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Why Indian Traditional medicine system is neglected?

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India is known for its strong foundation in traditional medicinal systems like Ayurveda and Siddha. These medical systems have a long history as they are mentioned even in the ancient Vedas and other scriptures. The Ayurvedic medical system was developed around 3000 BC.

According to the official documents, around 3000 plants have been identified as medically suitable for treatments. Around 7000 vegetable drugs are used by traditional practitioners. Besides, India is still the largest producer of medicinal herbs and it is often called as medical garden of the world. In Indian traditional medicinal system, the practitioners formulate and develop their own medical recipes, which makes them unique. There around 2.7 lakh registered medical practitioners of Ayurvedic system and 40,000 registered Siddha medical practitioners. Besides, 40 per cent of the Indian population is directly and indirectly dependent on traditional system of medicine. Despite its long and strong historical background, traditional medical system continues to be neglected.

What are the reasons?

Lack of awareness

There is a misconception that Ayurveda, Siddha takes a long time for treatment. Despite the fact it is false. There are many medicine and medical conditions where ayurveda gives faster relief than any other medical system. Many expert practitioners mention that lack of sincere ayurvedic graduates who practice pure Ayurveda. Many Ayurvedic practitioners without much consideration immediately cross over to other areas. Though other medical systems don’t complain about the cross over for prescription, but this leads to demean the ayurvedic system for lack of medicines or treatment system.

Power of modern medicine (Allopathy)

Modern medicine system which often termed as allopathy has strongly aligned with technology for treatment and diagnosis. This aspect makes the allopathic practitioner an expert in treating acute and life threatening illness and injuries. Over a period of time, various technological advancements greatly helped in the growth of allopathic medical research. Currently, modern imaging identifies problems in the body even in early stages. Surgical procedures of the allopathy system is quick to repair or remove diseased or damaged organs and tissues. Besides, very serious infections are cured with potent medications. Broken bones are reset and damaged joints replaced with minor sufferings. Even disfigurements are reconstructed. This is backed by highly skilled doctors who have saved many million lives and improved the quality of health life. With the help of early diagnosis, allopathic doctor proves an instant cure for all kinds of diseases and ailments.

Clinical practice

The clinical practice of classical Ayurveda has become very rare. Ayurvedic practitioners in the urban and in some rural areas, still adopt allopathic practices for patients for instant relief and better acceptance. Although, classic books of Ayurveda contain huge knowledge resource and wisdom, the outcomes and results of the systematic treatment are not still available for public. Procedure studies, research documentation on pharmacoepidemiology for clinical practice, safety and adverse drug reactions are not made available for everyone. As per present regulations in India, no scientific or clinical data is required for manufacture and sale of classical Ayurvedic medicines.

Lack of innovation

Besides, strong wisdom and knowledge, backed by pharmacopoeia, good manufacturing practices, quality control and pharmaceutical technologies for Ayurvedic medicine system still in lack in the innovations. For the past several decades, there is hardly any groundbreaking research published or discovered/ Many medical experts say that ayurveda is still evolving at a slow pace. Many issues penetrating to proper research methodologies or treatment protocols for Ayurveda have also not been properly solved and addressed. Many mention that there is a lack of coordination between various ayurvedic community when it comes to innovation and sharing research works.

More reliance on traditional text

Most of the Ayurvedic Physicians in India, never experiment with the medical system. They blindly follow the old system of diagnosis and respective treatments as seen in the ancient books. According to a report the status of Indian medicine and folk healing indicates the need to strengthen research and use of Ayurveda, yoga, unani, siddha, homeopathy (AYUSH) systems in national health care. This leads to stagnation in the medical system.

Government initiatives

All India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA) and IIT (Indian Institute of Technology)-Delhi have signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enhance research in the field of Ayurveda. The MoU was signed on sidelines of two-day conference on ‘Raising towards Excellence’ held at New Delhi. As of part of MoU, AIIA will invite technological experts from IIT Delhi for research in ancient Indian medicine. IIT Delhi does not have medical facility and has lined up 10 projects in Ayurveda research. It was the idea of Ministry of AYUSH to utilize technological expertise of IIT Delhi for further research in ancient Indian medicine. It is also planning to invite professionals and representatives from IIMs (Indian Institutes of Management) to develop leadership skills that are necessary for gaining global recognition.


Despite the present government's initiative over the years to popularize AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga or Naturopathy Unani, Siddha and homoeopathy), the people at large are still inclined towards allopathy treatment both in rural and urban India. This is mainly due to the lack of support from Ayurvedic fraternity. So, more and more research is needed on the part of the Ayurvedic practitioners, they should equip themselves to have a conventional diagnosis first, supplemented by an ayurvedic diagnosis, which helps the contemporary Ayurvedic physician. But people must be aware about the basic foundations of the all the medical systems. If they have a health issue or medical emergencies they should consider allopathy - like antibiotics for infections or hospital for fatal accidents. Ayurveda works for numerous problems. Some problems are very quickly normal physical pain, hyperacidity, sinus problems, hormonal imbalance, weight loss, skin disorders, blood pressure and several acute diseases. So one must understand the medical system and try out which systems is suitable for them at what the situation.

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