Modern Vs. Ayurvedic Medicine: Superiority Debate is Counterproductive

Both Modern and Ayurvedic Medicine are practiced in India. Let us follow the views of our participants to know about the superiority issue

Modern Vs. Ayurvedic Medicine: Superiority Debate is Counterproductive

Introduction by the Moderator

The recent statement of Baba Ramdev ridiculing modern medicine as "stupid science" and asking its effectiveness in treating Covid-19 infection has been unfortunate. The Indian Medical Association has pertinently expressed displeasure over the statement. Both modern as well as Ayurvedic treatment have their positive sides. While nobody can deny modern medicine's contribution in improving health and longevity of people, Ayurveda, too is an age old health practice and has many health benefits. Promotion of Ayurveda should be based on science, not politics. Now, it is seen that people have started debating on which is superior - modern medicine or Ayurvedic medicine. The jury thinks that this superiority debate is counterproductive to the interest of the people.
Panelist Comments
Dr. Sheikh Chand Mohammad

Dr. Sheikh Chand MohammadFor

Dr Sheikh Chand Mohammad is an Ayurvedic consultant physician at Kalaigaon Model Hospital, in Udalguri district of Bodoland Territorial Region. He did his Bachelor of Ayurveda Medicine and Surgery (BAMS) from Govt. Ayurvedic College, Jalukbari, Guwahati. Dr Mohammad has offered a vast range of social service in the backward areas of western Assam. He has attended various camps in Lakhimpur District during 2011 to 2017, National Disaster Management camps, worked during outbreak of malaria, several health awareness camps in Nalbari, Udalguri, and other areas. He is a member of the Assam Ayurvedic Doctors' Service Association as well as Assam Science Society Mukalmua branch.

Modern Vs. Ayurvedic Medicine: Superiority Debate is Counterproductive

Ayurveda, the holistic medicine aims to restore health by understanding the underlying cause of the disease. It includes a wide range of treatment comprising of panchakarma,Yoga and herbal medicine. It strives to attack the root causes and detoxifying, cleansing, strengthening body tissues (dhatus) and balancing bodily doshas (vata, pitta, kapha), thereby ensuring complete cure.

On the other hand in modern medicine pharmaceutical drugs play a major role in allopathy in treating the symptoms and illness. Allopathic treatments have emerged as an intense system based on research and evidence. Modern medicine is the perfect tool in case of serious and emergency illness. In Ayurveda, practicing Yoga one can get relief from psychosomatic disorders, that help improving mental and spiritual health.
As India grapples with the corona outbreak, both the ayurvedic and allopathic practitioners and supporters should realise that both the treatments can coexist simultaneously for the greater interest of the mankind. Both have unique characteristics that distinguish one from the other. However it does not mean that there should be a debate on supremacy of one over the other. Both have proven beneficial in treating ailments and therefore they both deserve to serve the humanity in their own way.
Dr. Nahid Suraiya Islam

Dr. Nahid Suraiya IslamAgainst

Dr. Nahid Suraiya Islam is a Senior Consultant Psychiatrist at GNRC hospitals, Dispur, Guwahati. She did her MBBS in 1998 from Guwahati University and MD in 2005 from the same University. She is a renowned psychiatrist in Assam and her additional achievements include: Resource person in various educational programmes in central government institutions (NIPCCDE, IBBM), Resource person in various media programmes, Speaker in state level psychiatric meet, Life Fellow Indian Psychiatric Society and Life member of Indian Association of Private Psychiatrists.

Modern Medicine is first line of treatment, Ayurveda is complementary

In recent times, there has been a lot of debate regarding the recognition of Ayurvedic medicine as a standard practice for treating various diseases at par with modern medicine. The practice of Ayurveda is age old based on ancient writings relying on a natural and holistic approach that include medicines (plant / animal products, minerals, metals), diet, yoga and lifestyle changes. It is a form of alternative medicine along with other systems like homeopathy, unani or Chinese medicine. Ayurvedic treatment has proved beneficial in certain chronic diseases in their mild form like rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes or hypertension among others. But there are very few scientific studies to support this. However, the efficacy of such medicines in moderate and severe disease state, acute infections and injuries, malignancies and other medical/ surgical conditions is highly questionable. Most of the Ayurvedic products do not follow standardized production protocol and numerous studies have shown elevated levels of certain toxic heavy metals like mercury, lead and arsenic in such preparations which may be detrimental to health.

Modern medicine is evidence based with lot of scientific research and studies done on a biological basis before a drug is declared safe and effective for human use and standard protocols are to be followed in their production applicable worldwide. Also the composition and potential side effects are to be clearly listed for patient information and choice. The role of modern medicine in treating acute and chronic diseases cannot be underestimated and should be continued as first line of treatment with alternative medicine like Ayurveda considered more as complementary therapy. While allopathic treatment has so far saved the lives of crores of people all over the world, yoga and Ayurvedic treatment has also taught the people about having a healthy diet and lifestyle.

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