Open Access Article

Title: The control systems engineering foundation of traditional Indian medicine: the Rosetta Stone for Siddha and Ayurveda

Authors: V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai

Addresses: Sociotechnical Systems Research Center, Engineering Systems Division, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA, 02139, USA; Systems Biology Group, International Center for Integrative Systems, 701 Concord Avenue, Cambridge, MA, 02138, USA

Abstract: This paper uncovers the scientific foundation of traditional systems of Indian medicine: Siddha and Ayurveda, from core principles shared in modern control systems engineering. Grand challenges of modern healthcare are motivating a paradigm shift towards systems of systems (SoS) approaches. The recent emergence of modern systems biology and the concomitant growth of evidence-based research in ancient systems of holistic medicine such as Siddha and Ayurveda, practiced in India for over 5,000 years, exemplify this shift. This paper reveals a Rosetta Stone, inscribed from principles of control systems engineering, to comprehend the scientific foundations of the ancient lingua franca of Siddha and Ayurveda. This discovery provides a much-needed integrative framework, across east and west, ancient and modern, to develop a systems medicine that overcomes the reductionism of modern healthcare.

Keywords: traditional medicine; siddha; ayurveda; complementary medicine; alternative medicine; CAM; systems biology; systems theory; whole cell modelling; Dosha; Prakriti; multiscale modelling; healthcare systems; control systems engineering; systems of systems engineering; SoSE.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSSE.2014.064836

International Journal of System of Systems Engineering, 2014 Vol.5 No.2, pp.125 - 149

Received: 04 Jul 2014
Accepted: 04 Jul 2014

Published online: 30 Sep 2014 *