Monthly Archives: October 2009

Ayurvedic Metallic Preparations are Safe…!

Dept of Ayush certifies safety of 8 bhasmas under Golden Triangle Project
Friday, October 30, 2009 08:00 IST
Nandita Vijay, Bangalore

The department of Ayush has certified 8 bhasmas to be safe for use and the details will be will be released in December. This validation of 8 bhasmas is the maiden project under the Golden Triangle project of the Central government. The project, set up with the support of the department of Ayush Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), is expected to scientifically validate Ayurveda products.

The standardization, safety and toxicity studies of metallic bhasmas and mineral-based formulations including Kupipakwa Rasayanas have been a major issue for a while for the drug manufacturers, according to JSD Pani, president, Karnataka Indian Medicine Manufacturers Association. The issue of the presence of minerals and heavy metals has bogged down international marketing operations. Therefore the effort by the Ayush department will now help the industry, he added.

The Planning Commission had constituted a Working Group on Access to Health Systems in Ayush which in-turn formed five Sub-Group and one of them focused only on the standardization and Quality Control of Ayush drugs.

The Ayush department was keen to lay down pharmacopoeial standards for single and compound formulations besides carry out scientific validation of herbo-metallic compounds and address the standardization and quality control of herbal drugs. There is also a proposal to set up a Pharmacopoeial Commission for Indian Medicine under the 11th Plan which will be located in the newly constructed building of the Pharmacopoeial Laboratory of Indian Medicine, Ghaziabad. The key objective is to create an independent scientific body which will undertake laying down of pharmacopoeial standards and its revision.

The Department is likely to enforce mandatory testing of heavy metals not only for export of Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani medicines but also for sale in domestic market. Since over 80 per cent of the Ayush manufacturing units are in the small and medium scale sector, the department identified labs to test the drugs for these companies. This is because equipments like Atomic Absorption Spectrometer to test heavy metals and TLC/HPTLC/GLC to test crude drugs are expensive to be installed by many companies to test the raw materials and finished products.

Pani said that these metals have undergone extensive toxicity studies. There had been no reports of major adverse drug reaction. Standardization and quality control of Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani drugs is a problem area as botanicals do not lend themselves to as precise a quality control as synthetic molecules manufactured under controlled laboratory conditions. This requires state-of-the-art research for developing chemical/biological markers/chromatogram fingerprints/standardized operating procedures and phyto-chemical characterization of bhasmas.

Now with the department of Ayush being ready with the safety data of the 8 bhasmas, this would provide a major fillip for growth for the Traditional System of Medicine industry, stated Dr GG Gangadharan, joint director (Traditional System of Medicine), Foundation for Revitalization of Local Health Traditions (FRLHT).

Source: PharmaBiz


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Living Legend of Ayurveda…!

Treating patients, not tourists, Kerala ayurveda centre stands apart

Kottakkal (Kerala) Oct 26 (IANS):

Ayurveda centres that promise to pamper tourists have mushroomed all over India, but a reputed 107-year-old institution in Kottakkal still strictly adheres to the philosophy of “treating patients” – while doing good business.

The here is into “treatment” and not into “entertainment” of those who arrive at the hospitals run by the centre, said P.M. Varier, chief superintendent of the famed Kottakkal Hospital it runs. It was founded by Vaidyaratnam P.S. Varier.

“We are not into providing ayurveda packages as offered by various resorts in the state. We treat a patient depending on the physical and mental condition. We offer time-tested treatment protocols using our own medicines,” said Varier, who is also the additional chief physician at the hospital.

These treatments using the traditional Indian medical system ayurveda are specially effective for those suffering from paralysis, rheumatism, arthritis, spondylosis, other psychosomatic diseases as well as degenerative and other systemic diseases, say the many patients who throng the hospitals.

The average treatment takes 21-28 days and costs around Rs.45,000, a pittance compared to what the tourists pay at other places.

“To get admitted as an in-patient, the patient has to come to our out-patient department first and they are given a time to come back. Today the waiting period for undergoing our in-patient treatment is four months under normal circumstances,” Varier said.

Arya Vaidya Sala now has four hospitals — a 300-bed hospital and a 120-bed hospital at its headquarters here, a 45-bed one in New Delhi and one recently opened in Kochi. Located in Malappuram district, Kottakkal is 165 km from Kochi.

Apart from the hospital, the centre has 22 branches which offer out-patient treatment and 1,200 dealers that sell the 530 medicines it manufactures in two factories in the state. In Mysore, a third factory is having its trial run.

The organisation employs 2,200 people full time in the hospitals and in its 220-acre farm in Palakkad district where its grows several medicinal herbs, besides having a 40-acre gooseberry farm.

K. Muraleedharan, superintendent of the main hospital here, said the medicines include raisins from Afghanistan, 2.5 kg of gold every month, five kg of saffron from Kashmir every month and resin from forests in Gujarat.

