KOCHI: With 40,000 known formulations and only 200 patents, the need to claim the heritage of Ayurveda by establishing Intellectual Property rights was highlighted by speakers at CII Global Ayurveda Summit 2018. Ramesh Vangal, chairman, Kerala Ayurveda, said the Ayurveda-based health care system is moving from a traditional and family-owned business model to include thought leaders and entrepreneurs who are critical of processes and help streamline delivery and improve the user experience.
“It is moving from a faith-based practice to an evidential form of medicine. This will help in Ayurveda gaining acceptance as a preferred form of treatment among the public,” said Ramesh. He added digital platforms, such as social media, should be used effectively for brand building exercises. “Modern digital developments will help build scale and streamline the system to improve the experience and interaction of patients through apps and telemedicine,” he said.
Experts called for the need to rebuild the brand image of Ayurveda to move beyond beauty products and food supplements to mainstream medicine and services. “These should also go through the same stringent rules as their allopathic counterparts if they have to be taken seriously,” said Arvind Varchaswi, managing director, Sri Sri Tattva. One of the major challenges faced by the industry is the lack of availability of raw materials. Today, 90 per cent of the medicinal herbs and plants are sourced from forests and mountains. There is a need to protect and preserve this priceless resource and also to consider commercial farming.
There is a huge lack of awareness and mistrust about Ayurveda. Most sceptics claim that Ayurveda medicines are harmful as they contain heavy metals. Madhusudan Chauhan, director, Jiva Ayurveda, clarified it is important to understand if these heavy metals are essential ingredients or contaminants due to poor processing standards.