Pseudoscience & Quackery

AYUSH – Utter Nonscience!

Alternative medicine is any practice that is put forward as having the healing effects of medicine, but does not originate from evidence gathered using the scientific method and has not proven to be effective1. The phrase complementary and alternative medicine is used to describe a group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that have historic origins outside mainstream medicine.2 Incidentally, the above line is from the revered textbook Harrison’s principles of internal medicine, which, in medical circles is called ‘The Bible’ of Medicine. This epithet couldn’t be farther from the truth. Harrison, unlike the Bible, requires that the reader have absolutely NO faith in it. It gives references to every claim it makes, pointing to studies which substantiate those claims. It provides pedantic statistics from these studies about various probabilities and predictions based on them. It urges you not to believe it at face value and to investigate instead.

AYUSH(Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha, Homeopathy) – alternative medicine in India, has government recognition, support, and funding.

Before getting to the attack on AYUSH, and to the debunking of the common arguments in its defence, I would like to give a quick overview of how scientific medicine works in the development of any drug.

  1. Drug design or Drug discovery. A new substance is discovered in nature or produced in a lab. ‘Discovering’ a drug in products already in use in traditional medicine like Ayurveda would be considered part of this phase – NOT as a bonafide finished product ready for use in humans.
  2. Preclinical. The drug is tested at various doses in animals for toxicity, efficacy and its properties.
  3. Phase 0. Very small doses are given to a small number of humans to observe how the drug is absorbed and how it behaves inside the body.
  4. Phase 1. Dose – ranging is done to determine if the drug is safe
  5. Phase 2. A therapeutic dose is given to check for efficacy as well as safety
  6. Phase 3. Now, after the drug’s safety has been established, it is determined if this drug has the desired therapeutic effect or not. This phase is conducted in a very large number of patients, in controlled environments, after carefully eliminating any biases or confounding factors. The patient, the doctor as well as the researcher are all blind(triple blind) to whether a placebo was administered or the actual drug.
  7. Phase 4. Post-marketing surveillance, to see if the drug has any long term effects that were not readily apparent in the pre marketing phases.

This is the scientific method. It is NOT infallible. Trials are subject to error and biases. Large financial investments in drug research lead to vested interests in favourable results for the drug. Yet, despite the odds, this is the best we have. This method provides us with good solid numbers, the numbers that form the backbone of science. Numbers like, ‘x is the likelihood of suffering from ‘p’ side effect due to drug A’, the chance of a complete cure by using the drug ‘B’ is y%’ etc. Rarely do the numbers claim that any drug is ‘absolutely safe’, or ‘absolutely effective’.

The doctor’s job is to understand the numbers, ‘feel’ them through experience, juggle the probabilities, and finally apply the result in a rational scientific way.

Can AYUSH be considered Science, or even Medicine?

The answer is a loud and resounding NO.

AYUSH does not follow the scientific method. In fact, it categorically states that the scientific method cannot and should not be applied to it. Trials of the kind described above cannot be performed on AYUSH treatments as the treatment isn’t specific to a certain disease condition, but is a ‘holistic’ cure. And each person has a different ‘personality’ or ‘balance of humors’ or other such completely arbitrary concepts. A common treatment cannot be prescribed for a thousand patients and then judged statistically, because practitioners of AYUSH claim no thousand patients would require the exact same treatment. If it does not allow itself to be analysed by the scientific method, it should not be called a science.

Is it medicine? Medicine, one presumes, must have some therapeutic value. I.e. it should be shown to be effective. Unfortunately, Ayurveda and Homeopathy have consistently failed to show any therapeutic value superior to placebo.

Common arguments to justify Ayurveda and Homeopathy

It works on the placebo effect.

This argument is fallacious. It means it DOESN’T work. Nevertheless, even if there were such a thing as a ‘placebo effect’ which magically cured diseases, then a far more reasonable option would be to administer placebos which have proven safety profiles, like say sugar pills. Not dangerous extracts from plants, or toxic heavy metals3

It’s natural, so it’s safe and without side effects unlike modern medicine.

Natural does not mean safe. To verify this, I recommend chewing a few seeds of dhatura. Anyone who has had the ‘natural’ ‘remedy’ of castor oil will also tell you of its very unpleasant side effects. Many, if not most drugs used in modern medicine are plant/fungal/animal extracts, and not designer molecules generated in a lab. Most of them have some deleterious effects, there is no reason why Ayurvedic concoctions cannot. But unlike scientific medicine, Ayurvedic concoctions do not come with little slips of paper warning the user of the potential hazards, nor does one have the luxury of finding studies on the same. One simply cannot know what will happen, if anything is to happen at all.

My auntie had a condition which wasn’t getting cured despite the best treatment, she went to an Ayurvedic/Homeopathic doc and voila! She’s fit as a fiddle.

In medicine, this counts as anectodal evidence, which has absolutely no value compared to a clinical trial. It may, on occasion be true. But there is no way to identify confounding factors. Did the said auntie change her diet along with her doctor which cured her? Did the conventional medicine start working at just the point that she abandoned it in favour of alternate medicine? Did the Ayurvedic doctor do something utterly unethical to get instant results(a topic I shall touch upon later in the article).

Well, it may not be effective, but surely it can’t hurt right? Better take both, conventional as well as AYUSH, better be on the safer side.

As with the previous arguments, there is no way of saying whether or not ‘it cant hurt right?’ Many drugs interfere with the functioning of other drugs. In modern medicine, this has been extensively studied for every drug, and doctors are aware which drugs not to give with which other drugs or how to modify doses appropriately. Since such information is not available for Ayurveda and Homeopathy, there is no way to judge.

Our ancestors never had access to modern drugs. They lived long lives, free from disease.

Evidence shows that modern medicine has more than doubled life expectancy. It has improved general health standards. Our ancestors could be crippled by a virus as weak as polio, which our children will never have to fear. Our ancestors could literally go insane due to syphilis when it can be cured completely by a simple antibiotic. The ‘glorious past’ is a myth that should be disposed with. We live in a glorious present where we die of old age and heart disease brought on by our own eating habits.

Modern medicine has its limits. The doctor said nothing can be done, so we’re trying AYUSH.

This approach is dangerous. There is no telling what the Ayurveda or Homeopathy treatment will do. If the prognosis given by the scientific doctor is very very poor and he has given only a few days or weeks to live, perhaps trying out anything is worth a shot. But if the said condition isn’t immediately life threatening, then AYUSH may complicate matters. It may have unpredictable effects in completely unrelated systems of the body. It may leave you worse off than where you started. Atleast the scientific doctor can predict what will happen to you with a fair bit of statistical accuracy.

My experience with Ayurveda and Homeopathy and why I oppose it

The patient who goes to the honest Ayurvedic/ Homeopathic doctor for treatment.

Patients suffering from chronic long standing conditions which do not cause acute painful symptoms often go to Ayurvedic or Homeopathic doctors. There are a myriad reasons why they prefer these doctors. The first being that they do not recognise the value of the scientific method and do not realise that those ‘doctors’ are not doctors and their ‘science’ isn’t a science. Other more relevant reasons are that AYUSH practitioners usually charge lower fees and their medicines are usually less expensive(as they do not undergo the expensive processes of clinical trials, packaging, quality control etc)Some patients in remote parts of the country simply do not have access to genuine doctors.

Now, these patients end up receiving ‘treatment’ for these conditions for long periods of time. Since conditions like diabetes, glaucoma do not cause acute symptoms like pain, there is no way for a patient to judge whether or not treatment is working. Often, the treatment continues, and so does the disease process. Damage caused due to glaucoma and diabetes is irreversible, once it occurs. The treatment is based on PREVENTION of damage. And this is possible only with early treatment. These patients come to us scientific doctors once the damage has occurred, when the symptoms begin to show. When they begin to realise that their ‘treatment’ isn’t working. By then, it is too late.

I have personally treated many patients with end stage diabetic eye disease, going blind, losing their kidneys, ending up with rotting dead limbs who claim they never missed a doctor’s appointment and did everything the doctor advised. It sickens me to tell them they were fooled, but it is now too late. Many of my patients have become blind due to glaucoma, having been treated with water diluted a hundred times to increase the homeopathic drugs potency, or some concoction of Ayurvedic crushed leaves and breastmilk.

This is the state of affairs with well-meaning Ayurvedic and Homeopathic doctors, who believe in their ‘science’, and do not adulterate their medicine. Neither faith in their ‘science’ nor good intentions can bring back the light in those blind eyes. Nor can they bring back the dead.

The patient who goes to a dishonest Ayurvedic/Homeopathic doctor for treatment

Some practitioners of AYUSH, after a while, begin to realise their treatment doesn’t really work. But once in the trade, they have mouths to feed, and few options. They must provide results, but their medicines just don’t work. Genuine medical knowledge isn’t so easy to obtain and takes a decade of intense learning, a luxury they do not have.

In a quandary, they turn to steroids. Steroids cause a feeling of well-being. They alleviate minor aches and pains. They increase appetite and make one happy. Used as eye drops, they eliminate general irritation and grittiness of the eyes (a symptom almost everyone has at some time or the other), give a sense of well-being and comfort.

But steroids also cause diabetes, peptic ulcers; they make the patient susceptible to infection. Used in the eyes, they cause cataracts and glaucoma.

In my experience, I have found many formulations given by Ayurvedic and Homeopathic practitioners are laced with steroids. This gives immediate comfort to the patient from whatever symptom he is suffering without altering the disease process, and which eventually leads to complications. The immediate comfort makes the patient satisfied. Most often the patient never realises the complications that occur later are due to these same formulations.

Should research be done on Ayurveda or Homeopathy?

NO.

Many drugs in use today are derived from plants(like atropine, pilocarpine). Many have been in use in traditional medicine since centuries. Cleopatra allegedly used the belladonna(beautiful lady) plant from which atropine is obtained to dilate her pupils to appear more alluring.

These drugs came into the ambit of scientific medicine only when they underwent systemic clinical testing. Until then, they were simply traditional remedies, neither proven effective, nor safe. In fact, atropine, now a very commonly used drug is also a very potent poison.

The question ‘should research be done on Ayurveda’ is often misinterpreted as ‘Should research be done on the plants and other products used in Ayurveda’. This is illogical. Ayurveda implies much more than the plants and roots it uses. It implies a belief in the tri dosha theory and other tenets which have no scientific rationale.

The answer to ‘should research be done on the plants and other products used in Ayurveda’ is YES.

And the fact is, it is already being done. Pharmaceutical companies which spend billions of dollars on research on new drugs find it economically more feasible to identify chemicals already existing in nature with potential therapeutic qualities than to design molecules in laboratories from scratch. This is why so many drugs have origins in nature. The government, if it is interested in funding research on new drugs should invest in SCIENTIFIC MEDICINE, even if the drugs being researched are of natural origin.

The answer to ‘should research be done on Ayurveda or Homeopathy’ is NO. The concepts of Ayurveda, and Homeopathy are not consistent with facts of science. They have not been substantiated experimentally. Therefore, AYUSH does NOT merit ANY research, especially that endorsed by the taxpayer. If one claims that everything deserves research, and that one cannot be sure that one will not find something of use in these ‘sciences’, the same logic must be applied to every other equally frivolous claim (amusing examples of which are the Flying Sphaghetti Monster which can treat any disease with its noodly appendage and the tooth fairy which specialises in dental problems)

To conclude I urge fellow freethinkers not to fall prey to the quackery that is AYUSH or any other alternative medicine. It is not only ineffective, but also harmful.

References

  1. National Science Board (2002). “Chapter 7: Science and Technology: Public Attitudes and Public Understanding, Section: Belief in Alternative Medicine”.Science and Engineering Indicators – 2002. Arlington, Virginia: Division of Science Resources Statistics,National Science Foundation, US Government.
  2. Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine 2015, p. 1, chpt. 14-E
  3. “Lead Poisoning Associated with Ayurvedic Medications — Five States, 2000–2003”. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) 53 (26): 582–584. 9 July 2004.

About the author

Ameya Ingawale

146 Comments

  • So, Yoga is worthless? A pseudo-science? My own gurus assisted in the advancement of the understanding of neuroscience by their efforts working in conjunction with scientists, who realize there is more going on than is readily apparent. It is a foolish perspective to wholly exclude one theory of understanding because it does not match with yours. How can you do a double-blind study of, say, the doctors who could not diagnose my food allergy and only through the pseudo-science of muscle testing did I identify my wheat allergy and find a way out of my problems. It is all the edge cases, the non-obvious, uncommon or chronic problems that can be often missed by science. I’d like to see a scientist try to do a study of the faults of the system of modern medicine. How much cooperation from a doctor will you get? How much from a pharmaceutical company? What is in it for them?

    This is an INCREDIBLY negative viewpoint presented in this article. Ayurveda is the very ORIGIN of the modern medicine you espouse, and the medicine you espouse now would never have been without the method ingrained into the practice itself; it is a method that includes more and therefore has a larger chance of being right. Even the scientific method itself is a method of inquiry that has, perhaps, given over to scientists, rather than the current crop of Ayurvedic practitioners you are familiar with. Research into these effects cannot be wholly dismissed in such a callous manner.

    To, in a wholesale way, write off the very origin of modern medicine seems itself wholly uncalled for, exclusive in it’s approach, and as such invalidates itself by such an extreme approach.

    All idealisms, even the scientific method, are narrow and contain elements of falsehoods. All you are showing here is a relative sense of validity from one method to another, and then using your preferred method to make an enormous and fallacious assumption, condemning an entire science of complementary healing arts (arts include science, and do not exclude them, as you have done here) through such a narrow and exclusive approach. Now, I grasp that invalidation is a method, a reductionistic method to find answers. However, there are other ways also; ways that consider the right brained way vs. the left brained extremist viewpoint you have chosen here. Just…wow.

    • //Yoga is worthless//
      I never said this. Don’t shoot strawmen.
      //A pseudo-science?//
      Yes. If it were a form of scientific medicine, the scientific method would have revealed it to have beneficial effects and safety. It didn’t. You will find the evidence(lack thereof) here, kindly peruse it – http://nirmukta.com/2015/06/19/no-yoga-does-not-cure-any-disease/
      //My own gurus assisted in the advancement of the understanding of neuroscience by their efforts working in conjunction with scientists//
      Anecdotal evidence. Where are the results of this study your gurus and these scientists produced?
      //It is a foolish perspective to wholly exclude one theory of understanding because it does not match with yours.//
      And whose opinion or theory of understanding is this, yours?
      //How can you do a double-blind study of, say, the doctors who could not diagnose my food allergy and only through the pseudo-science of muscle testing did I identify my wheat allergy and find a way out of my problems//
      The double blind study should be done on wheat allergy patients to see if your muscle testing pseudo science is actually effective or not. If it is found to be statistically significant in predicting wheat allergy, by all means, I shall help you include it in immunology textbooks. The doctors who could not diagnose…that is an ad hominem argument. Also a strawman, I never claimed doctors were all knowing perfect people. So you shooting inefficient doctors does not affect my argument.
      // I’d like to see a scientist try to do a study of the faults of the system of modern medicine//
      There are hundreds of such studies. I suggest you google them. Such studies are precisely the reason modern medicine is evolving so fast.
      //This is an INCREDIBLY negative viewpoint presented in this article.//
      I never tried portraying a ‘positive’ one. In fact I didn’t even mean to be ‘negative’. Just blunt, rational and honest. Like a scientist should be.
      //it is a method that includes more and therefore has a larger chance of being right. //
      Your logic eludes me
      //Even the scientific method itself is a method of inquiry that has, perhaps, given over to scientists, rather than the current crop of Ayurvedic practitioners you are familiar with//
      I didn’t understand the syntax of this sentence.
      //To, in a wholesale way, write off the very origin of modern medicine//
      To respond with an analogy, Icarus attempting to fly with wax wings does not make him the ‘origin’ of modern aviation. The Wright brothers could actually prove their machine flew. That is why modern aviation originated from them.
      //all idealisms, even the scientific method, are narrow and contain elements of falsehoods. //
      Is this your theory or do you have any evidence for this claim?
      //All you are showing here is a relative sense of validity from one method to another, and then using your preferred method to make an enormous and fallacious assumption//
      It is not MY preferred method. It is simply the scientific method. My claims were very specific. That AYUSH is not science. It is not scientific medicine. There is no evidence that it works or that it is safe. I don’t see any assumptions here. In fact the assumptions are all on your side, that AYUSH is actually effective and safe(in the absence of evidence supporting this claim)
      //I grasp that invalidation is a method, a reductionistic method to find answers. However, there are other ways also; ways that consider the right brained way vs. the left brained extremist viewpoint you have chosen here.//
      I have no idea what you’re talking about. I have actually studied neurology in med school, but I never came across this theory. Perhaps you can enlighten me(and obviously I require evidence for any claims you make)
      //Just…wow.//
      Yes, Regis Chapman, Just wow.

      • no strawman …. you have specifically told that ayush is ineffective and also harmful in you conclusion. your introduction says ayush includes yoga. Let me know if you need a screenshot to the same.

  • The advent of internet in the last as the primary source of medical knowledge for the layman has been smartly utilised by the propagandists of pseudo science.
    The main stream scientific community just chose to remain silent agaisnt their organised onslaught on sceince in general and modern medicine in particular.
    Every one of us among the learned scientific community were complacent and chose to ignore their stupid and frivilous methods but our silence resulted in a generation being brain washed into beleiving their pseudo science.
    A case in point is the recent Diptheria deaths among children in Malapuram district of Kerala. AYUSH practitioneres spear headed a campaign against universal vaccination with the support of main stream media and many chose not to vaccinate their chidren. Vaccination levels in some parts of the district has come down from 95% in early 2000 to 30%, which just means that we are going to see more of these tragic deaths in the coming days. It is a pity for a state which once took pride in their health achievements to now being faced with a scenarion wherein thier childeren will be dying from 19th centuary communicable disease like Diphtheria, Measles, Tetanus and what not.
    And the resposibility for these deaths will lie squarely on the shoulders of these organised, unionised AYUSH brigade. But the question is who will take on this powerfull group?

  • Hai after reading ur article i am amazed about the judgement u gave on ayurveda i am practicing ayurveda since eleven year in rural place in these years many simple aswellas chronic disease i have treated some are cured some not let it be but i treated them accordingly with clinicl examination case study and applying knowledge of texts but never used any hypnotic or dellusionary tactics on them never gave them false assurences too treated them as general public and they know me since all these years but results where good acc to my expectations so now aftr this sermon on ayurveda i am in condition of confusion did i lived as a doctor here all these years did i ever treated patients or all was some illusion or people simply lied abt their disease with me or they simply gave positive answers to please me i cant understand thank u

  • Dr Murali, you fall under the honest well meaning ayurvedic doctor category I mentioned above. I do not question your honesty or your good intentions, or you as a person. I only question your ‘science’. This is not a personal attack.

    Your patients giving you positive answers is anecdotal evidence. It doesn’t count as scientific validation to the effectiveness or even safety of your treatments.

    So, although I hate to burst the bubble of a clearly well meaning person like you, what you are doing is medically unethical.

  • Hello sorry my response was ltl delayed i couldnt understand the logic behind ethical certificate given by someone who can give certificate bcz u canot findout measure the doshas vaata pitha kapha in laboratory let me ask one thing after so much trials medicine marketed is withdrawn after ten years or less so who will be responsible for the adverse effect of drug on patients but ayurveda uses same drugs from charakas time in universe only panchabhutha exist so also humanbody hence there is no use off adding new names of diseases it will only help in partial understanding of health and disease u never gave a convincing answer about my doubts by giving good character certificate make false and prejudice propaganda

    • // i couldnt understand the logic behind ethical certificate//
      I said your treatments are unethical because you claim to treat patients with diseases when you have no scientific evidence that they work. That is medically unethical(and in my personal morally repugnant too, although irrelevant to our discussion)

      //u canot findout measure the doshas vaata pitha kapha in laboratory//
      Yes, that was precisely my point when I said there is no scientific evidence to support the claims of Ayurveda and its theories which are indistinguishable, scientifically, from black magic, astrology and elven healing from LOTR.

      //after so much trials medicine marketed is withdrawn after ten years//
      That is a success story. That is precisely why scientific medicine is superior. Adverse effects are studied even post marketing, and products which fail the tests are withdrawn. That shows that this is an ethical form of medicine, unlike ayurveda, where i havent heard of a single ‘treatment’ being withdrawn for safety concerns.

      //is withdrawn after ten years or less so who will be responsible for the adverse effect of drug on patients//
      The medical fraternity is responsible. THAT IS WHY the drug is withdrawn, because the makers take responsibility. They ensure that no further damage happens, which happened inadvertently before that, due to unforseeable reasons. It also ensures that future trials do not contain flaws that this drug might have escaped through.

      //ayurveda uses same drugs from charakas time//
      Yes. And since that time, mortality rates, infant mortality rates, morbidity rates, and every undesirable index has been more or less the same. Come modern scientific medicine, come penicillin and polio vaccine and their brothers, and all the indices suddenly show a drastic improvement. Mortality rates fall, average life expectancy increases, infant mortality falls, puerperal sepsis falls.. the list is endless. Ayurveda has always been ineffective. Modern medicine has been shown to actually make an impact. There is evidence for this. Please look it up.

      //only panchabhutha exist//
      I see a claim, i see no evidence to support this claim. Or is it your imagination? Perhaps you could show me the trial which proved that ‘only panchabhuta exist’. I missed it in my decade of medical education.

      you say //u never gave a convincing answer about my doubts //.
      Is this the doubt you are referring to – //did i ever treated patients or all was some illusion or people simply lied abt their disease with me or they simply gave positive answers//.
      I did reply to it. Allow me to copy paste – //Your patients giving you positive answers is anecdotal evidence. It doesn’t count as scientific validation to the effectiveness or even safety of your treatments.//

      Mr Murali, you do not want my ‘good character certificate’, I have no objection with that. In fact, i want to reiterate, this is not a personal attack on you. I don’t know you or know how you are as a person, my ‘good character certificate’ was simply me giving you the benefit of doubt.
      I have a problem with what you believe and convince gullible patients is a science, and the treatments that you give are ‘medicine’. They are not. Enough damage has been done to the health of this country’s populace by AYUSH. I wish to do my part, as a responsible doctor, as a person who understands and lives by the scientific method, to spread awareness about this menace which you happen to pander.
      Thank you for your comment, I hope some people read my answer and are encouraged to probe deeper into this matter and discover the truth.

  • Hai by that inability of ayurveda to withstand labfindings u consider that are conclusive what about mathematics trignometry or relativity theory they need to be banned i think u should study texts of ayurveda thoroughly otherwise these claims are of no use it wll be like four blind men trying to understand elephant thanks for ur sugestion to stop practice it is really funny u said the greatness of drugs brought to market and taken back so also cryosurgery coxybs nimusulide etc well for u it is one rule and for other another what all scientific research materials u qoute on allopathy or ayurveda are of western countries they have the money infrastructure and gov support for research but what about india and other developing countries they couldnot lastly ayurveda as u said is not an alternative medicine who has given that tag u so i am not bothered by what all names u atribute charaka didnt mentined about alternative theory it was just ayurveda thank u

    • Mathematics can be tested in a lab. Try this. Draw a right angled triangle. Measure each side, you will be surprised to find, every single time, the square of the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the squares of the sides. It can be confirmed EXPERIMENTALLY that Pythogaras’s hypothesis was indeed true. You will also find parallel lines, as Euclid hypothesised, really never intersect. Draw them and see.
      If you’ve read anything about relativity theory, you’d know it is very much experimentally ‘testable’.
      Also, you make an invalid presumption that I have not thoroughly read the texts of Ayurveda. On what grounds do you accuse me of ignorance? I have made no claim without foundation.
      Yes, I did subtly suggest you should stop your practice(and every other peddler of ‘alternative’ medicine and other hocus pocus which has no scientific validity..and this includes quacks who use scientific medicine without following scientific rationale). I’m glad you understood my suggestion.
      Cryo is still used in ophthal. I dont know what you’re talking about. Maybe not in other branches. Take CRYO-ROP trial for example which was a great help in understanding Retinopathy of Prematurity, and also has helped thousands of children from becoming blind. Thankfully they weren’t ‘treated’ by practitioners of AYUSH.
      Nimesulide was withdrawn in many countries because of its side effects which initial research missed because of the very low frequency with which they occur. But since the said side effects are very dangerous, withdrawing the drug makes more sense than allowing it, especially when safer NSAIDs are available with comparable efficacy.
      Yes India doesn’t have the money to conduct independent research. True. But noone is stopping you from reading research done by others right? And noone is stopping you from applying that knowledge. That’s precisely what doctors, (by which i only mean doctors of scientific medicine)are for.
      What charaka or anyone said is completely irrelevant. What charaka said hasn’t been substantiated experimentally. Therefore it isn’t science. It isn’t medicine. You are not a doctor; if this is what you practise.
      Prove it, and it will be(as it has for several drugs with plant and animal origin – but then, once it does, that drug becomes part of scientific medicine. That is your curse, everytime something is proven, it will become part of scientific medicine. The only way to be on the ‘scientific side’ is to practise ONLY scientific medicine)

      Please stop trolling and provide evidence. If you do not have evidence, your ‘science’ isn’t a science, and your ‘treatment’ can neither be said to be safe nor effective. This article is very clear, i have only made the above two claims, that AYUSH is a non – science and non – medicine. My claim can be debunked by simply providing evidence in the form of double blind clinical trials or equivalent proving each of the claims of AYUSH. Do so, and i will retract everything…and in fact will begin prescribing AYUSH treatments to my patients.

      I will not respond to further comments which are trollish. Please do your homework.

  • Hai i said earlier u may call by any name or trall or quak or anything it willnot help u to build ur theory in long run by the way it is ur duty to prove every thing in text is not scientific bcz u claimed so not me about allopathy every aspect of stages of developement to prognosis is well explained u may qoute same few papers on hevvy metalpoisoning again and again go through reaserch paper on psoriasis by jamnagar univesity of ayurveda and on more i can not understand by threatning all herbal drugs once tested in labs will become yours who am i to stop u people from using them and i am not gaurdian or father of that science or i dont consider its ideas are Property of us it is for humanity if u think they are not patented in usa so u can make money out of them later as u did with turmeric so it be or for some sunflower companies in usa float false propaganda on coconut oil for decades and ruin the poor farmers here finally if u feel annoyed by my comments i am sorry if any one is making false claims and luring patients they should be punished and if any shortcomings are there in ayurveda let someone make them better by giving support of technology chemistry and other innovations of engineering bcz any knowledge is for betterment of humanity thank u

  • A few points…

    – There is no such thing as “allopathy”. It is a homeopathic propaganda term.

    > if any shortcomings are there in ayurveda let someone make them better by giving support of technology chemistry and other innovations of engineering bcz any knowledge is for betterment of humanity

    Have you heard of the saying: “Putting lipstick on a pig”? No amount of technology and engineering can make pseudo-sciences and non-sciences into sciences. No amount of nano-particle talk can make homeopathy into a science. No amount of technology will make Ayurvedic humor theories, scientific. The foundations are extremely weak (and very flawed), by today’s standards. They were made-up by necessity (very reasonable efforts back then), centuries ago, when humanity lacked basic understanding on how the human body worked. Our understanding of biology dramatically changed since then. Beating on this dead horse has no value for humanity. The money is better spent elsewhere in research.

    Sure, you can have medicines with herbal precursors that are put to test. But that’s not automatically Ayurveda. Scientific medicine does not care where you get the raw materials from… just that you can statistically show that it works… that it is safe… that it works better than the alternatives etc. What’s to argue about this?

    – Scientific medicine isn’t at all about patents or other intellectual property laws. Don’t conflate the two. That’s an entirely different topic.

    • point 1: I found a great stress to the allegation ayush that it is not scientific. Let me tell you that while doing medicine, what matters more is if the cure is done and not if the system is scientific or not.

      point 2: Noticed the 7 points you have mentioned to the ways that scientific medicines work . It should not be a surprise that ayurveda techniques are much more efficient and result oriented than the 7 ways you have mentioned. I am not touching in detail to them, but if you would like to substantiate, you can request for the same and it will be done.

      point 3: your allegation that ayush is not a medicine : To refer the facts, ayush is a much better medicinal practice than the method you have termed as sceintific method. You could well say that ayush is not a scientific medicine. But we dont care about a medicine to be scientific or not as long as the ailment is cured and the patient is back to healthy. If you give preference to being scientific more than the patient getting cured, I guess you should think again on the views. Again, I am not substantiating in detail because of time constraints… If you want to challenge me on it , let me know and substantiation in response to your challenge will be made.

      point 4: your conclusion : you have claimed that ayush is not only ineffective but also harmful : This is a very loose statement with no substantiation. I challenge you to prove this . You need to understand that every system has their own strong points and weak points. At the places where ayush is strong, your so called scientific medicine appears so helpless a system . So you need to rethink when you call a medicine system as ineffective. If you still take the stand that ayush is ineffective and harmful , you are challenged to prove your stand through practical demostrations.

      point 5: common talk : I intentionally ignore that part as anyone can talk anything and say they have freedom of expression. I see them only as gossips and not as any referenced section. Still if the authour thinks that the section need to be specificlly addressed , it will be done on request.

      • You don’t seem to understand my arguments.

        Read what I wrote again: “Scientific medicine does not care where you get the raw materials from… just that you can statistically show that it works… that it is safe… that it works better than the alternatives etc. What’s to argue about this?”

        The outcomes data is very weak on Ayurveda. That’s the ENTIRE POINT of EBM. We keep what works, even if it does not always make full sense.

        THIS IS IMPORTANT: That does not however mean that treatments with weak plausibility arguments have to be given equal footing in research considerations. They in fact need to be subjected to even GREATER standards of truth. This is not just the common sense argument of: “Extraordinary claims need extraordinary proof”. We already know that implausible claims in medicine are much more likely to have false positive findings reported.

        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21552759

        Unfortunately, alternative medicine with weak plausibility claims, further compounds its problems by ending up doing even more things that worsen research quality. Eg: Poor standardization of protocols and small sample sizes. It already has low effect sizes to contend with. Each of these increases false positive rates. See the “Corollary” discussion in the Ioannidis paper.

        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1182327/

        Basically, we end up with alternative research that has extremely low cumulative trust value. These are statistical findings, not opinions.

        Do read the whole discussion before assuming to understand what my position is.

        To refer the facts, ayush is a much better medicinal practice than the method you have termed as sceintific method.

        That’s not a “fact”. You are confusing facts with opinions.

        At the places where ayush is strong

        There are NO places where AYUSH is “strong”. Currently, there are no AYUSH drugs on which there is a statistical consensus (not an oddball paper here and there) of superior effectiveness, compared to the products of modern medicine. Note that the “maybe better than a placebo” studies don’t mean very much.

