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India And The Future Of Herbal Medicine

Since ancient times medicinal plants have been used as a source to cure numerous human diseases.



(This article belongs to League of India’s ‘Readers’ Opinions‘ Initiative)

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 65-80% of the world’s population living in developing countries depends essentially on plants for primary health care.

Since ancient times medicinal plants have been used as a source to cure numerous human diseases.

In the present days, one-fourth of the world population depends on traditional medicines. As per the recent data, the global traditional market is increasing at the rate of 7-15 per cent per year. Herbal medicinal preparations are normally very popular in developing countries.

In the global market of traditional medicines, only the herbal market has grown at an expressive rate. Several important factors have been contributed to the growth of this worldwide herbal market, such as the belief that herbal drugs are free from side effects; great interest in alternative medicines; preference of populations for preventive medicine, the effective benefit of herbal medicine in the treatment of certain diseases where conventional therapies and medicines have proven to be inadequate; tendency towards self-medication; improvement in quality, scientific proof of efficacy and safety of herbal medicines.

For the promotion of herbal medicines in cosmetic as well as various other disorders there is a need to focus on three fields:


In the field of academics, promoting CME, seminar, conferences to enhance the quality of the education system is required.

Also for the success of all these programs it requires choosing topics meticulously, should cover multiple topics, distribution of funds, promotion and participant interest.


In the research area, consistent effort should be made for good infrastructures, lab equipment, and research scholars are mandatory and should be supported by Government or private sector, which can enhance the quality of drugs and its standard.

Various fields have been opened for the research includes lifestyle disorder, non-preventive medicine, Vajikaran, Rasayan etc. However, at present no injectable ayurvedic drug is available in the market to manage acute or emergency diseases.

For this purpose, Ayurvedic drugs have to be studied for drug-specific pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, half-life, side effects, teratological effects.

Research scholars, working in institutions and universities, should make a collective effort for manufacturing or developing standardized drugs which can be tested very well for the adulteration and to identify the deficient constituent in a compound.

While following the guidelines as mentioned in Charak Samhita Sutrasthana, for the Dinacharya, Ritucharya and Aahaar-Vihaar, we can promote good health; prevent lifestyle disorders [LSD], non-communicable disease [NCD], sexually transmitted disease [STD] and many others, which need more attention to develop more scientific parameters and result.

This effort will enable the Ayurved with evidence to project more scientifically and effectively on global platforms.

In Panchakarma procedures by Snehan, drugs are being given transdermally as transdermal patches which have been used for different diseases in modern science.

It has also been proved that there is a decrease in histamine level by the Vaman Karma.

In cerebral palsy, we can use Shirodhara and Vasti as a part of treatment. This always gives a good result.

Shirodhara has been considered to stimulate the release of endorphins and pain inhibitory mediators.

Herbals drugs from Ayurved are gaining popularity after a dark period. The main role is played by the media as well as by the recent researches, which are carried out by very less number of research scholars in comparison to other medical streams.  So we can see that if we have to take Ayurved globally as like modern medicine, research scholars, academicians and social workers should come together as a team and work in co- ordinance for the benefit of  Ayurveda.


Lastly, social aspect needs conduction of camps through NGO etc., exhibitions, rational involvement of media preferable electronic for the prevention of diseases and after treatment care over and above the activities carried out presently like Swasthya Mela should be done on regular basis for more awareness in people.

We should develop our own system of medicine by considering the core of Ayurved supported by other multifaceted-progressive-economy building and disease combating guidance and technique to be the leader in medicine as holistic medicine.

Disclaimer: The facts and opinions expressed in this reader-submitted article are strictly the personal opinions of the author/doctor. League of India does not assume any responsibility or liability for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information in this health article.

This health/medicine-related article has only been very mildly edited by League of India and is published nearly as received.

Dr Sandhya

Dr Sandhya is Senior Resident, Dept.of Prasuti & Strirog, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University (BHU).

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Legendary Singer SP Balasubrahmanyam Passes Away

His son SP Charan confirmed his demise to the reporters this afternoon.



CHENNAI (Tamil Nadu): Legendary playback singer SP Balasubrahmanyam passed away this afternoon in Chennai. He was 74. His son SP Charan confirmed his demise to the reporters this afternoon.

The renowned artist SP Balasubrahmanyam was admitted into a corporate hospital in the city on the 5th of this month for Covid-19. The viral load dissipated, only after leaving his vital organs severely affected. It led him to be put on a ventilator and ECMO support. He breathed his last at 1.04 pm.

His condition in the last 24 hours had deteriorated further warranting maximal life support. A team of experts was closely monitoring his health.

On September 7, his son Charan had announced that SPB had tested negative for the novel coronavirus.

The veteran singer got himself admitted to hospital on August 5 after he developed symptoms of Covid-19.

Having rendered over 40,000 songs across 16 languages, SPB, as he was fondly called, touched many lives with his iconic voice. His humility and kindness were an inspiration to us all.

Balasubrahmanyam made his singing debut in 1966 with Telugu movie Sri Sri Sri Maryada Ramanna. He has sung over 40,000 songs in as many as 16 languages including Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada, and Hindi.

Balasubrahmanyam was also a voice-over artist. He was the voice-over artist for actor Kamal Hassan, whenever the latter’s Tamil movies were dubbed in Telugu. Balasubrahmanyam also acted in a few movies.

He is survived by his wife, a son and a daughter — both are playback singers.

Balasubrahmanyam sang thousands of songs in South Indian languages and in Hindi for five decades for generations of actors — from MGR, Sivaji Ganesan and Gemini Ganesan, down to the stars of the present — and is the winner of six national awards. He also had won the hearts of several fans across the world for whom his songs have marked milestones.

