Ayurvedic medicine is considered pseudoscientific because its premises are not based on science. Both the lack of scientific soundness in the theoretical foundations of Ayurveda and the quality of research have been criticized.
Although laboratory experiments suggest it is possible that some substances in Ayurveda might be developed into effective treatments, there is no evidence that any are effective in themselves. Cancer Research UK states that there is no evidence that ayurvedic medicine helps treat cancer in people, and some Ayurvedic drugs contain toxic substances or interact with legitimate cancer drugs in a harmful way.
Ethnologist Johannes Quack writes than although the rationalist movement Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti officially labels Ayurveda – like astrology – a pseudoscience, these practices are in fact embraced by many of the movement’s members.
A review of the use of Ayurveda for cardiovascular disease concluded that the evidence is not convincing for the use of any Ayurvedic herbal treatment for heart disease or hypertension, but that many herbs used by Ayurvedic practitioners could be appropriate for further research.
In India, research in Ayurveda is undertaken by the Ministry of AYUSH, an abbreviation for the Department of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy, through a national network of research institutes.
In Nepal, the National Ayurvedic Training and Research Centre (NATRC) researches medicinal herbs in the country.
In Sri Lanka, the Ministry of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine looks after the research in Ayurveda through various national research institutes.