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Talk:Ayurvedic medicine

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Not just Maharishi (Mr TM)[edit]

I think the guy's outfit has the monopoly on this in the west, and probably industrialised the process but in India it was widely practiced before him.


Content to integrate: People who have died directly from Ayurveda or indirectly by not getting medical treatment[edit]

There is a good list from whatstheharm.net

Here's an journal article 'Use of CAM results in delay in seeking medical advice for breast cancer,' Eur J Epidemiol. 2003;18(8):817-22:

The study was conducted at the National Cancer Institute, Karachi, Pakistan...Fifty three percent delayed seeking medical advice. Common reasons were; antecedent use of complimentary/alternative therapies (34%), lack of significance attached to the lump (23%), fear of surgery (22%), conflicting personal commitments (7%), fear of cancer (5%), and others (8%). Twenty nine percent practiced CAM before visiting any physician. Common methods used were homeopathy (70%), spiritual therapy (15%) and Ayurvedic medicine (13%).

There have been deaths attributed to Ayurvedic Medications in the report 'Lead Poisoning Associated with Ayurvedic Medications --- Five States, 2000--2003' by the Center for Disease Control:

"Although approximately 95% of lead poisoning among U.S. adults results from occupational exposure (1), lead poisoning also can occur from use of traditional or folk remedies (2--5). Ayurveda is a traditional form of medicine practiced in India and other South Asian countries. Ayurvedic medications can contain herbs, minerals, metals, or animal products and are made in standardized and nonstandardized formulations (2). During 2000--2003, a total of 12 cases of lead poisoning among adults in five states associated with ayurvedic medications or remedies were reported to CDC (Table). This report summarizes these 12 cases. Culturally appropriate educational efforts are needed to inform persons in populations using traditional or folk medications of the potential health risks posed by these remedies.
The first three cases described in this report were reported to CDC by staff at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center at Dartmouth Medical School, New Hampshire; the California Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program; and the California Department of Health Services. To ascertain whether other lead poisoning cases associated with ayurvedic medicines had occurred, an alert was posted on the Epidemic Information Exchange (Epi-X), and findings from the cases in California were posted on the Adult Blood Lead Epidemiology and Surveillance (ABLES) listserv. Nine additional cases were reported by state health departments in Massachusetts, New York, and Texas (Table)." Skinnytony1 (talk) 09:47, 6 May 2014 (UTC)
Surely there's a place for: People who have died directly from CAM or indirectly by not getting medical treatment generally. If there's not an article somewhere on here already I'll be rather surprised. Scream!! (talk) 11:39, 6 May 2014 (UTC)

Importer handling medicines[edit]

Hello, Well, what you mean do you have any evidence to that? Link? :D Consider manufacturing process is done by milling and pressing using only steel, aluminum teflon components. For Packing plastic, paper, and paint. To enter the mercury, lead aresenic into while its boxed in india its really impossible dont you think so? So please some puts some reasonable reference to this! — Unsigned, by: 87.101.124.123 / talk / contribs

It could easily be added while it was being boxed. I know that alt med stuff in the UK and US is notorious for contamination with similar materials. Alt med in general lacks the same quality controls as proper medicine and often prepares 'medicines' containing those materials at the same site, which is why and how those contaminants get in. I doubt that the process for woo treatments is any more rigorous in India. Queexchthonic murmurings 14:51, 19 November 2015 (UTC)

Please read after, the medicines manufactured in us also contained the same amount of lead. Its the manufacturer I am telling ya.— Unsigned, by: 87.101.124.123 / talk / contribs

Well, yes. that's what that sentence was saying. Unintentional contamination at place of manufacture. What do you thing is wrong about the sentence? Queexchthonic murmurings 15:06, 19 November 2015 (UTC)

Different places but lead poisoning both or more places, though different regulations, while there is religious system to apply the lead. How likely accident? Its almost a fact that the religious system.. the manufacturer put the lead into the medicine because of the religious description of the medicine. Otherwise there would be some sort of equality in the lead amount in different medicines don't you think so? But thats not true at all.— Unsigned, by: 87.101.124.123 / talk / contribs

It says 'not all'. It is in no way trying to absolve the religious 'cure' of all blame, just pointing out that quack cures as so badly handled during production that that kind of contaminant gets into it anyway. Queexchthonic murmurings 15:18, 19 November 2015 (UTC)

But these seems to be odd, lead,arsenic and mercury, such a complex to obtain materials, they never out in nature just like that, I think my delete must be validated because you have no valid reasoning on this. Also many of these manufacturing plant uses air filtering plus high level of clean working cloths and body, especially at UK USA. Please accept the statement, its placed into it. BTW lead is not heavy metal, only mercury in this list.— Unsigned, by: 87.101.124.123 / talk / contribs

