Research work on Hortus Malabaricus
Founder and Director German Ayurveda Academy
Stress management in cardio-vascular disease
Dr. med. Rainer Picha, Austria
Cardio-vascular disease is the leading cause of death world-wide even though 90% of heart attacks could be prevented by modifying risk factors according to the Interheart Study. In order to handle the main risk factors such as hypertension, smoking, and cholesterol, the focus has shifted to psychosocial stress as the cause of the causes so to say. Psychosocial stress has been shown to play a major role in the development of these risk factors.
I will present research papers showing how a stress management program through Transcendental Meditation has a positive effect on hypertension, lipid profile, and cigarette smoking.
Consciousness-based Herbal Medicine in Maharishi AyurVeda
Dr. med. Walter Mölk, Austria
Integration of conventional and complementary therapies in a single health care system can only be successful if the common basis of the different healing approaches have a common basis.
According to Ayurveda, evolution starts with an unmanifest, abstract self-interacting field of intelligence and energy (Avyakta) at the basis of creation, a view which has striking parallels to modern theories of Quantumphysics. This field of consciousness then transforms itself through a series of steps into matter, animate and inanimate. Plants are an expression of this intelligence and through the principles of resonance they can induce a healing process in corresponding areas of the body which are organized by similar laws of nature. Modern science is more and more able to understand how herbs heal on a molecular level, including effects of epigenetic modifications.
All the activities of the laws of nature can be divided into eight areas (Ashta Prakriti) and we find this eight-fold division also in the structure of the human body, in the plants, and the soil food web. This insight shows the close connectedness of man and nature (Loka Purusha samya) and can be used to enhance the preventive and therapeutic modalities of herbal medicine. For example, use of specific Vedic sounds in Maharishi Vedic Organic Agriculture during the eight stages of the life cycle of a plant increases its nutritional and medicinal value. Furthermore, development of consciousness of the physician and the patient not only improves the compliance but also helps to unfold the full therapeutic potential of any therapeutic intervention including the use of herbs. Therefore development of consciousness of the individual and methods to increase the level of coherence in collective consciousness in society are key features of Maharishi AyurVeda, whose health promoting effects have been confirmed by a large body of scientific research.
Hortus Malabaricus as a Monument of Traditional Knowledge and Innovative Botany
Prof. Dr. Pieter Baas, The Netherlands
Hortus Malabaricus (1678-1692) by Hendrik Adriaan van Reede tot Drakestein (1636—1691), describes 690 species of plants from Kerala, India and their medicinal properties. This masterpiece integrates traditional and applied knowledge of Ayurvedic healers and Brahmins with Western utilitarian plant science. It was a truly collaborative project, involving interpreters, clergymen, draftsmen, soldiers, and academics.
Published initially in latin, Hortus Malabaricus, perfectly satisfied the needs for scientific communication from the late 17th throughout the 19th century. In the last century the book became more and more inaccessible as the numbers of scholars with a command of latin decreased. It was therefore gratifying that Professor K.S. Manilal, an authority on the Flora of India from Calicut, Kerala, undertook the major tasks of translating Hortus Malabaricus into English (2003) and Malayalam (2008).
Dutch botanical gardens like the ones in Amsterdam and Leiden still cultivate plants from the Malabar coast in their hothouses to educate university students and please the general public thanks to an instruction by Van Reede tot Drakestein to VOC officers. The traditional medicinal uses highlighted in Hortus Malabaricus still inspire modern biopharmaceutical research.
Herbalization of a Conflict: Dutch East India Company, Governor Van Reede tot Drakestein and Hortus Malabaricus
Prof. Dr. Achuthan G Menon, The Netherlands
The Dutch East India Company (VOC) which had trade links with Malabar in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries was confronted with a serious conflict between two of its Governors: Rijklof van Goens. (1616 – 1682 A.D.) the Governor of Ceylon and Hendrik Adriaan van Reede tot Drakestein (1636 – 1691 A.D.) the commandeur in Cochin. Against the wishes of Van Reede, Van Goens “wanted to make Colombo the second capital of the Dutch power in Asia”. Van Goens claimed that Ceylon was the most fertile country and even tried to prove this with the help of the VOC medical doctor Paul Hermann (1646 – 1695 A.D.) who was orderd to prepare a Hortus for Ceylon; but Hortus Ceylonica never materialized! Whereas Van Reede succeeded in compiling information of about 742 trees, plants, herbs, flowers, seeds and creepers of Malabar. About 650 of these plants have medicinal value.
