Recent Ayurveda-Allopathy Tussle

The scientific community as a whole should be viewed as a brotherhood dedicated to the service of humanity rather than being split by multiple schisms.
Keywords: Ayurveda, Allopathy, Health, Medicines, Disease, Ramdev, IMA, Covid, Research, Cure, Indigenous, Meditation, Vaccines
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The on-going tussle between Allopathy and Ayurveda along with the rest of the streams of medicine viz. Unani, Homeopathy, Siddha etc., in India is unwarranted. Each has its place. Whereas the cure or annihilation of symptoms of the disease is much faster in allopathy, the other streams though slow, provide permanent remedies as they restore balance to the body and mind, in the opinion of the indigenous medical practitioners. In any case, the amount of clinical and pharmacological research done in allopathy exceeds that of all the other streams put together. This is precisely because western countries and private companies invest huge amounts in medical research and development. For instance, the vaccines produced for Covid-19 one year after the pandemic spread, are in themselves evidence of the technical and financial means that are available to them although many years of research into cancer and other lifestyle diseases have not yielded any comprehensive cure.

The holistic medicinal wisdom of this country is preserved mainly in Ayurveda. As a matter of fact, it is the indigenous medicine that has been practiced for five thousand years in this land. This ancient wisdom is to be renewed, revived and promoted. The shrubs and herbs that are available in India are of immense medicinal value. Many people proudly say these medicines of Ayurveda come from roots and shoots of plants (i.e., from the earth) rather than from medical labs (laboratories) which in fact mostly use them to make their expensive drugs.

Charaka and Sushruta’s contribution to ancient medicine was so great that we so fondly remember them across the ages. However, much of the wisdom was lost under Moghul and British colonial rules. Now, Indians are stuck on western medicine. It is nobody’s case to argue all allopathic medicines are synthetic. They are also from medicinal plants. However, the plant extracts are tested in labs for their suitability and compatibility at the cellular and molecular level.  

Many proponents of indigenous Ayurveda medicine say that Ayurveda heals a disease from within unlike allopathy that merely suppresses symptoms. As noted earlier there are no medicines to cure many of our life-style diseases like hypertension (Blood Pressure) and diabetics permanently in allopathy. Allopathy only manages the effects of these diseases but would not eliminate them from the body. Ayurveda practitioners say their medicine works right from the cellular level. If taken by everyone, even before the onset of disease, it would set right the imbalances in the body before they turn into disease. Ayurveda concentrates on lifestyle and diet. Health of the gut is the most important. Hence, the medicine lays stress on a balanced diet. Ayurveda stresses on removing root-causes but not in suppressing symptoms. That is to heal from within. Accumulation and aggravation of disease is prevented in Ayurveda by mind-body techniques of meditation and breathing exercise.

The most powerful fundamental principle of Ayurveda is emphasis on self-healing. For instance, modern day tensions result in Blood Pressure rising in many people earlier than in olden days. The same is true for diabetics and cancer too. These diseases are the result of inflammation in the body. The complexity in a person to get the disease depends as much on the environment, as is the genetic composition of his body. In modern day people chase their objectives at a rapid pace and run against the time. So, calming the mind is not within their reach in a fast-moving world.

However, when in crisis, people madly rush for a cure. This happened recently in Andhra Pradesh. A man by name B. Anandaiah made a preparation (though he called it Ayurvedic medicine, the Ayush Ministry did not approve of it) alleged to cure Covid-19. He also said that it would boost oxygen levels in critical patients. Many people including the serious patients of Covid-19 in ICU wards thronged his medicine-distribution-centres in Krishnapatnam village, Nellore district of A.P. This has drawn national attention. He also administered eye-drops for Covid-19 cure. The Government of Andhra Pradesh stopped him while conducting an investigation and sent the samples to the Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS). Later, Anandaiah obtained permission to distribute his preparation as a “supplement” to boost immunity from getting Covid-19, rather than a medicine for Covid-19.

