By Dr. Sandhya
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 65-80% of the world’s population living in developing countries depends essentially on plants for primary health care. Since ancient times medicinal plants have been used as a source to cure numerous human diseases. In the present days, one fourth of the world population depends on traditional medicines. As per the recent data the global traditional market is increasing at the rate of 7-15 percent per year. Herbal medicinal preparations are normally very popular in developing countries.
Worldwide in traditional medicine, mainly herbal market has grown at an expressive rate. Several important factors have been contributed to the growth of this worldwide herbal market, such as the belief that herbal drugs are free from side effects, since millions of people all over the world have been using herbal medicines for thousands of years; great interest in alternative medicines; preference of populations for preventive medicine, effective benefit of herbal medicine in the treatment of certain diseases where conventional therapies and medicines have proven to be inadequate; tendency towards self-medication; improvement in quality, scientific proof of efficacy and safety of herbal medicines .
For the promotion of herbal medicines in cosmetic as well as various others disorders there is a need to focus on three fields: Academics, Research and Social.
In the field of academics, promoting CME, seminar, conferences to enhance quality of education system is required. Also for success of all these programs it requires choosing topics meticulously, should cover multiple topics, distribution of funds, promotion and participant interest.
In research area, consistent effort should be made for good infrastructures, labs equipments, and research scholars are mandatory and should be supported by Government or private sector, which can enhance quality of drugs and its standard. Various fields have been opened for the research includes life style disorder, non-preventive medicine, Vajikaran, Rasayan etc. However, at present no injectable ayurvedic drug is available in the market to manage the acute or emergency diseases. For this purpose, ayurvedic drugs have to be studied for drug specific pharmacokinetic, pharmacodynamics, half-life, side effects, teratological effects. Research scholars, working in institute and Universities, should made collective effort for manufacturing or developing standardized drugs which can be tested very well for the adulteration and to identify the deficient constituent in a compound.
While following the guidelines as mentioned in Charak Samhita Sutrasthana , for the Dinacharya, Ritucharya and Ahara-vihara, we can promote good health; prevent life style disorders [LSD], non-communicable disease [NCD], sexually transmitted disease [STD] and many others, which needs more attention to develop more scientific parameters and result. This effort will enable the Ayurveda with evidences to project more scientifically and effectively on global platforms.
In panchakarma procedures by Snehan, drugs are being given transdermally as transdermal patches which have been used for different diseases in modern science.
It has also been proved that there is a decrease in histamine level by the Vaman karma. In cerebral palsy we can use Shirodhara and Vasti as a part of treatment. This always gives a good result. Shirodhara has been considered to stimulate release of endorphins and pain inhibitory mediators.
Herbals drugs from ayurveda are gaining popularity after a dark period. Main role is played by the media as well as by the recent researches, which are carried out by very less number of research scholars in comparison to other medical streams. So we can see that if we have to take Ayurveda globally as like modern medicine, research scholars, academicians and social workers should come together as a team and work in co- ordinance for the benefit of Ayurveda.
Lastly, social aspect needs conduction of camps through NGO etc., exhibitions, rational involvement of media preferable electronic for the prevention of diseases and after treatment care over and above the activities carried out presently like Swastha-mela should be done on regular basis for more awareness in people.
We should develop own system of medicine by considering the core of ayurveda supported by many other multifaceted-progressive-economy building and disease combating guidance and technique to be the leader in medicine as holistic medicine.
(Dr. Sandhya is a Senior Resident, Deptt. of Prasuti Tantra and Stri Roga, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University. )