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 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.
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.
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
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
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
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
Ayurveda is playing a growing part in Europe. Questions regarding the role of religion and spirituality within Ayurveda are discussed widely. Yet, there is little data on the influence of religious and spiritual aspects on its European diffusion. Methods. A survey was conducted with a new questionnaire. It was analysed by calculating frequency variables and testing differences in distributions with the χ2-Test. Principal Component Analyses with Varimax Rotation were performed. Results. 140 questionnaires were analysed. Researchers found that individual religious and spiritual backgrounds influence attitudes and expectations towards Ayurveda. Statistical relationships were found between religious/spiritual backgrounds and decisions to offer/access Ayurveda. Accessing Ayurveda did not exclude the simultaneous use of modern medicine and CAM. From the majority's perspective Ayurveda is simultaneously a science, medicine, and a spiritual approach. Conclusion. Ayurveda seems to be able to satisfy the individual needs of therapists and patients, despite worldview differences. Ayurvedic concepts are based on anthropologic assumptions including different levels of existence in healing approaches. Thereby, Ayurveda can be seen in accordance with the prerequisites for a Whole Medical System. As a result of this, intimate and individual therapist-patient relationships can emerge. Larger surveys involving bigger participant numbers with fully validated questionnaires are warranted to support these results.
Based upon the principles of ancient science of Life, which admits both consciousness and matter, a new Quantum Mechanical theory of evolution of universe and life is propounded. The theory advocates: Right from the time, the evolution of universe takes place, life also starts evolving energies and ethereal – consciousness (subtler and real) in anti-electrons, as the complimentary partners. The material body acquires electrons for cordoning of atomic nuclei and displaying its manifestation, in the three spatial dimensions in scale of time. The ethereal consciousness acquires anti electrons for gaining necessary energy for superimposing itself over any of the manifested bodies of equivalent electronic energy and deriving the bliss of materialization. The theory is based upon the solid foundation of the ancient science (ethereal consciousness) laid down by the ancient seekers of knowledge like Kapila and Caraka who interpret many of the riddles of modern science on the frontiers of various disciplines of knowledge.
Most of India population resides in rural and are not that economically sufficient to attend to rich healthcare bills of costly medicine, therapies and laboratory tests. The government is surely upto create more health centres and aid in future, as such this is a time taking project. On the other hand, an easy and effective way is following Ayurvedic life style and measures, moreover rural India is more closer to nature and the science of life, and it is more favourable to implement the ways mentioned in Ayurveda at core level. A study to verify the ways that can be advocated, from the basics of Ayurveda was projected.
Simple methods like following of dinacharya, ritucharya, sad vyavahar, plantation of home remedial medicinal plants along with the prime occupation of agriculture farming, using or organic fertilizer, following the medicinal ethics in rituals, protecting off from modern disorder causatives like sedentary lifestyle, junk canned foods, synthetic fertilizers, pollutants, etc. living in close with the nature, precisely Ayurvedic living seen to be very efficient.
The cost of healthcare expenses and maintainence was nullified, except the genetic and traumatic disorders most of them were very well handled or controlled before attaining full-blown condition. The concept of swasthavritta, nidaan parivarjan and samprapti vighatan could control most of the diseases. Health and happiness is a gift of life, was truly experienced. Implementing simple ways, which are in chorus with the lifestyle of rural, is not a complex issue. The results are highly benefitting and puts up a golden example for other to follow. It is in tune with enriching of public health through Ayurveda.
Rural population is the core of our country. Health to them in an economical and easy way Ayurveda will result a comprehensive progress to the whole country, and set an example for the world to follow.
Currently western medicine has assumed the central position in mainstream global healthcare. Openness to learn from contemporary disciplines of basic sciences, application of modern technology and further adoption of the evidence-based approach has helped western medicine gain its currently acknowledged position as mainstream modern medicine. Modern medicine has further developed forms of integrative medicine by developing interfaces with other systems of medicine, including traditional, complementary and alternative medicine. However, these developments do not seem to address all the problems facing global health care caused by overemphasis on pharmaco-therapeutic drug developments. On the other hand, Ayurveda which is founded on genuine fundamentals, has the longest uninterrupted tradition of healthcare practice, and its holistic approach to healthcare management emphasizes disease prevention and health promotion; if it opens up to incorporate emerging new knowledge into mainstream Ayurveda, and maintains fidelity to Ayurveda fundamentals, it will certainly provide a broad-based opportunity to address the majority of the problems that have emerged from global healthcare requirements. To bring these solutions to bear, however, it will be necessary to progress from the present “utilitarian ethos” to a “unifying ethos” for realization of medical integration.
