In DepthBiomedical Research

Searching for science in India's traditional medicine

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Science  24 Oct 2014:
Vol. 346, Issue 6208, pp. 410
DOI: 10.1126/science.346.6208.410

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Summary

The Indian government is pushing hard to show that Indian traditional medicine, or Ayurveda, is based on sound science. With hefty government support, the nascent field of "ayurgenomics" has roped in dozens of researchers from leading institutions and it has published papers on the genetic bases of Ayurvedic traits, some of them in leading journals. But the effort has also stirred a rising chorus of criticism. Skeptics point to failed attempts to derive drugs from the herbal concoctions used in Ayurveda and other schools of traditional medicine. And some say the Ayurvedic premise of body types is unscientific, which undermines any studies that rely on them.

  • * in Bangalore, India