In ancient India, doctors were known by different names depending on the time period and region. The earliest known reference to medical practitioners in India is found in the Atharva Veda, one of the four ancient sacred texts of Hinduism, which dates back to around 1500 BCE.
During the Vedic period, there were two main types of medical practitioners – the ‘Bhisak’ and the ‘Vaidya’. The Bhisak was a physician who primarily dealt with surgical procedures while the Vaidya was a physician who specialized in medicine.
Moving forward to the medieval period in India, we see a wider range of medical practitioners. These included ‘Hakims’, ‘Vaidyas’, ‘Unanis’, and ‘Ayurvedic doctors’.
The Hakims were physicians who practiced Unani medicine, which is based on Greek philosophy and principles. They were primarily found in Muslim-dominated regions such as North India.
The Vaidyas continued to practice Ayurveda, which is an ancient Indian system of medicine that focuses on natural remedies derived from plants and herbs. Ayurvedic doctors were highly respected during this time period and were considered experts in their field.
The Unanis were practitioners of Unani medicine which was popularized by Arabic scholars such as Avicenna (Ibn Sina) during the medieval period. It was based on Greek philosophy and principles but incorporated elements of traditional Indian medicine as well.
In addition to these traditional medical practitioners, there were also spiritual healers known as ‘Sadhus’ or ‘Sanyasis’. They would use meditation and spiritual practices to heal people’s ailments.
In conclusion, doctors in ancient India had different names depending on their specialty and region. From Bhisaks to Ayurvedic doctors to Unanis, each type of practitioner had their own unique approach to healing people’s ailments. Despite differences in practice, all these practitioners shared a common goal – to heal people and improve their quality of life.