|MESSAGE FROM THE VICE-CHANCELLOR
|Year : 2011 | Volume
| Issue : 1 | Page : 1-2
Thirst areas of research in Ayurveda
Vice Chancellor, Gujarat Ayurved University, Jamnagar, Gujarat, India
|Date of Web Publication||5-Oct-2011|
M L Sharma
Vice Chancellor, Gujarat Ayurved University, Jamnagar, Gujarat
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Sharma M L. Thirst areas of research in Ayurveda. AYU 2011;32:1-2
The quest for longevity has been man's endeavour since the dawn of mankind and to achieve this, ancient Indian seers formulated certain principles of living under the name Ayurveda. A man wishing to be healthy throughout his life has to be healthy every day as well. Health depends on how one spends each day. Controlled and guided activities of body and mind are essential for maintaining one's own health. Do's and don'ts which are to be followed every day, every season, and throughout the year have been drafted by sages under principles of swasthavritta and it deals with personal hygiene as well as public health. If these rules are not followed, the individual may fall a prey for different diseases. Charak has recorded that polluted air, water, soil, etc., can lead to outbreak of epidemics (Janapadodhwansam), which can result in the fatal mortality en masse. Sushruta has identified certain communicable diseases (Oupasargika roga), such as Kushtha (leprosy and other skin diseases), Jwara (infective fevers), and Shosha (wasting including tuberculosis). Sushruta should be considered as the first scientist who has traced the need of a properly balanced functioning of Indriyas (sensory organs), Mana (mind), and Atma (soul) for the healthy state in the body.
In the first part of 20 th century, when the British rule has propagated Allopathic medicine, a severe setback in the development of Ayurveda was observed. During the post independence period, the Government of India has given a serious thought for the revival of Ayurveda and appointed several committees for drafting different policies with regard to education and research of Ayurveda. In the year 1952, Govt. of India established the first Ayurvedic research centre at Jamnagar on integrated lines. The first postgraduate course in Ayurveda was also started at Jamnagar in the year 1956. In the year 1963-1964 on the recommendations of Udupa committee another postgraduate center at Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, was started. During 1972-1973, National Institute of Ayurveda was established at Jaipur. Central Council for Research in Indian Medicine and Homeopathy has been started during 1969 with a view to carry out intensive research in Ayurveda. With a view to impart uniformity in the standards of Ayurvedic education, Govt. of India established CCIM (Central Council of Indian Medicine) in 1971. In total, 64 years have passed after independence, but the fruits of research are yet to reach the general practitioner. After a review of several research projects, it is felt that the following concepts must be given top priority for evolving an objective methodology.
- Concept of Koshtha
- Concept of Prakriti
- Concept of Avrita Vata
- Concept of Srotas
- Concept of Kriyakala
- Role of Arishta vijnana
- Role of Viruddha Ahara
- Evaluation of Nadipariksha
- Studies on Kutipraveshik Rasayana
The assessment of the disease in terms of the samprapti ghataka (Dosha, Dushya, Mala, Agni, and Srotas) should be carried out with an objective parameter, which reflects a true Ayurvedic method of evaluation.
The therapeutic efficacy of single-drug therapy (of at least 20-30 herbs) should be focused by carrying out double-blind controlled clinical trials. More emphasis should be given for Rasayana therapy, which is designated as one of the superspecialities of Ayurveda. In the recent researches it is found that most of the Rasayana drugs are possessing significant antioxidant activity. The Physician has to add one or the other Rasayana drugs to every prescription, viz. Rasayana Churna (Guduchi, Amalaki, and Gokshura) Triphala, Pippali, Gudamalakam, and others, to restore the feeling of wellbeing in the patient. Vajikarana tantra, which is another superspeciality of Ayurveda deals with the management of male and female infertility, impotence, and frigidity. This therapy helps to produce the best progeny for the family as well as to the society. Incidentally Vajikarana drugs imparting Harshatva (elevated mood) found to possess antidepressant activity. With the invention of Sildenafil citrate (Viagra), the modern medical scientists have started accepting the observations recorded by Acharyas of Ayurveda about Vajikarana drugs, which can help to increase the libido.
It is a general opinion of modern doctors that the formulations containing heavy metals can damage the kidney. JAMA report (2004) has stated that Ayurvedic herbal preparations are also having heavy metal contamination and may prove to be potential nephrotoxic agents. As a matter of fact the heavy metal content in herbs is due to soil contamination. CCRAS has carried out safety profiles of 9 out of 13 drugs and found that they are completely safe. This organization also carried out acute and subacute toxicity studies of metal based bhasmas and established the evidence about their safety. Anyhow toxicity studies (acute, subacute, and chronic) of mercurial formulations and herbal drugs, which are popularly prescribed in the general practice should be given topmost priority. It is a happy augury that the Pharmaco-vigilance studies of Ayurvedic drugs have already been initiated.
The drugs in use are many in number and varied in character. Many of them mentioned in old books baffle recognition and identification, as it is not possible to state with certainty from the description given in the literature whether the drug in actual use is the one described. Verbal descriptions given in old books are inadequate to the botanist for identifying plants or parts of plants. There has been a good deal of confusion in vernacular names. The same drug is sold under different names and different drugs are sold under the same name in different regions of India, which leads to the concept of controversial drugs of Ayurveda. It is possible to resolve the controversy with the help of science of Pharmacognosy and through well-planned clinical trials.
Ayurvedic drug industry is expanding fast and good numbers of pharmacies are cropping up like mushrooms without strictly adhering to good manufacturing practices rules. With a vast deforestation and a greater demand from the pharmaceutical industry, a greater emphasis should be given to the cultivation of the medicinal plants. If possible the big pharmacies should take up the cultivation of required medicinal plants for meeting their own demands.
Yoga is probably more important for life style management than for treatment of disease. Yoga postures, Pranayama, and meditation are among the best tools for keeping the doshas (Vata, Pitta, Kapha) in balance. The research enquiries related to life style diseases should also include Yoga as one of the groups of evaluation. Certain scientific studies have been successfully carried out to standardize Ksharasutra technique in the management of ano-rectal disorders and some of the panchakarma procedures. The research scholars of Ayurveda have to concentrate more on the therapeutic procedures delineated in Ayurvedic classics with regard to the management of dental, ear, and eye disorders. Sage Kashyapa has suggested the internal administration of gold (Swarna Prashana) to a new born for imparting immunity. This procedure requires scientific documentation. Young scientists of Ayurveda have to perspire a lot for carrying out bigger tasks in the coming years to unearth the wisdom trove of Ayurveda.