledge of medicine and surgery in India dates back to around 800 BC and the ‘doctor’ to whom most of the earliest performed surgeries have been credited is Shusruta. He wrote the Shusruta Samahita which is considered the oldest treatise dealing with surgery.

Shusruta is credited with having performed various complicated surgical procedures, and he was considered to be an expert in plastic surgery of the nose- rhinoplasty, and cataract removal. 

In his book, Shusruta details the human anatomy and describes the procedure to perform these surgeries. What's amazing is that the procedure of performing these surgeries explained in explicit detail by Shusruta are strikingly similar to the surgeries performed today! 

Shusruta described the procedure of surgery documenting how to perform an incision (cheda), scarification (lehkya), puncturing (vedhya), exploration (esya), extraction ( ahrya) , evacuation ( vsraya), and finally the art of suturing (sivya). He also detailed how a dead body can be preserved and later be used for studying the anatomy. How did he have so much knowledge

Charaka (200BC) was another important doctor who contributed to the fields of physiology, etiology, and embryology. He wrote the Charaka Samahita which had descriptions of 2000 medicines and cures for almost every part of the human body!

That's not all! There are ancient sculptures dating back to these times which show the various representation of surgical procedures and anatomy. An example is that of a sculpture of a pregnant woman; the belly cut in half to expose the fetus inside the womb, and showing the layers of the skin, the position of the fetus and the connecting cord in excruciating detail! How cool is that!!

Isn’t it amazing to know that the knowledge of medicine and surgery was known in India long before it was known in the modern world?

Believe it or not- That’s Incredible India!


  1. Rightly said. Sushruta s contributions deserve far more respect than he gets in India. This man did literally magic considering the time he was in.

  2. I just wish we take up all this as history and take pride in our past. Even we did not learn about all this as children. In a few generations, it will be just gone.

  3. Thats true. It isnt just Charakas contribution, but our ancient prctices of food and living aim at promtiong helathy living.

  4. Well said post on ancient and Incredible India

  5. Indeed the father of all Doctors! Charak and Shushruta were virtually divine apparitions I think! I have an academic background in Pharmacy, hence I've read a bit about the contribution they made in the field of medicine.
    Thanks for sharing this Shubhangi.
    @KalaRavi16 from

  6. http://kavisthoughts.blogspot.in/2016/04/depression-z-challenge-2016.html

  7. India is truly incredible. I had heard of Charak but not of Shusruta. Weren't the Ashwini twins also supposed to be some kind of healers of the Gods?

  8. Sculptures? Really? Amazing! There's so much more to our country than we are aware of. Enlightening post :)

  9. India has been, is and always will remain incredible. Shubhangi your theme is very dear to my heart. Our Rishis had advanced knowledge thousands of years ago and a large amount of it from meditation and the use of the sub-conscious faculties I think. Sushruta and Charaka, hats off to you boys :)


  10. Oh. I work in a hospital that caters to traditional medicine, so I was aware of this. :) Felt like I was at home with the post, Titli.

  11. I had no idea ancient India had so much knowledge about medicine. Incredible!

  12. Isn't this amazing!! But wonder how all this got lost ... imagine how much we would have progressed if this was known and practiced since then.
    Thank you for sharing this.

    Visiting from A to Z Challenge
    Pam's Unconventional Alliance Team
    A Whimsical Medley
    Twinkle Eyed Traveller

  13. I'm really surprised to see the way your posts are coming up. And it's really great to learn so much :)


  14. Truly an incredible India :) Great post :)

    Srivi - AToZChallenge
    The Piscean Me | Twitter

  15. My amazing India!!!

    Visiting from,

  16. Our history textbooks in school hardly gave us any information about these cool doctors!
    Reading your posts makes me think: If our ancestors had already discovered all our amazing recent discoveries, then are we really progressing?
    Thank you for sharing! :)

  17. Have read about the contributions of Shushruta and Charak in our Bio classes. It is so impressive that these ancient doctors were so knowledgeable and so advanced in their practice of medicine and surgery! Incredible indeed!

  18. This is amazing and nobody told me this ever before!

    Nibha @ Expressions

  19. And we Indians have embraced western medicine so well?

  20. A beautiful and well detailed post about our rich cultural legacy. The West is waking up to us by embracing our vast knowledge and practice for better health:)

  21. I have read that even the Egyptian Civilization knew of advance medical procedures, such as surgery.
    - Chicky @ www.mysteriouskaddu.com


At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person..deep gratitude for those who have lighted the flame within me!! your comments will be appreciated..

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...