Ayurveda, the ancient Indian “Science of Life” and age – old traditional medical science of India, has a recorded history of more than 2000 years. During this period certain changes and developments occurred in the conceptual framework of this science as well as in the political, socio – economic, and religion contexts in which Ayurvedic science must be seen. In his historical process one observes a continuous systematization, diversification, and specialization of the science.
Yet, among the central concerns of Ayurveda has always been promotion and maintenance of health and prevention of disease. Especially on the first topic one finds beautiful expositions in the early samhitas of Ayurvedic writing. But there is hardly any further elaboration on this subject in the later literature and until today. “It's all been said in Caraka”.
As the importance of health promotion and prevention medicine for comprehensive health care is now recognised, what is required today are not flat statements such as “Ayurveda is prevention in itself” but a critical assessment of the respective issues of Ayurvedic or any other old tradtion with a view to their relevance today, with a clear sigth of their limitations, and without loosing out of sight the ways and means required for their implementations.
Ayurveda the science of life, since its origin is serving the mankind throughout in health & disease state of life. Shalakyatantra, one of its specialized branch deals with the science of Ophthalmology, Otorhinolaryngology, Orodental surgery & Head; was contributed and developed by Rajrishi Nimi, the King of Videha, who was a colleague of Atreya, Punarvasu, Dhanwantri, Bharadwaja, Kashyapa etc. The available literature related to this speciality is reproduced from original text of Nimitantra in Uttartantra of Sushruta samhita. So Rajrishi Nimi deserves all the credit and regards for Shalakyatantra and for being the first eye surgeon on this earth. The fact regarding the technique of cataract surgery adopted by ancient surgeons is still a matter of debate. Most of the medical fraternity accepts cataract surgery of ancient surgeons as couching procedure but after going through forth coming pages, the prevailing concept will prove to be a myth. It started with extra capsular extraction through small incision during the period of Sushruta Samhita but later shifted to couching like technique by Acharya Vagbhatta. Secondly, the objective of this literary research paper is to find proper co-relation of the disease cataract to those mentioned in Ancient Ayurvedic classic. Linganasha has been inadvertently taken as cataract but this is neither logical nor in accordance with classics. We find detailed description of cataract's differential diagnosis, indications, contra- indications, pre/intra/post operative procedures and complication in ancient texts of Ayurveda. Not only this, vivid description of treatment of various complications of cataract surgery are also given. Needless to say, no other surgically treatable diseases & its complications except Kaphaja Linganasha are given this much attention.
Linganasha; Shalaka; Vedhana; Daivakrita; Lekhana; Aschyotana; Lepa; Seka
Ayurveda is an ancient system of personalized medicine documented and practiced in India since 1500 B.C. According to this system an individual's basic constitution to a large extent determines predisposition and prognosis to diseases as well as therapy and life-style regime. Ayurveda describes seven broad constitution types (Prakritis) each with a varying degree of predisposition to different diseases. Amongst these, three most contrasting types, Vata, Pitta, Kapha, are the most vulnerable to diseases. In the realm of modern predictive medicine, efforts are being directed towards capturing disease phenotypes with greater precision for successful identification of markers for prospective disease conditions. In this study, we explore whether the different constitution types as described in Ayurveda has molecular correlates.
Normal individuals of the three most contrasting constitutional types were identified following phenotyping criteria described in Ayurveda in Indian population of Indo-European origin. The peripheral blood samples of these individuals were analysed for genome wide expression levels, biochemical and hematological parameters. Gene Ontology (GO) and pathway based analysis was carried out on differentially expressed genes to explore if there were significant enrichments of functional categories among Prakriti types.
Individuals from the three most contrasting constitutional types exhibit striking differences with respect to biochemical and hematological parameters and at genome wide expression levels. Biochemical profiles like liver function tests, lipid profiles, and hematological parameters like haemoglobin exhibited differences between Prakriti types. Functional categories of genes showing differential expression among Prakriti types were significantly enriched in core biological processes like transport, regulation of cyclin dependent protein kinase activity, immune response and regulation of blood coagulation. A significant enrichment of housekeeping, disease related and hub genes were observed in these extreme constitution types.
