Ayurveda’s Role in Cancer Cure Generates Interest

In a recent encouraging development in India’s efforts to make traditional medicine, especially ayurveda, global, National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Cancer Institute (NCI), US, have shown interest in documenting success stories in cancer cure.

Dr G Gangadharan, director, MS Ramaiah Indic Center for Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine, Bengaluru, was part of Indo-US joint delegation working on traditional medicine. He says,”In June, the US institutes expressed interest in documenting the success of ayurvedic treatment for cancer.” The delegation’s first agenda meeting on ‘Collaborative Research on Traditional Medicine’ concluded in March. “While there is a lot of research in ayurveda, none of it is helping the traditional form. All of it is focused on identifying new molecules for modern medicine. The need of the hour is in proving how effective it is,” Gangadharan adds.

According to the expert, interest shown in documenting case studies will help in taking ayurveda to the world. Dr Edward Trimble, director, Center for Global Health, NCI, in a statement issued by the Ayush ministry following the March meeting, had said “The collaboration was a great opportunity to bring to the table from the US side NCI and NIH expertise in laboratory and clinical evaluation of traditional medicine and from the Indian side an impressive commitment to building the evidence base for traditional Indian medicine.” According to the reports, Trimble’s  office has confirmed the development.

A fact sheet from NHI says a few clinical trials in 2011 have shown some cancer treatment results using ayurveda. Another expert, Dr Issac Mathai, says, “After the meeting in Delhi, the NIH and NCI teams visited the Ramaiah Centre and another facility.”