Journal of Medical Association, presently published from America has released a study report related to the ayurvedic medicines prepared by the research students of Harvard Medical School under the guidance of Dr. Robert Cemer. This team of researchers collected 70 ayurvedic medicines from the shops located in the neighboring areas.
The samples were examined and later on it was claimed that 14 medicines out of these contained toxic metals like mercury, lead, arsenic etc. at a dangerous level. According to this report, these medicines can seriously affect the health of the people. This report has been published at such a time, when ayurveda is gaining popularity all over the world just like Yoga and has started adversely affecting the market of allopathic medicines. Therefore this research journal is being looked at with two different angles and a serious question has been raised in the medical field whether this research journal is a mischievous conspiracy or a serious warning?
Ayurveda is an inseparable part of Veda and had come into existence millions of years ago. This has been a treatment system for over five thousand years and recognized in the form of modern treatment system. Therefore, ayurveda is totally examined and a complete treatment system, which does not require any sort of certification from anybody. Manufacturing methods of ayurvedic medicines are scripted and easily available to the people. Not only the Indians but, even the foreigners have been taking the benefit from ayurvedic treatment. Ayurvedic medicines, whether prepared from plants or metals, stones, oceanic substances, panchagavya (milk, ghee, butter, cow urine and dung) etc., they are registered under the category of examined an approved medicines. Some combinations i ayurveda are considered to be miraculous If any doubt is raised against ayurveda, o: it receives warning, two reasons are clearly indicated.
First is business rivalry. Everybody is aware that allopathy is established in the form of a business, and not for charity. The attitude and thinking of the managers of allopathy, present promoters and the people benefiting from it has become so rigid that every action of them is purely business in the name of allopathy. Not only that, these people have generated such a competition in the medical field that no other medication system namely, ayurvedic, homeopathy, Unani or alternative medication systems like Yoga, Nature cure, Magnetic, Cromopathy etc. can move forward without being a part of this competition. The allopathic field has spent crores of rupees on advertisements and established itself in the leading position and no other medication system has the courage to challenge its supremacy, because their financial sources and resources are quite limited. Second, in the past three decades imperialism has spreads its wings all over the world and provided shelter to allopathy, because its own selfish interests were associated with it. Due to this the local medication systems did not get the chance to develop. Third, though the roots of imperialism have been uprooted from all over the world, the imperialistic thinking is still alive in the behavior and attitude of developed nations. W.H.O is headed by such imperialistic people and they are fulfilling the interests of the developed nations at the cost of the interests of the developing nations. Fourth, in spite of the freedom of the nation for several years, it was forced to adopt the legacy of the imperialistic powers. The pattern of education, language, constitution, law, administration, medication, army remained as it is. This is the reason that the roots of allopathic were spread deeply in the country and society. Even today, majority of the allopathic companies are of foreign origin. Today the imperialistic forces are actively making arrangements for selling these medicines in every country. Today, there is a huge network of hospitals in every country, which have the facility of only allopathic treatment. Allopathic medication has achieved growth in operation, treatment and injection and has been successful in the control and cure of small pox, polio, malaria, plague and other diseases. On one hand this has attracted the people towards allopathic treatment and on the other hand its business has grown manifolds. The institutions associated with allopathy have propagated this to a great extent and also reaped the commercial gains. However in spite of its popularity people are experiencing and witnessing some of its serious faults namely, side effects, adulteration of the medicines, the objective of making profits, inability to provide permanent cure to a particular disease. This is the reason for the gradual reduction in the market of allopathic medicines all over the world, when people realized that these medicines were harmful for their health. On the other hand, ayurvedic combinations, which were scripted thousands of years back, are popular as on date as well. If the quality of ayurveda is challenged or doubts are raised against it then it is clear that it is solely due to the bus to the business competition.
During the last fifty years the credibility of the allopathic market has received a strong blow. Along with it, the reliability and popularity of the Chinese and Indian traditional medication systems is increasing all over the world and destabilizing the allopathic hold. India has spread natural and Yog medication in the nation and abroad along with ayurveda medication. People are slowly shifting to other medication systems and moving away from allopathy. It clearly indicates that allopathic field has no other alternative to come out of this situation except trying to find baseless flaws in the ayurvedic medication and propagate it all over the world with the help of its strong media. The issue that is being raised about the toxic substances found in 14 out of 70 ayurvedic medicines at harmful levels is being propagated as one-sided story and the Indian point of view is being ignored purposefully. Here, one point needs to be clarified that the medicines containing metals are banned in Europe and America, bec use the medical experts of these nations consider them to be harmful for the body whereas Indian traditional system of medication has approved the bhasmas (ashes of different metals) for curing diseases. The ayurveda scriptures contain the detailed and certified texts about the method of preparing the bhasmas with some metals following the classical principles. Details regarding the dosage depending on the age of the patient and nature and condition of the disease are also clearly mentioned. Along with the bhasmas, the combinations of the botanical medicines are also given, which makes the bhasmas beneficial and not harmful. Experiences and results have proved theuse usefulness of bhasmas for several thousands of years.