        There are certainly areas where AYUSH practitioners thrive, because the public does not understand cognitive fallacies with respect to “cure”. Back pain for instance is a fertile area for Homeopaths to milk the public that does not understand regression and post-hoc fallacies.
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regression_fallacy
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post_hoc_ergo_propter_hoc

        Don’t confuse these as areas where AYUSH is strong; strong in a business sense perhaps, in countries of low scientific literacy, but not at all strong (non-existent really) in a scientific sense.

        you have claimed that ayush is not only ineffective but also harmful : This is a very loose statement with no substantiation. I challenge you to prove this

        You mean the author has? And I agree with him, after seeing plenty of this first-hand myself. In the developing countries, patients much more present with advanced stages of disease than they do in developed countries because they waste valuable time trying out CAM.

        Want a paper on that? Here you go
        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12974558
        This is a rather widespread problem. I can’t forget the many advanced TB and Leprosy cases I encountered because the patient toyed with CAM until the disease advanced. This is costing India. The public needs to be educated on the truth of the lack of effectiveness of CAM. CAM belongs in history books, not in clinical care.

        it will be done on request

        No one is stopping you from making a scholarly case. Don’t expect any “requests” however. Pretty presumptuous, don’t you think?

        • I have not countered you ravi : My comment is in response to the original article posted by ameya ingawale. I have not read your views , so there is no response them. I feel there is some technical error that you are notified about my comment to be response to you. sorry for the trouble …. clarified again that my comment is response to the original article posted by ameya ingawale.

          • Ah, well. That explains :-). I was wondering: what 7 points was he talking about?. I did not make any 7 points (I had not re-checked the article). It looks like you just accidentally hit the wrong reply button. Happens.

            The arguments I presented stand in a general sense though.

          • @padmanabhan
            You don’t seem to have read my comments yet then. I already wrote in this page that I don’t do facebook or any other social media.

            In any case, I would not be interested anyway. Nirmukta looks perfectly rational to me. So I would probably just generally disagree with whatever it is that you define as rationalism… and I would not be interested in a forum as narrowly focused as you described.

          • not a prob at all ravi . Everyone has their own view and I respect that as long as the other person starts behaving as he is the only right and all others are wrong. That is the reason why I went against nirmukta …. There are reasons why I started the initiative, but I would be over misusing the page if i start telling the story here .. lol

      • @Padmanabhan
        // what matters more is if the cure is done and not if the system is scientific or not.//
        That precisely is what is meant by ‘scientific’ – i.e. evidence that ‘the cure is done’. This is precisely what ayurveda lacks, evidence that ‘the cure is done’, and this is precisely what EBM has, evidence that ‘the cure is done’.

        //It should not be a surprise that ayurveda techniques are much more efficient and result oriented//
        Right…
        I think you use some different dictionary when it comes to using words like ‘efficient’ and ‘result’. And oh, yes, I do request the same

        // But we dont care about a medicine to be scientific or not as long as the ailment is cured and the patient is back to healthy. If you give preference to being scientific more than the patient getting cured, I guess you should think again on the views//
        As long as the ailment is cured. For that, first you must define the ‘ailment’, which ayurveda, in its subjectiveness of equilibrium of humours etc fails to do, then you must have evidence that the said ailment is ‘cured’ which again Ayurveda has no evidence of. In scientific medicine the focus is ONLY on evidence for safety and efficacy. That is what you call ‘being scientific’. You being ok with not being scientific is the same as you being ok with your treatments being unsafe and ineffective(which they are)

        //you have claimed that ayush is not only ineffective but also harmful : This is a very loose statement with no substantiation//
        My entire article and the comments by Ravi and I have been nothing but substantiation of this.

        //I challenge you to prove this//
        Again that fatal mistake of irrationality – you forget whom the onus of proof is on – it is on you. YOU must prove safety and effectiveness,we dont have to prove ‘harmful and ineffective’. That is the default starting position(which if not taken means that anyone can sell anything claiming anything..which as we know is very very dangerous)

        //At the places where ayush is strong//
        Like what? Swindling ignorant vulnerable people?

        //I intentionally ignore that part as anyone can talk anything and say they have freedom of expression. I see them only as gossips and not as any referenced section.//
        What?

        • reply to ameya :

          It appears that you have a very wrong notion of Ayurveda .

          The patient getting back to healthy is enough evidence that that cure has been done. If you are telling that such instances has not come to your notice, then I request your presence at govt Ayurveda hospital kannur and check for yourself on if the patients are getting healed or relieved.

          I use the commonly understood meaning of words normally. As I have said in the above para, you are welcome to check for yourself on the rate of recovery and also the quality of recovery .

          ailment is anything when the condition is that the person is not healthy. The patient if turns back to healthy stage , I guess is enough evidence that the medicine helped. By the way, who told that the scientific medicines are not dangerous ? every thought about an overdose situation in scientific medicine? Things are pretty bad there too. You need to understand that any medicne is dangerous if wrongly consumed. You trying to protect modern medicine on that was not a fair approach from your part. About being effective or ineffective, I request your presence at govt ayurvedic hospital yourself and an interaction with the patients coming there. About a personal expirience, ayurveda is much better than modern medicine when it comes to pain relief from sprains during sports while compares to the balm and sprays suggested by modern medicine.

          about your substantiations : wrongly intended interpretations are not substantiations. They are only conspiracies … you could differ though.. one example: your explanation to observation being anecdote is completely wrong. you might want to check a dictionary for the meaning of the term anecdote … you are either misinformed there or you are acting ignorance there.

          onus of proof : The onus of proof is on the person who claims .. That is the normal way …. It is not ayush who needs to prove that you are wrong, but the person making the allegations through the claim is the person who needs to prove it .. Let me also tell you one thing. A patient when he tells he is cured from the difficulty is not an anecdote. It is a medical observation. When you have slipped on this basic logic , it is completely rational to think that a well learned person like you , while makign such errors, they are intentional and not a mistake . But still if you feel it was an error from your part, you can correct it .

          Papers : Ayurveda is not based on papers. They are based on observations and experience. The books are references which gives an idea on how to go about the cure. The actual cure and the methodology is given to the doctor’s opinon. You could say that modern medicine does nto accept that.. But then, so what ? we are not talkign about modern medicine here anyway. Ayurveda is nto paper dependent. It is expirience dependent. And before you jump to a conclusion about the junior doctors, I would say that ayurveda is instructed ona gurukula style, where the juniors are trained under a senior whi has enough expirience.

          ayush strong in swindling ignorant people” Ayush dont need to do that marketing. Good doctors have enough cases that they have to sacrifice their personal life luxuries for the helping the patients. There could be quacks , but are we talking about quacks here or about the medicine? There are quacks in modern medicine too.. dont get me ? Just go to a nearby medical store and say you have fever … try it and you will witness quackery yourself in modern medicine. So before yo condemn a particular line of thought, I guess you shouldbe able to see the mistakes of the self too .

          I dont say ayurveda is the only correct way to treatment, But I would defenetly oppose if anyone says that ayurveda is a wrong methodology of treatment. There are places where ayurveda has not progressed and ther are areas where ayurveda is better than modern medicine …. A doctor should be broadminded enough to give the right advice to the patient rather than to do marketing for his bread and butter. It is an expected social respoinsibility from a doctor which in the current days is lackign very much from the doctors of modern medicine. I ill no give any proof for that as I dont want to hurt anyone’s profession .

          • @padmanabhan

            reply to ameya

            I cover for him while he is in clinics.

            Do you have any science training? Not necessarily in medicine, but any science? Do you understand Logic (capital L)? Can you read research papers in any subject? Can you critically read an Ayurveda paper? Do you understand common research statistics (inferential)?

            I ask because I am getting the sense that you don’t. And if you don’t, this isn’t a place to teach them. You will need to consult proper books and resources for that. Why am I doubting? Because you are saying things that no scientific person would say.

            The patient getting back to healthy is enough evidence that that cure has been done.

            Only when that can be statistically demonstrated. We no longer live in dark old days where it was enough that Charaka or Sushruta or someone else said so.

            then I request your presence at govt Ayurveda hospital kannur and check for yourself

            That’s not how it works. If I go to a random temple, it will be entirely filled with people who think their prayers produce effects. That does not constitute a proof for prayers. You should point to RCT studies, not say go look for yourself.

            I use the commonly understood meaning of words normally.

            Don’t. Use scientific terms. Everyone here understands them. Science terms exist to give precision, not obscure. “Normal” language is rather vague for purposes of a scientific discussion.

            who told that the scientific medicines are not dangerous?

            Everything has side-effects and can be dangerous. All medicines have therapeutic windows. So there needs to be safety data for all medicines. All modern meds do have them. The problem is that there isn’t such data for many Ayurvedic drugs. Absence of data does not mean the drug is safe. This was covered in the article.

            About a personal expirience, ayurveda is much better than modern medicine when it comes to pain relief

            This is like arguing Astrology works because you have “personal experience” with it and you see it work every day. Personal experiences don’t mean much if you can’t back them up with studies. Either point to studies or you have no case. Double-blinding is critical.

            onus of proof : The onus of proof is on the person who claims .. That is the normal way …. It is not ayush who needs to prove

            Seriously, these things are such basics that I am beginning to wonder if you understand ANY Logic (capital L).
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logic
            Read about Onus Probandi. You can’t redefine it as you please. Read about what the critical method means. This isn’t specific to medicine. These principles underlie all of science and modern thought.

            Onus is on person who claims an effect/safety, not on the person who questions it. Read about “proving a negative”.

            A patient when he tells he is cured from the difficulty is not an anecdote. It is a medical observation.

            A patient may tell you he got better after sacrificing a chicken or a goat, or after his grandmother/baba/deity visited him in a dream. Its a testimony. That does not mean anything. I already pointed you to post-hoc fallacy, but you seem to have either not read it or did not understand it.

            Subjective reports are extremely unreliable. This is not an opinion; it has been statistically demonstrated. That’s why we measure. We use subjective reports only when other options are not available.

            They are based on observations and experience.

            Modern medicine tries very hard to get away from the “experience” of physicians and move towards formal evidence. Medical residents are criticized if they ever argue from their “experience” (but encouraged to design a study if they think they hit on something novel). Try to understand why.

            Ayurveda is nto paper dependent.

            It is dogma-dependent… which is the whole problem.

            I dont say ayurveda is the only correct way to treatment

            We however are saying that EBM is the ONLY correct way to treatment. That can potentially include drugs with an Ayurvedic heritage, as long as they are vetted by evidence. Unfortunately, Ayurveda and all traditional systems fared poorly on close critical examination. That is the ONLY reason why modern medicine left them behind. It would have saved us all, a lot of trouble, if even say, 1% of traditional meds worked competitively on examination (I am sure you think that is not the case, so go ahead and plenty of studies that show otherwise).

            Please read the ENTIRE discussion in this page. I don’t think you have. I know it is rather long, but most of the questions you have or are likely to have, have already been discussed in this page. I repeated a few answers, but it is not reasonable to expect a repetition of everything because you won’t read.

            The other Ayurveda supporters here were not disputing the importance of EBM. Unlike you, no one is saying studies and papers don’t matter for Ayurveda. In the end, we were mostly disagreeing on what what kind of research is worthy of public funding on Ayurveda and what I see as its inability to separate itself from its dogmatic core. In the end, we did not seem to disagree on where Ayurveda stands today. We seem to only continue to disagree on where it can realistically go and what the government involvement should be.

          • @ RAVI

            You are right on your judgement that I do not have a scientific background for my academics or profession. However, that does not mean that only persons who have a background of science can understand things. If you think that science is the only thing which can make a person rational, then persons pursuing commerce should be blunt .. I put a LOL to you if that is the view you are projecting .

            You explanation that unless there is a paper submitted, the result cannot be taken is so childish when measured in terms of rationality. But I dont want to fight on that topic because that is your personal view and everyone is entitiled to have their on view. But I would like to remind you that it is not a paper presentation which ratifies the success of a medicine, but it is the actual peformance of the medicine on the patient. Just because there is a paper submitted, it is not a big deal. Let me not go too much in detail of paper presentation, but I will give you a tip that if you know anyone who works with sceintific papers, ask them about the fraudulent activities happenign there. Make sure you ask someone real close who would share you the reality. I will not substantiate here simply becuase I dont want to put some names in trouble for me to dominate in a discussion. Again, the point is , it is not a paper presentation which judge , but it is the actual success obtained by a medicine which is the judgement factor.

            Charaka and susrutha are not the only gurus of ayurveda. If you think that way, then you need to get updated. Ayurveda observations and medicines has come a long way from those areas.

            Govt ayurdedic hospital kannur was selected because it is a givt run hospital and kannur is my city … If you did not like it you can take the issue with any ayurvedic hospital who does treatment on fair terms. No need to compare with temple .. Temple is different concept and this discussion does nto cover it . if you want to tal abotu temples, we will do in a seperate post about its importance.

            You are found pluckign on astrology too , while it is far out of topic. Let me not comment on astrology . My personal expirience with ayurveda is not an anecdote. It is a sharing of my observation and expirience. It is far different from an anecdote.

            Regarding onus : you assume that ayush claims anything is not a reason that onus can be pushed on to it . You can go about telling it does not work and you think ayush should go around proving yoru statements are wrong? That was even ok .. But you want it to be proven in your benchmarks. That is not a rational approach. If you want ayush to prove something, then the method of proving is the choice of ayush and not yours. Ayush has been contnously proving through practical demostrations that it is highly effective. if you cannot take a practical demonstration as a exibition of facts, then you need to explain as to why it cannto be accepted. Just because you do in scientific way does not mean unscientific is rubbish. There are occasions where unscientific gives more reason and value than being scientific.

            you got it wrong again when i said a patinet says he got better. May be language barrier or my low knowledge of english. By telling a patient said he got better means that he actually got better. In other words, he got back to healthy situation. I am not talking about a mental feeling here, but the actual material health.

            You said you are using subjective reports. I am asking you to verify the facts for real as how they happen in actuals and not how a third person has recorded it. If you cannot put efforts to it , then obviously you have to depend on third person statistics and there s high chance that they are flawed statistics just like your statistics gainst ayurveda.

            your allegation that ayurveda is dogma dependent. There are too less dogma in ayurveda. It is only your intuition if you would believe such a thing. When you take a team , it is nto easy to look things in a neutral way. I do understand your difficulty there ..

            If you say EBM is the only correct way of treatment, I see it only as a proof of yoru blind bias to modern medicine. it again substantiate you your unpreparedness to accept the goodness of the other lines of treatement. I would however take that as your personal opinion. It is a biased statement though as per your admission and I give zero value to biased statements becasue there is high probablity that it is a flawed statement.

            I can see that you depend a lot on third party papers when you have amble chance to get the correct situation on a first hand basis . Now that isthe difference between us. I take the first hand information which I can collect, and you go behind what other persons have written. Again, that is a personal preference on what a person thinks is more logical . I respect your view as yoru personal opinion, though I do not agree with it .

          • @RAVI

            To add to my view regarding the difference between an anecdote and an observation, I request you to watch this video which portraits the unscientific method which saved a person from death and helped recovering form rabies. Out of 100+ trials , the positive result was only less than 10% but you should know that for a person to whom death is certain if left untreated, less that 1% chance is more than enough reason to do the treatment and attempt for success. persons who rejects such clinical findings as anecdotes just because of its low success ratio are only trying to bring down the chances to save a persons’s life when every action and decision taken are very critical and decisive.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-GSx1ENgJA

          • However, that does not mean that only persons who have a background of science can understand things.

            No, only people with scientific training can understand and critique matters of science. This isn’t movie critique, where it is a matter of taste. This is strictly a data-driven enterprise. It is possible to have a thorough understanding of one field and be able to talk about a few other related fields. But otherwise, critique of science is not a free-for-all. I can talk about many fields… for example physics. But I am not qualified to actually critique physics.

            If you think that science is the only thing which can make a person rational

            I don’t. Rationality is a pre-requisite of science. But not all rationalists are scientists. There are also unfortunately plenty of non-rational people doing science, especially in developing countries like India.

            You explanation that unless there is a paper submitted, the result cannot be taken is so childish when measured in terms of rationality.

            There are rational arguments that can be made without any papers at all.. matters of Logic for instance. However empirical arguments can ONLY be made with quantitative evidence (papers). Whether something works is entirely an empirical matter.

            But I dont want to fight on that topic because that is your personal view and everyone is entitiled to have their on view.

            I am not interested in pushing my personal views (I have some of course and do express them). Nor am I interested in your personal views on science. Personal views are not substantive.

            But I would like to remind you that it is not a paper presentation which ratifies the success of a medicine

            Of course. It is the evidence that ratifies it. The paper is a mere artifact.

            but it is the actual peformance of the medicine on the patient.

            If you don’t take probability theory into account, you have no idea what that actual performance was. What you see with you plain eyes, without involving analytical tools and controlled settings, is a mere illusion.

            Just because there is a paper submitted, it is not a big deal.

            Absolutely. A lot of papers are junk.

            Let me not go too much in detail of paper presentation, but I will give you a tip that if you know anyone who works with sceintific papers, ask them about the fraudulent activities happenign there.

            That’s not anything that any scientist isn’t aware of. No scientist is naive. We have our own ways of sifting through nonsense. The Ionnidis paper gives a few guidelines for instance.

            Charaka and susrutha are not the only gurus of ayurveda. If you think that way, then you need to get updated.

            My goal was not to list all gurus. I am pointing to the problem with arguments from authority that pervade CAM.

            Ayurveda observations and medicines has come a long way from those areas.

            Indeed. Just not long enough.

            Govt ayurdedic hospital kannur was selected because it is a givt run hospital and kannur is my city … If you did not like it you can take the issue with any ayurvedic hospital who does treatment on fair terms.

            I don’t have anything against the Kannur hospital. My comment was general.

            You are found pluckign on astrology too , while it is far out of topic. Let me not comment on astrology . My personal expirience with ayurveda is not an anecdote. It is a sharing of my observation and expirience. It is far different from an anecdote.

            I used astrology as an illustrative example, specifically because it is a wild topic. It is easier to demonstrate on the absurd.

            Regarding onus : you assume that ayush claims anything is not a reason that onus can be pushed on to it . You can go about telling it does not work and you think ayush should go around proving yoru statements are wrong?

            Again, read about the “burden of truth” in science, philosophy and jurisprudence. I am not going to do a tutorial. These aren’t my personal opinions. These are well established ideas that every generally educated person is supposed to understand.

            But you want it to be proven in your benchmarks. That is not a rational approach.

            Evidence of outcomes is not a system-specific benchmark. This is a math issue (probability theory), not a modern medicine issue.

            If you want ayush to prove something, then the method of proving is the choice of ayush and not yours.

            Nobody has a choice in science and modern thought, on what proof means. Not modern medicine, not AYUSH. This isn’t an issue of preference. The problems (of uncertainty) determine the methods.

            Ayush has been contnously proving through practical demostrations that it is highly effective.

            Your problem is you have no awareness of what “knowing” means. This is a very complex matter. This concerns every discipline, not just medicine.

            Just because you do in scientific way does not mean unscientific is rubbish. There are occasions where unscientific gives more reason and value than being scientific.

            I am not interested in rhetoric and you are not currently (perhaps you will be, in the future) equipped to deal with these issues. In the modern age, the standards of truth have been considerably raised. Humanity benefited enormously from that. All the technology around you is a result of that. Without evidence, you are just not taken seriously anymore.

            you got it wrong again when i said a patinet says he got better. May be language barrier or my low knowledge of english. By telling a patient said he got better means that he actually got better. In other words, he got back to healthy situation. I am not talking about a mental feeling here, but the actual material health.

            Learn about why people do RCTs.

            You said you are using subjective reports. I am asking you to verify the facts for real as how they happen in actuals

            Look, I cannot give you a long tutorial on the great philosophical complexity of what it means to understand “actuality”, theories of truth etc. This is a very complicated topic. Its common sense once you understand it. The scientific method exists as a mere best attempt to take care of only some of the problems with knowing the “actual”. Without applying the scientific method… if you merely look at things, all you are in is a world of delusion.

            and not how a third person has recorded it. If you cannot put efforts to it , then obviously you have to depend on third person statistics and there s high chance that they are flawed statistics just like your statistics gainst ayurveda.

            Once again, try to read on the topic and understand why RCTs are done. They are costly and difficult. If there is another way, everyone would do that. But there isn’t.

            your allegation that ayurveda is dogma dependent. There are too less dogma in ayurveda. It is only your intuition if you would believe such a thing. When you take a team , it is nto easy to look things in a neutral way.

            The core concept of Ayurveda had not been vetted. So it is a dogma. The day that Ayurveda produces the relevant math and validates it, will be the day that people stop calling it a dogma.

            I do understand your difficulty there ..

            No you don’t. You don’t even understand what you don’t know.

            If you say EBM is the only correct way of treatment, I see it only as a proof of yoru blind bias to modern medicine.

            Actually, it is one of those rational arguments that you talked about earlier that should not need evidence.

            it again substantiate you your unpreparedness to accept the goodness of the other lines of treatement.

            Goodness cannot be a feel-good statement. It needs a number attached to it.

            I would however take that as your personal opinion.

            You deal in personal opinions. I deal in numbers.

            It is a biased statement though as per your admission

            I did not “admit” it was a biased statement. I stated that it was a general matter of non-controversy, at least among all educated people, scientist or otherwise. You cannot prosecute someone in a court without evidence (the original principles in fact come from jurisprudence). Same with drugs. That is all what EBM means.

            and I give zero value to biased statements becasue there is high probablity that it is a flawed statement.

            I suggest you spend a few years studying what the word “probability” means and understand the math behind it. If you do, at the end of it, you will entirely understand and agree with everything I said.

            Now that isthe difference between us. I take the first hand information which I can collect, and you go behind what other persons have written.

            No, the ONLY difference between us is that I am formally and extensively educated on the relevant topics and issues of science… and you are entirely not.

            ……………

            I request you to watch this video which portraits the unscientific method which saved a person from death and helped recovering form rabies

            Its not an unscientific method. It is a 100% scientific approach that saved her life. I didn’t watch the video, but this case is very well known. I already mentioned it in this forum: Milwaukee protocol. This is a perfect example of how you are interpreting things for exactly the opposite and wrong conclusions.

            Here is also what I noted was in Sushruta Samhita on treating rabies, since you seem to refuse to take the trouble to read the full forum.

            “The patient should be bathed at the crossing of roads or on the bank of a river with pitcher-fuls of water containing gems and medicinal drugs and consecrated with the appropriate Mantra. Offerings of cooked and uncooked meat, cakes and levigated pastes of sesamum as well as garlands of flowers of variegated colours should be made to the god (and the following Mantra should be recited). *’0 thou Yaksha, lord of Alarka, who art also the lord of all dogs, speedily makest me free from the poison of the rabid dog that has bitten me.”.

            A combination of ignorance and confidence is a terrible thing. I suggest you take a more humble stance since you neither understand science, modern medicine nor Ayurveda. You should be in a sishya/seeker mode, not in an argumentative mode. You do not really understand rational thought and its complexities either. What you have demonstrated so far is really relativism, not rationalism. If you are in a group with an axe to grind against Nirmukta, I think it is rather likely that you don’t understand at all what the word Rationalism means, and as you seem to have a predilection to, to interpret it to the opposite of its meaning.

          • As usual, I am late at the scene of battle.

            Nevertheless, I’d like to add just one word to Ravi’s erudite comments – “Ditto”.

            I second everything he said, and he hasn’t left any loose ends for me to tie up at all.

            Padmanabhan, please read both the article as well as the comments under it.
            Before that, please read some books on scientific methodology and statistics as it applies to science and medicine. For your counter claim that I read some ayurvedic books – I have. And for your counter claim that I ”experience’ ayurveda at work, I have done that too.

            Just one little point I’d like to add to my ‘ditto’, it refers to the extreme example you have given where EBM categorically states that there is nothing to be done, and that you will in all probability die soon.I already dealt with this in my original article. Here it is, since you haven’t read it
            //If the prognosis given by the scientific doctor is very very poor and he has given only a few days or weeks to live, perhaps trying out anything is worth a shot. But if the said condition isn’t immediately life threatening, then AYUSH may complicate matters. It may have unpredictable effects in completely unrelated systems of the body. It may leave you worse off than where you started. Atleast the scientific doctor can predict what will happen to you with a fair bit of statistical accuracy.//

            Please don’t make us type out the same things over and over again, please just read, its really annoying to reiterate the same arguments when the answers are clearly present in the thread right there.

          • @ RAVI

            data driven : You could be a person who goes behind data and numbers. I go behind observation and inferences based on the observations. I have never claimed anywhere that ayurveda is scientific. My point is that ayurveda gives efficient treatment. The proof that ayurveda gives quality treatment is the result a patient gets after he gets treated from a good ayurveda hospital / doctor. I dont say you are wrong. My confronting point is when you say modern medicine is the ONLY correct way and all others are rubbish. That is not a correct idea . There are a lot of instances where modern medicine had to kneel before alternative methods. Ignoring the instances as anecdotes is a flaw many sceince seeking persons do.

            Rabies treatment methodology : I have not said ayurveda has a good system in treatment of rabies. My point to drag rabies in is to point out that what modern medicine people reject as anecdotes are not necessarily anecdotes. You said that it is a scientific method. But then why is the result so low in it ? So when something is attempted through alterative medicine and failed, then it becomes anecdotes and flawed logics ? and when modern medicine fails in attempts what are they called ? See, what you need to understand is that beyond the numbers, there lies the importance of observation. It is observation and a thought of logic which initiated the said treatment methodology of rabies . Have a thought .. Numbers are very low .. so low that one loses every hope in it . However a person who givesimportance to observatory inferences and nto in numbers can never see the method as an anecdote. He sees the method as a ray of hope. Not just a false ray of hope , but a procedure in which the probability of success is more than zero. Same is the case with alternative medicines. My own mother who was a patient of acute asthma got cured through naturopathy techniques .. Now before you ignore it as an anecdote, I would like to tel you that my mom is not the only person who got relief from acute asthma through naturopathy techniques. But however, modern medicine personals fails to observe such incidents and rather than extending the research to get better efficient methods, al efforts are taken to bury these observations in the coffin termed as anecdote. This irrationality of thought is what I cannot agree with you .

            Actual performance: By actual performance , I mean how far a medicine can cure the same illness repetitively over a variety of patients. There could be other meanings to the word, but I thought it is better I explain the meaning I had in my mind. However, it is not based just on numbers. It is based more on observation and their inferences. When differnt drugs are administered, it is not to be done as a trial and error method, but based on the observations the doctor has on the patient. for example, medicine to a headache on the left side may differ from the medicine to cure the headache on the right side. One cannot argue that the left side medicine was not effective for the right side.. That is a flawed logic.

            Just not long enough: No medicine system for that cause has come to a saturation . All methods are still only in their research levels. A doctor should understand that and learn to respect the alternative medicine systems rather than pushing them away using baseless allegations.

            onus of proof : I have read wiki just a few minutes ago for a double reference and have confirmed that my stand is right regarding that . If you want, we can argue on that . However, I dont think that should be taken up as a point, as the primary topic is medicine .

            Math issue ? No this is no math. The only point I concentrate is the efficiency of medicines and comparing with modern medicine with alternative medicines.

            RCT : I assume that you mean randomised controlled trial by that term. Modern medine might depend on that . No issues. But on what basis are you telling that every system should follow it ? May alternative medicines , specifically in ayurveda and homeo , RCT is not possible due to the sheer fact that every patient is considered different from the other. Modern medical reprsentitives need to understand that this is curing an ailment. Hospital is no automobile workshop. Neither is one persons same as the other. There are a variety of differences form person to person. RCT on a rational thought is a flawed logic in medicine. Modern medicine persons using it and many persons follow it does nto give any edge. Remember that thousand people telling witness will not make a lie as the truth. It can in a legal scenario,but in actual existence. the number of witnesses is not hat judges right from the wrong. So mere numbers is a flawed logic in medicine, though it can be taken as a minor indicator. it is not even a major indicator. You could vary in your opinion though . It is your personal preference.

            It is not number which has to be attached with goodness. It is rather observations logical inferences based on these observations which gives goodness in medicine. Number is only a minor indicator and does not carry a higher importance than that.

            your attempt to tarnish ayurveda with rabies treatment : Let me ask you on what is the treatment available in modern medicine to treat jaundice other than some liver vitamins and steroids ? I am pretty confident while asking you this question because the patient reference is myself and I have witnessed modern medicine sit totally helpless against jaundice while ayurveda used their medicines to cure the disease off from me.. And before you tell it is an anecdote, I am not the only person to experience the same situation. so you would rather tell all cures ayurveda makes on jaundice are anecdotes.. ROFL many many times.

            your education: I dont refute your education. But I woudl defenitely ask the question on what is the use of getting high formal education if the knowledge cannot be rationally applied to the practical world and is attached to the bookish theories and numbers?

            Let alone my efforts to grind nirmukta . To a group who has their legs shivering when questions are asked and they can only run away making sily excuses, dont give me the high buzz about those cowards to me . If you make a point, you should be able to supplement it or minimum case care to discuss on that . Running away from questions and counter arguments only makes them as a laughing stock and nothing more. That was to nirmukta and not to you Mr. Ravi . You are discussing with me and I appreciate that. I wont say you are learngi anything from my words.. that is somethign which you need to say, but for sure , I am learning a lot from you and that is exactly the idea of having a discussion so that people can imporve their knowledge and correct themselves where ever they need to . None of my allegations are against you .All are against nirmukta as an association and I am well reasoned up to back my statements against them. Let us not make a discussion on that as this is not the place for it. I am cool if you find nirmukta as a rational organisation. I find them as an organisation of cowards though.

          • @AMEYA AND RAVI

            Just finished reading a quick review of the complete positngs under this post. Apart from the chances that I have omitted soemthing while reading half asleep, I have nto found any place where I am making you to repeat stuff. So next time, instead of showing your frustration that I am makign you to repeat anything, I would like to see a copy paste.. Take is as a friendly banter or a challenge, it holds strong both ways.

            ameya, your mentioning of “both articles” givesme an impression that I have not read some article of yours which is related to the present one. If that is the situation, I would request you to link to to it so that I can read it too.

            ameya, your argument that alternative medicines are more dangerous than modern medicines in a case where the patient is curable was read by me. I had however ignored that because that point is completely baseless and a laughable one. I had clearly omitted that whole segment of your article for want of credibility and rationality in those statements and I had mentioned that specifically in my reply. If you have not seen it , please read again or ask me for a copy paste for simplification.

            so there is nothing to get frustrated here . If you lack points and got only same things to say, that is not my problem. I am nto sceintific. My questions are genuine quiestions arising in a common person’s mind. My lack of professional knowledge in science is not a mark that I am not talking sense. So please stop showing frustrations and try to genuinely answer to the questions. A smile would be well appreciated. I dont think we are fighting a battle in here. I like to do a genuine discussion here and not an I blame you and you blame me gaming.

            anyways , lets keep the heat aside and continue the discussion in friendly way… no frustration show offs please. Thank you .