What? Of course they are out in nature. They're probably even handled at the same facilities where the contaminated products are made! There's nothing you've said that justifies removing that sentence. You're arguing for the the extraordinary proposition that all of those heavy metals are in there due to that particular quack cure, and none of it because of that same slipshod manufacture methods we see for all quack cures. Alt med facilities do not usually have the same filtering systems that a reputable factory would. You're talking nonsense. Is it a language issue, maybe?
This should really be on the article talk page, anyway. Plus, sign your posts. Queexchthonic murmurings 15:39, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
Probably multiple issues. These are found in nature all over, it's not like humans can make heavy metals out of thin air, and improper manufacture or working environments in industries with lax control put that into these products. The alt-med industry is very notorious for improper regulations of ingredients, bad manufacturing processes, and lax quality control.
Heavy metals are Lead, Arsenic, Mercury, Chromium and Cadmium. Lead was the first heavy metal found to be an issue in leaded fuels, then paints, and is now heavily regulated. Anyone saying it is not a heavy metal is absurd. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 16:13, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
I assumed that part was a language issue, because it made no little sense. Queexchthonic murmurings 16:15, 19 November 2015 (UTC)

WHO report and the endorsement of Ayurvedic medicine[edit]

First off, I'd like to thank the user LMM for providing us with the following official WHO report. It is truly a remarkable read. I know, because I decided to read the whole thing, and to just whip up some short notes about things that a RationalWikian might feel worthy of mention under the circumstances. Let's find out once and for all if the WHO has lost their effing marbles, shall we? After you;

...including Ayurveda, naturopathy, Nuad Thai, osteopathy, traditional Chinese medicine, Tuina, and Unani medicine.

  • Page 11 presents the WHO vision as, (quote):

Ideally, countries would blend traditional and conventional ways of providing care in ways that make the most of the best features of each system and allow each to compensate for weaknesses in the other.

Basically; the New Age version of "Teach the controversy".

Ayurveda has thus been a tradition in India for thousands of years. It is also practised in various forms in neighbouring countries of South-East Asia, according to their own sociocultural background.

Local versions of how everything fits together. Hey, kinda like Lysenkoism!

  • On page 16, it reads, (quote);

Ayurveda describes the beneficial, nonbeneficial, happy and unhappy aspects of life. Health is defined as the state of equilibrium of dosha (humours), agni (digestive juices, enzymes and hormones), dhatu (tissues) and the normal excretion of mala (waste materials), along with a happy state of atma (soul), indriya (sensory and motor organs), and manas (mind). Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word derived from ayuh (life) and veda (knowledge), and is also known as the “science of life”.

Which is to say, the WHO — quite humorously — now literally supports HumorismWikipedia's W.svg. Worth noting is that appropriating the word "science" to describe non-science doesn't actually make that other thing scientific. Instead, it just dilutes a word which — up until then — had simply meant "science"). Further, the WHO plainly recognizes a substance dualist view of the soul, never mind exalting the existence of said soul as being somehow vital to population healthWikipedia's W.svg. And this in 2016, from an actual arm of the UN. (Turns out, the key to curing baldness was to factor in the soul all along!)

  • Still on page 16, it also reads, (quote):

The Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita are the basic scriptures of Ayurveda, but they are supplemented by thousands of additions based on observation and experience, none of which affect the sanctity of the basic texts.

Basically, a Hindu version of the good old biblical inerrancy view (where the old stuff is right, the new stuff contradicts the old stuff, but the new stuff is also right).

  • Even still on page 16, it further reads, (quote):

The fundamental theories and principles of Ayurveda practice are derived from experience. These are ascertained by a fourfold examination, i.e. aptopadesha (authoritative statement), pratyaksha (perception), anumana (inference) and yukti (rationale) as stated in the Charaka Samhita.

Which sounds exactly like a native pre-scientific attempt at making sense of the world. Something something experience, something something a few steps to try to make sense (I love how one of the steps is a literal appeal to authority, too). This is an infant attempt at science, and a valiant one at that (just like alchemy was to chemistry and astrology was to astronomy), especially considering Ayurveda can safely claim origins dating back atleast 3000 years. Historically, it's impressive. That being said however, why the hell is anyone doing this today? Oh right, because it's quasi-religious nonsense, not science.

Ayurveda is based on the principle that the entire universe and the human body are one, and that the same principles govern both. The changes that occur in the universe with the passage of time also occur in the human body. Hence, substances of natural origin are congenial to the human body and help to maintain the balance of its constituents. Both the universe and the human body are made up of five elements. A balanced state of these elements in the body brings health, and an imbalance brings disease. The elemental composition of the body is explained in the theory of dosha, dhatu and mala, which is the foundation of Ayurveda. The aim of Ayurveda is to achieve equilibrium between doshas and dhatus, which is believed to bring health and longevity.

