Ayurveda is a science of life with a holistic approach to health and personalized medicine. It is one of the oldest medical systems, which comprises thousands of medical concepts and hypothesis. Interestingly, Ayurveda has ability to treat many chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, arthritis, and asthma, which are untreatable in modern medicine. Unfortunately, due to lack of scientific validation in various concepts, this precious gift from our ancestors is trailing. Hence, evidence-based research is highly needed for global recognition and acceptance of Ayurveda, which needs further advancements in the research methodology. The present review highlights various fields of research including literary, fundamental, drug, pharmaceutical, and clinical research in Ayurveda. The review further focuses to improve the research methodology for Ayurveda with main emphasis on the fundamental research. This attempt will certainly encourage young researchers to work on various areas of research for the development and promotion of Ayurveda.Keywords: Ayurvedic research and methodology, personalized medicine, Rasayana, traditional medicineGo to:
Ayurveda, the traditional Indian medicinal system remains the most ancient yet living traditions with sound philosophical and experimental basis. It is a science of life with a holistic approach to health and personalized medicine. It is known to be a complete medical system that comprised physical, psychological, philosophical, ethical, and spiritual health. In Ayurveda, each cell is considered to be inherently an essential expression of pure intelligence hence called self-healing science. In addition, to the self-healing concept, the use of herbal treatment is equally important in this Indian traditional system of medicine.
According to the World Health Organization, about 70–80% of the world populations rely on nonconventional medicines mainly of herbal sources in their healthcare. Public interest for the treatment with complementary and alternative medicine is mainly due to increased side effects in synthetic drugs, lack of curative treatment for several chronic diseases, high cost of new drugs, microbial resistance, and emerging diseases, etc.
Ayurvedic treatment is although highly effective; proper mode of action, pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacovigilance of many important Ayurvedic drugs are still not fully explored. Moreover, the comprehensive knowledge of the basic ideologies of Ayurveda is poorly acceptable scientifically due to lack of evidence. In the modern time, when the Western medicinal system is reached almost at the top because of validated research and advanced techniques, there is an urgent need to validate basic principles as well as drugs used in the ayurvedic system of medicine with the help of advanced research methodology. Therefore, advancements in the ongoing research methodology are highly required for the promotion of Ayurveda.Go to:
Why Ayurvedic System Of Medicine Lagging Behind?
Undoubtedly, in comparison to allopathic treatment, Ayurvedic treatment is more effective in most of the chronic diseases. However, the popularity of Ayurveda is rather lesser as the majority of the global population prefers modern medicine because of its ability to give fast relief from diseases as compared to Ayurvedic treatment. Recently, the awareness and thus fear of toxicity to allopathic drugs and the high cost of healthcare are causing an increasingly large number of people to seek alternatives. Rather than competing and veering towards the Western medicine, the Ayurvedic scientists should work to enhance the core competency of Ayurveda without compromising its fundamental principles. Some major points which are responsible for trailing the Ayurveda are as following.
- Young Ayurvedic scholars, although enthusiastic, are not clear about their views on the future of Ayurveda. Moreover, they are not even very clear that how to expose their valuable research outputs on Ayurveda
- Only a few organizations have well-established research infrastructure for exclusive research in Ayurveda. Experienced researchers with knowledge of modern technologies are required to conduct advance and quality research in Ayurveda
- There is a lack of cooperation and willingness of Biomedical Scientists who are often unduly skeptical and carry prejudice
- More than a thousand Ayurvedic postgraduates pass out each year and enter into the streamline of academics and practice. Among them, only a few choose their profession as researcher in Ayurveda
- Neither has the Ayurvedic teaching changed in the last 50 years nor have the textbooks enriched with new research methodologies.
These are some of the following major points those should be highly needed to consider in the Ayurvedic research for its advancement.