“We use more than 4,000 tonnes of raw material a year to produce 530 formulations for the market. It includes 7,000 kg of medicinal herbs and 3,000 litres of milk every day,” Muraleedharan said.

Fourteen tonnes of cardamom, 180 tonnes of ghee, 290 tonnes of honey and 750 tonnes jaggery also go into the medicines every year.

“People from 41 countries have undergone treatment here and we are growing around 10 to 15 percent every year. Last fiscal we had a turnover of Rs.160 crore. Our social commitment is such that we plough back 45 percent of our revenues into the hospital which provides free treatment. Ten percent is given to our ayurveda college,” said chief legal manager K. Venugopalan.

In 2003, Arya Vaidya Sala set up the Centre for Medicinal Plants and Research (CMPR), which carries out various extension activities with village councils, where people are trained to cultivate medicinal herbs.

“This would supplement the 40 families which have been supplying us medicinal plants for several decades now. The new people are being encouraged mainly for conservation and propagation because quite a few valuable herbs are on the verge of extinction. We conduct classes and seedlings free of cost are given to them. We remunerate them when they come back with the herbs,” said Reghu, a scientist with CMPR.

Source: DeccanHerald

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Health in Sexual and Daily Life, an Ayurveda Way

Ancient ayurvedic knowledge can be your ticket to rippling muscles and abed- busting sex life. Why, then, is it not your Health Remedy No 1?

Ayurveda is to most of us something that’s ours, something we claim but something we know next to nothing about. What’s ‘ alternative medicine’ to the rest of the world is- to us- what our moms or grandmoms forcefed us during fevers, sprinkled on cuts, and rubbed on our backs in the summer.

As we grow older and move to aspirin and protein supplements, we continue to use balms and herbal shampoos but forget the overall good health simple twigs and herbs can give us. Why? Is it because we seek instant gratification in our jet- age lives? Or is it because we haven’t been kept in the loop about how traditional plants are a solid way to stay healthier? The answer: Both. Sure, everyone wants things ” now,” and there’s nothing wrong with it- we have so much to do and so little time. But this is precisely why Ayurveda is more relevant today.

“Ayurveda is relevant as the shift in medicine from reductionist to holistic is taking place. Lifestyle- related immunological and noninfectious diseases have an answer only in holistic methods, not in quick fixes,” says Rangesh Paramesh, BSAM, MD ( Ayurveda), and author of Ayurveda- Health Tips for Daily Use , who is also head of new product initiatives at the Bangalore- based The Himalaya Drug Company.

By “holistic” ayurvedic practitioners mean that while ayurveda may not match the ” quick results” of allopathic medicines, it can effectively target the multifactorial and multi- targeted effects of a disease to evolve a long- term solution. ” It treats the root cause of disease rather than focusing on the symptoms,” says Anupam Dikshit, MSc, DPh, PhD, professor of ayurveda at University of Allahabad.

Here’s how: ayurveda seeks to maintain (or help regain) a balance of three substances or doshas : wind/ spirit/ air ( vata ), phlegm ( kapha ) and bile (pitta). A balance in the doshas ensures that various channels in the body are free to transport fluids from one point to another. And the way to open up blocked channels is either through sweat or through herbal intervention ( or through balance and moderation, be it in terms of food, sleep, hygiene or the intake of medicine).

Look at it this way: If you bathe, clean your teeth, skin and eyes regularly, eat well and get in some exercise, you’re going to be in good shape all your life. If you can’t do these regularly- and none of us can- use the means as prescribed in ancient texts to make sure your pipes and tubes- nerves, arteries, veins, oesophagus and intestines- are clog- free. And these texts are ancient. ” The knowledge on how to lead a long and healthy life- and fix the diseases or ailments that are obstacles- has evolved after deep discussions between sages,” says Dr Rangesh. Ayurveda traces its origins to the Atharvaveda and there have been continuous additions, such as the Sushruta Samhita , written some 3,000 years ago and the Hundred Prescriptions, written by the philosopher/ doctor Nagarjuna.

Now, of course, the government’s Central Council for Research in Ayurveda and Siddha ( CCRAS) monitors traditional medicine in the country. This has become important because traditional knowledge is being lost, and because a proliferation of herbal brands has made control necessary.

There are more than a million herbs and plants that ayurvedic practitioners use to create formulations. There are barks, roots, fruit, leaves, oils… an endless list of nature’s bounty. Fortunately for you, there’s little need to become a botanist or a gardener.

Or to grind handfuls of these before ingesting them.

Though each herb has its own specific use- from boosting your libido to blasting cholesterol- we’ve zeroed in on the top, most potent plants you can easily incorporate into your life to become and stay healthy, happy and muscular.