Ayurveda based method of phenotypic classification of extreme constitutional types allows us to uncover genes that may contribute to system level differences in normal individuals which could lead to differential disease predisposition. This is a first attempt towards unraveling the clinical phenotyping principle of a traditional system of medicine in terms of modern biology. An integration of Ayurveda with genomics holds potential and promise for future predictive medicine.
The recent decade has witnessed many landmark observations, which have added to the scientific credentials of Ayurveda.It is however believed that instead of a retrospective approach of looking into the Ayurveda through the scientific reappraisals, a prospective approach through primary understanding of Ayurveda followed by a search into scientific linkage would be more appealing. This article brings the simplified yet scientific decoding of the core concepts of Ayurveda that form the framework of this ancient science of health.
Ayurveda; science; tridosha
Ayurveda is one of the ancient systems of health care of Indian origin. Roughly translated into "Knowledge of life", it is based on the use of natural herbs and herb products for therapeutic measures to boost physical, mental, social and spiritual harmony and improve quality of life. Although sheltered with long history and high trust, ayurveda principles have not entered laboratories and only a handful of studies have identified pure components and molecular pathways for its life-enhancing effects. In the post-genomic era, genome-wide functional screenings for targets for diseases is the most recent and practical approach. We illustrate here the merger of ayurveda and functional genomics in a systems biology scenario that reveals the pathway analysis of crude and active components and inspire ayurveda practice for health benefits, disease prevention and therapeutics.
Food is the major source for serving the nutritional needs, but with growing modernization some traditional ways are being given up. Affluence of working population with changing lifestyles and reducing affordability of sick care, in terms of time and money involved, are some of the forces that are presently driving people towards thinking about their wellness. There has been increased global interest in traditional medicine. Efforts to monitor and regulate traditional herbal medicine are underway. Ayurveda, the traditional Indian medicine, remains the most ancient yet living traditions. Although India has been successful in promoting its therapies with more research and science-based approach, it still needs more extensive research and evidence base. Increased side effects, lack of curative treatment for several chronic diseases, high cost of new drugs, microbial resistance and emerging, diseases are some reasons for renewed public interest in complementary and alternative medicines. Numerous nutraceutical combinations have entered the international market through exploration of ethnopharmacological claims made by different traditional practices. This review gives an overview of the Ayurvedic system of medicine and its role in translational medicine in order to overcome malnutrition and related disorders.
Ayurveda, the ancient Indian science of health mainly based on plant drugs is of late, regaining the confidence of the people in India and abroad. Quite ironically, our vegetal wealth is getting more and more impoverished due to indiscriminate deforestation. This is ominous for Ayurveda and its enthusiasts. The article highlights the portends that this devastation holds for this science. Probably, the only lasting method of ensuring uninterrupted supplies of plant materials for Ayurvedic pharmaceuticals and the needy people in future is the conservation of whatever is left of nature.
Research is the prime need of contemporary Ayurveda, but modern research on Ayurveda has not been very rewarding for Ayurveda itself. Much of it uses Ayurveda to extend modern bioscience. In contrast, Ayurveda needs research designed to test and validate its fundamental concepts as well as its treatments. In this context, if Ayurveda is to be truly explored and validated in all its aspects, scientific inputs should conform to Ayurveda's principles and philosophy. While its evidence base, established since antiquity, may need further verification, research should now focus on the Science of Ayurveda, rather than merely looking for new drugs based on Ayurveda herbals; in-depth research is needed on Ayurveda. Such research will require teamwork between scientists and vaidyas based on truth and trust. Ayurveda research methodology requires the ‘whole system testing approach’, global participation with protocols evolved through intense interface with modern science, regulatory reforms to eliminate barriers, and to be investigated ‘as it is’, using approaches adapted from its own basic principles.
