Paging Dr. Ayurveda: Debunking Yoga Quackery. ~ Molly McCollum

Via elephant journal
on Oct 11, 2012
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It’s that time of year again, elephants.

The “doctors” and “clinicians” and “healers” of the Ayurvedic mumbo-jumbo world once again crawl out of their nests to offer us bogus, unscientific, untested and non-FDA-approved cures for our sniffles and post-summer depression.

Ah, yoga.

For those of you who are blissfully ignorant to this particular branch of quackery, here it is in a nutshell: it is the reason Deepak Chopra is a millionaire. It is also an ancient Indian healing system theorizing that your body’s functions are regulated by doshas, or physiological principles named vata, pitta and kapha.

These doshas work much in the same way astrological signs do, in that there are personality types associated with them as well as body types. They are analogous to the four “humors” of ancient Greece and Rome: yellow bile, black bile, phlegm and blood. Just like the humors, if any of your doshas are “unbalanced,” you will contract disease or diarrhea or lose your mindfulness.

Or something.

If it’s true then, that your entire body’s well-being and therefore your life depends on the balance or imbalance of three ambiguous “principles,” you’d better gosh-darn know what your doshas look like, am I right? Right!

After filling out a very scientific Cosmo-style quiz on Chopra’s website, in which I was asked such relevant questions as “Do you have a penetrating gaze?” “Are you lively and enthusiastic by nature?” and “Is your hair thick and abundant?”, (in case you’re wondering, my gaze is penetrating and yes, I do have a thick and abundant mane), I was presented with my dosha profile:

“You exhibit nearly equal characteristics of pitta and vata, making you bi-doshic.”

Bi-doshic! Don’t tell my mom.

We then move on to the second part of the quiz. “Have your bowels been loose?” “Have spicy foods been agreeing with you?” and “Have you been holding on to extra pounds?”

This part, of course, functions to convince the worried test-taker that his or her unique individual physical needs are being considered, and whatever happens when he or she hits “submit” will doubtless be scientific and accurate and founded in medicine.

My results told me that I need to drink more tea, paint my walls earth tones and, of course, consult an Ayurvedic physician, (that’s “physician”) for more healing.

Perhaps you’re not feeling quite so confident in Ayurvedic medicine now.

Or perhaps you’re simply casting a blind eye to the fact that it is essentially another form of the discredited Greek and Roman nonsense that informed medieval medicine, (that’s “medicine”). Before you hand over your paycheck to Dr. Ayurveda, know these facts first:

1. In 2003, a survey of Ayurvedic herbal products sold in Boston-area stores found that a whopping 20 percent contained concentrations of lead, mercury and/or arsenic. Thirty-five to forty percent of medicines in the Ayurvedic formulary contain at least one metal, and the amounts of these metals are not regulated by any governing body. The authors of this survey explicitly noted that users of Ayurvedic medicines may be at risk for heavy metal toxicity.

2. In order to call oneself an “Ayurvedic practitioner,” one must enroll in a two-year program, many of these offered at ashrams. To call oneself an “Ayurvedic doctor”—and thus be referred to as Dr. Smith, Dr. Jones, etc.—one must enroll in a four-year program, for which the only entry qualifications are college-level biology and anatomy. The book list for these programs contains titles such as Loving-Kindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness, The Rainbow Bridge, Botany in a Day and The Ayurvedic Cookbook. Nothing remotely related to organic chemistry, physics, genetics, neuroscience or any other discipline so critical to responsible medicine.

I get it.

Your yoga teachers preach Ayurveda at you all day long, and taking some concoction with the word “grass” or “root” in it sure does sound safer than the pills Pfizer puts out. It may be that whatever Dr. Ayurveda prescribed, or recommended is actually working and you feel much better, but we’ll leave placebos for another day.


Molly is a medical researcher, enormous science geek, and habitual know-it-all residing and teaching yoga in Brooklyn, New York. Information about her “yoga for atheists” classes can be found at here.




