September 3, 2008
Analysts Are Wrong About Ayurvedic System
By G.J. Pillai
I REFER to the report by Reuters ("21pc of Ayurvedic medicines have lead, mercury or arsenic" - NST, Aug 28).
The readers will never go anywhere near Ayurvedic medicines after reading the headline. That is what the Western scientists want.
Dr Robert Sapper and colleagues who analysed and reported their findings in the Journal of American Medical Association are ignorant of the Ayurvedic medical system.
The biochemical analysis of an Ayurvedic medicine may disclose many ingredients, including heavy metals and other minerals. Such minerals are not in a pure form as base metals but as a vegetative compound which is not poisonous.
Most Ayurvedic medicines are made from herbs and herbs are God's creation. The plant's growth is a highly complex process. Each plant has its own different content of metals and minerals in a consumable form.
If biochemical analysis is applied to a human body, what are the results that will be obtained? Many metals and minerals would be present. These are obtained from plant-based food. These minerals are required for health.
In essence, the metals present in the body as useful elements are also the ones mentioned as contaminants of the Ayurvedic medicines analysed by the scientists.
Ayurvedic medicines are those stated in the Ayurvedic texts written more than 1,000 years ago by the maharishis (saints). Many formulations have more than 10 herbs in them. Why many herbs are added in a formulation is only known to the maharashis but it can be assumed that the bad effect of one is corrected by another.
Recent Ayurvedic formula medicines made by manufacturers should be investigated and proven.
It is mentioned in the article that some herbs have the property to reduce diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol, but the fact is that herbal medicines have the power to cure all diseases provided a knowledgeable physician treats the patient.
Regarding the Rasa Sashtra class of Ayurvedic medicine, the maharishis found ways and recorded how to purify metals, including mercury for use in medicines. It is difficult for biochemists to understand the process as it may sound crude.
Ayurveda uses herbal medicines with minimum modification to its natural state, thereby having minimum toxic effects.
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