This stuff is some top-tier Deepak. It's a total deepity to say that "the human body and the entire universe are one". We can't agree that the same exact principles govern both if the initial premise is that they are identical (since that would ruin the "both" quantifier), which they aren't anyways (which then breaks things even more). And in the sense that the same exact principles do govern both, the statement becomes completely trivial anyway. The text also literally pulled an overt appeal to nature — no surprise really, considering you risk being prescribed cadmium-laden bong hits or something (assuming the hue of your phlegm is a tad off, mind you). And in the midst of this torrent of nonsense, I almost overlooked the fact that the statement (quote) "Both the universe and the human body are made up of five elements" means that the WHO now also supports the classical elementsWikipedia's W.svg. What year is it?!

  • And what about this proverbial car crash between actual medical science terms and shoehorned New Age terminology (page 17);

The doshas are present in every cell and move through every channel of the body. These doshas in their normal state are the main supports of the body. In general, the activities of the nervous system are governed by vata, thermogenic and endocrine/exocrine glandular activities by pitta and the musculoskeletal and anabolic systems by kapha. The seven dhatus, the basic tissues of the body, also act as supports when they are in a normal state. They are rasa (nutritive elements constituting the end product of gastrointestinal digestion — chyle, lymph, tissue fluid etc.), rakta (blood), mamsa (muscle tissue), medas (adipose tissue), asthi (cartilage and osseous tissue), majja (red bone marrow) and shukra (reproductive elements). When normally disposed, the dhatus are in their "prasada" state, i.e. fit for building substances of the body; when abnormal, they are in a state that is believed to cause disease.

These are falsifiable statements, i.e., we can conduct experiments and make observations to determine scientifically if there's actually something called doshas moving about in human cells. Until that's been proven, however, nobody can rightfully assume they exist. Furthermore, the first person to observationally prove the presence of any of this mumbo jumbo trash in human cell cultures will win the Nobel prize in medicine. The icing on the cake — the WHO is now germ theory denialist (wtf), as the cause of disease is now literally being endorsed as (the non-existent) "dhatus being in an abnormal state". 2016, people.

  • Page 17-18 explains the "pharmacology" (more like pharmastrology, amirite) of Ayurveda, including;
  1. Rasa ("taste", quote): "a property of a medicine detected by the tongue.". That is, an ultra-primitive system of tasting stuff (in comparison to western analytical chemistryWikipedia's W.svg, at least) typical of infant bronze age science (put root in mouth, nnngk!). The idea is also that consuming one thing increases its opposite (kind of like homeopathy...?), e.g. that "bitter stuff increases sweet stuff" — and vice versa for all effects — in the body. (So, if you suck a mint with your ass, your mouth-breath improves? I never knew!). Makes perfect sense.
  2. Guna (quote): "a property of a medicine detected by sense organs other than the tongue.". So, rubbing, sniffing, listening really closely, staring, yelling at it... Again, a very naked-caveman-y version of empiricism. Qualities like if the prospect medicine is up and walking about ("sara") or is all sweaty ("picchila") are actually considered.
  3. Virya (quote): "denotes the potency of the medicine.". Classed into 8 degrees, into which everything must fit (ranging from common OTC fluoridated chewing gum to maximum strength chemotherapy drugs) via a system of "gunas" (yes, a system of measurement that's actually worse than the imperial system). The properties of, (quote) "Heating and cooling" are considered the two determining factors of all medicines. Just how the fuck would you group actual medicine in this system? Wafarin goes under "Minty Fresh", antibiotics under "Caliénte"?
  4. Vipaka (quote): "denotes the state of the rasas after digestion as demonstrated by their action.". So literally, something something mistaking unrelated cause and effect for actual cause and effect. Best sunglasses ever; I wore them at night and I wasn't blinded by the sun once! The system works!
  5. Prabhava: My favorite, hands down. Defined simply as (full quote): "A special property of some medicines, which cannot be explained by their elemental composition.". Which is to say, WoOoOoOo.
  • On page 18 we get their germ theory denialist UFOlogist theory of disease, (quote);

According to Ayurveda, there are three main causes of disease, namely asatmyendriyartha samyoga (indiscriminate use of senses and their objects), prajnaparadha (error of intellect resulting in a loss of discrimination between wholesome and unwholesome with subsequent indulgence in unwholesome diets and behaviour) and parinama (seasonal variation, cosmic effects and the effects of time).

"Cosmic effects", "the seasons", "effects of time"..? Parinama seems to mean, "being on shrooms". And "indiscriminate use of senses"? Hell, if I had known it was racking up the cosmic bill, I wouldn't have ogled and listened in as much!

  • Now, this quote is really so captivatingly pseudoscientific as to blow my mind just a little. The WHO endorses the following, (quote);

In Ayurveda, the equilibrium of the dhatus in healthy individuals is preserved so that disease is prevented. In diseased people, treatment eliminates the disequilibrium between the doshas, and the body is restored to normality. Thus equilibrium is the determining factor in all individuals.