Today nano science and technology is considered to be the most modern field, and our Indian sages gained expertise in this field thousands of years back. Infact our sages were the real inventor because ayurvedic bhasmas prepared by them are examples of nano-technology. The team of leading scientists in the Indian science Congress has accepted this fact very recently. Dr. Jayesh Ballare, Professor of I.I.T, Mumbai who has presented a paper on nan-bio- technology has said that treatment of diseases is being found out with the help of very minute particles. Those substances, which can be harmful for our body in normal conditions, can be a blessing when given in minute doses. Nano-technology is the science of this same concept. Indian sages were capable in this technology much earlier. The method with which the bhasmas are prepared, the substances get divided or converted into nano particles i.e., very minute particles and prove beneficial for incurable diseases. Dr.S.K.Sarin presiding over this session seconded Dr.Jayesh’s views. According to Dr.Sarin he has personally witnessed the miraculous treatment of incurable disease of the liver with loh bhasma (ash of iron), whereas the modern medical science (in other words allopathy medical science) considers the use of iron to be fatal for the treatment of liver disease, however, he has treated several liver patients with loh bhasma. The most important fact is that the loh bhasma is equally effective on other mammals. Dr.Sarin said that he was not aware whether the Indian saints possessed the knowledge of nano science or not but the fact remains that the bhasmas discovered by the saints are the examples of nano technology. He said that very less research has been conducted in the field of nano technology, but the 21st century will be the century of nano-technology, which will affect every stage of our lives ranging from medical science to our day to day living.
If we carefully analyze the conclusions drawn form the report of research students of Havard School in the light of this example then there will be no doubt about its inconclusiveness. The so-called authorized report can be termed unauthorized in the field of ayurveda because students who do not possess any knowledge about ayurveda have prepared it. The real fact is that allopathy is feeling helpless in front of the miraculous strength of the bhasmas. Therefore it has no other alternative but to indulge in baseless criticism about it. The Indian ayurveda field should oppose this mean conspiracy with full authority and inform the medical field about the practical experience of yog and its application and usefulness of bhasmas. The second reason for criticism of the bhasmas, might be that they probably contained harmful substances at dangerous levels as they might not have been prepared according to the classical methods. Therefore, we have to accept these challenges with all seriousness and give it a careful consideration.
As mentioned before the competition, which the allopathy has brought about in the medical field, has affected other medical systems as well. People with commercial attitude have entered the ayurvedic field. Therefore, this system cannot be considered to be totally flawless. The faults, which are arising in the ayurvedic medicines or which are likely to arise, are both natural as well as man made. For instance, the Indian government, state governments and jungle mafia have cut down the forests so cruelly, cut down the mountains that it has become difficult to procure the herbs in the jungles. The high demand for Indian herbs in our country and abroad has become the main reason for the serious deficiency and unavailability of the herbs. Some herbs have almost become extinct. The increasing transport facility in the mountains has increased pollution and medicinal plants have lost their potential to grow. In the absence of rare plants, like the four unavailable plants of Ashtavarga (collection of eight medicinal plants) alternative plants are used for making medicines but the qualities found in the actual plants are much superior to the alternative plants. The ashtavarga plants are used in the production of Chavanprash etc. but alternative plants are used due to the non-availability of these plants. It is clear that Chavanprash of best quality cannot be prepared at all. The focus is slowly shifting towards ‘herbal agriculture’ as the medicinal repository of the forests is coming to an end and our fields and water have become contaminated with the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. The excessive killing of cattle has also caused the non-availability of cow dung. In this situation, it can be understood as to what will be the quality of medicines, which will be grown in these fields. This situation is not good for the development of ayurveda medication. Till the increasing interest of the Indian farmers and government towards the chemical fertilizers and pesticides is not controlled and the greed of earning of the slaughter houses is not controlled, this situation will remain as it is and the development of ayurveda will also face a setback.
