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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

Hari Sharma, M.D., combines the clarity and rigor of a veteran medical scientist with the spiritual understanding of a wise elder. Dr. Sharmaâs establishment credentials are impressive. He is a diplomate of the American Board of Pathology, a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, and Professor Emeritus and former Director of the Division of Cancer Prevention and Natural Products Research at the Ohio State University College of Medicine. He has published over 100 research articles in widely-respected professional journals including Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Free Radical Biology and Medicine, and Nutrition Research.

But it is his well-informed advocacy of Ayurveda, the traditional medicine of his native India, that has made him an internationally known figure. In his book Freedom From Disease -- How to Control Free Radicals, and Major Cause of Aging and Disease, Dr. Sharma describes the beginnings of his research on Ayurveda. He was present at an international meeting of physicians, convened in India in 1987 by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi for the purpose of initiating research on the ancient herbal formula Amrit Kalash. The formula, provided by one of the top Ayurvedic physicians in India (where Ayurveda has governmental recognition), was a combination of dozens of herbs, prepared in a specific manner involving hundreds of distinct steps.

As Dr. Sharma listened to what he considered to be a series of amateurish research ideas, he grew steadily more impatient. Finally unable to contain himself, he let everyone know exactly what was wrong with their proposals, and laid out a proposal consistent with the university-based research protocols he was familiar with from his work at Ohio State. At that point the Maharishi said, "Good. Now you should do it."

To his credit, Sharma followed through, creating one of the more impressive bodies of natural medicine research in existence. The initial findings demonstrated that Amrit Kalash possessed antioxidant power up to 1000 times greater than vitamins C and E. Later animal studies showed that it protected against malignancy, and current human studies are demonstrating its ability to lower high levels of blood fats, a key factor in the development of heart disease.

Dr. Sharma is a frequent lecturer at conferences worldwide, and has presented his research findings to the National Institutes of Health and the World Health Organization.

For further information: Hari Sharma, M.D.
Department of Pathology
Ohio State University
Room M368SL
320 West 10th Avenue
Columbus, Ohio 43210

Hari Sharma Interview

Daniel Redwood: What principles form the foundation of Ayurveda?

Hari Sharma: Nature runs in cycles. Once there was a time of suffering and illness, and all the rishis [sages] got together. They wanted to find out how to eliminate the suffering, so they meditated together. When you meditate together you create a coherence, a transcendental coherent consciousness, and at that level of consciousness there is relationship between name and form. What it means is that if you ask a question, you have the answer. One of the rishis was named Bharadwaj, and he kept this question in his mind, about how to end suffering. And in this field of transcendental awareness, the whole thing was cognized.

DR: The entire body of Ayurveda emerged all at once?

HS: Yes. This knowledge of Ayurveda does not come through experimentation -- it is cognized knowledge that was revealed in totality. It is not incomplete, where you then do some experiment here and there and change it. Itâs eternal knowledge.

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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 ( and serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of the......moreDaniel Redwood DC
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