Biological Models of Health

  • Namratha R. KandulaEmail author
  • Manasi A. Tirodkar
Part of the Cross-Cultural Research in Health, Illness and Well-Being book series (CCRHIWB)


The objective of this chapter is to review indigenous medicine systems of South Asia and their influence on the health of immigrant South Asians. First, there is a brief review of the medical history of South Asia and an in-depth description of Ayurveda, Siddha, and Unani. Second, we consider how these systems influence explanatory models of health and behavior in South Asian migrant populations, in operation with Western biomedical approaches. We end with a discussion of how these different medicine systems and their interoperability may be relevant when treating South Asian patients.


Traditional medicine South Asian Ayurveda Explanatory models of health 



The authors thank Shinu Mammen for assistance with research and referencing this chapter.

Dr. Kandula is supported by grants #R01HL120725 and #R01 HL09009 from the National Institutes of Health.


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of General Internal MedicineNorthwestern University Feinberg School of MedicineChicagoUSA
  2. 2.National Committee for Quality AssuranceWashingtonUSA

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