By 2020, it is predicted that non-communicable diseases will be causing seven out of every 10 deaths in developing countries. Indian traditional medicine system with the concept of personalized therapy in Ayurveda has the potential to offer remedies to these challenging health issues. Integration of Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani, the three Indian systems of medicine (ISM), along with homoeopathic and allopathic systems of medicine to ensure health for all citizens across the country is the new Mantra of the Union health ministry. To tap the potentials of our indigenous medicine systems and other popular systems of medicine it is important to assess the awareness among people and make efforts to popularize them. The present study was therefore carried out to assess the awareness among 200 respondents with the help of a multiple choice questionnaire by the interview method. Convenience sampling technique was employed. The awareness about lifestyle, diet, oil consumption needs more vigorous attention as observed in this study. The most popular choice was found to be groundnut oil. Around 4% of the participants used more than one medium of cooking. Forty-two percent of the participants observed fast regularly. Twenty-three percent of the participants did not include any form of exercise in their daily routine while walking was the most popular form of exercise performed by 43%. By using multiple comparisons it was observed that the difference between i) Allopathy- Homeopathy, ii) Allopathy – Ayurvedic and iii) Ayurvedic- Homeopathy as 15.5263, 7.1053 and 8.4211, respectively, are significant at α = 0.05. A larger sample size encompassing various economic strata could be a better index of popularity of various alternative medicine systems existing in different sections of our society.
Keywords: Alternative and complementary medicine, health awareness, Indian system of medicine, popularity of Ayurveda