Absurd claims of Ayurveda
#1
In this post, Myst says "Onions and garlic are believed to promote ignorance (lol *cough*) and criminal tendencies according to our good-ol' Ayurveda.". That got me wondering, what other absurd claims does ayurveda make?

Please share any such claims (or any websites that list such claims) that you've come across.
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#2
(14-Jun-2011, 12:51 PM)Lije Wrote: In this post, Myst says "Onions and garlic are believed to promote ignorance (lol *cough*) and criminal tendencies according to our good-ol' Ayurveda.". That got me wondering, what other absurd claims does ayurveda make?

Please share any such claims (or any websites that list such claims) that you've come across.

The whole problem behind Ayurveda is this; the claimed rationale involves balancing abstract concepts like Vatham, Pittam and Kapham in the body, however, no empirical demonstration of correspondence of these to observational reality has been made, further problems arise when plant compounds' effects, which may be down to bog-standard molecular biology are explained in terms of these unverified abstract concepts.

It claims unsubstantiated premises to be empirically true, in effect claiming what may be ontologically true (since it hasn't been tested) or false is definitely true, which would be analogous to stating that a set that may be empty definitely has an element.

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#3
Another claim by Ayurveda is that drenching in rain or having wet hair causes common cold. In Malayalam, common cold is called "Jala Dosha", meaning sickness caused by water.

According to them, water enters your head through "holes"(or gaps) in the crown area. That water with "additional stuff" from inside your head will come out through the nose.That's mucus. To stop all this from happening, get your head dry and pour some powder called "Rasnadi Choornam" in the crown area. (to fill in the "holes" probably lol)

The sad part is everyone believes this crap. I mean, I told my family many times that common cold is caused by a virus and not because of wet hair. But they never listen. They trust a 3000 year old text rather than modern science.Sad
"Life is but a momentary glimpse into the wonder of this astonishing universe, and it makes me sad to see so many people dreaming it away on spiritual fantasy." - Carl Sagan
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#4
Another ridiculous notion perpetuated by, at least the ancient Ayurveda, is mental illness is caused by supernatural forces like ghosts or demon - Bhutavidya. Ayurvedic apologist now claims its equivalent to psychiatry. A quote from such site,
Quote:This branch specifically deals with diseases of mind, which is caused by super natural forces. Different explanations are provided for the word “Bhuta”. While some refer to it as ghosts or bad spirits that cause abnormal psychological condition, others say it represents bacteria or viruses. It is also believed that the past karma, is the cause of such diseases, and hence Ayurveda does not have a direct explanation in terms of Tridosha. Bhuta Vidya explains that in most cases, illness is caused by mental disturbance when tarnas (ignorance) and rajas (passion) are the main factors. It refers to use of disinfectant plants ‘graha vidya dravva’ for fumigation, to keep the atmosphere germ free.

source: http://www.ayurvedictalk.com/ayurveda-br...study/398/

"Five elements" belief (almost everyone I know personally believe this nonsense)

Quote:Ancient Indian philosophy is of opinion that all materials, living or nonliving are made of five fundamental elements called Panchamahabhutas,
representing five fundamental categor ies of matter. These are: • Akasha (ether )
• Vayu (air )
• Teja (fire/energy)
• Jala ( water) , and
• Prithvi (earth)
All material on this earth contains Panchamahabhutas in different
proportion.

Followed by unsupported claim that human body is perfect and illness is caused by "bad" behavior or sins.

Quote:The harmony and the balance of the Doshas, Dhatus, Malas and Agni
in the body is the primary condition of the health. The equilibrium is
maintained through a life in conformity with the laws of nature.
A wrong behavior and food habit disturbs the harmony and lead to
diseases

source: http://charakayurveda.com/charak-ebook.pdf

A whole list of derpity derp herp derp here.
http://www.ancientayurved.com/
Quote:Ayurveda science of life developed by Ancient Ayurvedic Acharayas is capable of curing each and every disease.
In the presence of medicine, I'd say Ayurveda is Troll Medicine.

(15-Jun-2011, 08:35 AM)holyshitbatman Wrote: To stop all this from happening, get your head dry and pour some powder called "Rasnadi Choornam" in the crown area. (to fill in the "holes" probably lol)

Choornam to fill holes in my head? Preposterous! I always use M-Seal, it's waterproof.
"Take the risk of thinking for yourself, much more happiness, truth, beauty, and wisdom will come to you that way."
- Christopher Hitchens
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#5
There's this "digestive heat of stomach" claim; which postulates the presence of certain 'digestive energy' analogous to 'kiln fire' in the alimentary canal responsible for digestion process!
To this belief, abstaining from drinking water for 4 hours from meals is imperative to aid healthy digestion as water is believed to put out the stomach-kiln!
I reckon, drinking water immediately after meals dilute your digestive juices. Nothing to do with digestive-heat!
"The crime called blasphemy was invented by priests for the purpose of defending doctrines not able to take care of themselves."_ Robert Green Ingersoll.
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#6
Some claims from Garbha Upanishad:

(This technically isn't Ayurveda, but if people are going to use appeals to ancient wisdom (i.e the Vedas), and a holistic way of life to market Ayurveda, they better answer for the absurdities in such wisdom and what kind of holistic living gave rise to such claims).

  1. Heart is the source of fire i.e it generates body heat. In reality heat generation and regulation involves more than the heart.
  2. Males are born if father's seed is strong. Females are born if mother's seed is strong. If strengths are equal, intersexuals are born. Again, the ancient wisdom is way off on gender determination.
  3. If [at the time of impregnation] the parents are agitated, the child will be blind, crippled, hunch-backed or stunted. Congenital disorders have little to do with how agitated the parents are at the time of sex.
  4. If the vital air moves around, the seed enters in two parts, resulting in twins. I believe "vital air" means prana. Prana is an absurdly primitive way of explaining life as Meera Nanda says in this talk.
  5. In the ninth month, the baby is reminded of previous birth. Also the baby is born into grief. It has to accept the path of Samkya Yoga to achieve liberation. A claim that is not even wrong.
  6. Inside the womb, the baby knows about previous births. Once the baby comes out, maya engulfs the baby. Another not even wrong claim.


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#7
Ayurveda is simply a term for Indian medical practices that simply did not evolve with the times after around 1,000 AD or so. Many Ayurvedic treatments that would have been cutting-edge in 600 BC or so would no longer meet modern standards of care.

For example, using turmeric mixed with ghee on someone's eye after performing cataract surgery was cutting-edge way back then, but now we have far more proven disinfectants for such procedures.

But to stay on the topic of bizarre Ayurveda, nothing can top mixing mercury (among the worst toxins out there) into ayurvedic treatments while claiming that performing pujas during the preparation process neutralizes the negative effects of said Mercury. Indeed, I would argue that it is the most dangerous practice in Ayurveda by far.
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