[Answered] Ayurveda, India’s traditional medicine, has been in practice for close to three millennia, but there are a few challenges that the Ayurveda establishment has for long failed to skillfully address. Comment.

Introduction: Contextual introduction.
Body: Write some historical background of Ayurveda.  Also write some challenges that the Ayurveda establishment has for long failed to skillfully address.Conclusion: Write a way forward.

Ayurveda means the science of life. Ayurveda is also called traditional system of Indian medicine. Ayurvedic medicine is an example of a well-organized system of traditional health care, both preventive and curative.

A long historical background:

  • Ayurvedic knowledge originated in India more than 5,000 years ago and is often called the “Mother of All Healing.”
  • The origin of Ayurveda dates back to the Vedic era. Most material relating to the health and diseases are available in Atharva veda. RigVeda which is the earliest Veda also mentions about diseases and medicinal plants.
  • The earliest codified document on Ayurveda is Charaka Samhita, descended through Atreya.
  • Sushruta samhita is another codified document, propagated by Dhanvantari.
  • Sushruta School is dominated by surgical procedures and techniques while Charaka Samhita deals with internal medicine.

Challenges:

  • Ayurveda’s ancient treatises contain useful portions alongside obsolete ones. Hence, valuable health promotion and illness management observations need to be carefully filtered from outdated theories and socio-religious superstitions.
  • Many experts admit that the anatomy and physiology contained in the Ayurvedic classics is mostly outdated and that the official approach to this subject is misguided.
  • The belief in the philosophical superiority of Ayurveda has destroyed ancient medical writings from being revisable scientific treatises. The idea of Ayurveda being antithetical to the yukti-vyapashraya (reason-based) character of classical Ayurveda has made the reforms long overdue in Ayurveda. This is highlighted by Usman Committee (1923) and the Chopra Committee (1948).
  • There is a flawed approach of making ancient concepts sound relevant by super-imposing current scientific findings upon them. This will lead to dangerously wrong clinical choices.

Way forward:

  • Necessary additions must be made either by translations or by collaboration with experts in portions still deficient.
  • As a medical system, Ayurveda is valuable immensely for its observations. Ministry of AYUSH must take cognisance actions to revive Ayurveda.
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