          • To a group who has their legs shivering when questions are asked and they can only run away making sily excuses

            :-). Look, your arguments are so silly that almost every single sentence needs a breakdown. However, I need to write several sentences for every single one of yours. So I am just picking a handful. I can begin to understand why Nirmukta people were avoiding you :-). They weren’t likely “cowards” or “running away” from you. They probably started to ignore you because just tire everyone out by refusing to account for your lack of competency in understanding even the most basic matters of science and challenge waaaay too much. Don’t take this to be a judgment on your intelligence. We all have our areas of expertise… and we should recognize the bounds of the same.

            Challenging the core premises of science is for experts in science who already have a nuanced idea of things, not for you. Science encourages experts to do that. You however simply should not make proclamations on things like the value of math in knowing these things. Its value is science 101. Your question should be along the lines of: Why is math so important in understanding these things?… Then people will want to explain.

            It is impossible to distill for you, the essence of 15-20 years of training through forum posts, nor is it an interesting task for me, compared to discussing specific literature with someone who already understands the basics.

            Here is a free, visual, online resource for you to understand the basics of Statistics
            https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLycnP7USbo1V3jlyjAzWUB201cLxPq4NP
            Its from: https://www.coursera.org/course/stats1
            Its from a top university. You don’t need to take the course, but go through the videos. Please take the time to understand the material. Watch it multiple times, if necessary. Don’t rush through it. The import bits come later. So finish it in full. Its not intuitive material. But it is foundational and you cannot understand science without it. I am myself humble when it comes to statistics and always yield to people with better expertise with it. No one ever understands all of Statistics. Some fields make much more extensive use of it than my own fields. This lecture deals with only a tiny subset of Statistics that is however very frequently used in medicine. I am constantly amazed with the new techniques that keep coming out. The software I use has literally thousands of statistical modules. I am just trying to get you excited about it.

            After that, also see:
            https://www.coursera.org/course/clintrials
            It should be a very short introduction to the topic. After you finish that, I can point you to more comprehensive introductions if you are interested.

            If you demonstrate that you have the patience to learn these things, I will be happy to point to further materials.

            I go behind observation and inferences based on the observations.

            We all do “observation and inferences based on the observations”. The entire training of clinical medicine (after basic science training) is on observation and inferences. This isn’t some special Ayurveda trait. The decision trees and protocols of modern medicine are several times deeper than of ALL the CAMs put together… and they are based on real data to boot, not merely hypothetical models.

            I have never claimed anywhere that ayurveda is scientific.

            Scientific simply means there is strong proof that it works (how many times has this been repeated for you?). You do claim it works. To say it isn’t scientific is to say it hasn’t been proven to work AT ALL. Proof in these matters comes ENTIRELY from numbers. It does not go: “because padmanabhan really, really felt it worked”. Just because you don’t understand the numbers does not mean that numerical proof becomes unnecessary. It just means you have to sit down, take several classes on statistics to understand what that means. That might mean YEARS. You are that far behind. This is a complicated affair. But you can start.

            Actual performance: By actual performance , I mean how far a medicine can cure the same illness repetitively over a variety of patients.

            Nobody really cares about your definitions… or mine. These topics have been debated extensively by analytical experts for over a century. The principles are in use, not just in medicine, but in EVERY field out there. There isn’t a single field that does not use them. Even humanities use them. Statistical thinking is a major breakthrough in the last century that fundamentally changed the way we look at the world.

            To learn these concepts is your headache. To teach you each concept, holding your hand every step of the way, countering your every outrageously wrong statement, isn’t my headache. I can only point, at best. You don’t get to say: I don’t understand this and therefore I reject this claim. Argumentation is not an appeal to your limited personal sensibilities.

            But let us get back to this statement: “By actual performance , I mean how far a medicine can cure the same illness repetitively over a variety of patients”. By repetition, you automatically have a distribution. For analyzing distributions, there is distribution math aka Statistics. There is NO OTHER WAY to study repetitive phenomena other than using Statistics in the same way that there is no other way to study Motion and Change without involving Calculus. There is no other way to study Shape without involving Geometry. You don’t get to choose.

            When you use the term “variety”, that automatically involves the statistical concept of variance. It is a often repeated lie by CAM practitioners that modern medicine does not take variation in patients into account. The level of Variance is taken into account in every study. Both diseases and drugs work differently in different people. No one ever argued about that (but you might have been led to believe otherwise). This needs to be mathematically quantified and is quantified in science studies, either as a general whole or via more detailed stratifications.

            Math issue ? No this is no math. The only point I concentrate is the efficiency of medicines and comparing with modern medicine with alternative medicines.

            This is heavily a math issue. You just don’t get it.

            My point is that ayurveda gives efficient treatment

            Efficient is a comparative statement. Comparison in medicine is mathematical, not aesthetic.

            My confronting point is when you say modern medicine is the ONLY correct way and all others are rubbish.

            Name an alternative for each of these: Physics, Chemistry, Astronomy, Biology. Why is it that you specially need alternatives for Medicine? The alternative for chemistry isn’t alchemy. The alternative for astronomy isn’t astrology. The alternative for a helio-centric theory is no longer a geo-centric theory. The alternative for spherical earth isn’t flat earth. The alternative for the Big Bang Theory isn’t the Biblical Genesis account and other creation myths. The alternative for the Theory of Evolution isn’t Creationism. Why the heck would the alternative for Medicine be Homeopathy, Greek Medicine, Persian Medicine, Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture, Reiki and Ayurveda?

            Science is now globalized. There is no longer a place for culture-specific pursuit of general truths. It isn’t about opinion. It’s all about data… entirely about data. Everything is done in a really big tent. The only reason why medicine has “alternatives” is because it is the only one with a revenue source by people who don’t really understand science – aka patients… people like you. So CAM will thrive in poorly-educated populations (with respect to science). That’s the reason why Indians use more Homeopathy than Germans themselves. CAM will die a slow death as science education levels rise.

            onus of proof : I have read wiki just a few minutes ago for a double reference and have confirmed that my stand is right regarding that .

            So you have limited abilities of comprehension. Not my problem. Try harder. Search for other resources until you get it. Hopefully, you will eventually get over your confirmation biases. This isn’t a matter of opinion.

            No medicine system for that cause has come to a saturation .

            CAMs have been conceptually dead for centuries. Now all they do is, everytime modern medicine comes up with something new, they tag along and say: Oh, we do that too. They have contributed ZERO new useful concepts.

            Modern Medicine of course continues to consistently produce actual breakthroughs and is likely to continue to do so for centuries on. I don’t see “saturation” any time soon. That’s not a point against it, as you seem to think.

            There are a lot of instances where modern medicine had to kneel before alternative methods.

            Kneel? Rather dramatic, don’t you think? So far, a total of 1 drug with an Ayurvedic origin has been proven to be competitive. It wasn’t even exclusive to Ayurveda. Ayurveda did not even know that it could be used for hypertension and it is no longer considered a useful drug because there are better ones now.

            CAMs don’t need to kneel. They need to be sent to retirement homes.

            Ignoring the instances as anecdotes is a flaw many sceince seeking persons do.

            Anecdotes are fine in looking for leads… at best. They have ZERO value of proof however.

            Rabies treatment methodology

            Rabies is a major success story for modern medicine. Here is a disease with ~100% fatality. However, if the medicine is delivered within the window, it is reduced to ~0% fatality. Its nothing short of a miracle.

            The only problem is that once the virus fixes on the nervous systems, it becomes a lot more complicated. Milwaukee protocol is an extremely bold attempt to drag the patient from the very jaws of a horrible death. Naturally, given that it resorts to rather extreme measures, the odds are low. Asking “why is the result so low in it” is rather ridiculous. I hope you don’t complain about its side effects next.

            Let me ask you on what is the treatment available in modern medicine to treat jaundice other than some liver vitamins and steroids ?

            Jaundice is a symptom, not a disease. There are a large number of causes for it and a very large variety of treatments to choose from (easy, as long as the cause is identified, which isn’t always easy).

            Here is a simple list of causes alone.
            http://www.aafp.org/afp/2004/0115/p299.html

            Your doctor probably could not figure out the cause for whatever reason. Too bad for you. That’s not a judgment on medicine however. There are certainly lots of problems with the practice of medicine in India. This may or may not be a part of that. It’s a different topic.

            while ayurveda used their medicines to cure the disease off from me

            Its not possible to say it was not due to regression and post-hoc fallacies in any individual case. Distribution math only works at the level of distributions. That’s just the nature of the problem. But if the Ayurvedic treatment is useful, it will show up in studies (repeated cure). Otherwise, its just chance effects (that does not mean it works occasionally – a common misconception that you also have. It just means you likely got a natural remission while on that particular treatment).

            specifically in ayurveda and homeo , RCT is not possible

            Its a common misconception that it can’t. It perfectly is possible adapt RCTs to these systems. RCT can deal with personalized medicine, much less quackery.

            Remember that thousand people telling witness will not make a lie as the truth.

            Exactly. That is the entire proof for CAMs: a thousand people testifying for it… people like you. That’s why we look to math, because testimonies aren’t reliable. Math is objective, especially with data from a blinded collection.

            RCT on a rational thought is a flawed logic in medicine

            You are completely incompetent to point to flawed logic in ANY science, not just medicine. In my case, I am properly qualified to critique in only some fields. Learn to be humble (as a necessity, not as some grand virtue).

            Hospital is no automobile workshop

            If the disease process worked like an automobile, RCT would be completely unnecessary.

            your attempt to tarnish ayurveda with rabies treatment

            Its not “tarnishing” to merely cite from it. There are loads of such silly supernatural statements in Ayurveda and every other traditional system of medicine. It can be an entire article. There is a reason why scientific people don’t pay much attention to them (except those who somehow ended up making career investments in them).

            But I woudl defenitely ask the question on what is the use of getting high formal education if the knowledge cannot be rationally applied to the practical world

            Actually, my education is entirely practical and has been applied to a number of fields in the practical world.

          • I am nto sceintific. My questions are genuine quiestions arising in a common person’s mind.

            Fine. But you must frame your questions appropriate to that position. Asking is fine, challenging is not. Frustration is natural when that does not happen.

            Note the healthy attitude that Parantap used because this wasn’t his area of expertise (and he likely knows way more science in general than you). Compare that to the attitude you take… and you are strangely insulted that people don’t want to continue talking to you :-). veda can challenge us because he is qualified to do that. You can’t. You must entirely be like Parantap, not just here, but in all science discussions, until you get science expertise of your own.

            I would like to see a copy paste.

            Searching back and copy-pasting is also a lot of work; and you will likely and reasonably say it isn’t a perfect match to your question.

            My lack of professional knowledge in science is not a mark that I am not talking sense

            Your normal common sense does not extend to science because science deals on scales outside common experience. Normal intuition miserably fails in scientific matters. If you don’t understand science well, you will necessarily talk nonsense, even if you are otherwise quite smart. Even people who know science well in one area talk nonsense if they overreach too much.

            My much longer reply is pending moderation probably because it had links on resources that you should consult. You should see it by evening.

          • @RAVI

            Probably you got a wrong idea if you feel that I have challenged. I have not challenged anything yet. This is a discussion and what matters more is how much input we can put to substantiate and reason up our stands. I dont see this as a platform to win or lose. I see all discussions as a platform to learn.

            Regarding my conduct . I am master to myself. I dont do a thing because another person is doing it. I do what I feel is right and what I can reason up for a conduct. So please dont tell me how to organise because another person is doing some other way.

            May me another person has a better scientific reach than me. But that in no means is a guarantee that he is more entitiled to speak than me. I agree with the probablity of it, but probability always need not be the reality. I talk my mind open when I do and takes a neutral stand in discussions. I am not debating with you for me to take a stand. it seems that I am countering you as a debate only because my views are different from yours. Otherwise, things are very ok.

            There is nothing called as scientific common sense and non scientific common sense. its all the same . So when your feel that a person who is not of scientific back ground will NECESSARILY talk non sense on science IS the INTUITION. There are no explanations to intuitions. However, it should be noted that common sense is not based on intuitions. common sense is based on observatory inferences and understanding of the situation and not just a mere gut feeling which has no logical explanation. There is a huge difference between common sense and intuition . You are requested to understand that.

            If you have made a longer reply with lot of links, then I will wait for it for the moderator to accept it . Also , if you have made many links on it , there reading it is going to take more time as I will be taking extra time to go through the links you have provided. So my reply would take some time. Please excuse the additional time I take.

          • @RAVI

            You have no idea on how cowardly nirmukta has behaved to me. So when you try to support nirmukta having no knowledge on what has happened , I can only smile at you and ask .. ” Is that so ? lol lol lol . ”

            If you are genuinely interested to know my tug against nirmukta , you can ask and details will be given . If you are not interested, let us just leave the topic. But when you talk about something on which you have no idea on what has happened, I would only like to see it as a reflection of your blind faith on nirmukta. I wont say you are wrong. it is your view and you have whole authority on how you have to see things. Just to let you know before I jump from the topic, there is an open challenge from me to nirmukta that if they prove that I am wrong, then I will make a public apology and will never criticise nirmukta ever again. Till date nirmukta has pathetically failed in doing it. You could defend by telling they are not interested and stuff, but the fact remains that the challenge remains intact against nirmukta and that they have not suceeded in proving me wrong or even reasoning up themselves logically.

            About the links and stuffs you have given, I thank for that and I am going through them . I see no meaning in simply writing a reply for the sake of replying. So will be watching the videos first and then replying. Bit busy this week with some blood donation and social service activities.. so may be will look on them next week.

          • @padmanabhan

            If you are not interested, let us just leave the topic.

            Yes, I am not really interested since I don’t think anyone here is really a Nirmukta representative, strictly speaking. We just congregate around an idea that predates Nirmukta by centuries. We are all different. I mainly defend the idea, not individuals. So it does not matter. Let’s drop that topic.

            About the links and stuffs you have given, I thank for that and I am going through them .

            That’s great. Take your time. They are not meant to be rushed through.

            Bit busy this week with some blood donation and social service activities

            That’s great. These should have precedence.

        • @padmanabhan

          I have not challenged anything yet.

          Actually, you have challenged many core foundations of how modern science is done, while thinking these are my personal opinions. You just don’t realize it yet.

          This is a discussion and what matters more is how much input we can put to substantiate and reason up our stands.

          I think these are not matters for a forum debate, but simply matters to be picked up in classrooms (didactic, rather than dialectic). I have provided helpful links to that effect. Hopefully you will like them.

          Regarding my conduct . I am master to myself. I dont do a thing because another person is doing it. I do what I feel is right and what I can reason up for a conduct. So please dont tell me how to organise because another person is doing some other way.

          Absolutely. You are the ultimate arbiter of your conduct. No contest. I am just saying what is the natural consequence of such choices… Frustration, people dropping out of further debate etc and your interpretation of phenomenon. We can all choose our choices, but not their consequences.

          We have the freedom to define who we are from our standpoint and world in turn also exercises its own freedom in defining us in very different ways than we intended. But that’s life.

          But that in no means is a guarantee that he is more entitiled to speak than me. I agree with the probablity of it, but probability always need not be the reality.

          As an extension to the extreme… a quantum physicist who can do the actual math is fully “entitled” to talk about the scientific consensus on the matter. But someone who only reads interpretations of quantum physics and does not understand the math will NECESSARILY talk nonsense (that includes me, BTW). In this case, it is because it is highly problematic to translate these mathematical concepts to language. Language itself stops scaling beyond a point.

          I talk my mind open when I do and takes a neutral stand in discussions. I am not debating with you for me to take a stand. it seems that I am countering you as a debate only because my views are different from yours. Otherwise, things are very ok.

          I think you misunderstand me. I am not saying you and I have a personal dispute. What I am saying is that what you take to be my views, aren’t really my views. I am simply communicating the consensus, which you in turn think is another view. I am also saying that I do not want to defend the consensus via argumentation because a more “efficient” and proper method is available nowadays: the wonderful online lectures of experts on the topics, at our finger tips.

          If you have made a longer reply with lot of links, then I will wait for it for the moderator to accept it . Also , if you have made many links on it , there reading it is going to take more time as I will be taking extra time to go through the links you have provided. So my reply would take some time. Please excuse the additional time I take.

          Absolutely. Take days, weeks or months. Its a couple of intro courses from Princeton and Johns Hopkins and a page on Jaundice. If you want a head start, without my pasting the URL, its youtube playlist PLycnP7USbo1V3jlyjAzWUB201cLxPq4NP

  • Please go through papers published by nimhaans on epilepsy and other neurological disease like dmd with ayurveda grahani or ibs the six papers published by jaamnagar universty who gave u authority to call ayurveda alternate medicine no use in rhetoric u can do only selective critic

    • It is hard enough to read your posts without full stops. No one is going to go and jump at some vague references to some papers. Haven’t you learnt to properly cite papers? Summarize the findings towards your case. What were the effect sizes?

      Epilepsy and especially IBS have long been the foci of questionable claims by alternative systems. Since epileptic episodes have high variance and because IBS is not well defined, large sample sizes are especially needed in their study. Unless these studies have large sample sizes, it would mean that they just did p-value hunting. So I hope your studies take care of these basic statistical requirements in the area.

      > who gave u authority to call ayurveda alternate medicine

      I don’t need authority to state the obvious.

      > u can do only selective critic

      What I did in my above post is not selective critique; I did a rather *broad* critique 🙂 on how a system devised with a primitive understanding of how the human body works has no place in the modern world. Ayurveda can be compared to ancient Greek, Persian and Chinese medical systems, not with scientific medicine.

      > no use in rhetoric

      Yes, let’s not use rhetoric. Its a rather poor way to settle things in the modern world. Let’s talk in statistics in further conversation.

  • U can go through papers on epilepsy and neurogical disease like dmd also papers on grahani ibs by jaamnagar university

  • Ravi if u go through my erliar posts u can understand that i am a general ayurvedic practitioner in rural india. I donot have asmuch resources u may have regarding informations on researching i agree u said that do not believe in papers presented by jaamnagar university of ayurveda or nimhaans etc sure bcz those people are indians and not from us or uk. Not funded with billions of dollars. U should go through it if any lapses then may dump them. My point about sample size is it is rediculos u again and again raise issue of hevvymetals with samplesize of just four ok one or hundred doesn’t matter u spend billions to prove simple diatory conclusion eg consuming whiterice increase risk of diabetes but charaka clearly mentioned about that and told puraana rakthashaali old red raw rice is better. Charaka clearly stated soya is nikrista dhanya soon ur claims on soya will burst and research wll show light on allopathy issue i have no hesitation calling it modern scientific medicine but ayurveda wll be called by its name .u can’t change names as u wish .it is disgrace to its author s. They coined that word for its wider perspective not merely to attract people. It has taken ten years for me to practically understand about “AAMA” even i studied in theory. AAMA is altered condition of metabolism cousing wast range of symptoms from dandruff to sciatica, asthama sinusitis, ibs so simplifying the cause and treatment make diagnosis and prognosis better and it will be economical .u may now say it is anecdotal evidence but i dont bother hence it is explained in text clearly

    • First, thank you for the full stops. A few commas will also help.

      I don’t have access to any special information resources than you do; just the Internet. When did I blame the university for not being a US/UK university? Freudian slip? Where did I bring up heavy metals? I could, but didn’t. Where did I change the name of Ayurveda? What claims have I made on Soy? You are relying heavily on straw-man arguments.

      > Charaka clearly stated soya is nikrista dhanya

      Simply saying something (Rice, Soy) is good or bad, without evidence, is not helpful. Science isn’t about facts (they will naturally follow); it is about a transparent and a rational investigative process.

      The common sense questions are: How did the person (say, Charaka) making the claim know it was “good”? What was the degree of good? i.e. what were the measurements? Is it just slightly “good”? or a lot better? How does one tell? What were the methods used? What was the degree of uncertainty in the claim? Without these basic answers (which we obviously don’t have from the pre-scientific systems), claims are faith-based and authority-driven, not scientific. We need numbers (to do anything advanced in any field, not just medicine), not words.

      Charaka or Sushruta should not be made into deities or prophets. Compare Charaka with Galen and that would be a sensible. (BTW, not everything attributed to Galen was actually written by Galen. The same is likely true for Charaka and Sushruta). You said earlier that Ayurveda needs to be comprehensively vetted by science. No one is bothering with testing everything Charaka said, for the same reason that no one in the rich West bothers to do large clinical trials over everything Galen said. I hope you are not seeing this as an East vs. West issue. Its really a bronze age (pre-microscope biology, pre-periodic table chemistry) vs. scientific age issue.

      > They coined that word for its wider perspective not merely to attract people.

      What name? AYUSH or Ayurveda? How do you know? Did they tell you that? Or did they publish about their naming motivations elsewhere? When did I make any claims about the motives behind the name?

      > may now say it is anecdotal evidence but i dont bother

      That’s because you don’t understand statistics. That’s not something to be proud of (“i dont bother”). No educated person should talk in defense of anecdotes today. Take a few courses on inferential statistics (Many excellent free courses are available online from respectable universities. They need not be from medicine, since the math is universal) and read about logical fallacies. Try to understand why science (any science, not just medicine) is such a pain-in-the-neck to get it right. It is so much easier (but very wrong) to point dogmatically to old books.

      Tipu Sultan had Mysorean Rockets, which were fairly advanced for the time, a little over 200 years ago… perhaps the best in the world then. But if one was to waltz into ISRO today with a similar “rocket” plan, that person may be expected to be laughed out. That’s the difference between Ayurveda and Scientific Medicine today, in the span of the last couple of centuries. Its the difference between a better metal tube with some packed gun powder and perhaps a sword, vs. a multi-staged launch vehicle to introduce a probe into orbit before doing a precise gravitational slingshot over 780,000,000 kilometres… or an intercontinental ballistic missile with sophisticated guidance systems, with megaton payloads that can obliterate an entire city and surrounding regions, on the other side of the globe… not *maybe* maim a soldier or two on a lucky shot into a massed formation in visual range. Are you able to grasp the difference of how dramatically science changed *everything* in the last couple of centuries? THERE IS NO COMPARISON. We don’t talk in simplistic humor theories in medicine today. Today, we can talk medicine at a molecular level. Meanwhile, what new biological facts have Ayurvedic universities uncovered? Is there even a science-alternative Ayurvedic research method that can generate new knowledge reliably?

      The reason we have AYUSH is for political and cultural appeasement reasons, as well as for reasons of low scientific literacy in India (unsurprising in a poor country), unavoidable realities of a young, still-not-scientific democracy, not for effectiveness reasons.

  • 1. Toxicology study of ocimumsanctum (tulsi)linn leaves heamatological biochemical and histopathalogical study. Dep of pharmacology BHU. 2. Hepatoprotective activity of tulsi alchoholic leaf extract against paracetamol induced liver damage in albinorats . Assam medical college dep of biochemistry 3. Pharmacognosy study curcuma longa by dep of pharmacy university of Mississippi .4 aloeride (aloevera) with potent immunostimulatory activity and wound healing university Mississippi .5 study on antifungal or anti dermatophyte action of curcuma oil by dep pharmacology university of thailand. These are few we can relate what bhaishajya kalpa and charaka chikitsa said regarding quality and use of these drugs in diff diseases thank u

    • That’s not how research articles are cited. Just see the references section of this article for an example. Also, when you cite an article, discuss its content in some way, don’t just throw it in.

      No one is questioning whether there are a few herbs in ancient Ayurvedic, Galenic, Chinese or Persian systems that provide some symptomatic relief, here and there. They have always been folk remedies. It is also not a proof if someone can isolate some pharmaceutical agent from one of the said herbs. One can probably isolate several dozen compounds from a fistful of dirt that have some effects on the body that could conceivably (often not practically) be leveraged for medical purposes, at higher concentrations (better chance of calibrating to strike within the therapeutic window). That does not mean that dirt itself (in its natural state or as described in use within these old texts) is an effective medicine. The question is: What percent of formulations, *as described* in these old books, cure/compete, in safety and effectiveness, against scientifically developed formulations (that’s after they can first statistically be shown to work at all, against a placebo).

  • Go Ravi!

    Mr Murali,

    I suppose this is the ‘study’ you refer to – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3202250/

    I can’t even begin about the obvious flaws in the design of this ‘trial’. First of all, there are no clear definitions and objective criteria for any of the terms used. The ‘matching’ done for age sex etc is only nominal and leaves plenty of room for bias. Where is the placebo? Where is the control group? The sample size is abominably small. Where are the phase 2 and 3 trials establishing safety? Is this even ethical? To subject these patients to these treatments without first establishing safety?

    Next time, please give links to actual studies instead of vaguely mentioning them.

    Also, your ‘who gave you authority’ is an ad hominem argument. Even a 10 year old child has the ‘authority’ to say that Ayurveda is alternative medicine and un scientific if he can back it up.

    I am not sure about what you mean by the ‘selective critic’ comment. Ravi has interpreted it on one way. Perhaps you mean that one should attack specifics in ayurveda and not the branch as a whole? Is that what you mean? That we should be more objective?

    But then, you forget onus probandi. The claim that ayurveda(any specific treatment in it)is safe and effective is yours. Therefore YOU must be objective and objectively prove each claim SELECTIVELY.

    Mr Murali, you may think we are ignorant people who have not read ayurveda. But like the opponents of any system, we have done our homework. If we would not have, we would not have known that AYUSH is complete mumbo jumbo, and we would be as gullible as your patients. But either way, who we are and our credibility is of no significance. We have questioned your claim. Who we are to do so is irrelevant, I might just be a 10 year old. What we have questioned is important, and you dont have answers. Until you do, you have no right to call your ayurveda a science or your ‘treatments’ as medicine.

  • Hai, by reading successive posts by dr ameya it is evident that u are not interested in rational discussion rather by demeaning other and win the race its all in open domain so it wll be hardly better than claims of baabas and few ayirvedist claiming icurables curable. It is called vithandavaada who compared Ayurveda with modern medicine its comparing apples with oranges. I agree modern medicine made a huge advance in medical field and i appreciate too. But it doesn’t make ur claim ayurveda is nonscience right. 1. U said everything has changed in centuries but not the human being naither physiology nor anotomy. His habitat lifespan every thing remains same changed are those materials made out of him. 2. Rice ,soya, sugar ,jaggery all i mentioned were part of diatery advices given in texts for better health and prevention of diseases .so i said earliar research claimed wrongly now again proved fall in line of Ayurveda so wasted money and time in established truths that could have used for new innovation that was not told in texts. Earliar modern medicine advertising to drink plenty of water and even quantified it to 2 to 3 ltrs a day irrespective of individuals but texts wrre rational .they stated urge of thirst and adviced patients based on individuals urges now u see problems of overhydration on metabolism and couse digestive and metabolc imbalances sure this is very petty issue but it helps . To understand this i dont think we need molicular science . Do you think advicing society on prevention of some disease was irrational . 3 on molecular idea and unnecessary use of herbs every human being can not be
    called by group of few million cells or named on that he has life urges tbought process and considered individuals .drugs possesses quality if we look in totality as well. Will u be satisfied after taking some active principles of rice and vegetables for lunch? 4. Now u claimed Ayurveda vague and placebo but now u say few herbs are useful and effective. I say most of them are over five thousand herbs undergoing pharmaceutical studies in us let us watch . U told it is coincidence that few herbs are effective let me give eg: research on curcuma longa says it has activemolecule which is effective in antiinflamatory action and anti venom action on pitted viper so i use a external application called” dashangalepa” constitued with wild varaity of curcuma longa .. acc to text i use them in inflammation, spiderbite, scorpion, poison, bee sting it states it was not a vague theory. Again the research showed only one variety showed anti venom action other three cultivated varaity didnt. So i claim u may find additional benifits after research but there was scientific observations fallowed .

    • > But it doesn’t make ur claim ayurveda is nonscience right.

      Ayurveda is not a science in a modern sense, just as Galenic medicine and Acupuncture aren’t. That is NOT an insult. What we call science today is fairly recent. Ayurveda was simply not built on that platform. That does not mean that it was not a bold and honest attempt by ancients to improve health. I have no doubt that physicians like Charaka and Sushruta were exceptionally bright people endeavoring to improve the health of their societies. I would never insult them. But humanity today has far surpassed them.

      Would you use an abacus to do your math today? Can ISRO use Ptolemic/Bhaskara astronomy today (even a tiny bit) instead of modern astronomy? What exactly is left there except for historians of science?

      > 1. U said everything has changed in centuries but not the human being naither physiology nor anotomy.

      Very True. The anatomy and physiology of humans did not change (and no one suggested it did), BUT the *study* of anatomy and physiology changed beyond recognition. Go ahead, pick a standard modern textbook on physiology and compare it to the *tiny* knowledge base at Charaka’s disposal. There won’t even be much overlap to speak of. And Biochemistry, the other core discipline in medical school, was completely absent in Ayurvedic times.

      > His habitat lifespan every thing remains same changed are those materials made out of him.

      Not true. Our habitats changed a lot. We live in far more hygienic habitats today than our ancestors did. No more villages entirely getting wiped out by Cholera, for instance (Where was Ayurveda?). More polluted for some of us perhaps, but certainly much more hygienic habitats. Our lifespans changed immensely. Throughout human history, life expectancy at birth was a mere 30-40 years. India at its worst in 1919 had it at 19 years. You can blame the colonial neglect for that. Today, after instituting modern public health systems, we are approaching 70. Okinawans are reaching 90s.

      > 2. Rice ,soya, sugar ,jaggery all i mentioned were part of diatery advices given in texts for better health and prevention of diseases.

      Obviously. For an ancient Ayurvedic physician, there wasn’t a whole lot else to tinker with back then, was there? All ancient systems talked a lot about diet. They had to. But diet was much more poorly understood by them than us. They didn’t even know that there are vitamins and minerals… just that some foods seemed to promote strength than others.

      > so i said earliar research claimed wrongly now again proved fall in line of Ayurveda so wasted money and time in established truths that could have used for new innovation that was not told in texts.

      Even a broken clock is correct twice a day.

      > Earliar modern medicine advertising to drink plenty of water and even quantified it to 2 to 3 ltrs a day irrespective of individuals but texts wrre rational.

      Diet questions have been hard for science. Human diet is very hard to investigate statistically because the effect size is so low. Ethical questions also restrict diet research in humans, especially since WWII. Determining the effectiveness of diet is much harder than determining the effectiveness of medicines. That’s just the way it is. Along with major breakthroughs, science made some minor mistakes in the recent past about diet. It will likely make more errors in the future because of the nature of the problem.

      That does not make Ayurveda a standard however. Science bases its advice on data and can question evidence and revise it. Traditional medicine advise in the area is dogmatic. When was the last time any Ayurvedic physician revised Charaka?, may I ask? That’s more like religion than a vibrant science. What % of Charaka’s diet claims do you think are actually true, given our better understanding today? Have you ever bothered to direct a similar healthy critical view to those texts?

      > Do you think advicing society on prevention of some disease was irrational.

      Not at all. Prevention is very important. But the advice should be based on sound evidence, not mere beliefs and personal opinions. What diseases does history record as Ayurveda having prevented?, but other ancient cultures, without the benefit of Ayurveda, had plenty of?

      Seriously, can you make a strong claim that ancient Indians were more healthy than say, ancient Chinese or Greeks?

