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 Interviews with People Who Make a Difference: Ayurveda: Ancient Philosophy, Modern Research 
 
Interview with Hari Sharma MD
   as interviewed by Daniel Redwood DC

DR: The Transcendental Meditation movement has been noteworthy for its ongoing commitment to serious scientific research. To what degree do you feel that data about the beneficial effects of TM can be generalized to meditation in all its variety?

HS: You cannot do that.

DR: Not at all?

HS: Itâs just like with different drugs for hypertension. You canât say that because one drug decreases the blood pressure, then all the other drugs do. They donât. The basic thing which meditation is trying to do is to make you transcend, and merge with the infinite. The mind, which is localized, becomes unbounded, infinite. And when it becomes that, it naturally imbibes, becomes part of, the laws of nature. They become part of the mind. Any meditation, if it can do that, if it can make you transcend, will achieve the same results.

Itâs like the sun is shining. And the clouds are there. What we are doing is to remove the cloudiness, to go beyond that. Now there are so many meditation techniques. You can get trapped into these different levels of consciousness, which will not have the same effect. The real thing is to transcend all that, to go to the home of all the laws of nature. If anything can achieve that, it will surely show the benefit.

DR: In recent years there has been an increasing amount of scientific research on Ayurvedic herbal formulas, some of it done by you and your colleagues at Ohio State Medical School. Could you summarize your major findings?

HS: There are two types of formulas in Ayurveda. The first is the rasayanas, which are generalized rejuvenation and longevity enhancers. According to the texts, these rasayanas are supposed to suppress aging, enhance immunity, and create homeostasis. The second type involves special formulas for different disorders.

You can think of the rasayanas as vitamins, but they are much more than that. I have done research on some of these formulas, including Maharishi Amrit Kalash (MAK).

DR: When you did the first studies on MAK, what did you find?

HS: We took some human volunteers, and studied some of their blood to see if we could prevent excessive platelet aggregation, or clotting of blood, in vitro [test tube]. I had done a lot of work before that on platelets, so I knew the technique. It was amazing. MAK did inhibit excessive platelet aggregation, very quickly.

DR: What implications does that have for human health?

HS: In those who are prone to excessive clotting, it can cause thrombosis and blockage of blood vessels. Heart attacks and strokes.

DR: Have you done further research pursuing the potential positive effects of MAK in patients with heart disease or high levels of blood fats?

HS: We did that. We have done the clinical studies on patients who have high blood fats, hyperlipidemia. We supplemented them with Maharishi Amrit Kalash. What we have found is that as time goes on, their resistance to oxidation significantly increases. Oxidation means fat becomes rancid, just like butter becomes rancid on the table. Similarly, the flowing fat in the body, the cholesterol, the lipids, become rancid. And when they become rancid, they are toxic. Just like the oil in the car becomes toxic, so we change it every three months. The same thing happens in the body.

Now if somebody has high cholesterol, and he is indulging in activities and food and drink which increase oxidation, then he will have a high level of oxidized lipids in the body. That creates a dangerous situation. So when you just lower the cholesterol, you are also automatically lowering the level of oxidized lipids. But some oxidized lipids will still be there. So lowering cholesterol is not enough. You have to really decrease the oxidation.

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 About The Author
Daniel Redwood, DC, is a Professor at Cleveland Chiropractic College - Kansas City. He is editor-in-chief of Health Insights Today (www.healthinsightstoday.com) and serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of the......moreDaniel Redwood DC
 
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