Not just any fact, but THE determining one. Keep in mind that this is a WHO text which openly references a lot of real, western medicine too (e.g. on page 25). Despite that... This is what Ayurveda practitioners actually believe.

  • On page 22, empiricism is dealt a blow, and also, it seems chemistry is wrong and we actually have 9 primordial substances. Go figure. (Partial quote);

This subject covers the various schools of philosophy, including... ...limitations of sensory perception, details of nava dravya (nine kinds of primordial substances)...

Get that periodic table out my face, boy!

  • Still on page 22, Ayurveda practitioners are told to apply philosophy to people. Like, physically. Wat. (Quote);

Upon completion of this subject, students are expected to be able to describe the philosophical concepts of Ayurveda and to apply these concepts in physiology, pathology, clinical diagnosis and clinical practice.

That is, take philosophical concepts and apply in clinical practice. (Better hope that that particular philosophy happens to involve practicing your aim with the syringe before going digging for veins in Nan's arm!)

  • Jesus Christ, on page 24 they describe surgery based on the above. What the flying fuck. Run for your lives!
  • Wow, uh. Page 25 could be paraphrased as "Ok, the above is what we bring to the table. In all fairness, here is what western medicine brings to the table that we hadn't thought of.". The exact quote is: "The following essential components of western medicine should be included.". Literally, things that are not in the Ayurveda system that needs to be imparted into it from western medicine. The list of things that western, boring, sterile, evil big pharma medicine brings to this hippie cookout are the following minor novelties (and I quote from page 25-26);
  1. Health regulations and medical ethics
  2. Human anatomy
  3. Human physiology (All "human" subjects as opposed to goat)
  4. Pharmacology
  5. Pathophysiology and medical diagnosis
  6. Biochemistry
  7. Clinical medicine
  • Page 36 starts listing the safety issues. Oh boy. Ayurveda isn't exactly super safe. As a comment on the current state of patient safety, even the practitioners relate that, (quote);

The community of practitioners of Ayurveda notes that adverse events may be caused by contamination, adulteration, misidentification, inappropriate use of species and/or prescribing dosages above accepted levels.

Admittedly like western medicine for the last two, but rather like western street drugs for the first three. This is safer, how?

  • Page 36 also notes that plants can't be used if they're found in a, (quote): "dirty or marshy place" or on, (quote) "gravelly land". It also reads, (quote): "A medicinal plant should never be collected from an anthill". So the presence of anthills also fucks everything up, for some reason
  • The following safety notice doesn't make me feel safer. (Quote, page 36);

The practitioner must carefully examine the [...] patient before deciding on the patient’s humoral constitution and the medicine or therapy to be administered."

Consult your UFO system before administering mercury.

  • Speaking of mercury and other bullshit being given to patients, sometimes without them even knowing — according to the document, that's not a myth. (Quote from page 36);

Safe use of metals, minerals and poisonous substances: Metals, minerals and poisonous substances must be properly processed in order to be used as a medicine or in a medical formulation, i.e. shodhan for poisonous substances and shodhan and maran (wherever necessary) for metals and minerals, as improperly purified substances are likely to create toxic effects.

  • Also (page 37);

Metals and minerals for maran require specific processing in order to decrease the risk of adverse effects.

And like it just read prior, (quote);

Improperly purified substances are likely to create toxic effects.

Thankfully, a super-scientific sounding system of making sure the toxicity in the toxic medicine isn't too toxic is deployed. It consists of;

  1. Varitaratwa: the heavy metal and/or poison (quote) "should float on water".
  2. Rekhapurnatwa: the heavy metal and/or poison (quote) "should be fine enough to fill the ridges on the surface of the fingers". (Watch out for doctors with big hands!)
  3. Nirutthatwa: the heavy metal and/or poison (quote) "should not make an appearance in its original form after subjecting the bhasma to processing". (I.e., if you strike it down, it shall become more powerful than you could ever imagine!)
  4. Nishchandratva: the heavy metal and/or poison (quote) "should be lustreless". (Like lead!)
  5. Nishkalanka: the heavy metal and/or poison should be (quote) "specifically for tamra (copper) bhasma; no green colour should appear when tamra bhasma is mixed with curd or any sour substance". (If having sour milk with your copper chewables make'em kinda green looking? S'bad. If not? S'prolly less bad.)
  • Also on page 37, the WHO recommends that Ayurveda practitioners not lie to people when possible by pretending that giving people mercury is some kind of discontinued practice or a myth. (Quote);

Ayurvedic practitioners should warn patients when metals, minerals or poisonous substances are included in the prescription. Information regarding the use of these substances, signs of potential adverse effects and recommendations for emergency response to these adverse events should be provided.

