Three Fruits: Nepali Ayurvedic Doctors on Health, Nature, and Social Change

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In 1978 Mary Cameron first encountered a medical practice in remote western Nepal that used pulse reading for diagnosis and local plants for medicine. Cameron's study of Ayurvedic medical doctors that began two decades later, Three Fruits traces the conceptual and practice lines from those village healers to the professionally trained doctors in the Kathmandu Valley. An intimate portrayal of Ayurvedic doctors in Nepal during a period of political unrest and social change, Three Fruits connects the doctors' care for Nepal's valued medicinal plants to the boundless joy of health they desire for their patients. Combining ethnography with history and Indian philosophy, the detailed study weaves the elegant theory of tridosa (three humors) and the popular medicine trifala (three fruits) into the narrative accounts of doctors' multi-sited practice. Aware of rising global alternative medicine and environmental movements, the doctors speak to their relevance for Ayurveda and sustainable, integrated, and culturally meaningful plural medicine in Nepal.