Like other ancient traditions, Ayurveda was passed down orally and in the Vedas (philosophical writings) as early as 3,000 BCE. Ayurveda resembles Tibetan medicine and European medical practice that originated with the four “humors” of Hippocrates. They were: black bile aka melancholy (Greek: μέλαινα χολή, melaina chole), yellow bile choleric or angry (Greek: ξανθη χολή, xanthe chole), phlegm (Greek: φλέγμα, phlegma), and blood (Greek: αἷμα, haima). Each corresponded to one of the “traditional temperaments.”
In Ayurveda, these energies became wind, bile and phlegm (Vata, Pitta and Kapha).
Early Greek doctors/scholars were aware of medicinal traditions from Asia. The Christian Bible contains herbal advice, including herbs such as frankincense and myrrh, acacia, fig (Ficus carica), nard (Nardostachys jatamansi), hyssop (Origanum syriacum), balm of Gilead (Commiphora gileadensis) and mandrake (Mandragora officinarum.) Many Ayurvedic herbs and practices have been documented and shared throughout the world for thousands of years.