Herbs and Yoga vs Chemistry and Surgeons
The delegates of the firstworld conference on alternative medicine leave the Indian city of Cochin with promises to make every effort to promote Ayurvedic methods of treating diseases. Over four thousand delegates from different countries for four days discussed what place the five-thousand-year-old tradition based on the use of natural means of alternative medicine occupies in the modern world.
Famous doctors and scientists talked about the benefits of treatment without the use of chemistry and surgery.
Ayurveda uses herbs and roots such as basil, turmeric, garlic, ginger and aloe to treat physical and mental ailments. An integral part of this method is yoga.
The congress, which was opened by the Minister of Health of India, Shatrughan Sinha, discussed the threat that, according to participants, is the patent regime introduced by the World Trade Organization for alternative medicine.
More than 300 written reports were presented at the congress and more than 100 speeches were made. They mainly concerned how to adapt the ancient methods of medicine to the requirements of modern society.
The most memorable event was the “Daiva Vipasaya Yagnam” – a demonstration of an ancient ritual that allows you to relieve stress without the use of any medicine or drugs.
Workshops on yoga, tantra and other ancient mystical practices also attracted great attention.
Congress organizers believe that Ayurvedic medicine has a great future. According to the World Health Organization, alternative medicine adherents control a significant part of the health care market.
In addition, according to Di En Tevari, chairman of the Ayurveda department of the Indian Planning Commission, traditional methods are becoming more and more attractive to the general public.
“The whole world is switching from artificially created drugs to natural ones because they are not addictive, have no side effects and are readily available,” he said in an interview with the BBC. “The world is interested in simpler and milder therapies, especially for older people, as well as those who suffer from obesity, diabetes, neurosis, cardiovascular and gastric diseases.”
However, the commercial success of alternative medicine remains the main development factor.
Although Ayurveda is a purely Indian tradition, India exports Ayurvedic medicines worth only $ 120 million a year. While, for example, China supplies abroad the same funds in the amount of 5.56 billion dollars.
Indian Government Advisor Di Kay Sharma says Delhi has set itself the goal of increasing exports to $ 1.08 billion by 2008.
Sharma believes that India, where 15 thousand species of plants grow, has every chance of increasing its presence in the world market, whose total volume is 75 billion dollars, and the growth rate is at least 7% per year.
To develop a program to increase profits from the use of this ancient tradition, Delhi creates a working group of representatives of 10 industries.