Hereditary Physicians of Kerala: Traditional Medicine and Ayurveda in Modern India

1st Edition

Indudharan Menon

Routledge India
February 5, 2019 Forthcoming
Reference - 256 Pages
ISBN 9781138617308 - CAT# K389799

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Summary

This book examines the history and evolution of Ayurveda and other indigenous medical traditions in juxtaposition with their encounter with colonial modernity. Through the lens of hereditary folk and Ayurvedic practitioners, it focuses on Kerala’s heterogeneous medical traditions and presents them against the backdrop of the geographical, historical, socio-cultural, ethnographic and regional contexts in which they developed and transformed.

The author explores the world of Kerala’s last traditionally trained hereditary practitioners (folk healers, poison therapists, Sanskrit-speaking Muslim Ayurvedic practitioners and the legendary Brahman Ashtavaidyan physicians). He discusses the views of these physicians regarding the marked difference between their personalised ancestral methods of treatment and the standardised version of Ayurveda compliant with biomedicine that is practised by doctors today.

Drawing on extensive fieldwork, this book will be useful to researchers and scholars of medical anthropology, health and social medicine, sociology and social anthropology, history of science, modern Indian history as well as to medical practitioners and general readers interested in alternative and traditional medicine.

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