Historical Facts

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Ayurveda , the science of life, prevention and longevity is the oldest and most holistic medical system available on the planet today. It was placed in written form over 5,000 years ago in India, it was said to be a world medicine dealing with both body and the soul.

There were originally four main books of spirituality, which included among other topics, health, astrology, spiritual business, government, army, poetry and spiritual living and behavior. These books are known as the four Vedas; Rik, Sama, Yajur and Atharva. The Rik Veda, a compilation of verse on the nature of existence, is the oldest surviving book of any Indo-European language (3000 B.C.). The Rik Veda (also known as Rig Veda) refers to the cosmology known as Sankhya which lies at the base of both Ayurveda and Yoga, contains verses on the nature of health and disease, pathogenesis and principles of treatment. Among the Rik Veda are found discussions of the three dosas, Vayu. Pitta and Kapha, and the use of herbs to heal the diseases of the mind and body and to foster longevity.

The Atharva Veda lists the eight divisions of Ayurveda:
Internal Medicine
Surgery of Head and Neck
Ophthalmology and Otorinolaryngology Surgery
Toxicology
Psychiatry
Paediatrics
Gerontology or Science of Rejuvenation
The Science of Fertility

The Vedic Sages took the passages from the Vedic Scriptures relating to Ayurveda and compiled separate books dealing only with Ayurveda. One of these books, called the Atreya Samhita is the oldest medical book in the world! The Vedic Brahmanas were not only priests performing religious rites and ceremonies, they also became Vaidyas (physicians of Ayurveda). The sage-physician-surgeons of the time were the same sages or seers, deeply devoted holy people, who saw health as an integral part of spiritual life. It is said that they received their training of Ayurveda through direct cognition during meditation. In other words, the knowledge of the use of various methods of healing, prevention, longevity and surgery came through Divine revelation; there was no guessing or testing and harming animals. These revelations were transcribed from the oral tradition into book form, interspersed with the other aspects of life and spirituality.

What is fascinating is Ayurveda’s use of herbs, foods, aromas, gems, colors, yoga, mantras, lifestyle and surgery. Consequently Ayurveda grew into a respected and widely used system of healing in India. Around 1500 B.C., Ayurveda was delineated into eight specific branches of medicine. There were two main schools of Ayurveda at that time. Atreya- the school of physicians, and Dhanvantari – the school of surgeons. These two schools made Ayurveda a more scientifically verifiable and classifiable medical system.

People from numerous countries came to Indian Ayurvedic schools to learn about this world medicine and the religious scriptures it sprang from. Learned men from China, Tibet, the Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Afghanistanis, Persians, and more traveled to learn the complete wisdom and bring it back to their own countries. Ayurvedic texts were translated in Arabic and under physicians such as Avicenna and Razi Sempion, both of whom quoted Indian Ayurvedic texts, established Islamic medicine. This style became popular in Europe, and helped to form the foundation of the European tradition in medicine.

In 16th Century Europe, Paracelsus, who is known as the father of modem Western medicine, practiced and propagated a system of medicine which borrowed heavily from Ayurveda.

There are two main re-organizers of Ayurveda whose works are still existing in tact today – Charak and Sushrut. The third major treatise is called the Ashtanga Hridaya, which is a concise version of the works of Charak and Sushrut. Thus the three main Ayurvedic texts that are still used today are the Charak Samhita (compilation of the oldest book Atreya Samhita), Sushrut Samhita and the Ashtangha Hridaya Samhita. These books are believed to be over 1,200 years old. It is because these texts still contain the original and complete knowledge of this Ayurvedic world medicine, that Ayurveda is known today as the only complete medical system still in existence. Other forms of medicine from various cultures, although parallel are missing parts of the original information.

Conclusion

Ayurveda has a long deep rooted history, and has served humanity since ages,it is the mother of all medicinal forms, including treatments and surgery.

