Buddhism has contributed a great deal to the development of Ayurveda. A new branch of medicine based on mercury was innovated by Nagarjuna while practicing alchemy. Vagbhata another noted buddhist physician wrote Astanga Sangraha, Ashtanga Hridaya and Ras Ratna Samucchaya.The last work viz., Ras Ratna Samuchaya exclusively deals with the processing of mercury, minerals, metals, gems and poisonous materials to render useful for therapeutic purposes. Some of the work of Vagbhata specially Ashtanga Hridaya was translated in Tibetan language forming the very base of Tibetan system of medicine "Sowa rig Pa" which is recentely recognised by the Govt. of India due to its wide practice in Sikkim,Leh and Dharmashala.
With the spread of Buddhism, the temples became the institutes of higher studies. They were gradually converted to universities. Amongst these universities Takshasila, Kasi, Nalanda have earned fame. The best account of the universities is furnished by the two Chinese pilgrims to India. Yuan Chwang who traveled in India for 16 years ie. 629 to 645 A.D. spent 5 years at Alana University. It Sang spent 10 years (675 to 685 AD.). Taxila University flourished during 7th century BC. Historians claim that students from foreign countries like Babylonia, Misra (Egypt), Syria, Arabia, China and Greece came to learn philosophy and medicine in Indian Universities, which flourished from 450 AD to 12th century AD.