Indian Science of Medicine
Ancient India was far ahead of others in the field of medicine and surgery. Medicine had its textbooks and there were hospitals. Dhanwantri is the legendary founder of the Indian science of medicine. The best known old textbooks, however, date from the early centuries of the Christain era. These are Charak on medicine and Sushruta on surgery. Charak is supposed to have been the royal court physician of Kanishka who had his capital in the northwest. These textbooks enumerate a large number of diseases and give methods of diagnosis and treatment. They deal with surgery, obstetrics, berths, diet, and hygiene, infant-feeding and medical education. The approach was experimental, and dissection of dead bodies was being practised in course of surgical training. Various surgical instruments are mentioned by Sushrutas, as well as operations including amputation of limbs, abdominal, caesarean section, cataract, etc. Wounds were sterilized by fumigation. In the third or fourth century B.C. there were also hospitals for animals. This was probably due to the influence of Jainism and Buddhism with their emphasis on non-violence.