Sunday, April 12, 2015


MD India.Medindia
Mumbai, India
Friday, March 27, 2015

Kerala Health Minister, V.S. Sivakumar, said, "Ayurveda expertise and care for the treatment of various developmental disorders in children, mental retardation, cerebral palsy, autism, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) will be made available at major Ayurveda hospitals in the State."

Minister Sivakumar inaugurated a scheme that provides Ayurveda treatment for developmental disorders in children, launched in the pediatric division of the Poojappura Ayurveda Hospital for Women and Children, under the Government Ayurveda College, Trivandrum on March 26. "Steps will be taken to strengthen the pediatric wing in Ayurveda hospitals," he said.

A screening programme for identifying development disorders in children was also inaugurated by the Minister. A total number of 103 children below ten years of age were screened. Sixty were detected with cerebral palsy, twenty six were diagnosed with autism, seven were found to be hyperactive, another five had Down's Syndrome and seven children were found to have mental retardation.


DNA/Diligent Media
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
New Delhi, India

Urging to dismiss the notion of Ayurveda as an "unproven" discipline, President Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday said the centuries-old knowledge system is believed to have treated diseases that resembled HIV and tuberculosis in ancient times and needs to be demystified and popularised.

Speaking at the 58th session of the All India Ayurvedic Congress, Mukherjee said for that too long Ayurveda has been dismissed as an "unproven" discipline and he would like to see Ayurvedic medicine being demystified and popularised through informative marketing and user-friendly packaging.

The President said he would like to see the day when we have mobile clinics delivering Ayurvedic treatment and medicine through the villages in all parts of India and that he would particularly like to encourage the youth of India to study, safeguard, practice and propagate this ancient knowledge system.

"It is believed that centuries ago, the medicinal systems of Ayurveda and Siddha had laid down protocols for successfully treating diseases that resembled the diseases that we know today as HIV and tuberculosis. If these remedies could be researched and the findings pursued, they could bring new hope to millions and revolutionise modern medicine," Mukherjee said.

To achieve this, there should be greater collaboration between ayurvedic and allopathic researchers to widen the database of treatment protocols and successful medical practices for the benefit of our people, he said.

"It would also be appropriate to establish channels of direct connectivity between Ayurvedic laboratories and drug manufacturers. Some modern hospitals are additionally offering Ayurveda in the name of integrative medicine. I would definitely encourage hospitals all over India to add the facility and service of Ayurvedic treatment in whichever way they can," he said.


DNA/Diligent Media
Friday, April 10 2015
New Delhi, India

With new herbal products being introduced in the market every other day, ayurveda experts have demanded a strong regulatory mechanism to ensure people are not misguided and land up in trouble.

According to the experts, it needs more people keep a check on the new herbal products coming into the market. Dr Kuldip Kohli, director of AYUSH in Maharashtra, said, "Every other day, a new herbal product is being introduced in the market which may have a rational or an irrational combination. People feel it is very easy to float their products in the market as there is no good regulatory mechanism to ensure that the product is safe for use."

Dr Kohli, who agrees that ayurveda has been a preferred choice of people for years, said that FDA has a very few drug inspectors to check on these products. "FDA needs to have more drug inspectors for ayurveda like they have for allopathy medicines," said Dr Kohli.

According to ST Patil, joint commissioner (drugs) of FDA, there is only one technical officer for ayurveda. Doctors say that people, especially the ones suffering from chronic ailments, rely on herbal products in the market.

"Such medicines are neither effective nor tested by any drug controller. Hence, it's not advisable for patients to buy them. People tend to discontinue their regular medicines and rely on ayurvedic ones that are not prescribed by an expert and land themselves in trouble," said Dr Tushar Rege, diabetic foot surgeon.


The Times of India
Saturday, April 4, 2015
New Delhi, India

In a significant scientific validation for traditional therapies, India's premier medical institution, AIIMS (the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences) has found certain Ayurvedic formulations effective in treating rheumatoid arthritis (RA), which causes irreversible joint damage. The study, conducted on 125 RA patients, found Ayurvedic medicines Ashwagandha powder and Sidh Makardhwaj, helped in relieving pain in tender and swollen joints, and increased mobility in a majority of subjects. Ashwagandha powder is derived from a plant while Sidh Makardhwaj is a formulation of herbal and mineral ingredients.

The study was part of a larger research being conducted by the institution, known for cutting-edge treatments, for scientific validation of therapies offered under traditional systems of medicine. PM Narendra Modi's endorsement of alternative medicine has given further push to the programme.

AIIMS is also conducting multiple studies to validate alternative therapies for epilepsy, Alzheimer's and chronic heart failure, among others. Dr Y K Gupta, who heads AIIMS' pharmacology department, told TOI that scientific validation of alternative therapies and medicines was one of the mandates of the institute.

