Ayurveda Treatment Methods

A Guide Line To Ayurveda Treatments & Principles

Fusion of Ayurveda with Science of Nanomaterials

The modern science, dominated by the western philosophy, which mostly developed in last two millennia, is on the rise demanding the validation of ancient practices of living a healthy life. These practices were followed by eastern civilizations (South-Asian, Chinese and Middle-Eastern) as per the documented history of at least last 4000 years supported by numerous archaeological surveys and findings. Among them, the ancient Indian civilization, which spread as far as Afghanistan in West, China in North, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia in Far-East, Sri Lanka in South and also influenced Middle-Eastern countries, was enriched by business and religious travellers using the silk-route. The science of Yoga and Ayurveda flourished in several countries in various forms and branches but the roots of this philosophy is understood to be originated from the Saraswati valley and Ganges valley civilization which dominated those times. The knowledge which originated from the banks of these two rivers has largely benefitted not only the population around these areas but it also served to several other countries in various forms.

However, there is a strong need to revalidate these age-old great practices with the help of the modern tools of science. During this process of validation, the ancient science of Ayurveda will be enriched with new knowledge which will be helpful for the coming generations. After the initial and obvious scepticism in western scientific sphere, largely funded and supported by the pharmaceutical giants, some open minded research has started accepting the medicinal values of various Ayurvedic formulations. This is where the recent knowledge of a new branch called Nanomaterial Science has led a lot of renewed interest in Ayurvedic medicines. Several preliminary investigations by various research groups suggested that many of the metal-based, Ayurveda - based medicines contained the particles which are in nanodimensions. This brought a lot of curiosity in scientific circles as it is known that the metals in nanosize regime bring a remarkable change in their physical properties such as colour, melting point, energy they emit, energy they absorb, the way these materials interacts with other molecules, enzymes, proteins, the way these materials interact with mammalian cells, their catalytical properties (including various catalytical process inside the body including metabolism), soft/hardness etc. An example is carbon, which in activated form is used in Vedic science for many medicinal purposes. In fact, it is recently known that many of the traditional preparations of carbon containing materials (such as soot etc.) contain nanostructured carbon. The process of preparation of Bhasmas in Ayurveda is not a chemical one but it is a physical treatment (top down method) where the bulk metal is transformed into nanosized particles using heat-beat-treat techniques. These techniques are quite elaborate and time consuming. These methods often results in poor control over size. On the other hand, the chemical methods of nanoparticle preparations are bottom-up methods which involve making the nanoparticles from ions or atoms and have relatively better control over size and shape of the nanomaterials. Gold, copper, silver, iron, tin, lead, zinc, mercury and their alloys as well as oxides, sulphides, selenites, carbonates are used in medicines without any noticeable toxic effects.

The principles of western philosophy should be used with care while validating the science of Ayurveda, as they are completely different branches. In western medicine, metals are used mostly in the ionic form which is definitely highly toxic to humans as well to microbes. On the other hand, there is hardly any free metal which is used in its ionic form in Ayurveda. Therefore, borrowing the concepts of toxicology of heavy metals from latest literature and directly adopting it to Ayurveda without a critical thought process will be a biggest mistake but this is what seems to be happening. Western regulatory agencies, due to the divide between East and West or due to lack of documented data, are not accepting the Indian Medicinal System. Apart from this, the commercial interests of established global pharmaceutical companies cannot be overlooked in not promoting Ayurvedic medicines. Scientists have tried to isolate and study the active ingredients of various medicinal plants such as turmeric, neem, tulsi, Aswagandha, Bramhi, to name a few, but it was soon realized that, it is difficult to establish the action of an individual molecule as nature has gifted these medicines in a nicely packaged form which prevent their photodegradation, humidity, heat and other forms of aging (unlike the pure molecules and their formulations which have high possibility of stability, bioavailability issues). It was also realized that it is the synergic action of tens probably hundreds of molecules that results in the medicinal effect and elucidating the biochemical mechanism of this effect is a challenging and complex task.

In summary, starting from the ingestion of Ayurvedic medicine to its action on body at cellular level and understanding its molecular fate is quite a complex issue. It is as complex as understanding the laws of nature. But there is a hope that with the advent of modern scientific tools such as micro-Raman, atomic force microscopy, electron microscopy, light scattering etc, we will be able to understand at least a fraction of this complex science to satisfy the curiosity of the practitioners of modern medicinal system.

The modern science, dominated by the western philosophy, which mostly developed in last two millennia, is on the rise demanding the validation of ancient practices of living a healthy life. These practices were followed by eastern civilizations (South-Asian, Chinese and Middle-Eastern) as per the documented history of at least last 4000 years supported by numerous archaeological surveys and findings. Among them, the ancient Indian civilization, which spread as far as Afghanistan in West, China in North, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia in Far-East, Sri Lanka in South and also influenced Middle-Eastern countries, was enriched by business and religious travellers using the silk-route. The science of Yoga and Ayurveda flourished in several countries in various forms and branches but the roots of this philosophy is understood to be originated from the Saraswati valley and Ganges valley civilization which dominated those times. The knowledge which originated from the banks of these two rivers has largely benefitted not only the population around these areas but it also served to several other countries in various forms.
The principles of western philosophy should be used with care while validating the science of Ayurveda, as they are completely different branches. In western medicine, metals are used mostly in the ionic form which is definitely highly toxic to humans as well to microbes. On the other hand, there is hardly any free metal which is used in its ionic form in Ayurveda. Therefore, borrowing the concepts of toxicology of heavy metals from latest literature and directly adopting it to Ayurveda without a critical thought process will be a biggest mistake but this is what seems to be happening. Western regulatory agencies, due to the divide between East and West or due to lack of documented data, are not accepting the Indian Medicinal System. Apart from this, the commercial interests of established global pharmaceutical companies cannot be overlooked in not promoting Ayurvedic medicines. Scientists have tried to isolate and study the active ingredients of various medicinal plants such as turmeric, neem, tulsi, Aswagandha, Bramhi, to name a few, but it was soon realized that, it is difficult to establish the action of an individual molecule as nature has gifted these medicines in a nicely packaged form which prevent their photodegradation, humidity, heat and other forms of aging (unlike the pure molecules and their formulations which have high possibility of stability, bioavailability issues). It was also realized that it is the synergic action of tens probably hundreds of molecules that results in the medicinal effect and elucidating the biochemical mechanism of this effect is a challenging and complex task.

 

 

All the above articles / blog posts are not the original contribution from author, please consider a opinion of qualified doctor, if you considering this. If you need a advice please contact Dr. Anil Joy email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

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Useful Links

Medicinal plants of India ; Ayurveda

Encyclopedia of Indian Medicinal Plants/Herbs mainly using in Ayurveda with good quality pictures and information like therapeutic usage of Medicinal Plants, cultivation, morphology, habitat, flower characters, Chemical content, parts used, research works etc.