More than a thousand years after the advent of the Atharva Veda came the age of the Samhita
s (compendiums). Regarding the origin of the word Ayurveda, the term Ayurveda first appears in the Samhitas, the earliest recorded works on Indian medicine and health.
, Ayur means ‘pertaining to life’ and Veda ‘science’ or ‘wisdom’. For the purpose of specialization, this science was divided into eight sections – the Ashtanga. The age of compilation witnessed the production of immense amounts of classical medical literature.
The important works of this period were Susruta Samhita
, Kashyapa Samhita, Agnivesa Samhita, Bhela Samhita and so on. The Agnivesa Samhita, later redacted by Charaka
and the Susruta Samhita
revised by Nagarjuna
are considered to be masterpieces.