      > 3 on molecular idea and unnecessary use of herbs every human being can not be
      called by group of few million cells or named on that he has life urges tbought process and considered individuals .drugs possesses quality if we look in totality as well.

      Are you trying to get into “holistic medicine” here? Modern medicine is far more “holistic” than Ayurveda. Research should be reductive. Care should be holistic. But asking some irrelevant personality type questions with no evidence to back them up is not holistic. Alternative practitioners talk a lot about holism, but don’t actually deliver. Its just superficial chats with patients. Modern medicine decision frameworks are far more complicated and multi-faceted than anything alternative system use. Just read the management chapters in a modern textbook and compare them with your classic texts.

      > 4. Now u claimed Ayurveda vague and placebo

      Ayurvedic claims are vague by modern standards. Many don’t cross the statistical threshold against placebos.

      > but now u say few herbs are useful and effective.

      Few yes. Effective… as in…more effective than modern meds?… certainly not… but certainly there are a few ayurvedic remedies that work to some extent. That is true of all traditional systems, not just Ayurveda. Ayurveda isn’t homeopathy (part of AYUSH), which is effectively just water. It uses herbs, some of which do actually produce effects and side-effects on the human body. No one would deny that.

      > I say most of them are over five thousand herbs undergoing pharmaceutical studies in us let us watch.

      Are we even sure, if we are even looking at the same plants that Charaka used? How do you know his plants had the same chemical compositions as today’s plants do? That’s what I mean by vague. That’s a problem with biological factories, not built by specifications. Life is constantly evolving. It only takes a few generations to create new cultivars.

      In a study in US, analysis found that 30% of Ayurvedic meds (mostly imported from India) did not even have what they claimed to contain. That’s also what I mean by vague. Why can’t we regulate AYUSH meds in the market for quality control?

      > U told it is coincidence that few herbs are effective

      No, I did not say coincidence.

      > let me give eg: research on curcuma longa says it has activemolecule which is effective in antiinflamatory action and anti venom action on pitted viper so i use a external application called” dashangalepa”

      You are putting your patients lives at risk, if you are treating potentially lethal conditions with your own beliefs. That is what the author of this article meant by unethical practice. If your patients aren’t dying, perhaps they were not bitten by venomous snakes, or were bitten by snakes that have already recently delivered their payloads to their prey. How can you tell? Unless the formulation has been formally studied for clinical use, it is highly unethical to use non-standard treatments in cases like these. Those patients need proven anti-venins.

      > i use them in inflammation, spiderbite, scorpion, poison, bee sting

      Are you saying that your concoction works faster and better than modern anti-inflammatory agents? Are you mixing both and claiming goodness for your concoction?

      > it states it was not a vague theory.

      Really? 🙂 Your texts say that?

      > Again the research showed only one variety showed anti venom action

      Effect size please. How did it compare with a standard anti-venin?

  • Hai u asked about use of poisonous parts of drugs or use les parts are used in treatment . There are clear description on which part should be used and which is poisonous it doesn’t advice to apply mud or something else to be applied on a wound .or irrelevant drug for that matter eg : texts mentions of aloevera use in burns and wounds research now show ” alleride” in aloevera is very good immunobooster and pramote wound healing and in burns also. If there was no rational scientific observations they could have advised something else eg, tulsi etc. Let me ask u Chinese eat poisonous snakes since thousands of years who told them which part is eatable that is observation. So Ayurveda didnt fall from all a sudden and some created it. Diaties, i didnt called charaka a diatey charaka means wanderer a seeker of knowledge . it is not proved compilations were made by how many along the years . Ayurveda never claimed a author or creator in astangasangraha first chapter states it was remembered and preached to deciples later fallowed. So it is not a supernatural theory. 2. One more eg : honey used widely in Ayurveda indicated in treatment of burns and wounds .Australia researchers found honey is potent wound healer and also in diabetic gangrene now marketed as dressing gauges . I. Agree that there are major problems in Ayurveda now who is responsible for that ? Doctors. ,texts. ? Successive rulers ignored need for comprehensive study in present context and understand its uses as well as limitations . It later during British completely neglected and even acadamic perspective studies are sidelined .leading to very poor infrastructure , faculty ,and less knowledge d teachers so as the students. Neharu and other successor also neglected by thinking dams and bridges bring prosperity that we see now tens of farmers die due to drought . Every piece of knowledge is useful one or the other day . Nothing can cure every thing in this earth. Every thing may be useful to some extent. . The decline of Ayurveda is past but modern medicine due to commercial interest not far high can see elisa tests done first day of dengue fever and filling his body with platelets in Bangalore and delhi . U get more tools to find more diseases in healthy person!!!

    • I am not doubting that at least some part of traditional medicine was based on “rational” “observations” and trial-and-error. The other part would perhaps be claims made as extensions of the theoretical dogma (in Ayurveda’s case – the humor theory). It is hard to say which part contributed how much of the corpus because there is no data.

      What I am doubting is the quality of these pre-modern empirical efforts. Modern medicine has three main advantages that make it a science it is today. a.) a strong basic science foundation that the traditional systems lacked when they formulated their central dogmas b.) development of probability theory and statistics c.) the development of the model of a clinical trial that eliminates the main cognitives biases of observation.

      Without these advantages, the so-called observational knowledge that the ancient physicians (not just Ayurveda) produced is of a rather questionable quality. Even our much more sophisticated modern approaches are not good enough and still need to be further refined.

      > Let me ask u Chinese eat poisonous snakes since thousands of years who told them which part is eatable that is observation

      Obviously, it is much easier to record observations in cases that involve quick death :-). The trouble is for recording less obvious observations – that requires trials and statistics. But really, snake poison is not lethal orally (assuming no GI wounds, incl. oral ulcers), strictly speaking. It is a protein that gets broken down by gastric acid.

      > it doesn’t advice to apply mud or something else to be applied on a wound

      Sushruta Samhita does advice application of all sorts of animal excreta on wounds.

      > So it is not a supernatural theory

      Here are a few quotes from Sushruta Samhita.

      – Pre-op preparation: “Prayers, offerings and prophylactic charms should be offered”.

      – “Hence (in the eighth month of gestation) offerings of meat should be made to the demons and monsters (for the safe continuance of the child).”

      – “Every morning after a bath^ a man should offer ten thousand oblations in fire and take the powders and decoction of the roots and bark of the Vilva with milk in a spirit of self-control, whereby he would be able to acquire longevity.”

      – “For the successful application of his newly acquired knowledge (Mantras^ he shall devotedly worship the gods with offerings of perfumes, garlands of flowers, edibles, (animal) oblations, etc., and with the appropriate Mantras sacred to them as well as with burnt offerings, since a Mantra chanted by a man in an unclean spirit or body, or accented or uttered incorrectly will not take effect.”

      – Rabies: “The patient should be bathed at the crossing of roads or on the bank of a river with pitcher-fuls of water containing gems and medicinal drugs and consecrated with the appropriate Mantra. Offerings of cooked and uncooked meat, cakes and levigated pastes of sesamum as well as garlands of flowers of variegated colours should be made to the god (and the following Mantra should be recited). *’0 thou Yaksha, lord of Alarka, who art also the lord of all dogs, speedily makest me free from the poison of the rabid dog that has bitten me.”.

      I feel really sad reading the “science” of Rabies treatment from Sushruta. Sushruta knows it is hopeless once the symptoms begin (in case of an actual rabid animal). The whole thing is a post-hoc fallacy (it just will appear to work when the animal is not rabid), as is common with alternative systems.

      > aloevera is very good immunobooster
      > Australia researchers found honey is potent wound healer

      I don’t pay much attention to broad claims such as “potent wound healer”, “immunobooster”, “restores balance” etc. I want to see more specifics and very strong evidence with such claims, which is typically not the case.

      > but modern medicine due to commercial interest

      I obviously have nothing to defend in commercialized medicine. It needs to be fixed.

  • In the research on MicroBiome in human gut, one of the goals is to figure out a way that tells us whether MicroBiome is balanced or not. I am not in the field of medicine, but that is what I gather from news. Ayurveda has this idea of balancing vata, pitta, kapha.
    Could the herbs used in Ayurveda be balancing MicroBiome by playing prebiotic and probiotic roles?
    What are the chances that Ayurveda could provide insights that lead to fruitful research in understanding microbiome? Can the knowledge and experience gained over the past few centuries on the effects of herbs help us finding research methods that can lead to results faster than the sequencing of microbiome?

    • > Could the herbs used in Ayurveda be balancing MicroBiome by playing prebiotic and probiotic roles?

      When Ayurveda (as well as other parts of AYUSH) was formulated, germ theory did not exist; had no concept of microbiology at all, much less microbiomes.

      Traditional Ayurveda’s humor theories (“balancing vata, pitta, kapha”) were made up to explain away the lack of knowledge about things we take for granted today).

      But I expect that modern Ayurvedic (as well as other AYUSH) practitioners will claim they have solutions (as they claim for everything) and point to this small study or that. Doesn’t mean much.

      > Can the knowledge and experience gained over the past few centuries on the effects of herbs help us finding research methods

      Alternative medicine did not develop a *single* validated research method so far. It did not critically evaluate its own theories… ever.

      Short answer: Don’t expect alternative medicine to get any results, much less faster than science.

      • > When Ayurveda (as well as other parts of AYUSH) was formulated, germ theory did not exist; had no concept of microbiology at all, much less microbiomes.

        Sure, the concept of microbiome originated very recently. I did not mean that the ancients knew about it. But it is still possible that they were manipulating it as a black box without any knowledge of underlying mechanism(s), just as people for millennia were producing plants and animals with desired traits by selective breeding. They treated the underlying genetic mechanisms as a black box and fed it carefully chosen inputs to get desired outputs.

        > Alternative medicine did not develop a *single* validated research method
        > Don’t expect alternative medicine to get any results, much less faster than science

        In my question, I was referring to the research methods of mainstream scientific medicine, not those of alternative medicine. The comparison I tried to make was between the current methods of studying microbiome, like sequencing and any potential alternative methods that could be developed which would hopefully deliver faster results than sequencing. The reason I ask that is, sequencing takes a brute force approach and the numbers involved in microbiome are just too large. That is my understanding of current research, I may be wrong. And in developing those alternative research methods, could the black box experience of alternative medicine provide any insights analogous to the black box experience of plant and animal breeders provided to Darwinian and Mendelian science? That was my question.

        > Traditional Ayurveda’s humor theories (“balancing vata, pitta, kapha”) were made up to explain away the lack of knowledge about things we take for granted today).

        Could you give some examples or point me to some sources that show what the humor theories were trying to explain and how modern theories explain the same phenomena better and thereby render the humor theories obsolete?

        • Pre-scientific selective breeding was a fairly simple concept. I am not sure what deep understanding earlier breeders provided Mendel and Darwin.

          Sequencing is continuously becoming faster and cheaper. In my view, Ayurveda methods are about as useful in modern research, as Bhaskara/Ptolemy are to ISRO and NASA.

          > Could you give some examples or point me to some sources that show what the humor theories were trying to explain and how modern theories explain the same phenomena better and thereby render the humor theories obsolete?

          Germ theory. Now its not even a theory anymore because you can directly see everything in microscopes. Humor theories became entirely obsolete, as soon as Biology and Pathology developed as modern sciences.

  • Ravi u have mis read my earlier post on curcuma and anti venonm i never said i treat lepa on viper bite but on scorpion

  • Ah, yes. Looks like you just said that while the research seemed to point to pit viper action, you just use it on other less-lethal bites. My bad.

    Here are some other supernatural claims in Sushruta Samhita.

    “The malformation of a child in the womb should be ascribed to the atheism of its parents, or to the effects of their misdeeds in a prior existence….”

    “The venom of celestial serpents lies in their sight and breath” – not exactly rigorous standards in observation, he/they just mixes in folk lore.

    and some plain silly stuff.

    “The venom of a scorpion lies in their saliva” – why would any one be confused about this… with that huge stinger overhead?

    “It would do the man bitten by a snake an immense good if he could bite the serpent that had bitten him or failing that, bite a clod of earth without any loss of time”. – hilarious.

    This is what I mean when I say that Ayurveda was not a science.

  • Hai, i agree no sensible person in world will agree to those abstract s. If any one advocates that should be punished .but ravi u just ignored the whole chapter of kalpasthana by sushrutha. Rabid dog bite treatment was given earliar in someform ‘ ‘dathurametal, ‘ plant along with other drugs which is cns depressent and relaxant . He stated it is incurable in aggravated stage. He also states rabies after animalbite manifest in laterdays so he prapose to agravate disease artificially in controlled way and treat it. So some logic along with some nonsense one can take the good one.

    • > i agree no sensible person in world will agree to those abstract s. If any one advocates that should be punished .

      I am glad that you see it that way too. I was just responding to: “So it is not a supernatural theory”, by pointing that there is plenty of that around, as was the case with all pre-scientific systems of medicine.

      > but ravi u just ignored the whole chapter of kalpasthana by sushrutha.

      The toxicology chapter is (understandably) primitive compared to modern toxicology.

      > Rabid dog bite treatment was given earliar in someform ‘ ‘dathurametal, ‘ plant along with other drugs which is cns depressent and relaxant .

      Datura is hardly the Milwaukee protocol. Was there ever any published case of *confirmed rabies virus in the system* cured by Datura and other Ayurvedic drugs? It would be unethical to even try in humans now. Was it even ever demonstrated in an animal subject?

      We had no chance against rabies until the development of the vaccines.

      > He stated it is incurable in aggravated stage.

      Yes. But you don’t need to do science in matters that result in death in 100% of the cases. All ancient cultures knew this about rabies.

      > He also states rabies after animalbite manifest in laterdays so he prapose to agravate disease artificially in controlled way and treat it.

      The very idea that you can “aggravate disease artificially” to treat it, is wrong. It seems to be a widespread idea in alternative medicine. It promotes the illusion that the physician is in charge while the disease aggravates on its own account. In many self-limiting problems (an episode of backpain, a bite of a non-rabid animal), where there will usually be a remission after the natural aggravation, this myth promotes the illusion that the physician was actually able to effect the disease process (once again, a post-hoc fallacy).

      > So some logic along with some nonsense one can take the good one.

      Oh, I am sure there is plenty of “logic” of some kind in all this. There problem is that most of it is flawed and based on extremely shaky foundations.

  • Hai, again u mislead me by making blanket theory on treatment after aggravation. Sushrutha said this in perticular disease only of rabid individual . On dhattura metal who has tested but the disease symptoms correlate with its actions so i said. It was my assumption any one interested can test it and prove or disprove. I do not know what was sushrutha, s social and cultural compulsion to mention celestial snakes of mythology .but he clearly describe the terrestrial too with types, venom types habitat and action on human body .with a lighter note sushrutha lived even after personally treating rabid and wrote next chapters of his book but a modern physician send group D to inject rabid in his cell.! 2. On dosha as evil, texts never describe dosha in quantitative or physical property level so can’t measure them in gms or ml or either by color and taste, smell. They are explained under qualitative principles .means there is no permanent seat of dosha in body they just express the quality of that part or molecule or cell .eg : vaatha give brittle nes and roughness quality in bone in natural form. But in nerves and brain the” gathi” or kinetics of impulse . Alochaka pitha in eye explains transformation of vision the “pachana” but can u find it. But no same pitha told in ears bcz there is no false sound first heard and transformed. All the dosha as u understand are not evils. They are basic principles of every body and cell. Eg: a person who is more posess vaatha quality is vaatha prakrithika purusha and he is natural and healthy so dosha are not evils they are natural qualitative expression of single cell. 3. ” “Artiminisin ” molecules are research d and good antimalarial drug found. I wonder wether the scientist who discovered it will be kind enough to make note of his source of inspiration in his nobel award speach? Artimin annua is plant used choice drug in malaria in Chinese folk medicine since 2000years. But this thing happened in china bcz they are economically strong as usa so funded research but here in idia even a student of msc in biochemistry hardly touches a herb bcz he believes its crap and un scientific to research on ayurvedic herb. Now i elaborate on the sad part of this invention .after research Novartis advices farmers to grow sweet wood tree in China ,india and elsewhere .assure them of buying but gates and company research on synthetic biology and found a synthetic molecules of artimisinin using sugar Fermant. Now poor farmers are lost in middle .is this a rational research where natural drug is Available but u use lot of sugarcane and find alternative in huge cost. Now after patent novartis will sell same medicine to Chinese which they knew earliar. 6. Mangalore is the hub of best medical fraternity in south india. But now patient there get malaria every year due to resistance .do u think there is decrease in case s of malaria after hundred odd years. Finally u talked about high mortality rate in india in 1915 but it was not bcz of Ayurveda it was post effect of great bengaal famine which is not in any ones hands.

    • > Hai, again u mislead me by making blanket theory on treatment after aggravation. Sushrutha said this in perticular disease only of rabid individual.

      I don’t really know where alternative practitioners are getting it from, but this aggravate-and-cure claim is not uncommon. I hear Homeopaths claiming it more than Ayurvedics though.

      > On dhattura metal who has tested but the disease symptoms correlate with its actions so i said. It was my assumption any one interested can test it and prove or disprove.

      That’s not how science works. One doesn’t get to throw around claims and expect others to prove or disprove. Of course, Ayurveda isn’t a science and therefore it does that. But you keep insisting it is and so cannot make this argument for its defense.

      But yes, Datura makes sense at some level. But in Evidence Based Medicine (EBM), we care about results, not how it sounds. There have been many instances, even in modern medicine, where treatments were proposed because they made explanatory sense, but later evidence did not show effectiveness, which is why we are all about EBM now.

      > I do not know what was sushrutha, s social and cultural compulsion to mention celestial snakes of mythology.

      You seem surprised. I am not. This is pretty much what every ancient culture did with their medical systems. For a modern citizen, myths, folklores, medicine etc are different subjects; not so for our ancestors. Thinking that people in Sushruta’s generation thought with our frameworks and clarity is a mistake. Everything was mushed together for them.

      > but he clearly describe the terrestrial too with types, venom types habitat and action on human body.

      Well, duh! I did not say that Sushruta and his students were dumb. He did the best he could… organizing the limited knowledge he had at hand. Every major culture organized their snakes and scorpions, because those were the important, day-to-day problems of agrarian communities. That’s hardly surprising.

      > with a lighter note sushrutha lived even after personally treating rabid and wrote next chapters of his book but a modern physician send group D to inject rabid in his cell.!

      I didn’t understand.

      > 2. On dosha as evil, texts never describe dosha in quantitative or physical property level so can’t measure them in gms or ml or either by color and taste, smell. They are explained under qualitative principles.

      Right. And that was the big mistake of our ancients. Measuring is what makes science. It prevents you from cooking up theories, just like that. It promotes clarity and verification. All the ancients made this mistake of course. Qualitative inquiry is a good first-pass approach. Once we have preliminary models, we should quantify, critique and refine models etc. However, humanity mostly became stagnated with what we today consider to be the early stages of inquiry, until the scientific revolution… and this wasn’t just in medicine.

      > means there is no permanent seat of dosha in body they just express the quality of that part or molecule or cell.

      Don’t impose your ideas on Sushruta. Sushruta knew nothing about molecules and cells.

      > but can u find it.

      Well, if no one can find it, there is no point in talking about it, as if it is a fact.

      > But no same pitha told in ears bcz there is no false sound first heard and transformed.

      I won’t pretend that I understand what you mean.

      > All the dosha as u understand are not evils.

      I never said that. I am a science guy. I don’t deal with evils. I also never said anything about “doshas” so far.

      > They are basic principles of every body and cell.

      They are basic precepts of humor theory. Don’t confuse that with the actual realities of Biology.

      > 3. ” “Artiminisin ” molecules are research d and good antimalarial drug found.

      I was beginning to wonder when you would bring this up, ever since I read the Nobel prize news. ;-).

      > I wonder wether the scientist who discovered it will be kind enough to make note of his source of inspiration in his nobel award speach? Artimin annua is plant used choice drug in malaria in Chinese folk medicine since 2000years.

      Please see the “Drug design or Drug discovery” point in this article. No one is disputing that occasionally you do find useful molecules in traditional medicine. This is not new and this won’t be the last time.

      The problem is that such finds are exceptions, rather than the norm. You don’t design the research program based on exceptions. Count how many new breakthrough drugs are coming about every year from traditional drugs and how many are coming in from the more standard methods. Where would a rational person direct the limited research resources?

      > is this a rational research where natural drug is Available but u use lot of sugarcane and find alternative in huge cost.

      Perhaps; you should search more on the motives. There is a reason people pursue synthetic molecules. Factories are more reliable than crops. Production of the molecule directly may be cheaper in the long run, than extraction from a complex extract. I don’t know what the case is, in case of this drug. But businesses are fairly rational when it comes to cost-management.

      > Now after patent novartis will sell same medicine to Chinese which they knew earliar.

      I am not sure it is the same medicine. It was a molecule extracted from one of the traditional prescriptions. But taking the molecule in modern formulations would be quite different than the pre-industrial extract.

      > 6. Mangalore is the hub of best medical fraternity in south india. But now patient there get malaria every year due to resistance. do u think there is decrease in case s of malaria after hundred odd years.

      Mangalore’s mosquito problem is a public health problem, more than a pharmaceutical problem. I don’t know the current state of Mangalore, but previously, the need was for getting rid of coconut shells, plastic bags collecting rain water, better drainage, better garbage disposal etc.

      > Finally u talked about high mortality rate in india in 1915 but it was not bcz of Ayurveda it was post effect of great bengaal famine which is not in any ones hands.

      Bengal Famine was a great tragedy. The colonial era did depress life expectancy worse than usual. As I said, 19yrs was not India’s usual. But we have estimates for entire history, for most of the world. India was not doing better than Europe for much of it. Our medicine and health wasn’t specially different from the rest of the world.

  • Ravi, thank you for your comments and diligence.

    Dr Murali
    //u are not interested in rational discussion //
    Rational implies based in logic and reasoning. In science, that amounts to evidence. Im afraid you’re the one being irrational.

    //u say few herbs are useful and effective. I say most of them are over five thousand herbs undergoing pharmaceutical studies in us let us watch //
    What ‘you say’ is completely irrelevant from a scientific point of view. You saying most of them are useful and effective is merely your opinion based on nothing. But i agree with your next sentence. Let us watch. Those that pass the test will be incorporated into scientific medicine. Those that don’t, will be denied entry into scientific medicine(but not ayurveda, because some scholar a thousand years ago said so in an old book which none of you seem to find the need to verify)
    Over and over, you mention drugs derived from plant sources to justify ayurveda. As i have already mentioned in the main article, and i reiterate, drugs obtained from plant sources(or any source)that survive the scientific method are scientific medicine. It is irrelevant if they were once part of traditional medicine. And the fact that that plant was found to be safe and effective does not give credibility to the other plants also described in those traditional recipes. Each one has to be studied independently. We presume nothing. That is the basis of evidence based medicine – EVIDENCE.
    You stating examples of plants does nothing to bolster your claim to the scientificity of ayurveda, it in fact only strengthens my own argument, that one should accept claims only after they have been tested.

    //So some logic along with some nonsense one can take the good one.//
    THIS is the most sensible thing you have said. But let me ask you, how will you separate the ‘logic’ from the ‘nonsense’? How does one take the ‘good one’?
    You have squarely missed that in all your musings. Surely you can’t just presume something is logical and something is nonsense? How do you separate the wheat from the chaff?
    Let me tell you – THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD…EVIDENCE.
    So until evidence is found, EVERYTHING is presumed to be NONSENSE, or, more specifically and relevant to my article – NON SCIENCE, until proven otherwise(which as you know from the example of artemisin and others, happens sometimes)

    //texts never describe dosha in quantitative or physical property level so can’t measure them in gms or ml or either by color and taste, smell. //
    Russels teapot.Occam’s razor
    If they can’t be physically measured, they must have some other specific theoretical function. Like the strings in string theory. There are no actual strings, its just a mathematical model which can be explained in terms more familiar to people by using the concept of ‘string’. What predictive advantage has the theoretical concept of doshas been proven to show? None. The dosha theory has never been proven, nor found useful(again, please dont give anecdotal evidence to show that it is useful – science doesn’t count that, for good reason)

    //hardly touches a herb bcz he believes its crap and un scientific to research on ayurvedic herb//
    That is not what drives research, whether a researcher thinks something is crap or not. Money drives research. If money is better spent on something else, that is where it will go. If there really was a gold mine in ayurvedic herbs, you would have pharma companies all over it, you yourself attest to their greed. Their reluctance is primarily a cost benefit analysis. And if we can get better drugs in a cheaper way, that is what we should do, regardless of whether they come from a lab or from a nursery.

    //Finally u talked about high mortality rate in india in 1915 but it was not bcz of Ayurveda it was post effect of great bengaal famine which is not in any ones hands.//
    What about before that? Modern medicine has substantially reduced mortality rates, infant mortality rates, rates of puerperal sepsis, has increased life expectancy at birth…there is plenty of evidence for this. Please don’t make hollow claims, just google it. This is not even up for debate. Ayurveda and other traditional forms of medicine, in terms of impact cannot compare with scientific medicine, and sanitation measures.

    Krishna, Ravi dealt with all your points, so I’ll just say, “^what he said”

    • > Ravi, thank you for your comments and diligence.

      Sure, no problem :-).

      It looks like I basically repeated many of the points you made in this post, in my last one. Should have read it first.

  • Hi all,

    It was a lengthy discussion,my are here

    1. ayurveda & pseudoscience – before going into pseudoscience i will explain my understanding of ayurveda first. ayurveda considers human in relation to his environment throughout the text both are inherent, environmental fluctuations alters human biology, the health of individual is constituted by food, environment, season & climate, activities of that particular individual along with family lineage, place where individual is born, living etc common linking thread is dosas ( i.e. humors as said in the discussion). ayurveda understands health of individual by subjective parameters, functional paramaters. They observed there is a baseline variation in health of the individual so they considered or classified healthy individuals into different groups on the basis of their dosas. Since different individuals vary in their baseline health,so different individuals require different treatments or personalized care. The treatment is purely herbal or herbo-mineral form of medicines. This is my understanding of ayurveda.

    2. somebody mentioned about RCT and phases of drug researches here. what about RCT and these phases in Personalized medicine? the human genome project and other projects showed us 88 million sites of genetic variation in human genome, if a human has these number of variations in their genome will it be right to randomize them or consider them into same as a single group? or these variations are useless for RCT?

    Pls refer

    a. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19604080

    b. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0092867412002796

    since ayurveda appreciated variation among healthy individuals from phenotypical part genomics appreciated it from genotypical part, both arrived at personalized care, ayurveda started text with this concept but modern medicine just landing to this concepts. The concept of epigenome without knowing it the ayurveda text mentions health depends on seasonal, food & nutrition, activities.

    3. Toxicity
    For toxicity & structure of mineral preparation read this recent article
    a. http://scripts.iucr.org/cgi-bin/paper?S1600577515012473

    4. Integrating western and eastern sciences

    Read this articles
    a. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25952924

    b. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18782426

    Ayurveda clearly lacking scientific evidences but not anymore i hope, the concepts are getting validated now.

    if someone is showing scientific validation for concepts written in ancient ayurveda texts will that recent validated scientific evidences are also considered as pseudoscience ???

  • will you people promote this type of recent research (validating or like proof of concept) in ayurveda through AYUSH ministry or you all going to totally object anything comes with the name ayurved, like all did for all these years.

    Read the story of artemisinin
    http://www.nature.com/nm/journal/v17/n10/full/nm.2471.html

    If some asks what India did with their traditional system of medicine? what would be our response.

    Read this also
    http://swarajyamag.com/culture/nobel-for-traditional-medicine-of-china-meanwhile-in-india/

    • Perhaps it bears repeating, because there is a constant tendency to cast this as India vs. West or Eastern vs. Western medicine, as well as in political dimensions (Swarajya Mag article you linked).

      I do NOT feel that there should be eastern and western sciences. Science is universal. There is no Chinese astronomy, Indian astronomy, Western astronomy etc. Astronomy is astronomy. Likewise, medicine is medicine.

      My critique is against all pre-scientific systems of medicine, not just Ayurveda or other Indian systems… and yes, that includes Chinese medicine, despite Artemisinin, along with Greek, German, Persian and Arab systems. No one is suggesting that we talk in Yin/Yang, now that a drug from Chinese medicine was found to be very useful. If Chinese medicine keeps bringing out medicine after medicine, consistently, then we might have to reconsider. Same goes for Ayurveda. Exceptions do not make the rule.

      > before going into pseudoscience

      Let’s elaborate. I regard Homeopathy as a pseudo-science. But I don’t regard Ayurveda of Charaka & Sushruta as a pseudo-science; it is pre-scientific. However, I do regard modern bombastic claims from Ayurvedics, unsupported by evidence, as pseudo-science, while considering modern herbal research as a legitimate science.

      I am as much against pushing Western Galenic medicine today, as I am against pushing Ayurveda. I am even more so against Western German Homeopathy, which is pure quackery. At least with Ayurveda and Galenic medicine, one can expect occasional hits in research.

      > i will explain my understanding of ayurveda first

      Much of what you have described applies to all traditional medicine. Many use ideas such as humor & yin/yang, and all use herbs and minerals.

      > ayurveda considers human in relation to his environment throughout the text both are inherent, environmental fluctuations alters human biology

      When Ayurveda was formulated, neither the human, nor the environment, were well understood. Nothing about germs or pollutants were understood. Everything was listed as “poison”.

      In what way does Ayurveda specially consider the “human in relation to his environment”, in ways that modern medicine does not? Please list actual quotes from our Ayurvedic texts. I want to examine their sophistication. Modern medicine has an entire discipline called Environmental Medicine.

      > The treatment is purely herbal or herbo-mineral form of medicines.

      Purely? Not true. Ayurveda tried to use just about everything it had access to, and left *nothing* out… bones, various animal excreta, alcohols, prayers, rituals, biting snakes and clay (:-)) etc. etc. Ayurveda was not selective at all. If there was some limited technology to create synthetic compounds in the day Ayurveda was formulated, it would have used them. This dogmatism against synthetic compounds I hear from Ayurvedics today, is quite recent.

      > or these variations are useless for RCT?

      Of course not. But merely talking about variations is just hand waving. Developing new methods to quantify the effects is what is required. RCT is a gold standard today, but it is always open to refinement and was never set in stone. There is no reason why future modes of RCT won’t routinely group samples by genome data, as we do for gender, race and age today, as technology to do so practically and *reliably*, and data to guide the process become increasingly better available.

      > The concept of epigenome without knowing it the ayurveda text mentions health depends on seasonal, food & nutrition, activities.

      *All* medical systems talk about about seasons, different foods having different strengths (due to lack of finer details about nutrition) etc. Calling this epigenome wisdom is far-fetched. I don’t complain about the studies you listed. But I don’t think they have established Ayurvedic methods as those that can be effectively applied in clinical practice in the modern age yet. Let them continue to go ahead and extend the argument scientifically. We’ll see.

      > For toxicity & structure of mineral preparation read this recent article

      What about it? It says a particular formulation with a heavy metal was safe. Likewise, there are other studies on drugs in the wild, that state that Ayurvedic formulations do have metal toxicity. So some with metals are safe, while others aren’t.

