Ayurvedic treatment in kerala, Panchakarma treatment

September 2, 2008

Department of Ayush’s response to Ayurveda toxicity findings

It took nearly a week for Department of Ayush(Government of India) to get their act together to do a press release in response to Dr.Sapper’s ‘findings’.

Here’s the press release:

The bias of Dr. Saper against Ayurvedic medicines becomes very apparent from the fact that he has included even those Ayurvedic medicines being sold in USA in Table 3 of the above mentioned article in which lead is below WHO’s maximum permissible limit of 10ppm. Further, as per Dr. Saper’s article, these medicines are sold by internet which does not indicate the source of their origin. Further, some of the medicines mentioned in Table 3 of the article, namely Akangvir Ras, Agnitundi Bati, Arogyavardhini Bati are herbo metallic compounds which contain these metals as therapeutic agents after purification process. Dr. Saper has visited India and has been in touch with several Ayurveda experts and is fully aware that these herbo-metallic preparations used in Ayurvedic system of medicine contain heavy metals like lead, mercury and arsenic as therapeutic agents after proper de-toxification process and no significant adverse drug reactions have been reported regarding their use in India. Dr. Saper is also fully aware that a high level scientific research is being undertaken in India for physio chemical characterization and safety of herbo metallic preparations for Rasa Aushadhies.

It needs to be emphasized that as per the directions issued by Department of AYUSH, herbo metallic compounds are not being officially exported because of heavy metal concerns and only purely herbal Ayurveda, Unani and Siddha medicines are being exported from India with effect from 1.1.2006 after certification of heavy metals below the permissible limit by the manufacturing unit. In view of the above, the above mentioned article of Dr. Saper and his associates is seriously flawed and discloses a strong bias against Ayurvedic medicines. Indian scientists and research institutions will be responding to the issues raised by Dr. Saper, howsoever flawed they may be, through research articles based on their work on Ayurvedic medicines in due course.[Read the full press release here]

August 27, 2008

Ayurveda medicines and toxicity – More reports

Ayurveda is a way of life and is a time tested way of healthy living. At a time when Ayurveda is trying to reach out to all over the world and spread its wings there is bound to be resistance and negative news reports. Moreover there are opportunists who try to make a quick buck or two riding on Ayurveda’s increasing popularity. Ayurveda is not a few over the counter herbal medications, it’s a way of life. This message need to be amplified.

There is another barrage of news reports in western media about presence of heavy metals in Ayurvedic medicines. It’s high time that Government of India step in and create a FDA like body to regulate the Ayurvedic medicine market. If positive steps are not taken now Ayurveda medicines will be stigmatized and an opportunity to reach out to newer markets and serve will be squandered.

Below is report on one such study which claims that 21% of Ayurvedic medicines contain heavy metals.

Traditional herbal supplements used by thousands of Americans may contain dangerously high levels of lead and other toxins, a study shows. Nearly 21% of Ayurvedic medicines — plant-based products used in India for thousands of years to promote health — actually contain lead, mercury or arsenic,according to a study in today’s Journal of the American Medical Association.[Study finds toxins in …]

Interestingly enough, the researchers say that they bought all the medicines used for the study over the internet. Would that give the researchers the authority to claim that 21% of all the Ayurvedic medicines, used by millions of Indians, contain heavy metals?

Saper and his colleagues purchased all of the medicines on the Internet. In a 2004 study, he also found lead, mercury and arsenic in 20% of Ayurvedic supplements sold in Boston-area stores.[Study finds toxins…]

Having said that, it’s easy to lay blame on such narrow studies. The actual blame lies on the makers of Ayurveda supplements who has the eye only on the quick profits. Unless a strict quality regime is imposed, there will be more such researches and more skepticism towards Ayurveda.

PS: If ayurveda was that toxic, indian population would have been extinct by now.