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Basic Principles of Ayurveda


The Five Elements:

All matter is composed of the five universal elements; namely the “panchamahabhutas” (pan cha ma ha boot tas). They are termed as:
                                Ether                                                         Akasha Air                                                       Vayu Fire                                                       Tejas Water                                           Jala Earth - Prithvi
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The Four Forces:

Humans are considered miniature versions of the universe, composed of the five elements and four forces:

Atma – Soul Manas – Mind Kala – Cycles of time Indriyas – Sens

The Tridosha Theory

The Ayurvedic understanding of the universe is based on a three fold system called the “tridosha theory.”
The five elements integrate into physical form as the three doshas. Everyone is a unique combination of the three doshas known as: Vata, Pitta and Kapha.
Vata, Pitta and Kapha are found in every cell, tissue and organ in different degrees. Your distinct prakruti or individual constitution is established by pulse diagnosis, observation and personal health history. These are important steps to understanding your basic qualities, tendencies and needs. There are seven constitutional types:

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1) Vata
2) Vata Pitta
3) Vata Kapha
4) Pitta
5) Pitta Kapha
6) Kapha
7) Vata Pitta Kapha

The 3 Doshas

VATA is composed of the ether and air elements.
Vata is responsible for movement in the body and mind. Balanced Vata produces flexibility and a balanced mind.
Out of balance Vata is fearful, anxious and nervous.

PITTA is composed of fire and water.
Pitta functions are associated with the digestive processes, metabolic activity and body temperature.
Balanced Pitta lends itself to intelligence and leadership. Out of balance it expresses itself as anger, hatred and jealousy.

KAPHA is composed of earth and water.
Kapha corresponds to the building up of body tissues and stored substances. Kapha lubricates, moistens and maintains immunity.
Balanced Kapha is love and forgiveness. Out of balance Kapha is associated with attachment, greed and congestion.

Imbalances of Doshas

Constitutional inequities can be supported by following dietary and behavioral modifications. This may offset latent disease tendencies resulting from the lack of balance in the doshas from birth. If a person is physically healthy, the three doshas are present in appropriate proportions and in an organized way. If a person is unhealthy, at least one or more of the doshas may be relatively deficient or excessive, so that its quality becomes adulterated. Vitiation is a term used to describe aggravation in relationship to doshic imbalance. The term vikruti, is the state of imbalance in the doshas. Awareness is crucial in recognizing vikruti to stave off tendencies leading to illness or disease. Each of the doshas has an important location that is considered its major site. These sites are where vitiation is most likely to occur. Vata is located in the large intestine. Pitta is located in the small intestines. Kapha is located in the stomach.

Disorders

Disorders may occur from or result in the doshas being deficient, excessive or vitiated (aggravated):

Vata deficiency
• lethargy/lack of movement
• lack of enthusiasm
• confused perception

Vata excess
• roughness in voice and skin
• dark discolorations
• desire for heat
• piercing pain
• constipation
• insomnia
• weakness

Vata vitiation
• swelling, gas, distended abdomen
• rumbling sounds in the intestines

Pitta deficiency
• dull complexion
• reduced body heat

Pitta excess
• burning sensations
• desire for coolness
• yellow coloring ‐ skin, eyes, feces, urine
• poor circulation and appetite

Pitta vitiation
• burning sensations
• irritability

Kapha deficiency
• sensation of dryness
• feeling of emptiness in the stomach
• looseness of the joints
• thirst and weakness

Kapha excess
• whitish complexion
• heaviness of limbs
• feeling of coldness
• excess sleep or drowsiness
• phlegm

Kapha vitiation
• slow perception lethargy
• slow digestion

The Mental Gunas


The five elements manifest from universal consciousness into individual consciousness as three attributes or mental gunas:
SATVA – equanimity
RAJAS- activity
TAMAS- inertia
The gunas also manifest as behavioral and moral tendencies.
A sattvic mental constitution is pure minded, compassionate, clear and cooperative.
A rajasic mental constitution is egotistical, ambitious, aggressive, selfish, competitive, controlling and restless.
A tamasic mental constitution is lazy, possessive, depressed, sad and dull.
As with the doshas, there can be many blends of these attributes, depending on the predominance of the gunas. Various problems involving the mind and the gunas arise from a combination of influences.

Concept of Digestion in Ayurveda


Agni is the Vedic term meaning transforming or burning. It is composed of different types of enzymes responsible for good digestion. The digestive fire or agni is of key importance according to the principles of Ayurveda.

There are four types of agni:
• Sama - balanced digestion, no after effects
• Vishama - irregular, gas, bloating, distention
• Tikshna - sharp, hyper, acid reflux, heartburn
• Manda - slow digestion, heavy, dull

When agni is not functioning at an optimal level, ama, the by product of undigested food turns to toxic waste clogging the channels. In due time, this will lead to a state of disease. It is of paramount importance to keep your digestive fire strong throughout your entire life.