Pickle it, boil it in water and drink it up, make a chutney- this one tops the list as the most versatile fruit. Amla (also called amlaki) is rich in antioxidant polyphenols such as emblicanins, vitamin C and pectin, which help in inhibiting platelet aggregation and lowering LDL cholesterol. It is also used as a tonic to prevent ageing of skin cells and as a digestive aid because it inhibits free radical damage. Amla is an ingredient in many formulations, including chyawanprash . It has been credited with improving eyesight and regulating blood sugar levels too.


Mixed in everything from tea to curry, tulsi is another Indian staple. The leaves contain eugenol, which has anti- bacterial properties. Studies have also revealed that tulsi has chemicals that help in antimicrobial and antiinflammatory usage, as well as being essentially useful in respiratory tract infections. Added bonus: Chewing a couple of leaves gives you fresher breath.


This plant yields seeds or a powder that contains thymol, which helps against diseases of the digestive tract and to treat fever. ” While travelling anywhere in the world, including India, ajwain can come to your rescue when you’re not sure about the quality or source of water. Just chew one spoonful for a few minutes and it wash down with warm water,” says Dr Dikshit.


This is a resin produced by the stem of the mukul myrrh tree, and is used to counter obesity. It can also help increase a person’s metabolic rate. The extract contains guggulsterones, which help raise HDL ( good) cholesterol, and lower LDL ( bad) cholesterol and triglycerides, says Dr Rangesh, apart from helping reduce platelet stickiness. It is also used as an aphrodisiac. Guggul is extremely potent in its raw form and has to be treated with cow’s milk.


Another Indian staple, this rhizome contains shogaols, zingerone and gingerols, which give it its flavour and have analgesic and antibacterial properties.

It also stimulates the production of saliva. Ginger is said to have arthritis- related pain relieving and LDL cholesterollowering properties. ” It is used in two forms- fresh (known as ardraka) and dry ( known as sunthi). It is one of the principal ingredients of Trikatu, an ayurvedic preparation,” says Dr Dikshit. Sunthi is also used as an aphrodisiac and libido- enhancer.

If you can incorporate at least a few of these plants into your diet, you’ll be ready to name your great, great grandchildren.

Ayurveda offers effective treatment against rheumatoid arthritis, skin diseases, neurological disorders that affect loco- motor functions and allergic respiratory disorders,” says Dr Rangesh.

Do remember that ayurveda is all about the ” balance.” Seek advice from a qualified practitioner who’ll outline an authentic product. For your part, store any herb in a place free from contamination by air, advises Dr Dikshit.

“Ayurveda is preventive and you can see positive changes in the respiratory and digestive system, better sleep, more energy or a relaxed state of mind,” he says.

But in these days of labdominant medicines, can there be an ayurvedic future? ” Plant molecular biotechnology and nanotechnology help unravel the secrets of formulations.

This, in effect, will make ayurveda relevant in the treatment of new age diseases.

Advances in science have enabled us to isolate molecules to enhance their benefit,” says Dr Rangesh, who believes, however, that isolating molecules in herbs can lead to a ” one drug to one target relationship”, which “undermines the herb’s total benefit.” Apart from adding these plants to your diet, what should be understood is that healthcare has to be based on integrated approaches to medicine that combine the best of conventional medicine with ayurveda. “The key to good health through ayurveda is knowledge of one’s unique prakruti (constitution), and a genuine ayurvedic doctor can assess one’s prakruthi with accuracy,” says Shankar.

Armed with this, “one can select a diet suitable to one’s constitution, plan the daily regimens suited to one’s nature and gather early warning signs about the diseases one is predisposed to.”

Courtesy: Mail Today

My source: India Today


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Research Confirms Healing Effects of Herb Terminalia Chebula

The Terminalia Chebula known as Haritaki is an age old Indian Herb. Its medicinal benefits are many. Research now confirms the healing properties of this herb. This article shares the findings of the research study and lists the home remedial benefits of this herb.

Knowledge Gained about Terminalia Chebula from Research:

•Extracts from the leaves of this herb were applied on the wounds of experimental rats.

•The wounds contracted at an improved rates.

•There was regrowth of skin over the wounds in short time.

•Collagen is an important component with which tissues are made.

•The Study found that the Collagen content in the tissues was high because of this herb.

•There was 40% rise in the strength of the tissues.

•Researchers believe that Antioxidants are present in this herb.

These antioxidants are responsible for the healing properties of this herb.

•The Study also confirmed the antiseptic qualities of the herb.

•The fruits of this herb are dried and made in to fine powder

Intake of 3-5 gms of the powder per day provides the benefits of this herb.

•Its intake leads to no side effects.

Health Benefits of Terminalia Chebula:Ayurveda prescribes this herb in curing swellings, skin and eye diseases. It can be used as home remedy against fevers, cough, asthma and urinary diseases. Its antibiotic qualities can provide strength to the body to fight against swine flu. It is known for its proven ability to remove stagnant stool in the intestine. This herb has the ability to stop bleeding and prevent a medical condition called Hemorrhage.


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