Ayurveda; research; methodology
The antiquity of achievements of Hindus in the field of Mental health is explained. The chief points discussed in this article are: (1) The exact sense in which the school of ancient Indian Medicine (Ayurveda) is to be understood. (2) The interpretation of some of the fundamental philosophical issues governing the laws of mental sciences and (3) The relevance of such laws to modern scientific world. However, the present article limits its scope to Charaka Samhita- the most fundamental book on Ayurveda only.
Despite the advancements in diagnostic techniques and therapeutic interventions, medical science has failed to keep the incidence of congenital malformations under control. Ayurveda, the ancient Indian medical system has given due emphasis on this and postulated various measures to minimize the risks. These measures start well before conception. According to Ayurvedic principles, proper preparation of the parents is an essential prerequisite for a healthy progeny. Pre-conception care is a set of interventions that identifies biomedical behavioral and social risks to the health of the mother and the baby. It includes both-prevention and management, emphasizing health issues that require action before conception, very early in pregnancy, for maximal impact. For meeting the objective of healthy progeny, Ayurveda scholars felt the importance of six procreative factors (Shadgarbhkarabhavas) such as Matrija, Pitrija, Aatmaja, Rasaja, Satmyaja, and Sattvaja. The conglomeration of these procreative factors is must for healthy progeny. The physical, mental, social, and spiritual well-being of the person, proper nutrition of the mother during pregnancy, and practice of a wholesome regimen, play a prime role in achieving a healthy offspring, thus structuring a healthy family, society, and nation. Negligence toward any of these factors becomes a cause for unhealthy and defective child birth. The present literary / conceptual study, thus focuses mainly on interpreting these observations, on the basis of modern scientific knowledge.
Atmaja; Matrija; Pitrija; procreative factors; Rasaja; Sattmyaja; Sattvaja; shad-garbhakarbhavas
Ayurveda, the traditional Indian medicine (TIM) and traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) remain the most ancient yet living traditions. There has been increased global interest in traditional medicine. Efforts to monitor and regulate herbal drugs and traditional medicine are underway. China has been successful in promoting its therapies with more research and science-based approach, while Ayurveda still needs more extensive scientific research and evidence base. This review gives an overview of basic principles and commonalities of TIM and TCM and discusses key determinants of success, which these great traditions need to address to compete in global markets.
Ayurveda; Chinese medicine; complementary and alternative medicine; traditional medicine
There are many concepts in Ayurveda as well as the ancient sciences that are untouched or unexplored. One such concept is that of the Swapna (dreams). Being an abstract phenomenon it makes it difficult to be explained and understood; probably because of this the descriptions related to Swapna in the Indian classics are supported by mythology, to make them acceptable. Variations in these explanations are seen according to the objective of the school of thought; that is, in the ancient texts where dreams are used to delve into the knowledge of the Atman and are related to spirituality, its description in the Ayurvedic texts evolves around the Sharira and Manas. Although all these explanations seem to be shrouded in uncertainty and mythology; there definitely seems to be a logical and rational science behind these quotations. They only need research, investigation, and explanation on the basis of logic, and a laboratory.
Indian classics; mythology; science; Swapna; dreams; ayurveda; upanishad
Ayurveda, which means the Science of life is erroneously understood and propagated by some of the scholars as just one of the traditional systems of medicine. It encompasses the entire gamut of human life aiming on projection of total personality, mental, physical and intellectual. Ayurveda's concept of diseases and treatments are different from other systems of medicine and with its wide scope embracing preventive, curative and positive aspects. Ayurveda belongs to a class by itself, unique and distinct
The one of the oldest system of medicine, Ayurveda is momentous in audience of worldwide on virtue of its holistic approach of life. Formulations of Ayurveda consist of substances of herbal, mineral/metal and animal origin which are processed pharmaceutical to have therapeutic effects. This is attribute of processes of Shodhan (purification/potentiation), Bhavana (impregation /levigation) and Marana (incineration/calcinations) of Rasa Shastra which acclimatize these toxic industrial matter to a effective remedies known as herbo mineral formulations (Rasaoushadhies) of Ayurveda. In recent past there is prevalence of some doubt on safety and efficacy of these medicines. In this review paper we tried to justify application of these medicines as these are time tested and showed wonderful clinical adaptability. We also attempted to establish new facts of figures of core science in explanation of these medicines.
