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Ayurveda

Applications of newer methods of researches inevitable for transitions in Ayurveda: Expert

Chennai (PB): Application of newer methods of researches in the treatment practices and manufacturing methods of Ayurveda is inevitable for the transition of the ancient Indian treatment system as the environment of existence is always subject to changes. The journey from the mythological roots to the present day scientific validation process shows the periodical growth occurred to Ayurveda system. So transition either by its own internal forces or by external circumstances is becoming an indispensable factor, said A Arun, senior manager, product development, Kottakkal Arya Vaidyasala in Kerala.

While delivering a speech on ‘Transition in Ayurveda’ in the national workshop organised by the Department of Phytopharmacy of the JSS College of Pharmacy in Ooty, Arun said treatment, manufacturing and academics are the three arms of Ayurveda system. Research is the supporting tool for updating of these arms. Since the nature itself is in the process of continuous self updating, this ancient science of life should also adapt to changes in the methods of production and treatment applications. This evolution of newer methods in the treatment practices, education methods and manufacturing has to occur as a regular process which is called growth of science, he opined.

“In ancient days, the Vaidyas in the villages used to analyse the body constitutions of the patients. They then identified the disorders in terms of the disturbances caused due to three humours vata, pitta and kapha, and prepared the drugs. Whereas, manufacturing, distribution and sale were considered as a legally bound operation after the enforcement of D&C Act. Transitions in the manufacturing processes were warranted by the increase in the volume of production due to rise in demand and need to improve patient compliance mimicking modern dosage forms. Technological advancements in the field of physics, chemistry, engineering and pharmaceutical sciences have greatly supported this transition of manufacturing and analytical procedures of India’s treatment methods,” he said.

Regarding transitions in formulations, he said so many changes have been done for improving patient compliance. The earlier ‘gulika’ has changed into tablet, ‘bhasmas’/powders became capsules, and syrups, granules and gels have got places in the system by the adoption of modern techniques which also helped the standardization of products. The sensory techniques of ancient days have changed into equipment based evaluation.

As regards the raw materials mentioned in classical texts, the scientist said because of various factors many of the raw materials like Aquilaria agallocha (Akil), Musk etc, have become extinct now. However, there are some new entrants in the list of raw materials of which some examples are Cassia angustifolia (Senna), Mentha arvensis (Pudina) and Eucalyptus oil. But, raw material supplies in India is still in unorganised sector, he added.

According to Arun, apart from scientific evolutions, the interference of government to monitor and regulate the practices of treatment and manufacturing of ASU drugs has also helped attain a unique position for Indian treatment methods. Government has formed the pharmacopoeia committee in 1962 and the System was brought under the drugs and cosmetics act in the same year. Ayurvedic formulary was brought out in 1978, pharmacopoeial standards were made mandatory in the year 1980, department of ISM was established in 1994 for the growth and development of Indian systems, ayurvedic pharmacopoeia was formed in 1995, heavy metal regulation was brought in 2006, legal status of Ayush medicines was made in 2006, protocol for testing Ayush medicines was made compulsory in 2007 and quality control manual for Ayush medicines was brought out in 2008.

All these regulations and reforms have given the ancient system a universal standard and identity equal to modern system, he told the audience in the workshop.

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