April 30, 2008

More negative publicity in west on ayurveda and toxicity

Filed under: Ayurveda, exports, medicinal plants — Tags: — ayurvedam @ 4:04 pm

Its high time that a concerted effort is formulated to project the correct image and facts of ayurveda. In the absence of such an initiative ayurveda would seen as a primitive and dangerous medicine system. More than that, government of India should strictly regulate the export and conduct quality control of Ayurveda medications. Here’s some news excerpts :

Two Indo-Canadians have been diagnosed with heavy-metal poisoning after ingesting ayurvedic remedies, in this case tainted powders comprising herbal formulas combined with the toxic heavy metal lead.
Native to the Indian subcontinent, the 5,000-year-old ayurveda system of naturopathic treaments includes a plethora of herb-based powders, pills, oils and dietary supplements often laced with heavy metals, including arsenic, mercury and lead.
In many instances, small quantities of these heavy metals are knowingly ingested in the belief they will cure what ails. In other cases, the practitioners have no idea what they are ingesting, or to what degree.
“Both patients suffered from extremely high levels of lead poisoning from taking ayurvedic remedies,” said Rob Gair, a pharmacist with B.C.’s Drug and Poison Control Information Centre, commenting on the two recent poisonings. In the first case, the patient suffered from vomiting and diarrhea.[When medicine turns toxic]

[For details on Ayurveda resorts in Kerala please visit www.ayurvedatravelmall.com]

February 26, 2008

Why is ayurveda exports stagnant?

Filed under: Ayurveda, exports, medicinal plants — ayurvedam @ 4:40 pm

Given the time tested greatness of ayurveda medicines, the world should have adopted our ancient cures whole heartedly. But in reality, the results point to other direction. Here’s a fascinating study by Jayesh Chaudhary:

In the race to put up branded goods on the consumer shelf, ayurveda remains far behind Chinese, Korean and South American traditional medicines. Our natural products exports are a mixed bag of finished goods, but also include therapeutic and food ingredients (flavouring), large number of excipients (gums) and essential oils for foods, perfumery, etc. In fact, yoga has scored far better than ayurveda as a ‘product of India’ on the international scene. Ayurveda or herbal products of Indian origin have not made a significant mark either in nutraceuticals or in pharmaceuticals in the global healthcare markets. There is no third side to this coin. Our current herbal offerings (APIs or formulations) lack either the strong branding needed for the nutra markets or the foolproof science for the pharma approvals, or both. So we are nowhere. Proof is in the statistics. To be fair to the greens, even the pharma team has not yet won the innings in the ‘innovation series’, though there have been commendable openings by the likes of Glenmark and Dr Reddy’s.(source: DGFT Website) [Running the export marathon]

[For details on Ayurveda resorts in Kerala please visit www.ayurvedatravelmall.com]

August 21, 2007

Roadblocks for Ayurveda exports

Filed under: Ayurveda, exports — ayurvedam @ 5:46 pm

A huge number of europeans come to India seeking ayurveda treatments and remedies. But you might find it strange that European Union have placed almost insurmountable hurdles for Ayurvedic medicines export.

Exporters have been strapped by a European Union (EU) stipulation that requires 30 years safe usage data. This effectively prevents the entry of new players from India who also face the possibility of being blacklisted for the presence of heavy metals in their medicines.

The absence of an official system that certifies or guarantees the quality of the export consignment has also curtailed exports of herbal medicines.

Ayurvedic products to be marketed in EU countries require data on safe usage for 30 years, including 15 years of documented safe usage in an EU country, While many ayurvedic drugs have been in use in the country for decades, exporters have found it difficult to get data on safe usage for 15 years from any EU member country. [EU stipulation a hurdle for herbal exports]

Our Ayurveda remedies were being used for centuries, but it’s a shame that our exporters are facing this dilemma. Government of India should take this up with EU and try to ease the path for the exporters.

[For information on Ayurveda resorts please visit www.ayurvedatravelmall.com]

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