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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Field trips and Invited lectures at Department of Dravyaguna, Institute of P G T & R in Ayurveda, of Gujarat Ayurved University. Jamnagar

Dr.T.Thirunarayanan, Siddha physician and Vaidya.S.Usman Ali, Director, Centre for Traditional Medicine & Research, Chennai visited Gujarat Ayurved University from 25th Aug, 2009 to 27th Aug, 2009 for interaction with experts of different institutions and departments of the university on the various Research activities in Indian Medicine. The Department of Dravyaguna has organized lecture by Dr.T.Thirunarayanan on ‘New product Development in Traditional Medicine –Challenges’ on 25th August. Dr. Parameswar Prasad Sharma, Prof. & Head of the department introduced the speaker and the topic. Dr. Tarulata N. Pandya, Dr. Rabinarayan Acharya, Readers of the department, Research scholars and Post-Graduate students of Dravyaguna, Bhaisajyakalpana, Rasashastra, Ayurved pharmacy and Medicinal Plant Sciences attended the lectures and actively interacted with the speaker. Dr.T.Thirunarayanan highlighted the point that new product development is essential due to changing environment, disease pattern and a broad spectrum of people across the globe showing keen interest in Traditional medicine and this should happen without compromising the basic principles of Traditional medicine but adopting to current day requirement. He insisted that these new products should necessarily undergo pre-clinical and clinical trials and all regulatory requirements fulfilled before launch. There was one more lecture on ‘External Therapies of Siddha medicine and similarities with Ayurveda’ on 27th August. The stress was on utilizing the external therapy techniques more frequently in clinical practice so that the recovery is fast.

On 26th August, Vaidya S.Usman Ali led the team of Dravyaguna students to Jam Barda hills on the botanical identification field trip along with Dr.T.Thirunarayanan & Dr. Bhupesh R. Patel, Lecturer of the department. About 100 plants of medicinal value were observed in this 9 kilometer stretch and Dr.S.Usman Ali gave simple clues to establish botanical identity of the plants using certain peculiarities seen in the macroscopic examination and co-existence of some plant with others (Bio-diversity) was also explained. The unique medicinal use of these plants in Siddha practice was highlighted by Dr.T.Thirunarayanan and the use by local community was elaborated by Dr.Bhupesh R.Patel. Students made a listing of plants of Barda hills along with photos and deposited the CD in the department for future reference.

On 27th Vaidya. S.Usman Ali explained the various medicinal tree species planted in the Joggers' park in Jamnagar to the students. Many visitors to the park showed keen interest in the explanations provided and joined the students for the rest of the evening.

The entire three day activities particularly the field trips were well coordinated by Dr. Bhupesh R. Patel, Lecturer of the Dravyaguna department.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Siddha medicine & H1N1

Siddha research centre suggests that claims of Siddha medicine of prevention & cure H1N1 influenza may be looked into.
The Chennai-based Centre for Traditional Medicine and Research (CTMR), an institute that conducts research in Siddha medicine and giving training to physicians of Siddha, claims that some Siddha medicinal plants and formulations can prevent and cure the pandemic H1N1 viruses without any side effects. The CTMR has written to the Department of Ayush (Union Health Ministry) in this regard with a request to evaluate the effect of Siddha medicinal plants and formulations for anti-viral activity against stains of H1N1 virus, which is currently spreading throughout the country and taking lives across the world.The institute has made an attempt to draw the attention of the Ayush top brass to the clinical experiences of Siddha doctors in the state on the effect of Nilavembu Kudineer (a Siddha formulation), in viral diseases including certain pandemic fever. It also explained the 'Neuraminidase inhibitor activity' of Andrographis paniculata (Nilavembu) in studies carried out elsewhere (China). The bicyclic diterpenoids present in the plant has a significant activity. This Neuraminidase inhibition activity prevents H1N1 virus multiplication, said the Secretary of the Centre.In the letter addressed to the Secretary of Ayush, the secretary of the Centre DrT. Thirunarayanan said the potential of medicinal plants which are well known for their antiviral activity and studies may be initiated in the National Institute of Virology, Pune under ICMR and some other competent institutes like Haffkins Institute, Mumbai. He requested the authorities to initiate immediate measures in this regard and consider it as an additional and important effort from the Ayush's side towards combating the epidemic. The Influenza caused by A H1N1 (Swine Flu) is attaining epidemic proportion in different states including Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Maharashtra. The centre also praised the governments at the central and state levels for various measures being taken to contain the disease spread.He further wanted the Department of Ayush to initiate in-vitro and in-vivo researches on this plant drugs and Siddha formulations at National Institute of Virology, Pune, so that scientific data can be generated which will finally help millions of sufferers of virus diseases.

