Doyen of Ayurveda Dr P K Warrier dies at 100
Dr P K Warrier, who popularised Ayurveda, died in Kerala’s Kottakal on Saturday a month after celebrating his 100th birthday on June 8, his family said
Dr P K Warrier, who popularised Ayurveda, died in Kerala’s Kottakal on Saturday a month after celebrating his 100th birthday on June 8, his family said. Decorated with the country’s third and fourth highest civilian awards -Padma Bhushan in 2010 and Padma Shri in 1999 - Warrier was also a freedom fighter. He was known as a connoisseur of arts, an author and a teacher.
Warrier remained the managing trustee of Kottakal Aryavaidya Sala till his death. He took over the family-run company at a young age and made Aryavadiya Sala a well-known brand.
The youngest of six siblings, Warrier was born in 1921. He joined the freedom movement while he was still in college. He dropped out to join the Quit India movement on Mahatma Gandhi’s call in the 1940s. Warrier later grew closer to the Communist movement before quitting politics to take care of the family business.
He became a trustee of the Aryavaidya Sala, founded by his uncle in 1902, at 24. He was the in-charge of its medicine-making unit and later became the managing trustee of the group after his elder brother, P M Warrier, died in an air crash in 1953.
P K Warrier, who is survived by his two children, treated patients till the Covid-19 pandemic struck. He was also infected and later recovered from Covid-19, his family said.
Warrier is known to have been instrumental in modernising the packaging of Ayurveda medicines, which were earlier available in the forms of kashayam (concoction) and choornam (herbal powder). He helped develop its tablet and tonic forms. An authority on medicinal plants and herbs, he also set up an R&D unit in the 1960s to help modernise the traditional form of medicine.
When he took over, the firm’s turnover was ₹9 lakh. It is now over ₹500 crore, and the firm has branches in almost all major cities of the country. The firm runs five major hospitals, an R&D centre, two medicine factories, 1500 retail outlets and two herbal gardens.
The firm was instrumental in making rejuvenation therapy famous and attracted many film stars and leaders to Kottakal, which has become synonymous with Ayurveda.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Kerala governor Arif Mohammad Khan, and chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan condoled Warrier’s death.
“His contribution to popularise Ayurveda will always be remembered,” Modi tweeted.
Khan said as a physician, Warrier was committed to the scientific pursuit of Ayurveda. “He will be remembered for the matchless contribution to the modernisation of Ayurveda,” said Khan.
Vijayan said Warrier was instrumental in taking ancient science to global fame. “From the heads of the state to the poor, he treated everyone on par.”