The acceptance for traditional medicines is growing, owing to multiple benefits offered by them. However, there are several challenges in its adoption at large scale. Discuss.

India has been a frontrunner in traditional medicines, since time of Shushruta, Charak & Patanjali. Ministry of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha, and Homeopathy) has been formed to promote them in India and at world level as well.

Growing Acceptance:

  • Mainstreaming of wellness due to double disease incidence, i.e. diabetes, cancer, lifestyle diseases.
  • Increased use of Immunity supplements during Covid pandemic, like Ayush Kadha.
  • Knowledge about harms of excessive use of antibiotics and anti microbial resistance.
  • Preference for natural products.

However, it faces several hurdles in wide scale adoption:

  • Protest by ICMR initially against induction of shalya as surgery.
  • Allopathic systems treat it as non-scientific and placebo.
  • Lack of international consensus on Ayurvedic surgeries.
  • Pharma lobby versus AYUSH.
  • Lack of R&D for scientific utility of Indian traditional medicine.

While challenges for wide scale adoption remain, AYUSH has great utilities especially in bridging the healthcare gap in rural areas and needs more R&D to boost acceptance.

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