      > If some asks what India did with their traditional system of medicine? what would be our response.

      That we carefully archived it and did the same thing that Greeks did with their Galenic medicine and the Germans did with Homeopathy. How does that sound? We should do with it as what ISRO is doing with Bhaskara’s astronomy or what NASA is doing with Ptolemaic astronomy.

      > Read this also

      You, Murali and this Swarajya Mag seem to be under the impression that China’s strong economy & funding and positive outlook to ancient tradition is what made the difference.

      When Youyou Tu was doing research, China was quite poor. It was not richer than India at the time, and certainly much poorer than India is today. As Youyou Tu’s article in Science says, she did not even have a properly working pill-making machine at first. So what is stopping Ayurvedics today? They have much more funds already. When can we see the next Artemisinin? I can’t wait to applaud. Remember, all EBM cares about are results i.e. clinical effectiveness, not apologetics.

      Since then, China has grown much richer and now embraces the traditions it shunned in the fervor of the cultural revolution, perhaps for new political and cultural reasons, just like India, rather than purely for science. What new ground-breaking meds has China discovered with all this better support and funding?

      Swarajya Mag is complaining at a critical article in some little-known magazine and a science blog, and pretending as if it is some great oppression. Surely the author knows what went on in China during the cultural revolution. Youyou Tu worked in dangerous times, when mobs could have raided her lab, when valuable Chinese ancient books and other artifacts were being foolishly burnt (I may think of Ayurveda as outdated, but I still respect its texts as artifacts of heritage), just in the name of dissociating itself from the past. Nothing of the sort happened in India. Indians still shut down their critical thinking abilities and clap, as soon as the word ancient or vedic is uttered (I wish there was such excitement about statistical strength). We can hardly say that the environment is hostile in India towards Ayurveda.

      No one said that traditional medicine (Indian or Chinese) cannot have a hidden gem, here and there. Every article on Ayurveda on Nirmukta seems to say that. That’s not the same as validating Ayurveda.

      > what they did with those translated texts ??? even the preserved copies of palm leaf scripts are available in most prestigious libraries of world. whether they decoded those scripts with sanskrit scholars? are they doing research on those sanskrit verse after decoding? or all the science concepts emerging now are from ancient palm scripts?

      You are just taken to conspiratorial thinking. The West never paid much attention to Ayurvedic medicine. The burden of proof is on you, if you wish to argue otherwise. Preserving palm leafs is good archeology, not proof of intellectual property theft.

      The West already had a Galenic corpus, which was much larger than the Ayurvedic Corpus and just as ancient. What Ayurvedic concepts exactly, are you suggesting that the West stole from Ayurveda, that were previously lacking in the Galenic corpus? West discarded its own Galenic corpus and replaced it with Scientific Medicine (which definitely did not come from Ayurveda).

      Why is it so hard for us to do the same? Can’t we grow beyond the past? That is the whole point of Enlightenment… to shake off shackles of ancient ideas and think fresh, once again. But in India, modern thinking gets painted as leftist thinking, Scientific Medicine gets painted as Western medicine, while somehow, the entirely useless Western German quackery that is Homeopathy is painted as wholesome.

      > if it is valid use it or leave it

      Great idea. List a dozen things in Ayurveda that Ayurvedic researchers noted were invalid and ineffective, as per evidence.

  • “Medicine is medicine”

    By saying this all indian scientists particularly having background of medicine are escaping in doing research and *original* research, they are simply *adopting* every research from other countries, without originally doing anything in India.

    What prevented Indian scientist to get Nobel Prize in Medicine?

    State reasons here.

    What prevented Indian scientist to get Nobel Prize in Physics, Chemistry, also?

    “Considering modern herbal research as a legitimate science”

    90 % of these herbal researches are not at all involving any ayurveda related doctors or scientists. These are purely done only by modern pharmaceutical persons or pharma companies. Without having or knowing anything about ISM. If you see Youyou Tu comments she had initial trouble in isolation of molecules and it was solved after reading 1500 year old text. I advise to have an ayurveda researcher or doctor to include in a research team along with modern pharmaceutical herbal research that may produce good outcomes. When you blame ayush systems the non-ayush graduates or researches are not spending single minute in defense of their research, only ayush peoples are suffering and come for rescue, here are also some ayurveda doctor came for discussion. So the non-ayush graduates researchers are using ayush system to sustain in research without knowing ayush and without producing good research outcome.

    “RCT”

    So can we stop RCT trails for a while until we will find better alterations?

    “But I don’t think they have established Ayurvedic methods as those that can be effectively applied in clinical practice in the modern age yet”

    Please mention top five in the following

    a. Any research out-come that is considered as path-breaking in practice of medicine that has emerged from India

    b. Any disease newly discovered by Indian doctors from India (not mention rare diseases only prevalent in India that may not occur in other part of world) that was later included in medical texts.

    c. Any medicine discovered in India (only in India by Indian doctors or scientists) that is very essential in clinical practice.

    d. Any medical device or techniques emerged from India that changed clinical practice of medicine.

    “Chinese research”

    Annual funding of only one medical institute (aiims) in India is nearly 1400 to 1500 crore and for entire AYUSH ministry is nearly 1000-1500 crore per year, only given on this time only. Kindly see the previous budget allocations for Indian medicines. What was the outcome of research in ICMR, outcome of research in aiims and other central medical universities, why you don’t focus on these areas, without knowing financial grants to Indian systems of medicine all are telling to ayush is nonscinece and useless. But system which is hugely funded and pampered produced nothing as research outcome. Let us all compare medical research publication from Indian medical institutes to other leading competitors and know the truth. Compare overall research funding of India, China, US other countries also. List out research funding’s of ayurveda for past 10 years.

    “You are just taken to conspiratorial thinking. The West never paid much attention to Ayurvedic medicine. The burden of proof is on you, if you wish to argue otherwise. Preserving palm leafs is good archeology, not proof of intellectual property theft”

    archeology things should be kept in museum but they have all available Ayurvedic books in library with catalogue number.

    Here are some proofs

    In 15th century Portuguese physician practiced in Goa. He treated Portuguese peoples and Indian peoples also. He noticed the herbal practice of Indians and interested in learning also. At that time only available medical system is ayurveda. His name was Garcia de Orta and his work was on drugs and spices of India and book was named “Colóquios dos simples e drogas he cousas medicinais da Índia” . The work was translated across Europe, providing the earliest systematic exploration of Indian medicine by a European.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garcia_de_Orta
    http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/broughttolife/people/garciadeorta.aspx
    http://www.ucl.ac.uk/histmed/downloads/ma_teaching/lo/c123_10b.pdf

    Hendrik Van Rheede & Hortus Malabaricus

    Followed by him Van Rheede from Dutch East India company, who stayed in Malabar region. He was astonished by herbals of these regions and medical practice. He with help of team of nearly 100 people including 4 ayurveda vaidyas produced Hortus Malabaricus, why he did this work? Upto that time in kerala knowledge transmission was oral through generations there was no text book, Van Rheede might have thought to take these knowledge to his country so he did this work. The English translation was published only after 2000, van rheede published in latin. It contains nearly 750 medical plants with illustrations. “Carolus Linnaeus made use of Rheede’s work, noting in the preface of his Genera Plantarum (1737) that he did not trust any authors except Dillen in Hortus Elthamensis, Rheede in Hortus Malabaricus and Charles Plumier on American plants and further noted that Rheede was the most accurate of the three”

    Though Galenic corpus was available to them why they needed herbals of India and these works, De Materia Medica by Dioscorides (who was student of Galen) was available but De Orta established his work was better than others work, so it was translated and replaced previous work. So what was the content of Galen’s corpus and his student’s text? is it so outdated in those time period on comparing with herbal text produded by De Orta and others?

    Refer –
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hendrik_van_Rheede
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hortus_Malabaricus
    https://archive.org/details/HortusMalabaricus
    http://nopr.niscair.res.in/bitstream/123456789/14856/1/SR%2049(10)%2026-28.pdf
    Book – Transformations of Knowledge in Dutch Expansion
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_Materia_Medica
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pedanius_Dioscorides

    Followed by him many Europeans and British came for herbal knowledge

    William Roxburgh – Father of Indian botany ???
    http://apps.kew.org/floraindica/htm/roxburghlife.htm
    https://priteshbhatt.wordpress.com/2014/04/02/william-roxburgh-the-father-of-indian-botany/
    http://www.indianbotanists.com/2012/11/william-roxburgh-father-of-indian-botany.html
    http://madrasmusings.com/Vol%2023%20No%2015/another-madras-first.html
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3358962/

    Indian classical medicine Text from other part of world
    Refer
    https://www.academia.edu/4125988/New_Manuscript_Evidence_for_the_Textual_and_Cultural_History_of_Early_Classical_Indian_Medicine
    https://www.academia.edu/1912779/Sanskrit_Manuscript_Collections_Outside_India_with_Special_Reference_to_Ayurveda

    Surgery transmission from India

    The forehead flap for nasal reconstruction was introduced to Europe by Indians only, and this method was similar to susruta’s mthods. Constantine carpue came to know about this technique was practiced in India. He came to India, learnt and introduced this techniques as “Carpue technique”

    Refer –
    http://drnichter.com/impact-indian-methods-total-nasal-reconstruction/
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_rhinoplasty
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Constantine_Carpue
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaspare_Tagliacozzi
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_influence_on_Islamic_science
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sushruta_Samhita
    https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00584749/document

    Story of Vaccine discovery

    Refer this article
    https://www.academia.edu/451964/_A_Pious_Fraud_The_Indian_Claims_for_pre-Jennerian_Smallpox_Vaccination
    http://www.moneylife.in/article/vaccination-the-inside-story/24108.html
    http://www.whale.to/v/hadwen1.html

    The knowledge was transmitted from India to Europe and later to british, if they are not looked Indian medical knowledge why they have to do all these things.

    Whether any Indian Paid attentions to ancient indian texts ?

    Similar story of Artemeisinin in India

    Dr. Vakil practiced cardiology in India, he administered root extract of “Rauwolfia Serpentina” (described in caraka samhita as sarpagandha) for hypertension patients and he found significant reduction BP. He published his work in BMJ after 10 years of research. Read rest of history from
    references

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1524711/
    http://inhn.org/textbook/the-birth-of-neuropsychopharmacology.html
    http://bjp.rcpsych.org/content/188/2/109

    Dr. Asima Chatterjee biochemist and interested in phytomedicine. She dedicated in identifying active molecules of herbals described in ayurveda.
    http://www.currentscience.ac.in/Downloads/article_id_092_09_1310_1310_0.pdf
    http://www.vedicbooks.net/treatise-indian-medicinal-plants-volumes-p-14100.html

    PC Ray FRS, chemist who written a book on Indian alchemy on request of his French friend to know what is in Indian alchemy.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prafulla_Chandra_Ray

    The persvon who studies ayush is not doing research, the person who is doing research not aware of ayush. So how would we expect research outcome. Where is inter-disciplinary work environment to do research systemically in ayush???

    Overall research in India

    Refer –
    http://scroll.in/article/727743/india-research-report-doctorates-innovation-hrd-shortage
    http://www.mydigitalfc.com/knowledge/will-india-ever-get-nobel-medicine-834
    http://www.dailyo.in/technology/narendra-modi-nature-journal-science-csir-madhukar-garg-icmr-greenpeace-biotech-space-research/story/1/3726.html
    http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/science/what-ails-science-in-india/article7202170.ece
    http://www.natureasia.com/en/nindia/article/10.1038/nindia.2013.176

    why India is lacking overall research? If the status of overall India is like this how ayush system can do research without any funding. You all expecting ayush research should be on par with research produced by Harvard or Johns Hopkins University with this funding.

    • I will just cover bits that Ameya left out.

      > So can we stop RCT trails for a while until we will find better alterations?

      Why? RCTs, while they certainly need to be refined further, they are the most reliable means of evaluating drug claims today. We can stop RCTs as soon as we find a better alternative, but not until we do. Why do you even think otherwise? Randomization and Double Blinding are crucial to protect against biases.

      Sure. Indian texts were translated. That’s not the same as saying that Ayurveda was adopted. I don’t see any evidence for its theories in Western medicine. Generally speaking, traditional herbal medicine did not cross geography very well, since the local flora differ. China is our neighbor and we did not pick up much from her herbal medicine. That’s no conspiracy and neither is the European story.

      > Though Galenic corpus was available to them why they needed herbals of India and these works

      Needed is a strong word. In the renaissance, lots of oriental books were translated, not just from India. They did help blow the western bubble that the world was all about them (Indians and especially Chinese had bubbles of their own of course) and this set the stage for enlightenment in Europe. Enlightenment could have been Indian or Chinese first, had the dice of history rolled differently. See “Why the West Rules–for now” by Ian Morris.

      I am not setting pre-enlightenment western culture as anything superior to oriental cultures. India was generally a better place to live in, for most of world history. My only charge is that the game completely changed in the last 300 years.

      The point is: What herbs of India were taken to Europe? Sure books were written and appreciated… but adopted? That case has not been made.

      Indian corpus did profoundly influence the Arab culture however, which did not produce as much on its own. Certainly, there were Indian mathematics and metallurgy and such more transferable corpora that did influence the West, who initially confused them as Arab accomplishments.

      As for Surgery, we can endlessly talk about Sushruta’s rhinoplasty, but the West and the rest of the world, of course had surgery of its own; war injuries being universal problems. We certainly did quite well ourselves too. But once again, the game changed in the modern age. What is there now to adopt into modern surgery from the ancient world?

      Same with vaccines, primitive efforts were being attempted in all of the world, with limited success, in a world that had not known of microbes.

      If you want to argue that ancient India was better than all other ancient cultures, fine. While I may object to the lack of nuance, I am not trying to argue on those lines at all. My argument is entirely: Can we benefit significantly from ancient texts TODAY. My answer is of course in the negative.

      I keep repeating this: For India, the battle is between modern vs. ancient, not east vs. west.

      > Overall research in India

      In a later post, you listed a huge list of problems with medical training and research in India. I actually agree with all of that. But these are third-world problems. Which country that has the same per-capita income as ours, is doing a better job? None. Of course, we can’t compare a $1.7K country to a $55K country. Its more complicated than that, but you know what I mean. AYUSH won’t fix anything.

      > You all expecting ayush research should be on par with research produced by Harvard or Johns Hopkins University with this funding

      No, I expect AYUSH to be on par with AIIMS, tops, to be taken seriously.

      You keep saying AYUSH (after all, that was the target of the article). However, all your arguments are for traditional medicine, specifically Ayurveda. Do you really want to be lumped with Homeopathy? Don’t you at least see a problem with it? It isn’t ours. It has been established by all studies to not work. The ideas are downright comical.

      • Homoeopathy and Unani – Not originated from India but unfortunately it was kept along with ayurveda and yoga, we can’t get rid of it.

        “I expect AYUSH to be on par with AIIMS”
        Issue is funds, infrastructure and scientific temper needed to verify anecdotal evidences scientifically. Many AIIMS professors are also doing research in AYUSH.

        “overall research in India”
        Third world problems affects ayush too. It is not an excuse, but chance should be given.

        RCT
        Refinement in RCT will occur only when pharma companies initiates it.

  • Ravi, I was about to type a comment in response to the one you responded to when I saw yours and had to backspace through about 50 lines of text. 🙂 Well done again. Please add me on facebook.

    //What prevented Indian scientist to get Nobel Prize in Medicine?
    State reasons here.//

    Nothing. Or opportunity maybe? But thats also the same reason no Indian has traveled to the moon. Its hardly a valid argument against modern medicine, or even in favour of alternative medicine. You’re just stating an obvious fact; that poverty does not favour an atmosphere of original research which requires a lot of infrastructure and funding. So?

    //90 % of these herbal researches are not at all involving any ayurveda related doctors or scientists.//
    So what? So long as the research is done using the scientific method, it is valid. It doesn’t matter whether a PhD is doing it or a ten year old girl. I’d welcome anyone with knowledge of research methodology, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, statistics, epidemiology etc in such research. Unfortunately, these subjects aren’t taught in detail in courses of alternative medicine. Without the pre requisite knowledge to undertake a trial, I think its quite unfair that you resent being excluded from one.
    So as you rightly said, //These are purely done only by modern pharmaceutical persons //, precisely because they happen to have the expertise required to do them.

    //If you see Youyou Tu comments she had initial trouble in isolation of molecules and it was solved after reading 1500 year old text.//
    Note that the same texts also had a whole load of complete nonsense which she had to weed out before identifying artemisin(BY THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD)
    Read the story here http://www.scilogs.com/in_scientio_veritas/2015-nobel-pharmacognosy/

    Despite that, I wouldn’t be against your suggestion // I advise to have an ayurveda researcher or doctor to include in a research team along with modern pharmaceutical herbal research that may produce good outcomes.// so long as the said ‘researchers’ and ‘doctors’ stick to the scientific method and don’t insist that the team take the ‘wisdom’ of their books for granted, no problem, lets have them.

    In your next section, you ask if India has come up with any substantial contribution to science. How is that relevant? How is it relevant where the contribution has come from, or by whom? Science is science. There is no western science nor eastern. Its just one thing.

    your claim AIIMS has //produced nothing as research outcome//
    All I needed to do was a google search to find this http://www.aiims.edu/aiims/research.htm
    As you can see, some of them are very valid common diseases that cause a lot of damage, like diarrhoea, iodine deficiency, TB, Hansens etc.

    //Here are some proofs// That long section that follows is all anecdotal evidence, which in science doesn’t count as ‘proof’ Not only that, it is also argumentum ad hominem, because we are simply supposed to believe these ‘Westerners’ because they were smitten by Indian wisdom? Where are the numbers? Where are the statistics? All this is pre scientific…It doesnt count as science. Quoting this now is pseudoscientific. In my words – nonscience!

    //The persvon who studies ayush is not doing research, the person who is doing research not aware of ayush. So how would we expect research outcome. Where is inter-disciplinary work environment to do research systemically in ayush???//
    This is simply not true. Pharma companies have one goal – profit. If, as you claim there is a hoard of knowledge in AYUSH, medicines which will cure the world of many illnesses, you can be sure big pharma will be the first to lay its claim on it. You can be sure they will muscle in and try to patent everything and make a profit. And they have, which is why many plant derived medicines are patented and are available as proper drug formulations. The rest of AYUSH is not ‘worth’ exploring for lack of data supporting the investment in a lengthy expensive research process. If big pharma, with its massive budget chooses to stay away, why in the world should a country like India with its very very limited resources spend ANY money on it? But it does, and it is a colossal waste. A colossal waste of 1500 crore of TAXPAYER money, money which could have been better spent doing some research on things which actually showed potential(and here again the word potential means something statistically. It means weaker forms of scientific evidence which merit more in depth analysis)

    A suggestion- I suggest you maintain better records. Use these records to make systematic studies. Even retrospective studies have some value. If in retrospective analysis you find some specific treatment effective for a specific disease in a specific dose with specific side effects, submit this to any medical journal with the necessary statistics proving your claim. This doesn’t take any special infrastructure. It can be done in your clinic and with the help of a small laptop/notebook with microsoft excel. Once enough of you publish such studies, big pharma will take notice of it, and see potential to make money. To make money, it will invest money. i.e. do research. Noone is stopping you from doing this. In fact, if you aren’t going to stop practising an unscrupulous form of medicine that has no scientific validity, the least you can do is document it properly and thus ensure that atleast some of that data is useful to science.

    • > add me on facebook

      I have actually avoided all social media so far. But you can send me a note via email. As the author of this article, you should be able to see the address in the WordPress Dashboard, in the comments section.

      @veda
      I was busy and could not set aside enough time to address the long posts you made. I will get to them as I make time soon.

  • what was lacking in Galenic corpus? if english translation is available we can compare with ayush systems books and say exactly what is lacking. one thing i know for sure is before 15th century west don’t know human anatomy Galen mentioned anatomy of animals in his text books but without mentioning anything about it. so all thought it was human anatomy. During renaissance period that was 14th to 17th century, Andreas Vesalius a brabancon anatomist first came to know about Galen work was on animals and not on humans, while he was dissecting human body and found differences in Galen anatomy. so west came to know human anatomy after 15th century. But susruta of India 6th BC have given description of human anatomy. Immediately after knowing human anatomy they started surgery in the same 15th century ?!

    From Garcia to Carpue all came to India during Renaissance period (14th to 17th century). The science, art and culture flourished during renaissance period. During these time period India was invaded by Europeans, Mughals, British, how to flourish ancient Indian science or science during these invasions. The renaissance was golden period for European nations but that time period was dark age for India. From 14th to 18th century nothing happened in India for science works. During British period they legalized and licensed only allopathy practice. So automatically there was a decline in Indian system of medicine practice. Till it is continuing for ISM and also for science in India.

    • Sure. Galenic corpus is of course available in English, as is everything else.

      Galen was not checked in the same way that all ancients were not checked, which is kind of my whole point. That also applies to Aristotle, Charaka and Sushruta. You have seen the silly supernatural claims from Sushruta Samhita that I listed above to Murali.

      You can’t compare the work of Vesalius vs. Sushruta. Not even close. Vastly different eras. Where are Sushruta’s anatomical illustrations anyway?

      > The renaissance was golden period for European nations but that time period was dark age for India.

      Right. We agree. All I want is for India to have its renaissance and enlightenment. Better late than never. We disagree on what should be next. I say that the way is forward, not backward.

      > licensed only allopathy practice

      I think you are educated enough to not be excused for using the term “allopathy”.

      > During British period they legalized and licensed only allopathy practice. So automatically there was a decline in Indian system of medicine practice

      Ayurveda was stagnant for a long time before the British came along. Its not as if they stole the wonderful Ayurveda for themselves and imposed a bad system of medicine on us. We got exactly the same type of care that they got in England. The only problem was that we did not get enough of health care.

      • Where are Sushruta’s anatomical illustrations anyway?
        Ancient education in India was not based on illustrations,figures, tables etc. It was a hands on training or in house residential learning methodology, student has to stay with teacher for sufficient years, and it was passed for generations. so there is no need for illustrations in those time, it doesn’t mean sushruta not had enough knowledge in anatomy, otherwise he couldn’t describe surgery methods.

        Renaissance and enlightenment in India
        I’m also waiting to see this.

        • There weren’t detailed textual descriptions of anatomy either in our texts. So lets give ancient Galenic medicine some credit for at least having animal anatomy.

          > so there is no need for illustrations

          Hardly. The lack of illustrations had more to do with the fact that we used palm leaves that do not lend themselves very well to drawing. Other cultures used better writing mediums.

          It wasn’t a question of not needing. Illustrations always help… in all sciences. We have far more rigorous training today in anatomy than our ancestors ever did. We also do a lot more practice than they ever could (better facilities, more patients in larger hospitals, patient influx is better enabled by modern transportation etc). Only in rare cases (Eg: Nalanda) did ancient India manage to operate on the scales of a modern university that we take for granted today.

          Lets also not use modern terms such as “house residential learning methodology”. There was no “methodology” in any sense that we would recognize today. It was just an amorphous concept of apprenticeship.

          Passing education through generations, as a family trade, as oral instruction, is also not something we should look wistfully at. The printing press revolutionized human civilization. I am glad that the many old modes of knowledge transmission are now discarded. There is nothing to go back to.

          Today, I sit at home and listen to the courses and lectures of the greatest intellectuals, scientists and authors of the world, in every discipline I have an interest in, review them again whenever I need to, all without paying anything… and it keeps getting better and better. I have no longing for the old world at all.

          > it doesn’t mean sushruta not had enough knowledge in anatomy, otherwise he couldn’t describe surgery methods.

          But that’s an assumption. The surgeries described by all ancients, including Sushruta, are fairly rudimentary compared to modern surgeries. You can do them with a very limited understanding of anatomy.

          • > Ayurveda was also a subject in Nalanda and Takshashila

            As were no doubt taught, Astrology and Geo-centric astronomy. I hope you are not calling for them to be brought back as well. Geo-centric astronomy can make some useful predictions, despite its theory being completely silly from a modern standpoint. No modern astronomer would consult it again, except for historical purposes. My argument for Ayurveda is basically the same.

            If you are being clouded by your emotional investment in Ayurveda, perhaps you should think instead in terms of non-ayurvedic subjects like geo-centric astronomy (or something else) and see if your arguments still stick.

            I would be surprised if Ayurveda was NOT taught at Nalanda, because there wasn’t anything else back then. I have said earlier that it was perfectly fine for someone in the pre-scientific era to practice medicine in this way. But we can’t be excused now.

  • “//Here are some proofs// That long section that follows is all anecdotal evidence, which in science doesn’t count as ‘proof’ Not only that, it is also argumentum ad hominem, because we are simply supposed to believe these ‘Westerners’ because they were smitten by Indian wisdom? Where are the numbers? Where are the statistics? All this is pre scientific…It doesnt count as science. Quoting this now is pseudoscientific. In my words – nonscience”

    These are historical records or evidences nothing to do with science or statistics.what is scientific and pre-scientific in history. All famous biology, medical books starts with these history. so you consider those textbooks as pseudoscientific?

    “In your next section, you ask if India has come up with any substantial contribution to science. How is that relevant? How is it relevant where the contribution has come from, or by whom? Science is science. There is no western science nor eastern. Its just one thing”

    My suggestion is to close all research institutes in India and implement all research outcome from other countries, since there is no good research outcome in India spending further on research is also a colossal waste. Since your are not targeting current ayurvedic practice in Sri lanka, Malayasia, European countries, America and UK or ayurvedic colleges in US, UK, Europe. But only ayush ministry in India. so i’m curious to know what was research outcome of other sciences from India and other ministries.

    Thanks for your advice
    why i have to follow your advice, i don’t have any ayush background and it is argumentum ad personam

    • > All famous biology, medical books starts with these history. so you consider those textbooks as pseudoscientific?

      Well of course not. They are stating pre-science as history, not facts. I am not opposed to teaching traditional medicine as history. In fact, I very much encourage it. Just don’t push it to public without statistical validation though.

      > since there is no good research outcome in India

      India has done plenty of good science that is relevant in the Indian context, for its own public health needs. It may not be Nobel-prize grade work or otherwise much in the way of bleeding edge work, work you cannot expect a country with $1.7K per capita income to do.

      If you say then that what was all that about Ayurveda not winning Nobel prizes, that was in context of non-generalizability of the Chinese success with Artemisinin, despite worse circumstances.

      > Since your are not targeting current ayurvedic practice in Sri lanka, Malayasia, European countries, America and UK or ayurvedic colleges in US, UK, Europe. But only ayush ministry in India.

      Well yes. This is a rationalist web site focusing on India. We don’t discuss superstitions in Pakistan, for instance; only India.

      Likewise, I find New Age ideas in the West silly and amusing, but concerning, when those come to India.

      • “work you cannot expect a country with $1.7K per capita income to do”

        But doctors living in $1.7k per captia income also paid high salaries

        http://www.indiamedicaltimes.com/2014/02/11/study-shows-aiims-doctors-are-well-paid/

        economic burden is not a acceptable reason, i find it as mere escape to do a good research from doctors, here most doctors are medical teachers and practitioners, very few are good researchers. Moreover in India scientists are not given positions in medical institutes ( except few institutes like aiims there also very less post and not in all departments). So professionally trained practitioners graduated from Indian medical school will do either practice or teach but not do research. The medical school research in India is only for academic promotion not for scientific quest. so bogus research will always be there.

        • > But doctors living in $1.7k per captia income also paid high salaries

          Well, yeah. Doctors are always paid premium salaries everywhere. Clearing highly competitive exams (How many AIIMS seats are there in proportion to the population of the country?) and training for 10 years is expected to earn you good salaries when you set up practice.

          Indian doctors are obviously not making the same salaries as US doctors. But I expect them to earn within the top few percent of the Indian income distribution, just as US docs make, within the top few percent of the US income distribution. Why would you NOT expect that?

          > economic burden is not a acceptable reason, i find it as mere escape to do a good research

          Name one country in the world which does more research than India, despite having same per capita income or less.

          > Moreover in India scientists are not given positions in medical institutes ( except few institutes like aiims there also very less post and not in all departments).

          When a country is poor, the emphasis is in getting basic care to everyone; not in breaching the frontier. Again, this is the exact thing that all countries at the stage of development that India is in, do. This will gradually change. We do a lot more research than we did a few decades ago. The trend will continue.

  • After reading your posts i surprised to see how you missed recent articles from ayurveda that was published in very reputed journals, initially i thought you might missed it. After reading your replies i concluded that your not interested in searching about important research, just to show your anguish against ayush you have written it. after reading your reply i speculate you may have background in modern medicine, i’m not sure. If it is so this article is biased nature with personal intentions.

    Research – any one can address his curious question in science by adopting proper or widely adopted scientific methods to find answer for his questions. All i wanted to point is, this curiosity to do original research is lacking in Indian medical education (including all systems).

    By adopting other countries research one stream is escaping from criticism and other streams are highly criticized. But overall outcome is not beneficial from all streams.

    If you couldn’t show a single evidences of path-breaking research from India, then why are hesitating to accept the fact India is lacking in research culture for medical sciences overall.

    • > All i wanted to point is, this curiosity to do original research is lacking in Indian medical education (including all systems).

      You need not. I think we all agree with you on that and find it very concerning. There need not be a Nirmukta if this was not the case. But this has to do with economics. In India, for most people, education is about a better salary, rather than about curiosity and enlightenment. It won’t change until the economy gets much better. I won’t judge people for it because most need a lot of economic security before contemplating on higher goals.

      > By adopting other countries research one stream is escaping from criticism and other streams are highly criticized. But overall outcome is not beneficial from all streams.

      There is plenty of valid criticism on the execution of modern science in India. I don’t think that mainstream science has escaped any criticism. Unproven alternative systems of course deservingly have plenty to answer for.

  • What is happening in medical education, medical research in India, wanted to know current status out of curiosity, when one stream medical supporters pointing their fingers to others streams are not scientific.

    This was one I got first, few important points are pasted here.

    Why India’s medical schools are plagued with fraud – Reuters

    Few most important paras from article

    “more than one out of every six of the country’s 398 medical schools has been accused of cheating, according to Indian government records and court filings”

    “The poor state of India’s medical education reflects a health system in crisis. The country has the highest rates of mortality from diarrhea, pneumonia and tuberculosis, creating pressure to train more physicians. Patients are regularly denied treatment at public hospitals that are so overcrowded, often the only way to see a doctor is to pay a bribe”

    “Charged with maintaining “excellence in medical education” is the Medical Council of India (MCI). But this government body is itself mired in controversy. Its prior president currently faces bribery allegations. The council is the subject of a mountain of lawsuits, many of them pitting it against medical schools challenging its findings. The cases often drag on for years”

    “In the United Kingdom, between 2008 and 2014, Indian-¬trained doctors were four times more likely to lose their right to practice than British–trained doctors, according to records of Britain’s General Medical Council. (The U.S. and Canada lack publicly available centralized databases of disciplined doctors.)”

