Kayachikitsa: The Foundations of Ayurvedic Medicine



The ancient Indian system of medicine, Ayurveda, is often referred to as the oldest documented system of medicine known to mankind. While experts still debate over whether this philosophy of alternative medicine is over 3000 or 5000 years old, there is no debate that much of that ancient knowledge has been lost to time…or obscured by mythology.

In today’s post-pandemic world where people around the world are embracing holistic approaches to healthcare and sustainable living, a lot of people are getting into the lucrative Ayurveda sector too. If you’ve resonated with celebrating the pride of our ancient knowledge that still is relevant today by helping people, maybe a course in Ayurveda after your 10+2 might be a good idea instead of entering the depressing odds of MBBS NEET.

In this blog, we will talk about one of the eight branches of Ayurveda – Kayachikitsa and try to understand its relevance in understanding its philosophy, or building a career! Kaya chikitsa in Ayurveda, is also a major part of the syllabus for undergraduate programs in Ayurvedic Medicine.

What is Kayachikitsa?

The word Kayachikitsa means "the treatment of the body" (kaya: body; chikitsa: treatment) and it covers the diagnosis and management of various diseases and disorders affecting the physical, mental, and emotional aspects of human beings.

Kayachikitsa is based on the concept of Tridosha, which means the three humors or energies that govern the body:

  • Vata (air)
  • Pitta (fire)
  • Kapha (water)

According to Ayurveda health is a state of balance among these three doshas, while disease is a result of their imbalance. Kayachikitsa aims to restore the harmony of the doshas by using various methods such as diet, lifestyle, herbs, massage, yoga, meditation, and panchakarma (detoxification).

Role of Kayachikitsa in Ayurvedic Medicine

Kayachikitsa is one of the most important and comprehensive branches of Ayurvedic medicine that is taught in every Ayurveda hospital and the rest of India. It covers a wide range of diseases and disorders affecting various systems and organs of the body such as the:

  • respiratory system (kasa)
  • digestive system (atisara)
  • nervous system (vata vyadhi)
  • cardiovascular system (hrid roga)
  • urinary system (mutra roga)
  • reproductive system (shukra roga)
  • skin (kushtha)
  • eyes (netra roga)
  • ears (karna roga),
  • nose (nasa roga)
  • throat (kantha roga)
  • mouth (mukha roga)

Kayachikitsa also deals with chronic conditions such as diabetes (madhumeha), arthritis (amavata), obesity (sthula), hypertension (rakta vata), and mental disorders (manas roga).

Also Read:Ayurveda Treatment for Improving Overall Immunity and Disease Prevention?

How to Practice Kayachikitsa: All About BAMS

If you are interested in learning and practicing Kayachikitsa, you can enroll in a Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery (BAMS) course in Ayurveda colleges in Bhopal, or other parts of India. The BAMS program consists of three phases:

1. Pre-clinical phase: This phase lasts for one-and-a-half years and covers basic subjects such as Sanskrit, the history of Ayurveda, anatomy, physiology, pathology, pharmacology, and social medicine.

2. Clinical phase: This phase lasts for three years and covers clinical subjects such as internal medicine (kayachikitsa), surgery (shalya tantra), gynecology and obstetrics (prasuti tantra), pediatrics (kaumarabhritya), toxicology (agada tantra), geriatrics (rasayana tantra) and rejuvenation therapy (vajikarana tantra).

3. Internship phase: This phase lasts for one year and involves practical training in various departments of an Ayurvedic hospital under the supervision of experienced doctors.

For more details about the BAMS course refer to the table below.

Name Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery (BAMS)
Level Undergraduate
Duration 5 years 6 months
Examination Type Annual/Professional system
Eligibility Passed 10+2 with a minimum aggregate of 50%-60% and PCB as compulsory subjects
Admission Process Entrance Exam based
BAMS Course Fees INR 20,000 to INR 2,00,000
Average Salary INR 2,00,000-15,00,000
Top Recruiters Hospitals, Clinics, Life science industries, Pharmaceutical industries, Dispensaries, Colleges, etc.
Also Read:The Importance of Practical Training in BAMS Course

History of Kayachikitsa

Kayachikitsa is one of the oldest branches of Ayurveda treatment and it has a rich and diverse history. The earliest references to Kayachikitsa can be found in the Vedas, the sacred scriptures of Hinduism, dating back to more than 5000 years ago. These mention various diseases and their treatments using natural remedies and rituals.

The most important texts on Kayachikitsa that are taught even nowadays in Mansarovar Ayurvedic Medical College Bhopal are the Charaka Samhita and the Sushruta Samhita. These ancient repositories of knowledge were written by two eminent physicians, Charaka and Sushruta, around the 3rd century BCE. These texts contain detailed descriptions of various diseases and their causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment.

Principles of Kayachikitsa

Kayachikitsa treatment is based on a holistic approach that considers the individual as a whole, not just a collection of symptoms. It takes into account the physical, mental, and emotional aspects of the person, as well as their constitution (prakriti), environment (desha), age (kala), season (ritu) and lifestyle (ahara-vihara). Kayachikitsa follows four main principles:

  • Nidanam: This means finding out the root cause of the disease by examining the patient's history, symptoms, pulse, tongue, urine and stool.
  • Chikitsa: This means treating the disease by using appropriate methods such as diet, lifestyle, herbs, massage, yoga, meditation, and panchakarma.
  • Upashaya: This means observing the effects of the treatment on the patient's condition and making necessary adjustments if needed.
  • Nirodha: This means preventing the recurrence of the disease by maintaining a healthy lifestyle and following the rules of Ayurveda.

Benefits of Kayachikitsa

Kayachikitsa offers many benefits for the health and well-being of the individual. Some of them are:

  • It helps to cure various diseases and disorders by addressing their root causes and restoring the balance of the doshas.
  • It helps to prevent diseases by enhancing immunity and strengthening resistance to infections.
  • It helps to promote longevity by slowing down aging and rejuvenating the body and mind.
  • It helps to improve quality of life by enhancing physical, mental, and emotional health.
  • It helps to achieve harmony with nature by following natural laws and principles.

The Future of Kayachikitsa

Kayachikitsa has a bright future in the modern world as more people are becoming aware of its benefits and potential. Kaya chikitsa in Ayurveda can offer effective solutions for many health problems, complement conventional medicine, and contribute to global health by promoting wellness among diverse populations and cultures.


1. What is the importance of kayachikitsa in Ayurveda?

Kayachikitsa is important in the study of Ayurveda because it is a treatment system, from diagnosis to cure.

2. What is kayachikitsa used for?

Kayachikitsa is used in Ayurveda for everything from diagnosis to treatment and supporting a healthy lifestyle.

3. What are the basic principles of kayachikitsa?

The basic principles of kayachikitsa are Nidanam, Chikitsa, Upashaya, and Nirodha.

4. Can I study further after BAMS?

Yes. After completing the BAMS, you can practice as an Ayurvedic doctor or pursue higher studies such as MD or Ph.D. in Ayurveda. You can also specialize in any branch of Ayurveda such as Kayachikitsa by doing a postgraduate diploma or certificate course.