Recent statements by Baba Ramdev on allopathy also caused a stir in the Indian Medical Association (IMA) which voiced serious objections. In any case, the timely intervention by the Union Health Minister, Shri Harsh Vardhan and the subsequent retraction by Ramdev helped to settle the issue. Undoubtedly, the Government at the Centre is sympathetic and understanding to the indigenous medicine and its values. So, activists for native medicine should not intransigently stand or make irresponsible statements against allopathy. After all, we are living in a world where other nations do matter.  Each stream has its value. The scientific community as a whole should be viewed as a  brotherhood dedicated to the service of humanity rather than being split by multiple schisms. To get a more orderly situation, “Integrative medicine” was proposed. That is, to combine Allopathy with Ayurveda and other minor systems.  However many physicians disagree with what they call mixopathy. In this regard a broader debate is needed.

16 comments

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  • ✅that integrated system of medicine is must to achieve healthy India. We scientists go for evidence/ Valid base approach of therapy. Since Allopathy developed structured records many aspects on efficacy safety are recorded. In contrast Ayush indigenous systems failed to record as structured document. The reasons are best known Ayush authorities. Inspite this integration of medical systems has to evolve not to ease rivalry but for Nation Healthcare.

  • ✅that integrated system of medicine is must to achieve healthy India. We scientists go for evidence/ Valid base approach of therapy. Since Allopathy developed structured records many aspects on efficacy safety are recorded. In contrast Ayush indigenous systems failed to record as structured document. The reasons are best known Ayush authorities. Inspite this integration of medical systems has to evolve not to ease rivalry but for Nation Healthcare.

  • The authorizing has taken a right approach. It is time that in the interest of humanity each system of medicine to examine how its knowledge based and processes can result in more comrehensive non side reaction,holistic care and preserve health and well being economically. It’s time also for the western system to put aside arrogance and open their Minds to centuries of experience available in India.

  • The native medicine,in particular the Ayurveda lost much of its significance due to the entry of too many quacks. This is to the advantage of the protagonists of Western medicine who blindly castigate all medicinal systems as a trash and maintain that only allopathy has a scientific basis. It is an undeniable fact that Western medicine with all its positive traits is only a symptomatic cure rather than attacking the root cause as pointed out by the author. Whatever be the arguments for and against other medicinal systems they undoubtedly have some intrinsic virtues where they belittle the advanced allopathic systems. History and case studies proved this time and again. It is an accepted fact that Covid 19 as of now has no curative medicine. Then there is nothing wrong in trying an alternative medicine which is proved to be safe and accepted by the BELIEF of multitude.Afterall belief also plays major role in one’s cure. Mixopathy as it is coined can be a suitable remedy for future after required scientific studies.

  • The above article is very much needed at this time , and the content is very appropriate , as a practitioner and trainer of Yoga,Herbal Medicine and Spirituality, the author is absolutely correct in saying there has to be consensus instead or criticism of each of them independently . Infact like in Japan,china,Korea their first line of defence is their own indegenius medicine ,even main stream merical professional recommend indegenius medicine as part of adjunct or main treatment protocol .
    No opposition from anyone including government ,it’s due to their language is intact and so the culture is. Hardly anyone speaks English in these countries. They love their culture ,language and everything evolved over time tested periods. Directly or indirectly their roots are in Buddhism ,indian culture. While they retained it ,we lost it and feel even shameful to speak in our mother tongue .
    This psuedo western culture and the main stream medicine in India a simply copy cat of FDA, American and British based system of prolonging disease and suffering and favouring business.
    Ayush department denying Ramdev medicine or Anandiah Medicine as medicine is shameful, because before advent of allopathy ,what medicine in this country people practiced even in serious cases . Ayurveda itself is a medicine , how come it’s labled as non medicinal stream subjugating those doctors devoted to alternate medicine.
    As no single drug can cure everyone’s problem with same disease , so also in ayurveda . Ultimately consumer will de ide , but denying his right to use it as medicine is just mockery of this country and its evolved indus valley science based culture .
    Like every allopathic doctor had right to practice , every ayurveda specialist also has the right to cure or try to cute a disease . The author’s efforts are highly appreciated to focus on this much needed subject in very right spirit. Well written and summerised article it is.

  • Very balanced article on the use of Allopathy vs Ayurveda. Rich countries can afford costly treatment/medicines and we all know the pharma lobbies and the monies they make. What about poor countries, are there lives as worthy as their counterparts…..its a complex world with way too many parties speaking for/against ayurveda/allopathy….but India can play a significant role in enhancing the image of Ayurveda by adopting scientific means, encouraging publishing of white papers on ayurveda, sharing data of clinical trials will boost confidence is my firm opinion.

