Ayush ministry pushing institutes, wellness centres to conduct research

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Ayush ministry pushing institutes, wellness centres to conduct research
22-May-24 04:57:07

New Delhi: The Ayush ministry is encouraging hospitals and wellness centres under it to conduct research to show the efficacy and health benefits of alternative medicines, according to the ministry.

Ayush works with six disciplines, Ayurveda, yoga and naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, Sowa rigpa and homeopathy. The Centre has been taking steps to encourage Ayush institutes to conduct studies in collaboration with Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

"During the covid pandemic the Ayush ministry did more than 150 research studies. The recent inclusion of ASU (Ayurveda, Unani and Siddha) disease nomenclature in the International Classification of Disease (ICD-11) TM2 of WHO is another evidence of research-based and collaborative efforts," said V.D. Rajesh Kotecha, secretary, Ayush.

The validity of Ayush practices is sometimes questioned, and their application is frequently limited to yoga and therapeutic activities. The ministry aims to dispel this myth and provide empirical evidence for their significance.

"Standardization, clinical research and safety studies are the foundation of our research councils active across the nation. The ministry has also undertaken various collaborative research projects, following an integrative research model for scientific evidence generation in the Ayush sector at institutions of national repute like CSIR, DBT, AIIMS, ILBS and more, apart from many international collaborations," Kotecha added.

There are five research councils under the ministry of Ayush -- the Centre Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS), Central Council for Research in Homeopathy (CCRH), Central Council for research in Unani Medicine (CCRUM), Central Council for Research in Yoga and Naturopathy (CCRYN), and Central Council Research in Siddha (CCRS).

The CCRAS, an autonomous body under the ministry has been undertaking, coordinating, formulating and promoting research on scientific lines in Ayurveda. As per the ministry of Ayush, the CCRAS has already been conducting clinical research on around 50 health issues such as cardiovascular diseases, hemiplegia, malaria, obesity and lipid disorder, peptic ulcer, asthma, chronic bronchitis and more. 

Currently, there are 30 institutes which are working in clinical research programmes with the CCRAS such as Central Ayurveda Research Institute in Delhi, Bhubaneshwar, Kolkata, Patiala, and Regional Ayurveda Research Institutes in Jaipur, Lucknow and other cities.

Focusing on the importance of evidence-based research and innovation and recognizing the global shift towards chronic and non-communicable diseases, the ministry has emphasized integrating traditional systems with conventional medicine to promote a holistic and patient-centric healthcare approach. It has developed general guidelines for research and development in Ayush to echo the efforts of developing good research practices.

Last month, the health ministry launched the AYUSH-ICMR Advanced Centre for Integrated Health Research in AIIMS with an objective to identify priority areas where the approach of integrative medicine may have potential and conduct integrative research in these priority areas to generate robust evidence and carry out mechanistic studies to explain the integrative medicine approach.

The Centre had earlier stated that it had published the Indian Public Health Standards (IPHS) which is a set of uniform standards to improve the quality of health care delivery. By adopting these reforms, the Centre expects that States/UTs will be able to develop Ayush health care services with set standards and quality infrastructure.