Bring science, not tradition to treat diseases

Bring science, not tradition to treat diseases
Highlights

Bring science, not tradition to treat diseases. From one review article published in the year 2013, we learned that till the year 2013 about 523 research articles on Ashwaganhda (Withania somnifera) has been published.

From one review article published in the year 2013, we learned that till the year 2013 about 523 research articles on Ashwaganhda (Withania somnifera) has been published. The same can be tracked from the online database of medical research - PubMed. Articles appeared in non PubMed listed journals also can be equal to the number of publications in the listed journals or can be even more.

Findings of all the above research studies have indicated enormous and conflicting medicinal properties of the plant - Ashwagandha.

THE EIGHT WONDER OF THE WORLD is that till date, no single drug has come to the modern medical world from Ashwagandha that can be used to treat and cure any definite human disease as per the standard norms of allopathic system of medicine or global science. Time has come, we cannot afford to ‘define drug’ as per our convenience.

About 70% of the modern allopathic drugs whose active content have been once identified from plants. But the plants that have such active compound as one of its chemical constituents will not make the whole plant as drug.

Till date only a few drugs from herbal sources and being approved by US FDA and are Veregen, the green tea extract for the treatment of genital wart and Dansheng Dripping Pill, a traditional Chinese medicine that has entered Phase 3 clinical trial in US.

Converting a Siddha or ISM preparation to drug is more challenging than developing a new drug molecule. The interesting aspect of Guggul is that, the plant grown in Kerala has little active content than that grown in Afghanistan. Similarly the plant grown during summer differs greatly from the plant grown during winter, the report says.
Contribution of AYUSH, CCRS and NIS in developing a drug from ISM fulfilling all criteria laid down by science is almost zero.

Quinine from the plant Cinchona tree was discovered by two French scientists in the year 1820. Respirine from Rouwolfia serpentine was developed by Ciba – Geigy, but due to its severe side effects, the drug could not reach the main stream. Vinblastine and Vincristine are not the outcome of Indian research. CDRI has made Guggulipid from guggul in 1980 after several years of research. But still some element of doubts remains to be answered.

None of the research institutions of AYUSH such as CCRS or NIS has made any such breakthrough research. If we ask why no such research has happened in ISM, the likely reply would be that the Siddha and ISM are different from modern science and they work in holistic and synergistic way. Therefore ISM should be compared or measured as per modern science.

If such grate synergy or holistic value of ISM is true, why CCIM is asking for bridge course for ISM graduates to practice allopathic drugs for common ailments? Does this not mean, even for common ailments, ISM does not have curative drugs?

Is attacking those who raise such questions with a clear intent to churn research and development in ISM, wise and correct?
Government must look at the merit and science of ISM.

A product having some medicinal value will not automatically qualify it to be a drug.

Food we eat only makes as healthy. But even when we are eating such food, we do fall ill? Why the food that makes us healthy is not preventing us from falling ill? The distinction and definition of drug must be understood scientifically and not from the premises of tradition.

If Siddha cannot offer such drugs, never call it or define it as medical system, said Dr Abdul Abbas, MD-Siddha.

To address diseases and multitude of health problems in India, we need ‘scientifically proven drugs’ and not tradition or products that may have some medicinal value. Government should bring science and tradition from ISM and must offer not products with tall promises but drugs to sick.

Dr S Ranganathan

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