Indian Herbal Remedies

Before I owned a computer, a friend let me use his. He had just connected to the Internet. In doing a search I came across an article that I have never been able to find again. It was by an Indian man living in England who had been trained in the traditional Indian medical system known as Ayurveda. He had taken a traditional course of study in India to learn his profession. I believe he said it was of eight years duration. He practiced in the U.K. and was very disturbed by all the non-Indians taking short courses there and competing with him. He said that it wasn¹t fair and that real practitioners should take steps to maintain the integrity of the profession like western doctors do.

Most interesting of all was his comment that none of his patients were Indians. They were all European caucasians. Fascinating. I wonder why.

In an article called "Indian herbal remedies come under attack" The Lancet (Vol. 351 April 18, 1998, p.1190) reports that Vaidya Balendu Prakash from the Indian Health Ministry notes that quality control of commercially available traditional remedies sold in India is practically non-existent, patients' records are not kept, and there are no available safety or efficacy studies.

The government is trying to remedy the matter by doing controlled clinical trials with specific promising botanical drugs and by having three hospitals collect data gathered from properly kept patients' medical records.

Prakash also notes that most commercially available preparations do not conform with ancient Ayurvedic texts and that the majority of them are misbranded and adulterated.

Why do people still use these things? Why did my grandmother and all her neighbors hang bags of camphor around their children's necks during the 1918 flu epidemic? (Go Here)

Because they believe and/or hope that they prevent and cure disease, but until they test them under conditions of controlled observation, they will never know for sure. Neither will they be able to discard the harmful and useless and move on to discover safe, effective treatments.

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