Ayurveda, the indigenous medical system of India, dates back at least 2,000 years in its codified form and has roots that are much deeper still. In the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, it is stretching well beyond the boundaries of its homeland. Because it is fast becoming a transnational and multicultural phenomenon, it is time to examine Ayurveda’s interface with modernity and the pluralistic approaches and new paradigms it has developed to meet the challenges of its new diasporic presence.
Developments within Ayurveda during its long and varied history, the addition of new theories and practices to the established ones, their interrelations and the interweaving of medical thought with constantly mutating religious, political, and cultural climates, form a rich and complicated pattern of medical and social history. What we intend to present here is an account of recent developments in the long history of Ayurveda, which is to say its development in the face of three major challenges: (1) British colonialism and the dominance of allopathic medicine, (2) the pressures of modernization, and (3) Ayurveda’s diaspora into the world beyond the boundaries of South Asia...........Author