Ayurvedic Workshop Held at School of Medicine
BU, Mumbai University team up for ayurveda research
This semester, the School of Medicine brought some new — and old — techniques into the classroom. Hanumanthrao Palep, a professor at Mumbai University in India, joined MED students and faculty for a workshop on ayurvedic medicine, which incorporates herbal treatments, massage, and yoga. While ayurveda is rarely used in the United States, it’s been practiced in India for nearly 5,000 years.
“It’s a holistic approach to life,” Pralep says. “Ayurveda has a very great role to play in future medicines, and parts of it can be of great value to world medicines.”
Palep, an obstetrician and gynecologist, began researching ayurveda to reduce the rate of miscarriages among pregnant women. “We formulated some of the herbal medicines involved in ayurveda,” he says, “and we found that they were very good at preventing some complications in pregnancy, improving birth rate, and overall pregnancy outcome.”
Now, he’s collaborating with Robert Saper, director of integrative medicine and a MED assistant professor in the department of family medicine and at Boston Medical Center, in an effort to provide scientific analysis of the results. Palep has been working to make ayurveda a part of mainstream medical practice for more than a decade; he started Dr. Palep’s Medical Research Foundation in 1997, and his book, Scientific Foundation of Ayurveda, was published in 2005.
Saper has recently advocated the use of stricter regulation and guidelines in the production of ayurvedic supplements; his research has revealed high levels of toxic metals in certain supplements. Nonetheless, he says, he is “very committed to ayurveda,” and wants to “apply rigorous science to these traditional medical systems to determine which are helpful and safe and which are unhelpful and unsafe.”
Davide Nardi can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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