Pioneer Health

Alternatively yours

Alternatively yours

Shalini Saksena speaks to doctors who say that this alternative medicine has cure for several diseases & can be the first line of treatment for many

Most of us know that Ayurveda is one of the oldest systems of medicine. Yet, interesting, it is still treated as a alternative system of treatment for almost all of us. This, despite the fact that there is a cure for almost all diseases in this traditional healthcare system and a survey saying the 89 per cent people would prefer to go to an Ayurveda doctor.

One is told that there are several factors responsible for this even though most people would like to go for a cure that has negligible side-effects. First, unlike allopathy, where every one has a family doctor who can be referred to others, there is not such referral point when it comes to Ayurvedic doctors. Not because there is dearth of qualified doctors — The Capital alone has around 20,000 — but because this medicinal system is never the first line of treatment for most.

According to Ram N Kumar, co-founder Nirogstreet.com that fact that people have little faith, no point of reference and few people who are not qualified giving the whole system a bad name, are main reasons why this system is struggling to come as a first point of treatment. In order to bust these myths, a festival — Oja — was organised in the Capital where over 300 Ayurveda doctors came together to work with pure Ayurveda practioners, training them and connecting them general public.

“As per an independent surveys it was found that most of the time a person looking for Ayurveda treatment or consultation is discouraged due to lack of awareness of a qualified and reliable doctor. It is proven that early adoption of Ayurveda under supervision of pure Ayurveda doctor make you immune from many diseases. So efforts are on to bridge this gap by certifying pure Ayurveda doctors and getting all of them available on one platform” Kumar explains.

He tells you that people need to understand that Ayurveda is a system of medicine, dadi ke nukske is not medicine; drinking kada is not taking medicine. Medicine can only be prescribed by a doctor after he has taken your body details — based on a person’s prakrati since it works on the premise of vat, pitt and kaf. Since it works on everybody, there is no reason why people should not consider this as first line of treatment.

Agrees Dr Pooja Sabharwal of Chaudhary Brahm Prakash Ayurved Charak Sansthan in the Capital. “Ayurveda has cure for almost every ailment under the sun. You name it and there is cure for it here. It is a 5,000-year-old medicinal practice yet few know that there is a Ministry of Ayush established in 2014. It is sad that people come to us as a secondary or even tertiary line of treatment,” Dr Pooja says.

The roadblock is that since this treatment takes a long time, people shy away. In Ayurveda, the doctor will first see your history and then prescribe medicines, give dietary restrictions. But the advantage is that the cure is permanent.

“The restrictions that this treatment puts is due to several factors. There is so much toxicity around us; their is air pollution, we eat so much junk food, to cure this , there is need to put the patient on certain restrictions to cure him,” Dr Pooja says.

She also tells you that if it is migraine or a skin ailment, or if one wants to increase immunity, etc, one can do to an Ayurveda doctor as a first line of treatment. But if one has a more serious health issue like a heart problem, HIV, cancer, etc one can have an integrated approach. “Each patsy has its own benefits. It is written in Ayurveda — agar hum vish matra mein lete hain to woh aushadhi ban sakti hai aur agar hum aushadhi ko bematra mein lete toh woh vish ban jata hai,” Dr Pooja tells you.

What to do

  • To improve our immunity there are so many things in the kitchen that can be used like tulsi. Eating a few leaves is a great disinfectant
  • Then there is golden latte — turmeric shake — which is the most expensive drink abroad found in many cafes. It has become very popular since haldi is anti-cancerous
  • Don’t drink water immediately after a meal

What to look for

  • Ask what they doing?
  • Ask for their degree?
  • See if they are degree is — BAMS is equivalent to MBBS; then there are doctors with MD in Ayurveda like you have in allopathy
  • Ask if there are cross-practicing?
  • Never hesitate while asking questions
  • There are several platforms that impart a lot of information on this system of treatment. These website have only verified doctors which have been whetted after much questioning. Out of 20,000 Ayurveda doctors in the Capital, Nirogstreet.com only has 75 on its panel

The roadblocks

  • There are some Ayurveda practitioners who are giving this medicine system a bad name
  • People despite wanting to go to an Ayurveda doctor don’t since they don’t have faith in the treatment that they may receive
  • There have been negative publicity around Ayurveda
  • People are not going to the right kind of people for treatment when it comes to Ayurveda
  • Many have wrong perception of what this traditional treatment is all about. Most thing is is not beyond treating sexual problems
  • Nobody will recommend a Ayurveda doctor for the simple reason that almost most don’t know a good practitioner in their area. Most would suggest a trip to Kerala or Pune for treatment. No one is likely to travel this far for smaller ailments
  • Unlike Allopathy doctors who are marketed by hospitals, Ayurveda doctors, who have their own clinic don’t know how to do the same
  • Many times patients fall on Ayurveda as a last resort of treatment  just before surgery; their bodies already have too much toxicity from medicines making it difficult to cure a disease
  • There is lack of knowledge and awareness around this system
  • In many cases the experience of an Ayurveda doctor gets lost since the knowledge has not been passed on
  • This system of treatment is associated with the poor. The rich, who have the money, would prefer to go to an allopath

The solution

  • Since people don’t know Ayurvedic doctors around them, there is need to spread awareness through write-ups and articles in the media about which doctor to go to. A treatment that has done wonders need not be from a known hospital, there are many smaller clinics that treating many serious diseases — one can write about these.
  • There is need to tackle negative publicity around use to heavy metals in Ayurveda medicines. Yes, the system uses metals but these are for a prescribed condition by a qualified doctor, the same way one goes to an allopath who prescribes steroids for treatment.
  • There is need to understand that anything that has an effect has side-effects even Ayurveda. One can’t pop Ayurveda drugs for a continuous period of time. It has to be taken only for the said period of time and not more.
  • There is need to build a doctor-society connect by holding small workshops.
  • One has to change the psyche of the people. For generations we have been dependent on allopathy, it will take time to convince people to go to an Ayurvedic doctor.

— Dr G Geetha Krishnan, a senior consultant in Ayurveda at Medanta:The Medicity Hospital



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