Ayurveda is the oldest healthcare system of the world. It is duly recognized by World Health Organization.The western world is acknowledging the scientific basis of Ayurveda and endorsing it in their education system.The administration and the people throughout the world are realizing the importance and practical utility of Integrated Medicines. It has now become a growing demand internationally. Some instances of this growing trend of Ayurveda are referred in the sections ‘Ayurveda in West’.
According to the Journal of National Integrated Medical Association (Jan 2002), the National Institute of Health (NIH) in USA has included Ayurveda as an alternative medicine and supports research in Ayurveda with grants. American Association of Ayurveda Medicine (AAAM) is founded to promote Ayurveda in USA. Journal of American Medical Association has reported that over one lakh Americans die every year from side-effects of allopathic drugs and many more die due to overdose and abuse of the same. This has made American and European to turn to Ayurveda and Integrated medicine as the natural form of medicine. In a conference jointly held by British Ayurvedic Medical Council and Charitable Health Trust in London( Sept.2001) , many eminent doctors participated and it was demonstrated that a number of patients with severe and disabling conditions responded to simple, holistic methods of intervention, when expensive specialized hi-tech solutions had not only proved to be ineffective but also resulted in iatrogenesis. It was shown how integrated Medicine focuses on ‘HEALTH AND HEALING’ along with ‘DISEASE AND TREATMENT’.
Yes we can make East meet West. The demand of the urban lifestyle & its indisciplined & hectic working hours was a quick & instant relief or cure for any ailment. Thus we developed & found dependence in the Allopathic system of medicine, which is the only system for crisis management/emergencies. But statistics reveal that there is a large number of Indian population suffering from at least one chronic disease & that a substantial part of medical expenses is due to this.
To help the millions of people worldwide who suffer from “incurable diseases ” under their prevailing medical system we need to use the strengths of the multiple systems of medicine. The drawback of conventional western medicine is evident from the fact that books on Western therapeutics have completely changed over decades. In no other system of medicine has one decade so categorically rejected the therapy of the previous decade as being not only useless but positively harmful. Eg.: many inadequately tested drugs arrive in the market, in a few years their side effects become apparent, the drugs are withdrawn and patients left to suffer the consequences for a lifetime.
Today well-versed people all over the world are seeking safer, alternative forms of medical care. Many people including physicians have turned to older systems of medicine which have been tested down the centuries and have more complete and safer methods of treatment. As per the statistics in an American Health Journal it was revealed that two out of three Americans who are consulting senior specialists of allopathy are also consulting doctors of other system of medicines side by side ie., Ayurveda, yoga, Homeopathy, acupressure,or something else. This is a decisive number indicating that a majority of population wants a change. Western medicine is at its best in emergencies like accidents and in life threatening acute bacterial infections or the likes. It is definitely effective in toxic symptomatic treatments for a wide range of conditions. But it should be noted that most of the currently used drugs are relatively new, information about their long term safety are not likely to be available till well into this century (provided they remain in use).
On the contrary, all the concepts (even from purification of metals, to their percentage in medicines, to the line of treatment, to the examination,to the preparation of medicines their use etc.) mentioned in our age old texts stand the test of time by any standards till date( if followed judiciously as mentioned). This has been proved time & again by researchers all over the world & today AYURVEDA IS THE ONLY MEDICAL SYSTEM WHICH CAN CLAIM TO HAVE CONTINUOUS BREATHING TRADITION AT SUCH A VULNERABLE AGE.The objective of medicine is not only to treat sick people but also to help a person stay healthy and well. Good health allows the person to realize his full potential, and to resist any illness. Ayurveda primarily believes in Prevention of disease, Promotion of health and its Preservation. Ayurvedic medicines can generally be taken along with allopathic medicines in most of the chronic and degenerative diseases & this harmonized approach has proved to be successful & fruitful. The Ayurvedic medicines work as catalyst in the action of allopathic medicines.Ayurveda is a POWERFUL, EFFECTIVE & HARMLESS system of medicine with no side-effects. It also uses specific herbs to strengthen each type of constitution. The herbs are blended together and are advised both in health as well as illness to strengthen the constitution. This is because Ayurveda believes that disease affects a weakened body, so by strengthening the body the person can restore good health and stay healthy.
The points indicated above are not meant to oppose or disregard any particular system of medicine but it is to draw the attention towards the fact that each system of medicine has its advantages and disadvantages. No system of medicine is perfect or could claim to cure all diseases yet each one of them has the potential to cure some patients and help some others. To be cured, the patient needs to find the right type of treatment which will help him combat the disease, irrespective of the opinions and disagreements between practitioners of different systems of medicine about the efficacy of other systems. After the practitioner has acquired an understanding of the patient and made a proper diagnosis, the most appropriate section of various systems of medicine should be short-listed and utilized to treat each individual. This will allow us to give the treatment best suited to patient’s needs.
Ayurveda is the ancient most wisdom best suited for modern man and I sincerely hope that the medical fraternity works together and make East meet West to build a health friendly society for humanity.