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 Table of Contents  
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 93-96

Ayurveda for holistic well-being at global levels

Director, All India Institute of Ayurveda, New Delhi, India

Date of Submission18-Sep-2022
Date of Acceptance22-Sep-2022
Date of Web Publication03-Oct-2022

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Tanuja Manoj Nesari
All India Institute of Ayurveda, Sarita Vihar, New Delhi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jacr.jacr_109_22

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How to cite this article:
Nesari TM. Ayurveda for holistic well-being at global levels. J Ayurveda Case Rep 2022;5:93-6

How to cite this URL:
Nesari TM. Ayurveda for holistic well-being at global levels. J Ayurveda Case Rep [serial online] 2022 [cited 2022 Dec 9];5:93-6. Available from: http://www.ayucare.org/text.asp?2022/5/3/93/357783

Traditional Medicine (TM) is considered as one of the mainstays of the health-care delivery system worldwide. The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported that TM is used by at least 88% (170 of 194) of the member states across the WHO regions.[1] This infers an upsurge in the demand for the services of TM globally. To access TM in a way that is secure, respectful, economical, and efficient, many nations worldwide are now realizing the necessity to create comprehensive, approachable systems. In this view, the WHO has farmed “WHO TM Strategy 2014–2023” for assisting health-care experts to create solutions that support a bigger picture of better health and patient autonomy.[2] The two main objectives of the strategy are to assist member states in trying to maximize the potential contribution of TM in health, wellness, and people-centered health care as well as to promote safety and effectiveness by regulating its goods, practices, and practitioners. It has strategized various objectives such as framing policies to integrate TM within national health-care systems, implementing national TM policies, promoting the safety, efficacy, and quality of TM by providing guidance on regulatory and quality assurance standards, and increasing the availability and affordability of TM, with special emphasis on promoting the use of appropriate TM by practitioners.[2] The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, provides a shared blueprint for strategies to improve health,[3] and TM can play a crucial role in achieving the goal. Possibly, considering all these, the WHO Global Centre for TM has been established at Jamnagar, Gujarat, as part of the WHO's overall TM strategy with a strategic focus to optimize the contribution of TM to global health and sustainable development.[4]

In India, Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, Sowa-Rigpa, and Homeopathy (AYUSH) are the indigenous TM. Among these, Ayurveda is the most widely practiced system in South Asia and is popular not only in India but also in Nepal, Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Maldives.[5]

  Ayush: Global Market Top

The domestic and global demand as well for the AYUSH sector has grown in the recent past. The AYUSH industry continues to be one of the fastest growing sectors of the Indian economy, which has immensely multiplied by six times from $3 billion to $18 billion in the past 7 years.[6] In the past 7 years, the total budget allocation to the Ministry of Ayush (MoA) has increased over four times from Rs. 691 Cr to Rs. 3050 Cr. The market size of the AYUSH industry as a whole has grown by 17% during 2014–2020, with a current turnover of US$ 18.1 billion. On the global platform, there is significant growth in the AYUSH market, which at present accounts for about 2.8%, observing the enormous potential of the AYUSH sector in the world. According to the reports by IMARC (2021), the Ayurveda market is expected to grow by around 15% during 2020–2025.[7]

  New Initiatives: Ministry Of Ayush Top

Today, when India is moving toward leading the fourth industrial revolution, the role of India's science and people related to this field is very important. In such a situation, the responsibility of people in administration and policymaking increases significantly.[8]

Shri Narendra Modi,

Hon'ble Prime Minister of India

The MoA has been implementing a number of strategies, to promote AYUSH, both domestically and internationally. MoA has worked with the WHO on a variety of projects to promote AYUSH globally, such as creating benchmark documents for Ayurveda training and practice, adding a second module to the TM Chapter of the International Classification of Diseases-11, creating apps such as M-yoga, assisting with the work of the international pharmacopoeia of herbal medicine, and supporting various other research projects at a global platform.[9]