Editor: Thaddeus Haas

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62 Responses to “Paging Dr. Ayurveda: Debunking Yoga Quackery. ~ Molly McCollum”

  1. greateacher says:

    exhale, breathe, inhale, exhale… one bitter, sardonic article does not carry the entire truth nor represent all of anything.
    Readers, use your judgment and common sense regarding health, who to believe and how you choose to care for yourself. Your common sense will guide you to research any health practice or practitioner, as well as sarcastic debunking we read here.

  2. Molly says:

    Yes! Please use your common sense! That is exactly what I was trying to say here. Thank you for reiterating my point, greateacher.

    -Bitter and Sardonic in Brooklyn

  3. Thaddeus1 says:

    I tend to appreciate my "debunking" with more of an actual argument rather than just a simplistic, uninformed opinion, but hey, to each her own. I am glad to see though that our science and medical education system is not skimping on their critical thought component.

    • greateacher says:

      Thaddeus, were you her editor? How did you decide to let her article be printed?

      • Molly says:

        I believe Thaddeus "allowed" my article to be printed because elephant journal is open to discussion of all opinions, not just yours. Don't you think there is value in lively and intelligent debate?

      • Thaddeus1 says:

        To answer your question. I am an apprentice volunteer editor for elephant journal. The articles which are sent to me have already been accepted by the editorial staff. My job is to edit for structure, not content and to format them for publication. In this role, I don't have any opinion or say about what the article is saying. In this regard, the comments I make in this section are my own personal opinion and not those of elephant journal. This is personal. The editing is professional.

        • greateacher says:

          thank you. However, in the business of edditting and being a person.. some murky areas may arise. Ive had the experience of reading some articles which I felt should not be printed- one in particular- due its nature of holding much inflamatory and potentially slanderous words.. I corresponded with the editor who said it was going to remain. Well, many people commented on it and the author took some to task.. Ultimately that article was removed and also removed from the authors website.

          Editors' decisions do not always remain firm. I am not saying that this is at such an extreme, however.. EJ has a policy about comments which allows people to report comments and have them removed. This author's attitude and butting into this question to you displays an attitude of entitlement and proprietariousness.. which is over the top and to me discredits her writings.

  4. Molly says:

    Ah yes, the ol' "Science is just your opinion!"

    Now there is an actual argument!

    -Simplistic and Uninformed

    • Thaddeus1 says:

      Now, come on…You would be hard pressed to find that assertion in my comment. But, seriously, you're comparing apples and oranges here and acting if science is God's honest truth. There is more than one way to skin a cat and there is definitely more than one way to approach illness.

      I suppose all the studies which show the effectiveness of TCM, which is a historical off-shoot of Ayurveda, are just bogus. Or perhaps, you are unfamiliar with them.

      • Molly says:

        Whatever our views may be, I think we can all agree that your use of the phrase "…acting if science is God's honest truth" is ironic and at least a little bit humorous, right?

        There is certainly more than one way to approach illness; I just don't believe that your way is effective. Disagreement leads to further research and consideration, so there's no harm in us having differing ideas about medicine.

        • Thaddeus1 says:

          Well, I think it's fair to say, you don't know the first thing about "my" way. And, yes, I agree there is no harm in disagreement, to the extent that this disagreement is predicated on professionalism, reason and accurate information. I essentially find all three of these missing from your piece.

          The tone is sarcastic and dismissive. The argument structure is completely lacking, amounting to little more than an uncitied study and your own personal biases. Finally, you present ayurveda in an overly simplistic, straw man way thus not even actually dealing with this ancient structure of knowledge on the grounds that it doesn't accord with your vision of medicine.

          For such a lover of science, it seems you would have a greater appreciation for the humility that accompanies most scientific inquiries.

  5. Pankaj Seth says:

    Some interesting links… (Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences, India)

    Ayurvedic source texts: (one of the original places of Vedic learning, to which persons from all over the world came to study, including studying Ayurveda)

    BTW, it is not necessary for medicines to be of Indian origin for them to be used in the Ayurvedic clinical context.