Daily & Seasonal Routines


Aside from constitutional factors and diet, the doshas are affected by changes within the environment. The most consistent environmental influence is the changing of the seasons. Ritu means season and charya means routine. Ritucharya therefore means the routine followed in the different seasons. Cleansing and detox procedures known as “Panchakarma” are normally performed during these transitional junctures. Following a daily routine for your unique body type is known as Dinacharya. Ayurveda encourages awareness of lifestyle habits accordingly. This means modifying sleep habits, diet choices and activities. Counteracting the adverse effects of the seasons will help one to gain the benefit of being in harmony with Mother Nature.

Misuse of Senses


Further, the body and mind can be affected by how we use our sensory organs and the daily activities we follow. Our mind can be negatively affected by what is seen, felt or heard. Treatment may involve carefully regulating what is acceptable to the sensory field. There is also an additional possibility for disease or disorders to arise due to these factors:
• Overworking
• Strenuous physical work
• Misuse of the intellect
• Over talking, over thinking, over doing
• Dwelling on negativity, over reacting
• Excess sexual activity
• Too much TV, cell phones, computers

The Disease process in Ayurveda


Ayurvedic literature discusses a series of six steps outlined in the disease process. Samprapti or pathogenesis is the result of the accumulation of the doshas:
(STAGE 1 - Accumulation )– accumulation of the dosha in its primary site; vata; colon, pitta; small intestine, kapha; stomach. This initial stage occurs usually due to dietary factors and is the starting place for the disease process.
(STAGE 2 - Aggravation )– excitation of the accumulated doshas, whereby the doshas leave their normal site.
(STAGE 3 - Overflow) – original site is full and disperses to a new site where it begins to get worse.
(STAGE 4 - Relocation) – disturbances move to wherever a weak site exists.
(STAGE 5 - Manifestation) – disease becomes apparent by which western medicine can identify it by name at this stage.
(STAGE 6 - Chronic) – last stage where complications set in, distinction of the disease manifests at other sites simultaneously leading to a chronic diseased state or the passing away of the person.
Ayurveda says it is easy to treat any imbalance at it roots on first two stages, if not treated, the imbalance manifest in the form of disease.
Ayurveda pulse screening is the only tool advocated in Ayurveda to diagnose imbalances if first 2 stages before it assumes a form of a disease.

Summary


Ayurveda is a time-tested discipline of total health,which has been researched by many ancient seers and has its principles are based on Philosophy, Medicine, Spirituality & Science.
Conscious steps to change your lifestyle through diet, exercise, herbs, yoga ,meditation and massage will relieve many health conditions. Choosing self awareness in your journey toward enlightenment supports spiritual healing in the here and now.

May Ayurveda grant your wishes of good health, beauty and spiritual advancement as it manifests into global awareness.
All information is for educational purposes only, and is a compilation work from various text books and classics.

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World Wide present scenario of Ayurveda



Among the various countries where Ayurveda has popularized, the status of Ayurveda varies widely. The trade, practice and education of Ayurveda are prevalent in all these countries, but it has not been recognized legally as a Medical system. However, Ayurveda has established its position around the globe as a unique health care system with a holistic solution to many complex health hazards. The flourish of the system has to be positively channeled to benefit the maximum people with minimum expense. Hence it is important to have a factual understanding of all Healthcare traditions, which are popular, and in public demand. Experts who have in- depth knowledge of the specifications of the concerned system can only design a fair and effective regulation for any medical system. The ultimate aim is to enhance its utility and neutralize its damage and to offer a cost effective and safe health care to the public at large. For assessment of current regulatory status of Ayurveda globally, the countries should be broadly classified in to four groups.

I. India and other SAARC countries& Mauritius

These are the countries where Ayurveda has a strong scientific base and is well recognized as a medical system with an independent status. An Act of Parliament in these countries regularizes the trade and practice of Ayurveda. The profile of Ayurveda practice in these countries outlined as below.

