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Int J Ayurveda Res. 2010 Jul-Sep; 1(3): 195–196.
PMCID: PMC2996583

Exploring larger evidence base for contemporary Ayurveda


“Exploring larger evidence-base for contemporary Ayurveda”, a guest editorial by Prof. Singh in IJAR April 2010 issue,[1] gives us an opportunity to rethink how the classical frame of evidence from Ayurveda can be utilized to a contemporary tune. While talking of searching and applying evidence base to Ayurveda, we need to understand that in conventional sense, the term is primarily coined to help in clinical decision making in the light of best among overwhelmingly available evidences within modern medicine.[2] Conventional modus operandi of applying evidence base to medical practice therefore is limited to screening of best evidences that help in decision making. Thereby, defining the best evidence and finding them pragmatically in a clinical setting are the only real challenges.

Referring to Ayurveda, however, the issue of applying evidence base needs to be redefined in reference to its unique propositions. There is a ubiquitous agreement upon the traditional evidences of Ayurveda of which experience, long-term use, and textual classical references form a large sum. This substantial evidence base of Ayurveda, however, is required to be brought in a format which can become retrievable to help with decision making in a clinical dilemma. A thorough documentation therefore comes as the foundation of evidence-based practice and it warrants an unfailing and untiring documentation of every evidence from Ayurveda, conventional or unconventional.[3] Besides, this is also important to address the issue of human biology as is observed from ayurvedic or conventional perspective. If we are deferring from conventional theories and their experimental designs, we need to innovate our own methods to understand a biological process and also the ways through which this understanding can help with decision making.[4] Needless to emphasize, these methods are essentially required to be flawless, dependable, reproducible and acceptable. Designing these methods requires a rigorous brainstorming initially about what is available and what is needed, and subsequently, the ground research by designing suitable models which can solve the dilemma of understanding the ayurvedic biology.[5]

The issue of evidence base in Ayurveda therefore requires to be dealt at various levels like documentation of existing evidences, designing diagnostic and clinical parameters which can act as evidence to help in decision making and generating more evidences in reference to the safety and efficacy pertinent to ayurvedic practice. This is the time when we need to understand that bringing evidence base to the practice of Ayurveda is mandatory if it is thought to be raised as a medical system where predictability and dependability are featured as key components.


1. Singh RH. Exploring larger evidence-base for contemporary Ayurveda. Int J Ayurveda Res. 2010;1:65–6. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
2. Sackett DL, Rosenberg WM. The need for evidence-based medicine. J R Soc Med. 1995;88:620–4. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
3. Rastogi S. Bringing evidence basis to Ayurvedic clinical practice: Applicability, problems and solutions, Netrum News letter (monthly newsletter of the network for rational use of medicines) 2010;3:7–10.
4. Rastogi S. Building bridges between Ayurveda and Modern Science. Int J Ayurveda Res. 2010;1:41–6. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
5. Rastogi S, Chiappelli F. Bringing evidence basis to decision making in Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM): Prakrti (Constitution) analysis in Ayurveda. In: Chiappelli F, Brant XMC, Neagos N, Oluwadara OO, Ramchandani MH, editors. Evidence-based Practice towards Optimizing Clinical Outcomes. Berlin Heidelberg: Springer; 2010. pp. 91–106.

Articles from International Journal of Ayurveda Research are provided here courtesy of Wolters Kluwer -- Medknow Publications