Date: 4th June 2012
The quest for evidence-based Ayurveda: lessons learned
Prof Bhushan Patwardhan: VC, Symbiosis International University,
Interdisciplinary School of Health Sciences, University of Pune
Ayurveda offers a unique opportunity to evolve a science of healthy, harmonious and long life. Its holistic approach to health and disease, involving body, mind and spirit, can provide a broader framework to understand research data emerging from reductionist biomedical sciences. This overview of a journey of a basic scientist into evidence-based Ayurveda suggests that a holistic gestalt and reductionist mechanisms are mutually complementary. However, such complementarily needs paradigm-shifting new research approaches. Over the past few decades, the outcome and unique lessons learned through network endeavors have given rise to integrative research programmes employing several trans-disciplines. Judicious applications have emerged: ethnopharmacology, botanical drug development, observational therapeutics, Ayurvedic pharmacoepidemiology, reverse pharmacology, Ayusoft, Ayugenomics, Rasayana, Systems Ayurveda and integrative medicine. Several hits, leads and ready-for-application products and processes have emerged. This article provides an account of the research journey, including some detours, towards the destination of several innovative projects, evidencebased Ayurveda and global acceptance of integrative medicine.