Sri Lanka

Ayurvedic tradition in Sri Lanka is centuries old but the teaching Institutions were established only in thirties by the persons educated from India. At present the following institutions offer Ayurveda teaching and research in the country:
(i) Institute of Indigenous Medicine (IIM), Colombo University, Rajgiriya,
(ii) Gampaha Wickramarachchhi Ayurveda Institute (GWAI), Kelonia University.
(iii) Bandaranayake Institute for research in Ayurveda, Colombo.
(iv) Ayurveda Drug Manufacturing Corporation of Sri Lanka, Colombo.
Since 1980s IIM has started awarding the BAMS degree. Later, GWAI also started awarding the degree under the Kelania University. Many of Sri Lankan graduates have attained Post Graduate Degrees from Jamnagar and Varanasi and the country has sufficient highly qualified faculty for teaching Ayurveda. Sri Lanka Institutions and Govt. do not have official connection with CCIM, they follow the rules, requirements and syllabus as practiced in India. At present, in Sri Lanka there is no accrediting body, however there is proposal for the same. Sri Lanka has also got a highly flourishing Ayurveda tourism inflow – most of the hotels/resorts are very well equipped with Ayurveda related infrastructure and bring patients from Europe for periods 3 to 6 weeks and even more for Ayurvedic treatment.

Mauritius

Ayurveda in mauritius has been legalised by the government through a parliamentary bill , presently come under the TRADITIONAL BOARD OF MEDICINE, under the MINISTRY OF HEALTH & QUALITY OF LIFE. Over all Ayurveda enjoys a healthy status in Mauritius with overgrowing demand & Popularity among its people.

Nepal – Bhutan

Nepal is the first country to execute a National Policy on Ayurveda. Ayurveda has the status of a medical system in Nepal. Full-fledged Ayurveda degree course of 5½ years is conducted by the Institute of Medicine in the premises of Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu. Ayurveda is practiced widely and plays key role in Primary Health Care. Wide range of Ayurveda Medicines are manufactured and used in the country. India supplies the major share of Ayurvedic Medicines used in Nepal. Bhutan also recognises Ayurveda as a Medical system. Unani, Ayurveda and Tibetan Medicine are popular in the country. India caters to the Ayurvedic medicine requirements of Bhutan and Nepal.

Bangladesh – Pakistan

Before independence of India, there were a few Ayurveda colleges within the boundaries of the present Bangladesh. However, after the formation of Bangladesh, Ayurveda Education and practise took a new shape. The system is recognised officially and the Government has taken initiative to integrate the Ayurveda and Unani systems in the primary and secondary health care institutions, Upazilla Health Complexes (UHC) and District Hospitals (DH). A fullfledged 5-½ yrs degree course is being conducted at the Government Unani & Ayurveda degree college, Dhaka. The same syllabus offered by CCIM has been adopted. The college is affiliated to the University of Dhaka. Apart from this, there are 7 Ayurveda Colleges in the private sector offering Diploma in Ayurveda. The Certificate is given by the Bangladesh Unani and Ayurveda Board. The drugs are regulated by The Drug Control Act 1982. There are 153 BAMS registered Ayurveda Doctors and 398 Diploma holders practicing in Bangladesh. There are 161 Registered Ayurveda Drug Manufacturing companies in Bangladesh and 3150 registered Ayurvedic medicines in practise. Today, there are 162 registered sales centres are there for the trade of Ayurvedic medicines in the country. Pakistan has many Ayurvedic manufacturing units and the practise of Ayurveda and Unani are wide spread as in Bangladesh.

II. Other Asian countries

Ayurveda along with Traditional Chinese Medicine has a strong base in the countries of Asia. Most of the countries have developed their own TSMs, but Ayurveda forms a major part of these traditions. The Traditional Medicine practice and the drugs have a pivotal role in the Primary Health Care of these nations. Trade and practice of the same is regulated by the Act of respective Parliaments. The main players are:

Japan

In Japan, study, research and spread of Ayurveda is being carried out for the last 30 years. The Osaka Medical School has established Society of Ayurveda in Japan in 1969. Since then, various programs like seminar, etc was organized for the propagation of Ayurveda. Many delegations from India including contemporary Ayurveda personalities visited Japan, giving good boost to the popularity of Ayurveda in Japan.
The Institute of Traditional Oriental Medicine in Tokyo established in 1994 conducts short-term course for health professional, which contains 50 hours of theoretical teaching and 50 hours of practical training. A special course in Panchakarma is also being offered to general public. A quarterly periodical named Shanti Marga is being published since its inception. Many books have already been translated in Japanese and published. Other Ayurveda institute, Aihore Pratisthanam Osaka Ayurveda Kenkyusho was established in Japan in 1987. They have also translated few Ayurveda classics in Japanese language. These institutes are conducting short-term primary course of 54 hours and advance course of 91 hours. They also have a course of Bhava Prakasha to study Ayurveda and Sanskrit together. Founders of college are well qualified in Ayurveda and a qualified faculty from India also supports college.