    Next, the doshas are not 'things', but part of a language structure which frames the human condition with high regard for individuality.

  6. Molly says:

    Indulge me! I would love to read a methodologically sound, peer-reviewed study proving the effectiveness of TCM. Thank you in advance.

    • Thaddeus1 says:

      As a medical researcher, perhaps you should do some digging on your own. But to save you the time, I might suggest "The Web that has no Weaver" wherein in Appendix E you will find no less than 36 pages of clinical studies regarding the effectiveness of acupuncture. This should give you a place to start.

  7. greateacher says:

    Molly, you are way too stuck on your own self and opinions. I am appalled at you rlack of professionalism by your mocking signature to my iniital comment. You may be sardonic, sarcastic, ill-informed and egotistical.. elephant journal let you print this. PLEASE stop telling off every reader for their comments, opinions and information. it is nOT you, right, against the entire world of us, wrong.

    • Molly says:

      Just a little levity, greateacher. No need for you to be offended. I am the only one being derided here 🙂

    • DaveTelf says:

      imho, O greateacher, every one of your comments reeks of pompous self-importance, so it is not surprising that that is what you criticize Molly for.

      there is a plethora of articles on EJ uncritically praising the virtues of ayurveda. the fact that I adhere to its principles (except for my constant crimes against wisdom) does not interfere with my appreciation of Molly's call for skepticism.

      You clearly take offense at her tone, but don't hesitate to condescend in response. She is allowed (encouraged, even) to be an active participant in the comments section on her own article. It is an open forum. Seems to me you would benefit from some more breathing, the way you began.

  8. greateacher says:

    You wrote and submitted a sarcastic article. You made the choice of subject and tone. My first comment sums it all up- use common sense and good judgment. I do not think you do regarding style, tone or continued sarcasm.

  9. GREAT ! You convey the impression as if you have an implausible knowledge on it and its your gratefulness for giving out and imparting your knowledge and blog with others.

    Ayurvedic Treatments

  10. __MikeG__ says:

    You posted this on the wrong forum. I truly wish there were more articles like this on EJ.

    You call for peer reviewed research and the only links the ayurveda apologists can provide are for wikipedia and biased studies by persons who make their money from ayureveda.

    BTW, persons who complain about the “tone” of the article do so because they cannot provide any idependent proof that ayurveda has any efficacy.

    I applaud you for making this stand, especially on this forum and dealing with these ridiculous comments. The responses to this article are one of the many reasons why I very seldom visit EJ anymore. It always amazes me that so many intelligent people refuse to think critically.

    Credulity is belief in slight evidence, with no evidence, or against evidence.


    • Thaddeus1 says:

      For your reading pleasure.

      You know one day, we in the west will open our eyes to the fact that the world does not revolve around our little culturally orientated way of knowing called "science," but until then, it's hard to imagine that medical science would at all be interested in researching such things given that there is little money to be made in the therapies. Of course, perhaps you doubt that research is in any way influenced by such things?

      Another thing just occurred to me…since, by your own admission, there is very little independent peer reviewed investigations into the ayurveda, how from an investigative scientific perspective can you make claims regarding its inefficacy?

      • Timmy_Robins says:

        Ok ,so in doing a litte analisis on your links it can be concluded that:

        More people are using alternative medicine . This in itself doesnt validate it in anyway.
        "Hispanic and non-Hispanic white arthritis patients used CAM to supplement conventional treatments. Health care providers should be aware of the high use of CAM and incorporate questions about its use into routine assessments and treatment planning."

        Plants have medicinal properties. Modern medicine doesnt deny this , it actually recognizes this and is constantly looking for new chemicals in plants and animals that can be useful for new treatments.
        "Hygrophila auriculata plant extract
        posesses diuretic effects in rats"

        Not very useful .No comment.

