Ayurveda is a system of traditional medicine native to the Indian Subcontinent and practiced in other parts of the world as a form of alternative medicine. In Sanskrit, the word Ayurveda consists of the words ayus, meaning 'life', and veda, meaning 'related to knowledge' or 'science'. Evolving throughout its history, Ayurveda remains an influential system of medicine in South Asia. The earliest literature of Ayurveda appeared during the Vedic period in India. The Sushruta Samhita and the Charaka Samhita were influential works on traditional medicine during this era. Ayurvedic practitioners also identified a number of medicinal preparations and surgical procedures for curing various ailments and diseases.
Ayurveda is considered to be a form of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) within the western world, where several of its methods, such as the use of herbs, massage, and Yoga as exercise or alternative medicine, are applied on their own as a form of CAM treatment.