DPR Korea

The Traditional Medicine of DPR Korea is called Koryo Medicine. Koryo medicine has a remarkably pivotal role in the National Health System. The whole medical care system is government owned. At Primary Health Care level, the Koryo Medicine covers 70% of the treatment. The education is a six year integrated course, where 30% of the curriculum is devoted to Modern Medicine Studies. The Conventional Doctors also have to cover 30% of their curriculum in Koryo Medicine. The Korean Model of education and National healthcare System is ideal to be followed by other countries for developing their own TSMs. The Articles 15,29 and 36 of Law of Public Health of DPRK legally stipulates the issue of developing Koryo Medicine as a part of the NHS.

Myanmar

The traditional medicine of Myanmar has its origin from Ayurveda. Up to 79% of the total raw materials are of herbal origin and the remaining are of animal and mineral origin. The country has a Department of Traditional Medicine. Ayurveda practise is officially recognised and many students are studying in India in various Ayurveda degree and certificate courses.

Thailand

Ayurveda is very popular in Thailand and is consisted as a Traditional Medicine. The Ayurved Vidhayalai (Jevaka Komarapaj) College offers a Bachelors’degree in Ayurveda Medicine. Many Ayurveda practitioners and Ayurveda therapy centres are running in the country and the medicaments are imported from India and Sri Lanka. This group includes those developed countries of America, Europe and Australia, where Ayurveda is widely practiced as wellness therapy, with no recognition or regulation. The drugs are sold as food supplements and cosmetics, without the intervention of any Ayurveda practitioner, as OTC products. Many Educational institutions offering various Ayurveda courses are run in these countries, with and without registration and recognition.

III. Developed countries

United State of America (USA)

The practice and education of Ayurveda is flourishing in many states like California. Vasant Lad, Deepak Chopra, Robert Svoboda, and David Frawley have successfully propagated Ayurveda in the US. They have established Educational institutions, written large number of books relating to Ayurveda and other Indian knowledge systems, and established chains of Ayurveda clinics and counseling centres all over the country. Three type of training and education program in Ayurveda are available in America:
• Ayurveda Institute of New Mexico offer extensive onsite training programs for self-healing without certifying practitioner. Another Institute runs a shorter seminar program.
• American Institutes of Ayurveda runs ‘home study programs’ for Vedic Studies in New Mexico. Florida Vedic College, the Massachusetts and the Ayurveda Holistic Centre in New York offer home study plus minimal classroom training (Usually two weeks per year) culminating in certification as a practitioner.
• The only formal and elaborate training program in Ayurveda in America is being offered by the California College of Ayurveda. The California college of Ayurveda was founded in 1995. The training of Ayurveda practitioners was started with title Clinical Ayurveda specialist. In 1996 the State of California formally approved the college as a vocational training institution in the field of Ayurveda. In America, two associations i.e. National Ayurveda Medical Association and California Association of Ayurveda Medicine are trying to get recognition and accreditation for Ayurveda.
The states of California, Florida, New Mexico and New York have approved teaching of Ayurveda at tertiary level. Recently, many institutions and associations were formed for Ayurveda training and practices. Many graduates and postgraduates of Ayurveda in USA are trying to establish Ayurveda teaching and treatment centres. Few of them are:
• American Academy of Ayurveda Medicine (AAAM): established G.D. Pandey Ayurved University at New Brunswick
• American Institute of Vedic Studies
• New England Institute of Ayurveda Medicine
• Vivekanand Ayurveda College
• Vedic College of Florida
During Clinton Regime, A white House Committee on Complementary and Alternative Medicine was constituted to study the issue of regulation of CAM therapies. The report of the committee did not favour Ayurveda much to get any kind of recognition for its independent status as a Traditional Medicine.

