Ayurvedic Remedies

I read an article about Deepak Chopra last night.  What a smug, self-righteous, frustrating man.

 

He promotes Ayurveda, which is the ancient traditional medicine that can cure anything as long as you believe in it.

 

 

assurine

 

 

Chopra is a multimillionaire celebrity doctor that provokes oohs and ahs over his remedies and Pop Hindu lectures.  Many pay him money to hear him say that they’re god–mostly middle aged women who watch Oprah.  In addition to his best selling books, he also occasionally writes anti-american screeds on the Huffington post.

 

He’s a shrewd business man who equips the “Me Generation” with the tools for self worship, and he’s managed to convince Americans that in order to fulfill our health and wealth desires, we need to tap into the traditional folk medicine of India.  That’s right.  INDIA!

 

Seems odd, right?  Because if you want to buy magical Ayurvedic rocks and things from a stall in Bombay, you have to step over diseased, impoverished folks in the streets.  Despite India’s pervasive Ayurvedic remedies, it still struggles with poverty and health problems.   In 1999 during the peak of Chopra’s fame, the World Health Organization estimated that 700,000 Indians died of diarrhea.  That’s 1,600 deaths a day.  In addition, this year CNN reported that a gene mutation among non-smoking, vegetarian, Indians has caused a radical increase in heart disease.  That’s right, Chopra is importing the secrets to health and wealth that work so well for the folks in India.

 

Is it important for Ayurvedic medicine to actually work, or is it cool enough for it be pagan, foreign, alternative, and old?  A scientific study in the Journal of the America Medical Association (Saper et al., JAMA (2004)292:2868-2873) found:

 

“One of 5 Ayurvedic HMPs [herbal medicine products] produced in South Asia and available in Boston South Asian grocery stores contains potentially harmful levels of lead, mercury, and/or arsenic.  Users of Ayurvedic medicine may be at risk for heavy metal toxicity, and testing of Ayurvedic HMPs for toxic heavy metals should be mandatory.”

 

Thomas Wheeler, Ph.D., reported on an Ayurvedic AIDS clinic in San Francisco.  Apparently, the physicians told patients to stop taking their regular medicine and instead take the herbal remedies they sold the patients for $500 a month.  Laboratory analyses revealed that some “herbal preparations were composed of plant material, fungus, feces, and bacteria, which may have caused the gastrointestinal problems reported by the patient.  At least one patient died.

 

The claims of alternative medicine, particularly Ayurveda, are so radical that they beg to be tested.  I mean, if washing your eyes in your own saliva can cure cataracts, why not test and promote such a remedy?  Ten years ago, the government began testing herbal and alternative health remedies.  It has cost taxpayers 2.5 billion dollars.  Which remedies work?  According to an AP story last month “… the disappointing answer seems to be that almost none of them do.  Echinacea for colds, Gikgo biloba for memory.  Glucosamine and chondroitin for arthritis.  Black cohosh for menopausal hot flashes.  Saw palmetto for prostate problems.  Shark cartilage for cancer.  All proved no better than dummy pills in big studies funded by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.  The lone exception: ginger capsules may help chemotherapy nausea.”

 

What interests me is how Deepak Chopra knows which Ayurvedic secrets to uncover to his American audiences and which to leave covered?

 

Matt Labash writes that in ancient Ayurveda “Most diseases were originally attributed to demons; often they were cured with the wearing of gems and the use of fragrances….  Poor digestion was treated with goat feces prepared by washing with urine.  Got constipation?  Drink milk — with urine.  Male potency was supposedly enhanced by 216 different kinds of enemas, including the testicles of peacocks, swans, and turtles.  If that didn’t work, one was supposed to follow up with an enema of urine.  Hemorrhaging was a nice break from the regimen, since it was treated with an enema of the fresh blood of a rabbit, dear, cock, or any one of numerous other beasts.  Epilepsy was treated with ass urine.”

 

American New Agers already believe that demons find certain fragrances and gems revolting, but what they need to understand is that demons really really hate urine.  Unfortunately, American audiences are kept from the less sexy Ayurvedic treatments.  Think of all the healing that could occur.

 

.

 

 

NEW AGE DOCTOR:

What seems to be the problem?

 

HOLLYWOOD CELEBRITY:

I’m having nosebleeds.

 

NEW AGE DOCTOR:

Interesting.  How long has this occurred?

 

HOLLYWOOD CELEBRITY:

About a week.  I think it might be the change in the weather or–

 

NEW AGE DOCTOR:

Demons in your nose?

 

HOLLYWOOD CELEBRITY:

Or demons in my nose.

 

NEW AGE DOCTOR:

Normally, I would suggest that you rinse your nose with urine to repel the demons, but I think your case is more severe.

 

HOLLYWOOD CELEBRITY:

What do you suggest?

 

NEW AGE DOCTOR:

I’m … writing out a prescription for …

 

HOLLYWOOD CELEBRITY:

A chicken blood enema?

 

NEW AGE DOCTOR:

Yes, you will need to acquire a chicken, and then drain it’s blood into a bag…

 

HOLLYWOOD CELEBRITY:

Can’t I just close my eyes, and fix myself?  Go within?

 

NEW AGE DOCTOR:

Like I said, I think your case is pretty severe.  Chicken blood enemas are the product of ancient wisdom.

 

HOLLYWOOD CELEBRITY:

There’s no pagan spirit mantra?  No herbs to brew?  I thought I was god.  Can’t I just align myself with the universal consciousness and believe in myself.

NEW AGE DOCTOR:

Nope.  Chicken blood enema.

 

HOLLYWOOD CELEBRITY:

I don’t know.

 

NEW AGE DOCTOR:

Oprah swears by it.

 

HOLLYWOOD CELEBRITY:

Why didn’t you say so!

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Published by Zach

I'm a writer and illustrator living in Creedmoor NC.

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8 Comments

  1. But Zach, ass urine cured my migraines!! Just kidding, your post is hysterical. Yet incredibly sad because it’s so true…

  2. I thought this was so funny I printed it off, and passed it around in “cast meeting”.

  3. Ha! Excellent. And congratulations on your anniversary. When are you and Leah going to have babies?

  4. Thanks for posting about this. New Age fascinates me because otherwise intelligent people will so readily believe that their problems can be cured by amulets or herbs or magic rocks (a.k.a. quartz crystals). Thanks for helping clarify what should be common sense!

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