    “The market has been flooded with doctors so poorly trained they are little better than quacks,” Rao told Reuters.

    A study in India published in 2012 compared doctors holding medical degrees with untrained practitioners. It found “no differences in the likelihood of providers’ giving a diagnosis or providing the correct treatment.” The study, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, concluded that in India, “training in and of itself is not a guarantor of high quality.”

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/06/17/us-india-medicine-education-specialrepor-idUSKBN0OW1NM20150617

    http://www.bmj.com/content/350/bmj.h3324

    Next i searched for medical research outcome in India

    A scientometric analysis of Indian research output in medicine during 1999–2008

    Conclusion – High quality research in India is grossly inadequate and requires strategic planning, investment and resource support. There is also a need to improve the existing medical education system, which should foster research culture.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3312706/

    searched reason

    Are Indian medical students pessimistic about participating in research?
    What to say more than this bmj blog article written by recently finished surgery resident.

    “The curriculum in Indian medical schools does introduce students to the concept of research—the problem being that the appeal is limited. It is largely assumed to be a “western” practice that cannot be easily replicated in India. Information on the topic is remembered to help pass exams and rapidly forgotten thereafter”.

    Oh I got it, this is the actual reason why Indian modern medical graduates are not doing research in India.

    http://blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2015/01/07/indian-medical-students-pessimistic-research/

    And the result outcome would be like this – unethical, unscientific, damage to human lives. They can able to do this kind of research only.

    254 women were died in clinical trail

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Row-over-clinical-trial-as-254-Indian-women-die/articleshow/34016785.cms

    Blaming other streams without actually doing original research in your field is also a bad thing, originally medical curriculum is not focused for research. You all people are trying to point ayush as nonscience but with huge funding and facilities in modern medicine, research outcome is not significant, so in India scientifically developed modern medicine studied doctors are also not able to do original research.

    • I acknowledge the problems. AYUSH of course is also prone to every one of these problems as well, and more. Indian medical education and institutions may be quite flawed by US/UK standards, but they still do tower over the other countries within the subcontinent, and other countries elsewhere at our stage of development. I feel they will get better, as economy improves, as we are able to afford more stringent standards and regulation.

  • “Much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue”

    From the words of Dr. Richard Horton – Editor in chief, Lancet

    “Offl ine: What is medicine’s 5 sigma?” – editor comment on Lancet

    http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(15)60696-1/fulltext?rss%3Dyes

    Points out “Affl icted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny eff ects,
    invalid exploratory analyses, and fl agrant confl icts
    of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing
    fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has
    taken a turn towards darkness”

    Before him John Ioannidis prof at Harvard writes “Why Most Published Research Findings Are False” in 2005

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1182327/

    These are problems of science or result of unethical science???

    If scientific methods are well defined, understood, agreed by scientists, why they are not following principles of scientific methods, what made them to violate the guidelines, if it is found then also it accepted for publication.

    what to trust in science???

    • > Points out “Affl icted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny eff ects,invalid exploratory analyses, and fl agrant confl icts
      of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing
      fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has
      taken a turn towards darkness”

      I agree. And much of the alternative medicine research especially falls into this category (if I pulled my hair for every *obviously* bad alternative medicine study, I would be bald today – the studies you posted were fine), as does much of the poorly-funded research from the third world. There are simply too many journals now, with too lax quality controls. So it is almost impossible to not be able to publish somewhere. But serious researchers largely ignore the problematic journals. Sure, you have occasional problems in major journals as well; but less often.

      > Before him John Ioannidis prof at Harvard writes “Why Most Published Research Findings Are False” in 2005

      Ioannidis criticism was very well-received by the scientific community. I still remember the day that paper was published. The scientific community acted promptly to institute corrective measures. By forcing trial registration, we are now beginning to understand the scale of the problem. That’s how science corrects itself. Everyone runs into problems. But I rarely see alternative systems willing to admit their problems, honestly and openly.

      Will I ever see Ayurvedics in India, demand Ayurvedic drug regulation, so that formulations meet the low..low standards of actually containing what they claim they contain? Will Homeopaths ever admit in India that they don’t actually have statistical proof that they ever cured *anything*? (They admitted in UK, where they can’t dance around like in India) If science has several times as many problems as today, it will still be far better than the alternatives.

      > These are problems of science or result of unethical science???

      Science isn’t magic; it is a human enterprise, subject to human flaws. The scientific method is designed to provide several safeguards against human flaws. However, humans constantly adapt and come up with new ways to game the system. This means that science will always need to be constantly updated.

      > If scientific methods are well defined, understood, agreed by scientists

      They are currently better defined than they ever were. They will always continue to evolve.

      > why they are not following principles of scientific methods, what made them to violate the guidelines, if it is found then also it accepted for publication.

      Lack of accountability for bad behavior. In the West, one gets kicked out of academia, if they play plagiarize or fudge data. The university constantly reminds that people have a responsibility to report. This does not happen often enough in India.

      > what to trust in science???

      Scientific method, like a democracy, is better than all the other alternatives. What to trust? Just a take a look around you, and count the products of science. That should entirely answer your question (but you already know the answer to this rhetorical question). There isn’t however, ever going to be such a thing as a perfect science.

      What’s your alternative to science exactly? Dogma? Tradition? Pre-science? Pseudo-science? Quackery? Faith? Folk magic rituals?

      • after 10 years also the problems not changed,I am not arguing for science alternatives, but regular changes in process and methods.

        • They have changed. We are doing much better trial registration now. I cannot of course say that the problems have been solved, but progress has been made. There has also been an increasing push for easily reproducible research (at least the analytical component) as well. Cases such as the Reinhart and Rogoff paper would be less likely in the future as the methods are more widely adopted.

          > I am not arguing for science alternatives, but regular changes in process and methods.

          I am with you on that… as long as the changes are based on rational, scientific and statistical critique – exactly like the Ioannidis article.

  • Consider all the evidence on alternative therapies

    http://www.nature.com/news/consider-all-the-evidence-on-alternative-therapies-1.18547

    This is is recent article published in nature column, the author says

    “Investigate and incorporate the mechanisms of complementary medicine instead of rejecting it outright”

    AYUSH systems doesn’t have scientific experimental evidences comparable to modern medicine, it is known and it was pointed by Gandhiji also around 1910s itself.

    http://gandhiking.ning.com/profiles/blogs/ayurveda-and-mahatma-gandhi-1

    modern science started after renaissance and it is continuing, during starting time they re-evaluated ancient textbooks and started searching for experimental evidences and convinced world with research evidences. But India never looked into ancient texts. AYUSH ministry might be helpful in doing research in these alternative streams.

    Though AYUSH not having any scientific evidences, but reasonable percentage of peoples in India accepted it.

    common man is not asking for scientific research evidences to meet a doctor, he needs a cure or atleast relief from any system doctors. He don’t want to know all these scientific process same holds true for bureaucratic peoples in implementing health policy and schemes for all systems in India.

    Lets hope for better medical research in India and also from AYUSH.

    • > This is is recent article published in nature column, the author says
      > “Investigate and incorporate the mechanisms of complementary medicine instead of rejecting it outright”

      I am not convinced at all by the arguments offered by the author. Neither were her readers. Here are some comments from the article.

      ” There is an abundance of science-based medicine that needs scrutiny and development. The scrutiny will help clarify sham science-based treatments from effective treatments and highlight directions for improvements. But it is criminal to dilute the science with the alternative. Furthermore, the alternative is both endless and unprovable; no magnitude of resource could address the directive to ‘tease out the real active ingredients of these therapies.’ There are no active ingredients! The Nature editor(s) who let this shameless book promotion into the journal should be dismissed.”

      “will the patient be informed of this lack of scientific evidence behind those alternative quackery when subscribing to such “spiritual healing” session? Will they be informed that “there is no evidence” and it is all based on the placebo effect? I am guessing not. What happened to the “informed consent” part of the patient’s agreement to a health intervention? People don’t choose to take drugs or undergo treatments in the hope that the placebo effect will cure them. We choose them because – while a placebo effect is a possible outcome – we hope for the scientifically proven, therapeutic effect to occur.”

      “With all due respect, your approach has nothing to do with the scientific method. Astronomers don’t call astrologists for help to understand the big mystery of the universe. Physicists don’t call magnetic healers for help on how superconductivity works. California doesn’t ask first nation people for a rain dance, and we can go on, and on… When conventional medicine doesn’t work you may have to accept that there is no solution, even if it is about side effects. Your approach is very akin to those of religious people and Pascal’s Wager.”

      “A placebo is fake medicine by definition. It’s unethical to sell people fake medicine like homeopathy, acupuncture, or reiki. People act like the placebo effect is some mysterious force but it really comprises several effects, including Hawthorne effects, confirmation bias, distraction, regression to mean, and other effects that can cause fake medicine to look effective”

      “Jo To quote Ben Goldacre, flaws in aircraft design that doesn’t mean magic flying carpets are a better alternative.”

      “should we work with magic flying carpet salespeople and mechanics who claim they have amazing products that are an alternative to using wings and engines that work just as well?”

      “When people take alternative therapies they avoid to take real one, at best they postpone it. In case of serious condition it can lead to injuries or worse death.”

      > modern science started after renaissance and it is continuing, during starting time they re-evaluated ancient textbooks and started searching for experimental evidences and convinced world with research evidences. But India never looked into ancient texts. AYUSH ministry might be helpful in doing research in these alternative streams.

      If the author means the West, it rejected its own ancient books of authority after turning to science. That’s the point I already made. India needs to *grow up* and do the same.

      I am very disappointed by the quality of this article. If he represents an average professor in India, I weep for my country.

      > Though AYUSH not having any scientific evidences, but reasonable percentage of peoples in India accepted it.

      Clever. You said reasonable percentages of people, but not reasonable people :-). “reasonable percentage of peoples” also sacrifice chickens and goats to get well. Shall we have courses on that as well?

      > common man is not asking for scientific research evidences to meet a doctor, he needs a cure or atleast relief from any system doctors. He don’t want to know all these scientific process same holds true for bureaucratic peoples in implementing health policy and schemes for all systems in India.

      You make it sound as if science is a mere ritual that has nothing to do with the practice of medicine. Because the average Indian patient is uneducated in matters of science, a *greater burden* falls on the government to ensure that the medical marketplace is not cluttered with unproven products. The Indian patient is worse at exercising informed choice than one from a more developed country. Homeopathy today thrives only in countries where science education is poor. Until the Indian public is better educated in statistics, I feel it is extremely important to thoroughly regulate alternative medicine. That is the duty our government has.

      I really don’t care if a person who can understand the statistics in a research paper still chooses to take an alternative medicine… because it is an informed choice. But validated and unvalidated medical solutions should not be presented as if they are equivalents to the public at large. Its unethical in a modern world.

  • “Because the average Indian patient is uneducated in matters of science”,

    due to this reason doctors are not even telling diagnosis, treatment plan and adverse effects of treatment to common man and common man is not aware of his rights. Sale of banned medicines,spurious medicines and unregulated OTC sales these also needs to regulated. I feel it is easy to fix these issues,if doctors thinks to fix.

    I support stringent regulation for alternative medicines, but it is much easier for modern medicine to regulate its doctors and medicine sales.

    Lets validate and find scientific evidences for AYUSH, Lets do it together with multi-disciplinary way. Thats the only way or unscientific ayush trends would continue.

    • > due to this reason doctors are not even telling diagnosis, treatment plan and adverse effects of treatment to common man and common man is not aware of his rights.

      Yes, Indian doctors can be quite paternalistic because the intellectual differences between the doctor and the patient in India are very high, compared to the developed world. The pressure to keep costs low (resulting in much shorter consultation times) also excludes some basic norms practiced elsewhere.

      > Sale of banned medicines

      You mean medicines banned in other countries are sold in India? That can be OK, depending on the case. For instance, I generally respect the US FDA, but it has its own limitations; and US thresholds for risk and harm are different than India’s.

      If drugs banned in India are being sold in India, that is well, illegal.

      > Lets validate and find scientific evidences for AYUSH, Lets do it together with multi-disciplinary way. Thats the only way or unscientific ayush trends would continue.

      My view is that this is not a very productive route for reasons I already stated and you made your case that the standards are not that high for mainstream medical science in India. Returns on investment do need to be considered when it comes to dispensing public funds towards anything. But other than that, I have nothing against science of any kind, when properly done.

      • The mainstream medical science research is utter failure in India and even mainstream medicine too. They don’t know to utilize the alloted fund, they don’t know to do original research. But you people are saying it as economic burden. If research is not happening due to economic burden means what about this news article

        http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ians/health-ministry-slammed-for-under-utilisation-of-funds-115051900861_1.html

        “India is arguably the ill-health capital of the world” first line of following article

        http://scroll.in/article/764684/why-india-cannot-risk-putting-its-health-in-the-hands-of-the-private-sector

        latest lancet attack on India’s health
        http://www.huffingtonpost.in/2015/10/22/pm-modi-has-failed-india-_n_8354084.html

        if you are criticizing ayush as nonscience allow them to do good research, 60 years of research in mainstream medical science is not fruitful so giving fund for ayush ministry and for ayush research will not affect India, if they cut down mainstream medical research funds that would be very much helpful for our nation,like CSIR did recently

        http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=122489

        • > The mainstream medical science research is utter failure in India

          I disagree that it is an “utter” failure. It is along the lines of its economic development – sometimes better, sometimes worse.

          > and even mainstream medicine too.

          Mainstream medicine has substantially increased lifespans (by about *3 times*) and health in India. Lookup the public health accomplishments in India. Even at its worst, its accomplishments are leaps and bounds better than all the accomplishments of all systems of AYUSH put together (which is what exactly?).

          > They don’t know to utilize the alloted fund, they don’t know to do original research.

          It is fairly common to fail to use all allotted funds, even in developed countries. There is always a scramble at the end of the grant year to find things to do, so that there isn’t a cut for the next year. Yes, the scale of underuse differs. Funds are allotted under specific clauses. Circumstances change and the clauses prevent re-purposing. These are institutional problems (not healthcare specific). AYUSH or even any other non-health research would have the exact same problems.

          I do agree with the author that India needs to better develop its healthcare institutions, or rather, institutions in general. Most of India’s money should rationally go into public health and the research it funds should primarily be directed at its own public health problems, rather than say, a cutting-edge molecule that improves survival in an uncommon form of cancer. We already know what the solutions are. We suck at implementing them. So let’s fix that. That does not at all mean however that we now try herbs instead. These are economic, political and institutional problems, not problems of science. If researchers don’t use funds, let them be directed to building better sanitation systems for India (I know it sounds like the silly: why doesn’t India build toilets before it goes to Mars?, but its not the same). That would yield far better outcomes than AYUSH research.

          > India is arguably the ill-health capital of the world. Home to 17% of the world’s population, India accounts for 17% of global maternal deaths (500,000), 21% of deaths among children below five years (1.35 million) and 29% of newborn deaths (779,000). These statistics are a vital indication of the poor state of public health in the country.

          The statement is a hyperbole. Indian economic development is worse than the average economic development of the world. For all the bluster of being an emerging world power, we are still a poor country. Average world per capita income is 10K. Indian per capita income is 1.7K. One then, rationally expects each health metric (along with all other metrics) to be somewhat worse than the world average. What is important is the difference in per capita health indicators (talking about absolute numbers is misleading when one is talking about the second largest country in the world) when compared to other countries in the same developmental stage (Pakistan and Afghanistan fare worse, Bangladesh fares a bit better, despite being poorer than India, but like the Kenya argument, Bangladesh is no better than Kerala). So if India only has proportional maternal mortality, that means it is doing better than is expected of it, even if the absolute numbers look awful. The neonatal and pediatric mortality rates are along the expected lines (due to sanitation problems – the main cause of death in these age groups is GI infections… and only toilets, not medicine, will fundamentally fix this problem). Sure, there are a few rare countries that do well, despite poverty… and we should certainly try to emulate their systems. But the argument that scientific healthcare in India is a failure is unsupportable by evidence.

          > from the article: “we have chosen Haiti over Cuba”

          While I have all the admiration for Cuba’s public health, this is absurd. Cuba has a per capita income of 7K. Haiti is 0.85K. So of course health in Haiti is much worse than that of Cuba. 8x gap is rather hard to bridge.

          > allow them to do good research

          I am not against anyone doing “good” research, Ayurveda included. The trouble is that most people in alternative systems don’t seem to be willing to let go of dogma, because the dogma forms the very identity of the system… and that makes bad research much more likely, even by Indian standards. AYUSH also needs to extricate Homeopathy before it can be taken seriously. We already have plenty of data to confidently say it does not work… in even a single case. Modern medicine routinely performs re-evaluations of itself and challenges its own solutions. That was most of the ammunition you used in criticizing it. So far, I have not seen that from AYUSH. Until that is done, I have no trust in the scientific temper of most alternative medicine researchers. Medical researchers in India may not be producing a lot of critical research (I know of some, but don’t know if I can make a representative case), but India does recognize mainstream critical research from the world and adjusts its systems accordingly. So why is it so hard for it to do the same with Homeopathy?

          If your entire case is that Indian medical researchers have not done a great job, the alternative is not automatically AYUSH. Its to either fix mainstream science execution in India or to redirect funds elsewhere within the concern (like sanitation and cultural education with regards to it), where results would be guaranteed to be more forthcoming.

          • “So far, I have not seen that from AYUSH. Until that is done, I have no trust in the scientific temper of most alternative medicine researchers”

            Both modern medicine researchers and alternative medicine researchers both are from modern medicine school, very few countable people are from alternative background pursuing research as their career

            “the alternative is not automatically AYUSH”
            I’m not saying AYUSH as a alternative to modern medicine research, AYUSH also has a hope in fruitful research outcome provided facilities provided on par with modern medicine system.

            “Its to either fix mainstream science execution in India or to redirect funds elsewhere within the concern”

            I totally agree with you, needs to focus on serious problems prevailing in India.

            “That would yield far better outcomes than AYUSH research”

            what makes you to predict like this, even without given good research environment for AYUSH research, how you are able to predict AYUSH research outcomes.

            “It is fairly common to fail to use all allotted funds, even in developed countries”

            Proportion of used and unused is matter of discussion here, in developing countries like India, unspent of allocated money will also affects nations progress.

          • Both modern medicine researchers and alternative medicine researchers both are from modern medicine school, very few countable people are from alternative background pursuing research as their career

            I view AYUSH from the vantage of Homeopathy. You seem to mainly view it from the vantage of Ayurveda. Seeing Homeopaths’ attempts, to pretty much lay a silly science cover over that absolute pseudoscience is rather depressing. No, Homeopathy “researchers” don’t seem to have modern medicine and scientific training.

            what makes you to predict like this, even without given good research environment for AYUSH research, how you are able to predict AYUSH research outcomes.

            Inductive reasoning. Sure… its not an air-tight argument. Aside from Artemisinin, can we say anything good about alternative systems research from ANY country?

            Modern public health, on the other hand, is based on sound and validated scientific principles. We already have excellent data on its effectiveness, since shall we say, 1854? Sanitation is a rather low hanging fruit in India.

            I’ll turn the argument around. We don’t have good research institutions (or rather, we don’t have good institutions, period). Even something as straight-forward as mainstream medicine research is not working out great. What hope do we expect from wilder expeditions?

            Even the recently-hyped Chinese Herbal Medicine, even with the much better economy of China over India, is of rather low quality, overall.
            http://ije.oxfordjournals.org/content/36/5/1086.long
            In my view, alternative medicine, anywhere, generally attracts lower quality research, overall. And of course, just like India, China isn’t excelling in it either, with mainstream medicine trials (although I would naturally expect them to do somewhat better than us for development reasons, and expect both to continuously improve). Only 2% of their hebal medicine trials are of good quality, compared to 7% of trials for conventional medicine.

            I do not know of a single country where they do better quality alternative medicine research than regular medical research. So I’d say that my contention that AYUSH will be a step backwards, is a reasonable one.

            Of course, you might argue that in all countries, alternatives are always less funded (you would agree that India is not a special case). Fine, then there should be few good studies, rather than more poor studies.

            Can you define what you mean by Ayurvedic research, for these arguments? Perhaps we are not talking about the same things.

            Plain Herbal research using modern scientific methods? – I am fine with it.
            Phenotype studies like the one you linked? – I am fine with it.
            Cataloging and analyzing herbs from various regions? – I am fine with it. We should even hurry perhaps, as we keep messing up the flora with development and human expansion.
            Studies of diagnosis and treatments with humor theory frameworks? – I think that’s a waste of money at this point. You seem to think it still needs to be looked into. Is this your only area of contention?

            Proportion of used and unused is matter of discussion here, in developing countries like India, unspent of allocated money will also affects nations progress.

            Sure. Is the proportion of unused funds in medical research a special problem that is not present in other Indian institutions?… yes, proportion-wise? I am of the impression that this is a rather widespread problem in India.

      • Indian medical graduates can become good “theoretical medical scientists” except very negligible countable people. They are finding faults with other medical systems but failed to correct their system.

        • The world does not need much in the way of theorists in medicine. We just need good empiricists. The emphasis on theory, rather than evidence, was what doomed pre-scientific medicine.

  • Hai, i was unable to be part of your communication s for long time. Any how good reading those posts. I feel again you are dragging both systems in confrontative positions here i am not accusing modern science rather i do task of defending a punching bag called Ayurveda !! . Surely it is indefensible to prove relevance of Ayurveda from modern yardstick bcz you can’t measure distance between two places using kilograms or ml . So if Ayurveda choose to convince using modern methods then it may succeed to Little extent of fewer pharmacological efficacy in some herbs. But total perspective will be lost. Hence there is need for totalitarian aproach while discarding Ayurveda. In lighter way one can enjoy a fivestar recipes which is prepared in most professional ,scientific , modern way but nobody would like to throw out a home made food made. With no proper calculations and by a illiterate ,poor woman !!!. Ravi, i didnot said this to gain your sympathy i. Felt in that way thats all lastly thanks for some limited apriciation you showed towards Ayurveda in earliar posts.

    • > Ravi, i didnot said this to gain your sympathy

      Haha. I am sure you would do no such thing.

      > thanks for some limited apriciation you showed towards Ayurveda in earliar posts

      I repeat myself, again and again

      I am NOT specially against Ayurveda.
      I am NOT specially against Ayurveda.
      I am NOT specially against Ayurveda.

      That is my chant 🙂

      I am generally against going back towards ANY and ALL pre-scientific systems, except perhaps in special cases and as history. I have the same view for Indian or non-Indian systems, medical or non-medical systems. So this isn’t at all Ayurveda-specific.

      I perfectly appreciate Ayurveda, but as a heritage, rather than as medicine for today. I too would be just as happy as you, if others acknowledge ancient Indian cultural accomplishments (and find some very useful herbs than can compete with modern molecules), but don’t want that (what I consider) wishful thinking to blunt the leap into full modern thought. I believe that one day, India and China will far surpass the West in doing modern science. That might not be in our life times, but it is almost inevitable given the current trajectory, unless we really mess things up.

  • Do you think it possible, that Ayurveda has a cure for common diseases due to years of trial and error with emperical study? Despite the three humor theory, it may have (i haven’t looked) years of emperical data on the potency of a plant on commoon dieseases that are prevalant since its inception. I agree with the author when he says that we should research on the medicinal plants mentioned in Ayurveda. I believe that it is an emperical method for curing common diesease. I’m saying this only on prima facie anecdotal evidence. Although, I will be more careful in future but debunking it entirely without research is not something I’m in favor of.

    • Do you think it possible, that Ayurveda has a cure for common diseases due to years of trial and error with emperical study?

      To cure something, one must generally know the cause and mechanism i.e. know Physiology, Pathology, Microbiology etc. These were not known at the time Ayurveda was formulated. All the “cures” in ALL ancient systems of medicines are vague guessworks, by modern standards. There is no reason to believe that they were actually ever properly, systematically and critically vetted in all these millenia. Modern evaluations so far, did not reveal any treasure trove either.

      You cannot properly do “trial and error” in medicine, without guarding against cognitive flaws and without modern statistics (unless the effect size is huge i.e. immediate cure of an otherwise intractable problem). Without probability theory, we are just prone to confirming our biases. The development of probability theory in mathematics and ultimately its application in medicine is fairly recent. The entire history of medicine, across the world, is littered with unscientific “trial and error” attempts that mostly turned out to be complete nonsense.

      Having centuries in experience with a problem does not amount to much, when one does not have the means and the methods to systematically examine. Cholera was with us (it was reported in Indian texts some 2500 years ago and may well have originated in India) for millenia and people still did not figure out that it was fecally contaminated water that was spreading the disease (never mind understanding the microbial origin, since there were no microscopes). Even though it was observed that Cholera causes rapid evacuation of fluids from the patient, it never seemed to have occurred to anyone, until the modern age, that rapidly replacing the lost water could help save lives. So much for “years of trial and error”.

      Despite the three humor theory, it may have (i haven’t looked) years of emperical data on the potency of a plant on commoon diseases that are prevalant since its inception.

      There is no “empirical data” in Ayurvedic texts. When Sushruta and Charaka say a herb should be used, they do not at all cite any data that led them to that conclusion. This was the case in all over the world, throughout much of history. We should be careful in not superimposing elements of modern scientific thought, such as modern empiricism, on our ancestors’ thought.

      Today, we are finding that even something as innocuous as publication bias, within an otherwise decent scientific setup, can have profound effects on what it means to KNOW in medicine. Compared to this, the pre-scientific thought process was many, many times flawed. It is EXTREMELY hard to really know something in medicine. We have many safeguards today and yet feel we need to do more. The ancients did not have ANY of these. Much of the ancient claims are just clutter, not worthy of the effort to wade through. We may consult them in desperate times (like the Chinese did, in time of war) and rarely get lucky, but otherwise, it has not proven itself a productive destination.

      I believe that it is an emperical method for curing common diesease.

      ALL pre-scientific systems of medicine do not present ANY formal empirical method for acquiring data.

      but debunking it entirely without research

      No need to debunk it. Debunking is what we do with pseudoscience… like Homeopathy. Systems like Ayurveda are a pre-science, not pseudo-science. Debunking is only necessary when pseudoscience is overlaid on it. Note that no one is against proper herbal research. The critique is just against clinging to old dogma that should have no place in the modern world.

      I think the common problem (especially in countries like India where there is a confidence crisis with regards to our place in the world, given our colonial past) is that people automatically like to assume that ancient = wisdom. It isn’t. Today, on the whole, humanity is far, far wiser than our ancestors ever had the opportunity to be. Let us appreciate that. We have way more data and way more ideas and methods of analysis than our ancestors could ever even dream of. Likewise, our next generations will generally be intellectually much better equipped than us. The answers are, generally speaking, in the future, not in the past. My contention is that initiatives like AYUSH hold us back, still binding us to old pre-scientific thought, when we need break free to surge ahead, to catch up with the developed world that managed to break free from its own legacies.

      • First, Thank you Ravi for an informative response.

        |”There is no “empirical data” in Ayurvedic texts. When Sushruta and Charaka say a herb should be used, they do not at all cite any data that led them to that conclusion.”|
        I’m unaware of the absence/ presence of citation in ancient texts, I was assuming that it could’ve been passed down as Shruti.

        |”I think the common problem (especially in countries like India where there is a confidence crisis with regards to our place in the world, given our colonial past) is that people automatically like to assume that ancient = wisdom.”|
        I totally agree to the aforementioned statement and my only fear is that in walking the path of minimal confirmation bias, I do not fall a prey to Appeal to novelty or overlooking a genuine point of interest. Although, I fully agree and accept that basic tenets of Ayurveda seem potentially flawed and it holds no relevance under scientific scrutiny. Given what Charak says about three humors, it does seem he was unaware of cognitive biases. My only point of interest is, whether or not Ayurveda could have developed a decent system of medicine, purely based on trial and error.

        |”something as innocuous as publication bias, within an otherwise decent scientific setup, can have profound effects on what it means to KNOW in medicine.”|
        Can you please explain how publication bias affects our knowledge of medicine?

        • I’m unaware of the absence/ presence of citation in ancient texts, I was assuming that it could’ve been passed down as Shruti.

          I doubt it because of the quantitative nature of such information, which does not lend itself well to oral transmission. Bronze-age medical systems were only minimally quantitative.

          I totally agree to the aforementioned statement and my only fear is that in walking the path of minimal confirmation bias, I do not fall a prey to Appeal to novelty or overlooking a genuine point of interest.

          That’s a healthy position. Science guards against that by asking for strong proof before any claim is accepted. Pre-science systems often accepted claims if they simply sounded right (see my quotes on supernaturalism in our books, in this discussion). We should absolutely view all new things with healthy skepticism, but we also strive to resolve the skepticism in principled ways.

          Given what Charak says about three humors, it does seem he was unaware of cognitive biases.

          Not just him. No one of his time, anywhere in the world, properly accounted for them. Ancient philosophers did talk about biases, but that never evolved into a robust, general-purpose epistemological framework until the modern age.

          My only point of interest is, whether or not Ayurveda could have developed a decent system of medicine, purely based on trial and error.

          For the simplest of symptomatic issues, YES… as in… this seems to cause constipation, so lets try it in diarrhea… etc. It naturally does not work much for anything deeper than that because of the limits of basic science foundations.

          Can you please explain how publication bias affects our knowledge of medicine?

          People don’t bother to publish negative results or publishers don’t think they are interesting enough. So when a systematic review is performed, a very skewed picture emerges. It can be fixed and steps are being taken.

          An example:
          http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0197245687901553

          “The 156 respondents reported 271 unpublished and 1041 published trials. Of the 178 completed unpublished RCTs with a trend specified, 26 (14%) favored the new therapy compared to 423 of 767 (55%) published reports (p < 0.001)”

          55% makes it sound like the jury is still out. 14% makes it sound like chance effects.

          There seems to be no ill-intent in most cases.
          “non-publication was primarily a result of failure to write up and submit the trial results rather than rejection of submitted manuscripts”

          The Wikipedia article should be a decent introduction
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Publication_bias

          The Ioannidis paper is regarded as a classic on the topic. The provocative title certainly helped :-).

          https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1182327/?report=reader

  • @ RAVI

    “Aside from Artemisinin, can we say anything good about alternative systems research from ANY country?”

    Reserpine from “sarpagandha” it was clinically useful in Hypertension, Dr. Rustom Jal Vakil did research and got “Albert Laskar award” sarpagandha was worlds 1st hypertension medicine.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1524711/

    “I do not know of a single country where they do better quality alternative medicine research than regular medical research”

    In all countries alternative medicine research is secondary and i accept very few good studies are there.

    “Can you define what you mean by Ayurvedic research, for these arguments? Perhaps we are not talking about the same things”

    In my view ayurveda has considered human in little different way from modern sciences. There may be many different views between both systems. The one mentioning here as ayurveda research is looking genetic correlates of ayurvedic phenotype concepts. The ayurveda grouped individuals into different constitutions on the basis of their phenotypes (other ancient systems also mentioned same concepts).

