Ancient Ayurvedic Herbs From Vedic Literature
India’s own treasure house
“These herbs are derived from nature and these have been present in earlier time, is present now and will ever be present. Seven hundred herbs are well known regarding their beneficial effects. Soma is the most important herb. Hundreds of thousands of people have benefited by using these herbal remedies time and again.”
There is an increase in demand for herbal products in the global market. The reason for this is believed to be the fear of untoward side-effects that the use of synthetic drugs can bring on. It is time India, with its traditional background and rooting in herbal medicines, tapped this potential the right way.
That the global herbal market is riding high on a wave of fear may be true to a certain extent, but another aspect has to be taken into consideration the world has now understood the efficacy of herbal formulations. Exhaustive clinical data and benefits have proven the superiority of herbal formulations over other drugs.
About 80 percent of the world’s population relies on traditional medicine, particularly herbal drugs for their primary healthcare. The western population is looking for safe and effective natural remedies. So the focus has shifted to utilise eco-friendly and bio-friendly plant-based products for prevention and cure of various diseases.
A helping hand
There is a list of 51 diseases and health conditions mentioned in the Drugs and Cosmetics Act as “Diseases and ailments (by whatever name described) which a drug may not purport to prevent or cure or make claims to prevent or cure”. Considering the authenticity of Ayurvedic texts, this should not be strictly executed.
Bronchial asthma, diabetes, diseases and disorders of the uterus, epileptic-fits and psychiatric disorders, fairness of the skin, increase in brain capacity and improvement of memory are some of the conditions where Ayurvedic treatments have been successful and the reports have been documented in international journals.
A treasury of wisdom
The science of Ayurveda has a legendary history. The formulations mentioned were clinically evaluated with the available resources of those times. Modern research methodology is simply making an attempt to re-establish the efficacy of those formulations using the new techniques available today.
“Herbs are important for the herbalist in the same manner as governing body of ministers is important for the king. One who knows about herbal remedies, is the physician and is able to treat the disorders. I know several herbs like Ashwavati, Somavati, Urjayanti, Udaujasa etc.”
From identification to cultivation
Proper identification of the herbal species with the help of eminent botanists is the first step. Procurement of best quality seeds for harvesting is the next step and then comes cultivation. It may be difficult for small sized companies to establish such a system but not so.
Ayurveda is a goldmine and India is fortunate to have this in hand. The need for clinical trials of the formulations has become an indispensable part of the industry. Hidden formulations like Masan-umas kashayas should be clinically evaluated. This is an innovative concept even for modern medicine.
There are thousands of formulations mentioned in the books of Ayurveda. It is high time these were rediscovered, evaluated clinically as per modern scientific means, and presented to the world.