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Exploring Ayurvedic knowledge on food and health for providing innovative solutions to contemporary healthcare

By Unnikrishnan ePayyappallimana, Unnikrishnan ePayyappallimana and Padmavathy eVenkatasubramanian

Abstract

Ayurveda, a traditional system of medicine that originated over 3 millennia ago in the South Asian region, offers extensive insights about food and health based on certain unique conceptual as well as theoretical positions. Health is defined as a state of equilibrium with one self (svasthya) but which is inextricably linked to the environment. Ayurvedic principles like the tridosha (three humours) theory provide the relationship between the microcosm and the macrocosm that can be applied in day to day practice. Classical Ayurveda texts cover an array of themes on food ranging from diversity of natural sources, their properties in relation to seasons and places and to their specific function both in physiological and pathological states. The epistemic perspective on health and nutrition in Ayurveda is very different from that of biomedicine and modern nutrition. However, contemporary knowledge is reinventing and advancing several of these concepts in an era of systems biology, personalized medicine, and the broader context of a more holistic transition in sciences in general. Trans-disciplinary research could be important not only for pushing the boundaries of food and health sciences but also for providing practical solutions for contemporary health conditions. This article briefly reviews the parallels in Ayurveda and biomedicine and draws attention to the need for a deeper engagement with traditional knowledge systems like Ayurveda. It points out that recreation of the methodologies that enabled the holistic view point about health in Ayurveda may unravel some of the complex connections with Nature

Topics: system biology, Ayurveda, Food and Health, trans-disciplinary research, ayurbiology, Public aspects of medicine, RA1-1270
Publisher: Frontiers Media S.A.
Year: 2016
DOI identifier: 10.3389/fpubh.2016.00057
OAI identifier: oai:doaj.org/article:4913502833804cdf91e4e5edbcbe5b86
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