Other Free Encyclopedias » Science Encyclopedia » Science & Philosophy: Mathematics to Methanal trimer

Medicine in India - Systematic Medicine, Medical Concepts And Therapies, Surgery, Modernization And Globalization, Bibliography

ideas environment healing plant

The historical record for Indian civilization begins in the third millennium B.C.E., with the Indus Valley culture, but beyond evidence of a good knowledge of the plant and animal environment, little information can be recovered concerning the healing traditions of this time. Simple ideas related to disease and healing can be found in greater abundance in the corpus of religious hymns called the Vedas, composed originally in an old form of Sanskrit during the early to mid-second millennium B.C.E. These ideas have much in common with religious materials worldwide: a concern with hostile demons, curses, and poisoning, and a detailed awareness of the plant world as a source of healing herbs. Outside the metropolis in India today, such ideas continue to form a prominent part of health-related beliefs and activities. Considering health as, in Georges Canguilhem's words, "a margin of tolerance for the inconsistencies of the environment," such practices and ideas can be seen as a perfectly reasonable and indeed rational extension of the use of a continuum of efforts—from prayer to warfare—as means for creating an acceptable environment in which to live.

[back] Medicine in Europe and the United States - Ancient Greece And Rome, The Medieval World, Renaissance Medicine, The Harveian Revolution (seventeenth Century)

User Comments

Your email address will be altered so spam harvesting bots can't read it easily.
Hide my email completely instead?

Cancel or

Vote down Vote up

over 10 years ago

I assert my right to be identified as the author of this article on the history of medicine in India.

Dominik Wujastyk
9 May 2007.