Why Western medicine failed to take cues from Indian Herbal Medicine (Ayurveda)

The pharmaceutical Industry is going through a rough phase as investment has increased substantially inrecent years but, number of innovative drugs approved by FDA has steadily decreased. Advancements made in Translational research field, development of combinatorial chemistry libraries, biomarker led-drug discovery have led to new ways of approaching drug discovery, but have not been able to provide an end to the drought in drug molecule search. ‘One gene-one disease-one drug’ approach and ‘Multi drug driven- System based approach’, both have found its own set of followers but none have been proven till date as a perfect approach. Amidst all these different approaches and urgency, a field which is neglected by the western team and should have found place along with Translational research is learning’s and findings from Traditional medicine.generic cialis online usa According to the definition used by National Centre for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), WHO and other organizations traditional medicines like Ayurveda, Chineese medicine etc falls into Complimentary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) (1). Calling this treatment forms as ‘Alternative’ is itself an irony, as these treatment ways can be dated back to 5000 years, can treat complex diseases like cancer and diabetes and 80% of people from developing countries use traditional medicine as first line of defence against illness (2). Some common perceptions about Ayurveda, which hinders its integration into western medicine are
  • There is no source from where one could understand and learn more on Ayurvedic treatments and procedures
  • Ayurveda is all about meditation, dietary changes and life style
  • The procedures followed in Ayurveda cannot be proven scientifically (in molecular details)
  • Ayurvedic formulations are concoction made from plant extracts and because of which its toxicity and side effects cannot be measured accurately
  • Ayurvedic studies does not adopt modern analysis methods: biochemical, pharmacology, clinical(4)
Where to get information on Ayurvedic treatment: Charak Samhita, Sushrut Samhita and Ashtang Hridaya Samhita are the main classics which gives information about 700 herbs and 6000 formulations. Commentaries on these classics are called as ‘junior’ triad and this includes Madhava Nidhana, Sarangdhar Samhita and Bhavaprakash. (2, 3) These books in addition to treatment procedures speak about health, disease management, anatomy and physiology. Diseases are classified according to organ systems and functions. Specialities such as internal medicine, gynaecology, paediatrics etc are clearly delineated and are discussed in detail. Medicinal plants are pharmacologically categorized into anti inflammatory, analgesic, emetic etc. (2) In addition to these there are several new authors and systemic reviews available to understand in depth Ayurveda and its practices. Work is happening in the direction to make this information available through public database. Approach: Ayurveda VS Western medicine Look at a rose and if its petal is going to fall, a conventional medical practitioner would give medicine to prevent the fall of petal, whereas an ayurvedic practitioner would try to look at the surrounding and the factors that would be leading to the fall of petal and try to normalise that.  In nutshell Ayurvedic system follow a holistic approach and conventional medicine mostly follow a disease centric approach. Ayurvedic medicine is oriented towards prevention, health maintenance, early diagnosis and personalized treatment. Belief in ayurvedic medicine is that a disease is the product of an imbalance in the body and the mental elements and this reduce the body’s resistance to disease. So herbal formulas, lifestyle changes and diet when given together, is expected to give a positive result by strengthening the immune system, increasing disease resistance and then combat disease (2). Ayurveda: in a modernization path To meet current world’s medical needs, it is essential for any medical practitioner to adopt latest technologies. The case  is not different with Ayurveda. Though they have started in this path much later than conventional medicine, the current research status proves that they are making good progress. With respect to ‘genomics’ space alone, in the beginning of 2000, there were only few hundreds of articles in pubmed for plants, whereas for the year 2014 there are ~2000. Several efforts are being done on the documentation front to catalogue the chemical, therapeutic and toxicity aspects of plant derived medicinal molecules. Traditional Knowledge Digital Library maintained by Council of Scientific and Industrial research, India and Traditional Chinese Integrated Database have extensive information on chemical and therapeutic properties of plant derived compounds.amoxil online buy viagra sans ordonnance motilium suppositories

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