Ayurveda; global healthcare; integrative Ayurveda; integrative medicine
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.
The theory of Ayurveda rests on the concepts of matter, vital principle, mind, and pure consciousness. It is a holistic theory of medicine, which aims at restoration of physical and mental health, and spiritual well-being in a sick person, so that he may self-actualize himself, and eventually, realize his nature as pure consciousness. Modern Western medicine tries to reduce consciousness, and vital principle to biochemical entities. It is a value-neutral science, and considers the aim of therapy as removal of pathological symptoms. Its theoretical position is weak. Interface between medical and value science is urgently needed.
Ayurveda is eternal science of life because of its evolution is prior to human being itself. Ayurveda is part of our day to day life as a food & day routine. The study was performed as a survey in Delhi NCR (India) among the common men who use ayurveda or want ayurveda to be their system of medicine. The Aim of this study was to know their opinion that what are the ground realities and how ayurveda can be made more affordable and acceptable to them.
Sixty individuals were selected randomly comprising equally males and females. Age group was 18 to 70 yrs. All of them have undergone Ayurvedic treatment or have taken ayurvedic medicines as a part of their treatment. They were asked 31 questions about ayurveda under four categories as general questions, questions related to ayurvedic physicians, questions related to ayurvedic retailers and questions related to ayurvedic manufacturers. Their answers were taken on a printed questionnaire as a tick Yes, No and can’t say. Some questions were subjective to get suggestions of patients.
Result of the survey indicated some valuable points like 90% under study doesn’t know that BAMS are Ayurvedic Physicians. Pure Ayurvedic Retailers are rare; condition of ayurvedic medicines were not good at mixed ones. There was absolute majority for the expiry date on ayurvedic medicines & more research work on Ayurvedic preparations to make them tastier, easily differentiable & patient friendly.
The results of the study should be addressed by the Ayurvedic Physicians, Ayurvedic manufacturers and retailers community on priority basis. The study also revealed the need of a broad based survey to get further insight of the present ayurvedic scenario in India & abroad and suggestions to make ayurveda more patients friendly and acceptable to all.
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
Charakasamhita is one of the most important life lines of Ayurvedic classical knowledge. This supreme text of “science of life” has been composed nearly about 3000 years ago and before the well-established era of documentation. It is composed in the then language, style, and method. The ancient scholars of Ayurveda have presented it in such a way that all three kinds of pupil can get the matter easily. Nearly two thirds of the compendium is shaped in verse form according to rules and regulations of Chhandashastra of classical Sanskrit literature to retain in memory for a long time. With the advent of time this classical practice of recitation has been gradually losing its popularity and as a result the proper Ayurvedic learning cannot be completely possible in the current era. This review consists of methods of rhythmic recitation of all verses of Charakasamhita with notations and classical analysis.
Charakasamhita; Chhandashastra; meter; recitation; rhythm
Ayurveda is considered as the “science of life,” because the ancient Indian system of health care focused views of man and his illness. India has an age-old heritage of traditional herbal medicine. Conventional drugs usually provide effective antibiotic therapy for bacterial infections, but there is an increasing problem of antibiotic resistance and a continuing need for new solutions. Hence, now herbal drugs are being preferred to synthetic antibiotics. ‘Triphala’ is a well-known powdered preparation in the Indian system of medicine (ISM). It consists of equal parts of the Emblica officinalis, Terminalia chebula, and Terminalia belerica. Currently, Triphala is being extensively researched for its various therapeutic effects including its anti-caries, antioxidant, anti-collagenase, and anti-microbial activities. The present review will focus on the comprehensive appraisal of Triphala and its several applications in dentistry.
Emblica officinalis; dental caries; periodontitis; Terminalia chebula; Triphala
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.
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.
Ulcerative colitis is a chronic idiopathic inflammatory bowel disease with a relapsing nature. It is a very challenging disease affecting a patient during the most active period of his life i.e. 20 to 40 years of age. The main features are ano-rectal bleeding with increased frequency of bowel evacuation, general debility and with abnormal structural pathology in the descending colon, particularly sigmoid colon. In modern medical science, there is no permanent curative and safe treatment for this disease. This study can be helpful for reducing the need of steroids and surgical processes in the patients of ulcerative colitis. A clinical study of 43 patients of ulcerative colitis has been conducted at the O.P.D. (outdoor patient department) and I.P.D. (indoor patient department) of the P D Patel Ayurveda Hospital, Nadiad. They were given Udumbara kvatha basti with oral Ayurveda medicaments including Kutaj ghan vati, Udumbara kvatha, and combination of Musta, Nagakesara, Lodhra, Mukta panchamrut rasa for a one-month period. Results were analyzed statistically by using the ‘t’ test. In this study, it was observed that the symptoms and signs, daily dose of steroids and other anti-inflammatory drugs were reduced by more than 75% with a highly significant result. The hemoglobin level was also increased.