        If you are going to defend alternative medicine it would be awesome if you could at least provide evidence that actually validates it .

        • Thaddeus1 says:

          Personally, I don't think that such things need to be validated by a western empirical mind-set and to base your knowledge on such a thing is overly simplistic, not to mention, myopic and premised on a misunderstanding of the epistemology of science.

          But, putting that aside, I'll admit that the links are not that handy, but can you provide a link which "validates" the western medical approach? The answer is no. You could appeal to a lot of studies which answer very specific questions, but worldviews are not subject to validation in the laboratory. This isn't how science works my friend.

          Science is a messy world, without the accompanying certainty you and the author compose with. Studies exist on both sides of the aisle and both sets of worldviews. Ultimately, we are left with our experience in the process of deciding our orientation. I have no objection to science, but unlike you, I find it objectionable to use an overarching hierarchy of limited perspective to deride other worldviews which don't require the hand of the "Science Gods" to make them legitimate.

          If that is the kind and type of "evidence" you require for your life, that's cool. I feel sorry for you, but I'm cool with that. Just don't pretend that the cultural artifice that is science is the be all and end all of what counts as knowledge. Not only does it reek of cultural arrogance, it's just not inclusive of the world's diversity.

          • Timmy_Robins says:

            Im sorry if you resent the fact that science cant accommodate the humanities and religion as disciplines of inquiry and knowledge but that is just the way things are. And it is a good thing too.

            There might be different worldviews but when it comes to brain surgery and building rockets only one of them is qualified to tell us about reality. No equal footing here.

          • Thaddeus1 says:

            First off, don't confuse sympathy with resentment. But, ask yourself, who made science "knowledge." Seriously, think about it and really look into it.

            I think it's fair to say that you haven't heard a word I said, and perhaps I've not done a good job framing the issues of the debate, or your not interested in asking such questions. That's okay too, that's just the way things are

            But, you're right. When it comes to brain surgery and rockets, materialistic science is the go-to guy. And if I ever need either of those things I will express my gratitude for them. However, when it comes to morality, ethos and what it means to be human, (you know the really important questions) I'm not going with the rocket men; because brother, I can assure you they ain't qualified to tell us about that reality. So, hitch your boat as you see fit.

          • Timmy_Robins says:

            I couldnt agree more, that is exactly what I meant. Science cant answer questions about morality , meaning , etc.

            Science is 100% materialistic and is not concerned with motives , intentions , etc.

            Knowledge can mean many things , I think it is accurate to say science is about the knowledge of material things or the material world.

            And I did hear what you had to say but I also understand that it has to do with your perception of the world and I cant tell you what you should think.

            Like I have told you before , leaving aside the conversation about wether these alternative therapies do more harm than good , if they want to join the Science club and be taken seriously in that field then there are rules . That is all .

            To return a little bit to the the topic of this post, in my opinion it is dishonest and misleading that ayurveda practicioners call themselves doctors.

          • Thaddeus1 says:

            Yeah. I totally buy that.

            I will have to think about the nature of the "doctor" designation and get back to you on that one. I think it's an interesting question though.

          • Timmy_Robins says:


            Well think about it this way , would you feel comfortable calling yourself Dr. Thaddeus after 2 years of ayurvedic training?

            Do you think you would be able to tell the difference between abdominal pain caused by gas (lentil soup anyone? ) and abdominal pain caused by an infected appendix?

            What if this patient was your sister or mother , would you not feel worried if in fact you couldnt tell the difference?

          • Thaddeus1 says:

            Hypotheticals are fun, but not really all that informative.

            Are you asserting that if I spent eight years in medical school that I would never incorrectly diagnose something? Hell, let's take me out of it, because I'm a fool, and ask: are you comfortable claiming that a western trained medical professional with the degree designation M.D. would never confuse gas and an infected appendix? Seems like this might have already happened a time or two, so I think we can set this aside.

