Modern and Global Ayurveda

Pluralism and Paradigms

Edited by Dagmar Wujastyk & Frederick M. Smith

Subjects: Asian Studies, Hindu Studies, New Age, India And South Asian Studies, Medical Anthropology
Paperback : 9780791474907, 363 pages, July 2008
Hardcover : 9780791474891, 363 pages, July 2008

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Table of contents

Elizabeth De Michelis


 1. Introduction
Frederick M. Smith and Dagmar Wujastyk

 2. Plural Medicine and East-West Dialogue
Mike Saks

 3. The Evolution of Indian Government Policy on Ayurveda in the Twentieth Century
Dominik Wujastyk

 4. Divorcing Ayurveda: Siddha Medicine and the Quest for Uniqueness
Richard S. Weiss

 5. Ayurveda and the Making of the Urban Middle Class in North India, 1900-1945
Rachel Berger

 6. The Ayurvedic Diaspora: A Personal Account
Robert E. Svoboda

 7. An Overview of The Education and Practice of Global Ayurveda
Claudia Welch

 8. Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia Databases in the Context of the Revitalization of Traditional Medicine
Unnikrishnan Payyappallimana

 9. The Woes of Ojas in the Modern World
G. Jan Meulenbeld

10. Ayurveda and Sexuality: Sex Therapy and the "Paradox of Virility"
Joseph S. Alter

11. Ayurveda in Modern India: Standardization and Pharmaceuticalization
Madhulika Banerjee

12. Practicing Ayurveda in the United Kingdom: A Time of Challenges and Opportunities
Sebastian Pole

13. Cultural Loss and Remembrance in Contemporary Ayurvedic Medical Practice
Manasi Tirodkar

14. Practicing Ayurveda in the Western World: A Case Study from Germany
Ananda Samir Chopra

15. Ayurvedic Medicine in Britain and the Epistemology of Practicing Medicine in "Good Faith"
Suzanne Newcombe

16. Maharishi Ayur-Ved: A Controversial Model of Global Ayurveda
Françoise Jeannotat

17. Maharishi Ayur-Veda™: Perfect Health™ through Enlightened Marketing in America
Cynthia Ann Humes

About the Contributors

A comprehensive overview of Ayurveda.


Modern and Global Ayurveda provides an overview of the relatively recent history of Ayurveda in its modern and globalized forms. One of the traditional medical systems originating on the Indian subcontinent, Ayurveda is fast becoming a transnational phenomenon. Contributors to this volume include both scholars and practitioners of Ayurveda. The wide range of perspectives they offer include the philosophical, anthropological, sociopolitical, economic, biomedical, and pharmacological. Issues such as the ideological clashes between "classical" and "modernized" Ayurveda, the "export" of Ayurvedic medical lore to Western countries, and the possible "reimport" of its adapted and reinterpreted contents are covered and prove particularly relevant to contemporary discussion on the integration of complementary and alternative health care.

Dagmar Wujastyk is an independent scholar pursuing her PhD in Indology at Bonn University, Germany. Frederick M. Smith is Professor of Sanskrit and Classical Indian Religions at the University of Iowa and the author of The Vedic Sacrifice in Transition: A Translation and Study of the Trikāṇḍamaṇḍana of Bhāskara Miśra.


"…closes a gap in Indological, historical and sociological research. It is recommended to every reader who intends to inform himself about modern trends in Ayurveda in a scientifically reliable way. " — Traditional South Asian Medicine

"…an excellent compendium, presenting a lucid picture of the non-homogenous nature of the Ayurvedic medical system. Its research and analysis of the modernization and globalization of Ayurveda sheds new light; it emphasizes a development paradigm as a form of innovative sustainable opportunity in modern Ayurvedic healthcare practice in the contemporary world. The book will be of great importance to students and researchers in the fields of medical anthropology and Ayurvedic studies alike. " — Asian Anthropology

"A valuable and illuminating collection of essays examining how Ayurveda, India's ancient indigenous medical system, has become a 'transnational and multicultural phenomenon' … The book covers a lot of territory. " — Religious Studies Review

"…[a] superb collection … This book has broad interdisciplinary appeal … for courses in medical anthropology, medical history, religious studies, globalization studies, bioethics, and public health. " — Bulletin of the History of Medicine

"This is the first scholarly publication that has as its focus the link between the practice, regulation and representation of Ayurveda in India and the Ayurvedic diaspora in the United States and Western Europe … Its multidisciplinary character makes the book unique. " — Medische Antropologie

"This book is a really good overview of contemporary Ayurveda: the colonial transformations; the formation of Ayurvedic colleges, institutes, and associations in response to the allopathic influence; the capitalist and global marketing procedures that affect the packaging and distribution of Ayurvedic pharmaceuticals; the global outreach into Europe; and the impact of Ayurveda on New Age religion and thought with a special focus on Maharishi Ayurveda. " — Gananath Obeyesekere, author of Cannibal Talk: The Man-Eating Myth and Human Sacrifice in the South Seas