Science in Ayurveda

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Preamble: Ayurveda is an established traditional method holistically treating health issues. It is important to address /explore its scientific basis   in current scenario.  Dr Chidambaram, Principal Scientific Advisor, agreed to consider initial support under “Directed Basic Research” for research projects.  These were identified by deliberations among senior scientists and Ayurvedic experts from across India. Accordingly a Brain Storming Session was held in PSA’s Office on 15th February 2006 followed by a seminar in the IISc on 30th May 2006 which was attended not only by scientists and Ayurvedic experts but also by the representatives of DST, DBT, ICMR, CSIR, and AYUSH.

As a result of these discussions and consultations, few research projects were identified to be supported under “Science in Ayurveda” initiative of O/o PSA to GOI. These projects were confined themselves to the application of basic science to selected Ayurvedic concepts, procedures and products. Selected projects refrained from development of drugs, their trial for safety and efficacy, or clinical research in Ayurveda. All the projects under SIA were conceptualized/guided by Prof. M. S.Valiathan, National Research Professor, worked on scientific studies in "Ayurveda“, also authored several books on the subject. The programme “Science in Ayurveda” is now reconceived, as on Ayurvedic Biology, is being implemented by the Department of Science and Technology.

Projects   Sanctioned under “Science in Ayurveda”

  1. Exploring functional genomics basis for medicinal properties (Dosha-balancing) of some plants used in Ayurveda: Dosha shamak property of different plants would be studied using various methods such as HPLC, TLC etc. and specific expression/ subset analysis (SESA)/ DNA finger printing would be attempted.
    Institutes Associated:
    1. Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP)
    2. Lucknow
    3. Banaras Hindu University (BHU) Varanasi
  2. Genomic Variation Analysis and Gene Expression Profiling of Human Dosha Prakriti based on Principals of Ayurveda: Dosha prakriti of the subjects would be determined with Ayusoft software and senior ayurvedic physician (Vaidya). Ggenetic variation will be analyzed after isolating DNA from selected subjects.
    Institutes Associated:
    1. Sinhagad College of Engineering – Pune
    2. Foundation for Revitalization of Local Health Traditions (FRLHT) – Bangalore
    3. Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE), Manipal
    4. Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, (CCMB) Hyderabad
    5. SDM College of Ayurveda, Udupi
    6. Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore
  3. Scientific Validation of Ayurvedic Rasayana Therapy: Studies to examine Genomic Stability Correlates: Envisaged to examine the genomic stability in aging and following Amalaki Rasayana therapy in rat model.
    Institutes Associated:
    1. Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University (JNTU) Hyderabad
  4. Evaluation  of Amalaki Rasayana on DNA repair and Immune Profile in Human Subjects:Chemoprotective effects of amalaki  Rasayana would be studied with  DNA Repair assays.  Metabolic changes monitored through metabolic tests such as HB, PCT, WBC, ESR, BUN.
    Institutes Associated:
    1. Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE), Manipal
    2. SDM College of Udupi
    3. Arya Vaidya Sala Kottakkal
  5. Studies on biological effects of Ayurvedic formulations (Rasayanas and Bhasmas) using Drosophila model.: Amalaki Rasayan  would be studied at different concentrations in  drosophila model.
    Institute Associated:
    1. Banaras Hindu University (BHU) Varanasi
    2. Arya Vaidya Sala Kottakkal
  6. Physico-Chemical Properties of Ayurvedic Metal-based Drug: A Case study on Rasasindur: A mercury based preparation (metal based Bhasma) Rasasindur, would be analyzed with (HR-XRD, SEM) techniques.
    Institutes  Associated:
    1. IIT- Kharagpur
    2. Arya Vaidya Sala Kottakkal
  7. Immunological and metabolic effect of Panchakarma: Panchkarma: procedure would be carried out in normal as well as   in volunteers with selected conditions (obesity, tamak shwas etc.). The metabolic and physiological effects would be analyzed through various immunological assays, physiological tests.
    Institutes Associated:
    1. TN Medical College and BYL Nair Hospital, Mumbai
    2. M.A.Podar Hospital, Mumbai
    3. Advanced Centre for Treatment
    4. Research and Education in Cancer (ACTREC) Navi Mumbai
  8. Functional genomics for understanding holistic principles of Ayurveda therapeutics with Asthma as a model”: A Traditional knowledge of ayurveda is increasingly recognized and scientific contributions are also being encouraged. Under directed basic research, “Science in Ayurveda”, the office of PSA to GOI has supported seven projects in March 2007, exploring the basic concepts of ayurveda.  The concepts related to dosha, bhasma, panchakarma, etc. are being studied in various research institutions using modern available techniques.
    Institutes Associated:
    1. Symbiosis International University, Pune
    2. Tilak Ayurveda Mahavidyalaya, Pune
    3. Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE), Manipal
  9. Role of Medhya Rasayana on Ageing and Stress-Induced Autophagy in Hippocampus: A traditional knowledge of Ayurveda is increasingly recognized worldwide.  Seven projects were supported (March 2007) by the Office PSA to GOI, under “Science in Ayurveda”, exploring the basic concepts of Ayurveda (dosha, bhasma, panchakarma, etc.) using modern available techniques.
    Institute Associated:
    1. Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE), Manipal
  10. Bioactivity Studies of Bhasmas: Bhasma preparations will be studied in the light of  modern concepts of nano and submicron sized particles and their bioactivity. Bhasmas, are the ayurvedic preparation of micron/submicron size, and have wide range of therapeutic applications. However, the cellular and molecular interaction of bhasma particles remain largely unidentified and to be explored using modern techniques.
    Institutes Associated:
    1. IIT- Bombay and Advanced Centre for Treatment
    2. Research and Education in Cancer (ACTREC) Mumbai