            Once again, I can't help but feel there is a wee-bit of cultural arrogance in the "owning" of the term "Dr." going on here when we say it can only apply to western M.Ds. What about those with Ph.Ds? Should they have to call themselves something different so as to avoid confusion? Also, should "bad" Docs (cuz remember there is always one who graduates at the bottom of the class) be required to carry a different designation as well to separate them out from the ones we deem "good?"

            So, it seems more problematic than simply a label.

            It gives even murkier when we turn to the etymology of the term "Dr." ( With this we see that it wasn't until the 18th century that Dr. found commonly usage in the medical field. And before that we see that it referred to, at least in some contexts, a "religious teacher, adviser, scholar." Thus, in this sense, while I'm not personally comfortable calling myself Dr., I think it is permissible that those who are skilled and knowledgeable in the science of Ayurveda are more than justified in referring to themselves as such.

            You might not like it. It might be confusing, but hey, that's life. And contrary to popular, i.e., your, opinion, the sun does not rise and set with the turnings of western science. It's an epistemology and a powerful one at that, but it's not the be-all and end-all of what constitutes knowledge.

          • Pankaj Seth says:

            Many excellent comments by you here, Thaddeus… a pleasure to read.

          • Timmy_Robins says:

            Im not asserting anything i just think that a course that includes biochemistry, physiology, anatomy, behavioral science, neuroscience,microbiology, immunology, pharmacology, pathology, etc… Provides better tools to understand the human body and disease.

            There is nothing outstanding about ayurveda , it is just another kind of traditional or folk medicine , all cultures have or have had folk medicine. And just like in traditional chinese medicine , some of its ingredients in remedies might work and others like rhino horn or tiger pennis might not.

            Separating superstition from fact is practically impossible here , and then there is the problem of lead and arsenic (amongst other metals) in remedies , and of course lack of regulation . Oh, and let's not forget the absurd belief from patients that herbal remedies are completely harmless and free of side effects. There is a lot of ignorance going on these days in the world of Alternative "medicine"…but hey that is life.

            I personally dont like it or dislike it i just think it is useless.

            As for the label 'doctor' you are right it can be used in so many ways….

          • Thaddeus1 says:

            Well…we are all entitled to our opinions and choices regarding the course of health that we pursue.

            I would ask you to question your view that ayurveda and TCM amount to nothing more than a "traditional or folk medicine." I would assert that there is more to them than this, however, this, of course, may not be enough to sway your opinion in favor of either. Regardless, there is something to be said about appreciating epistemologies outside our own and on their own terms. Of course, this requires research and exploration beyond the more "fanciful" versions and personalities. As one commenter pointed out, using Deepak to represent Ayurveda is akin to using Dr. Phil to speak of psychology.

            And, in the end, deciding that ayurveda is not for you, does not need to result in it's wholesale rejection for everyone. You value a particular approach to understanding the world, others value different ones and more often than not, (although not always…it's shouldn't be a free-for-all) there is room for multiple settings at the table.

          • Bryan says:

            this is where your 100% wrong. Science DOES have moral, ethical and ultimate ramifications. IT affects the world and life around us, and is inherent in it. To split it apart is to continue old Aristotelian logic categories that quite frankly are breaking down in a world where "science" is creating things that are killing material life as we know it! There is a science behind many Indian traditions and they are not all material.

          • Timmy_Robins says:

            The scientific method is about observation , measurement and experiment, I dont think moral or religious issues can be explored using the scientific method. From this point of view I think it is accurate to say that science is materialistic and (in total disagreement with Sam Harris) that it cant answer questions of morality or meaning.

            There are all kinds off ethical implications about how science is applied of course.

            Using the following definition of science it could be said that the kind of science behind Indian traditions might be (maybe) of the second kind meaning it cant make predictions and that it doesnt have applications.

