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Cover page of the Journal of Health Sciences
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 20-26

Fundamental tenets of epidemiology in Ayurveda and their contemporary relevance

Independent Public Health Researcher, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Janmejaya Samal
C/O-Mr. Bijaya Ketan Samal, At-Pansapalli, Po-Bangarada, Via-Gangapur, Ganjam 761-123, Odisha
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2349-5006.183694

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Background: Ayurveda, the science of life, is the most ancient medical doctrine of human civilization. Some of the basic principles described in Ayurveda are still the same as today's medical science. Ayurveda does not have a specific text as epidemiology, but the principles described in piecemeal can be compiled, analyzed, and interpreted in the light of modern theories of epidemiology. Objective: An initial systematic literature review by the help of internet-based search engines revealed very negligible work in the field of Ayurveda and epidemiology. Hence, an attempt was made to analyze various principles of Ayurveda relevant to epidemiology and interpret their contemporary significance. Methodology: The work is mainly based on theoretical research using standard textbooks of epidemiology and classical treatises of Ayurveda. Discussion: A good number of principles are found in the classical texts of Ayurveda, which can be compared with the concepts of epidemiology. In the process of theoretical analysis, the following concepts were found relevant, such as the concept of causation of disease/Etiology of disease, causes of epidemic, classification of disease, modes of communicable disease transmission, and natural history of disease. In this study, attempt has been made to understand these concepts in the light of epidemiology with their most approximate delineation. However, being a classical medical doctrine, it has its own appeal that cannot exactly be compared with the concepts of epidemiology. Conclusion: It is interesting to note that the tenets described centuries back are very much relevant at this present era, and their importance cannot be neglected.

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