It's important patients are told which wonderful life-affirming treament they are now suddenly dying from when if that situation comes up. Just saying.

  • Apparently, (quote, page 37);

Medicines having opposite veerya (temperamental potency) should not be combined.

Holy shit, they're now inventing new toxicities? What about the mercury and the stuff already in it...? Jesus!

Now, these novel "toxic" combinations include, (quote);

• fish and milk
• meat and milk
• sour substances and milk
• salt and milk
• fruits and milk
• peas and milk
• leafy vegetables and milk
• radish leaves and jaggery
• banana with buttermilk or curd
• curd and ghee
• storage of ghee in brass containers for more than 10 days
• frying of long pepper in the same oil in which fish has been fried.

Apparently, Ayurveda is quite kosher.

  • In its defense, even the evil, poisonous, Big Pharma medicine from the west is atleast standardized and factory manufactured according to modern health codes and so on (while also being backed up by actual science). In Ayurveda, things are a little more loosey-goosey. As a patient, the WHO states that it's your responsibility to watch that your particular Guru of choice isn't too baked when picking the plants for your rash, or the concoction might kill ya. Stuff to watch out for here include (pages 37-38);
  1. If the (sometimes already poisonous) plants are kinda dirty? Or have animal dung (from the organic farming) on'em still? Could be bad, you don't know...
  2. If that whole process from before, with making sure the led floats or whatever? If that fucks up it's bad.
  3. If all that stuff you're supposed to make sure you think about while roaming the woods in your flip flops looking for the right leaf thingy? If you kinda mess around too much while doing that? S'bad.
  4. If your weed guy (no pun intended) actually turns out to "lack the knowledge" about some of the twigs, and the branches? And like all the metals and junk he makes you eat? And kinda doses you way too high? Not good.
  5. If kinda shit quality stuff is used for the thing; that's not so good obviously. Quality should clearly be above shit.
  6. Taking a bunch of stuff for other stuff, that the original stuff was in fact never intended for. Applies to western medicine as well, mind you! It's now 1-1 to Ayurveda!
  7. If you're misusing said stuff. (Can you actually not misuse it, considering there's no valid... Ah, never mind.)
  8. If you're mixing a lot of roots and yoga and heavy metal music pills with like hot dogs; that may or may not give you an internal rash. Wedunnoyet.
  9. If the guy that hooks you up turns out to "lack skilled knowledge" about all this stuff? And the metals and whatever? And like how that stuff really works? Could be bad y'know especially dosage-wise.
  1. Vaman (Make'em puke)
  2. Virechan (Make'em poo)
  3. Anuvasan/asthapan basti (Literally translates to "evacuation enema")
  4. Shirovirechan ("Inducing nasal discharge")
  5. Rakta mokshan (Fucking literal bloodletting)
  • Also page 38. FINALLY, we get to the list of contraindications. I mean, surely there has to be a well-motivated system for this so-called "science of life" to also prevent you from doing stuff like making Nan eat bark until she croaks? Thankfully, there is. Kinda. It goes like follows, (and I quote);
  • Vamana (page 38) should not be performed on (among others);
Patients who wear glasses (?)
Currently paralysed or convulsing patients (Prolly a good idea)
Patients with "internal haemorrhage directed upwards" (?)
Severly constipated people (blatant ableism against multiple RW editors)
Those with "roughness of the body including skin" (No hunks allowed!)
Obese patients (Transfats and led enemas combined take a serious health toll on the patient when administered together like a goddamn synchronized wrestling move)
  • Virechana (page 38) should not be performed on (among others);
Patients with "foreign governments bodies" (That is, patients who have inserted their car keys into the tiny, tiny hole at the tip of their penis. I think.)
Patients with "consumption" (presumably includes consumption advocates)
Patients who are a bit thirsty
Patients with indigestion (Possibly from being prescribed an Ayurveda diet containing too many asbestos-frosted pinecones)
Patients who have recieved enemas that weren't sufficiently greasy ("nonunctuous enema")
Patients with "execessive unction" (Literally; patients who have been repeatedly smeared with ritual anointing oil and blessed to the point of receiving developing eczemas)
  • Asthapan basti (page 38) should not be performed on;
Patients who haven't yet been made to vomit right after they've been rectally evacuated. (Restoring the balance to people's fluids, was it...?)
  • Shirovirechana (page 38-39) should not be performed on (among others);
Patients who have drunk — or will eventually drink — water (I'm sure that won't come up)