Canada

In Canada, a Council for Ayurveda practitioners, International Council of Ayurvedic Physicians (ICAP) Inc. is registered with the Government of Canada. The main goals are to create general awareness in general public about Ayurveda, Yoga and other ISMs through Internet, TV, Newspaper, Magazines, Seminars, Conferences, and Workshops, etc. They are also providing platforms to upcoming Ayurveda practitioners and Immigrant Ayurvedic doctors from India. They help Manufactures and Importers of Ayurveda Medicines. The Council is constantly negotiating with the Canadian Government for recognition of the trade and practise of Ayurveda. A proposed International Institute of Ayurveda & Complimentary Medicines Inc. is expected to be established in Toronto by next year. On January 1, 2004, the Canadian Government moved all natural products in Canada into the drug category. This demanded severe documental evidences on safety efficacy and quality for these medicines to be practised or traded in the country. To counter this, bill C-420 was launched, which would change the definition of food and drugs. The Canadian parliament is having the second reading of the bill C 420 regarding Freedom of Choice in March 2006. This bill is expected to favour the practise of the TSMs since they allow the consumer to choose the health care of their choice.

Argentina and Brazil

Practice and trade of Ayurveda is not very popular in Argentina. There are no qualified Ayurveda physicians or full-fledged practice. Some progress has been made in the area of Ayurveda education in the recent years.
In the Medical School of State University of Buenos Aires a Post Graduate Diploma course has been started and Dr. Jorge Luis Berra has been appointed Director for the Post Graduate degree course in Ayurvedic Medicine in the year 2000. These courses are offered to qualified doctors and paramedical professionals. Courses are offered through Foundation de Salud Ayurveda Prema. The foundation has collaboration with Mimonidus University of Argentina, which certifies their Regular and part time PG courses in Ayurveda. They also have a distant learning course, where the well-known Indian Ayurvedic academicians from Gujarat Ayurved University, Banaras Hindu University and National Institute of Ayurveda, Jaipur, etc. are contributing study materials. All these courses are run as qualified doctors are practising Post Graduate Courses for Medical Professionals and Ayurveda as a Complementary medicine along with modern medicine. About 300 Medical professionals are qualified from the Foundation’s courses till date and are practising Ayurveda. The Governments of Venezuela, Chile, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, El Salvador, etc. invited Dr. Jorge Luis Berra, who is the Director of the Foundation de Salud Ayurveda Prema for lectures and briefings in Ayurveda. Ayurveda modules are included in the Diploma course in Tourism Development conducted by UTELAS. Four Latin American Countries, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Guatemala have legally approved the import of 20-30 Ayurveda medicines, some of which have metallic and mineral contents to be used as medicine.
Dr. Sergio Lais-Suarez is offering one-year course (240 Hours) exclusively to medical doctors through his institution, Department de Medicina Ayurveda, Universidad Abierta Ineramericana at Chacabuco since 1997. Dr. Sergio has more than 20 years of experience in Ayurveda and Yoga. He also runs a health spa, where Panchakarma massage is also offered. A visiting faculty from India supports his Institute. In Brazil, Dr.Luiz Guilherme Correa Neto runs Dhanwantari Ayurveda Centre.Legal status and market situation is the same as in Argentina.

IV. Europe and other countries

In the European Union there had been an agreement that all countries would have their herbal industries and products under identical medicines controls by the end of 1992. The only major country to achieve tight control was UK and as a result, most herbal products were thrown out of UK market.

Other EU countries as Germany, France, Italy and Spain

All had their own different degrees of light control, which enabled their herbal market to expand considerably. By 1993, there was no unified market in the EU Community and no attempt was made to unify it in the last ten years!
From 1st November 2005, The EU has enforced the Directive for Traditional Herbal Medicines. Each member state will now have to pass its own regulation within this directive for the trade of Traditional Medicines, which are sold as OTC. This affects the sale and practise of almost all Ayurveda products on market unless they are purely herbal OTC products with minimum of 15 years of documented usage history within the EU. The Directive will effectively check the entry of newly developed Ayurveda drugs and all drugs that uses animal products such as milk products and honey, all natural mineral drugs and combinations of the above with herbal drugs. 70-80% Ayurveda drugs will be not allowed in EU in the coming years and this shuts the door to the practise of Ayurveda in its genuine form within the next decade. Illegal imports and Internet marketing which endangers the public health is to flourish and this spoils the reputation of the system and public health simultaneously. Much hues and cries are being raised over the issue all over EU in this regard. The largest number of Ayurveda tourists in India is from European countries. They travel down to India for the treatment of a wide range of chronic disorders and take back bulks of Ayurveda medicines for their use from here.