Home Minister Amit Shah condoled the passing away of legendary musician and playback singer S  P Balasubrahmanyam. HM Shah said that he will forever remain in memory through his melodious voice and unparalleled music compositions.

Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar expressed grief at the demise of noted singer Padmabhushan S P Balasubrahmanyam. He said that the country today lost a melodious vocalist. Praying for peace to the departed soul, Javadekar expressed condolences to the family, friends and crores of people who loved the singer.

Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has expressed shock and grief over the demise of eminent singer and film actor, S P Balasubrahmanyam. In a statement, the Chief Minister said that the demise of SPB is an irreparable loss for the film fraternity. He felt it was unfortunate that the best of the best efforts by doctors could not save him.

Andhra Pradesh Governor Sri Biswabhusan Harichandan also expressed profound grief and sadness at the demise of S.P. Balasubrahmanyam.

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COVID-19: Lucknow Lab Records Shortest Average Time To Process Samples

The BSIP is currently processing and reporting the samples in an average time of 18 hours.



LUCKNOW (Uttar Pradesh): As the COVID 19 patient numbers are recorded, a testing hub in Lucknow for the disease has recorded the shortest average time to process samples among institutions in the country.

With 1000 to 1200 samples being tested per day, the story of the rise of Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeosciences (BSIP), an autonomous institute of the Department of Science and Technology, to the top institution not only in the state but throughout the country in terms of average processing time of samples is one of sheer grit and dedication.

With a small team of 8 members, the lab is running 24×7 to test samples from various districts of Uttar Pradesh. The number of samples tested by BSIP has crossed 50,000, of which approximately 1600 samples were reported positive for SARS-CoV-2 with zero pendency. Keeping in light the present scenario and to aid the authorities to contain this pandemic, BSIP has provided testing reports (on daily basis) to the concerned districts in a record time of 24 hours.

BSIP joined hands with the Government of Uttar Pradesh to combat COVID-19 in the state, becoming one of the five Central Government research institutes in Lucknow, which took initial steps to start laboratory testing of COVID-19. Availability of a BSL-2A laboratory, primarily for ancient DNA work in the Institute, became the advantage needed to immediately prepare for testing.

The BSIP approached the GOI and the UP Government in early April for the necessary approvals for COVID-19 testing. Subsequent to inspection and approval of the laboratory by the ICMR and the UP Government, BSIP became the first of the five Central Govt. Institute in Lucknow to start with RT-PCR based testing, from 2nd May 2020.

The institution started with testing 100-150 samples per day that have now scaled up to 1000-1200 samples per day from the month of July 2020. With proper lab management and dedication of the lab staff, BSIP decreased its average time to process the samples.

The BSIP is currently processing and reporting the samples in an average time of 18 hours. Furthermore, the pendency of the samples is almost zero within 18 hours after receiving the samples.

Apart from diagnostic service, the BSIP is also actively involved in research activities related to COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, real-time tracking of COVID-19 spread in India, using SARS-CoV-2 genotype-based analysis, is being developed.

“RT-PCR is a perfect example of repurposing the existing human resources and infrastructure built for research to effectively address the needs in the time of crisis with speed, scale and resolve,” said Prof Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, DST.

The 8 members of the teamwork with determination and commitment under the supervision of Dr Vandana Prasad, Director, BSIP, and Dr Anupam Sharma, Nodal-in-charge of the COVID-19 lab. Dr Niraj Rai, in-charge of the ancient DNA laboratory, is also in-charge of COVID-19 facility. Nagarjuna P., as the COVID-19 lab manager, takes care of all the requirements for continuous testing in the laboratory. Dr Indu Sharma, Dr Varun Sharma, with Nagarjuna P. work in the BSIP BSL-2A laboratory.

Mr Satya Prakash, who is a science teacher, working voluntarily, takes care of the timely reporting of the results to the respective authorized portals.

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COVID-19: 10 States Account For 75% Cases In India

Maharashtra continues to top this list. It alone contributed more than 21,000 cases yesterday.



Graphic: PIB, GoI

NEW DELHI: A total of 86,508 new cases of COVID-19 infections have been reported in the last 24 hours in India. Of these at least 75% confirmed cases are found to be concentrated from 10 States/UTs.

For the sixth consecutive day, the number of new confirmed cases has been lower than the new recoveries. India posted 81.55 per cent of recoveries while the fatality rate stood at 1.59 per cent, the data from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said.

Maharashtra continues to top this list. It has alone contributed more than 21,000 cases.

Graphic: PIB, GoI

It is followed by Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka with more than 7,000 and 6,000 cases respectively.

1,129 deaths have been registered in the past 24 hours.

10 States/UTs account for 83% of the deaths in the last 24 hours due to COVID.

Maharashtra reported 479 deaths followed by Uttar Pradesh and Punjab with 87 and 64 deaths, respectively.

India has substantially ramped up its testing infrastructure across the country. As on date, there are 1810 labs including 1082 government and 728 private labs.

11,56,569 tests were conducted in the past 24 hours. The total number of tests has crossed 6.74 cr today.

Recovery rate continues to rise, crosses 81%

With its focussed strategies and effective, coordinated and proactive measures, India is reporting a steep increase in recoveries.

New recoveries in India have exceeded the new cases for the fifth consecutive day. 89,746 recoveries have been registered in the last 24 hours in the country, whereas the number of new confirmed cases stands at 83,347. With this, the total number of recoveries are 45,87,613. The Recovery Rate is 81.25% today.

India has the highest recovered cases in the world. It contributes 19.5% to the global recoveries. As India records more recoveries than the new cases, many States/UTs follow the suit. 17 States/UTs have more new recoveries than new cases.

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