Shodhan ’a-MaranaBhasma; Nanotechnology; Metallopharmaceuticals
According to Ayurveda various diseases are caused by sepratlon of natural urges (Vega-vidhran), as testified by Susruta who has described 13 types of udavarta rogas. Here an attempt is made to study thy effects of voluntary retention of urine on a series of patients suffering from stress disorders in terms of Neurohumoral, biochemical and physiological changes. The study clearly validates the ancient concept of Ayurveda that wilful retention of natural urges is quite harmful.
Menopause is a gradual and natural transitional phase of adjustment between the active and inactive ovarian function and occupies several years of a women's life and involves biological and psychological changes adjustments. The present clinical trial was designed as per Ayurveda clinical trials protocol to evaluate the efficacy of Ashokarishta, Ashwagandha Churna and Praval Pishti in the management of menopausal syndrome. It was directed by Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences as randomized open clinical trial. Total 52 patients were registered in the study, out of which 51 patients completed the study. Specialized rating scales like Kupperman Index Score as well as Menopause Rating Scale (MRS) and Menopause Specific Quality of Life (MENQOL) questionnaires were adopted for diagnostic as well as assessment criteria. The effects were examined based on MRS and MENQOL. Results were analyzed statistically using Wilcoxon matched paired test and ‘t’ test. Highly significant (P < 0.01) reduction was found in the symptoms of MRS as well as MENQOL. Finally, it can be stated that combined treatment of above drugs gives better result in both somatic as well as psychological complaints in women with mild to moderate symptoms of menopausal syndrome.
Ashokarishta; Ashwagandha Churna; menopausal syndrome; Praval Pishti
Ayurveda is an eternal science with absolute principles, and prakriti is one of these. It plays an important role in the selection and establishment of every factor for which a person is going to interact from conception till death, e.g. lifestyle, diet planning, etc. Prakriti stands for nature of the body in terms of dosha and is decided at the time of conception according to the predominance of dosha. It does not change during the whole life and is responsible for the physical and mental characteristics of an individual. This prakriti is of seven types according to tridosha. The individuals of specific prakriti exhibit biological variations in terms of structure, function, behavior, individual response to internal and external environmental stimuli, susceptibility to different diseases, etc. Aging is a process of decaying and included in natural diseases. In our body, Pitta or Agni is responsible for the various types of pathological conditions. Although aging is a natural pathological condition, Pitta plays an important role in its causation like other pathological conditions. It is clearly indicated in Charak samhita that persons having Pitta predominance personality tend to suffer early with decaying process and other changes of aging. Through this article, we have made an attempt to reevaluate the interrelationships between prakriti and aging.
Aging; dosha; Pitta; prakriti; Jara
Professor Marthanda Varma Sankaran Valiathan, Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons, ex President of the Indian National Science Academy, is a reputed cardiac surgeon who made original contributions to cardiology and the development of medical technology. He is widely recognized for his role in pioneering the joint culture of medicine and technology, and laying the foundations for the medical devices industry in India. He has pioneered several scientific studies in the field of Ayurveda and authored several books on the subject. In this free and frank interview he discusses three important phases in his life, and his passion for the convergence of modern biology and Ayurveda as a new discipline of science “Ayurvedic Biology”.
Ayurvedic Biology; Professor Valiathan; interview
History of medicine is a fascinating subject as it is a saga of man's struggle against disease. As the civilization advances and as the disease pattern changes, the medical science also changes. Ayurveda is the system of medicine that evolved in India with a rationale logical foundation and it has survived as a distinct entity from remote antiquity to the present day. The fundamentals on which the Ayurvedic system is based are essentially true for all times and do not change from are to age. These are based on human actors, on intrinsic causes. The origin of Ayurveda is attributed to Atharva Veda where mention is made several diseases with their treatments. Later, from the 6th Century BC to 7th Century AD there was systematic development of the science and it is called Samhita period, when a number of classical works were produced by several authors and during this period there is evidence of organized medical care.
