The origin of Ayurvedam is 600 BC in India and is the oldest one in terms of way of medicine available to human beings. It is proudly said that the medicinal properties are present in each root, leaf and bark of a plant/tree and will cure any kind of ailment. It is claimed that there is no disease that cannot be treated by ayurvedam. While this is a fact, of late, there is a rumor through social media that it affects the body with its side effects and also certain minerals and chemical inputs are mixed in Ayurvedic medicines.
Do Ayurvedic medicines contain chemicals? With this question, we spoke to Dr.R.Balamurugan of Arignar Anna Government Institute of Indian Medicines, Anumbakkam, Chennai.
The doctor clarifies that the word ‘ayur’ means age or life; ‘vedam’ refers to science or the way of life to be led by a man. It is rather a life science. He declares that there are so many ways and means to cure and prevent any disease that may attack a human being in Ayurvedam.
He further says that the ayurvedic medicine is meant for both internal consumption and external application. The medicines and the dosages are prescribed based on gender, age, environment, each one’s attitude, profession, body constitution, digestive power etc. Moreover, the ayurvedic medicines are curative in nature and also ones that will prevent repeat attack in future.
The doctor further opines that the ayurvedic medicine is to be obtained from a qualified and experienced doctor and the consumption must be done strictly as per his advice and directions. If it is not followed in that manner, it is likely to cause unwanted side effects for the patient. However, there are certain medicines like Tripala choornam, Amla paste and aswakantha paste which can be taken by one irrespective of age and gender. Other medicines are required to be taken up in conformity with the advice of the doctor.
Against the press news that someone was affected with some ill effect of ayurvedic medicine, it is not to be so easily generalized. The said patient might not have followed the instructions of the doctor or the inputs of manufacture might have been wrongly applied. It must be properly investigated before such generalization.
It is a known fact that Ayurveda medical system is very old and conventional. It is the responsibility of the manufacturing company to ensure that the procedures that they follow are in order and as per due process. In fact, minerals, mercury and gems including basbam, chendooram are also included in this and they bear no adverse effect whatsoever.
In addition to the above, all manufacturing companies do have quality and R & D departments of their own and they will have to ensure total compliance with the norms of the Government. Otherwise, the Government will reject their license. Hence, it is unnecessary to believe in the casual statements released through social media about Ayurvedic medicines. To err is human and such errors are common in any field but at the same time, excessive generalization is unfair and unreasonable.
Dr.Balamurugan finally observes that both Siddha and Ayurvedic systems are our country’s tradition and pride and we should not spread such rumors against them. The very objective of our medical system is to cure the disease in the interest and for the benefit of the people. Anyone can access our traditional system for cure and relief. If they want to take to the allopathic system along with our traditional one, they can certainly proceed and our system will never cause any side effect whatsoever. The only caution is unlicensed product should never be used at any cost.
Doubtless, our ancient Ayurvedic system does enjoy its own reputation and value for so many centuries and such baseless report can hardly endanger them under any circumstances.
(This article written by Maria Belsin in Tamil has been reproduced in English by P.S.Ramamurthy)