Ayurveda: Scientific Approach to move forward
Development of Medicine-Pathway
Shakespeare said, ‘Trust not the physician; his antidotes are poison. Medicine is an art that has been practiced since time immemorial. However, the progress of medicine has been very different from that of many other arts within society. It has come of age after an incredibly long maturation period. As a function capable of offering a successful treatment for a human ailment, medicine is very much a development of the last 100–150 years. Indeed, the major advances have come in the last 50–75 years. The exponential growth in scientific knowledge, particularly over the last 100 years, has brought about a paradigm shift in our approach to pharmaceuticals
Do you know the facts and figures?
Today we are using many so called Allopathic drugs those are the carbon copies of herbs detailed in Ayurveda. I’m stressing here as Ayurveda herbs because these are well documented in Ayurveda classical texts. For instance Bromhexine hydrochloride which is used as mucolytic is the derivative of VASA, Vinorelbine, an anticancer drug derived from Vinca Rosea, atropine,its derivatives are derived atropa Bellodana and the list goes on. The above mentioned drugs being marketed in western system of medicine for the same indication what Ayurveda says. However it is very difficult to prove from Ayurveda point of view.
Ayurveda what actually is it and what not
Ayurveda says “whatever the essentials part of life is present in Ayurveda is mentioned elsewhere and need not to depend upon any external sources to depend for scientific knowledge”. So from past many years we are listening and listening that “one or the other day Ayurveda becomes the medicine of the century and whole world will accept it”. The result is still we are listening. ………………
Then where is the draw back? Is it difficult to accept Ayurveda as a science or we don’t have enough resource/s and methods to prove it? No doubt in integrity of science in Ayurveda, indeed whole world accepted the scientific background of Ayurveda. Then the answer is we don’t have enough resource/s and methods to prove it
Then what next????????????
Today if we want to buy a pen we will check many times whether it writes properly or not or want to by a vehicle we will have a thorough test drive. At the same time for any ailment if you prescribe a medicine which does not have any sufficient trial data (includes both animal and human data), it’s very difficult to convince the patients. This is the world which mainly depends upon documentation and data even though we believe in classical texts of Ayurveda.
Major surgeries in development of Ayurveda
Revolutionary changes in Education system of Ayurveda
Today studying Ayurveda means pass out BAMS and start practicing modern medicine (not all, still majority of the cases), without knowing that our science has more authenticity and depth in medicine than any other system. I’m really very sorry to mention in these in harsh words but these are the facts and we should accept this. But this is not a serious situation to think as we can solve in a proper way.
Ø Include the following subjects in the syllabus of Ayurveda
Although we have presently Anatomy, Physiology but the depth is not sufficient. Biochemistry is one subject needs to be implemented in the first year along with core Ayurveda subjects. In the second year we need detail Pharmacology, with applied aspects needed. This will really help us to study Ayurveda in a scientific way and also tomorrow our students cannot face any problems that what we are facing now. All Ayurveda colleges should have Animal house with one qualified Pharmacologist will assist in Pre-clinical research and development of new drugs.
Clinical development of new drugs and clinical research should be included in Final year.
I know that these changes will not happen in an overnight and be on pins and needles to this revolution.
Research programmes funded by Government and MNC’s
Drug Discovery and Development: Our doctors should able to understand what governs whether a
Chemical becomes a medicine? For this we need complete background of Ayurveda background doctors who understands the modern Pharmacology and research methods. The following depicted is just an example that shows how our labs should look like
The above methods will teach us how we will develop our drugs in preclinical lab and able to carry forward to the next phase of the drug development that is clinical trials.
The details about clinical trial development will be discussed in the next edition
Dr. Praveen Shetty
Senior Scientist-Clinical Pharmacology and Medical Affairs
Lambda Therapeutic Research Pvt Ltd
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