"Interest in traditional medicines is renewed and growing exponentially due to the adverse drug reactions and economic burden associated with modern system of medicine. The central government is promoting them too," he added.

AIIMS is also conducting studies to validate the medicinal values of turmeric, Shankhpushpi or Evolvulus alsinoides and stem bark of terminalia arjuna (a medicinal plant used by Ayurvedic physicians) for treating various health ailments. AIIMS doctors said Ashwagandha powder had anti-inflammatory, anti-stress and immuno-modulatory properties, which help improving physical function and joint pain in RA patients.

A researcher who participated in the study said the formulations had multiple benefits. The subjects were administered 5 gram of Ashwagandha powder twice a day for three weeks with lukewarm water or milk and 100 gram of Sidh Makardhwaj daily with honey for the next four weeks as part of the pilot study."The drugs decreased RA factor and there was significant change in post-treatment scores of tender joints, swollen joints, pain assessment score and patient self-assessed disability index among other," the researcher said. The study has been published in the latest issue of the Indian Journal of Medical Research.

Dr (Gen) Ved Chaturvedi, rheumatologist at Army (Research and Referral hospital) said this is a welcome step. "Whether we accept it or not, there are many people in India who subscribe to the health benefits of alternative therapies. It is important to scientifically validate the claims about their efficacy rather than ignoring them totally," he said. According to him, rheumatoid arthritis is a debilitating condition in which patients have to take life-long medications. "In many cases, where treatment is delayed or the joints get damaged badly, costly joint replacements is done," added Dr Chaturvedi.

The NDA government recently announced opening of institute of Ayurveda on the lines of AIIMS in Delhi and several other parts of the country.


The Times of India
Friday, March 20, 2015
Kannur, Kerala

The role of ayurveda in sports medicine is increasing day by day and the sports personalities have also started realising this, according to the experts.

Though it is a relatively new wing of the ayurveda, which focuses on the health aspects of sports personalities, including stamina and flexibility of the body, more and more people have showed interest it, said Dr P V Srinivasan, coordinator of the Sports Ayurveda unit, under the Indian Systems of Medicine Department in Kannur.

It was this acceptance which prompted the authorities to organise a two-day workshop here, 'Drona 2015', for the doctors, trainers, physical education teachers and students, he said.

In the workshop, which concluded on Thursday, the experts were of the opinion that the role of sports ayurveda was immense in the performance of the Kerala women's team which clinched gold in the basketball event in the recent National Games, said Srinivasan.

"In this system, no steroids are used and also most of the injuries are treated without any surgical intervention," he said.

Though the system had been practiced in India since time immemorial, especially for the warriors, it was recently that sports ayurveda got some recognition in the sports scenario in the country, said A V Suresh, DMO, Indian Systems of Medicine.

"We can assure that ayurvedic treatment will not come under doping and also it is highly effective in treating soft tissue injuries like ligament, tendom, meniscus," he said. "Since the scar formation is less and tissue regeneration is speedy in ayurvedic treatment, it enables the injured sports personalities to come back to sports field rather quickly."

The students of the Sports Authority of India (SAI) centre in Thalassery and the sports division in Kannur regularly come for treatment and its efficacy has been scientifically proved, he said.

The 50-bed sports ayurveda hospital coming up in Thrissur is also underscores the recognition it has in the modern times, said the experts in the field. In the workshop, experts took classes on various subjects in sports ayurveda.

Saturday, January 31, 2015


The Times of India/TNN
Tuesday, January 6, 2015
Bnglaru (Bangalore), Karnataka, India

Doctors in Karnataka will advise the Liberian government on using traditional Ayurveda to tackle modern-day scourge Ebola.

State health minister U.T. Khader confirmed correspondence between his office and Liberian counterparts on this subject. "A month ago, we received mails from Liberia about it and I had discussions with Ayurveda specialists in Belagavi. The doctors are working on it."

According to Ayurveda, pitta (in the form of bile juice) becomes concentrated and dries up leading to corrosion in cell walls resulting in bleeding when a person is infected with Ebola. Ayurvedic medicine prevents denaturing of pitta from liquid to dried acidic form and neutralizes toxins released by the Ebola virus.

Doctors from AyurVAID hospitals, a chain of Ayurvedic hospitals, had sent a proposal to the Karnataka government on possible treatment for Ebola. The government has also discussed Ayurvedic treatment with the doctors at the Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases where a quarantine unit has been set up for Ebola-suspect cases. "As of now, there's no treatment for Ebola. We discussed methods of treatment with AyurVaid doctors. I've written to the government that if we get an Ebola-suspect case, we'll take up a combined therapy of allopathy and Ayurveda," said Dr Shashidhar Buggi, director, RGICD.

