It is a common complaint that I hear from many of my clients that they spent thousands of dollars on Ayurvedic medicines without any results. The complaint comes from within and outside India on a regular basis. There are certain things that an Ayurvedic doctor should take care to avoid unnecessary expense by the patient. At the same time, the patient should also take sufficient precautions so that the Ayurvedic treatment that she is receiving turns out completely fruitful.
Problem with Ayurveda
- Herbs form 60 – 70 % of Ayurvedic medicine ingredient. Day by day, many precious herbs are becoming rare and extinct. This is shooting up the cost of the raw materials with time.
- Considering a gloomy economy, high inflation rates, maintaining required man power, and infrastructure has been becoming an expensive affair.
Responsibility of a doctor
Responsibility of a good ayurvedic doctor includes –
Analyze patient’s complaints from all the angles – patient’s body type, daily habits, disease condition, associated complaints, list of medicines that the patient is taking, seasonal effect on health and disease etc.
Diagnose the disease using modern laboratory tests that the patient has undergone, along with Ayurvedic tools such pulse diagnosis, Ayurvedic symptom analysis etc. This will help the doctor to confirm the diagnosis.
To explain the patient,
- The exact course of treatment plan – long term and short term. In case of Asthma, short treatment can be planned to relieve wheezing and difficulty in breathing. Long term treatment plan can be made to boost respiratory immunity.
- Whether the treatment is symptomatic or to treat the root cause of disease. – Sometimes, it may be symptomatic only. For example, in case of a patient with tuberculosis, on Allopathic medication, symptomatic treatment to relieve frequent fevers, cough etc can be given. Many a times, root cause can be treated with Ayurveda, for example, in a patient with lumbar spondylosis, treatment for regeneration of disc tissue will help, over a period of 4 – 6 months.
- For how long the treatment might be required? – Treatment for cough and cold will only be required for a week time, where as treatment for rheumatoid arthritis or Asthma will be required for a longer period of time. Giving a clear idea to the patient will help avoid wrong expectations.
- To use Ayurvedic home remedies along with medicines. There are innumerable home remedies which can be prescribed by the doctor along with Ayurvedic medicines. This will definitely help the cause of patient’s pocket.
- Offer different medicine options. While there are some medicines which are really costly like Swarna Bhasma, (Calx of Gold) there are lesser costly Ayurvedic medicines as well. For example, to treat Diabetes, Prameha Gajakesari Rasa can be used which contains Swarna Bhasma and is highly expensive, Nisakathakadi kashayam can also be used, which is quite cheaper. While making the right choice of medicine, patient’s body, mind as well as his pocket should be taken into consideration.
- Use appropriate Ayurvedic treatments rather than a general course of Panchakarma therapies. Give the patient a customized short term therapy option, laser targeting the disease condition. While explaining about long term therapy plans like “Ayurvedic relaxation program” “rejuvenation program” etc, convey to the patient difference between which therapies are the need of the hour and which are optional.
- Be prompt, be straight forward and be transparent. Do not take up a disease, which you can not treat. Be open to refer the patient to an Allopathic specialist to investigate further about the pathology of the disease. Be open to discuss the case with fellow Ayurvedic doctor to have a fresh look at the disease and the patient. Under-committing and over-performing is always better than vise versa.
Advice to the patient
- Ask for limitations of the treatment, what you can expect from the treatment / medicines.
- Will it heal completely or is it symptomatic treatment?
- How long it will take to heal completely or partially?
- Within how much time will you start noticing difference / improvement?
- What are the name of medicines? how will it act? basic ingredient info
- Do not buy any medicine which does not have a label and list of ingredients.
Mistakes to avoid
- Not following the diet and lifestyle changes advised by the doctor, which are as important as Ayurvedic medicines and therapies. For example, in exercise in diabetes, sitting straight to treat low back ache etc.
- Not pursuing with the treatment for at least a minimum amount of time. Ayurvedic treatment can never be pursued in a window shopping method. You will have to give at least 2 – 8 weeks for the betterment in health to observe.
- Not following up with the doctor. – Sometimes, follow up will be crucial. It will help the doctor to re-adjust the dosage, consider better Ayurvedic medicines etc.
- Missing on dosage and medicine names. Some Ayurvedic medicine names and dosage are really confusing. Double check with the doctor about the right medicine, dosage and course of intake.
All in all, it is the primary responsibility of the doctor to give best and cost effective treatment to the patient. At the same time, it is the duty of the patient to understand the treatment and medicines thoroughly before following them.