India Intelligence Report

   Ayurvedic Drug Labeling Made Compulsory


The Health Ministry has made all Ayurvedic, Unani, Siddha, and Herbal medicine labeling compulsory and has extended the deadline to July 1 of this year. The move by the Government was prompted by earlier politically motivated accusations that a popular Yoga teacher in North India uses human bones in his Ayurvedic medicine.

Health Minister Anbumani Ramdoss jumped on the communist-driven bandwagon accusing him only to find that most politicians gravitated behind this immensely popular Yogi. An obviously embarrassed Ramdoss quickly scaled down his accusations concluding perhaps the bottles supplied to him were spurious. He promised a detailed investigation, which never saw the light of the day.

The problem is that most of these pronouncements and demands by politicians are made without due thought into the process of what is required. Labeling drugs is a very good decision but when most allopathic drugs do not even contain visible names, asking traditional drug manufacturers to provide detailed reports, labels, and information is just discriminatory. It is as if Ramdoss believes that these drugs are spurious and hocus-pocus and needs control.

Most of these drugs are passed down for generations over thousands of years. Recipes of these drugs are not documented, some of the ingredients do not have Latin based botanical names, ingredients have different names in different parts of even within the same state, processes differ depending on the school they are part of, is highly connected to the process of treatment. 

Most Indians, including Ayurvedic doctors and especially allopathic doctors, do not understand these medicines which amazingly work in combinations that doctors use blindly but cannot explain. 

Without efforts to understand this ancient knowledge, and blind politically motivated policy of labeling, curtailing business, and bans on drugs is just being petty minded and is not constructive.

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