Authors: Dr. Rashi Sharma, Dr. Anita , Prof. Sunil Kumar Yadav, Dr. N. S. Abegunasekara
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Ayurveda works on true health care rather just providing disease management only. In today’s scenario there is massive rise in scenario of antimicrobial body resistance and Ayurveda can provide the best approach of defending ourselves. But the Research in field of Ayurveda is at the level of infancy which can be matured up by multidisciplinary approach in field of Ayurveda. Ayurveda Research will always be at margins but by adopting few measures, it can go beyond the boundaries like new innovative therapeutic approaches which are not earlier mentioned in Samhitas must be worked on along with a joint effort of Ayurveda physicians, scientists from other areas, data managers and engineers for new instrumentation and tools development. The articles and ideas should come out from the published section to incorporate section and a cumulative effort to make that idea worldwide should be worked upon. This can bring out the outcome which is cost effective for public, and which is centrally focused on patient centric approach. The nano-technology in collaboration with Ayurveda can bring such wonderful outcomes in form of Ayurveda Medicinal products. The Genomics branch of science can help in resolving many hidden genetic concepts of Ayurveda like Matrujadi Shad Bhavas that can be helpful in treating many genetic diseases. This paper highlights the role of multidisciplinary approach in field of Ayurveda Research so that we can gain the future territories of Ayurveda.
Ayurveda is one of the traditional systems of medicine that practices holistic principles primarily focused on personalized health which originated in India. Ayurveda is commonly referred as ‘Science of Life’ because the Sanskrit meaning of “Ayu” is life and Veda is science or knowledge.1 Charaka Samhita, Sushruta Samhita and Ashtanga Hridaya of Vagbhata are main classics, which give detailed descriptions of over 700 herbs and 6,000 formulations. Madhav Nidan (~800 AD), a diagnostic classic, provides over 5,000 signs and symptoms.
Life in Ayurveda is conceived as the union of the body, senses, mind and spirit. The concept of Prakriti or individual nature has a central role in Ayurveda therapeutics. With over 400,000 registered Ayurveda practitioners, the government of India has a formal structure to regulate its quality, education, and practice.2 Innovation is rarely a solo act.In order to fuel up the breakthrough innovations increased use of multidisciplinary team work is required.Ayurveda works on true healthcare rather just disease management. So there are lots of hidden research possibilities within it.
II. LITERATURE REVIEW
Research methodology is a way to systematic collection, analysis, and interpretation of data to solve a research problem. India does not need to prove the validity of Ayurveda to its people, authorities and own scientific community because it is a recognized traditional medical system of the country.3 There is a need of fundamental research in Ayurveda to refresh and upgrade the tremendous knowledge diluted through time predominantly during the British rule. This kind of research will certainly upgrade the fundamental knowledge of Ayurveda, which will be benefited not only to Indians but also to foreign nationals. This will assure Ayurveda to be practiced with its whole possible and allowed to gain wide recognition. Research is a process that converts data into information, information into knowledge, and knowledge into wisdom. In the present scenario4, Ayurveda Research are failing in this aspect as these are unable to disseminate the knowledge gained from the exercises.