About 340 years ago the verbal monument Hortus Indicus Malabaricus was built by extensive Indo-Dutch co-operation to eternalize the Indian, in general, and Malabaric, in particular, knowledge of traditional medicine and Botany. The twelve volumes contain 791 illustrations.
Van Reede heavily depended upon the knowledge of the local traditional vaidyans of Malayali and Konkani origin. The knowledge-transfer regarding the plants and their curative values went through a long process before finding its place in the Latin publication. At the end of the description of each plant, Reede added a short note about its curative feature. Some of the diseases are also silently portrayed in the illustrations. The focus of this presentation will be on the medicinal and curative aspects of the plants incorporated in the Hortus and the role of the vaidyans in the knowledge-transfer. The medicinal plants still found in the Hortus Botanicus in Leiden and Amsterdam will be discussed in detail. Van Reede presented some of the plants to Leiden, The Dutch translation of the first two volumes of the Hortus was published as Malabaarse Kruydhof (1689). This neglected publication is an important resource for analysing the contents of the Malayalam and Konkani testimonials of the vaidyans.
Medicinal plants of Ayurvedic and Western Medicine – a comparison
Dr. Ernst Schrott, Germany
This scientific research compares the application and effect of over 100 medicinal plants used in the West and in Ayurvedic medicine of India. It represents the medicinal plants of Ayurveda according to their philosophy and the resulting fields of application. At the same time these plants are also presented according to Western criteria from the point of view of pharmacology as well as the characteristic ingredients and their resulting areas of application. Despite the different ways of looking at plants, therapeutic effects often are congruent between the Ayurvedic and western medical systems. It turns out that the applications of the investigated medicinal plants in both medical systems are very similar.
E. Schrott, H.T.P. Ammon: Heilpflanzen der ayurvedischen und der westlichen Medizin. Eine Gegenüberstellung. Springer-Verlag Berlin, Heidelberg, New York. 2012.
Making the in-between-science of Modern Ayurveda – suggestions from a Medical Anthropologist
Dr. Maarten Bode, The Netherlands
Modern Ayurveda “appears simultaneously as something altogether new and unmistakably old, at once undoubtedly modern and irreducibly Indian”. Since its creation in the 19th century modern Ayurveda (adhunik Ayurveda) navigates between the Vedas and Western science and technology. Consequently contemporary Ayurvedic practices seem to be caught between the authority of sāstra and that of modern technoscience. However, the infrastructure for Ayurvedic research created by the Indian government after independence adheres almost exclusively to the positivist scientific model which frames Western medicine. To develop Ayurveda into a viable alterity to Western medicine the 21st Century sees new research initiatives such as the Triangle Initiative on Ayurveda, Ayurveda Biology, and the vaidya-scientist project. I will briefly discuss these initiatives. Then I argue that Science and Technology Studies (STS) and symbolic anthropology can provide Ayurveda with the reflexivity needed to emancipate from biomedicine and logical positivism.
The Signs and Science of Wellness: Lessons from India’s Traditional Systems of Health and Wellness and Indian Traditional Sciences Informing Future Global Healthcare Systems, Medical Education and Research
Dr. Madan Thangavelu, United Kingdom
Man is a metaorganism. Man’s health and wellbeing is shaped by complex and dynamic interactions within and without Man’s body. Many of these interactions remain mysterious and many more will currently be unfathomable. Despite the complexity of basic biochemical and physiological processes, dominant and recurring themes in all cultures of the world are descriptions of the sense of feeling well and a wish for a state beyond good health. The descriptions of the state and the feelings of wellness and wellbeing has been the focus of much interest for millennia.