            "Science (from Latin scientia, meaning "knowledge") is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe.[1] In an older and closely related meaning (found, for example, in Aristotle), "science" refers to the body of reliable knowledge itself, of the type that can be logically and rationally explained"

          • Bryan says:

            First off I don't know your background in studying Indian sciences, however from your comments it seems lacking. First off it must be said that often times ( though not always-as they were great mathematicians) Indian sciences have used a qualitative versus a quantitative approach which is a matter of debate as to validity ( however if you prefer to look at life in terms of quantity and not quality I must say your quality of life is likely sorely lacking). However, they have used all of the methods of scientific inquiry you have brought up – of this there is no question. Take the yogis for example, they have harnessed the power of the human mind body complex over the ages and have based their systems on experience, observation, application, refinement, and systematization. Furthermore they're practices that are terribly practical to common people.
            The one point of divergence is your claim that science cannot be lead to anything past the material. This stance is just your belief, as if you take to a serious study of these subjects yourself ( which is the only way to understand them properly as they are practical) you might start to appreciate that there is something beyond your physical body. Now you couldn't understand quantum theory or any other physical science without rigorous study, so unless you have gone through such a course of study with a competent teacher you really have no place to speak from in regards to any of these subjects. Take a look at this article (… ) in which Swami Rama submitted himself to scientific testing of yogic abilities at the hands of western science. IT's verifiable, but yogis generally shun away from demonstrating their powers for a host of reasons which I won't get into here.
            As far as bringing Aristotle into the picture, Aristotle actually did a great amount of work on medical theory which just so happens to very closely resemble the works of Ayurveda which pre-dated it and which he most likely was influenced by. So if your bringing his arguments on science into the picture, then I don't know what your trying to argue here as you would have to see Ayurveda's claims as equally valid. In fact there is a long line of proven facts that the ancient Indians had access to knowledge that our western models of science are based on LONG before the west claimed to have invented them. For example they invented our current numerical system, they were aware of the laws of gravity, earth revolving around the sun and numerous other astronomical data 3,000 BC+, and they invented surgery via Sushrut. While these are facts that the western models would rather not proliferate due to their general views of ancient Indians as a primitive culture, lets just take a note from Albert Einstien who said "We owe a lot to the Indians, who taught us how to count, without which no worthwhile scientific discovery could have been made". That's all I have to say. Go do your homework son.

          • Timmy_Robins says:

            I am very sure that what you are saying is true the question is what are these sciences contributing to the world today? What can these sciences tell us about biology or the universe today?

            How come India is one of the poorest countries in the world today? How come all this knowledge hasnt been used to benefit their own people?

            I am not arguing anything , I just think western science is like..uhm..the king in the castle right now after all no other science has been able to put a space station in, well, space.
            I dont doubt Indian science was huge back then but this is not 2500bc anymore , things change , knowledge evolves.

            Of course this is just my opinion .

          • Bryan says:

            Yes a lot of western science is a materialist science and its energies have gone in that direction and we live in an increasingly material world so yes you think it is the best. However the scientific method can be used and applied to a wide range of things, not just the material universe. What about social science? Psychology etc? These are all sciences and your view is completely narrow minded in what you confine as a science.
            Eastern practices have gone the opposite way and have evolved a science of man that seeks inward. This is perhaps a reason why it is so poor today, though this question is a long one and a separate topic entirely. As a far as what they have discovered, I mean you have no idea how nuanced the definitions and states of mind the yogis have categorized. Even someone as brilliant as Carl Jung admitted that western psychology has only scraped the surface of what they discovered. Practices such as pranayama are IMMENSELY useful in helping a host of psychical diseases for example. I have met people who have been cured of cancer by pujas. Now if you question the importance of this then there is little left to say to you as you are more bigoted than any fundamentalist christian.

          • Timmy_Robins says:

            Look , like I told Thaddeus above, science is like a club , anyone can join the club but there are rules . Anyone who wants to be recognized inside this realm must play by the rules. So, if Reiki healers or ayurvedists want to be recognized by science they have to play by the rules. They dont need to do this but then they cant call themselves science in the strict sense of the word(as in western science). Really simple . They can still exist , NO PROBLEM,no biggie, just not inside the realm of western science.

