Cover Story: Need for Standardising Ayurveda
Intro: When the world is going through the crisis of health management and people are loosing faith in the allopathic concept of health care, there is no option but to go back to the fifth Veda, AYURVEDA which believes in complete care rather than just cure.
-Sushruta Samhita, SU. 1. 41.
“India should strive to codify the knowledge contained in ancient Ayurveda texts and take steps to integrate traditional medicine with public health programmes through legal and policy initiatives,” Lok Sabha Speaker Smt Sumitra Mahajan said in New Delhi on November 7, while inaugurating the 6th World Ayurveda Congress (WAC). It is the largest such event, with nearly 4,000 participants, including 200 international delegates from 24 countries. Seven Ayurveda Universities and 270 Ayurveda colleges also participated in the Congress.
6th World Ayurveda Congress
She said there is an imperative need for quality control measures, standardisation and Research and Development in Ayurveda and other traditional healing systems from the perspective of not just trade and industry but also for the consumers. She urged the AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy) Department to have a comprehensive approach to quality control through good manufacturing, agricultural and laboratory practices.
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“Ayurveda is known to have powerful and effective treatments and medicine, but we do not know the mechanisms by which they work. Documen-ting these through research is important, as is value addition in traditional medicines to make sure we export finished products and not just raw materials or semi-processed products,” she added. It is for the first time that the national capital hosted the WAC. It was organised by the Department of AYUSH, Union Health Ministry in collaboration with the World Ayurveda Foundation and Delhi Government. Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said the government has already begun work on a digital library to ensure patents for Ayurvedic medicinal plants are not misused or misappropriated. “The government has constituted a committee to set the comprehensive parameters for developing a holistic system of medicine. The report will be submitted soon and we will initiate action on it,” he said, adding that the recommendations of the WAC will be made part of this action plan. He said India will soon have an exclusive drug control department to facilitate testing of Ayurvedic drugs.
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Earlier, inaugurating the Arogya Expo on November 6, Dr Harsh Vardhan said the Union Government was going to set up an exclusive drug control department to facilitate Research and development, monitor quality control and standardise the manufacturing of medicinal products of Ayurveda and other traditional Indian treatment systems. The Expo featured 400 stalls set up by leading traditional medicine manufacturers from around the country. It also has 20 speciality clinics offering free consultation and medicines to visitors.
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Nilanjan Sanyal, Secretary, AYUSH, noted that one-third of the world's population lacks access to healthcare. Ayurveda and other traditional systems have great potential to address this lacuna since they already meet the healthcare requirements of 80 percent of the rural population in India. “People across the world are talking about integration and holistic development. Yoga will be one of the greatest healers of the 21st century. That is the reason we have established the AYUSH mission,” he said, adding that we are trying to promote all Indian systems of medicine on a big scale. (With inputs from Agencies)