What is Ayurveda?
- Ayurvedic medicine is one of the world’s oldest medical systems and remains one of India’s traditional health care systems.
- It was developed more than 3,000 years ago in India.
- Ayurvedic treatment combines products (mainly derived from plants, but may also include animal, metal, and mineral), diet, exercise, and lifestyle.
- Ayurveda believes that positive health is the basis for attaining four cherished goals of life (chaturvidha purushartha) viz., Dharma, Artha, Kama, Moksha. All these four goals cannot be achieved without sound positive health.
- The Sushruta Samhita is one of the most important surviving ancient treatises on medicine and is considered a foundational text of Ayurveda.
- There are many books dealing with Ayurveda; among them, Charaka Samhita, Sushruta Samhita, and Ashtanga Sangraha are the three main pillars of Ayurveda.
- Charaka Samhita and Ashtanga Samhita mainly deal with medical knowledge while Sushruta Samhita deals mainly with surgical knowledge.
Issues associated with the growth of Ayurveda
- Inadequacies of Ayurveda in Treating Acute Infections and Other Crises, including surgery.
- Lack of Homogeneity: Ayurvedic medicinal procedures are not standardised. It’s because the medicinal plants utilised in it differ depending on location, climate, and local farming practises.
- Ayurvedic Pharmas’ Misleading Propaganda: Pharmaceutical companies made several therapeutic claims regarding their ayurvedic medications that were not supported by appropriate scientific evidence.
- Lack of Recognition: Ayurveda is not officially recognised as a medical field in numerous countries, which has resulted in several restrictions on the use of Ayurvedic remedies.
- Substandard Ayurvedic Research: For the past five decades or so, Ayurvedic research has mostly been confined to hundreds of drug studies following standard protocols employed in other medical systems.
Improving the growth of Ayurveda
- Reverse Pharmacology: Herbal drug development requires novel approaches like reverse pharmacology that can fast-track drug development. This is because reverse pharmacology selects herbs that are already used in Ayurveda. These drugs are then evaluated during exploratory clinical studies.
- New Millennium Indian Technology Leadership Initiative (NMITLI): It is a flagship scheme to catalyze innovation centered scientific and technological developments as a vehicle to attain for Indian industry a global leadership position. It is a program of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research. It is the largest public-private-partnership endeavor within the R&D sector in India. The Ayurvedic medicine system is one area of promising industrial potential for India on a global scale
Ministry of AYUSH
- The Ministry of Ayush was formed in 2014 with a vision of reviving the profound knowledge of India’s ancient systems of medicine and ensuring the optimal development and propagation of the Ayush systems of healthcare. It focuses attention towards education and research in Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, and Homoeopathy.
Why in News?
- PK Warrier, who transformed Kerala Ayurveda from a localised, tradition-bound treatment to a globally renowned healing system passed away recently.