Connecting Indian Wisdom and Western Science
Plant Usage for Nutrition and Health
A truly integrated collection of research, Connecting Indian Wisdom and Western Science: Plant Usage for Nutrition and Health compares Ayurvedic and Western conceptions of wellness, healthy lifestyle, and diet. Examining the phyto-pharmacological, phytochemical, clinical, ethnobotanical, sociocultural, and biomedical approaches to plant- and herb-based healthy diets and wellness, it includes approximately 40 selected monographs on fruits, vegetables, spices, nuts, and seeds, complete with Ayurvedic and traditional uses as nutritional ingredients.
The book focuses on how plants can be employed as both aliments and adjuvants, able to improve health and the quality of life. It does so by comparing the Indian Ayurvedic tradition with the Mediterranean diet. Chapters written largely by Indian authors trace the early history of Ayurveda and the basic principles and dietetics of the Ayurveda, Siddha, and Unani systems of medicine. Chapters written by western scientists and nutritionists discuss the global focus on nutrients, nutraceuticals, and, importantly, the Mediterranean diet.
Building on this foundation, the book opens what will, no doubt, be a long and continuing journey of mutual exchange and dialogue. The authors create an integrative perspective for understanding India’s health traditions through the lens of modern science. They then look at how India’s millennia of experience can enrich the West’s notions of optimal nutrition, prevention, and personalized healthcare. A core of this exchange is a frontier of exploration into deep insights of human biology, individual differences and seasonal influences on metabolism, and a conceptual approach to nutrition that you can apply across foods and cultures.
Table of Contents
Indian and Mediterranean Traditional Dietetics: An Historical Overview. Traditional Systems of Medicine in India: A Holistic Approach to Health. Principles of Ayurveda for Food, Nutrition, and Health. The Quest for Longevity in Ayurveda: Dietetic and Lifestyle Advice. The Principles of Diet Therapy in the Unani System of Medicine. Traditional Indian Concepts of Nutrition: Toward an Integrative Approach. The Pillars of Western Nutritional Science. Nutrients: The Essence of Life. The Role of Nutraceuticals. The Mediterranean Diet from Ancel Keys to the Present: Epidemiological Studies on Selected Populations and Practical Applications in the Modern Cultural Context. Balancing the Food and the Balanced Food. Healing Influences of Spices. Healing Properties of Food. Conclusion. Crossing Communities and Environments: Rethinking Diets from an Intercultural Perspective. Acknowledgments. Glossary.
Luisella Verotta, master degree in chemistry, is a senior assistant professor of organic chemistry and adjunct professor of natural products chemistry at the University of Milan, Italy. Verotta is a member of the Faculty of Science and Technology teaching staff. Her main research studies are in the realm of bioactive natural products, aimed at obtaining lead compounds for the development of new therapeutic agents, particularly noncytotoxic chemopreventive agents and antimalarial compounds. She has pursued parallel lines of investigations, such as the synthesis of compounds of pharmaceutical relevance based on natural scaffolds, the study of their medicinal chemistry, and the mechanism of activity. Recent researches are based on the synthesis of new entities inspired by natural products to produce new functional biomaterials for biomedical and food applications or as nutraceuticals. She has been a visiting scientist in many Third World countries, introducing young researchers to the phytochemical study of medicinal plants. She is an extramural phytochemical expert for the Centre for Orientative Education (COE), an Italian NGO that fosters and supports projects in Third world countries (TWC) for the sustainable use of natural resources. She has authored and coauthored more than 110 research papers (including full papers, book chapters, patents) and more than 110 communications to congresses, including poster presentations, oral communications, and invited and plenary lectures. She holds research contracts with several companies interested in the discovery of new bioactive natural products and acts as a reviewer of several international scientific journals. She is a member of the editorial board of Fitoterapia (Elsevier). For CRC Press/Taylor & Francis Group, she coedited Herbal Principles in Cosmetics: Properties and Mechanisms of Action in 2010.
Maria Pia Macchi is an anthropologist member of the International Society of Et