Ebola is transmitted through bodily fluids, blood, contaminated medical material such as needles or syringes, or even infected organisms. It's not transmitted through the air. The symptoms show up 2-3 weeks after contraction and include nausea, fever, sore throat, muscle pain, and headaches. In extreme cases, there could be internal bleeding and the intestinal tract is badly affected.

Ebola and Ayurveda

Dr Ajit Kumar, head of communicable diseases, AyurVAID, who has researched Ebola extensively, says, "In the initial stage of the fever corresponding to Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), according to Ayurveda, vata-pitta doshas and rakta dhatu (blood and plasma) gets affected leading to the haemorrhagic phase or Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever (EHF) with symptoms including excessive thirst, skin rashes, blood in spit, burning sensation, redness of body, giddiness and delirium. As per Ayurveda texts (Charaka Samhita), one complication of the fever is rakta-pitta resulting in bleeding from mouth, rectum, and other orifices. This is also happening in EHF victims."

Ayurveda solution

"Studies reveal that symptoms of Ebola are similar to that of dengue fever and India has been able to tackle severe illnesses effectively. We have to create a hostile environment for the virus to contain it," says Rajiv Vasudevan, CEO, AyurVAID. He has conveyed this to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta. "To stop the virus from spreading from one affected to person to others, we also suggest quarantine," adds Dr Ajit Kumar.

Medicine in Ayurveda

Ayurvedic protocols include diet, lifestyle, medicines, and therapies applicable to different stages of the disease. Medicine prepared from astringent foods items are favoured at intermediate stage and these include figs, gooseberries, white pepper, cucurbita, jamun fruit, walnut, dry mango seed/aamchur, raw woodapple, vastuk (bathwa), leafy vegetable, badri (berries), bamboo shoots, dates, lotus stem/stalk, charoli (chironji) to be administered in liquid form.


By Shobita Dhar,
TNN/he Times of India

January 25, 2015, 06.19 AM

Perhaps for the first time leading research and medical institutions in the US-Harvard University, Scripps Clinic, University of California San Diego, Mt Sinai University , University of California San Francisco and Duke University -are collaborating on a project to study ayurveda's healing powers.

Called the `Self-Directed Biological Transformation Initiative (SBTI) Research Study', the study is being conducted at the Chopra Center for Wellbeing in California. The center, run by wellness expert Deepak Chopra, had earlier conducted a smaller study to examine the effects of meditation and yoga on gene expression.

"The findings from the older study showed that a week of meditation and yoga practice led to an increase in expression of genes that support rejuvenation of the body , a reduction in expression of genes associated with the stress response, and a large increase in telomerase levels (an enzyme that helps maintain structural identity of genes)," says Chopra.

In the SBTI study , researchers will be analyzing the impact of ayurvedic treatments on participants' genes, certain hormones associated with metabolism and mood change, bacteria present in the gut and on the skin, inflammation markers, weight, stress makers etc. "The body's healing system is still little understood because of the complex inputs -thoughts, emotions, diet, stress, exercise, immune response - that affect healing. The picture is further clouded when isolated findings overlap or contradict one another. In the context of ayurveda, therapies and practices aren't done in isolation. Instead of focusing on local symptoms, the diagnosis is systemic. Only now is Western medicine beginning to understand that a blanket condition like `stress' or `inflammation' connects many diverse disorders, including heart disease, cancer, and diabetes," says Chopra.

Ayurveda is widely practiced and followed in India. There are 2,458 ayurveda hospitals running in India under the government's directorate of Ayush (Ayurveda, yoga, unani, siddha and homoeopathy). However since there have been few scientific studies on the safety and efficacy of the system in the West, it is often perceived as a pseudoscience there. Dr Rudolf Tanzi, a professor at the Harvard University and a co-researcher at the SBTI study, says that this perception is now changing.

"Any scientist of worth will admit that most of time we are wrong. Just look back at science 100 years ago and ask how much is still correct today. Why would this not continue to be the case 100 years from now? Thus, it makes sense to look back to ancient remedies and wisdom, for example, as prescribed in ayurvedic medicine. So far, the results ranging from the effects of meditation on beneficial gene activity to ashwagandha on Alzheimer's pathology are certainly looking sufficiently promising to continue," says Tanzi who specializes in researching gene mutations linked to Alzheimer's Disease.

The study also has the potential to throw light on which brain-function related genes and chemicals are turned "on" or turned "off " by an ayurvedic diet and lifestyle." "That type of information can help us not only better establish how ayurveda works at a cellular level but also how best to integrate it into a modern healthy lifestyle," says Dr Murali Doraiswamy , professor at Duke Institute for Brain Sciences and coresearcher on the study .