India’s ancient texts offer graphic descriptions of this state as well as prescriptions of how to achieve and maintain this state and steps to prevent the deterioration of this state. India’s ancient system offer comprehensive well-documented procedures and a holistic logic for this state of wellness. The earliest Samhitas of Ayurveda and Yoga in particular and commentaries that followed celebrate this state and offer some of the most profound descriptions and definitions of this state. Nagarjuna’s 15-fold indicators of wellness are an early example. Dating back to 150 to 200 AD, the descriptions offered by Nagarjuna, the founder of the Madhyamaka school of Mahayana Buddhism and an Ayurveda practitioner and scholar, are both timeless and invaluable.
Are these and other rules which have guided many and offered health beyond good health for centuries also valid for contemporary living now and for the future? What might these indicators look like when viewed through the eyes of contemporary clinical biochemical and molecular descriptors? Can they be refined further to help shape the Science of Wellness?
Advances in biochemistry over the last century, particularly the last five decades have seen the birth and growth of techniques and technologies with resolution that far exceeds what was previously imaginable. Single cells can now be routinely analysed for multiple molecular markers. DNA changes can be ‘counted’ and enumerated with the help of single DNA molecule resolution. Such technologies are enabling finer, more sensitive and correlated analyses of innumerable biomolecules.
Are the ancient descriptors further refinable for understanding and appreciating better the signs of wellness? Do they hold the key to defining the deep science that governs the inextricably interlinked major themes of food, exercise-fitness and health, the environment and their links to the aetiology and pathology of chronic non-communicable diseases?
Ayurveda, Yoga and other ancient Indian systems of health and wellness offer much guidance for the ways ahead. By drawing on a small number of examples from contemporary scientific research literature – from areas of sleep and health, food, the human microbiome and chronic diseases (obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, multiple sclerosis), seasons and changes in the human immune system, aging- related changes – I will show how observations in contemporary science are entirely consistent with assertions in the ancient Indian texts about wellness and achieving, maintaining and improving this state.
I will argue that the lessons from the highly refined, filtered and time-tested classical knowledge embodied in India’s ancient system of health and wellness not only informs the future but offers the best template for developing the much needed new Science of Wellness and also for disentangling and defining the four well separated sciences, namely the sciences of Cure, Prevention, Health Maintenance and Health Promotion. These ancient systems also offer us the language, logic and grammar and a scaffold to hold the vast amounts of high quality data available today. In this way the Indian ancient systems of health and wellness offer much for human health and wellness and solutions to complex problems today that require novel thinking.
Madan Thangavelu Ph.D.
Molecular Genetic – University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
Transdisciplinary University, Bengaluru, India; European Ayurveda Association; Trustee, Research Council for Complementary Medicine, UK
Madan is a genome biologist with an unusually diverse academic background and range of research interests. He was born in 1959 in Trivandrum in the state of Kerala (India). Before Cambridge, he studied Agriculture and has a Bachelor’s degree in Agriculture and a Master’s in Plant Breeding and Genetics – both from Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar in the North Indian state of Haryana. As an Inlaks Foundation Scholar (1982 Trinity Hall) his Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics on the genes for the cytoskeletal protein actin was conducted at the erstwhile Plant Breeding Institute, Trumpington. The study provided the first evidence for extensive tissue level expression of members of the very large family of actin genes in plants. His post-doctoral research experiences span areas in plant, fungal, bacterial and human cancer genomics. His current primary research interest is the development of single DNA molecule and single cell techniques for genome analysis.
As a Leverhulme Foundation Research Fellow (1999) at the MRC-Laboratory of Molecular Biology MRC-LMB) and later as a Research Fellow at the Medical Research Council – Cancer Cell Unit and Department of Oncology, University of Cambridge he developed novel approaches and applications of single DNA molecule and single cell approaches for analysis of genomes and genome dynamics and genome variation. He is the inventor of the Molecular Copy Counting technique – very high resolution and high sensitive technique for describing genomic variation at the level of single cells and single DNA molecules. These techniques are providing unusual insights into the highly plastic nature of the nuclear and mitochondrial genomes and the epigenome and novel ways to map and describe the dynamics of DNA changes in normal processes like aging and in human disease including cancer, cardiovascular diseases, metabolic diseases and various inherited diseases. The techniques also point to uncertainty in biology which calls for complementary approaches for appreciating human health and disease particularly in the highly intractable areas of human aging, psychosomatic diseases and disease complexes where direct approaches are unlikely to yield results.
