If you thought I'd picked out a couple of oddities in my previous posts on the pseudoscience funded by NCCAM, I'm afraid - sadly - that you're mistaken. There are plenty more examples, of which this project is just one. This project will spend thousands of your hard-earned tax dollars to set up a center for collaboration between the PI's university and a place called The Ayurvedic Trust in India, supposedly to conduct research projects. However, this nice-sounding goal ignores the fact that Ayurvedic is little more than a set of ancient superstitions, founded on ignorance and magical thinking, with no scientific merit to any of them. I recommend the article on Ayurvedic mumbo-jumbo at quackwatch.com for those who are interested.
One of 5 Ayurvedic HMPs [herbal medicine products] produced in South Asia and available in Boston South Asian grocery stores contains potentially harmful levels of lead, mercury, and/or arsenic. Users of Ayurvedic medicine may be at risk for heavy metal toxicity, and testing of Ayurvedic HMPs for toxic heavy metals should be mandatory.What is a bit unusual about this grant is that the PI, Dr. Booth-LaForce, is a professor of nursing at a highly regarded university. Her bio reveals the source of her interest in Ayurveda: "she is studying yoga and Ayurveda-based meditation as possible therapies for menopausal symptoms." Well, I'm not exactly sure what Ayurveda-based meditation is, but I'm pretty certain it isn't science.
Ayurveda isn't medicine, and it isn't "complementary" to medicine either. NIH shouldn't fund it, no matter who the PI is. Research dollars are too precious to waste, and NCCAM should be shut down.