It was stated in the Main Page that a serious engagement between the modern and traditional medical systems can result in a number of useful outcomes for both the systems. A most striking example of the same is the award of 2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine to Prof. Youyou Tu for having discovered the antimalarial drug Artemesinin using inputs from the Traditional Chinese Medical texts. However, other than having its source in Traditional Chinese Medical texts, Artemesinin as such is very much a modern drug with nothing in common with traditional medical theories or practices of China.
The following are some of the directions that we would like to explore in the interface between ISM/AYUSH systems and the Modern System of medicine:
- Using the existing knowledge base of ISM s on the medicinal properties of materials (of plant, mineral or animal origin) to help identify potential targets for developing Allopathic drugs in a faster and cheaper manner. The Artemesinin case mentioned above would be an example of this from the Chinese context. It is surprising that we haven't had many instances of this from India, despite the rich pharmacopia and living traditions of AYUSH. While such a research direction can not possibly claim to strengthen or enrich AYUSH systems as such, they surely should be pursued for the fruits that could benefit the entire world including India.
- Using modern scientific methods to identify and isolate 'active components' of the traditional ISM medicines and formulations, so that the same can be packaged and delivered like Allopathic drugs to suite the modern life style. While there would be questions as to their claims to be called authentic AYUSH drugs, surely it would be of great value to ISM drug manufacturing companies to expand their market shares.
- 'Confirming' the efficacy of an ISM treatment through controlled experiments and trials using modern scientific tools and methods, similar to the NIH-funded randomised double-blinded, placebo-controlled study of the efficacy of Ayurveda medicines in rheumatoid arthritis cure conducted at the Arya Vaidya Pharmacy Coimbatotre. While it is not clear as to what exactly such work adds to the Science of AYUSH as such, there is no doubt that such exercises would be of great value in enhancing the public acceptability of AYUSH drugs among the modernised sections of our society.'
- 'Validating' an ISM drug/practice by elucidating its mechanisms of action through modern scientific means and methods - this being the ultimate step in establishing the 'scientific basis' of ISM/AYUSH Systems. As mentioned in the last paragraph, while it is not clear as to what exactly this adds to the Science of AYUSH as such, such exercises would be of value in enhancing the public acceptability of AYUSH drugs among the modernised sections of our society. AYUSH industries are certain to welcome such studies.
- Once the mechanisms of action of an AYUSH drug is understood, it is conceivable that further research could lead to enhancing the effectiveness as well as other beneficial aspects of such drugs. This could even lead to discovery of altogether new drugs that could still claim to be derived from the AYUSH roots.
Our Centre would take up such research directions depending on the support it receives from the Government, AYUSH Industry, etc.