Tata Trust funds 20 crore for Ayurveda "Healthcentre"
#1
http://news.in.msn.com/national/article....id=5044849
Quote:Bangalore, Mar 17 (PTI) Leading industrialist Ratan Tata today suggested exploring the possibility of expanding the frontiers of medical treatment through the possible "fusion or integration of Ayurvedic medicine and its strong tradition and Western medicine and its scientific approach."

Speaking at the launch of the Institute of Ayurveda and Integratieve Medicine (IAIM) and the new 100-bed Intergrative Health Care Centre (IHC), that is wholly supported by the Tata Trusts, the Chairman of the Tata Group lauded the role played by traditional Indian medicine.
He said Ayurveda had played a phenomenal role in betterment of mankind but the traditional medicine had been overtaken by the strides made by Western medicine.

There was a general perception that traditional medicine is witch doctor''s medicine and there were several questions on how it works and even whether it works, he said.

But in India, Ayurvedic medicine has had a very rich tradition which most were unaware of, he said.

"I think those of us who have an open mind realise that if there could be a fusion or integration of Ayurvedic medicine and its strong tradition and western medicine and scientific approach to understand the efficacy and content of ayurvedic medicine, then may be treatment of some diseases.. the early detection of those ailments might all go to a new phase where treatment of these may be much better established."
"I think it is the role of institutes like this to propagate this in a scientific manner and take it beyond the shores of India", he said.

Lauding the institute for its pioneering effort in the direction, he said "I hope the next 20 years will be a tribute to what you have started."
"It will also be a tribute to scientists who have put India on the international map in an area that is rich in Indian tradition--no adaptation, no compromise--but a fusion of traditional with scientific advances of western medicine. This will truly be taking away the boundaries of medical treatment"

Sam Pitroda, Founder Chairman of Institute of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine, said that in India everyone was focussed on the western model of big hospitals, big equipment five star hotel environment.

"That model is not scalable, perhaps desirable or sustainable in the long run. So, we have to find new models of health delivery and that is where traditional Indian model comes in", he said.

He recalled how his mother had delivered 8 children at home at zero cost sans electricity, no medical doctors and pharmacy. She delivered all eight mentally healthy babies.

"They must have done something, they must have done something right and what is it, we need to look at it".

http://www.hindustantimes.com/Ayurveda-a...74706.aspx
Quote:Taking healthcare to the masses will be India's biggest challenge in the next two decades, and the ancient medicinal system of ayurveda is the only reliable way of doing so, Sam Pitroda, adviser to the PM, said. "We can't adopt the western model - the five-star culture of health delivery system. Hea


lth care has to reach the masses," Pitroda, chairman of the National Innovation Council, said at the inauguration of the Institute of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine (I-AIM) on Thursday.
Tata Group chairman Ratan Tata inaugurated the 100-bed healthcare centre that aims to integrate traditional medicine with modern health science. The centre is wholly supported by Tata Trusts (Mumbai), the group's philanthropic arm.

Pitroda, who is also the co-founder and chairman of the Centre's precursor Foundation for Revitalization of Local Health Traditions, said the integration of modern medicine and traditional health sciences was the best way to deal with challenges that lie ahead.

Darshan Shankar, who along with Pitroda had floated the foundation 17 years ago, said the healthcare centre aspires to be a modern Nalanda University for traditional health sciences.

The Nalanda University, one of the world's oldest centres of learning, had a highly regarded centre for medicine.

"I-AIM already has research centres in several disciplines including conservation of medicinal plants, pharmacognosy, pharmacology and pharmaceutics, community health, clinical medicine, botany, medical manuscripts. It plans to establish a museum on the contemporary history of India's medical heritage," Shankar said.

*facedesk*

(not sure if pseudoscience section would be more appropriate for this thread)
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#2
surprising that they dont mention the commonsense breaking research from iitb on the gene manipulating, immune modulating, fountain of youth that is ayurveda. now if they can harness homeopathy and combine it with ayurveda, india's demand for medicine can be supplied from somebodys kitchen garden. of course sugar supply will go down, but whats a bitter cup of tea compared to the health of a nation.
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#3
Quote:"I think those of us who have an open mind realise that if there could be a fusion or integration of Ayurvedic medicine and its strong tradition and western medicine and scientific approach to understand the efficacy and content of ayurvedic medicine, then may be treatment of some diseases.. the early detection of those ailments might all go to a new phase where treatment of these may be much better established."

By "integrating" ayurveda with actual medicine, I wouldn't be surprised if they are going to treat ailments with actual medicine and use ayurveda for the feel good factor. And then perform feats of intellectual dishonesty like setting up an equivalence between psuedoscience and science and making up pseudo distinctions like "western medicine" and "traditional medicine".

Quote:Sam Pitroda, Founder Chairman of Institute of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine, said that in India everyone was focussed on the western model of big hospitals, big equipment five star hotel environment.

"That model is not scalable, perhaps desirable or sustainable in the long run. So, we have to find new models of health delivery and that is where traditional Indian model comes in", he said.

The Indian healthcare system is, for practical purposes, unregulated and unaccountable. That is the problem. Not "western model of big hospitals".

Quote:He recalled how his mother had delivered 8 children at home at zero cost sans electricity, no medical doctors and pharmacy. She delivered all eight mentally healthy babies.