            It doesnt matter if it is biology or psychology as long as it is based on evidence and can be reproduced by others. Evidence simply means something that is used to demonstrate the truth of an assertion. Assertions made without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.

            Science is a collective and systematic attempt to accurately describe material reality.
            According to modern science the mind is a product of the brain therefore it can also be studied by science. No problem there.

            If what you say about pujas is true then it can be studied and replicated. Cancer is uncontrolled growth of cells , cells are material , you are making assertions about the material world here so if pujas really cure cancer then those on your side of the court should be able to prove it easily.

            Are you not being eastern- centric yourself here?

          • Bryan says:

            The debate has come full circle, which is what happens when you talk to people who believe that Jesus is the only son of God and the only way to salvation is through him. I know, I've tried.
            No I'm not being eastern centric, merely trying to defend these ancient systems. I recognize the usefulness of the western system, though it has certain drawbacks as well. There is good and bad in everything including the eastern systems.
            Regarding reproducing effects, I have given you a case study where effects were reproduced by a yogi. The brain is not what produces mind (it is only a phsyical instrument) and scientists do not understand it in the least sir, as that article demonstrably process and which I doubt you read. I study with a teacher who can induce people into deep states of mediation at will. She can change peoples breathing patterns (which is strongly connected with the mind) without even touching them. I have seen it happen to a complete groups of people and reproduced many times. Material science doesn't want to accept this nor can they touch it because they're little gadgets aren't that subtle. That is all and that is fine and that is you and humanities loss that you have no clue how deep human existence is and can be. If you stop at the brain you will go no further than it, hence your circular arguments and reasoning.
            Nonetheless, any of these things have a lot of individual components to them, and effects DO vary from individual to individual. Even western science cannot completely reproduce results in a case such as cancer sir. Ayurvedic cures are also highly dependent on patient compliance, which can be difficult and so too case studies, however there is definite logic and applicability in this system. I have seen people go off drugs by simple changes in diet recommended by practitioners, that western docs couldn't understand. Unfortunately there is little money to validate a science that doesn't make some large corporation money.
            Yet take a clue, even western medical hospitals are integrating yoga and other disciplines into their realms because they DO work and results CAN be reproduced. I am done responding to your comments as this is useless, you sound like some a retarded teenager with no capability of actual reasoning.

          • Timmy_Robins says:

            But you are doing the same things you are acusing me of doing! Lol

            For a yogi you sure have no sense of humor man!

            There is a spanish saying…my spanish is terrible but ..let me remember ..ah yes:

            "El que se enoja pierde" , you can google it.

    • Molly says:

      Thanks Mike! Very kind.

      • __MikeG__ says:

        You are welcome. EJ is a tough crowd for persons interested in evidence based claims and peer based research. I still think you may be wasting your time posting this on EJ but a voice of reason is sorely needed here. Hugz.

    • greateacher says:

      people who complain about the tone of the article are complaining about the tone.
      I have studies many different systems of health and disease maintenance.. western medicine may be ablel to set a broken bone and transplant a heart.. no kidding. western medicine prescribes medications which need 2 -4 others to mitigate the side effects.. which in turn may cause serious helath implications. Much of ayurvedic work as wel as others focus on prevention.. and less expensive treatmenst with fewer extreme side effects.
      Everyone must make their own choices.. life, helath, medications, cost, food- canned or raw, organic or fast food pepsi or coke or OJ or pomegranite or water filtered or not, tea or not chocolate or gummy bears.. its all about choice with information or not.

  11. greateacher says:

    I am complaining about the tone of the article and the authors rude comments. My words have nothing to d owiht the topic. I find Ayurvedic work interesting and useful, as much as medical work.. boht hold potential but both may not have all the answers.

    • DaveTelf says:

      Specifically which of the author's comments do you find rude?

      I invite you to read your own comments. You are merely "complaining" and your words "have nothing to do with the topic."