MoA has undertaken a number of initiatives to advance AYUSH systems internationally and ensure their acceptance on a global scale, including bilateral and multilateral negotiations with various nations to begin various steps for trade facilitation, recognition of the AYUSH System, the establishment of a specific Ayush Export Promotion Council to promote the export of AYUSH goods, medicines, and services, establishing international AYUSH institutes, providing scholarships to foreign nationals to pursue AYUSH courses in India, supporting industry and hospitals for participation in international exhibitions, and the deputation of experts to various countries establishing quality standards by working with international agencies such as the WHO and International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

MoA in joint collaboration with Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has come up with a new category of Ayurveda Aahara, to increase accessibility and expansion of the market for traditional Ayurvedic recipes, increase the revenue generated, and regulate Ayurveda food products and other functional food products under one umbrella.[10]

Various Information and Communications Technology (ICT) initiatives including the launch of AYUSH Information Hub, Ayusoft, AYUSH Next, and AYUSH Grid were done to promote the utilization of digital technology's potential for overall upgradation of the sector. In partnership with the ISO, the Bureau of Indian Standards has taken the initiative to create international standards for TMs for which a working group-10 on “TM” has been established in the ISO/TC-215 “health informatics.”[11]

  Recommended Promotive Strategies Top

There is a vast network of AYUSH institutes across the nation and the number of institutions is on increase in the past decade. Still, there is a lack of quality and education and training standards in the AYUSH education system. There is a need for cross-disciplinary learning between modern and AYUSH systems of medicine. There is a need to upgrade the institutions with the latest innovations and technology to improve the standards of teaching and training. Revising and aligning the syllabus and curriculum with the National Education Policy-2020 will assist to keep the pace of the AYUSH graduates with the contemporary demands. An ecosystem should be created by developing common interface platforms to share ideas, problems, and solutions for the AYUSH scholars with the development of regional incubation centers.

Any medical system must be validated and accepted globally, and research is the only way to do this. It is imperative that the underlying flaws of the AYUSH system of medicine, i.e. lack of high-quality published research and a propensity for making overstated claims should be addressed. There should be provisions and vigorous efforts to provide funding to high-impact research and publication in reputed journals in the field of clinical research.

There is a need to validate or revalidate the AYUSH system in the current context. Standardized study protocols and models for rigorous research investigations based on the core concepts and practices of Ayurveda are required. It is necessary to test integrated protocols in various illness scenarios. There is a need for massive digitalization in the sector. There is a need to develop a global repository of AYUSH best practices to convert anecdotal narratives to evidence. The upgradation of AYUSH research institutions needs to be improved with the newest technology, which will significantly strengthen and augment the validity, evidence, and research in the AYUSH health-care systems. There is a dire need for the development of artificial intelligence tools to apply to the data collected through bedside studies to generate evidence at a low cost and to establish the safety and efficacy of AYUSH interventions.

The comprehensive understanding of AYUSH has not been adequately utilized in health diplomacy. The growth of numerous student exchange programs will pave the way for the globalization of AYUSH and the strengthening of health diplomacy. There should be an initiative to involve learning about the traditional medical practices of different nations, developing evidence-based AYUSH research, and extending community health promotion and prevention activities, which will assist in the comprehensive development of traditional and indigenous medical systems globally.[12]

Despite the enormous growth of the AYUSH pharmaceutical industry, there are still a number of problems, including legal requirements for drug registration abroad, issues with the pharmacopeia standards of AYUSH products, concerns regarding the presence of heavy metals and pesticide residue that exceeds national standards, and technical obstacles like patents. This demands a need for the development of innovative products based on biomarkers, employment of high-end simulation models, and high-performance computing tools for understanding therapeutic properties of phytopharmaceuticals, expansion of pharmacopoeias to include medicinal plants not restricted to Indian terrain, interdisciplinary collaboration for the benefit of AYUSH pharmaceutical industry, and upgradation of AYUSH industry, innovation, development of standards to bring quality, safety and efficacy, followed by incentivized Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) facilities, digitalization, and development of the database for expansion of AYUSH internationally.

