Ayurveda Abroad: Non-native Perspectives and Needs for Translating It to Western Settings

  • Christian Sumith Kessler


This chapter intends to give a brief overview on what might be some of the crucial characteristics of Ayurveda research and practice in western countries in the twenty-first century. This summary is not intended as an exhaustive scholarly piece on each and every aspect of national and regional Ayurvedic characteristics regarding regional historical and cultural backgrounds, national healthcare systems, policy making, legal and insurance coverage issues, etc. outside of South Asia. Instead, this chapter aims to provide a leitmotif on what the author considers to be the most relevant and simultaneously most challenging overarching central themes for Ayurveda researchers and clinicians working/practicing in western countries and for medical professionals involved in international Ayurveda collaborations/projects. While this brief attempt is certainly bound to be incomplete, fragmentary, and biased by a particular German/European researcher’s perspective, it might nevertheless serve as a cornerstone for further discussions about and immersions in challenges when working with or on Ayurveda outside of South Asia, wherever that may be.



I would like to express my sincere thanks to Dania Schumann and Dr. Vijayendra Murthy for editing this chapter for language and for their valuable advice. Thanks to Prof. Andreas Michalsen and Prof. Claudia Witt for having guided me in clinical research over the last decade. Big thanks also to my friend and colleague Elmar Stapelfeldt for always being a great source of inspiration. I am also most thankful to all my Ayurveda teachers near and far over the past 20 years. Thanks to my parents Carmen and Manfred for their lifelong support. Last but not least, the biggest thanks go to my wife Lea and our sons Noah and Jonah who are always with me with the most valuable thing on earth: love.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christian Sumith Kessler
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute for Social Medicine, Epidemiology and Health EconomicsCharité Medical UniversityBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Department for Complementary MedicineImmanuel Hospital BerlinBerlinGermany

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