Book Review: Textbook of Ayurveda, Volume 3

Book Review: Textbook of Ayurveda, Volume 3: General Principles of Management & Treatment by Vasant Lad, BAMS, MASC (The Ayurvedic Press, Albuquerque, New Mexico; 2012)

The Textbook of Ayurveda (Volume 3: General Principles of Management and Treatment) is a continuation of Dr. Vasant Lad's two earlier works comprising this textbook series that includes volume 1 (Fundamental Principles, treating general principles of Ayurveda) and volume 2 (A Complete Guide to Clinical Assessment, addressing diagnostic modalities).

Volume 3 deals with general principles of treatment and provides comprehensive and authoritative information on therapeutic modalities including diet and lifestyle management protocols, palliative and detoxifying therapies, subtle healing methods including individual rejuvenation protocols, yoga and pranayama practices, and herbal medical protocols as well as case management techniques.

This book is divided into seventeen beautifully organized and easily followed chapters written in clear, straightforward language covering, respectively, the Ayurvedic management of diseases states and efforts to restore balance; Dosha gati (i.e., dosha movement); Diseases due to urge-suppression; Food as medicine; Lifestyle management; Palliative therapies; Cleansing therapies; Panchakarma; Subtle therapies; Marma therapy; Yoga, pranayama and meditation; Herbal medicine; Rejuvenation therapy; Management of the doshas; Management of the dhatus; Management of the srotam, and Management of pran, tejas and ojas.

This book takes the science, art and philosophy of Ayurveda out of the context of its ancient and authoritative but rather inaccessible classic sources and places them in a systematic organization that is readily accessible to contemporary Western readers, explaining where necessary Ayurveda's principles in terms of biochemistry and biophysics (inter alia) cognizable to Westerners.

Dr. Lad provides comprehensive information on the therapeutic modalities of Ayurveda explaining thoroughly and clearly the theoretical underpinning and applications of each. This volume (and indeed all of the volumes of the series published to date) reflects a deep personal experience of and practical insights into Ayurveda that only one who has drunk deeply at Ayurveda's fount of wisdom could convey so effectively.

I unhesitatingly recommend this book and its companion volumes of the series, for every student, practitioner and teacher of Ayurveda, as I feel certain they are destined to become the normative instructional text for English-language Ayurveda programs of study. Even were that not the case, they belong in the library of everyone with a professional interest in the subjects covered.

Review provided by William Courson, BVSA, D. Ayur., an Ayurvedic Practitioner, faculty member and the College Dean of Institutional Development at Sai Ayurvedic College & Ayurvedic Wellness Center.

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