Research on Ayurveda in India
The Central Council for Ayurvedic Research as an Advisory body was established in 1962 and finally the Central Council for Research in Indian Medicine & Homoeopathy (CCRIM&H) was established in 1969, almost 120 crores Rs are being spend by the govt of India each year in last 4 years, for ccras only.
Despite all this European union has put ban on Ayurvedic products from 1st may 2011, the reason for this has been sited as lack of evidence base research in Ayurveda.
“I also noticed that, in western mind, especially in the EU, Ayurveda tends to be perceived as a system of wellness rather than a system of treatment”. As per Mr. Patwardhan Vice Chancellor Symboisis Pune, Phd In Botany, but is it not true we have restricted Ayurveda to herbs, almost for all disease ayurvedic doctors (Vaidya) give herbs as a treatment as they think that even if it will not benefit, it will not harm also, but :-
Ayurveda is not just about herbs, only herbs are not part of nature, everything in this universe is a part of nature, and ayurveda believes in using everything that is available in nature to the best possible matrix so as to solve the human miseries regarding health, this include use of Minerals(like Mica), Metals(like Mercury), Animal extracts(like milk, urine, Ghee),Animal body part(Musk Deer)and last but not least Herbs, and even in case of herbs(Ashwagandha) the various combination and treatment so as to make them more effective(Kesari Leghyam, Ashwagandharishtha, Ashwagandha ghreeta).
In ancient Ayurvedic Books like Ras Ratna Samuchay, it has been well stated that metals (eg: Iron) if not properly processed will have adverse effect on body, but if the same when processed properly will have good effect on human body, even modern medicine use metals like Iron, copper for treatment of some ailment and for mental disorder such as Bipolar Disorder metals like Lithium has found to be very effective on some patient (Given as Lithium carbonate), Lithium is originally derived from a mineral called spodumene, which is an form of aluminum silicate, similar to Abhrak Bhasma, made from Mica which is also a form of aluminum silicate.
Ayurvedic docs resist from giving herbo mineral composition to the patient as they are well aware about the poor quality standards by even the major ayurvedic Pharma companies of India, it is really a shame for both ministry of health as well as for ccras that even after 40 years of it establishment they have been banned b’coz of lack of documentation as well as quality standards.
In addition each manufacture is using different reference book as a result each product though has the same name but has different composition resulting in different therapeutic effect, for eg: Smritisagar ras prepared by Rasyog sagar method has different composition from Yogratankar method, and Vaidya when prescribe the meds don’t mention the reference book & the patients and even some of the vaidyas are also not aware of these technicality of the ayurvedic medicine, it is responsibility of AYUSH & CCRAS to spread awareness regarding these small technicalities.
“Documentation still remains weak because India has not adopted the correct methodologies to study and evaluate Ayurveda, and create an appropriate evidence base in its support as a system of medicine.We need to be strategic and proactive. Our stand should be based on science, logic and evidence - not just reactive emotional outcry”. By Mr. Bhushan patwardan Vice Chancellor Symboisis Pune, Phd In Botany
Plenty of time was given to ministry of health before the ban, this protocol was announced in 2004 by European Union but still ccras and ministry of health failed miserably, out of the huge budget that is allotted for research in Ayurveda in ccras I hope that majority is not being spent on herbal medicine, as the herbs are safer and metals could be toxic if not treated properly, hence on a safer side all the fund is directed toward the research on herbs, the fund should be divided proportionally to each institute doing research on Ayurveda so as to speed up the research in herbomineral preparations which are more effective.
This announcement by EU however has acted as a blessing in disguise for science of Ayurveda, in 2008 Govt. of India waked up and picked up 11 bhasma for constructive research, b’coz it results in lot of loss in revenues due to ban, but are they still awake, 4 years has passed by, no latest updates has been provided so far. The govt. should update the status, up to what stages the research has gone so far. I hope govt. will continue to do the work that it has started to revive the science of Ayurveda.
Few days back when I talked with Mr. M.M Padhi Deputy Director CCRAS he is technical deputy director but his response was so negative that I think he don’t deserve that post he was saying that Ayurveda can’t exist for more than 20 years, when I said that the raw materials can be checked using XRF so that standardisation can be achieved but he was saying yes and no, either he don't anything related to modern science or he don’t want to do anything, I also told him that in a similar way the composition of the amount of metal oxide present in the final product can be measured, so that there can be better consistency, but he refused without giving any reason it appeared that they don’t want to do anything, I talked with some other expert and they all believed that it can be done but they added that center is lacking the will power.
Checking of final composition is very necessary as if these metals don’t undergo the complete reaction process than it can be very harmful for consumption and all are aware about this but still no action is being taken.