Deals with the treatment of diseases of head, ear, nose, eye and throat including their anatomy, physiology and pathology. This discipline finds a parallel in the modern disciplines of Ophthalmology, E.N.T. & Dentistry.
Shalakya tantra is one of the branches of asthang ayurveda specifically for the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of all the diseases occurring above the neck such as eyes, nose, ear, mouth and head. The father of Shalakya tantra was Nimi (king of videha). He got the knowledge of this science from lord Sun. The branches of shalakya tantra includes Nethrachikitsa (Ophthalmology), Karnachikitsa (otology), Nasachikitsa (rhinology), Mukharogachikita(oral hygiene, Dentistry and Laryngology), and Shirorogachikitsa(diseases of the cranium). This science uses a lots of ‘Shalaka’ which means probe which justifies the name Shalakya tantra. Shalakya tantra is also famous as Urdhwangchikitsa in south India.
Shalakya Tantra uses application of several methods and procedures for the cure of all the diseases of neck region. The scriptures of shalakya tantra can be found on the ancient texts of Sushrut Samhita, Charak Samhita and Ashtanga Hrudaya. There is a detailed description of treatments of several diseases like glaucoma, conjunctivitis, eye allergies, and cataract.
In sushruta samhita treatment for almost 72 types of disease related to the eyes has been discussed. Apart from that it has mentioned 25 disorders of ear, 18 disorders of nose, 11 disorders related to lips, 1 disease of the lymph glands, 23 disorders of the teeth, 6 disorders of the tongue, 8 disorders of the palate, 18 disorders of the throat-pharynx-larynx and 8 disorders of the oral cavity. These includes all the diseases of eyes including conjunctivitis, cataract, glaucoma, pterygium, dryness of eye, wax in ear, migraine and mouth ulcers etc. the structure of eyes has also been discussed in detail in shalakya tantra. The surgical methods of treatment of cataract and cosmetic surgery like rhinoplasty and auroplasty have also been mentioned here.
There are several common and chronic ailments in the upper part of head are often seen or experienced by us. Shalakya tantra provides a complete range of treatment methods for all the diseases related to ear, nose, eyes, mouth, throat and head.