Of Shastric ‘Yogams’ and Polyherbals

Exogenous Logics and the Creolisation of the Contemporary Ayurvedic Formulary

in Asian Medicine
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This is an essay on the formulary logic of contemporary ayurvedic drugs. It suggests that there are three different ways of conceiving this logic: the biomedical formulary, the polyherbal formulary of the West, and the ayurvedic formulary. The ayurvedic formulary has a long history of endogenous innovation. Its epistemic logic is best understood through the language of a shastric yogam. This paper will attempt to look at what this logic entails and how it is being transformed by contemporary drug making practices. The transformation produces a range of therapeutic possibilities that bears comparison with and resembles, however, not the biomedical but the polyherbal formulary of the contemporary West. This results neither in a straightforward ‘biomedicalisation’ nor in a ‘herbalisation’ of Ayurveda but leads instead, through a mangling of epistemic registers, to its creolisation and the production of a new ‘formulary language’ which is carefully and critically addressed.

Of Shastric ‘Yogams’ and Polyherbals

Exogenous Logics and the Creolisation of the Contemporary Ayurvedic Formulary

in Asian Medicine

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1

Carter 2003passim has argued that the era between 1830 and 1880 prepares the ground for the advent of the aetiological point of view and the notion of ‘causal specificity’ whose culmination is known as Koch’s postulates. For an extended disquisition of how the nineteenth century until the 1880s was marked by multi-causal reasoning see Naraindas 1996.

12

Banerjee 2009; Bode 2008; Harilal 2009.

16

Naraindas 2014a.

17

Cf. in more detail Naraindas 20062014a 2014b.

20

See Haverkort Hooft and Hiemstra 2003.

21

Cf. Naraindas 2014a2014b.

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Naraindas 2014a.

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Naraindas 2006p. 2659.

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Naraindas 2014a.

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Hariharan and Mihir 2010.

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Naraindas 2014a.

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Cf. Naraindas 2006.

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