The United Kingdom

The trade and practise of Ayurveda flourished in the UK in late 80’s. The main players who flourished by the end of ‘90s are:
1. The Maharshi Ayurveda people who were successful in establishing a separate identity for themselves.
2. The Indian led Ayurveda lobby controlled by Ayurveda Company of Great Briton, which was established in 1989.
3. The Sree Lankan led Ayurveda lobby under the banner of Ayurveda Medical Association
4. A group of Ayurveda Medicine Traders under Mr. Sandeep Garg of Vedic Medical Hall Ltd.
5. The International Ayurveda Foundation, which has stakeholders all over Europe and India, was established in 2002.
6. The Ayurveda Practitioners’ Association established in 2005 The Ayurveda College of Great Britain (ACGB) launched in 1999, started a part time three-year Bachelor of Ayurveda (Hons.) (B.A.Hons) Course in affiliation to the Thames Valley University (TVU). The TVU graduates were offered a registration under BAMC/BAAAP, which were the Ayurveda professional Associations run by ACGB.
Lately, The Ayurveda College UK has been trying to start a B Sc and MSc course in Ayurveda in collaboration with the Middlesex University. The Statutory regulation for Herbal Practitioners as well as the partial Academic recognition to the part time courses may not at this stage help Ayurveda to be recognised as a system of medicine in its own capacity. As long as the Practitioners of Ayurveda are not recognised and regulated as Traditional Practitioners who may be allowed to practise the system as a whole with a full fledged fool proof regulatory system to categorically define and duly regulate the trade and dispensing of quality Ayurveda medicines of drugs other than of herbal origin, any attempt to offer quality Ayurveda to the public will remain incomplete and defective.
The latest entrants to the Ayurveda Field are the Ayurveda Practitioners’ Association. They are closely working with the European Herbal Practitioners’ Association and the MHRA of UK for establishing a Statutory Regulation for Ayurveda Practitioners in UK. The International Ayurveda Foundation has been pursuing with the agenda of Global Recognition of Ayurveda from 2002 onwards.
The Foundation is working closely with the Indian Government and has over 100 stakeholders around the world. Currently IAF is lobbying against the misbranding of Ayurveda as a ‘herbal tradition’ and the THMPD enforced in EU regulating Ayurveda drug trade in EU under this pretext.

Germany, Austria, Switzerland

In Germany, Ayurveda along with other Vedic sciences is having good foot hold. Ayurveda Physicians from India are regularly visiting to deliver lectures, seminar and consultations. German Government has still not recognised the practise and trade of Ayurveda. A few wellness centres are established and are doing good work in promotion and propagation of Ayurveda in Germany. In medical circles, the Medical Association does not acknowledge Ayurveda as a medical system. About 20 doctors mainly use Ayurveda; a bout 200 doctors additionally use Ayurveda. The conventional Medical men doubts about the curative power of Ayurveda medicines since there is no much evidence-based research acknowledged so far. Among the Heilpractikers or Practitioner of natural medicine (HP), about 20 of them mainly use Ayurveda and about 200 additionally use Ayurveda. They are allowed to independently offer Ayurvedic diagnosis, herbal therapy as well as Panchakarma. Ayurveda therapists are officially not acknowledged as therapeutic and medical assisting professions.
Panchakarma therapies are medically feasible only in combination with the already acknowledged profession of a physiotherapist or a nurse or under the survey of a doctor. These therapies are permitted in the field of wellness and health prevention but permission is not given for invasive methods, purging methods, basthi etc.
Ayurvedic products are only to be sold as food supplements. These are subject to different standards of production and import like ISO-certificates, BDIHstandard and accordingly broad declaration of ingredients is required with quantity. Only pharmacists are allowed to import Ayurvedic medical preparations on their own responsibility and to forward them directly to patients. Ayurvedic medical preparations; as opposed to Homeopathic, Spagyric or Anthroposophic medicines/preparations; are not listed in the Hufeland index, which is the German index for medical professionals to issue invoices. The situation is almost similar in Austria. Here, about five doctors mainly use Ayurveda; about 30 doctors additionally use Ayurveda, among medical circles. Practitioner of natural medicine (HP) profession is not legally permitted in Austria. Training of Ayurvedic professionals is not acknowledged yet in Austria.

CONCLUSION

Side effects of western medication and its adverse reactions and drug dependency, their toxic effects over longer usage, more and more people are attracted to the Ancient healing practices like Ayurveda & Yoga.