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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Mary Beth Holz, MS, RN, FNP, HNC (Private Practice)
Description: This book, second in the series, Traditional Herbal Medicines for Modern Times, covers Rasayana and specifically addresses ayurvedic herbs used to promote longevity and rejuvenation. Originating in India approximately 7,000 years ago, Ayurveda is known as the "science of life" and Rasayana is one of the eight disciplines of this system. Each volume in the series provides information on herbal remedies or plant medicines of a particular country.
Purpose: The book is intended to serve as a reference for practitioners and scientists with an interest in the investigation of Rasayana herbal remedies. Historically, Rasayana has been equated with methods used to promote rejuvenation and longevity. Subsequently, many of the herbs used have been identified as adaptogens. As interest in Ayurveda education spreads globally, there is a need for reference texts documenting research available. The author has met these objectives, while specifying that further research will evolve.
Audience: This book is intended for scientists with an interest in the study of this classification of remedies, as well as practitioners who are engaged in a serious course of study in Ayurvedic traditions. Dr.Puri is a credible authority on this subject and has been cited as researcher on the doctoral and post-doctoral levels.
Features: The book includes a definition of Rasayana with brief reference to terms most frequently used. Rasayana preparations and methods of administration are described. Plants are illustrated and identified by botanical name. Descriptions include distribution region, uses in folklore and ayurveda, preparation methods and therapeutic indications. A chapter on Rasayana formulas has been included. The best feature of this book is the reference to scientific data. However, most references originate from India.
Assessment: As interest in Ayurvedic medicine grows, reference books such as this will be beneficial to clinical researchers in the field.