Food As Medicine begins October 8th!

The fall semester for 2015 begins in one week! Here's a little preview of the Food As Medicine program: … [Read more...]

Vegetarianism and Ayurveda

Vegetarianism and Ayurveda

In my blog last week, I addressed the mistaken belief held by some in the Āyurveda community that sufficient vitamin B12 can be obtained from plant-based foods. Unfortunately, this mis-perception is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the all-pervading belief both within and without the community of Āyurveda, that it is (primarily) a vegetarian-based system. Considering the decades of knowledge that we have accumulated on the very real issue of vitamin B12 deficiency, the notion that vitamin B12 can be obtained in plant foods is really nothing more than wishful-thinking, typically expressed by those who believe that eating meat is morally wrong. Normally, what someone personally believes isn’t my concern, but when this belief obscures the practice of Āyurveda, denies the basic science, and puts the public health at risk, it is important to speak out. As painful as it may be for some to hear, the very real truth is that Āyurveda is not, and never was, a vegetarian system. The … [Read more...]

Ayurveda and vitamin B12

Ayurveda and vitamin B12

This past week I received a newsletter from a notable physician of Ayurveda that frequently travels from his home in India, to share his knowledge of Ayurveda to the world. I have met and worked with this fellow, and respect both his knowledge and experience in the field of Ayurveda. In his newsletter I noticed a post on the subject of vitamin B12, and it caught my eye, because I have long been aware that India has a very high rate of vitamin B12 deficiency.  Much to my disappointment, however, the post was little more than a collection of mistruths about vegetarian sources of vitamin B12, and a diatribe against non-vegetarian practices. Needless to say, I was both disappointed and a little disturbed that a respected physician could write such a biased piece, particularly when trying to promote himself to a global audience. But in truth I am not surprised, because his perspective is all too prevalent among physicians in India these days, who have chosen to forfeit the integrity of A … [Read more...]

New semester begins Oct 7th!

New semester begins Oct 7th!

Hello again friends! I hope you had a restful and enjoyable summer! For me it was a time to slow down (just a little!) and catch up with the previous year that had lots of changes for me and my family. One of the high points over the summer was our female dog having a litter of puppies. If you watch my Facebook page then you would have seen some of the photos, but for those of you that missed out, I have posted a little sampler here on Flickr. As well, I have written a blog post on my clinic site sharing some of my experiences this summer with regard to the subject of weaning and feeding puppies on a natural, raw food diet. Beyond this, I have a few announcements for the fall: Become a DSBM Affiliate! This new semester at the Dogwood School of Botanical Medicine (DSBM) marks the beginning of our fourth year, and with over 150 students enrolled in our programs, the DSBM is establishing itself as leader of online education and mentorship training. To mark our fourth year, we are excite … [Read more...]

New Ayurveda Lifestyle Program!

New Ayurveda Lifestyle Program!

In the ancient Indian medical science of Āyurveda, the basis of all positive and sustainable action is rooted in dharma, a Sanskrit term that refers to the natural way of things. This ‘natural way’ applies to all facets of our lives, including diet, lifestyle, and medicine. Literally meaning to ‘follow the day’, dinacaryā is a series of ancient practices based on the principle of dharma, designed to optimize different aspects of health, including metabolism, digestion, and memory. Considered the ‘missing link’ absent in many different systems of medicine, both ancient and modern, the practice of dinacaryā in Āyurveda forms the basic structure of a happy and balanced life, and hence is also known as ‘the regimen of the wise’. The daily regimen in Āyurveda is described in the very earliest of its teachings, including the Suśruta samhitā and Caraka saṃhitā, which originally date back to before 1000 BCE. Dinacaryā is extolled through the history of Āyurveda, as the single most important … [Read more...]