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Ayurveda (/ˌɑːjʊərˈvdə, -ˈv-/)[1] is an alternative medicine system from the Indian subcontinent.[2] Ayurveda is [pseudoscientific].[3][4][5] The Indian Medical Association (IMA) says the practice of modern medicine by Ayurveda is quackery.[6] Ayurvedic texts say, the gods of Hindu mythology gave medical knowledge to legendary Hindu philosophers, who then gave the knowledge to human physicians.[7] The word "ayurveda" is from the Sanskrit: आयुर्वेद, Āyurveda, and means knowledge of life and longevity.[8]

Ayurveda therapies have varied and evolved over more than two millennia.Therapies include herbal medicines, special diets, meditation, yoga, massage, laxatives, enemas, and medical oils.[9] Medicines are typically based on complex herbal compounds, minerals, and metal substances (perhaps under the influence of early Indian alchemy or rasa shastra). Ancient Ayurveda texts also taught surgical techniques, including rhinoplasty, kidney stone extractions, sutures, and the extraction of foreign objects.[10][11]

In Ayurveda, the story is that Dhanvantari, the Hindu god of Ayurveda, made himself into a human king by incarnation. He was king of Varanasi, and taught Ayurvedic medicine to a group of physicians. One of these physicians, named Sushruta, wrote the Sushruta Samhita (Sushruta's Compendium), an Ayurvedic text that has this story in it.[12][13]

Most Ayurvedic therapies are made from chemical compounds taken from plants, from minerals, and from metals. In ancient India, Ayurvedic texts gave explanations for surgeries and for the stitching of wounds to help wound healing. The ancient Indians knew how to take out kidney stones and how to do rhinoplasty (plastic surgery for the nose).[10][14] People have used many different Ayurvedic therapies through the history of India. Ayurveda has changed for more than two thousand years.[2] In the 1970s and 1980s, Ayurveda also changed for consumption in the Western world.

Some people say Ayurveda comes from Prehistory.[15][16] Some ideas in Ayurveda may have been in existence at the time of the Indus Valley civilization, during the Bronze Age in India.[17] During the Vedic period, Ayurveda went through many developments. Outside the tradition of the Vedas, Buddhism and Jainism also shared some ideas with the Ayurvedic texts from ancient India.[17] By around two thousand years ago, Ayurveda had developed some of its ideas for surgery and drugs.[18]

