If Indian System of Medicine is true, why should people fall sick?

If Indian System of Medicine is true, why should people fall sick?
Highlights

The emerging health care concern, the galloping health expenditure and increased disease burden in India and in other countries pose a big challenge on how to ensure the future of humanity, healthy and free from diseases?

The emerging health care concern, the galloping health expenditure and increased disease burden in India and in other countries pose a big challenge on how to ensure the future of humanity, healthy and free from diseases?


Is there any alternative ways to protect the health than devising different treatment methods?

Can ISM offer any solution to our health problems?

The biggest scientific truth is that ISM cannot offer solution towards treating or curing any diseases like scientifically proven allopathic system of medicine?

ISM products are strictly wellness products and might possess some small palliative benefits. The ISM products are not drugs by any definition. But ironically ISM enjoys an envious recognition and status as system of medicine in India.

We must ask certain fundamental questions about the role of ISM to humanity. How curry leaves, ginger, pepper, basil, cumin seeds, curcuma powder, Terminalia chebula, neem leaf etc., can treat and cure human diseases? If the above were true, many Indians should not have even fallen sick as most Indians consume many of these plants/plant produce everyday.

If we have to treat these common kitchen plants and plant produce as ‘drugs’ then the water we drink also would fully qualify to call as drug. The water also would require drug regulation.

In fact, water helps to treat some of the problems like renal calculi, diarrhea (water replacement is first treatment option for diarrhea) etc. If we consume more quantity of water, it may dip the level of sodium and other water soluble minerals in our body.

It means, water offers health benefits, water forms part of treatment and at higher dose, water also cause health concern.

In our country, the difference between ‘medicine’ and substances that might have some small medicinal effects is not clearly defined and differentiated. As a result of the above, many products that are otherwise commonly present in our kitchen enjoy the title of drugs. To regulate these products, we also have drug licensing department, regulation, guidelines etc. This is how ISM is positioned today.

Time has come, the Government must demarcate the boundaries and define the health (paramedical ISM) science and cure based medical science (allopathy). The ISM strictly falls under paramedical science as many ISM products have only some palliative benefits. But as on date, ISM is promoted as system of medicine and the ISM curriculum enjoys the luxury of professional course. ISM is given the status equivalent to scientifically proven allopathic medicine.

The problem is not about treating ISM as system of medicine. But what the ISM practitioners will use to treat the patients from own system?

Can they cure diseases with some leaf preparations? When patients find no cure from ISM, naturally they would migrate from the practitioner. In order to retain the patient and their faith, some ISM practitioners resorts to cross pathy. While some ISM practitioners follow high level of discipline and practice only ISM, based on what ISM really can offer. Such ISM practitioners are really doing very well and are also developing the ISM. But those who engage in cross pathy neither do justice to own system nor to the society.

The root cause for the above confusion is due to promoting ISM as system of medicine. If ISM is promoted as paramedical science for offering wellness to people, ISM will certainly find a meaningful role.

Government is toying with the idea of bringing regulation to the use of common antibiotics due to the emerging drug resistant microbes. Due to indiscriminate and irregular use of antibiotics, several species of microbes are developing drug resistance is well known. We are yet to recognize the possible role of various microbes in herbal products causing health concern.

Considering the lack of credible science and scientific proof, ISM cannot give any hope to our health concerns.

The big question is can we leave our rural health care system to bundle of promises, tradition and faith? Can we deceit our intelligence & truth and continue to treat ISM as sacred science, system of medicine, safe etc.

If we promote such faith system as system of medicine, won’t it affect the growth of science in our country? Won’t it affect the scientific credence of our country?

If ISM practitioners are allowed to engage in cross pathy, then why we need MBBS doctors? Why we need regulation for the use of antibiotics? Why should we be concerned about drug resistant microbes?

The scientific community must wakeup to the truth and must own the responsibility to request the Government to promote ISM for its paramedical benefits and not as system of medicine.

Cross pathy is like cancer. The poor people in the rural India are most vulnerable to cross pathy. Most of the countries have recognized medication health fraud.

How the vision of Digital India of our Prime Minister can go well with science less ISM finding a visible place in our health care sector as system of medicine?

Let us recognize the paramedical values of ISM and promote it as paramedical science. Let us put an end to the emerging cancer in our society –the cross pathy. Let us not allow ISM to thrive under allopathic drugs and let us not promote pseudo science.

Dr S Ranganathan
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