Ancient Indian Inventions Discoveries4 Mathematics Medicine
In the branch of Mathematics also the following discoveries took place:
1. Algebraic abbreviations: The mathematician Brahmagupta began the usage of abbreviations for unknowns by the 7th century. He employed abbreviations for multiple unknowns occurring in one complex problem. Brahmagupta also used abbreviations for square roots and cube roots.
2. Hindu: Arabic numeral system: The Hindu-Arabic numeral system had developed in India by the 6th century AD.
3. Numerical zero: The concept of zero as a number, and not merely a symbol for separation is attributed to India. In India, practical calculations were carried out using zero. In India, it was treated like any other number by the 9th century CE. This rule applied even in case of division.
4. Sign convention: Symbols, signs and mathematical notation were employed in an early form in India by the 6th century. This was when the mathematician-astronomer Aryabhatta recommended the use of letters to represent unknown quantities.
5. Trigonometric functions: The trigonometric functions sine and versine were adapted from the full-chord Greek version by the Indian mathematician, Aryabhata, in the late 5th century.
Medicine: Medical discoveries were as follows:
1. Ayurveda: Traditional system of medicine dates back to Iron Age India. It is still practiced today as a form of complementary and alternative medicine.
2. Cataract surgery: Cataract surgery was known to the Indian physician Sushruta around 6th century BCE. This surgery was performed with a special tool called the Jabamukhi Salaka. The Jabamukhi Salaka was a curved needle used to loosen the lens and push the cataract out of the field of vision.
The eye would later be soaked with warm butter and then bandaged. Greek philosophers and scientists traveled to India where these surgeries were performed by physicians. The removal of cataract by surgery was also introduced into China from India.
3. Inoculation and Variolation: The earliest record of inoculation and variolation for smallpox is found in 8th century India. Madhav wrote the Nidana, a 79-chapter book which lists diseases along with their causes, symptoms, and complications. In this book, there was also a special chapter on smallpox or masurika. Additionally, there was also a description of the method of inoculation to protect against smallpox.
4. Leprosy: Kearns & Nash in 2008 state that the first mention of leprosy was described in one of the Indian medical treatise. This medical treatise was called the Sushruta Samhita in the 6th century BCE. However, according to the Oxford Illustrated Companion to Medicine the mention of leprosy, as well as ritualistic cures for it, were described in the Atharva-veda (1500-1200 BCE). The Atharva-veda was written even before the Sushruta Samhita.
5. Plastic surgery: Plastic surgery was being carried out in India by 2000 BCE. The surgeon Sushruta contributed mainly to the field of Plastic and Cataract surgery.
6. Lithiasis treatment: The Sushruta Samhita provided the earliest operation for treating lithiasis, or the formations of stones in the body. The operation involved exposure and going up through the floor of the bladder.