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'Integrate traditional medicine with health programmes'

India should strive to codify the knowledge contained in ancient Ayurveda texts and take steps to integrate traditional medicine with public health programmes through legal and policy initiatives

Press Trust Of India  |  New Delhi 

India should strive to codify the knowledge contained in ancient Ayurveda texts and take steps to integrate traditional medicine with public health programmes through legal and policy initiatives, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said here on Friday.

"There is an imperative need for quality control measures, standardisation and research and development in Ayurveda and other traditional healing systems from the perspective of not just trade and industry but also for the consumers," she said while inaugurating the sixth edition of the World Ayurveda Congress (WAC) at Pragati Maidan.

She urged the government's Ayush (ayurveda, yoga and naturopathy, unani, siddha and homeopathy) department to have a comprehensive approach to quality control through good manufacturing, agricultural and laboratory practices.

"Ayurveda is known to have powerful and effective treatments and medicine, but we do not know the mechanisms by which they work. Documenting these through research is important, as is value addition in traditional medicines, to make sure we export finished products and not just raw materials or semi-processed products," Mahajan said, adding sourcing raw materials irresponsibly from forests and protected areas also needs to be controlled through legal measures.

It is for the first time that the national capital is hosting the three-day WAC that is organised this year by the Department of AYUSH, Union Health Ministry in collaboration with the World Ayurveda Foundation and Delhi government.

Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, the chief patron of the WAC organising committee who presided over the inaugural function, said the government had already begun work on a digital library to ensure patents for Ayurvedic medicinal plants are not misused or misappropriated.

"The government has constituted a committee to set the comprehensive parameters for developing a holistic system of medicine. The report will be submitted soon and we will initiate action on it," he said, adding the recommendations of the WAC will be made part of this action plan.

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First Published: Fri, November 07 2014. 20:09 IST
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