Ancient Science of Life is a journal that is dedicated to interfacing Ayurveda and modern science. This journal has come into existence to fulfill the need of conducting and publishing research on Ayurveda that is based on the tenets of Ayurveda and the methodologies of science at the same time. The strength of Ayurveda is the remarkable continuity of its traditions of clinical practice. Ayurveda has survived into modern times through practitioners who treat patients successfully for a wide variety of ailments. However, lack of scientific evaluation and availability of data that can vouchsafe the safety and efficacy of these practices serve as hindrance to the acceptance of Ayurveda as a credible system of health care globally.
Ayurvedic clinical practice is based on a multimodal approach that individualizes treatment for each person. Ayurvedic physicians have the responsibility to report and publish their clinical experiences so that it can become the starting point for scientific research in understanding the rationale behind Ayurvedic clinical interventions. Reporting the outcomes of whole system interventions in Ayurvedic clinical practice would constitute the baseline so to say. Based on these findings, scientific studies could be initiated to understand biological mechanisms. This approach is often referred to as ‘reverse pharmacology’ studies.
ASL aspires to serve as the bridge between the rich experience of traditional medical practice and its scientific evaluation. The goal is to present traditional systems of medicine like Ayurveda in a format and language that would be acceptable to the scientific community globally. Hence ASL adopts a multidisciplinary approach and includes apart from Ayurveda disciplines like Ethnomedicine, Ethnobotany, Ethnpharmacology, Pharmacology, Microbiology, Medical Anthropology, Medical Sociology and Medical Genetics to name a few.
It is important that Ayurveda is also studied in a multidisciplinary and holistic perspective to be able to understand it in all its complexities. Hence ASL invites submissions from varied scientific disciplines.
The Ayurvedic community is not so well acquainted with the modern system of research publications. Therefore, the editorial leadership is being taken up by scientists from modern disciplines who have an open mind to explore the strengths of traditional systems of medicine like Ayurveda. While the Ayurvedic physician has the know how when it comes to identifying an effective, herb, formulation or an intervention for a particular ailment, he or she may not be an adept in visualizing a research design that is most suitable to scientifically evaluate it. Not to speak of analyzing and presenting the data.
The postgraduate and doctoral programs in Ayurveda are to some extent bridging this gap. But it will take time before we have Ayurveda scientists who are equally well versed in Ayurveda and modern research methods.
Research on Ayurveda needs to be done through the cooperation of Ayurvedic physicians and modern scientists in relevant disciplines. ASL aims to exemplify this approach in its editorial activity.
The editorial team consists of experts from modern scientific disciplines who are leading the editorial activity with the aim of culling out the cream of the research findings that meets the rigor of science.
On the other hand, the editorial team also consists of Ayurvedic physicians who ensure that the authenticity and completeness of Ayurveda is not compromised. The challenge is to marry the authentic practices of Ayurveda with the rigor of science by designing appropriate research designs.
ASL has completed three decades in this journey. It serves as the platform, the meeting point, the confluence, for the tradition of Ayurveda and modern science to join together and create a mighty river of knowledge that can inform and enrich humanity with time tested traditions of medicine and health care.