11th November 2014
Debunking Ayurveda – some of which is seriously harmful
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Any genuine benefits of ancient Indian medicines have long been included in the repository of knowledge known as modern medicine. Whatever remains is extremely questionable. Ideas such as 'doshas' are particularly baseless.
If there was ANY genuine scientific basis in ayurveda, India's longevity would have been the highest in the world before modern science was brought to India. Instead, Indians could expect to live to a max of 30 years or less even as late as in 1947.
Yes, massage is good, yoga is good, turmeric is good. But that's not ayurveda.
In any event, there is nothing called "Western" medicine. Only medicine. I disagree that anything which is unproven and untested should be supported by government funds. Let private charities do so, but not taxpayers.
First, what is Ayurveda:
Ayurveda and Pharmaceutics – a historical perspective, by Dr P.V. Ranganayakulu (PDF)
My blog posts on this topic
Dr Nirmal Surya, a neurologist at Bombay Hospital, said, “One patient, who was well educated, came to me with complaints of depression and memory loss. This patient had a habit of using ayurvedic medicines. We sent his blood sample to the Indian Institute of Environmental Medicine, which detected abnormal levels of lead, copper, gold, arsenic and mercury in it. The mercury present probably caused the depression and memory loss.”
One in five Ayurvedic medicines commonly used by followers of the ancient Indian health philosophy were found to contain the metallic poisons lead, mercury or arsenic, researchers said on Tuesday.
The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine published the findings of a study of heavy metals in Ayurvedic preparations in the "Journal of the American Medical Association" in 2004. Out of the 70 widely available Ayurvedic medicines tested, 14 contained harmful levels of lead, mercury or arsenic. These toxic ingredients can cause severe gastrointestinal side effects or even poisoning.
Use Caution With Ayurvedic Products [US FDA]
Banyan Botanicals Warning Letter [US FDA]
Bazaar Of India Warning Letter [US FDA]
Deepak Chopra and Maharishi Ayurvedic Medicine [The fraud that is Chopra]
The cost of complementary and alternative therapies [There is no scientific evidence that any alternative therapy works]