Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Eating DrugsPsychopharmaceutical Pluralism in India$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Stefan Ecks

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780814724767

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814724767.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 28 May 2022



“You Are the Medicine”

(p.69) 2 Ayurveda
Eating Drugs

Stefan Ecks

NYU Press

This chapter analyzes Ayurvedic practices in Calcutta and shows how, in traditional Indian medicine, food is medicine and medicine is food. Ayurvedic knowledge used to be passed down from one generation to the next, though nowadays Ayurvedic remedies are mass-marketed—via schools, etc.—and this is reflective of a continuing shift toward capitalist commodification through pharmaceuticalization. To diagnose illness, classic Ayurveda draws evidence from different sources: direct perception of the patient with all bodily senses (sight, touch, smell, hearing, taste), logical inference, analogical reasoning, and recourse to authoritative texts. Ayurveda has undergone many transformations over the years, but the centrality of food and digestion remains a constant. Questions about digestion are a routine part of the diagnostic process, and recommendations about diet and the maintenance of daily routines are part of the therapy.

Keywords:   Ayurveda, Ayurvedic practices, Calcutta, pharmaceuticalization, digestion, diet, traditional Indian medicine

NYU Press Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.