Life Without Disease:
How to Control Free Radicals,
a Major Cause of Aging and Disease
by Hari Sharma, M.D. Veda Publications.
It is widely recognized in the scientific community that free radicals in the body play a crucial role in the aging process and in the development of the major and minor degenerative diseases of our civilization. Free radicals are now understood to be central to the causation of everything from heart attacks and cancer to cataracts and wrinkled skin.
Among the major research breakthroughs of the past decade is the discovery that nutrients which combat free radicals (vitamins C and E, and beta-carotene prominent among them) act preventively against cancer and heart disease. Nonetheless, the power of these nutrients is limited-when arrayed against pathological cells, they are helpful but burn out quickly.
Hari Sharma’s research on the traditional Ayurvedic herbal formula Amrit Kalash may herald a major breakthrough on controlling free radicals, with potentially far-reaching effects on the major killer diseases. Dr. Sharma, a medical physician who left his native India and its traditional ways for the high-tech lure of Western medicine, is uniquely situated to act as a cross-cultural bridge. Now Professor of Pathology and Director of Cancer Prevention and Natural Products Research at the Ohio State University College of Medicine, Sharma has found that the free-radical fighting capacity of Amrit Kalash is between 100 and 1000 times as strong as the best known anti-oxidant vitamins,and that its effects are much longer lasting. Dr. Sharma’s findings have been replicated at other universities in the United States and elsewhere.
Freedom from Disease is well-written and at times inspired. Particularly engaging is Sharma’s description of an international meeting of physicians, convened in India in 1987 by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi for the purpose of initiating research on Amrit Kalash. The formula, provided by one of the top Ayurvedic physicians in India (where Ayurveda has governmental recognition), was a combination of dozens of herbs, prepared in a specific manner involving hundreds of distinct steps.
As Dr. Sharma listened to what he considered to be a series of amateurish research ideas, he grew steadily more impatient. Finally unable to contain himself, he let everyone know exactly what was wrong with their proposals, and laid out a proposal consistent with the university-based research protocols he was familiar with from his work at Ohio State. At that point the Maharishi said, “Good. Now you should do it.”
Out far enough on the limb that he felt he could not say no, Sharma took on the task. He found colleagues at the University of Kansas Medical Center, the South Dakota College of Pharmacy, and the Indiana University School of Medicine to collaborate in his efforts, and together they and others have produced a growing body of high-quality research with revolutionary potential. At this relatively early stage, it’s certainly premature to declare victory and award Dr. Sharma the Nobel Prize. But watch for further developments-this one may turn out to be a breakthrough of high magnitude.