Poisoned patients (Good call)
Patients who have had a meal or headbath prior (Headbath... holding just your head underwater 'til the skin wrinkles?)
Patients who will run a bath later on (Bastards!)
Patients who have been bloodlet (Good call again)
Patients who have just had their bowels evacuated by an enema (Leave the poor guy alone for just a moment, will ya? Give him a chance!)
Patients who cough (Or who just clear their throats with some immersion)
Patients who are, and I quote, "in cloudy weather other than the rainy season, except in cases of emergency.". (That is literally what the fucking WHO guide says! "If the clouds look mad, don't remove the tumor just yet!")
  • Raktamokshana (page 39) should not be performed on (among others);
Patients under 16 or over 70 years of age (I.e., you may only treat people in the "good health"-years)
Patients who are "non-uncted" (Patients who have been uncled should still be fine, though)
Patients who have been bloodlet prior (Good call, once more)
Patients "after intake of sneha and use of panchakarma" (Anyone currently employed at a Plumbus factory, gotcha.)
Patients suffering from "vatika disorders" (?)
Patients with internal haemmoraghe (If it can be upwards pointing or not isn't specified this time around)
Patients who are mid-vomit
  • Snehana (page 39) should not be performed on (among others);
Patients with either "very poor" or "very intense" digestion (Only patients that already have perfectly normal digestion are treatable!)
Debilitated patients with diarrhoea (Or, who think they have diarrhoea? Huh.)
Poisoned patients (Once more, good call)
Fainting patients (Try to catch them instead!)
Thirsty patients
Alcoholics (Especially if they're thirsty, I reckon!)
And clear as rain, (quote): "kapha, amadosa or urustambha or after snuffing, enema or purgation." (Patients who have already been snuffed out are in other words to be considered FUBAR)
  • Svedana (page 39) should not be performed on (among others);
Patients who are menstruating (Eeeew)
Patients who are "excessively obese" (So like, obese obese should still be fine, though. Just not excessively so.)
Patients with prolapsed rectums, and/or the accompanying (quote) "malaise, anger, anxiety, fear, hunger or thirst" (A bit homophobic, frankly)
Patients with "cauterization in the anal region" (Cauterization in other regions should still be fine, though)
Patients with "prameha, kustha and vatarakta"
Patients "after intake of milk, curd, fatty substances and honey, or after purgation." (No bulimics who've had cake!)
  • Anjana (page 39) should not be performed on (among others);
Patients who are "fearful" (A rational response to having read this document)
Patients who are puking, pooping or eating (Especially all at once!)
Patients who are, (quote) "feeling natural urges or anger" (?)
Patients with eyestrain (Prolly got it because they weren't allowed to wear their glasses here previously)
Patients who have either lost sleep or slept in the daytime (They gained... night-wake? I dunno)
After intake of "smoke or wine" (No cool guys allowed!)
After, (quote): "exposure to fire and sun or when the sun is not visible" (So basically, if you're so close to the sun that you are in fact touching it, and/or if the sun is hiding just to worsen your sore throat it's nighttime.)
  • Kshara karma (page 39) (splashing people with (quote) "caustic alkali") should not be performed on (among others);
Patients with "abdominal enlargement" (Patients with abdominal shrinkage should still be fine, though)
Patients with internal haemmoraghe (Of an unspecified direction and/or tilt)
Patients with "advanced fever" (Basic fever should still be fine, though)
Patients who have displaced their testicles (Medical fucking emergency!!!)
Patients who are, (quote): "pregnant or menstruating women or women with upwards displacement of the uterus." (Downwards-flipped should still be fine though)
  • Agnikarma (page 39) should not be performed on (among others);
Patients, (quote): "in the autumn or summer" (Treatment is in other words available all year round for those select few who can afford to relocate via airplane)
Patients legislated into the paittika constitution (Or, patients of paittika constitution. Whichever they meant.)
Patients with "ruptured viscera" (Prolly from the bush-surgery specified on page 24)
Patients with an "unextracted foreign body" (Pregnant women...?)
Children and, (quote): "aged persons" (Transhumanists should still be fine, though)
Patients who are "timid" (The dicks.)
  • Finally, page 40 clearly specifies that toxic metals and literal poisons can and will be used, though the recommendation is that patients be informed. You may not lie! Anymore. Also, a large number of heavy metal poisoning signs are listed, including "giddiness", "poor shine of the skin" "brightness of the eyes" and — quite amazingly — "general health" (a most acceptable adverse effect!).

