Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: Asia

  • Book review: Disease and Healing in the Indus Civilisation

    Arpan K. BanerjeeSolihull, England The Indus (Harappan) civilisation was one of the three contemporaneous ancient civilisations, the others being the Egyptian and Mesopotamian. First excavated by the British in the 1920s, it existed from 3300–1300 BC, extending from the south in Gujarat to northwest India and Pakistan across the Indus and the now often dried…

  • Kadambini Bose Ganguly—India’s first female physician

    Arpan K. BanerjeeSolihull, England The name Kadambini Ganguly is not as well remembered today as those of other female pioneering physicians around the world. In her time, Ganguly was a remarkable trailblazer and the first Indian female doctor to practice Western medicine in India. She was also one of the first women to be admitted…

  • Nicolò Manucci, physician at the Court of Prince Shah Alam in seventeenth-century India

    Stephen MartinThailand A teenage stowaway on a ship from Venice in 1653 had an unusual route into medicine. He was Nicolò Manucci (1638–1720, Fig 1). The earliest image of him gathering medicinal herbs in India is in the style of a Moghul imperial artist, probably done in Aurangabad, judging by the pink and brown color of…

  • Decoding the death of Maharaja Pandu

    B. Sadananda NaikKarnataka, India The Mahabharata is one of two great ancient Indian Sanskrit epics of Hinduism. It narrates the struggle between two groups of cousins in the Kurukshetra War, the Kaurava and Pandava princes. Maharaja Pandu, father of Pandavas, is one of the key figures in this epic. In the story, the premature death…

  • Medical monuments in St. John’s Church, Kolkata

    Stephen MartinThailand The British architecture of Kolkata, though by no means representative of modern India, has some extraordinary beauty. One of many outstanding sites is St. John’s Church, consecrated in 1787 (Fig 1) and based on James Gibbs’ St. Martin in the Fields in Trafalgar Square, London. In the Regency period, Michael Cheese was the…

  • Xenotransplantation on Mount Kalilash

    Devanshi Patel Rajkot, Gujarat, India   Statue of Lord Ganesh during Ganesh Chaturthi. Photo by Mohnish Landge on Unsplash. According to Hindu mythology, Mount Kalilash in the Himalayas is the abode of Lord Shiva and his consort Parvati, along with their children Kartikeya and Ganesh.1 The latter son is the elephant-headed god of beginnings, intellectuals,…

  • An uneasy relationship

    P. Ravi Shankar Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia   Photo by lil artsy on Pexels My paternal grandmother lived for nearly ninety-three years. She was a strong woman who faced life with courage and dignity. She developed some medical conditions later in life but was active, could carry out her activities of daily living, and lived a…

  • The history of Indian medicine and its impact on modern practice

    Kahan Mehta Gotri, Vadodara, India   Figure 1. The Ashwini Kumars. Image by Carly Bertn and Mark Cartwright, World History Encyclopedia. Based on Wikimedia image. CC BY-SA 4.0. India has a rich tradition of medicine that has evolved over the centuries. One such medical practice is Ayurveda, a system that has been used in India…

  • Menstrual health in early Indian medical tradition

    Benjamin DarkwaEdmonton, Canada Introduction As one of the oldest medical traditions, Ayurveda has existed for about two thousand years.1 Caraka and Susruta are the most famous medical compendiums of Ayurveda. These classical texts associate diseases with the imbalance of three dosas (humors): vata (wind), kapha (phlegm), and pitta (bile). The three dosa theory, illustrated in…

  • The Great War and the other war

    Maryline Alhajj Beirut, Lebanon   Starving man and children in Mount Lebanon. 1915–1918. Unknown photographer. Via Wikimedia. Public domain due to age.   The reverberations of October 29, 1914 would carry throughout the lands of the Ottoman Empire and serve as an ominous premonition of disastrous years to come. On that day, following a surprise…