What is Health?
Thousands of years ago Ayurved-stated that a healthy person is defined as -------
Sam doshha Samagnishch Samdhatu Mal Kriyah !
Prasannatmendriya Manah Swastha Ityabhideeyate !! Su.Su.15/41
Swasthya or health as per Ayurveda is that when all the three doshas are in balanced state and conducts its normal functions in Harmony , The Agnibala ( digestive power- Jatharagni and Dhatwagni) is normal and when the functions of Sapta dhatus and Malas ( Ras- Raktadi dhatus and Mal mootradi excretory matters ) are normally carried out with effect of satisfaction, joyful bliss in the mind with its association of sensory organs and the Jiwatma or Chetana Dhatu
As per W.H.O., definition--- Health is "The state of complete, physical, mental and social, wellbeing and not merely absence of disease or infirmity" (1948). In recent years the statement has been amplified to include the ability to lead a "socially and economically productive life". Further it has been also admitted that this state is never static and always in a dynamic mode. It must be seen as a process of continuous adjustment to the changing demands of living and changing meanings we give to life. It is further contemplated that the equilibrium of heath is lost due to many factors like lack of immunity, constant stress and strain of life, sedentary lifestyle, faulty food habits like eating fried foods, pizzas, burgers, etc., over indulgence of alcohol, smoking, substance abuse, irrational and indiscriminate use of antibiotics. To regain the state of health in a diseased person is the aim of every system of medicine. India has a long tradition of Indian system of medicines practiced throughout India and abroad as well. There is a wide acceptance of Indian system of medicine in community at large. Ayurved has been deeply rooted in the minds of people in India. People have started understanding the importance of total health .i.e. physical, mental and spiritual well being of prassanna Atma, Mana and Indriya.
What is true treatment/ Chikitsa ?
Prayogah shamyet vyadhi yonnamanne udiryet I
Naso vishuddhaha Shuddhastu shamyet yo na kopayet II
The true treatment is that one which will cure the disease or ailment without causing another disease or symptom / side effect.
e must accept that no system of medicine can claim that it will cure each and every disease. Of course, there are some strong areas in every system of medicine. However there is an urgent need to integrate them in such a manner that each of these systems instead of competing with each other will supplement each other in the best interests of the patient. Thanks to the efforts of Government of India to make an attempt to integrate Ayurved, Yoga, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH). Though there are many lacunae in implementation of the same and halfhearted attempts have been made so far to integrate them, we may hope for a better state of integration in the coming future.
Areas of integration :
We have identified certain areas of integration as follows:-
Maternal care, Infant/Child care, Adolescent care, Family Planning - Contraception, Holistic Nursing care, Geriatric care, Cancer care including terminal care, All National Health programmes etc.
Need for Research :
We have a treasure of vast ancient literature. But the modern medicine demands documentary evidence of drug trial/ clinical trial, based on scientific principles. We will have to be prepared to accept the challenge and conduct research applying the parameters and principles of modern research, so that no bias is left for drawing the conclusions.
There is wide scope for doing Clinical research and that is the need of hour. The purpose of research is to discover answers to questions with the application of scientific procedures. The main aim of research is to find out the truth which is hidden and which has not been discovered as yet. The researcher should have desire to face the challenge in solving the unsolved problems. We have further identified various disease conditions on which Clinical research could be undertaken e.g. Diabetes, Paralysis, Retinal detachment, Anaemia, Malnourishment in children, Chronic Renal failure and End stage renal disease, Asthma, Psoriasis, Cancer, Pseudo muscular dystrophy, HIV/AIDS, Dementia, Depression, Menorrhagia, Ovarian cyst, Fibroids, Infertility, Temporary and Permanent methods of contraception, etc. Citing example of Treating Anaemia -First you treat Agnimandhya-Dhatwagnimandhya with Ayurvedic drugs like Sitopaladi choorna, Punarnavadi mandur,Tapyadi loha, Navayas loha, Yograj loha, Datri loha, Mandoor watak,Tpyadi loha, etc. Raktabasti in severe anaemia may prove to be better alternative to blood transfusion.
Need for Integrated Course :
We have to formulate/ design an integrated course of Medicine combining the best of each system of Indian medicine and modern medicine. Graduates of this integrated course will be definitely able to deliver best of the services, those will be cost effective as well and fully acceptable and affordable to common man. Further there is a need to include techniques of Panchkarmas in the basic nursing curriculum. Further, Prakruti parikshan, Rasayan chikitsa, Panchakarma etc. may also to be included in modern medicine so that instead of stereotyped treatment for everyone, different type of treatment can be started as per the Prakruti of the individual. This will bring the desired results with least /no side effects and aim of complete cure could be achieved and relapse can be avoided.
Standardization of drugs
There are hundreds of medicines in our ISM, but standardization of drugs is the gray area wherein we have not given due attention. A physician/ Vaidya may start correct line of treatment for the patient but if our drugs are not standardized or if there are counterfeit drugs, how can the desired cure will be obtained? The Government should encourage developing laboratories that can ascertain quality control of drugs. There are certain manufacturing companies who do have some quality control on their drugs but over all there is almost no quality control as such. This is true in case of Homoeopathy too, where application of correct potency largely affects the outcome of treatment. This situation cannot be acceptable in the present era. We must manufacture quality drugs so that the desired outcome of treatment can be achieved and then the evidence can be demonstrated to the world.
It is estimated that there are thousands of species found all over the world having medicinal properties. However, there are certain plant species which are on the verge of extinction. We have a great challenge to preserve them. It was proposed under NRHM, that every state will have a Herbarium, this is a welcome step, but has to be implemented seriously. The therapeutic plant species on the verge of extinction can be conserved and grown here on large scale. Every medical college including that of Modern medicine, should also have a Medicinal herbal garden and the medical students are to be acquainted with various species of therapeutic plants.
Challenges are too many but we must have strong desire and full commitment to address even the minutest issues, that will pave way for a healthier, wealthier and brighter tomorrow.