World Health Day 2019: The emergence of ayurveda
A strong shift in people’s sentiment towards adopting the use of ‘natural’ medicines and healthcare practices, has given the ancient science of ayurveda a well-deserved boost. 90% people want to adopt ayurveda as the first call of treatment in the current scenario and rightly so. Natural is the new mantra of health and is disrupting every category for today’s health conscious population. India has a long heritage of the usage of ayurvedic and herbal products.
We are called the ‘botanical garden of the world’ as India is the largest producer of medicinal herbs. As per a WHO report, more than 80% of the world population uses medicines made from herbal and natural products. From an alternative form of healthcare, ayurveda is steadily moving towards centre stage owing to the issues being faced globally with regards to modern healthcare – medicines and practices.
In their quest to embrace healthier lifestyles, people are shifting from everything which is artificial and synthetic. Allopathy is no exception in this trend. Thus, after a very long time, ayurveda has regained ground, core medicine sales have jumped from 6000 crores in 2007 to 19000 Crores in 2017. By 2022 the ayurvedic healthcare market is expected to grow at a steady pace and become 50,000 crores. While the allopathy industry stands at 1,20,000 crores.
While Ayurveda is a science perfected over centuries there are problems in the supply chain, ambiguities about good quality medicines and accessibility to trustworthy ayurvedic doctors. There is a dire need to fix these problems and give a positive push to ayurveda as the first call of treatment not just in India but globally.
Ayurveda is a proved science which has the power to revolutionise the modern healthcare ecosystem with is advocacy, practices and treatment and make the future healthcare more sustainable. Ayurveda is known for its ‘prevention is better than cure’ philosophy which can make human lifestyles healthier. Ayurveda is as close and accessible to us as the items in our household kitchen, what we need is the correct information and knowledge. Indians had been following ayurvedic practices in daily lives, but we lost touch over the years under the influence of western practices. Moreover, it has successfully cured chronic diseases where allopathy are still struggling to cure.
In past few years the government has actively promoted ayurveda and supported the growth of pioneering research and medical facilities in the country. Still there is a need to create more awareness in people seeking the right ayurvedic treatment. Encouraging evidence-based treatment, use of modern diagnostics, knowledge sharing within the community, creating digital and physical platforms for patient – doctor interactions, strengthening channels for authentic good quality ayurvedic medicines will help in re-establishing the glory of ayurveda. Technology is playing a major role in increasing accessibility to the right ayurvedic practitioners and knowledge sharing within the community for capacity building.
Every World Health Day, we advocate for the need to push universal health coverage across the globe. Being the knowledge and talent hub for ayurveda, India can be the torch bearer for the healthcare revolution. There are over 6,00,000 Ayurveda practitioners in India and over 350 Ayurveda medical colleges producing over 20,000 medical graduates every year. By making ayurveda mainstream we can step closer to the aim of making universal health coverage a reality. On this World Health Day let’s push towards the progressive adoption of ayurveda for health and wellness.
Ram N Kumar is founder and CEO, NirogStreet