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Ayurveda: The Ancient Practice That Healed With Turmeric Before It Was Cool

Next time you sip your turmeric latte, basking in its superfood glow, remember that turmeric may be trendy but it’s definitely not new. Turmeric currently leads the top of the superfood crop, credited with healing wounds and burns, reducing inflammation and even preventing and inhibiting the spread of cancer. But long before it grabbed our attention in the West, it was a healing food used in the ancient Eastern medical system of Ayurveda.

Ayurveda – which translates into “the knowledge of long life” – is now the subject of a new exhibition, Ayurvedic Man: Encounters with Indian medicine at Wellcome Collection. The exhibit includes everything from ancient Sanskrit, Persian and Tibetan manuscripts to paintings, erotic manuals and animal-shaped surgical tools. All were collected for Henry Wellcome – pharmacist, entrepreneur, philanthropist and inveterate collector – over a 10-year period more than 100 years ago.

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