  • Well written with a balanced view . A voice of reason in an emotionally charged debate sphere . Well done !

    Allopathy is already interdisciplinary is what an allopath recently said to me , coz where s allopathy without contributions from physics , nuclear imaging , engineering , biochemistry et al .. !!

  • Ayurveda with allopathy treatment can be of much help in curing any disease.If drinking Kabasura kudineer a Siddha concoction to a certain extent reduces of getting infected with cold which is visible including own self.
    It is the dominance of the Allopathy medicine lobby which does not consider nor allow other medications.Govt must allocate more funds for Ayurvedic research which can help in promoting these medicines which are natural.
    We had realised post Covid the use of our traditional foods which were with all natural ingredients and also health supplements.This was missing with the present generation who live in a fast life with fast foods.
    This change in people’s behaviour can effectively bring back Ayurveda into our use along with allopathy.

  • Modern medicine and alternative medicine eg Ayurveda are totally different systems of healing. Each have their own strong lobbies. I feel that the public should be free to chose from any of the systems that appeals to them. Then, they themselves will be held responsible for the evil consequences (if any) of the treatment they chose!

  • The allopathic drugs are single molecules synthesized in a drug factory, though originally taken out from a natural herb.The single molecule drugs cause side effects .The mixtures used in Ayurvedic herbal medicine are naturally balancing the side effects abd act only at tissue level in the body, not at mecularvkdvel to cause side effects.Life style changes alone will rectify disorders originating from bad life style.Drugs cannot rectify life style disorders.Yoga ,Pranayama and Meditation will help rectify life atle disorders.Harmone balance,better Oxygen supply and preventing or recovering from Stress are some if the benefits if Yoga techniques with no drugs of any kind required.

  • There are very few articles on this subject that have such a merit . Most of the articles I read were polarizing in nature towards one or the other medical stream.you found the right balance. Stating facts as facts is a skill that is lacking in most articles. I am thankful that you focused more on facts than beliefs.

  • Anandaiah medicine is immunity booster AP Government un necessarily doings ui necessary dealing by wasting time.

  • An excellent article – well covering the differences in the growth and popularity of different systems of medicines. A balanced viewpoint given The author has rightly said that all the different streams of medicines should co-exist and run side by side. They are indeed not to be competing and conflicting with each other but complementing each other.
    While Ayurveda has still survived in our country over so hundreds of years inspite of suppression by the foreign rulers, it’s because of its inherent value and usefulness to the humanity.
    The Government should encourage the indigenously developed systems like Ayurveda by allowing this option to the patients coming to Government hospitals , ESI dispensaries etc. More research and publicity for Ayurveda is the need of the hour.
    The author has well covered all these aspects without denouncing allopathy.

  • An eye opener like article. But my opinion is why debate. When so many religions, castes are coliving, why not live like that. Why to comment on other faculties and attract debate. Is it possible to decide whether Arts is important or Science is important. Better we co live without wasting time on debate.

  • Yes, there need not be any tussle between Allopathy and Ayurveda. Both complement each other. Allopathy practitioners look down upon traditional systems like Ayurveda and dismiss them as quackery. This is not acceptable. There is plenty of scientific evidence in favor of Ayurveda, including numerous patents. Coming to Baba Ramdev’s controversial statements, I don’t think he’s against modern science nor has he said anything bad against Doctors. His comments were aimed more at the IMA which is basically a religious-backed NGO. I’m glad that the government and the courts have pitched in to resolve this.

  • This article has brought an interesting discussion around the allopathic and traditional Indian system of curing diseases through Ayurvedic medicine. It’s true that we have a long history Indian way of living. We gad many cultural practices itself prevent us from many ailments. We need preserve and get benefit from them. We also think of the changing life style of present generation and make use of scientific development in the field of allopathic medicine. People are living with many lifestyle diseases and it has become difficult to avoid it. In this present context instead of blaming something over another we need make use of all kinds of practices and protect lives. We need to have a systematic analysis and interpretation and evidence based results for the benefit of people.

Indira G.

Indira G is associated with the organisation Pragna Bharati, Hyderabad and is Incharge-Publications. She also contributes to Opindia and other news platforms.

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