Geriatrics

History

Ayurveda (before 1500 BC), the ancient Indian system of medicine, has mentioned about the eight branches (Ashtanga Ayurveda) of Ayurveda viz kayachikitsa (general medicine), balaroga (paediatrics), graha chikitsa (treatment of diseases related to psychology), urdhvanga chikitsa (treatment of the diseases of the head and neck, ENT), shalya tantra (surgery), damshtra (treatment of poisonous stings and bites), Jara/Rasayana (geriatrics) and vajikarana (andrology). So it can be said that geriatrics was first mentioned in Ayurveda. The term geria is very close to the Sanskrit word jara. Rasayana is defined as “Rasayanam cha tat jneyam yat jara vyadhi nashanam”, which means rasayana is a branch of medicine which deals with the prevention of premature ageing, management of diseases and especially the management of diseases related to Old age.

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