Piercing the Veil of Ayurveda

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Science  16 Dec 2011:
Vol. 334, Issue 6062, pp. 1491
DOI: 10.1126/science.334.6062.1491

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At a gleaming new facility in Bangalore, India's biomedical research hub, chemists and Ayurvedic practitioners are teaming up to breathe new life—and instill scientific rigor—into an ancient art of healing. At the $10 million Institute of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine (IAIM), several dozen researchers scour ancient manuscripts for therapeutic recipes, cultivate rare medicinal plants, and attempt to isolate active compounds. Meanwhile, healers use modern diagnostics to refine treatments at IAIM's 100-bed hospital. The new institute is part of a concerted effort to buff Ayurveda's reputation.