After the herb dust settled on last month’s JAMA article, I decided to write about this challenge to the business of Ayurvedic herbs, where lead, mercury, and arsenic levels have been detected.
The first thing to remember is that, alas, there is lead even in India’s spinach. I don’t think this is really about Ayurveda.
As our friend, a prominent practitioner, has elegantly summarized,
“As long as our entire food chain is polluted by human activity it will be impossible to remove every detectable trace of heavy metals, yet the levels are too low to be of harm.”
The Indian government seems to to say that the JAMA article authors are enemies of Ayurveda and others seem to say that they are Ayurveda’s friends. I think the truth is somewhere in the middle, and that battle lines need not be drawn.
To be sure, most journalists covering this story irresponsibly and breezily conflated the single worst case of metal presence with the much more common least cases, when there is a differential of 200,000%! The JAMA article summary, which is ALL that most of the newspaper articles are based on, seems designed to facilitate such confusion.
Here is the National Ayurvedic Medical Association ‘s response where they advocate for
Here is Banyan Botanicals’ response where they stand by their products – which after all met the ANSI standards (and typically the CA Proposition 65 standards as well which are used in the JAMA article, are 1/40th of ANSI, and are not at all universal).
In sum, the reduction of active metals in the food supply is admirable and necessary, but this article does the sensible reader no favor:
If you have questions about whether your herb is included in the study, feel free to contact me.
Current science is a funny thing.
In the Western model, it is by definition the apex of what we currently know and less than what we will know in the future. Yet, it is accepted as the “final truth” in the moment.
It may be helpful as confirmation, but never as final confirmation. More and more it just seems a way to reference a complete system from the past.
In this article, it is reported that:
Results from two different arthritis studies have confirmed that an active ingredient of rose hips has been shown to protect and possibly rebuild joint tissue broken down by arthritis.
‘The results of these new studies suggest that the primary mechanism of action of rose hips is to reduce inflammation and protect joint tissue from damaging substances produced by an over-active immune system.’
but, you can also know this by remembering your Ayurveda.
Rose has been a well-established pitta-reducing anti-inflammatory for millennia.
In most books we learn that the fifth house is from the navel to the lungs, namely the stomach and heart. The sixth house, we are told, is from the navel to just above the reproductive organs. That is to say, it consists of the organs required for all important digestion.
However, in my recent papers on the astrology of Diabetes and Cystic Fibrosis, where the pancreas is involved in both, I use different houses to describe the pancreas.
In Diabetes, which is well known to originate in the pancreatic Islets of Langerhans, I looked to the fifth house for insight. In studying the clogged pancreatic ducts of Cystic Fibrosis, I primarily focused on the natural and actual sixth houses.
Why the split?
I think it has everything to do with the pancreas being the only place that is both an endocrine and an exocrine gland.
The Islets of Langerhans are composed of endocrine cells.
According to the volume The Body, by Alan E. Nourse, “the islets are “busily manufacturing their hormone and generally disregarding the pancreatic cells all around them, as though they were located in some completely different part of the body.”
Since the pancreas is still above the navel and still tucked under the stomach, and since the islets’ hormone is used firstly within the pancreas itself, I think the pancreatic endocrine functions count as fifth house in the astrology chart.
Compare that with the terrible complications of Cystic Fibrosis on the pancreas, where the acinar cells of the pancreatic ducts, and hence its exocrine function, are affected.
In contrast to the endocrine pancreas, which secretes hormones into the blood, the exocrine pancreas produces digestive enzymes and an alkaline fluid, and secretes them into the small intestine through a system of exocrine ducts. Digestive enzymes include trypsin,chymotrypsin, pancreatic lipase, and pancreatic amylase, and are produced and secreted by acinar cells of the exocrine pancreas. Specific cells that line the pancreatic ducts, called centroacinar cells, secrete a bicarbonate- and salt-rich solution into the small intestine.
This has everything to do with the digestive system and hence the sixth house.
So, the fifth house for endocrine and the sixth house for exocrine.
This has been said before (actually many times before) but it bears repeating here.
The speed of light is in the Rk Veda, and not hidden in metaphors either.
In ManDalam 1, SUktam 50, the Vedas clearly say
It is remembered, Salutations to Thee [the Sun], the traveler of 2,202 yojanas in half a nimisha.
Yojana is a unit of distance, nimisha, a unit of time.
If you do the calculation, it comes to approximately 185,000 miles per second.
Compare that to the currently accepted value for the speed of light of 186,000. In fact the small difference could be accounted for by conversion error.
This is from a text dated at least to 7,000 BCE.
I think this is one of the coolest things I’ve learned ever.
For a look at the original Sanskrit, see below.