Ayurveda the ancient science of medicine describes various herb preparations that achieve the hastening of bone healing. Harjor showed clinical efficacy in the treatment of fractures.
The comparative evaluation of herbal agents as osteogenic agents in mandibular fractures.
The patients were divided into four groups. Group 1: Osteoseal; Group 3: Harjor (Cissus quadrangularis); Group 2: Moringa (Moringa Oleifera); Group 4: Placebo.
Result and Conclusion:
Pain, Swelling, Tenderness, Mobility reduction is maximum in Osteoseal group and minimum in Placebo. There was an increase in the serum calcium and phosphorus level at different follow-ups in each groups but there was a decrease in the placebo group. Ca, Ca+, Phosphrous increase was maximum in the group 1.
Osteogenic; prana; Asthisanghara
Human papilloma virus (HPV) is one of the common causes for the warts and most people will experience with this infection at some point in their life. In Ayurveda, warts can be compared with Charmakeela. The diagnosis is based on clinical examination and usually straight forward by visual inspection. The treatment of warts has to be done with endurance and careful selection of procedure according to the type and site of the disease; otherwise, it may lead to cosmetic derangement or recurrence of the ailment. Indications for treatment include pain, interference with function, cosmetic embarrassment, and risk of malignancy. Regarding the management of this disease, different types of treatment procedures are explained in contemporary science. In Ayurveda also, various treatment principles explained like administration of drugs internally, external application of drugs and parasurgical procedures [i.e. Raktamokshana (blood letting), Ksharakarma (chemical cauterization) and Agnikarma (thermal cauterization)]. These indigenous treatment methods are minimal invasive procedures which do not cause the scar formation, no recurrence and found to be more beneficial in the treatment of warts.
Charmakeela; kshara jala; kshara sutra; lekhana karma; wart
Dr. Ashok D.B. Vaidya, the stalwart in the fields of Experimental Pharmacology, Clinical Pharmacology, and Reverse Pharmacology turns 75 on Nov, 27, 2011. A former Clinical Research Head of CIBA Geigy Research Centre, his name has been synonymous with the concept of the Golden Triangle for resurgence of Ayurveda and its reinterpretation in modern scientific terms. At a time when most fields are populated by intellectual dwarfs and unethical operators, he stands like a giant–a scientist, a philosopher, and an ardent fighter for ethical values. In this free-wheeling interview with Ravindra R.Pandharinath, he discusses the milestones in his life, his inspirations, and dreams for the confluence of modern science, modern medicine, and Ayurveda as the new health care model for the 21st century
Dr. Ashok Vaidya; golden triangle; reverse pharmacology
The Ayu has its four components namely :- Body, Mind, Sense and Consciousness. Thus wo can say that Ayurveda means “A systematic complete valid knowlodge of life science including tho gross and Astral form of Body.” The whole object of Ayurveda and Yoga Centre round the knowledge of correlation among the four components and establishing a harmony among them forever”.
To provide some perspective and insight on Ayurveda, the Science of Life the late Vd. Navnitlal B. Pandya, a well known scholar of Ayurveda before his death had submitted this special paper which will be serialised in four parts in the journal.
Collaborative research involving Ayurveda and the current sciences is undoubtedly an imperative and is emerging as an exciting horizon, particularly in basic sciences. Some work in this direction is already going on and outcomes are awaited with bated breath. For instance the ‘ASIIA (A Science Initiative In Ayurveda)’ projects of Dept of Science and Technology, Govt of India, which include studies such as Ayurvedic Prakriti and Genetics. Further intense and sustained collaborative research needs to overcome a subtle and fundamental challenge-the ontologic divide between Ayurveda and all the current sciences. Ontology, fundamentally, means existence; elaborated, ontology is a particular perspective of an object of existence and the vocabulary developed to share that perspective. The same object of existence is susceptible to several ontologies. Ayurveda and modern biomedical as well as other sciences belong to different ontologies, and as such, collaborative research cannot be carried out at required levels until a mutually acceptable vocabulary is developed.
Ayurveda; biomedicine; ontology; pre and post-Galilean; postmodern