How Believable is Ayurvedic Medicine Anyway?
They tell you that Ayurveda is this five millennium-old Far Eastern medical technique that treats you holistically. It doesn’t fill you with harmful chemicals and it has cures for things that allopathy is still looking under every rock for, they tell you. Is Ayurvedic medicine really that advanced? Does it really help you? Should you really believe Deepak Chopra when he promises you perfect health through Ayurvedic medicine?
When he tells you things like your happy thoughts make happy molecules and your bad thoughts make bad molecules, you have to wonder if there’s something funny going on here. When he talks about how Ayurvedic medicine takes the intelligence of the universe to make it work for you, you do wonder – is he onto something or has he been smoking something.
Let’s first get to the claim that Ayurvedic medicine is 5000 years old. While Ayurvedic certainly is at least hundreds of years old, most of whatever techniques were developed were lost over time. Much of what they tell you today is just rewritten stuff that was put together barely 30 years ago.
People have sued proponents of Ayurveda like Deepak Chopra for seriously bad advice. In the year 1995, Deepak Chopra was consulted by someone in California who had cancer. Chopra and other Ayurvedic practitioners performed some kind of Ayurvedic treatment called pulse diagnosis among other things on him. At some point, an Ayurvedic practitioner pronounced the patient free of cancer. For these services, these practitioners collected $10,000 in fees.
And then the patient died of the cancer. They were poor people and the family sued for fraud. Unfortunately, they weren’t able to pursue the case for want of money. So we can’t really know if any of these accusations were actually true. But they do seem to ring true from what we hear of what Ayurvedic practitioners usually claim and recommend.
Is it safe to buy Ayurvedic hair oil and other stuff that they sell from India? Only 10 years ago, customs in America sent back huge quantities of Ayurvedic products imported from major manufacturers in India like Baidyanath because they contained a great deal of mercury, arsenic and lead – remnants of low-tech distillation processes.
As natural as Ayurvedic claims to be, it also does claim that these heavy metals and poisons have therapeutic properties. Should you believe in them when you see something that completely goes against all logic? These studies were actually published in the JAMA.