    Some research groups in India wanted to do genomic studies for this phenotye classification, they found

    Gene expression and Phenotype – gene expression varies in healthy individuals of different constitution

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18782426

    Methyl DNA and phenotype – methylated DNA varies in healthy individuals of different constitution
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25952924

    SNPs and Phenotype – SNPs also varies in healthy individuals of different constitution.
    http://www.nature.com/articles/srep15786

    disease and Phenotype classification – RA disease genes varies with phenotype classified RA patients.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23049851

    The constitution type is determined by predominance of humor.

    The constitution concept may be theory, anecdotal but phenotype is total manifestation of genetic and epigenetic factors, if individuals vary in phenotype as per ayurveda whether they vary in genetic factors or not, this was the research motive for research groups. You can say constitution concept may be guesswork of caraka and susruta, but variations in phenotype level of individuals also have variations at genomics levels.

    We never thought of this kind of research from ayurveda, it was a result of Human Genome Project, it made Indian research group to look into ayurveda.

    In modern science there is no accepted method to classify healthy individuals either phenotypically or genotypically.

    Doing good research considering theory of ayurveda will gives us a lead or direction.

    “Studies of diagnosis and treatments with humor theory frameworks?”

    I am not saying research of diseases and treatments with humor theory, I would say understanding of human biology on the basis of humor theory with good research is needed than treatments. Modern science and research considers all humans as same it neglects variations in healthy individuals.

    Few scientist pointed out variations in healthy individuals but it was neglected.
    http://www.amazon.com/Biochemical-Individuality-Roger-Williams/dp/0879838930

    Disease biology is very complex and loaded with variations at different levels starting from individual, pathogenesis, signs and symptoms, disease manifestations, treatment responses. The so called black box genomics is almost resolved, but dimensions of phenomics is not known it. So understanding disease biology with genomics-phenomics is a huge challenge. Ayurveda or all ancient systems collectively may give us a theoretical framework for good research.

    My point is one day this kind of research will give useful outcome. So i insist on ayurveda research.

    • Reserpine from “sarpagandha” it was clinically useful in Hypertension

      Ah, yes. Reserpine. When I was training in Pharmacology, decades ago, these were the two examples given for drugs with alternative medicine origins: Reserpine from Ayurveda and Artemisinin from Chinese Herbal Medicine. Is that all we can list today? One each from systems that are 2500 years old, at the least? Modern medicine has been around for barely over a century and has rapidly replaced everything. Reserpine is no longer a drug of choice for its side-effects and Artemisinin-resistence has begun. Strictly speaking, Reserpine is not exclusively an Ayurvedic drug. The Greeks and the Chinese have also tried it for thousands of years and Ayurveda did not consider Sarpagandha as an anti-hypertensive (nor did any other traditional system – the concept of hypertension and its role as a chronic disease is fairly new). It was more of modern research finding a new use for an old herb.

      sarpagandha was worlds 1st hypertension medicine

      Was it? None of the traditional systems saw it as an anti-hypertensive. It was certainly among the first drugs, tried and soon replaced, early on in modern medicine, for hypertension; but it wasn’t the first.

      From Wikipedia: “The first chemical for hypertension, sodium thiocyanate, was used in 1900 but had many side effects and was unpopular. Several other agents were developed after the Second World War, the most popular and reasonably effective of which were tetramethylammonium chloride and its derivative hexamethonium, hydralazine and reserpine”.

      In my view ayurveda has considered human in little different way from modern sciences.

      Alternative systems “considered human”, NOT “in little different way from modern sciences”, but in VASTLY different ways.

      There may be many different views between both systems.

      This wasn’t a view by choice. That was all the old world could manage, given the lack of basic sciences. It is in fact modern medicine that views disease models in many, many different ways – epidemic, ecological, basic physiological, microbiomes, genetic, phenotypic, molecular etc, etc.

      The one mentioning here as ayurveda research is looking genetic correlates of ayurvedic phenotype concepts. The ayurveda grouped individuals into different constitutions on the basis of their phenotypes (other ancient systems also mentioned same concepts).

      Yes, recent research has been focused in these directions. I am not sure where this is headed.

      The constitution type is determined by predominance of humor.

      At least, traditional medicine believed so.

      You can say constitution concept may be guesswork of caraka and susruta

      Unlikely. Its very likely much older than that. It is a concept that is present in MOST traditional systems. Hippocratic corpus talks a lot about constitution. In Europe, it was used to justify racial and socially discriminatory ideas until the dawn of modern medicine.

      It wasn’t useful for modern medicine to talk about “constitution” until recently because the technology did not exist to properly and quantitatively study it. If the idea is that traditional systems were ahead of their times, I think it is a wrong one. There is no evidence that the application of the ideas of humors and constitution was ever reliably and productively used. They have never proven themselves in outcomes based evaluations.

      However, individual variation may indeed be gainfully exploited, once the technology to reliably assess it in a clinical setting, matures. So far, all I am seeing is traditional systems jumping on a new band wagon, rather than offer any new insight.

      I would say understanding of human biology on the basis of humor theory with good research is needed than treatments.

      I don’t think this is a productive route – despite the papers you cited.

      Few scientist pointed out variations in healthy individuals but it was neglected

      I am not sure if I’d call this neglect. Having a general and vague idea is one thing. But having the actual technology to measure and actually do something about it is quite different. Many ideas in science are set aside until their time has come… until the gap technologies arrive.

      No one has EVER suggested that humans (or organisms, in general) don’t have variations and that these weren’t important. We just did not have the proper means to quantify and do something about it in an operational clinical setting.

      Disease biology is very complex and loaded with variations at different levels starting from individual, pathogenesis, signs and symptoms, disease manifestations, treatment responses

      Of course.

      Ayurveda or all ancient systems collectively may give us a theoretical framework for good research.

      Very unlikely. The ideas in traditional systems are far too vague to derive anything operational from. I think that all we will have from this is claims that: Well, we were sort of doing something like that since long time ago.

      This is the era of statistical frameworks (entirely mathematically-derived – clustering rather than classification), not theoretical frameworks, much less those of bygone ages.

      The concern I have with these studies is that they are doing dimensionality reduction (PCA). It is obviously necessary for their goals, but it is crude and has caveats. I do PCA myself, to draw my own attention to key factors. But I would not make it the entirety of my analysis or the center-piece and expect it to be insightful. PCA dumbs things down… by design. False leads are quite likely. I hear opinions in conferences that we should not even do it because it is a lossy transformation. So I do not know exactly how meaningful these claims are. Until I start hearing from mainstream expert consensus, I will reserve my judgment on whether anything of value was found.

      • I haven’t seen any paper from mainstream researchers on phenotype classification and genomics correlation, though technology is available now, modern mainstream medical sciences needs a starting point to shift from reductionist approach to holistic or systems approach, that will be from ancient systems only.

        if you find problem with PCA analysis mentioned in this studies, please suggest alternative for PCA.

        Constitution concept is old and it was mentioned various systems, is there any difference in their descriptions, we cannot say research of medical research India and US are same, likewise concepts may similar.

        same herbal drug in different systems of ancient medicines used it for different diseases and in different way, though sarpagandha may be used by all systems, its use in hypertension is known from India, many modern medicines are outdated so what, no one prevented you people to look in to herbal knowledge of ancient systems. if i say lakhs of research groups working on modern medical sciences, only 100 research groups works on ancient systems. so the outcome will be accordingly.

        t is in fact modern medicine that views disease models in many, many different ways – epidemic, ecological, basic physiological, microbiomes, genetic, phenotypic, molecular etc, etc

        Modern medicine stuck at reductionism, lets wait for its future position.

        • I haven’t seen any paper from mainstream researchers on phenotype classification and genomics correlation

          http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3077105/
          Wouldn’t this, for instance (just a random search), count as “phenotype classification and genomics correlation”? There are plenty like these.

          modern mainstream medical sciences needs a starting point to shift from reductionist approach to holistic or systems approach, that will be from ancient systems only.

          I disagree with this reductionism/holism dichotomy. Reductionism is foundational. It is reductionism which makes holism even possible. Once we have robust models, we can raise the complexity of considerations.

          Modern medicine is VERY holistic, far more so than traditional medicine. You are smart enough to plainly see it, once you mute the rhetoric that chants otherwise. The sheer dimensions of the modern medical care corpus, far exceeds anything that traditional medicine ever even dreamt of. The ideas of “holism” in traditional medicine are limited, shallow and vaguely defined. “Systems approach” comes from modern science, not Ayurveda and the like.

          if you find problem with PCA analysis mentioned in this studies, please suggest alternative for PCA.

          I don’t have a problem with PCA. Like I said, I use it myself, as a preliminary step, before selecting machine learning algorithms, creating training and test sets, and evaluating the final models. I do have a problem with jumping to bold conclusions (humble claims are OK) entirely on it.

          There is a family of methods: Exploratory Factor Analysis and Confirmatory Factor Analysis. PCA is considered either a part of EFA or the preliminary step before it. What should be the optimal battery of analysis? I am not a Genomics expert (I have some training from a long time ago). Are you? People who do routine work in SNP factor analysis should critique this paper, and perhaps someone soon will. I have questions of over-fitting and the like. But these are best posed by domain experts, rather than me.

          Constitution concept is old and it was mentioned various systems, is there any difference in their descriptions

          That would be a great study for alternative medicine (if not already done)… nailing down the exact fine-grained differences between the pre-scientific theories from different cultures. How did our miasma theories differ from the European ones? How do Prana concepts differ from Yin/Yang concepts etc. I would love to read that paper.

          we cannot say research of medical research India and US are same, likewise concepts may similar.

          Mainstream medical research concepts in India and US are EXACTLY the same. Modern science is not a cultural product (although post-modernists will argue otherwise; but who pays attention to them anymore? They dropped the ball). It is like mathematics. There cannot be two cultural concepts for square-root. The concept of Odds-Ratio in India is the same as that in US. There are no conceptual differences in Malaria between India and US.

          though sarpagandha may be used by all systems, its use in hypertension is known from India

          Can you cite from our texts on this?

          many modern medicines are outdated so what, no one prevented you people to look in to herbal knowledge of ancient systems.

          Sure. I would not hold it against Reserpine and Artemisinin to be outdated. But my point is that the landscape is now completely denuding of drugs of choice, with traditional sources. The only thing preventing people from looking at ancient systems, is the lack of results from past attempts. Who wouldn’t, if the past experiences were otherwise. Its only the results that matter.

          if i say lakhs of research groups working on modern medical sciences, only 100 research groups works on ancient systems. so the outcome will be accordingly.

          My contention is that the productivity is lower even when adjusted for that. If anyone can statistically show that the research productivity is equal or better for alternative research, I will drop my cost-benefit objections. My understanding is that the returns are rare exceptions, rather than a rule.

          Modern medicine stuck at reductionism, lets wait for its future position.

          Stuck? By what metric is modern medicine stuck? It keeps continuously innovating with new possibilities.
          Alternative medicine, on the other hand, has been stuck in a quagmire, for literally thousands of years. Reasonable ideas at the time, have long become immutable dogmas.
          Alternative medicine is nowhere close to making any epistemological suggestions to the state of science.

          • I don’t agree with modern medical science is holistic, if you define holistic that would be better for me

            the paper you cited is single phenotype “alcohol dependency”, the paper i showed was classification of normal healthy human on the basis of ancient methods that correlates with SNPs,modern science not showed human classification from genomics or phenomics, plenty of single phenotype and single gene studies are available, mostly our researches are on this basis only.

            they excluded females from study and they stated some reasons

            the quality of research differs between US and India, not definition of parameters. Likewise the name constitution may be same but descriptions might differ.

            if reductionism was best method in modern medical research, why the systems approach is needed now?, why whole genome wide and phenome wide studies are required? say single molecular parameter to assess health of healthy individual?, define health in reductionist approach?

            “The sheer dimensions of the modern medical care corpus, far exceeds anything that traditional medicine ever even dreamt of”

            But cure is not available for cancers and many more complex diseases with this sheer dimensions or our understanding of human biology is completed, what dimensions you are mentioning here.

            “Reductionism is foundational. It is reductionism which makes holism even possible”

            I agree reductionism is foundational for science like physics, chemistry but not for medical sciences, even after knowing cells in nano dimensions reductionism not given promising results in clinical management of complex diseases or monogeneic diseases, we can’t explain psychology in reductionism, why we require connectome to understand brain now & why not single neuron, why whole genome & why not single gene (till many genes function not known yet) The end of reductionism is start of holistic or both may be sides of coin, may be any one is enough, but we can’t gain much more by applying reductionism further.

            or medical science re-evolving itself holistically.

          • I don’t agree with modern medical science is holistic, if you define holistic that would be better for me

            Holism simply means you take every actionable piece of information into account and intervene in every way that has evidence to support its value.
            For holism to be done, you need evidence… quantitative evidence, to make proper choices.
            To understand the whole person, modern medicine asks for all sorts of histories and performs various relevant diagnostic tests.
            To treat the whole person, modern medicine intervenes in every effected system.

            If a person has an accident, has a fracture & some wounds and arrives at the emergency room.
            We assess his injury, his mental state, check the whole body for other injuries. The lesion is examined clinically and radiologically. The fracture may be splinted mechanically, externally. If the nature of the fracture requires it, it may be operated upon, and corrected internally with metallic plates. During the procedure, pain is managed by very careful control of the patients consciousness and pain response. Blood type is recorded and transfusions may be provided. Antibiotic cover may be provided, especially in open wounds. In an infection occurs, the organisms are cultured and appropriate antimicrobial response is mounted. Inflammatory response is controlled. The effected body part is immobilized after the procedure. Care is taken to prevent emboli and bed sores. Proper nutrition is ensured to support healing; with supplementation. Physiotherapy is provided after healing to recover function. Occupational therapy is provided after discharge. Counseling, both to the patient and the family, may be provided to deal with the mental trauma as well as dealing with any major changes in life secondary to the accident.

            This is real holism.

            Holism SHOULD NOT mean, blindly asking a fixed set of empirically unvalidated questions, so that a person may be shoved into a tiny set of hypothetical, categorical boxes.
            Holism SHOULD NOT mean giving drugs that claim to “balance 3 hypothetical humors”, rather than talk with precision, about their holistic effects (includes side-effects) on the body, taking into account, the impact in terms of all the relevant physiological and biochemical processes known to take place in the body.
            Holism SHOULD NOT mean grand claims with hand-waving, with imprecise concepts and statistically unvetted methods.

            the paper you cited is single phenotype “alcohol dependency”, the paper i showed was classification of normal healthy human on the basis of ancient methods that correlates with SNPs,modern science not showed human classification from genomics or phenomics, plenty of single phenotype and single gene studies are available, mostly our researches are on this basis only.

            I just cited it to address: “phenotype classification and genomics correlation”. Sure, there are differences between the two. Science does not generally like subjectively defined categories because they were generally found to be very unreliable (that why I asked for kappa). The principle is: Observe rather than ask. Measure, rather than observe.

            they excluded females from study and they stated some reasons

            Its the reasons that are amusing. Since you know the literature, hasn’t anyone bothered to quantify if the Kapha answers do in fact change during menstruation and what the effect size is? It felt like I was transported to the 50s, with memories of attitudes of medicine from the 19th century (a lot of nonsensical constitution talk during this period). It’s no longer acceptable to casually make these conjectures, without proper empirical support.

            if reductionism was best method in modern medical research, why the systems approach is needed now?, why whole genome wide and phenome wide studies are required? say single molecular parameter to assess health of healthy individual?, define health in reductionist approach?

            I said I disagreed with this reductionism/holism dichotomy. One should always act in consideration with all the meaningful information available. That’s the rational, scientific approach. However, when one has a problem with unknown parameters, one starts with a simple model, simple enough to experimentally control, to reliably obtain data. As more factors can be incorporated, we do so, within the constraints of experimental feasibility. If gender has been quantitatively demonstrated as having significant impact on measurements, then the data will be stratified by that. If you can show that patients who report that they have a lot of flatulence are somehow reliably and quantitatively very different from those who don’t, we would stratify on that as well… but not until it has been rigorously demonstrated to be so, not just because some old book, written on palm leaves, said so.

            But cure is not available for cancers and many more complex diseases with this sheer dimensions or our understanding of human biology is completed, what dimensions you are mentioning here.

            Cancer therapy has made great strides. The cellular targeting technologies developed in this enterprise are quite amazing. Sure, cancer is not conquered yet and this is work in progress. No one can deny that fascinating advancements have been made and that the outcomes are far better for many cancers. Many previously untreatable ones are now better treatable, with much better survival rates.

            Meanwhile, do tell me about Ayurvedic cancer drugs and the evidence supporting them.

            what dimensions you are mentioning here.

            I wrote: “The sheer dimensions of the modern medical care corpus, far exceeds anything that traditional medicine ever even dreamt of”
            I am saying this only rhetorically: Go to a university library and stack some textbooks, with the most prominent ones for every sub-discipline, written with modern science, and the ones written with Ayurveda, next to it. That should give you a good idea with regards to the dimensionality of the corpus. Pick up the textbook on say, modern pain management and whatever is its Ayurvedic equivalent (is there even one?) and note the differences.

            I agree reductionism is foundational for science like physics, chemistry but not for medical sciences

            Science is science. The same epistemology is used. The rationale and the methods overlap a lot. Science is increasingly convergent. Medical research today incorporates physics and chemistry work.

            even after knowing cells in nano dimensions reductionism not given promising results in clinical management of complex diseases or monogeneic diseases

            Name several of these intractable diseases and we can talk if no advances have been made in managing them.

            we can’t explain psychology in reductionism

            Perhaps that is why they are the ones with the worst problems in replication of research. :-).
            Modern Psychology, while it may operate at a different level of abstraction, is done “reductively” (as per your definition of it) today. Read their papers. They are using the same methods as everyone else. We aren’t talking about wild ideas of Freud here.

            , why we require connectome to understand brain now & why not single neuron

            Reductionism isn’t about rejecting the complexity of reality. Its about drinking by sips, rather than attempting to drink by a fire hose. Take as big bites of data as you can, as long as you can properly chew with your validated analytical methods. A spoonful of a pie does not indeed represent the whole pie. But that is how we eat it, perhaps all of it eventually. But one does not shove it all in, at once, and try to swallow.

            , why whole genome & why not single gene (till many genes function not known yet)

            Sure, why not indeed, as long as validated insights are being obtained, with proper analytical techniques. Who is arguing? Science only cares about reliable results. This isn’t an ideology, unlike the case with alternative medicine.

            The end of reductionism is start of holistic or both may be sides of coin, may be any one is enough, but we can’t gain much more by applying reductionism further.

            With no disrespect: There is no coin, Neo :-).

            or medical science re-evolving itself holistically.

            Medical science, and science in general, had always moved gradually to greater levels of sophistication. Today, we do weather simulations on supercomputers at previously unimaginable scales. But before that, much simpler physics principles had to be established. Before we can talk about the genome (sure, we can do some basic Medelian inheritance in between), we must first have the structure of the DNA. Before we can talk about epigenetics, we must first know enough genetics. Before we talk about the microbiome, we must first know enough microbiology. There is no re-evolving here. Everything that demonstrates value is admitted, but not otherwise.

            One caution for the so-called traditional “holism” efforts is to not go on fishing expeditions. They are quite tempting. It is like looking for codes in religious books. If one squints hard enough, they will find almost every prophecy they wanted to make. There must be critical approaches to ensure that the noise isn’t being interpreted as information. The normal and healthy scientific approach is to grow models iteratively and validate them. There is a freedom to reject them. Alternatives, on the other hand, have the same dogmatic models that they want to validate, come what may. This runs a great risk of bias. So there must be extra scrutiny, such that model validations don’t become fishing expeditions. Hence, my concerns on overfitting. But I look to domain experts to verify that.

    • BTW, I never thought I would read a research paper which basically said: We decided to leave all women out from the study, because we didn’t know who was menstruating and everybody knows that most women are cranky that time of the month and we can’t trust them with the answers. Here, we cited a whole Gynecology textbook on that topic, just in case. Also, we asked all these other questions, but we were too shy to just ask about that, because they might wanna know why, and would probably not be happy about the answer :-).

      Oh, and a metric I was looking for, was some kind of inter-observer agreement (kappa) on the instrument, not merely stating that we got rid of all that didn’t agree. And evidence of a formal validation of the questionnaire and software (link did not work either). Apologies, if I just missed things somehow.

  • @ RAVI

    Much expected answer for this question from you

    “say single molecular parameter to assess health of healthy individual?, define health in reductionist approach?”

    BTW what you narrated about HOLISM is method of medicine practice, my question of HOLISM is on science not on method of medical practice.

    “The whole is more than the sum of its parts” not only more may be entirely different.

    “Pick up the textbook on say, modern pain management and whatever is its Ayurvedic equivalent (is there even one?) and note the differences.”

    I interested to know quantitative measure of pain and its molecular biomarkers, and effect of pain medicine on these two parameters.

    “Medical research today incorporates physics and chemistry work.”

    More physicist and chemist are interested and entered in medical research so we have more of physics and chemistry concepts, if science is science and convergent i expect medical science researcher to solve problems in physics and chemistry too.

    we can eat part by part or drink sip by sip, even we can reduce the dimensionality of medical problem to understand it clearly for that dimension,which will not explain the problem in its original dimension but our treatment is based on outcome of reductionist approach which can’t solve in its actual dimension.

    If a dogma is validated with robust scientific methods, whats wrong in it?
    testing dogma scientifically is moving away from dogma or looking outside of dogma. Falsify the validated dogma(if validated with robust methods) and prove it is only dogma.

    • “say single molecular parameter to assess health of healthy individual?, define health in reductionist approach?”

      I just said that I don’t agree with this holist/reductionist dichotomy. Why would I have a special “reductionist” definition? Health is defined in its own terms… either simply as freedom from illness…or the more ambitious WHO definition which insists it is more than that: “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”

      Reductionism is simply an analytical necessity. It is not a model for health. We simplify problems such that they may be solved. There may be no such thing as a perfect circle in the real world. However, it is still very useful to have the mathematics of perfect circles. Mathematicians may assume perfection, but engineers don’t, while very much depending on the mathematics of perfect circles. It is a means, not an end onto itself.

      BTW what you narrated about HOLISM is method of medicine practice, my question of HOLISM is on science not on method of medical practice.

      Fair enough. Science is holistic as well. Any method that yields results, at any level of abstraction, is admitted.

      “The whole is more than the sum of its parts” not only more may be entirely different.

      Indeed. That’s basically the concept of Emergence. It is a well-recognized phenomenon in science. No one is against it. It isn’t as if Ayurveda or other alternative systems discovered it. Charaka and Sushruta would know nothing of it. Every phenomenon of emergence is studied by science. All your arguments on emergence are in fact from science. There are several multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary areas of training to address Emergence. Most research today is encouraged to be done this way.

      The problem with alternatives isn’t that Emergence isn’t accepted by the mainstream. It is. But Emergence does not mean unvalidated or unanalyzable or something to be used as an excuse to justify against implausibility arguments. The main criticism against alternatives is that the models are unvalidated and conjectural, rather than grounded in robust empiricism. Emergence should not become mysticism with a scientific veneer.

      I interested to know quantitative measure of pain

      Pain is subjective. So it is measured by various pain scales. There are many specialized pain scales for various types of pain that have been statistically validated.

      and its molecular biomarkers,

      There seem to be several papers on the topic. I don’t have expertise in the area.

      and effect of pain medicine on these two parameters.

      There is plenty of work on pain management. Many entire (and large) textbooks and journals exist on the topic. You can consult those.

      if science is science and convergent i expect medical science researcher to solve problems in physics and chemistry too.

      I said convergent, not amorphous. We use the same statistics in medicine or stock markets. We use the same algorithms in genetics or astronomy. The rational epistemology is the same.

      Generally speaking (not a rule), basic science researchers routinely aid in higher-level science research; but those at a higher (perhaps those with primary training in applied fields) level abstractions don’t drop down to assist at the level of basic science research anymore (they used to, even a century or so ago, but we are more specialized now). For example: astronomers use a lot of math and are supported by mathematicians, but they don’t become mathematicians themselves to innovate new techniques (well, perhaps not since Newton, anyway). They just have to be math savvy. It is more practical to assist up the chain of abstraction, not down. — This isn’t unique to medical research.

      we can eat part by part or drink sip by sip, even we can reduce the dimensionality of medical problem to understand it clearly for that dimension,which will not explain the problem in its original dimension

      You mean that demonstrating the malarial parasite in the blood was not useful for medicine?!!. Doing research on say, which pyretic compounds are released does not explain the characteristic fever of malaria?!! Are you basically saying that all Basic Science research is useless?!! What exactly is your point?

      but our treatment is based on outcome of reductionist approach which can’t solve in its actual dimension.

      Modern research is already doing exactly that. Understanding the unique properties of cancer cells helps us to better target them. Understanding the biochemical processes of a disease helps us to block them.

      Like I said, modern research does not have anything left to prove. It is getting results every day. Ayurveda has a lot to prove before it can lecture anyone else. I think you are forgetting who is on trial – alternatives, not modern science.

      If a dogma is validated with robust scientific methods, whats wrong in it?

      Nothing… as long as it is done “with robust scientific methods”. I think it is rather unlikely that these dogma will survive actual critical and comprehensive scrutiny “with robust scientific methods”.

      testing dogma scientifically is moving away from dogma or looking outside of dogma.

      It is very hard to have confidence that this is being done scientifically, with an open-mind, when I am not seeing any self-critique or exploration of limitations from alternatives. I just don’t believe that the alternative community is capable of “moving away from dogma or looking outside of dogma”.

      Perhaps its because I am not as much in the area as you: Can you list any significant self-criticism from the Ayurvedic community, like what happens in mainstream medical research?… along the lines of… this drug we have been recommending so far and present in our ancient texts does not really work and we should remove it from our guidelines… or these are our biases (like the Ioannidis paper) that we need to address.

      Falsify the validated dogma(if validated with robust methods) and prove it is only dogma.

      You say it like the alternative community will care or has an honest track record. They will just move the goal posts. Haven’t we seen more than enough unambiguous evidence of this behavior from Homeopathy? Literally, every serious literature review concluded that Homeopathy has ZERO evidence, to the point that it would be unethical to fund any further research in it (the last British report actually said that). Do you think that will make Homeopaths abandon their dogma? Of course not. They have made their life investments into it. They can never see it any other way. Data and analysis mean nothing to them. Dogmas will fight falsification, tooth-and-nail. People who buy into dogma, rarely see the light, in spite of all evidence to the contrary.

      I’d like you to suggest a few falsifiability tests for the Ayurvedic humor theory, which if they return in the negative, would convince the Ayurvedic community that their system is a dogma.

  • //ineffective//
    Yes, onus probandi is on the person making the claim, i.e that it is ‘effective’.
    Yes, strawman, because ‘worthless’ and ‘ineffective’ are not the same word.

    //harmful//
    Yes, kindly look at the references I have provided at the end of the article, one of them is a study of some of the ‘harm’ ayurveda can do.
    Moreover, even if such a study did not exist, onus probandi of proving safety is on the AYUSH community, not on the others to prove ‘lack of safety’.
    If you claim the opposite is true, you should be ok with big pharma releasing potentially dangerous drugs into the market without any safeguards or restrictions. I dont think that will do anyone any good.

    • Hi ayurveda is ineffective or worthless that will be decided. In future . I. Can’t understand why you are so much obsessed with your views expressed in your article . you are churning same research over eight patients found with lead poisoning again and again just go through texts. There are description on every metal mineral poison etc in detail .texts are not ignorant like you to claim. Lead is very good for health if consumed as such. There is clear explanation of lead poison signs symptoms if consumed with out doing purification . now if pharma do not maintain the standard then hold them responsible . now even the purification process mentioned are simple they will certainly remove toxicity and make the metals safer . just check out the results for mercury .or vatsanabha ,silver or strichnos nux etc .hope u go on repeat ing old stories again and again . thank you

      • //ayurveda is ineffective or worthless that will be decided. In future//
        Wrong. Thats not how science works. It is decided now, and it is decided that it is ineffective and worthless(worthless isnt a scientific term, so actually i’d rather not use it here, and am doing so only for the sake of this comment)It can be decided, ‘in future’, that it actually is in fact effective, and this can be done by proving it in a large trial. Until then – INEFFECTIVE.

        //just check out the results for mercury .or vatsanabha ,silver or strichnos nux etc//
        Yes, I did. Perhaps I missed the large safety trials that were conducted on these substances. Would you be so kind as to link me the RCTs that proved the safety of these substances? Oh no wait, they don’t exist.

        //Lead is very good for health if consumed as such. There is clear explanation of lead poison signs symptoms if consumed with out doing purification//
        Kindly link the trial that proved that lead is ‘good’ for health and what markers were used to define ‘good’.
        Also kindly link the safety study that showed the safety of ‘purified’ lead Vs ‘non- purified’ lead Vs placebo. I’d be very interested in that. I shudder to even think of the ethical issues involved in conducting such a trial directly on humans.

        All of you clearly haven’t yet understood the concept of onus probandi. Please, please read before commenting further.

        Also read about research methodology, the need for expensive and time consuming RCTs and why they provide superior evidence as compared to any other current method. Also please read why and how safety trials are done, my brief description in the article is clearly not adequate.

  • My god bcz of your habit of instant conclusion, s its difficult to say any thing . you go on advice ing learn this that but why don’t you read my statement clearly bcz on lead every person knew it is poisonous .so as in mercury .and you are putting wrong perception .the long chapters explaining purification process of lead are only bcz it is poisonous. Now strictly fallowing those process leading to make mercury or lead consumable .how do you expect research paper on procedures like boiling vathsanabha in milk or gomutra etc do you think any so called biochemist will do the study on this rather select effect of old wine over human body .

    • So called biochemist need not do it.

      You can do it.
      Use proper research methodology, and use proper statistics. Publish. If it is proven to be an actual detoxification process, I will accept it as such, and so will the entire medical community.

      Until such a time, there is no evidence that that purification process works at all, and one must presume it doesn’t (onus probandi, which you refuse to read).

      I didn’t understand the part about old wine.

  • Adding to my earlier comment , I said worthless nes s. Of ayurveda or modern medicine will be judged in future what’s wrong in it. It is the time and history that judge every thing . you being a party in this can not pass judgment . if you wish to settle the issue now itself then you must study it unless. You in no position to make sweeping remark . doothpapeshwar in India is trusted pharma regarding rasaoushadhi . all the unscientific purification method fallowed are well documented and with. .health ministry. You go through those methods and you may wonder how it works so the others but it worked for. Centuries show the lead poisoning data’s by govt of India in these fifty years . simply blaming using some cherry picked research. Not. Worth reading .. I claim tonnes of medicine having lead are produced in that company every year. Using ayurveda purification methods . what is mortality data availability in India due to that medicine. No body is saying in metal form they are good . what about oxide forms ? Plutonium can be used. To. Obtain happiness through electricity or. Sorrow. Through atomic bomb its up to you

    • Assuming your side on lead poisoning correct I found the us studies showed 22%. Samples show lead in excess so what about other samples ? I found most of Indian studies showed less % lead or declared harmle as nes. Of bhasma, s so who should I blame ? Should I blame those biochemist draws govt salary and give wrong report on bhamas ,either he should be sacked or new studies are to be conducted . I practice d after texts said ,after purification process those bhasma,s are safe to be consumed . now you should test the safety and nullify the texts . its my vew . other wise somebody should approach courts to immediately conduct a fair investigation on those research people who proposed safety of naaga bhasma .bcz if the reports were manufacturer d. Then whole society is in danger .. I do not believe, . By blaming rasaoushadhi ,s we can achieve any thing . it was duty of government of India to test toxicity of bhasma much earlier in interest of public health using these new technology .rather they use them for silly research like whether chocolate is good afrodacia or not ,or. Effect of coffee in mood variations !!!!!!!!!!….

