Dosha Balance


Ingrid Naiman

Thank you for your interest in Ayurveda, constitutional balance, my work, and me!  This page was blank for several years because it is so hard to write about myself.

My interest in Asia began while still a teenager, mainly through a sort of psychospiritual revolution that included the embracing of Buddhism and eventually culture, languages, and even cuisine and medicine.







My mother moved to Hawaii just before Statehood and I ended up at the University of Hawaii, majoring in Asian Studies and becoming the first undergraduate from the U.S. to become an East-West Center grantee.  I studied Indonesian and Japanese and divided my time mainly between anthropology and philosophy.  Then, in 1962 while spending the summer in Karuizawa, Japan, I read about a tribe in Africa where the entire adult population was blind.  I flew into a rage and wondered how to change this.  I thought that if I were a doctor, I would only reach a few people; if a teacher, perhaps a few more; but if I were an economist, I might be able to shift things enough that people had both education and medicine.  I wrote a letter to Yale University which they said was one of the more passionate and memorable they had ever received.  To make a long story short, I got a master's degree in development economics and ended up with the State Department, first in Vietnam and then in India.

Adventurous that I was, I drove a Land Rover from England to India, in 1968.  This all seems very relevant because I fell in love with Afghanistan and my heart is bleeding for what is happening now.

On my first evening in Delhi, before I had even reported for work, I was invited to accompany the father of one of my Kashmiri friends to visit Prof. Lokesh Chandra, a member of Parliament and director of an institute where Tibetan monks were living and working.  Prof. Chandra one day asked me to accompany him to the first public lecture of H.H. the Dalai Lama.  We sat in the front row.  My life has been charmed in countless ways.  It was also through Prof. Chandra that I first learned of Ayurveda.  It was a quite innocent experience as he was busy and asked if I would mind driving his wife to a doctor's appointment.  I was always happy to help out, even in small ways, but the observations I made that day left me quite bewildered.  It was many more years before I started making sense of Ayurveda.

India is a complex country with a rich and noble history, but everything about India and Indian culture has always seemed vast to me, almost too enormous for my poor mind to comprehend. 

I left the State Department in 1970 and lived in Europe for a while and then went back to the Himalayas.  Finally, I returned to Hawaii where I turned a serious hobby into a profession and became a full-time medical astrologer.

In the 70s, I read a few books on Ayurveda, and in 1980, I met Dr. Shrikrishna Kashyap, a former yogi and Ayurvedic practitioner who had lived in the Himalayas before coming to Santa Fe.  I studied with him and began to understand the concepts of energetics of food, spices, and herbs.  These interfaced beautifully with astrology.  By the mid-80s, I had coined the term "kitchen doctor" and there is a web site now of that name.  An astrological book on the elements and constitutional type followed.  By 1986, I had a little herbal apothecary and more and more followed. 

I became interested in ethnobotany, wrote a book on botanical treatments of cancer, and started a line of herbs under the label of Sacred Medicine Sanctuary. The commitment to these projects has been enormous, interesting, thought provoking and preoccupying, and I am very happy to have lived long enough to be able to share some of the pearls of my journey with you.  Welcome to!

Ingrid Naiman
23 June 2006


Ingrid Naiman's Personal Web Site

Kitchen Doctor

Ayurvedic Herbs







Sacred Medicine Sanctuary
Poulsbo, Washington

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