Madan was Consultant to the Medical Research Council (20 Park Crescent, London W1B 1AL) and involved in business development activities on behalf of Medical Research Council Technology (MRC-T ) for ‘Cambridge Genomics Ltd.’, a MRC-T / MRC-LMB start-up company.
Hortus botanicus Leiden: Over 400 Years of Plant Collections
Dr. Gerda A. van Uffelen, The Netherlands
The Hortus botanicus Leiden was founded in 1590, and planted in 1594. The plan and list of 1585 plant items are kept in the University Library, and form the basis for the present reconstruction. It was not a strictly medical garden, but contained many bulbs, ornamental plants and some exotics, mainly from the Mediterranean and America.
In the course of the 17th century, more plants came in from America, but also from South Africa and the East Indies. The foundation of the Dutch East Indian Company in 1602 generated a strong focus on the East and the exploration of its flora. The Hortus was extended around 1736, whereas in 1744 the present Orangery was built, generating more capacity for tender plants.
In the 19th century the Hortus was again enlarged, and the focus of its collection became East and South-East Asia, because of the foundation of Bogor Botanic Garden in 1817, and the collections brought from Japan by Von Siebold.
The 20th and 21st centuries witnessed the building of a complex of tropical greenhouses, and enlargement of the collections by expeditions, such as those organized in connection with the Flora Malesiana Project. Nowadays the Hortus is diversifying its collections for education and research, housing a wide variation of plant families and numerous useful plants, both for education and research.
Medicinal Plants for easy cultivation in backyard and its uses
Vaidyaraj Dr. Sunil B. Patil, India
There exist an increasing amount of research about the medicinal and healing properties of plants.
According to ayurvedic phytotherapy (Dravya Guna) every plant has some medicinal value if one knows its properties and pharmacological actions and how to process and prepare it for a specific indication. Medicinal plants grow naturally in remote forests areas, however it is also possible to cultivate and grow certain medicinal plants in our gardens. These plants not only have decorative value but can also be used as a first aid treatment for many common ailments. We will discuss about 50 such plants with important medicinal properties described in ancient Ayurvedic Texts and confirmed by modern research.
Benefits of Integrating Ayurveda into Conventional Care
Dr. Geetha Krishnan Gopalakrishna Pillai, WHO, Geneve
Integrating Ayurveda in a modern medical therapeutic setting is beneficial, as evident from the outcomes data of seven years of Integrative medicine practice and research, at a large tertiary medical care facility in India.
Integrative medicine followed here involved judicious inclusion of Ayurveda (medicine, procedures, life conduct, diet, Yoga, and Panchakarma) to support the unmet clinical care needs of a patient at the medical facility. Thus, integrative medicine in its greater magnitude is a decision-making process, of deciding when, where, which, how and what to be brought together from different systems of medicine for the benefit of the patient.
There are few diseases which have excellent or better clinical outcomes, when Ayurveda is used as the primary intervention, such as early osteoarthritis, low back pain, migraine, melasma, GERD, constipation, IBS, insomnia, etc to name a few. There are others when Ayurveda addition (to allopatic intervention) could bring incremental benefit to the patient, such as early atherosclerosis, brain stroke, Parkinson’s disease, Cancer care, post-surgical neuralgia, certain resistant viral infections, brain injury related minimally conscious states, vascular complications of diabetes, uncontrolled diabetes etc to name few other.
This presentation aims to highlight few clinical areas worthwhile to be considered by medical providers, which the outcomes data confirms to be beneficial for patients, when administered in an integrated fashion.
Potential of Indian Spices for Prevention and Cure of Lifestyle Disorders
Prof Dr (Vaidya) Gunvant Yeola MD, PhD (Ayurveda), India
Potential of Indian masalas are well known for the world for its healing properties. Indian Spices and aromatics are the heart of Indian cooking. They have been used since ancient times. They were mentioned in the ancient Hindu scriptures called the Vedas, ancient Egyptian papyruses and the Old Testament. Spices have always been believed to have healing qualities. The word spice comes from Latin species, meaning a commodity of value and distinction.
During their long and fascinating history, spices have often been more valuable than gold or precious stones, and the trade of spices has been an extraordinarily influential factor in history.
