I majored in Asian Studies at the East-West
Center of the University of Hawaii (B.A. 1962) and went on to
study Development Economics at Yale University (M.A. 1964.) From
there, I joined the work force, first as a research analyst for
the United States Trust Company and later as an economist for
the Department of State in Vietnam (1966-68) and India (1968-70).
As an undergraduate, I had preferred philosophy
and anthropology to disciplines that might lead to a real career.
Upon graduation, I went to Japan as an exchange student. There,
I continued to study the Japanese language and Buddhism, but
on a particularly calm and quiet Sunday in Karuizawa, I read
a report in the Japan Times about a tribe in Africa
in which the entire adult population was blind, and children
were used as seeing eyes. I flew into a rage. I realized
that sanitation and health care would only shift the problem
for these unfortunate people a little. However, if they
were educated, they could fend for themselves better in a risky
world. I decided that economic development would generate the
opportunities for a higher standard of education as well as
health care. I therefore applied to Yale and was told that
my application was peculiarly irresistible.
learned some startling and life transforming facts while working
at my only "formal" jobs.
First, as the only woman in the research
department at a time when companies were not yet obliged
to have their "token" women employees, I was initially
put in charge of the food and beverage industry. There, I
learned unsettling specifics that everyone needs to know
in order to survive.
My first summer on Wall Street cost me my
innocence. The chemical and drug analyst was on vacation when
the Vatican was to reach a decision on birth control. I
spent my evenings reading files on pharmaceutical companies
and realized that I would never again take so much as an aspirin
unless it had been on the market for at least twenty-five years,
preferably fifty. Pressure by management on research to develop
products ahead of the competition had resulted in what seemed
a pattern of falsification of data. In those days, the
era of the thalidomide scandal, companies were failing to report
dead monkeys and hyping new wonder drugs that, according to
the legal papers I was studying, were rife with side effects
and probably not capable of delivering the results promised.
After Wall Street, I went to Vietnam (1966-68)
where I discovered more political ineptitude and more hazards
associated with medicine. I had been inoculated for everything
under the sun and was beginning to show classic signs of iatrogenic
pathologies. My fevers only got worse in India. After I left
the government, I decided never to have any more inoculations
and, if necessary, I would be willing forge entries on my yellow
card to avoid more injections of morbid matter. It was not
necessary. While searching for a cure for my "tropical
diseases" discovered Ayurveda!
In India, the pieces started to fit together.
I was surrounded by ancient wisdom, piety, and more importantly
a system of medicine that was essentially philosophical rather
than scientific. I devoured everything I could on Tibetan and
Ayurvedic medicine and came eventually to realize that medicine
and philosophy need not be separate. I also learned that the
taste of food is a clue to its pharmacology. The Ayurvedic
system is totally different from the food groups we were taught
in grade school; it is also different from the categorization
of food as carbohydrates, fats, and protein, the foundations
of Western nutrition. Ayurveda is not concerned with calories
so much as the digestibility of food. It does not teach a pat
formula for eating such as we continue to uphold in the West
by referencing minimum daily requirements for various vitamins
Ayurveda teaches that each person is unique.
Each person is born with a body that has characteristics and
idiosyncrasies unique to himself or herself. Every constitution
is different; and what works for one person is therefore different
than what works for another. From the day we are born, we begin
modifying our bodies in accordance with what we eat, the seasons,
where we live, and various other factors such as environmental
hazards, stress due to personal circumstances and relationships,
and Cosmic factors such as the cycles of astronomical forces.
By 1980, I had interfaced the basics
of Ayurvedic pharmacology with spiritual psychology and astrology,
and in 1986, I began working on the foundations of what I
Doctor," culinary approaches to health management that
involve extensive use of herbs and spices. Little by little,
the pieces came together and my lectures on this subject
were welcomed by individuals with health issues, including
many mothers concerned for their children.
I always wanted to publish my work as a two-volume
opus, but the requisite funds were never available and one
manuscript was stolen from me. Now, with the advent of the
Internet and the tremendous resource it provides for people
with independent minds and spirits to investigate their healing
options, I decided to publish on the web where I can gradually
add pages as my time permits. I am doing this largely as a
public service and therefore welcome your questions and
will try to post as much material as visitor interest warrants.
Please, therefore, feel free to write me. In the meantime,
enjoy your visit.