At the level of catering the services in the public healthcare sector, the mainstreaming of AYUSH remained an operational failure for many years. With the lack of guidelines for cross-medical referrals, limitations of integrative health care, and insufficiency of paramedical staff, the utilization of AYUSH doctors remains inadequate. Recently, the MoA has implemented a Centrally Sponsored Scheme of the National AYUSH Mission through State/UT Governments and provided financial assistance to them for the development and promotion of the AYUSH System. The proposal for the upgradation of 12,500 health facilities (10,000 AYUSH dispensaries and 2500 health subcenters) into Ayush Health and Wellness Centre under the Ayushman Bharat has also got approved.[13] This will help to develop an appropriate attitude among the masses toward using the AYUSH wellness principles and practices, providing affordable, sustainable health-care services.

Ayurveda Everyday, Ayurveda Everywhere

Since 2016, the Ministry of Ayush celebrates AYURVEDA DAY every year on the eve of Dhanawantari Jayanti. The concepts and principles of Ayurveda are equally relevant in modern times, wherein prevention of disease and promotion of health are considered paramount. The theme for the celebrations of 2022 is Ayurveda Everyday, Ayurveda Everywhere and it is focused with an objective to achieve PERFECT (Promote Ayurveda into the mainstream, Explore the potential of Ayurveda to contribute in NHP, Reduce the burden of disease by utilizing Ayurveda, Focus on unique strengths of Ayurveda, Enhance confidence for Ayurveda, Create awareness in society, and To generate evidence-based scientific medical system). This visionary objective is anticipated to create a positive impact on the usefulness of Ayurveda on various stakeholders in multiple dimensions.

  All India Institute Of Ayurveda: Promoting Ayurveda At The Global Scale Top

All India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA) has been established with an aim of meeting the growing need for Ayurveda on a global scale, acting as a tertiary health-care facility, and offering interdisciplinary teaching and research in various fields of Ayurveda. It acts as a collaborating center for Ayurveda promotion and research and aims to build a synergy between traditional knowledge of Ayurveda and modern technologies.

To advance Ayurveda internationally, AIIA has established the International Cooperation Cell for Ayurveda, which is responsible for coordinating the establishment of Ayurveda chairs and strengthening health centers and institutions in other countries as well as developing training materials for international delegations and foreign students studying various Ayurvedic specialties, exchanging faculties to update and knowledge share. With the aim of advancing Ayurveda research and promotion on a global scale, AIIA has partnered with various international institutions of science and research. AIIA has so far signed 14 international memorandums of understanding with numerous institutions and colleges functioning in the USA, Austria, Germany, London, Brazil, Australia, Reunion Islands, Indonesia, Japan, Croatia, and Canada.

AIIA is promoting medical tourism through various exchanges of knowledge programs and the visitation of various foreign delegates. The AIIA has built an Incubation Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship on its campus with the goal of supporting entrepreneurship by leveraging scholarly knowledge and acting as the core of a cluster for cutting-edge firms. AIIA serves as the host institute under the Ministry of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises, Government of India, giving innovators the chance to explore and nurture their ideas. AIIA has been assigned as a nodal agency for the implementation of AYUSH skill development initiatives and has introduced Qualification Packs for AYUSH Subsector Skill Council under Health Sector Skill Council, to facilitate and empower India as a global nation for skilled human resources in the AYUSH system of medicine.

AIIA has been given the responsibility to coordinate the activities relating to AYURVEDA DAY - 2022. AIIA has initiated campaigns under the guidance of the core group including of Ministry of Ayush, the National Commission for Indian System of Medicine, and all National Institutes. This year, Ayurveda day is being celebrated by the Government in the association of about 22 ministries for effective implementation of the vision of Ayurveda day within and outside India. These campaigns are planned with a vision to reach and sensitize every stakeholder of the country (Jana Sandesh), and to make them participate responsibly in the vision (Jana Bhagidari) thus creating a mass movement (Jana Aandolan). Ayurveda as a Holistic Healthcare system; Ayurveda for Millenials, Concepts of Ayurveda Aahara (Dietetic regulations), Ayurveda for senior citizens, Ayurveda for Mental wellbeing etc. are a few components that are being focussed in these campaigns.

