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The Jungle and The Aroma of Meats: An Ecological Theme in Hindu Medicine

 
Francis Zimmermann (Author) Indian Medical Tradition Series
Synopsis The theory of humors, vital fluids whose proportions in the human body determine its health and temperament, is far from outdated. And what we sometimes think of as a modern concern with ecology and alternative medicine is really as old as the traditional medical techniques of the classical West of South Asia. It is to the latter that Francis Zimmermann turns his attention, in a remarkable evocation that combines Sanskrit studies and anthropology. He reconstructs and exposes the linkage between humors, persons, and soils in classical Hindu medicine. His work will interested those involved in the areas of medical anthropology, medical anthropology, medical history, philosophy of science, philosophy of language, and South Asian studies. It will also be valued for the vivid and accurate descriptions it offers of a few basic ideas our time has borrowed from Hindu culture: flower power, vegetarianism, non-violence, and the comic dimensions of the human body. In classical Ayurvedic medicine, a comprehensive view of the whole human person included the patient's humoral integration into the surrounding soil. The Jungle was the most crucial environment, and the Jungle was - and is - the dry land of the Punjab and the Delhi Doab, an open vegetation of thorny shrubs. The polarity of dry lands and wet lands framed not only the whole Ayurvedic materia medica but also the more general conception of a comic physiology governed by Agni (the sun) and Soma (the dispenser of rain). Clearing the land and draining the body were two aspects of one and the same art of managing the transactions of all sorts of vital fluids, saps, juices, savors, and humor. Medicine in the context of thought and practice associated with the Jungle was, and still in modern India, a kind of agriculture.
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Bibliographic information

Title The Jungle and The Aroma of Meats: An Ecological Theme in Hindu Medicine
Format Hardcover
Date published: 20.08.2011
Edition Reprint.
Language: English
isbn 8120816188, 9788120816183
length xvi+254p., Plates; Figures; Tables; Appendix; Illustrations.; Maps; Notes; Index; 23cm