AYURVEDA AND COMMUNICABLE DISEASES
Indian medical heritage flows in two distinctive but mutually complimenting streams. The oral tradition being followed by millions of housewives and thousands of local health practitioners is the practical aspect of codified streams such as Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani. These oral traditions are head based and take care of the basic health needs of the people using immediately available local resources. Majority of these are plant based remedies, supplemented by animal and mineral products. Many of the practices followed by these local streams can be understood and evaluated by the codified stream such as Ayurveda. These streams are not static, historical scrutiny of their evolution shows the enriching phenomena at all times. Thus we have more than 7000 species of higher and lower plants and hundreds of minerals and animal product used in local health tradition to manage hundreds of disease conditions. A pertinent question that arises here is that in which basis these systems got enriched. Is it just trial error method over a point of time which gave rise to this rich tradition, is it an intuitive knowledge born out of close association with nature. One of the reasons for this attitude can be, that one is always made to believe that the science means that which can be explained by western models of logic and epistemology. The world view being developed and adopted by the dominant western scientific paradigm never fits in to the world view being followed and practiced by the indigenous traditions. This is well accepted by us due to the last 200 yrs of political and cultural domination by western and other alien forces.
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