  In Nutshell Top

We have to work together on various fronts to make India a global center of research and innovation in this Amrit Kaal.[8]

Shri Narendra Modi,

Hon'ble Prime Minister of India

Ayurveda is an “Open Knowledge System” having the inherent principle of adopting knowledge, assimilation of knowledge, and advancements from time to time. There should be integration with modern technology without losing the core values of AYUSH. There should be scaling of digital initiatives for global expansion. There should be the development of a dynamic compendium, highlighting the successful case practices/studies to expand and promote AYUSH practices globally. There should be provisions for mapping the medicinal plants by linking the medicinal plant growth plan with various geographical locations and encouraging the production of varied medicinal plants through various incentives. The inclusion of AYUSH under international health insurance will further increase its prominence worldwide. The establishment of various AYUSH parks, international AYUSH telemedicine solutions, and the development of wellness centers and villages/hubs will aid in promoting medical value tourism and positioning India as a center of the world's health. The entrepreneurial culture in the AYUSH industry can be aided by interactive platforms, hub-and-spoke models, incubator services, and AYUSH policies and as the Honorable Prime Minister of India has mentioned, “In India, this is the unicorn period. 14 start-ups from India have already joined the Unicorn Club in 2022. Soon, I have no doubt, our AYUSH start-ups will produce unicorns” and a new vision with promotive strategies will undoubtedly help to realize the dream and hopes from AYUSH sector.[14]

AIIA is prospering to establish itself as an Outstanding Center of Excellence for Ayurveda Tertiary Health Care and set the best standards of education, research, and patient care through Ayurveda for the benefit of humanity with its fleeting efforts and envious initiatives. The suggested solutions are anticipated to contribute Ayurveda to world health, ultimately giving scientificity to Ayurveda.

  References Top

World Health Organization. WHO Global Report on Traditional and Complementary Medicine 2019. World Health Organization. 2019. Available from: https://apps.who.int/iris/handle/10665/312342/. [Last accessed on 2022 Aug 26].  Back to cited text no. 1
World Health Organization. WHO Traditional Medicine Strategy: 2014-2023. World Health Organization. 2013. Available from: https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/9789241506096/. [Last accessed on 2022 Aug 26].  Back to cited text no. 2
Available from: https://www.undp.org/sustainable-development-goals/. [Last accessed on 2022 Aug 27].  Back to cited text no. 3
Available from: https://www.who.int/initiatives/who-global-centre-for-traditional-medicine/. [Last accessed on 2022 Aug 26].  Back to cited text no. 4
World Health Organization. Traditional Medicine in Asia (No. Regional Publication No. 39). WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia. 2002. Available from: https://apps.who.int/iris/handle/10665/206025/. [Last accessed on 2022 Aug 26].  Back to cited text no. 5
Available from: https://www.ris.org.in/en/node/3307/. [Last accessed on 2022 Aug 28].  Back to cited text no. 7
Narendra Modi, PM, at the Inauguration of the 'Centre-State Science Conclave.' Available from: https://dst.gov.in/pm-inaugurates-centre-state-science-conclave-ahmedabad-video-conferencing#:~:text=The%20Prime%20Minister%2C%20Shri%20Narendra,clear%20example%20of%20Sabka%20Prayas/. [Last accessed on 2022 Aug 28].  Back to cited text no. 8
Available from: https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1804289. [Last accessed on 2022 Aug 28].  Back to cited text no. 9
Available from: https://pib.gov.in/PressReleaseIframePage.aspx?PRID=1824783/. [Last accessed on 2022 Aug 28].  Back to cited text no. 10
Available from: https://pib.gov.in/Pressreleaseshare.aspx?PRID=1706099/. [Last accessed on 2022 Aug 28].  Back to cited text no. 11
Arya A. AYUSH and Its Significance in Health Diplomacy. Science Diplomacy, 45. 2021. Available from: https://www.ris.org.in/sites/default/files/2021-09/SDR%20November%202020.pdf/. [Last accessed on 2022 Aug 29].  Back to cited text no. 12


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