The healing powers of ancient Indian medicine practice ‘Ayurveda’ are known for centuries, yet it remains ignored not just globally but even in India in modern times. This is largely due to lack of convincing scientific studies in the western world. Recently, perhaps for the first time a mega study was undertaken as a collaborative research project by scientists and physicians from eminent research Institutions including Harvard University, UCSD, Duke University and Mt Sinai University, to study the healing effects of Indian Ayurvedic practices and herbs in human. The project, named as ‘Self-Directed Biological Transformation Initiative’ (SBTI) is being led by Dr Deepak Chopra who runs the Chopra Clinic for Wellbeing in California. The associated scientists have also published a research article on the subject about the biological effects of ‘Panchkarma’ in journal ‘Scientific Reports’ (Peterson et al, 2016).
The government of India had undertaken several initiatives in recent past to promote the Ayurveda and other traditional Indian medicines in India. Moreover, WHO had also recognized the beneficial effects of Ayurveda in past. Despite this, the Ayurveda has not gained much popularity which may be its tagging as ‘Pseudoscience’ by most modern medicine practitioners. For proving the scientific basis of this ancient medicine branch, more such studies are required to be published in global clinical journals of broad readership, along with awareness campaigns by NGOs. Such steps can one day help Ayurveda gain the popularity it deserves worldwide.
-Tarun Tyagi, Phd
Yale University School of Medicinestrong text