The history of the discovery of blood circulation: Unrecognized contributions of Ayurveda masters
ABSTRACT Ayurveda, the native healthcare system of India, is a rich resource of well-documented ancient medical knowledge. Although the roots of this knowledge date back to the Vedic and post-Vedic eras, it is generally believed that a dedicated branch for healthcare was gradually established approximately between 400 BCE and 200 CE. Probably because the language of documentation of these early textbooks is in Sanskrit, a language that is not in day-to-day use among the general population even in India, many significant contributions of Ayurveda have remained unrecognized in the literature related to the history of medicine. In this communication, the discovery of blood circulation has been taken up as a case, and a few important references from the representative Ayurveda compendia that hint at a preliminary understanding of the cardiovascular system as a "closed circuit" and the heart acting as a pump have been reviewed. The central argument of this review is that these contributions from Ayurveda too must be recorded and credited when reviewing the milestones in the history of medicine, as Ayurveda can still possibly guide various streams of the current sciences, if revisited with this spirit.
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ABSTRACT: Currently, India recognizes five different healthcare systems, collectively known as AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha, Homeopathy), along with the conventional biomedicine. These systems have their own institutionalized structure for monitoring medical education and practice. However, because of the 'parallel' kind of policy model that is followed in India, there is no formal provision for any cross-talk between the professionals belonging to these different streams. This situation has not only given rise to mutual misgivings among these professionals regarding the strengths and weaknesses of each other, but also has led to a poor appreciation of the historical and socio-cultural connections these streams share with the community at large. To tackle these issues and to promote adequate participation of biomedicine experts in AYUSH-related research projects, 'introduction of an AYUSH module in the current curriculum of MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) program' has been proposed in this communication along with a possible roadmap for its implementation. It is also suggested that the experts in biomedicine be engaged for training AYUSH graduates in their respective specialties so that quality AYUSH education may be ensured.Journal of Ayurveda and integrative medicine 01/2013; 4(1):52-5. DOI:10.4103/0975-9476.109556
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ABSTRACT: 'What is the ideal way of teaching Ayurveda?' - has been a debated question since long. The present graduate level curriculum lists out the topics from 'contemporary medical science' and 'Ayurveda' discretely, placing no emphasis on integration. Most of the textbooks, too, follow the same pattern. This makes learning not only difficult, but also leads to cognitive dissonance. To develop and evaluate the effectiveness of a few integrative teaching methods. We introduced three different interventions in the subject Kriya Sharira with special reference to 'cardiovascular physiology'. The instructional methods that we evaluated were: 1. Integrative module on cardiovascular physiology (IMCP), 2. case-stimulated learning (CSL), and 3. classroom small group discussion (CSGD). In the first two experiments, we subjected the experimental group of graduate students to the integrative instructional methods. The control group of students received the instructions in a conventional, didactic, teacher-centric way. After the experiments were over, the learning outcome was assessed and compared on the basis of the test scores. The groups were crossed over thereafter and the instructional methods were interchanged. Finally, feedback was obtained on different questionnaires. In the third experiment, only student feedback was taken as we could not have a control group. The test results in the first experiment showed that the integrative method is comparable with the conventional method. In the second experiment, the test results showed that the integrative method is better than the conventional method. The student feedback showed that all the three methods were perceived to be more interesting than the conventional one. The study shows that the development of testable integrative teaching methods is possible in the context of Ayurveda education. It also shows that students find integrative approaches more interesting than the conventional method.Journal of Ayurveda and integrative medicine 07/2013; 4(3):138-46. DOI:10.4103/0975-9476.118683