Ayurveda ('science of life') is a system of traditional medicine native to India and practiced in other parts of the world as a form of alternative medicine. In Sanskrit, the word Ayurveda consists of the words Äyus, meaning 'life', and veda, meaning 'related to knowledge' or 'science'. 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.