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Connecting Indian Wisdom and Western Science: Plant Usage for Nutrition and Health

Compares Ayurvedic and Western conceptions of nutrition, health, and practical recommendations based on evidence to maintain well-being
Aims to make integration of both Eastern and Western traditions more accessible in policy and science
Includes color photographs of botanical species
Presents future opportunities for integrating Ayurveda and Western nutritional science
Draws on a broad range of experts in disciplines such as food and natural products chemistry, nutrition, public health, anthropology, herbal medicine, and Ayurvedic studies

Series: Traditional Herbal Medicines for Modern Times

By: Luisella Verotta (Editor), Maria Pia Macchi (Editor), Padma Venkatasubramanian (Editor), Gerard Bodeker (Foreword By)

446 pages, 55 colour photos and illustrations, 54 b/w illustrations, 8 tables

CRC Press

Hardback | May 2015 | #221467 | ISBN-13: 9781482299755
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £63.99 $78/€72 approx

About this book

A truly integrated collection of research, Connecting Indian Wisdom and Western Science compares Ayurvedic and Western conceptions of wellness, healthy lifestyle, and diet. Examining the phyto-pharmacological, phytochemical, clinical, ethnobotanical, socio-cultural, 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. It offers evidence based on the scientific literature on chemical composition, nutritional properties, mechanisms of action and influences at the cellular level as well as extensive references for further study.

" [...] this book is a welcome arrival. It is a book led by Mediterranean researchers and joined by Indian researchers. They have explored together the wisdom of Indian dietary and nutritional knowledge. And the focus has not been just on ingredients and recipes for wellness. Rather, it begins with the underlying theories of nutrition, the evidence, and personalised application, as a basis for expanding understanding of how nutrition can be culturally based, and locally sourced to address health prevention and health promotion needs in a personalised way for vast sectors of the global population. [...] Accordingly, this will become a landmark book, opening the way to a new generation of research into Indian and South and Southeast Asian nutritional theory and traditions – with implications leading all the way back to the Mediterranean and its global diaspora."
– Professor Gerard Bodeker, Chair, Global Initiative for Traditional Systems of Health, Oxford, UK; Deptartment of Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford; and Dept of Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, USA


Indian and Mediterranean Traditional Dietetics: An Historical Overview
Maria Pia Macchi

Principles of Ayurveda for Food, Nutrition, and Health
Unnikrishnan Payyappallimana and Padma Venkatasubramanian
The Quest for Longevity in Ayurveda: Dietetic and Lifestyle Advice
Karin Pirc and Indukuri Kalyan Chakravarthy
The Principles of Diet Therapy in the Unani System of Medicine
Roohi Zaman
Traditional Indian Concepts of Nutrition: Toward an Integrative Approach
A.V. Balasubramanian

Nutrients: The Essence of Life
Cristian Del Bo' and Marisa Porrini
The Role of Nutraceuticals
Katia Petroni and Chiara Tonelli
The Mediterranean Diet from Ancel Keys to the Present: Epidemiological Studies on Selected Populations and Practical Applications in the Modern Cultural Context
Francesca Ghelfi and Lucilla Titta

Healing Influences of Spices
Luisella Verotta and Maria Pia Macchi
Healing Properties of Food
Luisella Verotta and Maria Pia Macchi
Crossing Communities and Environments: Rethinking Diets from an Intercultural Perspective
Marina Calloni


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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 Ethnobiology. After a few years of field work in the Amazon of Ecuador and an academic collaboration with Padua University Human Ecology Workshop, she focused her interest on Indian traditional systems of medicine. During frequent visits to India and Nepal, she took part in different trainings, congresses, and workshops on Ayurveda and Siddha medicine, developing her interest in the traditional use of medicinal plants and food integrators. In 1997, she founded an ethnobotanical garden in the Western Ghats of Tamil Nadu with the objective to actively involve local communities in the conservation and enhancement of knowledge related to local health traditions. Since 2003, she has been the president of the nonprofit organization Magia Verde, Italy, and supports a pilot project on traditional medicine revitalization in Tamil Nadu in partnership with Vivekananda Kendra. She took part in various projects and awareness campaigns focused on environmental conservation, nutrition, and integration between different systems of medicine, promoted by two Italian NGOs, Cooperation for the Development of Emerging Countries (COSPE) and COE. She also has a long-term collaboration with the Agency for Environmental Protection at Riva del Garda in the ethnobotany section. 

Padma Venkatasubramanian holds a master’s degree in health management from McGill University, Montreal, Québec, Canada, and a doctorate in microbial biochemistry from the University of Cambridge, England. She is a professor at the School of Life Sciences, Institute of Trans-disciplinary Health Sciences and Technology, Bangalore, India. She was the director of the Institute of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine, Bangalore. Her main research studies are of a transdisciplinary nature, aimed at bridging traditional Indian medical knowledge and modern science. The areas of her interest are to understand the concepts in Ayurveda and use them to develop cost-effective, contemporary applications. She has demonstrated how certain rasayana herbs can be used at the household level to promote wellness and manage anemia. Based on the traditional practice of storing drinking water in copper pots, she has designed and developed a copper device that kills diarrheagenic pathogens in drinking water. This is a potential low-cost, point-of-use intervention to prevent diarrheal deaths globally. The other area of her research is to scientifically demonstrate the importance of traditional ways of identification, collection, processing, and storage of medicinal plants. This contributes to resource management and sustainable harvesting that is important for conservationists as well as for the industry. She has a patent on a field diagnostic kit to authenticate medicinal plants and semiquantify phytochemical markers. She has several research publications to her credit and delivered invited lectures at several national and international conferences. She guides PhD scholars and college students on research projects. Her engagement with the industry as a consultant has led to the development of more than 20 herbal products based on traditional knowledge. She is on the scientific advisory board of several government and nongovernment bodies.

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