Ayurveda the traditional medicine of India has been prevalent in this region since time immemorial. It contains the summum bonum of knowledge regarding diseases and their cures. It is now being adopted and recognised all over the world and more and more people are beginning to realise its worth. It is so complete and comprehensive a science in itself that it is often regarded as the Fifth Veda.
Hoernle took keen interest in the study of several Indological subject. His work on the Bower manuscript was of great importance. It was during this period of research that he came across some very useful ancient literature on Ayurveda the original of which was not available. He became interested in this field and composed the present work in 1907 on the basis of extant works.
Hoernle’s work on osteology or the bones of the human body should be studied keeping in view the fact that knowledge of surgery declined and gradually disappeared among Ayurveda practitioners following the death of Lord Buddha as a result of a surgical operation. Surgery came to be considered as a form of violence against humanity which was thus disearded and even prohibited.
Hoernle has taken great pains to critically scrutinise information from classics then available. The scholarship of the author is evident on every page of this monumental work.