The questions that don't occur to him are, how many babies were delivered in that manner in the whole population? How many survived the first few days and after the first few months? How many of them lived for 70-80 years?

Quote:"They must have done something, they must have done something right and what is it, we need to look at it".

Yes, they did something right. They promoted a slavish adherence to authority which prevented people from realizing the numerous cognitive biases that the human brain suffers from. It's system that works so remarkably well across the ages as evidenced by Pitroda's statement of his mother delivering 8 babies and then concluding that ayurveda's efficacy can be pitted against that of actual medicine.
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#4
My take on Ayurveda is slightly less critical than I have seen from other freethihnkers, but with good reason. I think we must be careful to not dismiss it entirely (not saying anyone here has done that), because of a couple of reasons.

1. The first reason is that although ayurveda cannot be considered science in its basic form, we can indeed test isolated ayurvedic claims and determine which if any of the observations noted in the ayurvedic texts are actually potentially viable for medical purposes. Of course we will have to dismiss many of the core claims at face value, such as those about chakras and energy fields, even if they are central to the belief in ayurveda. But although ayurveda, like most ancient ways of compiling knowledge has accumulated such superstitions as marketing ploys, it also has served as a cultural repository for all the observations (false and true) about herbs and beneficial concoctions made by the people of India over many centuries.

One of the reasons a small portion of these observations may contain fragments of truth is that plants and herbs have actually contributed much to the development of modern medicines via the scientific process. Even much of the synthetic drugs produced today are analogues of some naturally occurring plant derivative. Today we know that other apes like chimps and gorillas are aware of which herbs in the jungle can be beneficial when they have stomach cramps or diarrhea. Pharmaceutical companies spend millions researching the observational claims of the tribes of the Amazon, because they know that there are literally thousands of undiscovered medicines that the plants and trees of the world have to offer to us.

2. My second reason is more political. We will never be able to fight ayurveda as a whole given the amount of desi-pride riding on such ideas in our culture. Our best hope is to keep insisting that the best way to promote ayurveda is to test each individual claim using the scientific process. After all, if ayurveda works, then science should be able to determine that it does. So what do they have to lose?

Unfortunately, getting to the context of this thread, the institute being proposed by Tata seems like just another venture designed to carry on with the pseudoscience without bringing it to the light of scientific scrutiny.
"Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian"
~ J.B.S.Haldane, on being asked to falsify evolution.
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#5
"He recalled how his mother had delivered 8 children at home at zero cost sans electricity, no medical doctors and pharmacy. She delivered all eight mentally healthy babies"
"They must have done something, they must have done something right and what is it, we need to look at it".


Heck thats how it was in the old days. In fact I was born in 1966 at my grandmother's home in Kerala. So long as there are no complications the mid wives can take care, but it is surely stupid to do this as an alternative to hospitals. And now I suspect Sam's mental health after reading what he said in the last statement above. Lol
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence
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#6
(20-Mar-2011, 11:57 PM)Ajita Kamal Wrote: 2. My second reason is more political. We will never be able to fight ayurveda as a whole given the amount of desi-pride riding on such ideas in our culture. Our best hope is to keep insisting that the best way to promote ayurveda is to test each individual claim using the scientific process. After all, if ayurveda works, then science should be able to determine that it does. So what do they have to lose?

I see ayurveda as being used as a package deal thing when apologists try to establish the infallibility of their scriptures and justify religion. And for that reason, I feel that it should be questioned on its central premises. As you say, it is a difficult task, but even if we can get people who previously thought ayurvedic knowledge as having been revealed by an eternal entity to rethink their views, that is a good enough goal.

And I would add another factor for what makes questioning ayurveda a difficult task besides the political one - the way science based medicine is practiced in India.
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#7
How can these people make such claims?


http://www.cancercurative.org/aboutus.html

http://www.cancercurative.org/faq.html

FAQ 2. If Allopathic, Homeopathy or other cancer therapy such as Chemotherapy or Radiation can continue along with your Nutrient Energy treatment?
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Huh
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence
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#8
(21-Mar-2011, 09:46 PM)Lije Wrote: I see ayurveda as being used as a package deal thing when apologists try to establish the infallibility of their scriptures and justify religion. And for that reason, I feel that it should be questioned on its central premises. As you say, it is a difficult task, but even if we can get people who previously thought ayurvedic knowledge as having been revealed by an eternal entity to rethink their views, that is a good enough goal.

I agree with this. So, putting these ideas together, a more rounded strategy for addressing ayurveda emerges. A three-pronged strategy, for the moment, that's in keeping with our pluralistic approach.

1. Framing: Present Ayurveda in the context of primitive vs. modern (as opposed to western vs. eastern), as a potential observational data-set that might lead to the discovery of real medicines and treatments, if only we allow modern science to evaluate the claims.
2. Pushing for better Science Policy: Insist on testing individual ayurvedic claims and bringing scientific standards into play when evaluating Ayurvedic medicines.
3. Debunking: Challenge the central superstitious claims and religious biases that have polluted the process of accumulation of anecdotal observations made by many generations of Indians.
"Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian"
~ J.B.S.Haldane, on being asked to falsify evolution.
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