With awareness about Ayurveda on the rise in many countries, the support of India has been sought to unify the community of practioners of the ancient system of medicine across the world, while ensuring uniform quality and standards.
Dr Nilanjana Sanyal, Secretary, Ayush department under the Union Health Ministry, and Dr Geetha Krishnan, Secretary General, World Ayurveda Foundation today opened the International Delegate Assembly at the 6th World Ayurveda Congress, with a call to streamline policies on the propagation of Ayurveda globally.
"Our mission is to inform the people about the benefits of Ayurveda while spreading the age-old system around the world to improve lives," said Dr Krishnan. The participants from abroad, who attended the assembly included Ayurveda practitioners from Bulgaria, Latvia, Russia, Chile, Spain, South Africa and Bangladesh.
"We have an Ayurveda Association in Bulgaria to propagate the traditional medicine system, but without the support of India, it is going to be very difficult for us," said Dr Paolo Sar, an Ayurveda practitioner from the East European nation.
The future of medicine in the 21st century lies in the integration of traditional and modern practices," said Dr Valdis Pirags, an endocrinologist who is engaged in publishing a book on the merits of Ayurveda.
Four delegations from Bangladesh represented their country while there was an equal number of delegations from Russia present at the assembly. Dr Vijay Carolin, an Indian-born Ayurveda doctor who set up the first department of Ayurveda at the Avantmedic clinic in Barcelona, Spain, said the alternative medicine system was "wrongly represented" in Europe.
"People in Europe think Ayurveda is about massages. We need massage therapy to propagate Ayruveda, but if we are serious about spreading it, we need to go beyond massage treatment," Dr Carolin said.
India has already signed agreements with countries like Malaysia and Bangladesh to promote Ayurveda abroad. According to the Russian delegation, the Health and Prevention Committee of Russian Parliament is currently studying a recommendation to incorporate Ayurveda in the medical education and registration of Ayurvedic medicines in the country.
Russia, which has a life expectancy of over 70 years, has conducted several studies on the use of Ayurveda medicines, with one study showing that application of preventive Ayurvedic measures reduces the risk of acute respiratory diseases by 70%.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the Ayurveda Congress on its concluding day tomorrow.