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What is importance of AYUSH stand for, and what are its challenges?

AYUSH is an acronym for Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, and Homeopathy. The Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy is purposed with developing education, Importance of AYUSH, research and propagation of indigenous alternative medicine systems in India. The Ministry is headed by a Minister of State, which is currently held by Shripad Yesso Naik. Over time, AYUSH ministry’s budget has doubled to Rs 1,428.7 crore in 2017-2018. Today, there are reportedly 195 undergraduate colleges for homoeopathy in India, and 43 for post-graduate education.

Importance of AYUSH

The basic approach of all these systems on health, disease and treatment are holistic. Because of this, there is a resurgence of interest on AYUSH systems. Yoga has now become the icon of global health and many countries have started integrating it in their health care delivery system. Similarly there is great curiosity to understand the principles and practice of Ayurveda, Homeopathy, Siddha and Unani especially due to growing challenges in medicine in Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs), Life style disorders, long term diseases, multi drug resistant diseases, emergence of new diseases etc.

The Government is indeed serious about mainstreaming AYUSH branches in the public health system, the system itself will have to undergo the A.Y.U.S.H trial by fire. The system needs acceptability and a proven range of applicability for various medical conditions. This is possible through credible research, which would need investments, infrastructure and resources

Central to the arguments on the Importance of AYUSH, is the lack of a scientific and evidence-based system in the alternative treatments offered. It is for the same reason that the scientific and medical community, by and large, considers homoeopathy to be a pseudoscience, and dismisses it as quackery. At best, benefits shown by it has been chalked up as placebo.

Medicines prescribed by AYUSH for diabetes, namely BGR-34 and IME-9 have both recorded major side effects, including increasing patient’s blood glucose to dangerously high levels. The monthly cost of the drug was also reportedly found to be higher than the cost of metformin, a widely prescribed anti-diabetic drug.


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