The glorious past of the research methodology of Ayurveda is based on the tools of examination known as Pareeksha and inspired from the philosophical term Pramaana, which refers to the evidence.5
These tools of the examination include the direct observation (Pratyaksha), the inference (Anumana), and the authoritative testimonies or literature (Aptopadesha). The modern-day research also depends on these three basic tools whose efficacy has been augmented by the utility of the scientific and technologically innovative devices.6 These methods of investigations have been planned to develop the backbone of the Ayurveda system in the form of basic principles under the fundamental research. The quality research on Ayurveda basics with advanced scientific techniques can expand the knowledge and path of current medical science. Predominantly, drug research done in the field of Ayurveda in the last six eras have not enriched the Ayurveda understandings or Ayurveda concepts.7 However, this research has created a better understanding of Ayurveda by the modern medical fraternity. Now, it is the time to define Ayurveda itself that whether the use of herbs only is Ayurveda or the use of herbs and other treatment sense modality as per Ayurveda principles is actually the Ayurveda. The research methodology should be planned and adopted accordingly.8
At the time of determining research methodology in Ayurveda following things should be kept in mind9-
III. ENCOURAGEMENT OF RESEARCH ON AYURVEDA FUNDAMENTALS
Fundamental research needs to be done in the fields of Ayurveda Physiology, Pathology, Pharmacology (fundamental and clinical) and Pharmaceuticals. The basic concept of Srotovijnana (knowledge of channels) as a main matrix of Ayurveda biology has been highlighted both by fundamental and applied knowledge.11 A living body is a system which comprised innumerable channels designed as an inner transport system for a variety of functions. The health and disease depend on the system of Srotas, which is prone to lose its function by various factors including erroneous food and lifestyle. Ayurveda developed a therapeutic technology for Samshodhana (bio-purification) familiarly known as Panchakarma therapy.12 Ayurveda can be better understood through Philosophy and Physics rather than modern Biology because the study of the full spectrum of the Srotas can help to define the phenomenon of relationships in structural and functional biology.Moreover, the fundamental concept of Ayurveda for a perfect health including restoration and maintenance can also be understood through quantum theory.13The fundamental research in Ayurveda caters demands of the society and the medical fraternity; the modern scientific research has been initiated in Ayurveda in the field of basic principles. The aim of basic research in Ayurveda is to explore the scientific innovations and opportunities in fundamental concepts of Ayurveda. The fundamental research includes replacement of faith and suppositions with the scientific reasoning complimented with the facts and figures. The objectives of the investigation in the fundamental research are categorized into the human body (Purusha), the disease (Vyadhi), the medicine (Aushadha), and the right time for action (Kriyakala).14
There is a vast scope for research in all the eight branches of Ayurveda from an interdisciplinary perspective. In each of this collaboration with other basic and allied sciences some research has been done, but no noteworthy outcomes are noted.15 Many plausible important areas of Ayurveda’s unique theories are till date unexplored. Hence, a totally new aspect should be adopted for research in Ayurveda science and therapeutic framed specifically. These aspects need collaboration with experts of Ayurveda, basic sciences as well from contemporary and allied sciences.16 Some areas for interdisciplinary collaboration in the branches of Ayurveda are listed below. Fundamental science (Samhita Siddhant) Conceptual and explanatory or interpretive study in the basics, namely Dosha, Dhatus, Mala, Agni, Ama. Ojas and Srotas, Marma, Prakriti as well in Rasa-Guna-Veerya-Vipak-Prabhava is needed.
This will help to create an appropriate interface for the development of specific research methods for easy understanding. Pharmacology (Rasashastra and Bhaishajykalpana) Inclusion of knowledge about botanicals,17zoological, and mineral sources with respect to physiological, pathological, toxicological aspects is the specialty of Ayurveda. Ayurveda Vaidya’s use various compositions, formulations, and dosage forms with knowledge of therapeutic and untoward effects of these substances. In the area of drug research by adoption of reverse pharmacology (clinic to laboratory) approach one can understand mechanism of action of the Ayurveda drug at various biological levels and optimize efficacy, safety, and acceptability of that drug.18 By interdisciplinary involvement of pharmaceutical science, molecular level action of Herb-mineral preparation can be targeted.19 In the past studies, many medicinal herbs are evaluated in this manner. Few examples are anti-stress, anti-anxiety, apoptogenic activities of specific medicinal plants.
Today’s Ayurveda physician must have a creative communication with medical professionals from different systems of medicine. However, many of the Ayurveda students lack a robust functional theoretical foundation. There is a lack of exposure to recent advances and to disciplines like public health, cell biology, epidemiology, biomedical engineering, pharmaceutics, clinical pharmacology, immunology, statistics, and information technology.20As in contemporary research methodology all these disciplines play a crucial role, integrated approach in these areas is required. Interdisciplinary approaches between the contemporary and Ayurveda line of treatments will help to achieve holistic health strategy which will be a step towards the achievement of global recognition. Integration with other AYUSH systems like Homeopathy, Unani, Siddha, Sowarigpa, Yoga must be also considered. allied therapies like physiotherapy integrated with Panchakarma and Yoga can be beneficial in disease management. A critical framework is required to facilitate cross-disciplinary collaborations toward practical applications in field of Ayurveda Research. The mutual exchange of resources between academicians, clinicians and people from various departments can be directed toward growing the Ayurveda research program for mutual benefit. To conclude, it is important to remember that today’s interdisciplinary research often ends up as tomorrow’s “traditional” discipline.
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