  12. Steve Clark says:

    Does the allopathic approach really make good sense to you, Molly? Treating symptoms instead of looking for the root problem makes sense? Because there are supposed studies and peer reviews makes the whole approach sensical? Are the websites run and fronted by western doctors all of great repute? Of course not. There are lots of Ayurvedic quacks just as there are lots of western doctor quacks.
    If you really want to learn something, read Robert Svaboda's books. 30 years ago Dr. Svaboda learned Hindi and went to India to become an M.D. there. His erudition will blow your mind. His medical intelligence will impress you. But he also connected with a Aghori master in India. Reading the words of a true medical genius that confounds everything you've written here will be an interesting experience for you I'm sure.

  13. Steve Clark says:

    One more point:
    Singling out Deepak as a reputable Ayurvedic practitioner is like singling out Dr. Phil as a reputable psychological practitioner.

  14. Mariucc says:

    Limited point of view. If what you learned about Ayurvedic medicine is from a couple of internet articles, more information is needed. Experience what these practitioners do firsthand and get back to us.

  15. Mariucc says:

    And Since you're a yoga teacher, you may be interested in this article, unless you believe the yoga YOU teach has nothing to do with the Vedas…,-Anci

  16. mariavlong says:

    Okay, it looks like you have a workout studio where you use asana/poses for exercise. Maybe you are borrowing the term yoga for marketing?

  17. Bryan says:

    Yes I agree there are many quacks in the Ayurveda yoga world that has come of age in North America. However there are some wonderful and bonafide practitioners as well. Judging the doshas based on some ridiculous little self test is not a very scientific approach to this subject either. Did you know that your own lauded western medico system born out of the Hippocratic tradition is very much like Ayurveda? It used diet, lifestyle, etc.. inmuch the same fashion and only fell out of vogue in the modern era when greed , money, and our embellished egos started to consume us all? That might be too much real reading for you I suppose. Yoga for atheists? Come on lady. Just call yourself a workout instructor and move on.

  18. Renata says:

    Too arrogant to pass the message… It doesn't help those who believe ayurveda to question it.

  19. T.M. says:

    Medical doctors spend how much time on nutrition?? A day perhaps? They no shit all about anything to do with the human body and it's assimilation of food and the effects of it on the human body. Many many drugs have killed thousands upon thousands of people and created a population that is hooked on them only to create more disease in other parts of the body. I'd hook up with a native shamen or aruyvedic doctor or heck even TCM before I'd let the medical know it all's tear me apart. Don't talk about metals in the herbs when drugs are filled with garbage and can cause side effects like suicide. Again investigation as to where you purchase would be in order. Yes there are some questionable people all around not only in this discipline but the medical community as well. Doctors killed my mother with prescriptions and almost killed my mother in law. Had a "ganglia" (stage 4 cancer) on her forearm the size of a golf ball. I mentioned Essiac which she took and is still taking (herbs boiled down). Did not tell the doctor and is still alive 3 years post op. She went to see another doctor since the first misdiagnosed which isn't uncommon and they took it out. I believe she is here today with the help of native herbs. As far as yoga is concerned. Healed my scoliosis so there done, done and done!!

  20. KHope says:

    I'm sorry, Yoga Journal usually publishes some great articles, but this just reeks of ignorance. The author claims to be a medical researcher, but there appears to be very little actual research done here. If you are quoting Deepok Chopra as the source, then not enough research has been done. A quick self-test is simply not enough enough to garner whether or not Ayurvedic practices hold merit. How about actually trying out Ayurveda – seeing an Ayurvedic practitioner for a good six months, and then report how you feel after that? An Ayurvedic practitioner usually participates in a 600 hour – 800 hour program and studies for several years, but I'm sure you managed to learn all about Ayurvedic practices after skimming the internet.

    I expected something far better from Elephant Journal as opposed to poorly researched (and, frankly, poorly written) "journalism".

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