And thus ends the hefty report. Now, LMM — what were you saying again about something something scientific nuance, whatever? All the best, Reverend Black Percy (talk) 20:09, 6 August 2016 (UTC)

You have made great use of your ability to pay very close attention to details, Reverend Black Percy. It also seems to me that the WHO is trying to be politically correct. On top of that, some of what they say is not even wrong. Of course the human body and the Universe at large obey the same set of fundamental physical laws. But saying that what happens to the Universe will happen to humans is questionable at best. the placebo effect was not mentioned. From my personal reading, this seems to be the problem with alternative medicine. If it is not clinically proven, it does not deserve to be considered a medical treatment. I must say what I read make me angry. A well-known scientific institution supports such nonsense in an extensive report? Who are they again? I think you should send this, or rather, a profanity-free version thereof, to the WHO itself. In case you did not know, consumption is an old word for tuberculosis. Nerd271 (talk) 20:45, 6 August 2016 (UTC)
Thank you, Nerd. This freaking report read like a stand-up routine. If the above text was the least bit funny to read, I can tell you the damn thing practically wrote itself. I really should talk to somebody at the WHO, just to see what they think about this. I would dare suppose that this report likely flies in the face of volumes of way more important reports they've put out on other medical topics. And yeah, I actually knew consumption was an old name for that. But I wanted to make a Ralph Nader joke so bad. And now I did. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 21:14, 6 August 2016 (UTC)
I think you just wrote the exciting new side-by-side dissection article Benchmarks for Training in Ayurveda - David Gerard (talk) 22:48, 6 August 2016 (UTC)
If I got a smile out of you, I win! Th hug.gif Reverend Black Percy (talk) 22:52, 6 August 2016 (UTC)
"If the above text was the least bit funny to read" -- don't worry, Percy, it was funny, and that was obviously your goal in the first place. Imagine the fun you would've had if RW had been around in 1950 and you could snark at all those alternative medicine wackos who suggested that heart patients shouldn't chain-smoke and eat red meat every day. It would've been hilarious. Too bad there's not a more positive outlet for hypomania. So whatever, unless some other editors reply with a bit more levelheadedness, I'll just let RW be RW. Not sure why I was taking it so seriously in the first place. LMM (talk) 14:28, 7 August 2016 (UTC)

Bongolian wisdom[edit]

The document was the result of a conference on phytotherapy (Annex 2), which included many Ayurveda practitioners. It is likely that these practitioners wrote the document, and wrote it uncritically. For example, while they note that

  1. Ayurveda contains metals and poisons.
  2. Ayurveda practitioners should be able to understand whether prescriptions are accurate.
  3. Ayurveda practitioners should be able to recognize signs of poisoning.

The authors did not say that practitioners should not prescribe metals or poisons, nor even that prescriptions should tested for contamination. Given that some substances like lead (which is widespread in Ayurveda) bioaccumulate, they should never be prescribed and contamination should be kept to the bare minimum. Another substance that should never be prescribed is aristolochia, which is listed in Annex 3 as Isvari (Aristolochia indica). The substances in this annex are listed without annotation as if they were all equally effective and safe, which they are most certainly not. Another unsafe substance is betelnut or Puga (Areca catechu), which is a human carcinogen. There may be other unsafe ones that I'm unfamiliar with. I sympathize with the idea that poor people may need to rely on traditional herbal medicine for economic reasons, but this document does not advance their safety or anyone else's for the reasons above. Bongolian (talk) 22:39, 6 August 2016 (UTC)

Thanks for your most learned input, Bongolian! I hope my notes were an entertaining, if not educational, read! In the report, pages 11-12, the review process of this paper is provided. Under the headline "Drafting and Consultation Process", the following reads;

The most elaborated material to establish benchmarks comes from the countries where the various forms of traditional medicine under consideration originated. These countries have established formal education or national requirements for licensure or qualified practice. Any relevant benchmarks must refer to these national standards and requirements. The first stage of drafting of this series of documents was delegated to the national authorities in the countries of origin of each of the respective forms of traditional, complementary or alternative medicine discussed. These drafts were then, in a second stage, distributed to more than 300 reviewers in more than 140 countries. These reviewers included experts and national health authorities, WHO collaborating centres for traditional medicine, and relevant international and regional professional nongovernmental organizations. The documents were then revised based on the comments and suggestions received. Finally, WHO organized consultations for further final review, prior to editing.

Sounds like a bunch of puffery if you ask me. What is obvious is that nobody with even a basic understanding of pseudoscience or of actual medical science had any deciding force on this particular report. The text I just quoted was written by a "Dr Xiaorui Zhang, Coordinator, Traditional Medicine Department for Health System Governance and Service Delivery, World Health Organization". Two fairly low-ranking Italian politicians also signed off earlier in the document; "Luciano Bresciani, Regional Minister of Health, Regional Government of Lombardy" and "Giulio Boscagli, Regional Minister of Family and Social Solidarity, Regional Government of Lombardy". Two Italian state politicians and a chinese herbal supplement quack, propped up by the participants of an Ayurvedic conference? Sounds like the equivalent of letting Vegas UFO expo participants counsel on the authorship of a new Project Blue Book by two random Rob Ford-level politicans from Kentucky. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 22:52, 6 August 2016 (UTC)
And like you say, it's one thing when poor nations and people use what they can to make the best of an imperfect situation. It's wholly another thing when the direction of progress is suddenly meant to be reversed; with pre-scientific garbage flooding back in and taking up room alongside modern medical science, like some kind of fucked up epistemological short drink. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 23:44, 6 August 2016 (UTC)
The drafters were drawn from "national authorities in the countries of origin of each of the respective forms of traditional, complementary or alternative medicine", so they are likely to be protecting their turf. The 300 reviewers sounds unusually large for a report of this size. Were any of them actual scientists, or even an MD who is not involved in prescribing traditional medicine? We don't know.
Here's an Ayurveda school that cites the document for its curriculum: International University of Yoga and Ayurveda.[1] Bongolian (talk) 04:09, 7 August 2016 (UTC)
As far as a quick rumage around online can tell, it seems that Bresciani is an actual MD (from the University of Milan), but that of course doesn't ensure that he's not a quack/pseudoscience promoter or supporting other untenable views, after all Andrew Wakefield was a legitimate doctor before he got onto the anti-vaxxer nut wagon. ScepticWombat (talk) 14:56, 7 August 2016 (UTC)