Many researchers have attempted to explain why hot spices are pleasant to taste. It seems the burning sensation is the pain of nerve endings on the tongue. This releases endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers, giving rise to pleasurable and even euphoric sensations.
Flowers, leaves, roots, bark, seeds and bulbs (the simplest of natural ingredients) are used in endless combinations to produce an infinite variety of flavors: sweet, sharp, hot, sour, spicy, aromatic, tart, mild, fragrant or pungent. Their tastes and aromas combine to create a kaleidoscope of exotic flavors to delight the plate. It is best to obtain spices in whole seed form and to grind them just prior to use.
In full research paper more references from ancient wisdom will be given with supporting modern research article publications for the substantial use of Indian spices for prevention and cure of life style disorders like Obesity, Diabetes Melitus, Hyper-lipidemia etc.
Spreading awareness of Ayurveda and Yoga in society and government in the Netherlands
Founder & Convenor, OFBJP The Netherlands Chapter, The Netherlands
Mrs. Pratima Singh has been involved in promoting initiatives of the Ministry of AYUSH. She will be describing her organizational efforts to get people interested in Yoga. In addition, she will share her individual ideas on key elements to enhance quality of life and how natural remedies can contribute to the Dutch elderly and Dutch social problems. She has some innovative ideas on actions the Dutch Government can take to ensure natural remedies are available to all citizens, thus contributing to value based healthcare. These innovative ideas are based on her life experiences and observations. Her key motivation is to encourage more and more authorities within Netherlands to understand traditional medicine and use it in their daily life.
Hortus Indicus Malabaricus: Indian Botanical Medical Knowledge in 17th Century Europe
Annamma Spudich, Ph.D., India
For centuries India was the nexus for movement of goods, philosophical ideas and knowledge from Asia to the Middle East, and beyond to Europe. The search for a direct sea route to the Malabar Coast of India from Europe was the impetus for the Voyages of Discovery that profoundly changed the map and history of the world at the end of the 15th century.
While there is a great deal of scholarly work on the impact on India of four centuries of Europeans presence, the significance of the encounter with the sophisticated knowledge systems of India on European knowledge and culture have not received much scholarly attention. My work during the last decade has focused on the pivotal role of Indian botanical-medical knowledge systems on Europe during 16-19th centuries. Need for new medicines to combat unfamiliar tropical diseases in the tropics and the highly developed botanical-medical knowledge and Materia Medica of India stimulated study and documentation of Indian botanical medical knowledge by Europeans. The 12 volume Hortus Indicus Malabaricus, Dutch compilation of Indian medical botany published in Amsterdam at the end of the 17th century for example, had profound influence on botany, medicine and natural sciences in Europe. The work is also unique in the annals of colonial botany for identifying and acknowledging the Indian scholars who were the sources of the knowledge recorded in the volumes. And thus, Hortus Malabaricus is a rare document in the history of East-West interactions.
Dr. Annamma Spudich
Scholar in residence, National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bangalore
Annamma Spudich received her Ph.D. and pursued postdoctoral work in molecular cell biology at Stanford University, and then carried out cell biology research at Stanford for 25 years. She was also a visiting faculty in the Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology, University of California, San Francisco, and a visiting scientist at Genentech. Eight years ago she left basic science research at Stanford University to devote her intellectual energies to her lifelong interest in the history of Indian scientific traditions in the natural sciences.
In 2003 Spudich was invited to curate an exhibit and organize a conference on the area of her interest at The Cantor Center for Visual Arts, Stanford University. The exhibit, “From Forreine Places All the Varietie of Herbes” and the conference “The Seeds of Culture” looked at the contribution of ethno-botany to modern science and was underwritten by the School of Medicine and the Department of Asian Religions and Cultures at Stanford. In 2008 she curated a ground breaking exhibit in Bangalore, at the National Centre for Biological Sciences, on the influences of early Indian scientific knowledge in pre-modern Europe, titled “Such Treasure and Rich Merchandize: Indian Botanical Knowledge in 16th and 17th Century European Books.” The exhibit is now a permanent installation at the Regional Museum of Natural History in Mysore, India. Spudich is the author of several scientific papers and the catalogue that accompanied the NCBS exhibit. Her current work is focused on the history and living traditions of Indian botanical-medical knowledge, and the impact of that knowledge on medicine and botany in the European and Pan Asian worlds in the Early Modern period. She is a scholar in residence at the National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bangalore.
