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Ayurveda in America: Q&A with Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary

Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary, who is presenting at NBJ Summit, talks about India’s Ayurvedic medicine and what it can bring to American consumers. Learn more.

June 27, 2024

4 Min Read
Ayurveda in America: Q&A with Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary

As a integrative neurologist and an expert on Ayurvedic medicine, Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary brings together ancient arts and modern clinical science to help people confront health challenges while also encouraging mainstream medicine to consider ancient wisdom.

At July’s NBJ Summit, she will be sharing teachings of Ayurveda and how it can better fit into the U.S. supplement market, while also demonstrating the healing properties of “sound bathing,” a concept explored in her subject of her 2020 book, Sound Medicine.

We asked her about Ayurveda and what the supplement industry can do to help Americans understand and access its healthful practices.

Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary is a neurologist, neuroscientist and leader in the field of Sound Medicine and the ancient medical science known as Ayurveda.

The Ayurvedic herbs that have gained significant traction in the U.S. market are turmeric and ashwagandha. What do you think is the best strategy to introduce American consumers to more ingredients from Ayurvedic medicine?

Chaudhary: I think the best initial strategy is to look at herbs that are synergistic with turmeric and ashwagandha, since these two Ayurvedic supplements have a strong place in the supplement marketplace already. Combining synergistic herbs is a core principle in Ayurveda and exponentially increases the effect of the individual herbs. For example, adding Brahmi to ashwagandha creates a much more powerful supplement for cognitive support than just ashwagandha alone. Similarly, adding black pepper to turmeric radically improves the absorption of turmeric and further supports the anti-inflammatory benefits. These are all techniques that are well known in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years.

Related:The Gist—NBJ Summit: Celebrate DSHEA, emerging ideas and industry leaders

Do you think there is a specific condition or health concern that would get American consumers more interested in Ayurvedic medicine?

Chaudhary: Gut health is the foundation of Ayurvedic medicine. When treating any condition, Ayurveda starts with gut health first. Only recently, with the surge of research on the microbiome, are we slowly beginning to understand the importance of gut health in America. Gut health has been studied for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine with a personalized approach to optimizing the gut microbiome based on someone’s individual mind-body type, or dosha. It is not a one-size-fits-all approach to the gut. Ayurveda also clearly outlines the connection between gut health and brain health, another topic we are only beginning to discover in America. For anyone looking to achieve lasting gut and brain health, Ayurveda is an ideal resource. 

Is there a certain kind of consumer that you think is most open to learning about Ayurvedic medicine?

Chaudhary: Ayurveda is made for people who are tired of working hard to just barely keep their head above water in terms of their health. If you have an entire cabinet full of supplements and still barely feel “OK” on a most days, then Ayurveda is the right fit. Ayurveda is extremely personalized and instead of giving everyone the same 50+ health recommendations, which may or may not work, you are given a short list of recommendations that are specific to your needs. Health isn’t hard work when you have an owner’s manual to your mind-body type, or dosha. Optimizing health becomes a very focused path that includes specific lifestyle recommendations accompanied by a handful of customized herbal supplements that are designed just for you. 

Do you have any concerns about how U.S. brands are marketing Ayurvedic medicine and are there ways they could more appropriately honor the traditions?

Chaudhary: We are not tapping into the full potential of Ayurvedic medicine. It is an extremely sophisticated system of health offering people a PhD level of understanding of their body and mind. In the US, we are just barely unwrapping the knowledge of Ayurveda. When I look at how many Americans are struggling with their health and how easily Ayurveda addresses these modern health concerns, it saddens me that we have not yet brought these two worlds together. Ayurveda is personalized medicine and this is the direction America is going. We don’t need to reinvent the wheel. The wheel has already been built and upgraded through thousands of years of innovation through Ayurvedic medicine. We can start with what has already been discovered.

Editor's note: In-person attendance for the 2024 NBJ Summit is sold out, but registration for virtual attendance is still available. All attendees will have digital access to the entire program during and after the summit.

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