Okay this is a lot of text and I honestly only read 10% of it[edit]

But if you guys can find even a single Ayurvedic medicine promoter who uses the who report to justify their practice, I fully support adding it to the article. Cømяade FυzzчCαтPøтαтø (talk/stalk) 23:10, 6 August 2016 (UTC)

See the Bongolian note above--they found an entire school using the book, so now can we unlock the thread and consider "adding it to the article"? Or will this just continue to be a snarkfest to the detriment of RW? LMM (talk) 14:16, 7 August 2016 (UTC)
Which page (that I quote from) did you make it to? I'd like to implore you to read my above notes on page 17-18 if I could. All the best, Reverend Black Percy (talk) 23:18, 6 August 2016 (UTC)
The notes on pages 37-38 are also recommended. C'mon catpotatobutt, you can do it! We all believe! Reverend Black Percy (talk) 23:20, 6 August 2016 (UTC)
Reading in progress...I always loved reading, especially non-fiction-D1@m0ndD15c1 (talk) 01:22, 7 August 2016 (UTC)
DUNK that ball, Diamond! Reverend Black Percy (talk) 01:23, 7 August 2016 (UTC)
Shh! I'm on page 24 now!-D1@m0ndD15c1 (talk) 01:29, 7 August 2016 (UTC)
Psst! Don't exhaust yourself with the actual report before going over mah notes! (If that's even what you meant... I need to use the sleep). Reverend Black Percy (talk) 01:31, 7 August 2016 (UTC)
I did that already.Th hug.gif(Yes, I found the hug template)-D1@m0ndD15c1 (talk) 01:34, 7 August 2016 (UTC)
Then it's time to exhaust yourself with mah notes! Reverend Black Percy (talk) 01:34, 7 August 2016 (UTC)

Well, I got to go...-D1@m0ndD15c1 (talk) 01:35, 7 August 2016 (UTC)

Two points for LMM regarding International University of Yoga and Ayurveda website: 1) It's not really clear whether they have had any actual students. 2) It is also not clear whether the school came first or the reliance on the WHO document came first. Bongolian (talk) 17:20, 7 August 2016 (UTC)
And a third point. Other people have already "founded an entire school using the book" — actually several schools — and in those instances we're talking about a different, way more mainstream book. Yet, none of those facts render what they did neither sane nor reasonable in the least. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 17:32, 7 August 2016 (UTC)

Plant herbs applied on skin[edit]

I think that some of the Ayurvedic medicine actually works. Ayurved promotes the use of plants/herbs such as Neem, Tulsi, Turmeric and Aloe-vera for treatment of skin conditions and wounds. I will search for supporting links online and we can add them here. — Unsigned, by: Rational1 / talk / contribs

Some of the herbs work, sure — but it's not because Ayurveda works. The mechanisms of humorism and substance dualism are completely bogus. Some of the herbs you list do work for some things (no doubt!), but the mechanisms by which they work belong to evidence-based medicine, not to Ayurveda woo. This is an essential difference. Now — as a bit of an herb geek, I will direct you to examine.com, the place you should always consult when learning more about what claims might be true (and which claims are known to be false) about any given herb. For example, see their article on Tulsi (aka Holy Basil), Turmeric (though I highly recommend you check out the article on Curcumin instead) and Aloe vera. Also: On talk pages, please sign your comments using four tildes (~~~~) or by clicking on the sign button: SigButt.png on the toolbar above the edit panel. You can also indent successive talk page comments using one more colon (:) for each line. Thank you. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 19:17, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
Anyhow, these are marketed and sold as "Ayurvedic" by leading Ayurvedic companies. That's why we should explicitly state on our page here that these few medicines "do" work - it's okay to buy these few medicines while it's not okay to buy any other medicine by the very same company. Rational1 (talk) 08:36, 1 December 2016 (UTC)