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Ayurvedic treatment for jaundice in Nepal


  • Durkin, Maureen


This paper describes beliefs and practices associated with jaundice and its treatment by ayurvedic physicians (vaidyas) in Kathmandu. It documents continuity of ancient ayurvedic ideas and practices as well as syncretism between ayurvedic and allopathic (Western, biomedical) traditions in modern Nepal. Popular beliefs about the cause of jaundice appear to have evolved to fit therapeutic practices adopted by vaidyas from allopathy. An implication of this finding is that beliefs about causation do not necessarily precede and channel therapeutic choices; they may also function to rationalize and provide meaning to experiences of illness and therapy. The data also suggest a number of hypotheses about the efficacy of ayurvedic treatment for jaundice.

Suggested Citation

  • Durkin, Maureen, 1988. "Ayurvedic treatment for jaundice in Nepal," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 491-495, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:27:y:1988:i:5:p:491-495

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