There is no good evidence that works or helps for any disease.[19] Some Ayurvedic products have lead, mercury, and arsenic in them.[20] In 2008, nearly 21% of Ayurvedic products sold on the internet and made in India and the United States had in them lead, mercury, and arsenic (heavy metals) in quantities that are toxic.[21] There may be public health dangers that result from this, but that is not known.[21]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Ayurveda". Oxford University Press. Archived from the original on 2018-06-12. Retrieved 2021-03-24.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Meulenbeld, Gerrit Jan (1999). "Introduction". A History of Indian Medical Literature. Groningen: Egbert Forsten. ISBN 978-90-6980-124-7.
  3. Kaufman, Allison B.; Kaufman, James C., eds. (2018). Pseudoscience: The Conspiracy Against Science. MIT Press. p. 293. ISBN 978-0-262-03742-6. Ayurveda, a traditional Indian medicine, is the subject of more than a dozen, with some of these "scholarly" journals devoted to Ayurveda alone..., others to Ayurveda and some other pseudoscience...IMA(a private organisation of Allopathic doctors)afraid of Ayurveda.so they popularise this great science as a pseudoscience.Allopathic stream is controlled by multinational drug companies and their medicines are full of side effects.Most current Ayurveda research can be classified as "tooth fairy science," research that accepts as its premise something not scientifically known to exist....Ayurveda is a long-standing system of beliefs and traditions, but its claimed effects have not been scientifically proven. Most Ayurveda researchers might as well be studying the tooth fairy. The German publisher Wolters Kluwer bought the Indian open-access publisher Medknow in 2011....It acquired its entire fleet of journals, including those devoted to pseudoscience topics such as An International Quarterly Journal of Research in Ayurveda.
  4. Semple D, Smyth R (2019). Chapter 1: Thinking about psychiatry (4th ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 24. doi:10.1093/med/9780198795551.003.0001. ISBN 978-0-19-879555-1. These pseudoscientific theories may...confuse metaphysical with empirical claims (e.g....Ayurvedic medicine) {{cite book}}: |work= ignored (help) (subscription required)
  5. Quack, Johannes (2011). Disenchanting India: Organized Rationalism and Criticism of Religion in India. Oxford University Press. pp. 213, 3. ISBN 978-0-19-981260-8. ordinary members told me how they practice some of these pseudosciences, either privately or as certified doctors themselves, most often Ayurveda.
  6. "IMA Anti Quackery Wing". Indian Medical Association. The purpose of this compendium of court orders and various rules and regulations is to acquaint doctors regarding specific provisions and orders barring quackery by unqualified people, practitioners of Indian & Integrated Medicine to practice Modern Medicine.
  7. Zysk, Kenneth G. (1999). "Mythology and the Brāhmaṇization of Indian medicine: Transforming Heterodoxy into Orthodoxy". In Josephson, Folke (ed.). Categorisation and Interpretation. Meijerbergs institut för svensk etymologisk forskning, Göteborgs universitet. pp. 125–145. ISBN 978-91-630-7978-8.
  8. Gregory P. Fields (2001). Religious Therapeutics: Body and Health in Yoga, Ayurveda, and Tantra. SUNY Press. p. 36. ISBN 978-0-7914-4915-8.
  9. "Ayurvedic medicine | Complementary and alternative therapy | Cancer Research UK". www.cancerresearchuk.org. Retrieved 2021-03-26.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Wujastyk 2003a.
  11. Mukhopadhyaya, Girindranath (1913). The Surgical Instruments of the Hindus, with a Comparative Study of the Surgical Instruments of the Greek, Roman, Arab, and the Modern European Surgeons. Calcutta: Calcutta University. Retrieved 16 October 2015.
  12. Bhishagratna, Kaviraj Kunjalal (1907). An English Translation of the Sushruta Samhita Based on Original Sanskrit text. Calcutta: K. K. Bhishagratna. p. 1. Retrieved 16 October 2015.
  13. "Dhanvantari | Hindu mythology". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2021-03-24.
  14. Mukhopadhyaya, Girindranath (1913). The Surgical Instruments of the Hindus, with a Comparative Study of the Surgical Instruments of the Greek, Roman, Arab, and the Modern European Surgeons. Calcutta: Calcutta University. Retrieved 16 October 2015.
  15. Dinesh Kumar Tyagi (2005). Pharma Forestry A Field Guide To Medicinal Plants. Atlantic Publishers. p. 34. Ayurveda, the organised and classic system of traditional medicine had known to the Indians from prehistoric times.
  16. Hansch, Corwin; Sammes, Peter George; Kennewell, Peter D.; John Bodenhan Taylor (1990). Comprehensive medicinal chemistry: the rational design, mechanistic study & therapeutic application of chemical compounds. Pergamon Press. p. 114. The origin of Ayurveda is lost in antiquity. As was the case with many branches of human knowledge in prehistoric times, Ayurveda developed in close association with religion and mythology.
  17. 17.0 17.1 Pankaj Gupta; Vijay Kumar Sharma; Sushma Sharma (2014). Healing Traditions of the Northwestern Himalayas. Springer. p. 23. ISBN 978-81-322-1925-5.
  18. Sharma, Priya Vrat (1992). History of Medicine in India. New Delhi: Indian National Science Academy.
  19. "Ayurvedic medicine". Cancer Research UK. 3 December 2018. There is no scientific evidence to prove that Ayurvedic medicine can treat or cure cancer, or any other disease.
  20. "Is Ayurveda treatment approved in the U.S?". WebMD.
  21. 21.0 21.1 Saper RB; Phillips RS; et al. (2008). "Lead, mercury, and arsenic in US- and Indian-manufactured medicines sold via the internet". JAMA. 300 (8): 915–923. doi:10.1001/jama.300.8.915. PMC 2755247. PMID 18728265.

Cited references[change | change source]