Differentiate the six systems of Indian medicine.

The following are the six systems of medicines constituted by ISM (Indian Systems of Medicines). 

a. Ayurveda

b. Yoga

c. Siddha

d. Naturopathy

e. Unani 

f. Homeopathy 

Ayurveda is one of the traditional systems of medicine that is still used in India. It is a holistic way to achieve health through body, mind and spirit. The ayurvedic practitioners recommend diet and lifestyle changes along with drug therapy. They have identified a number of medicinal preparations and surgical procedures for curing various ailments and diseases that cannot be completely curable in other medical systems. The methods of ayurveda such as applying herbs and massage can also be applied along with other systems. 

Yoga as an art originated and was practised in India from thousand years. It has references in ‘Upanishads’ and ’Puranas’ composed by Indian Aryans in the Vedic period. The main credit for systematising yoga goes to Patanjali who wrote ‘Yoga Sutra’, two thousand years ago. Yoga Sutra is the most important basic text on Yoga. It is through this means that the essential message of yoga is spread throughout the world. It is defined as an art of righteous living or an integrated system for the benefit of the body, mind and inner spirit.

Siddha comes from the word Siddhi which means an object to attain perfection or heaven. This is the oldest among the Indian Medical Systems namely Ayurveda and Unani. It is also known as Siddha Vaidya in India and also the oldest medical system in the world. As nowadays, people’s preference to natural health remedies and herbal health remedies is increasing day by day, Siddha has emerged as an important and unique system of Indian medicine when compared to other traditional medical systems in existence.

Naturopathy deals with the healing power of nature as it assumes that all healing powers are within our body. This means that within every human organism there is a healing energy. Naturopathy regards that when we go against nature only then we fall ill. ‘Fasting’ has been described as Nature’s way to recover. A thorough rest that includes fasting is the most favorable condition in which an ailing body can purify and recover itself. 

Unani has a long and impressive record in India. It was introduced in India around 10th century A.D. with the spread of Islamic civilisation. Now Unanipathy has become an important part of Indian Systems of Medicine. India is one of the leading countries in terms of its popularity. It is very much similar to our Ayurveda. Unani established that disease is a natural process and that the symptoms are the reactions of the body to the disease.

Homeopathy consists of two words ‘Homeo’ meaning similar and ‘Pathos’ meaning suffering or treatment.In this system, a drug and a disease that produce similar symptoms cancels each other. It is popular among the people due to its remarkable healing capacity. Also, its remedies are free from side effects. 

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