Modi: Ayurveda needs global branding like Yoga

ayurvedaNEW DELHI: The biggest challenge Ayurveda faces today is a lack of commitment and confidence among its practitioners, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at the sixth World Ayurveda Congress here on Sunday.

The Prime Minister regretted that while Ayurveda held the key to a healthy life, its practitioners did not seem to have confidence in the traditional system of medicine.

“It is difficult to find doctors who are 100 percent dedicated to Ayurveda. You must have the confidence in yourself. Only then will you instil confidence in the patients,” he said.

The Prime Minister said the allopathic and Ayurvedic systems should not be seen as enemies. Instead of perceiving the two systems as antithetical, one [allopathy] should be seen as “curative” and the other [Ayurveda] as “a way of life.”

“There is a need for larger awareness of Ayurveda. It can’t be limited to a doctor alone.

“Our ancestors made good health a part of life. Unfortunately, we have outsourced health.

“We should start a movement for global acceptance of Ayurveda. Just as yoga has been accepted, this too will be,” Modi said.

Calls for research

He called for Ayurveda practitioners, students and researchers to conduct more research and aim at publishing more papers in international medical journals.

The second major challenge was translating Ayurveda into a language that the world understood.

“We need a movement to be initiated by physicians, students and teachers to gain global acceptance for Ayurveda.

“If we can procure at least 10-20 percent of space in international medical journals for research in Ayurveda, it will attract the attention of the global science community,” he said.

Scientists discover ‘wonder herb’

In a related matter, in August this year, scientists reportedly said they found a ‘wonder herb’ in the  high, hostile peaks of the Himalayas.

The herb they said can regulate the immune system, help adapt to the mountain environment and, above all, protect from radioactivity.

Rhodiola, a herb found in the cold and highland climate, has led India’s leading scientists to wonder if it is the end to the quest for sanjeevani, the mythical herb that gave renewed life to Ram’s brother Lakshman in the epic Ramayana.

Locally called ‘Solo’ in Ladakh, the qualities of Rhodiola were largely unknown so far. The leafy parts of the plant were used as vegetable by locals.

However, research by the Leh-based Defence Institute of High Altitude Research (DIHAR) is exploring the therapeutic values of the herb.

“Rhodiola is a wonder plant that has immunomodulatory [enhancing immune], adaptogenic [adapting to difficult climatic condition] and radio-protecting abilities due to presence of secondary metabolites and phytoactive compounds unique to the plant,” R.B. Srivastava, Director, DIHAR, told IANS.

Srivastava said the herb can mitigate the effects of gamma radiation used in bombs in biochemical warfare.

The Leh-based lab of the DRDO, the world’s highest agro-animal research laboratory, has been studying this wonder plant for more than a decade.

“While its adaptogenic qualities can help the soldiers in adjusting to the low pressure, low oxygen environment, the plant has also been found to have anti-depressant and appetiser properties,” said Srivastava. – From the Hindu

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