Authors Foreword to the Series
Ayurveda, the traditional medicine of India, shares the distinction with Traditional Chinese Medicine
(TCM) and Middle Eastern Unani Tibb Medicine as one of the three oldest surviving comprehensive
herbal medicine systems on the planet. These are distinct insofar as, unlike local or native herbal
medical systems, hey evolved over a diverse cultural and geographical area to enable them to treat
the most diverse variety of human diseases.
Even a cursory examination of the three systems will reveal a number of fundamental similarities,
including the energetic classification of diseases and herbs, such as the use of cosmological theories
with descriptive energetic medical terms, such as "hot," "cold," "damp," "dry" and "wind." Also, each
is based an a similar "elemental" system, which was also the foundation of early Greco- Roman
In fact, there seems to be a common thread that forms the basis of the three great healing systems of
the world, with similar approaches to healing, among apparently widespread and disparate cultures,
ranging from India, China, to the Mediterranean and even extending to native cultures of the
Americas, partially as it result of colonizing and precolonizing influences.
Could it be that there is a common wellspring of wisdom to all these healing systems? If so, much of
it utilized a circular logic to represent our interconnection with all aspects of inner and outer nature.
And just as early Asian and European systems used theories of four or five elements to represent an
interdependent relationship with all aspects of being, so did Native North American Medicine use
the Sacred Medicine Whee