Shalya Tantra is a significant branch of ayurveda
, dealing with surgery. The name of the sage-physician Sushruta
is synonymous with surgery. From the
, it is clear that sophisticated methods of surgery were in vogue in India, thousands of years ago. Shalya tantra means removal of an irritating factor from the human body. Shalya refers to the irritating factor, and tantra means technique by which this cause /factor is removed. The surgical instruments were derived from natural substances like branches of trees, broad leaves and such things. The major drawback of Shalya tantra was the lack of proper anti septic precautions at that time. Moreover, the instruments in use were crude and they induced pain.
Shalya Tantra became popular as it could give fast relief when compared to the slow process of recovery from medicines or herbs. Charaka, the best-known physician of ayurvedic medicine, also recommended Shalya Tantra in treating certain diseases, which required immediate attention like hemorrhoids.