  • //now you should test the safety and nullify the texts//
    No, the onus probandi is on YOU, the proponent of the claim(that the purification process renders lead safe for human consumption in the given concentrations)

    //somebody should approach courts to immediately conduct a fair investigation on those research people who proposed safety of naaga bhasma//
    Yes, I totally agree with you there. And what irks me is that members of your own fraternity do not do so. When a fraud is found in EBM, they go ballistic on those frauds, multi billion dollar class action law suits which bankrupt companies. This ensures that there is atleast some modicum of honesty in EBM, if not 100%, unlike CAM which has practically no processes to ensure safety, much less efficacy.

    //Then whole society is in danger //
    Yes it is.

    // it was duty of government of India to test toxicity of bhasma //
    ONUS PROBANDI ONUS PROBANDI ONUS PROBANDI, why can’t you understand this concept? Using taxpayer money to text every spurious claim is just not feasible. The MANUFACTURERS of this ‘drug’ have the responsibility to prove it is safe, NOT THE GOVERNMENT. The government’s job is only to ensure that only those drugs which have been proven safe are allowed to enter the market.
    The USFDA does not fund the large clinical trials that drug molecules go through before coming into the market, the funding is done by the pharma companies – i.e. those making the claim- THOSE WHO CLAIM THAT THEIR DRUG IS SAFE AND EFFECTIVE. It is NOT the responsibility of the US government to conduct those trials, unless the drug is being developed entirely by them. The responsibility is on THOSE MAKING THE CLAIM.

    In your case, it is on YOU. NOT the Indian Govt.

  • So you say it is my duty to prove the toxicity of these drugs .but you fail to understand the onus probandi apply in new invention s .it is duty of govt I say in this case .bcz before x. Ray analysis of minerals and metals ,spectroscopy studies ,before titratoy procedures bhasma are used . your points hold good as if before proving scientifically safety of rice one should not eat rice .fine that s your vew .if government can act and test noodles and pass strictures why not in case of this ?. Ayurveda does not fallow scientific methods in preparing bhasma .so scientific validation does not come under their pervew . do you think you are capable of testing. Toxicity of paracetamol being a doctor. ? Should I expect you to do so ? If I it will be laughable . Dr thuppil venkatesh claims so many patients he has seen with lead toxicity in Bangalore in his research paper made for USA but it was his duty living in India and towards Indian people to report them with lab findings .to near drug control authority or to committee on health in BMC . or register a criminal case through appropriate means . he did nothing .why he claims so only in us papers . ? I say if the proper procedure fallowed and bhasma are prepared ,then found toxic. Then no questions on its production . stop it bcz any medicine is for welfare of people .it is not matter of prestige or ego .

  • Hi.
    Interesting to see your detailed and enlightening article. I am from Pune and here I see more of Ayurveda and Homeopathic practitioners than modern medicine practitioners(at least in my area), but all of whom prescribe allopathic drugs.Is it rational, or are they equipped with enough expertise to do that(I believe even the state govt has allowed ‘alternative medicine’ practiioners to prescribe allopathic drugs)?

  • It is basically to malign AYUSH practioners.. If one Alternative practioner is bad.. u cant say all are bad.. same for allopathy doctors. Ayurveda and Homeopathy are scientufic.. hence they have survived for so many years.. and there are people experiences curing the worst of illnesses.Biased article.

    • Ayurveda and Homeopathy are NOT scientific.

      Homeopathy especially, is the very definition of a pseudo-science. None of its principles have any sense in them. They go against the fundamental principles of chemistry (which were not known when Homeopathy was cooked up). No scientific evidence exists that it works in ANY way.

      As for Ayurveda, its humoral and miasmatic models have been discredited (neither of these are specific to India, but were used worldwide, before science showed them wrong). The claims were not based on scientific evidence. I have already listed citations above from Ayurveda with obvious fantasy and myth.

      Modern herbal medicine, on the other hand, can be done scientifically.

      Surviving for centuries is not proof of anything (that was the whole point of the scientific revolution – overturning long-held traditional positions with evidence). By that logic, rain dance/yagna, sacrificing chickens to the local deity for wellness are also scientific. Pseudo science just survives better in societies with low science education. Due to our lower science literacy, we have a harder time letting go of non-science than developed countries (which also have their own scientifically illiterate population, but to a lower degree).

  • Ravi, I agree that Ayurveda is not science as per modern methodology . so no question of calling pseudo there .so what it is an art .art of health and healthy living . that’s all .ayurveda can not be fixed in others seat no problem .it doesn’t expect any glamourus post within society . but no body can nullify it .it will prevail .

    • //I agree that Ayurveda is not science//

      Excellent.

      Also admit(to every single ‘patient’) that Ayurveda is not medicine(medicine in its strict scientific sense), and we shall have absolutely no problem with Ayurveda. Continue practising this art, no problem. Only not on human beings, not unless they’re absolutely fully aware that they are taking the risk of a treatment which is not scientific in any way, and potentially hazardous.

    • so no question of calling pseudo there.

      I already said that I considered it a pre-science, rather than a pseudo-science.

      so what it is an art .

      I’d just call it an archaic, traditional humoral system.

      art of health and healthy living .

      Oh, you mean stuff like this? :-).

      “Every morning after a bath a man should offer ten thousand oblations in fire and take the powders and decoction of the roots and bark of the Vilva with milk in a spirit of self-control, whereby he would be able to acquire longevity.”

      I take it that Vilva is your Horlicks (not that I endorse Horlicks or any such brands) then?

      “A regular and proper use of a Vasti tends to improve one’s complexion and bodily strength, imparts longevity, contributes to the growth of the body”

      So do you do a lot of enemas on yourself? 🙂 . Traditional medicine is pretty obsessive about it.

      On Varahi Kalpa: “continuous use of the medicine for a month enables a man to live up to a good hundred years.”

      I assume all Ayurvedic practitioners do this because 1 month of medication is naturally a sound investment for 100 years of life. Do most of you end up as centenarians?

      “When cooled down this compound should be taken in adequate doses with honey and clarified butter after consecrating it a thousand times with appropriate Mantras. Persons seeking longevity and a stronger or improved range of vision should take this and they should be advised to take their meals without any salt.

      So, do you recite these mantras, as prescribed (a thousand times)? Not sure what the appropriate ones are (Sushruta says the default one is Gayatri mantra). Lots of cases of cured/improved myopia?

      “Clarified butter cooked with an admixture of the pasted Yashti-madhu and with the decoction of Padma and Nilotpala should be regularly taken with gold, and then a potion of milk cooked
      with the foregoing drugs should be taken. It invariably removes the evil features (of both mind and body), and gives a good turn to fortune. It increases longevity and makes the user (fortunate like) a king.”

      Long life, good looks, good thoughts and even good luck. Sign me up.

      it doesn’t expect any glamourus post within society .

      Science isn’t about glamor; its about trying to get things right. If I wanted glamor in India, I’d have gone into acting. In India, we don’t have a science culture yet, just a movie/TV culture. Everyone can name several dozen local actors. How many can name more than a few local scientists?

      but no body can nullify it .it will prevail .

      I don’t want to nullify it. I want people to actually read what is literally in it, rather than know of it via second-hand editorialized accounts.

  • Yes we have seen so much scientific temper till now by all .fair enough using some exclamatory hymns used in propagation and reaching to orthodox society do not harm any one . nor the potency is diminished if prepared with out chanting some manthras. That you also know it .preparing some medicine along with some good hymns is better than bribing doctors with gifts and freebies I think .do you think now a days medicine prepared are in the same manner as you explained ? Our constitution is framed just sixty six years back do you know how many times it was ammend ?. So acc to need of hour we bring appropriate change but do not throw the concepts . could you please explain the exact meaning of scientific temper which is patented to. only modern medicine . everyone as human being has that since civilization develop ed . it could be in many form that’s all . remember bcz of foresight of older generation we are able to destroy the left over . by them . humor theory do not kill any one but bogus repots on h1n1 for pneumonia patients certainly do. Who is responsible for those diabetic patients bcz of anti lipid drugs ? but you could not prove toxicity of bhasmas . what you mean by low literacy ? It is your imagination that all the people in west are knowledge d no certainly they are litterate . just. Speaking English and a MBA degreee don’t make any one knowledge d. Thank you

    • fair enough using some exclamatory hymns used in propagation and reaching to orthodox society do not harm any one . nor the potency is diminished if prepared with out chanting some manthras.

      My point wasn’t that chanting mantras caused any harm (apart from being a waste of effort). My point was to show that the ancient mind was very different from the modern mind… that it often did not distinguish between medicine and myth. My point is that… YOU… as a modern person, are leaps and bounds more rational than the persons who wrote the classic texts. I disagree that these were efforts for simply “reaching to orthodox society”. This was really how ancient physicians (or just all ancient people, in general) thought. This type of thinking was quite pervasive in all kinds of texts, from all ancient cultures.

      My point was that it wasn’t an art – often just arbitrary prescriptions. Ignoring the mantras – Do you actually think that Vilva and Varahi Kalpa will make you a centenarian? Do you think it was possible for people who wrote this up to meaningfully validate such claims? My joking aside, I don’t think you believe this stuff yourself. So why call it an “art of health and healthy living”? Don’t you think we are far better equipped by modern science to make better (no perfection claims here) decisions for health and longevity, rather than anything in these texts?

      That you also know it .preparing some medicine along with some good hymns is better than bribing doctors with gifts and freebies I think .

      False equivalence, don’t you think? No one condones unscrupulous doctors and corruption is by no means unique to mainstream medicine. We already covered this above.

      do you think now a days medicine prepared are in the same manner as you explained ?

      Not at all. I am sure no one is reading mantras at ayurvedic pharma factories. My point is illustrating the epistemological milieu that birthed the ancient texts.

      Our constitution is framed just sixty six years back do you know how many times it was ammend ?. So acc to need of hour we bring appropriate change but do not throw the concepts .

      Actually, it is a pretty good idea to throw out entire concepts after recognizing their complete invalidity. Countries do rewrite constitutions, if major flaws and disagreements manifest (our constitution does not need any major overhaul yet). Amendments are what we do to modern medicine all the time… which you try repeatedly to show as flaws below. I agree that modern herbal medicine incorporated (ammended) modern methods and changed with time, for the better. I am glad that everyone agrees with the value of studies and statistical methods. However, I am concerned with the inability to let go of bad humoral concepts like Prakriti, as if it is a sacred, inviolable concept (modern developed cultures did manage to do that – it is the same concept). Veda felt that if Prakriti is ejected, it won’t be Ayurveda any longer. I get it, but that should not be a concern in my view. Medical systems should serve people, we should NOT be there to support systems for systems sake. That would be like the Flat Earth Society.

      We used to think class based societies were OK. We used to hold that gender inequality was natural and fair. We used to think that homosexuality was a perversion. Now we have ample reasons and evidence to know that we should completely throw out those concepts – we can’t slightly amend them. In the same way, we cannot tweak humoral medicine in my view. It needs to be thrown out. Ayurveda must entirely be based on a basic science platform, not only partly. No more theoretical Vaata, Pitta, Kapha please. If you can let go of prayers, mantras and gems… why not this?

      could you please explain the exact meaning of scientific temper which is patented to. only modern medicine .

      In medicine, once you exercise scientific temper, you automatically become a part of modern medicine… that includes herbal medicine.

      everyone as human being has that since civilization develop ed . it could be in many form that’s all .

      It can’t be in any form. There are scientific things and there are non-scientific things.

      remember bcz of foresight of older generation we are able to destroy the left over . by them .

      Please recognize that there was an epochal shift just over 150 years ago (fairly recent in historical terms)… that overturned nearly all of prior medicine, Indian and non-Indian.

      humor theory do not kill any one but bogus repots on h1n1 for pneumonia patients certainly do.

      It does, when it proposes ineffective treatments on life threatening conditions… as can bogus reports.

      Who is responsible for those diabetic patients bcz of anti lipid drugs ?

      The drug companies, if they failed to follow established safety protocols. If the protocols are shown to be inadequate, they would need to get reviewed. If everything was followed properly and it could not have been predicted reasonably in advance, no one needs to be blamed. This is just plain common sense. Nothing guarantees absolute safety. But there need to be efforts to establish it at meaningful levels. One can’t say: It is safe because it is in that really old book.

      but you could not prove toxicity of bhasmas .

      I think Ameya covered this already – it is for the Ayurvedic community to establish safety studies for prescribed drugs, not the other way around. Your view is that traditional medicine should get a special exception. Our view is that it shouldn’t.

      what you mean by low literacy ?

      In developed countries, major new study results are a part of the popular discourse. The general awareness of research statistics is much higher. We don’t have these things yet. Instead we have Homeopathy shows on TV. If we had a scientifically literate society, that live fish asthma “cure” (now “prasada”, thanks to legal concerns) would not have continued to be popular for this long.

      It is your imagination that all the people in west are knowledge d no certainly they are litterate .

      No (I agree), I have seen scientific illiteracy in the West as well (and it makes it even more inexcusable in that context, given all the resources), but the scientific literacy rates, as a whole, are much better. This is, for most part, a matter of economy.

      just. Speaking English and a MBA degreee don’t make any one knowledge d.

      Of course. Who suggested that?

  • Hi , there you are your medicine is very accurate ,precise ,data based but no guarantee for result .but you expect the same for ayurveda . do you know quality of bilwa ? sure drug introduction say the exclamatory benefits but if you go through its preparation ,uses ,dosage it is well explained . why can’t you think other perspective for hymns every product needs support of society if you can spend crores on diclofenac gel ad , antibiotics ,cough syrup. and mislead why not propagate longevity. Selective not picking is not fair . hypothetical ly if light and time are not linear ,constant . then who knows omkara may also show some energy changes in body . for the diabeti . Pharma companies but for bhasma it is ayurveda strange argument .. Whatever you may say living organisms plant or animal can not sustained for long time if we use chemical and synthetic nutrition ,medicine or any thing for that matter . being a planter I know the short life of plants when use chemical fertilizers .

    • Go ahead and let someone show that Bilwa does increase lifespan… through a proper study. Don’t explain by hand waving.

      Who is talking about “chemical and synthetic nutrition” for people? No medical guideline even recommends nutritional supplements (let alone full nutrition) in ordinary health. Why are you trying to extrapolate plant biology to human biology? We can’t even medically extrapolate reliably from apes. Tell me, do you maintain detailed notes as a “planter”? Or do you let your cognitive biases take over even there?

      I am not selectively picking. There are hundreds, if not thousands of these silly things in these ancient texts. Did they make you read the raw Ayurvedic texts, cover-to-cover, in your training?

      Hymns, omkara, energy changes, non-linearity of light and time – Face Palm.

  • Hi, yes bilwa is best herb regarding gastrointestinal problems as explained in texts bilwaadi rasayan used in dysentery , sprue , ulcerative colitis , vomiting, and in neutralize poison in gut . every disease explained may if get chronic leads to decreased lifespan hence it can be explained metaphor ically brings longevity . but one needs commonsense to diff btn the poetry and verse . I don’t think olden days people lived their life only eating bilwa praying for longevity .hopefully they were able to understand texts in good tempo . every subject needs to be preach ed. In simpler way with suitable conditioning then it may attract student .we are teaching every thing simple in a complicated manner in India that is appreciate d everywhere now but what is the use only use is some marks no application in life that’s called modern science ,physics maths what not .!!!! U told about plants and human diff but u s market needs non gm veggies ,fruits ,pulse for their people. But gm crops for Indians African Asians.why ? Scared. To. Eat them . I firmly believe. Unnatural concepts of homosexuality can’t pass the test of time .it is not the matter of rights nor I am interested in curtailing any body simply it is against natural process. But only good thing is help to reduce population in our country ! .

    • every disease explained may if get chronic leads to decreased lifespan hence it can be explained metaphor ically brings longevity .

      Yeah… “metaphorically”. Is that why our historical life expectancy was “metaphorically” so high?

      Find out the historical life expectancy at birth, across the world.
      Name a dozen centenarians from Indian history (birth and death year historically documented… not from myths).

      “A child born at that time (eighth month) dies for want of Ojo-dhatu soon after its birth, a fact which may be equally ascribed to the agency of the malignant monsters. Hence (in the eighth month of gestation) offerings of meat should be made to the demons and monsters (for the safe continuance of the child).”

      “A pichu soaked in oil should be constantly kept on the head of the child, and its body should be fumigated with the fumes of drugs (Vacha, mustard, etc.) potent enough to keep off the (evil) influences of demons and evil spirits. The same drugs should be tied round the neck, hands, legs and head of the infant and the floor of the lying-in room should be kept strewn over with pounded sesamum, mustard, linseed.”

      No wonder the infant mortality rates were so glorious in the past.

      but one needs commonsense to diff btn the poetry and verse .

      Which medical text are you thinking about that was written in poetry and verse? No medical common sense in ancient era since the absolute basic knowledge about disease was missing.

      I don’t think olden days people lived their life only eating bilwa praying for longevity .

      No, they just prayed mostly… and didn’t live long.

      hopefully they were able to understand texts in good tempo .

      The problems isn’t whether the texts were properly understood. It is that the texts were clearly written without a basic level of understanding.

      It isn’t about the readers. It is about the authors.

      every subject needs to be preach ed.

      No subject needs to be preached. This isn’t religion. Everything needs to be verified.

      U told about plants and human diff but u s market needs non gm veggies ,fruits ,pulse for their people. But gm crops for Indians African Asians.why ?

      Non-GM is today sometimes a fad, sometimes a luxury. Sometimes, it can be healthy; most of the time however, it makes little to no difference. The world cannot feed its billions via non-GM crops without deforestation. We already cut down way too many forests. We eat GM crops because we bred too much. GM is a neutral technology. GM crops can be superior nutritionally, if that is the goal. Right now however, the focus is on immediate costs.

      I firmly believe. Unnatural concepts of homosexuality can’t pass the test of time .

      Don’t believe or not believe. Know what is known. Right now, hundreds of species have been identified which exhibit this behavioral variation at significant proportions.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexual_behavior_in_animals

      In short: It is “natural”. It has also been around in all of recorded history. Only Abrahamic cultures had been hostile to it.

  • There is no final version over the life expectancy age in olden days among research community . only child expected age may little low but adult expectancy was fairly good . and there is no data’s showing in India medival period has less expectancy . even after reading most of literature of megasthnese, huentsang ,Alexander’s rule ,mourya, krisnadevaraya, .all speak about prosperity of Indian people and kingdom . it is impossible for any society to achieve prosperity and peace with out healthy people .there you cannot make blanket judgment on people die in early age.

    • There is no final version over the life expectancy age in olden days among research community .

      The research community has a pretty reasonable coarse estimate of historical life expectancy.

      and there is no data’s showing in India medival period has less expectancy . even after reading most of literature of megasthnese, huentsang ,Alexander’s rule ,mourya, krisnadevaraya, .all speak about prosperity of Indian people and kingdom .

      There was no concept and method of estimating life expectancy by people living in that era, even though some basic census operations did take place. So you won’t find direct numbers from them. You also have to take all historical accounts (by that I mean all accounts in the entire world, not just India – most of the criticism I have for Ayurvedic texts applies to most books, in most topics (at different levels – math is not bias prone like history or medicine), in most civilizations) with a pinch of salt since the historical method was not well developed back then. Hearsay was often included in accounts without verification.

      Let us take Megasthenes for instance. He talks about people raiding fields of gold in India and escaping from giant ants or ant-lions. He writes Indians led healthy lives like any who drank clean water and breathed clean air. His point of reference was simply the health of Greeks of his time, which was also quite low.

      Objective estimates are obtained by studying ancient grave sites. Obviously, there would be imperfections in these estimates and the archaeologists are quite aware of the issues. But as the data pooled, we do have a decent estimates. It fluctuated between 20-40 years for the world, in different periods. As recent as a 100 years ago, it was just 19 years in India, although that was in part due to colonialism. Until colonialism, India’s life expectancy was just slightly worse than Europe except in periods of the great plagues. It was about 30 years at independence. You will see dramatic rises since, coinciding with widespread use of vaccines, antibiotics, proper obstetric care and sanitation (after modes of transmission of infectious disease were understood), mirroring improvements with those introductions in Europe.

      The impact or difference between pre-scientific medical systems (eastern or western) was quite possibly close to non-existent on life expectancy in historical times. Any occasionally working remedy would have more than likely drowned in a sea of ineffective remedies.

      It is really quite simple – infectious disease was by far the most significant killer in all of history.
      We just did not understand:
      – what caused them.
      – how they effected the body
      – how they were transmitted
      – how to cure them
      – how to prevent them
      – public health
      We were equally pretty ignorant about these until as recent as mid to late 19th century about the bare basic understanding of disease in EVERY system of medicine. What else could we have expected?

      If you can show that any body of literature that shows that any system of ancient medical system had significant impact or was superior to other ancient medical systems (Eg: Ayurveda vs. Hippocratic Corpus vs. Chinese Herbal Medicine) in outcomes, I’d be interested to read it.

  • Hai , I really feel sad to read your comments on megasthanees that Alexander s soldiers were healthy but Indians were not .but at the same time to say all medieval people died early . so I understand the simple bias over any thing related to India in olden days. No prob its all part of history . no body will. Get agitated! . Infection ,vaccines, viruses I agree but since when also needs to be debated. Neocolonialism brought wars later famine ,labour intensity etc lead to emergence of new disease like cholera ,malaria ,influenza. Certainly ayurveda can’t do any thing .by that time of 17th century most of world are colonies of Europe. You may see many temple all over of eighteen century for plague ,smallpox etc but not one from medieval time .these were products of your scientific over enthusiasm on earth you have to tackle it . lastly you can go through historical data on India and China’s GDP share over rest . in medieval times. It came around thirty to fourty . but you are free to deny it .!!!

    • Hai , I really feel sad to read your comments on megasthanees that Alexander s soldiers were healthy but Indians were not .

      The only thing you should feel sad about is your reading comprehension. How on earth did you interpret “His point of reference was simply the health of Greeks of his time, which was also quite low.” as “that Alexander s soldiers were healthy but Indians were not”? The Greek life expectancy at the time was about 30 years, not much different from India’s.

      but at the same time to say all medieval people died early .

      Yes, they did die earlier on average. This is not a controversial position. That was how (dying often and early) the world population held a relatively steady growth, despite not having modern contraceptives, marrying very early and having high fertility rates.

      so I understand the simple bias over any thing related to India in olden days.

      I have repeatedly stated, again and again, including the post above, that my critique (that myth, superstition etc were part and parcel of ancient knowledge pursuit methods) is NOT India-specific and that it cuts across many domains, not just medicine. It does not seem to be getting across. You must be actively blocking it in your head in order to provide you with a convenient strawman.

      Infection ,vaccines, viruses I agree but since when also needs to be debated.

      Not much to debate. The recent history is rather well documented. Modern medicine is fairly new.

      Neocolonialism brought wars later famine ,labour intensity etc lead to emergence of new disease like cholera ,malaria ,influenza.

      Please look up Neocolonialism. You seem to be confusing plain colonialism with neocolonialism.

      Cholera was an Indian disease. The earliest references were from India, although the disease was obviously not understood and no progress was made. Malaria has also been around for most of recorded history as well. Both were erroneously believed to be miasmatic in transmission. The earlier outbreaks were smaller since the world had smaller population densities and much less cross-continental travel.

      Later Cholera outbreaks were 19th century. Cholera was solved when it hit London (Broad Street outbreak of 1854 – interestingly, it was the population concentration in turn, that enabled the discovery of the mode of transmission). Influenza was not a new disease either. Yes, all epidemics are enabled by (world) travel.

      Certainly ayurveda can’t do any thing .

      Clearly. Nothing much to do with colonialism or neocolonialism though. It had stagnated much earlier.

      You may see many temple all over of eighteen century for plague ,smallpox etc but not one from medieval time .

      Temple? Plague (Black Death) was mainly a medieval scourge (nearly wiping out Europe), although outbreaks continued. And there were early small pox epidemics.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antonine_Plague
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plague_of_Cyprian

      They just were poorly documented.

      lastly you can go through historical data on India and China’s GDP share over rest . in medieval times. It came around thirty to fourty . but you are free to deny it .!!!

      Why would I deny it? I have detailed Angus Madison data at hand. Do look up per capita GDP numbers, not just GDP. India and China had higher GDP since they were the main population centers of the world, through most of human history.

  • How pure or effective are the medicines and products from Patanjali ayurveda (Ramdev baba)?

    The scientific truth is that none of the AYUSH(Ayurveda,Yoga,Unani,Siddha and Homeopathy) stuff can be termed medicine as they cannot stand the scientific evidence based tests/clinical trials that standard scientific medicines undergo. All the praise a…

  • @sudarshan
    Most of the research of this kind is unreplicable and serious researchers don’t pay any attention to them. It is a tiny study. In medicine, tiny studies rarely “prove” anything (but they can be a prelude to larger studies which can). Studies conducted at this scale are generally correct at about the rate of a coin-flip. This paper was written in 2010. So far, it seems to have received just 6 citations, all from low-impact journal articles. That should tell you something. In cases like these, the authors of these “studies” themselves don’t believe what they publish. If they did, they would, at the very least, continue to pursue the topic they claim good results in. Instead, they just jump to yet another topic because it already got them another publication item in their CV and that was the entire point of the study for them.

    Always check if
    – the small study was followed by a larger study
    – the author actually specializes in the area and continued work on the topic
    – the institution has a record of producing replicable research – these generally have quality controls.

    There are exceptions to everything and not all the check boxes need to be hit. But if nothing is there, perhaps it is best to take it with a grain of salt.

  • I actually came across your article while googling references about mudslinging at AYUSH. And I seem to have hit the jackpot. However, having found this, I do have a few things to say!

    The whole basis of your argument is that AYUSH systems (and that is a huge generalisation – the only commonality being that they are oriental systems) cannot be proved using modern scientific tools and hence are ‘utter non-science’.

    First of all, I suggest you do a little reading yourself before making such blanket statements.

    http://www.nature.com/articles/srep15786 – your statement about the Tridoshas being unverifiable by modern scientific technology is rubbish. There are several other articles, and several new areas of research which are opening up – in the areas of network pharmacology, microbiomics – DO READ!!

    Second of all, it is necessary to have a knowledge of the subject you are criticizing before you speak about it. From all that you are saying, the only thing you seem to know about Ayurveda is the Tridoshas and herbs used in the treatment. So based on what exactly are you speaking? Ayurveda speaks about the vital importance of gut health in the maintenance of human health and well being – again if you knew anything about Ayurveda you would know this. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4290017/ Obviously you haven’t read this article, and thousands of similar articles – so your rather sweeping generalisations seem slightly ridiculous. I would think there are many things such things mentioned in our texts that modern science is just catching up with. These are two instances. There are plenty more – so I suggest you read up before you talk.

    The more important point have to make is this – Ayurveda and indeed al the AYUSH systems have not originated from Western ‘scientific’ thought. This is indeed their only commonality. Just as Indian music – folk, Karnatic, Hindustani etc. has not originated from the West. Western music notation, and their notes which are restricted to Do Re Mi… is entirely different from Indian music notation. ( I don’t know how much music you know – but for the record, there are over 200 Ragas in India). Now, the Western notation of Indian music breaks down the music into single notes, and the product is shallow and uncomplex – doesn’t meet Western standards, and certainly isn’t pure Indian music. When speaking about Indian music even attempting to analyse it in this manner sounds foolish and juvenile. http://musi21501s2015.coursepress.yale.edu/2015/05/02/shit-it-was-all-in-e-orientalism-and-indian-classical-influence-in-the-landscape-of-improvised-expression/
    Attempting to analyse something through a lens which is not indigenous to it, or conducive to it will always throw up this dichotomy. Then, to rigidly and stubbornly insist that oriental science must fit into the shoes of Western scientific thought – or be deemed worthless – says more about the propounder of this opinion than it does about the science.

    Indian music is not deemed ‘utter-nonmusic’ because it can’t be fully understood by Western musicians. When did the Western scientific understanding of something become superior to any other understanding? Why can’t worldview co-exist? This is not to decry that there aren’t things for practitioners to look at and change – but this is as much true of modern physicians as it is for other systems.

    http://health.alot.com/wellness/the-most-outrageous-pharmaceutical-scandals-of-all-time—9708,
    http://www.turmeriq.com/2013/03/06/unethical-medical-practices-rampant-in-india-try-to-protect-yourself/
    Once again, do READ!

    Why am I responding –
    a. because I find your statements biased and not well researched. You seem to have a less than superficial understanding of the AYUSH systems, a reasonable knowledge of modern pharmacology and scientific tools, and woefully inadequate knowledge of any recent research in any of the AYUSH systems.

    b. I find the premise that you are moving on – that the modern scientific lens is superior to all other lenses – wrong and rather limited. I also find your statements extremely vociferous and judgemental and find it necessary to question your very premise and the space you give yourself to be so openly critical despite having such woefully inadequate knowledge.

  • Mr…. whosoever wrote this article about AYUSH being nonscience. I would like to quote some real life problems people are facing and what impacts does the allopathy and for that matter AYUSH has on those health problems.
    Simplest example is PCOS, I hope you might be knowing about the disease condition related to the female reproductive system as a result of harmonal imbalances. These imbalances are results of lifestyle mainly the eating habits and the stress levels being faced by the women these days. This condition is increasing at an alarming rate with more than 20% cases being reported in india every year. every 1 in 5-6 females in India are suffering from this condition.
    Now the point is that every doctor be it gynecologist or reproductive endocrinologist advises the lifestyle changes including yoga and exercise and changing eating habits as the first line of treatment. Moreover if you could read some blogs and board discussions of people suffering from this problem, would enlighten you that most of the people are getting relief from lifestyle changes and yoga and exercise in conjunction with the herbal treatments. There is no doubt that Ayurveda has actually the potential to cure this disease condition which on the other hand has no cure in modern science. Allopathy can just subside the symptoms. Various fertility drugs like clomiphen citrate that is used to induce ovulation, is not recommended for long term use because of its side-effects like uterine cancer.
    I am not justifying AYUSH and demoralizing allopathy. It undoubtedly is a life saving pathy. But disrespecting other science is not justified at any point. It is very well a science.. Even if you deny this fact. As your opinion wount change the facts.
    People are benefiting from it. And surely enough AYUSH will gain its lost importance in the coming time.

Leave a Comment