Ayurveda in India

The Department of Indian Systems of Medicine and Homeopathy (ISM&H), which has the rank of Secretary of State, is one of the main departments of the Ministry of Health of India.

High priority is being given in India at the moment to the development of traditional medicine Systems. Not only have these systems been actively concerned with health care programmes, but they have also concentrated on scientific education, professional training and research. Also, conventional and traditional professional physicians are encouraged to learn the practice and the best features of each system. Some measures have been taken in order to modernise, on a scientific base, traditional medicine on its different aspects and to update its pharmacology.

The Central Council of Hindi Medicine, which depends on ISM&H, is supposed to determine educational minimal standards, to keep national and state records, to determine professional and ethical standards, etc.

In the field of education ISM&H depends, at the moment, on the National Ayurvedic Institute in Jaipur.

According to the official information provided by the Government of India there are 369.548 Ayurvedic doctors.

At present the country has 196 under-graduate colleges in addition to post-graduate teaching and research institutions of Banaras Hindu Univesity, Gujarat Ayurveda University at Jamnagar and National Institute of Ayurveda, Jaipur. About 55 institutions have facilities for post-graduate education in different specialties of Ayurveda. These institutions follow standardized uniform syllabus. The duration of under-graduate course is 5 ½ years after10+2 Bio-Science education and the post graduate (M.D.Ayurveda) course is of further 3 years after graduation.

Many Faculties of Medicine have one School of Ayurvedic Medicine and another one of Allopathic Medicine. A five or six-year-programme is usually carried out in any Ayurveda Faculty, being required a Bachelor of Science degree to be able to start. Classes are taught in English, nowadays, and shorter courses for Western students are being developed. To be a qualified doctor in Ayurveda demands study, intensive training, and dedication, the same as to be considered a conventional qualified physician.

The Central Council of Research on Ayurveda and Siddha (CCRAS) was created in 1978 as a part of ISM&H in order to coordinate, develop and promote scientific research. There is a Central Office in New Delhi, and the CCRAS develops its activities through a network of 86 Centres and Institutes which controls directly, and through other units located at Universities and Tertiary Institutions on Ayurveda and Siddha. It has a staff of over 2000 professionals and employees.
At the moment, the following scientific research studies are being done: rheumatoid arthritis, hemiplegia, lumbosciatica, poliomyelitis, duodenal and gastric ulcer, and hepatic disturbances, anal fistula, bronchial asthma, diabetes, obesity, urinary lithiasis, hypertension, acute myocardium infarct, filariasis, malaria, psoriasis, leukoderma, epilepsy, malabsorption syndrome and leukorrhea. Also new programmes on primary care and therapeutics are being developed. The CCRAS has been publishing for several years the Journal of Research in Ayurveda and Siddha, the Bulletin of Medico-Ethno-Botanical Research and the Bulletin of Indian Institute of History of Medicine.
Official research programmes on Ayurvedic remedies consist of medical and botanical studies, medicinal plants growing and inter-disciplinary research works on Pharmacognosia, Chemistry, Toxicology and drug standardisation.

The Law on Drugs and Cosmetics set regulations concerned with Ayurvedic medicines in 1940, with some modifications in 1966 (32). Ayurvedic medicines are registered after having been tested by the Ministry of Health. Most of these medicines are made with natural components, mostly from the vegetable kingdom. There are over 5000 different formulas. Many of the Ayurvedic medicines are made of 10 to 50 medicinal herbs.

Última actualización: 27/02/2007

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