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Research and innovations in Ayurveda

Research and innovations in Ayurveda are under taken by the Central Government statutory body Central Council for Research in Ayurveda and Siddha [CCRAS], which have national network of research institutes. Besides this, large number of non-government organisations are conducting research work on different aspects of Ayurveda. In the United States, the National Institute of Ayurvedic Medicine (established by Scott Gerson) is an example of a research institute that claims to have made modern scientific progress in Ayurvedic practices


Machine for Panchakarma

The Central Council for Research in Ayurveda (CCRAS) and IIT New Delhi, invented a new machine for Panchakarma (Ayurvedic Detoxification Therapies for the purification of skin) treatment of Ayurveda. The machine is being used in the Panchakarma section of the Central Research Institute of Ayurveda at Punjabi Bagh, New Delhi, India.[1]

The prototype of the fully computerised multipurpose laser beam-guided 'Dhara Yanthra' has been developed, and is expected to be ready for technology transfer soon. Similarly, the partners have developed fully automated steam bath equipment, with provision for controlling the level of steam, temperature, bathing and medicated steam therapy, as demanded by the Panchakarma specialist. It also has an innovated liquid soap shower bath facility, to provide a completely hygienic and human intervention free treatment process. The product is being fine-tuned by the developers[1].


Seven American and four Japanese firms have filed for grant of patents on formulations containing extracts of the herb Ashwagandha. Fruits, leaves and seeds of the Indian medicinal plant withania somnifera have been traditionally used for the Ayurvedic system as aphrodisiacs, diuretics and for treating memory loss. The Japanese patent applications are related to the use of the herb as a skin ointment and for promoting reproductive fertility. The U.S based company Natreon has also obtained a patent for an Ashwagandha extract. Another US establishment, the New England Deaconess Hospital, has taken a patent on an Ashwagandha formulation claimed to alleviate symptoms associated with arthritis.[2].


See also: Triphala

One of the most common and cheapest of Indian ayurvedic medical formulations - Triphala - is now emerging as a potential anticancer agent: studies suggest that it may have anti-cancer effects in rats and in laboratory tissue cultures [3].

Triphala is a combination of the dried fruits of Terminalia chebula, Terminalia belerica, and Emblica officinalis in equal proportions. These are popularly known in India as harad, behada and amla. Ayuveda practitioners claim Triphala is useful as an internal cleansing, detoxifying formula, and as a herbal laxative [4] [5][3].

In a study titled ‘Potential of traditional Ayurvedic formulation, Triphala, as a novel anticancer drug’ published in the January 2006 issue of Cancer Letters, scientists at the Radiation Biology and Health Sciences Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, found that Triphala had the ability to induce cytotoxicity (cell death) in tumor cells but spared the normal cells [3].

Also, a December 2005 report in the Journal of Experimental and Clinical Cancer Research from the Radiation and Cancer Biology Laboratory at Jawaharlal Nehru University noted that Triphala was effective in reducing tumor incidences and increasing the antioxidant status of animal constituents.”[3]

Another report from the Department of Botanical Sciences, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, found that "Triphala" showed a significant cytotoxic effect on cancer cell-lines and the effect was similar on all cancer cell lines used in this study.” The results, reported in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology in February 2005, reveal that the results may be due to the action of gallic acid-a major polyphenol observed in "Triphala". The same authors had previously reported that Triphala “had promising antimutagenic/anticarcinogenic potential.”

In February 2006, scientists from the Dr. A.L. Mudaliar Post-Graduate Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Madras, Taramani Campus reported that supplementation with Triphala prevents the noise-stress induced changes in the antioxidant as well as cell-mediated immune response in rats, which means is that Triphala is an anti-stress agent. This study concludes that Triphala restores the noise-stress induced changes because of its antioxidant properties[3].

Antioxidant studies conducted at The Radiation Chemistry and Chemical Dynamics Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre in Trombay revealed that all three constituents of Triphala are active, they exhibit slightly different activities under different conditions and that the mixture, Triphala, itself is expected to be more efficient due to the combined activity of the individual components. The findings were reported in the July 2005 issue of Phytotherapy Research. Two months later, scientists from BARC reported on the radio-protective ability of a component of Triphala.

Similar results were also reported from Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, when scientists claimed that “Triphala, an ayurvedic rasayana drug, protects mice against radiation-induced lethality by free-radical scavenging.” They concluded that “Triphala provided protection against both gastrointestinal and hemopoetic death”[6].


  1. ^ a b CCRAS, IIT Delhi develop novel Panchakarma equipment
  2. ^ Ashwagandha next on patent hunters list,Hindu Vivek Kendra archive of the Times of India May 16 2001
  3. ^ The Wonders of Triphala by Dr. Michael Tierra
  4. ^ Triphala
  5. ^ Jagetia G.C. et al. (2004). "Triphala, an ayurvedic rasayana drug, protects mice against radiation-induced lethality by free-radical scavenging (online).". J Altern Complement Med 10 (6): 971-978.

See also

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Research_and_innovations_in_Ayurveda". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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