A small comment about the faults found in the manufacture of bhasmas, will not be out of context. The metals like gold, silver, copper, bronze, iron, mica, zinc and others or precious stones like ruby, diamond, topaz, onyx, cat’s eye, sapphire, which are used to make bhasmas should be pure and of good quality. The classical texts clearly contain the quantity of bhasma that can be prepared with a substance at one time. If the bhasma is made in more than the prescribed quantity and it is not properly grinded and secondly, if the required heat and flame is not given, or it is more or less than the required level the bhasma will not be made properly. In the preparation of bhasma, which contains mercury, sulphate of mercury, arsenic, yellow orpiment, red arsenic and combination of other evaporating liquids, the joint of the pot should undergo kapadmitti (process of wrapping moist earth around the pot, which is put in the fire for the preparation of medicines). But, when the mercury-sulphur like substances, which evaporate on fire are not used, then the joint of the pot should be kept open. then it gets proper flame and the bhasma gets good color. Some vaidyas use earthern vessel with tablet, but this does not give equal flame. So it is better to put tablets in two leyers into two tavas or sakoras (enthern plates) and to cover after that these tavas should be shallow and tablets should be made flat, tablets should be dried before putting into the pot. Abhrak (Mica), loh (iron ), mandur, vang and makshik should be given high flame in the beginning and low flame afterwards. If the flame is high or harsh in the cups at the back then the bhasma will be hard, instead of the required soft and smooth bhasma. In case of Gold, silver, naag, the flame in the beginning must be low and as they become tolerant to flame, it should be increased gradually. When a bhasma is ready, the taste of any rasa (essence) should not remain, in other words it should be tasteless. After preparing the bhasma, it should be grinded to a fine powder for two to three days and sieved with a muslin cloth. While making the bhasma, it should be mixed thoroughly after adding the own rasa (essence) of the plant for at least 6 to 8 hours. As far as possible, the bhasma should be given the flame of the dried cow dung cakes (used for fuel), if they are not available then the cow dung cakes made with the hands should be used. In case of non-availability of cow dung cakes, the flame of coal of wood can be given. The substance, whose bhasma is to be prepared should be first purified according to the classical methods and the metal should be made into kantakbedhi leaves. When the vaidyas used to prepare bhasmas at their own level, it used to consume time and labor, whereas, nowadays, bhasmas prepared in pharmacies are being used and they have become more popular. Each and every process is done with the help of machines and electric flame is being given instead of cow dung cakes or wooden coal flame. The purification method has also changed. Time and labor is being saved at every stage of preparation. The bhasmas are prepared in kilograms and quintals instead of limited quantity. The bhasmas prepared with this method are not good with respect to quality, and many times, they are of poor quality and raw. Priority is being given to quality rather than quantity and poor quality bhasmas cause harm rather than giving benefit to the patients. This situation is arising due to increasing demand and commercial competition. The situation is worsening with the reduction of the level of charity and increasing greed for profit in the medication system. This will definitely bring ill fame to the ayurvedic medication system and reduce its credibility.
In the modern age, ayurveda is giving tough competition to the allopathic medication at international level. Allopathy is also facing bad reputation due to its bad qualities and flaws. In this situation, ayurveda doctors and pharmacy managers should prepare the bhasmas according to the traditional standards and directives. Arrangements should also be made to catch hold of those who are adopting the path of making huge profits and punish them. In the near future, crores of foreign currency can be obtained from ayurveda. Therefore, it is necessary to make better quality product, otherwise the country will have to loose this amount. In this situation, giving preference to business can harm the interest of the nation.
Allopathy is frustrated due to some of its own faults and the increasing popularity of ayurveda. Therefore, the agencies associated with allopathy will definitely adopt means to bring disrepute to ayurveda. Their conspiracies need to be definitely exposed. Along with this, we have to improve the quality of ayurvedic medicines, bhasmas and combinations. If we compromise with quality, then it is sure that the bright future of ayurveda will come under the shadow of darkness. The government agencies, which are responsible for controlling the quality of the products should become active and fulfill their duties with total honesty. The active participation of food and drugs department can stop the flow of poor and low quality bhasmas and medicines.
The research of the research students of Harvard School can be wicked or it can also be a warning. Therefore both the sides should be kept in mind and a code of conduct should be prepared containing standards and cautions so that no body dares to raise a finger against ayurveda. The Indian government and local governments and responsible ayurvedic institutions should think seriously and follow some strict measures in this direction. By doing so only, ayurveda can withstand the tough competition in India and abroad.