Around 1500 BC, ayurveda’s fundamental and applied principles got organised and enunciated. Ayurveda traces its origins to the Vedas, Atharvaveda in particular, and is connected to Hindu religion. Atharvaveda (one of the four most ancient books of Indian knowledge, wisdom and culture) contains 114 hymns or formulations for the treatment of diseases. Ayurveda originated in and developed from these hymns. In this sense, ayurveda is considered by some to have divine origin. Indian medicine has a long history, and is one of the oldest organised systems of medicine. Its earliest concepts are set out in the sacred writings called the Vedas, especially in the metrical passages of the Atharvaveda, which may possibly date as far back as the 2nd millennium BC. According to a later writer, the system of medicine was received by a man named Dhanvantari from Brahma, and Dhanvantari was deified as the god of medicine. In later times his status was gradually reduced, until he was credited with having been an earthly king.

The Sushruta Samhita of Sushruta appeared during the 1st millennium BC. Dwivedi & Dwivedi (2007) – on the work of the surgeon Sushruta – write:
“The main vehicle of the transmission of knowledge during that period was by oral method. The language used was Sanskrit — the vedic language of that period (2000–500 BC). The most authentic compilation of his teachings and work is presently available in a treatise called Sushruta Samhita. This contains 184 chapters and description of 1,120 illnesses, 700 medicinal plants, 64 preparations from mineral sources and 57 preparations based on animal sources.”

Underwood & Rhodes (2008) hold that this early phase of traditional Indian medicine identified ‘fever (takman), cough, consumption, diarrhea, dropsy, abscesses, seizures, tumours, and skin diseases (including leprosy)’.reatment of complex ailments, including angina pectoris, diabetes, hypertension, and stones, also ensued during this period. Plastic surgery, cataract surgery, puncturing to release fluids in the abdomen, extraction of foreign elements, treatment of anal fistulas, treating fractures, amputations, cesarean sections, and stitching of wounds were known.The use of herbs and surgical instruments became widespread.

The Charaka Samhita text is arguably the principal classic reference. It gives emphasis to the triune nature of each person: body care, mental regulation, and spiritual/consciousness refinement.
Other early works of ayurveda include the Charaka Samhita, attributed to Charaka.The earliest surviving excavated written material which contains the works of Sushruta is the Bower Manuscript, dated to the 4th century AD. The Bower manuscript quotes directly from Sushruta and is of special interest to historians due to the presence of Indian medicine and its concepts in Central Asia. Vagbhata, the son of a senior doctor by the name of Simhagupta,also compiled his works on traditional medicine. Early ayurveda had a school of physicians and a school of surgeons. Tradition holds that the text Agnivesh tantra, written by the sage Agnivesh, a student of the sage Bharadwaja, influenced the writings of ayurveda.

The Chinese pilgrim Fa Hsien (ca. 337–422 AD) wrote about the health care system of the Gupta empire (320–550) and described the institutional approach of Indian medicine, also visible in the works of Charaka, who mentions a clinic and how it should be equipped.[27] Madhava (fl. 700), Sarngadhara (fl. 1300), and Bhavamisra (fl. 1500) compiled works on Indian medicine. The medical works of both Sushruta and Charaka were translated into the Arabic language during the Abbasid Caliphate (ca. 750). These Arabic works made their way into Europe via intermediaries. In Italy, the Branca family of Sicily and Gaspare Tagliacozzi (Bologna) became familiar with the techniques of Sushruta.

British physicians traveled to India to see rhinoplasty being performed by native methods.[29] Reports on Indian rhinoplasty were published in the Gentleman’s Magazine in 1794. Joseph Constantine Carpue spent 20 years in India studying local plastic surgery methods.Carpue was able to perform the first major surgery in the western world in 1815. Instruments described in the Sushruta Samhita were further modified in the Western World.