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Ayurveda

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Ayurveda

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  1. Ayurveda Carli Hill

  2. Objectives • Introduction to Ayurveda • Tridosha theory • Reported benefits • Reasons for caution • Current Research • Conclusions

  3. Introduction to Ayurveda • Comprehensive system that places equal emphasis on the body, mind and spirit, and it strives to restore the innate harmony of the individual • Ayurveda is the combination of two Sanskrit words • “ayu” meaning long life • “ved” meaning knowledge • “Knowledge or science of life”

  4. Practiced in India for over 5000 years • Covers all medical fields • Diagnosis done by observation, touch, and questioning • Four components to disease management • Physician, Drug, Patient, Attendant (such as a nurse)

  5. Clinical exam includes • Pulse diagnosis • Urine examination • Stool examination • Tongue examination • Examination of body sounds • Eye examination • Skin examination • Assessment of total body appearance

  6. Treatment has four main parts • Shodan – cleansing • Shaman – palliation • Rasayan – rejuvenation • Satwajaya – mental nurturing and spiritual healing

  7. Tridosha Theory • Three energies/doshas • Pitta – digestion, metabolism, emotions • Kapha – lubrication, structure, synthesis • Vata – movement, physical and mental function, degeneration • Individualized combination/ratio of the three doshas

  8. Imbalance in the doshas is the main cause of disease or poor health

  9. Reported Benefits • Slowing the aging process • Promoting health of all the organs of the body • Reducing fatigue and stress • Nurturing the body with proper diet • Healing disorders of the nervous system

  10. Caution • Herbal/metal/mineral Ayurvedic treatments • Safety dependent on following a complex procedure • Many include heavy metals such as mercury, lead, and arsenic • 1 in 5 herbal products produced in South Asia have toxic levels • Reports of lead poisoning

  11. A biostatistical approach to Ayurveda: quantifying the Tridosha. Joshi R. J Altern Comp Med. 2004;10;5;879-889. • Objective – create an equation to quantify the three doshas • Methods • 280 subjects • Add worth-coefficients to dosha characteristics • Individual doshas predicted using equation • Predictions compared to qualitative diagnosis • Results – equation predicted correct dosha over 90%

  12. Hypothalamic digoxin, hemispheric chemical dominance, and the tridosha theory. Kurup R, Kurup P. Intern J Neuroscience. 2003;113:657-681. • Objectives • Show that the three doshas represent different states of hemispheric dominance • Show how hemispheric dominance relates to certain disease and psychological states • Methods • 90 individuals aged 20-30 years divided into six groups • Right hemispheric dominance, left hemispheric dominance, and bihemispheric dominance • The three doshas – vata, pitta, kapha

  13. Six factors were assessed in the individuals in each group • The isoprenoid pathway – HMG CoA reductase, serum digoxin, dolichol and ubiquinone • RBC Na+-K+ ATPase activity and serum magnesium • Neurotransmitter patterns – tryptophan, serotonin, dopamine, noradrenaline, tyrosine, quinolinic acid, strychnine, nicotine, and morphine

  14. Factors continued • Serum lysosomal enzymes, total glycos-aminoglycans (GAG) and different GAG fractions, glycolipids, and carbohydrate residues of glycoproteins • Free radicals and scavenging enzymes • RBC membrane composition • Serum digoxin and RBC Na+-K+ ATPase activity assessed in several disease states and psychiatric conditions (15 cases or individuals per condition) to find a correlation between tridosha and disease

  15. Conclusions • Correlation between tridosha and hemispheric chemical dominance • Link between doshas and predisposition to diseases and psychological states

  16. Classification of human population based on Ayurvedic concept of Prakriti. Patwardhan B, Joshi K, Chopra A. J Altern Comp Med. 2005;11:349-353. • Objective – assess relationship between prakriti and phenotype in a healthy population • Methods • 76 subjects • DNA extracted and genes typed • Prakriti assessed • Results – frequency of certain alleles associated with vata and kapha, but pitta had no significant association with any alleles • Conclusion – correlation found, but need larger sample size

  17. Conclusions • Evidence supporting/validating the tridosha theory of Ayurveda looks promising • More research needs to be done to gather a larger body of evidence • Additional research needs to be conducted in the area of Ayurvedic herbs • Biochemical, pharmacological, and toxological especially

  18. Online Resources • Seattle’s Ayurvedic acadamy and clinic: http://www.ayurvedaonline.com/ • Ayurvedic Institute: http://www.ayurveda.com

  19. Questions?