Friday, October 15, 2010


I have to confess... this whole thing got me lol-ing with at the sheer desparateness of it all

Ok, I have much respect for practioners of traditional medicine, those who hold sacred their craft, the ayurveda, siddha and unani practitioners. Their practice is not scientifically backed and not evidence based.... but they have tradition behind them, and if anyone wants to get traditional medications, hey, be my guest. However, if you want treatment for acute severe asthma, or a heart attack, allopathic (western) medicine may be a better bet, but that is IMHO.

But of course, traditional practitioners who stick to their craft are few and far between. So many of them give their profession a bad name by giving guli and arishta spiked with prednisolone or dapsone... and we detect it after someone gets a serious side effect like Steven Johnson syndrome or liver failure. Remember that guy who was trumperting in the papers of the herbal cure for AIDS? What happened to him anyway?

Ayurvedic practitioners have no training in allopathic therapeutics (just knowing the name of a drug or how to write a prescription is not enough) specifically, when to give and when not to give certain pills. And now they want to prescribe western medicine and use blood pressure apparatus and ophthalmoscopes.


Is the ayurvedic tradition so bankrupt that they cannot treat patients with their own medication or is it an inferiority complex that craves a littmann stethoscope round their necks?

I think I just lost all respect.


Amit said...

Dear Angel,
Pity on you!
Have you ever visited a well educated physician of Ayurveda. If yes, you would have said all this.
Do you know how much evidence based Modern Medicines is??? they're talking about they have some solutions for that???
Rheumatoid Arthritis--- they don't know the Etiology (how disease occurs and how does it progress)??
Diabetes- they have nothing to do with the patient other than to wait for his decay?
What you are talking about they have stetho, opthalmoscopes and so on ....WHAT ARE THESE....CAN YOU Assure anyone for treatment through these apparatuses???????
Words without knowledge are never better than a S.....!!
Take care....

Jack Point said...

Good heavens, you mean to say they give doses of powerful drugs with no proper understanding of their effects?

You need to report the culprits - there is some Ayurveda medicine board or something isn't there?

Angel said...

Amit : Thanks for your comment. However, you seem to have missed the entire point of my post.

I HAVE visited well educated traditional physicians (Ayurveda and Unani) and have studied their work. Hence as I said earlier, my respect for them.

Modern medicine is evidence based. The evidence may not be flawless, but it is there. Traditional medicine does not have it, hence it is "traditional" as mentioned in my post.

The point of the post was not to give a comparative analysis on which system is better for which disease. Certain traditional medications work very well for chronic stable disease such as Rheumatoid Arthritis. The modern treatment for malaria is based on a chinese rememdy. I could go on ad infinitum, but like i said, that is not the point.

Neither western or traditional medicine has a CURE for diabetes. It can only be controlled. That is the nature or "natural history" of the disease (do read the Charaka Samhithawa, there is a copy in the Sri Lanka Medical Library).

Superbugs are spreading fast. we can only hope that SOME system (western/traditional) will find a means of control.

Of course stethoscopes and opthalmoscopes cannot diagnose or treat diseases. It is the person using them, their training and skill.

However, the POINT of this post is that a group of ayurvedic physicians in Sri Lanka have gone to courts asking for a "legal right" to prescribe western medicines and use equipment such as steths etc.

Such a move only shows that they have no faith in their traditional methods and medicines.

This is what I found so funny!

JP : yes, they are reported, when possible. However, where is the proof? There are no prescriptions, and often the person concerned would deny any responsibility. Analysis of the guli and decoctions at the National Drug Quality Control Laboratory have shown high doses of the drugs I mentioned.

Mind you, this is not everyone, but it is more common than we think. There are 40,000 quacks prescribing western medicine and goodness knows how many practicing ayurvedic medicine. Both the Sri Lanka Medical Council and the Ayurveda Medical Council grapple with the problem every day. I think I just found fodder for my nnext post! :)

Dulan said...

@Amit: Not quite sure what you're trying to say - you're agreeing with her in a very aggressive way that seems to imply you're defending ayurveda and believing that she's attacking it...

Calm down and re-read the post, eh?

@Angel: I think this is all a ruse by the quacks in the field of Ayurveda to get some extra exposure. Any self respecting "Veda-mahattaya" would diagnose illnesses based on their traditional methods and not have to rely on these new-fangled methods.

A quack with only a passing knowledge and perhaps cool sounding name, now that fellow would need to do something weird. Like walk around with a Steth and pretend to know stuff about western medicine.

It's ridiculous. No one without the qualifications to prescribe medicines should be allowed to do so. If these "Ayurveda" guys want to do so, they should go the usual route - an MBBS!

What would Siddhalepa Vedmahattaya do???

Jack Point said...

Where did the term Quack come from anyway?

I think the root is in that their is insufficient regulation of the Ayurvedic practice.

In this modern age, where there is money to be earned, everyone is out to make a quick buck. There needs to be some formal school where they are taught and examined before being let loose on the public and some mechanism for dealing with malpractice.

Knatolee said...

Too many damn whackjobs in the world, giving the good people a bad name!

Do the ayurvedic practitioners get in much trouble when they slip people things like prednisolone?!!

Angel said...

Dulan : I totally concur... if anyone wants to prescribe western medication, they need to have a qualification of their fitness to do so, i.e. MBBS.

JP : True enough, yet the western practitioners have to get their house in order too. So very often we see the irrational prescription of drugs, prescription of brand names without justification etc.

Both the SLMC and the Ayurveda medical Council are a little toothless in this matter because, according to the law, they can only regulate those with legit. qualification. I.e., they have no jurisdiction over quacks!

Knatolee : not as often as we'd like. My aunt went to an ayurvedic practitioner for her eczema, and not only did it clear up miraculously, everyone commented on how she had gained weight (she used to be very thin) and her "shiny" skin.

Of course, we got suspicious and tested the "herbal medicine" which were chock full of prednisolone causing thin skin and fluid retention... as well as "curing" the eczema! Nothing was done about the practioner though, since she was reluctant to pursue the issue!

Chavie said...

Good post Angel, I'm guessing this is the one that got deleted? Good that you retyped it. It's sad that they're so bankrupt they have to resort to western medicine to cure illness. Sadly due to the heredity nature of traditional medicine, I guess most of the proper techniques have all but died out by now.

Knatolee said...

That is so dangerous, sticking drugs in like that without warning people!!