Ama Pachana — A Seven Day Out Patient Purification Protocol to Reduce Risk Factors of Cardiovascular Disease and Premature Aging
Dr. med. Wolfgang Schachinger, Austria
Metabolic Syndrome and chronic/silent inflammation are established risk factors of cardiovascular disease and premature aging. Ayurvedic medicine attributes these risk factors to the presence of ama (undigested remains of food and sensory input).
The classical texts of Ayurvedic Medicine recommend seasonal purification therapies to remove ama from the physiology and thereby prevent and/or cure chronic disease and premature aging.
This paper presents a simple ama pachana (digestion of undigested remains of food) protocol based on the classical texts that can easily be followed by patients during normal daily routine. The paper reports about outcome in change of risk factors in laboratory testing and modification of autonomic balance shown by changes in heart rate variability. Long term results include changes in life style that are more health promoting.
Legal Status of Ayurvedic Products in the European Union
Dr. med. Oliver Werner, Switzerland
In Ayurveda about 400 herbs and minerals plus many combinations of these are used regularly for many indications. In India these form a separate legal entity.
In the European Union, medicines are defined as “anything that has a pharmaceutical …. effect”, or anything that is present as having such an effect (65/65/EEC(21) and 92/73/EEC(22). Medicines require licensing, which is an extremely costly process: Even to prepare the documentation for a simplified license as a traditional herbal medicinal product such as Triphala costs over EUR 300 000.-. For this reason, all Ayurvedic products in the EU are currently on the market as food supplements.
Food supplements are a type of food (Definition of food in the EU: Anything intended to be ingested by humans; with certain exceptions such as medicines (EU Regulation 178/2002, Art. 2). They must fulfil certain requirements, such as being free from harmful substances and generally being safe. As such, Ayurvedic products can be legally sold, but basically no claims about any effects can be made. This status allows Ayurvedic products to be imported and used, but is not satisfying in the long run, as nothing can be said about their effects. To create a separate legal entity for these products like in India would be preferable.
Study of the Relationship between Live Blood Analysis and Prakriti
Dr. Etienne Premdani, Founder, Premdani Ayurveda Clinic, The Netherlands
First we will look at Live Blood Analysis and the Prakriti Parikshan of an individual separately. Then we will compare and associate these two parameters with respect to Ama, Ushnatva, Agni and Jivatva.
Modern Phytotherapie – scientific bases and its political acknowledgment in Switzerland
Dr. med. Roger Eltbogen, Switzerland
In Switzerland phytotherapie is one of the complementary medical specialities, which are acknowledged by the state. The scientific base will be shown and the detailed professional policies will be explained.
Recent research on Ayurveda and Rheumatoid Arthritis
Dr. med. Gerrit Jan Gerritsma
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory joint disease, often leading to progressive destruction of cartilage and subchondral bone. There is a need for new therapeutic approaches with minimal side effects. A review of recent scientific research on the efficacy or Ayurvedic treatment modalities on rheumatoid arthritis is presented: Treatment with Ayurvedic herbs shows a moderate DMARD-effect in 5 studies, with only minor side effects. Yoga-asana’s also have an antirheumatic effect. Nutritional measures can help to ameliorate RA. Two case studies with complete remission of RA after 1,5 year of multi-modality ayurvedic treatment are presented. A multi-modality approach seems to be more effective. More research is justified and needed. Future research on a multi-modality treatment regime is recommended.
Hormones and the doshas
Dr. med. Charlotte Bech, Denmark
Maharishi Ayurved outlines three fundamental principles of biological intelligence. These three principles correlate with three primary global physiological contexts, termed Vata, Pitta, and Kapha prakritis. These three distinct patterns of physiological functioning represent the collective result of interaction of hormones in the whole physiology.
This article begins by describing the theoretical framework of Maharishi Ayurved, then it outlines method and procedures for the present experiment, and finally, it discusses results and gives recommendations for future research.