Pair this knowledge with the Yoga Suutra on the Sun, and you get the conduit to other worlds, just as physicists agree that the speed of light is essential to understanding other universes.
In the course of doing astrological research on Type One Diabetes, I came across this remarkable medical paper: “Month of birth and risk of developing insulin dependent diabetes in south east Sweden.”(Free sign in required.)
This is exactly what research astrologers need: an independent account of the patterning of birth dates on illness outcome.
The Swedish doctors came back with some strong results:
Caption from the paper: The annual incidence for each 100 000 children < 16 years of age in the seven paediatric departments during the study period. The highest peaks occurred in 1983 and 1993.
Caption from the paper: Seasonal variation in month of birth in the total cohort. The zero line indicates expected patients and the bars indicate observed patients. For example, in July there were 13 patients more than expected, whereas there were 33 less than expected in October. SBR, standardised birth ratio; *p < 0.01;p < 0.02.
SO we are talking about a 75 percent increase of cases in certain years and a 100 percent drop from baseline in certain months in a stable way. This is in a sample space of 1248 children born between 1977 and 1994.
Well, I thought I would give a look at the astrology of the times of the peaks and troughs and try to figure out a kind of pattern.
I chose to decide to assume that the peaks of the monthly cycles would be repeated in the peaks of the yearly cycles and that the troughs would do the same.
This is not necessarily a warranted assumption and is accepted as a frail point in this analysis.
This is what I have garnered. The patterning in the yearly distribution suggests to me that there is something happening with the slower “planets” [Rahu and Ketu are not really planets], namely Saturn, Jupiter, and Rahu/Ketu. Faster planets would change too fast to register as a yearly phenomenon.
Here is the behavior of the slower planets in the peak times of 1983 and 1993.
With high Ketu in Virgo
Houses 1/12 to Jupiter in Libra
7/1 with Jupiter
With Mars in Virgo (!)
6/8 to Jupiter and Mars
Ketu has 1/5 aspect to Jupiter
Thus in both peak years, Jupiter is with a malefic in Virgo, the natural 6th house associated with illness. Moreover, Saturn, the other slow mover, does not have an aspect to Jupiter and the said malefic.
Now let’s look at the low times.
With Saturn and Rahu (!) in Leo
With Jupiter and Rahu in Leo
1/7 with Jupiter and Saturn
1/7 Jupiter in Pisces
Rahu has 1/5 aspect with Jupiter; Ketu has a 1/5 aspect on Saturn
One thing remarkable is that the trough dates have Rahu or Ketu with Saturn, a combination that is said in the astrological texts to lead to the disease. Of course, it may very well do that but in numbers less than is seen in the peak times.
A patterning is happening above. In the peak times, Jupiter with a malefic in Virgo is clear, without a Saturn aspect, but with an aspect by Ketu.
In trough times, a strong 1/7 house relationship between Jupiter and Saturn exists, where Rahu aspects Jupiter and Ketu also aspects Saturn both times.
Moreover, monthly variation suggests influence of the sun. In peak times, Sun is with enemy anabolic Venus for half the month in strong Leo for both August 1983 and August 1993 and continues on this way for part of September. The sun isswa Leo in the peak times and debilitated or exalted in the trough times!
Interpretively, this all makes sense. Jupiter as representative of the pancreas is in the natural sixth house of illness with a malefic and aspected by the indicator of loss, Ketu at high times of the illness.
The restrictive and vaata indicating Saturn would reasonably dry up the liquid and sweet kapha aspects of the pancreatic Jupiter in the low times, exacerbated by the hard to interpret Rahu.
The sun is the liver in Ayurvedic Astrology. It would make sense that a debilitated or exalted Sun and hence a liver not in play is patterned at trough times. A swa sun=liver with Venus= sweet is patterned at peak times.
We obviously have a lot of work to do, but I commend the medical authors for beginning the dialogue.
I would encourage the authors of the referenced study to publish their full data of all 1248 children’s birthdates and if possible, times. The inclusion of more children’s data is also encouraged.
Thereby, we may see patterns down to the date and ascendant.
Regardless, we have seen a remarkable synchronicity of placements in analyzing the rough patterning of children’s charts in the peaks and troughs of incidence of the disease.
We do not assume however that these patterns account for every incidence of the disease. There is still a background occurrence of the disease independent of the placement patterns we have noted.
Nonetheless, a dramatic distribution change from the average has occurred in this sample space and astrology may partially account for why.
More data and fuller data is necessary, but a complete global account of the astrology of Type One Diabetes is tantalizingly closer with this study.
Renay Oshop - teacher, searcher, researcher, immerser, rejoicer, enjoying the interstices between Twitter, Facebook, and journals.