Season 1, chatroom 5

Ayurveda and Modern Science

Can the great divide between Ayurveda and modern science ever be bridged? We revisit a favorite episode in which we talk with Annamma Spudich, a cell and molecular biologist who has also studied Indian medical systems for years. This blend informs her unique perspectives, from the efficacy of black pepper at the molecular level to a folk practitioner whose prescription includes a medicinal plant collected by a naked man.

Time Markers (mins: sec)

  • 0:44 Benefits of daily spices decoction
    1:48 Annamma’s unique background
    2:57 Childhood surrounded by traditional practices
    3:42 “Pepper water” for a minor cold
    4:46 Black pepper at the molecular level
    5:35 Oil bath for aches and pains
    6:39 50 medicines derived from plants
    7:04 Outcome-based studies of natural remedies
    7:25 Traditional remedies for chronic conditions
    8:16 Factions of medical systems
    9:48 Outcome is wellness
    10:35 Molecular methods of measuring wellness
    11:27 Plant extract has many compounds
    12:22 Traditional medicine very different from classical methods
    13:44 Visiting Kerala ashtavaidya
    15:34 Visiting folk medical practitioner
    16:28 The plant to be collected by a naked man

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Reading List

Spudich, Annamma & Menon, Indudharan. (2014). On the integration of Ayurveda and biomedicine: Perspectives generated from interviews with Ashtavaidya Ayurveda physicians of Kerala. Current science. 106. 1500-1504.


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