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October 2, 1991

Maharishi Ayur-Veda

JAMA. 1991;266(13):1772. doi:10.1001/jama.1991.03470130045022

To the Editor.  —"Letter From New Delhi"1 did not merit publication in JAMA as a serious article.Ayur-Veda as it is described by the authors is not at all the kind of "science of life" that we know as biology. Furthermore, they err when they identify modern medical science with the obsolete superstition of allopathy. Indeed, it is Ayur-Veda's preoccupation with correcting "imbalances" among its three "doshas" and numerous "subdoshas," which have only a poetic connection with known physiologic processes at best, that most closely resembles those prescientific ideas about balancing body "humors" that were the basis of allopathy.That substances with pharmacologic effects have been found in herbal remedies used by Ayur-Veda does nothing to validate the theoretical basis for this "medical system." If it did, then we would have to give serious attention to the ideas that led our prescientific forebears to practice bleeding and purging, since salicylates,