Ayurveda, the ancient Indian system of medicine has stood the test of time and is very relevant even in this technologically advanced age. But there are three major hurdles that are limiting the growth of Ayurveda.
1. Trust in the mind of patient
Usually patients approach Ayurvedic doctors only in the terminal stages of disease. The patient tries treatment of all other systems of medicine first, like Allopathy, Homeopathy and then at last, resort to Ayurveda. By this time, the disease may no more be curable, or may have become very difficult to treat. Even the medicines and treatments often increase the severity of the disease.
This makes the life of Ayurvedic doctor very difficult, because, the understanding the pathology of disease, in Ayurvedic terms becomes very tough.
2. Availability of medicines
In classical Ayurvedic text books, more than 60,000 medicines are explained. But all of these are not available in the market. The doctor is made to depend upon a few hundred medicines that the Ayurvedic pharmaceutical companies manufacture.
Ayurveda does not treat the disease alone. Holistic approach of Ayurveda considers the patient as a whole. So, based on the patient’s body type, Dosha imbalance in the disease, patient’s diet habits etc, the treatment needs to be planned. For such a customized treatment plan, a wide range of Ayurvedic medicines are very necessary, which, unfortunately is not available today.
In ancient times, this problem was not there, as physician himself used to prepare medicines on his own.
3. Availability of raw materials
Getting the right part of the plant, from the right medicinal plant is an ever-growing challenge, these days. For example, Dashamoola – group of 10 herbs. is one of its ingredients. To get 10 kg of root of Bael tree, we may have to wait for several decades.
To get next 10 kgs, again we have to wait for another few decades. This is leading to substitution of the herb part. – i.e. usage of stem, in place of root, usage of stem bark in place of pith and so on.
We need to take steps to preserve and cultivate Ayurvedic herbs on a large scale.