Shalakya tantra (ENT, opthalmology)
This branch of ayurveda deals in details with the etiology, diagnosis, prognosis, prevention and treatment of diseases of head, ear, nose, eye and throat. The name of this branch was called Shalakya due to excessive use of ‘Shalaka’, which means a rod or probe. Though all the three main classics of ayurveda deals on this subject, Susruta Samhita describes more deeply about this branch. So much so that some of the classifications found in the Susruta Samhita are mot even traced by the modern medical science. It described five types of pterygium, and the prognosis it made about aveitis and glaucoma has not been improved since. In fact he is the first surgeon in medical history who systematically and elaborately dealt with anatomical structure of eye.
Susruta has discussed about 72 diseases of the eye. He has stipulated drug therapy for various types of conjunctivitis and glaucoma along with surgical procedures of the removal of cataract, pterygium, diseases of ear, nose and throat besides cosmetic surgery for traumatized nose and ear (rhinoplasty and auraplasty).
Apart from these complicated methods of treatment the three samhitas–Charaka, Susruta and Astanga Hridaya, recommended simple home remedies for minor problems like dryness of eye, migraine and mouth ulcers etc. which are being successfully administered even today.
Agada tantra (toxicology)
Agada tantra or Toxicology branch of ayurveda described about various methods of cleaning the poisons out of the body as well as recommends antidotes for particular poisons. It deals with a wide range of natural toxins originating from wild lives (animals, birds, insects etc.), plants/herbs (belladonna, aconite etc.), vegetables, minerals (leads, mercury, arsenal etc.) and artificial poisons prepared from poisonous drugs. This branch also deals with air and water pollution, which are basically the causes of various dangerous epidemics.
The three samhitas described about this branch of toxicology, which also include description, and disadvantages of food of opposite qualities, drugs and food causing chronic poisoning symptoms. In ayurveda certain poisons are used as medicines after proper processing and quantification. Precious stones like diamond, ruby and poisonous minerals like lead and mercury were in use for this purpose.
This branch also has information regarding fatal doses of various poisons, which are resorted to in a view to administer those into an enemy’s body system.
This branch of kaumarabhritya deals comprehensively about prenatal, postnatal baby care and gynecology. With the view to achieve its ultimate aim of creating a healthy and disease free society ayurveda strives to make the baby from the time of its conception upto the time of its growth into an adult.
Kaumarabhritya has recognized that the mental and physical state of the mother has direct links with the health of the child. It has recommended particular diet, regimen, nutrition and conduct for women during and after delivery. So advanced was this science that thousands of years back Charaka described the growth and progress of fetus in minute detail. Even it mentioned about a technique called punsanvan vidhi for having a child of one’s desired gender, intelligence and constitution. This branch meticulously dealt with the problem of infertility–its causes and treatment methods.
Apart from that kaumarbhritya deals with various disorders concerning children’s health such as gastrointestinal diseases, teething disorder, rickets other than midwifery.