Ayurveda; ulcerative colitis; Udumbara kvatha basti; Basti karma
Ayurveda, which is considered as the Panchamaveda, can be counted as the science of life existing since time immemorial. The wise and experienced authors of the Ayurvedic classics have expressed in some references that, they have only given the guidelines on the subjects to the readers. The readers are to expand the same according to their need and intelligence. There is much confusion of the Ayurvedic students and also of the practitioners and Teachers on the availability of the answers of a number of questions. Among many of such questions in the minds the authors raised a question i.e. is there any description of the signs of death/near death in the Ayurvedic classics as in the Modern texts?
To solve the question the Ayurvedic Samhitas especially Charaka Samhita and Susruta Samhita were searched thoroughly. After the thorough search of the two Samhitas it was observed that, the signs and symptoms mentioned under the heading “Maranalingani” in Charak Samhita Chikitsasthana 23rd chapter and “Asadhya Bisapidita Lakshanani” in Susruta Samhita Kalpasthana 3rd chapter resembles closely with the signs of death/near death mentioned in the modern classics, specially perikh's Textbook of Medical Jurisprudence and Toxicology.
From the comparative study of the above mentioned descriptions it was observed that, the signs and symptoms described by Charaka and Susruta are not insufficient for a physician to give death declaration. The mentioned signs and symptoms can be used as a tool to confirm death/near death of an individual.
Ayurveda is being increasingly accepted by the world for its relevance and adaptability to modern times. Development in science and technology, leads to more sedentary life styles, interest in fast food, stress and strain and physically inactivity, then it results into Obesity (Sthaulya). If it is not managed properly, he is prone to get complications like prameha, pakshaghata, Hrudroga and Hyperlipidaemia etc. In the present clinical study, the emphasis has been made to study and evolve the simple Bahiparimarjan treatment methods to treat the hyperlipidaemic Sthaulya patients.
All the 60 patients were selected from OPD and IPD of Ayurved Rugnalaya and Anusandhan Kendra, Akola, randomly and divided in to two groups and investigated for Hb %, TLC, DLC, ESR, URINE (routine and microscopic), lipid profile etc. before and after treatment. Group A In these group 30 patients were kept on Triphaladi Taila Abhyanga once daily. Group B in this group 30 patients were kept on Shailaiyadi Udvartana once daily. All the patients (groupwise) kept on Abhyanga and Udvartana for 5 10 minutes in every posture and sarvanga Swedana for 10 20 minutes, along with placebo orally.
Both treatments procedures found to be equally effective in hyperlipidaemic Sthaulya patients.
Both the groups have shown significant results in subjective and objective parameters.
In 1867, Federico Delpino, with his seminal work Pensieri sulla Biologia Vegetale (Thoughts on Plant Biology) established plant biology by defining it not in the broad general sense, namely as the science of living beings, but as a branch of natural science dedicated to the study of plant life in relation to the environment. Today, the figure and achievements of this outstanding plant scientist is almost unknown. In the following pages, I will concisely describe the main realizations of Federico Delpino and outline the significance of his work for modern plant science.
Charles Darwin; evolution; history of botany; myrmecophily; plant biology; plant intelligence; plant-insect
Medicinal and dietary substances have been used for various purposes including nutritional from time immemorial. Various activities such as immunomodulator, bulk promoting, nutritional, etc. that enhance strength, immunity, bulk of the body resulted by the use of medicinal or dietary substances are termed in total as Balya in Ayurveda. The term Balya originally stands for all those actions that enhance the “Bala”. The word “Bala” refers to the strength and ability of the body or part of the body to cope up with various physical stressors. This term “Bala” refers to various body components and functions as per the science of Ayurveda. Even in the presence of modern scientific knowledge regarding body strength, Ayurveda concepts add varied dimensions to provide detailed explanation of Balya term. The balya action is critically analyzed and discussed in this review.
Ayurveda; Bala; Balya; kapha; mamsa