The common clinical manifestations of influenza A (H1N1) are cough, running nose, sore throat, fever, head ache, body ache and diarrhoea. The virus has a tendency to multiply in the lung epithelium and due to excessive cytokines can cause breathlessness due to pneumonia. An ideal drug combination therefore would be the one which has the following pharmaco-clinical activities: Antiviral activity, specifically with ‘Neuraminidase inhibition activity’, anti-pyretic, analgesic and immuno-modulant (Immune enhancers may cause excessive production of Cytokines while immunosuppressant drugs- corticosteroids can hasten secondary infection). One such Siddha formulation which fulfills the entire requirement is the ‘Nilavembu kudineer’ which contains the following ingredients – Andrographis paniculata (herb), Vetiveria zizanioides (roots), Cymbopogon jwarancusa (roots), Santalum album (heart wood), Trichosanthes cucumerina (herb) Cyperus rotundus (tuber) Zingiber officinale (rhizome), Piper nigrum (fruit), and Mollugo cerviana(whole plant).

Antiviral plants in the formulation are Andrographis paniculata, Santalum album and Trichosanthes cucumerina.

Antipyretic plants in the formulation are Vetiveria zizanioides, Cymbopogon jwarancusa, Andrographis paniculata, Santalum albumand Trichosanthes cucumerina.

Immunomodulant plants are Zingiber officinale, Piper nigrum.

Analgesic ingredients are – Andrographis paniculata, Zingiber officinale and Cyperus rotundus.

Antibacterials are Vetiveria zizanioides, Cymbopogon jwarancusa, Santalum album and Trichosanthes cucumerina .

Therefore Nilavembu kudineer is the most appropriate candidate for evaluation.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

One day workshop on Cultivation of Medicinal Plants

Centre for Traditional Medicine & Research Organized a one day workshop on 'Techno commercial aspects of Medicinal Plant Cultivation' for the officers of the Horticultural Department of Tamilnadu in the Coimbatore region on 30th June 2009 at Arsha Vidya Gurukulam premises, Annaikatti in the Western ghats 25 kms from Coimbatore. 45 officers of the department working in Coimbatore, Nilgiris, Tirupur and Erode districts including Deputy Director, Assistant Directors and Horticultural officers took part in the training apart from Siddha physicians, NGO members and few traders of Medicinal Plants.

Mr.Chandrasekar, Deputy Director inaugurated the workshop stressing on the need for clear understanding of the potential for medicinal plants cultivation in the region and technical feasibility. He also mentioned the quantum of subsidy available for promotion of medicinal plants cultivation under the National Medicinal Plants Mission and how judicious use of the same will benefit growers as well as the Traditional Medicine industry. Dr.T.Thirunarayanan, Presented the commercial viability of different crops likely to be grown in the region and the current demand status along with volume and price. Vaidya. S.Usman Ali, director of CTMR presented the technical aspects of cultivation of Coleus, Gloriosa, Aswagandha, Centella, Bacopa among other plants. He also stressed the need to promote growing of atleast 10 trees per acre by individual farmers in the margin of the land – Saraca asoca, Aegle marmeoles were recommended as they are in high demand. He also suggested live fence of Bonduc, Adathoda, Henna on the hedge.

The participants also visited the Demonstration garden of medicinal plants, field scale processing facility, storage facility of AIM for SEWA and appreciated the efforts of Shri. D.S. Raman. In maintaining such a integrated facility and collection of both tropical and temperate species of medicinal plants in the Garden.