NEW DELHI: The AYUSH Ministry on Wednesday termed as "misleading" and "disastrous" to the traditional medicine system of India a study relating Giloy to liver damage, noting that the herb has been used in Ayurveda since long.
Refuting a media report based on the study published in the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hepatology, a peer reviewed journal of the Indian National Association for the study of the liver, the ministry said it did not take into account other studies that talk about the efficacy of the herb.
The study mentions that use of herb TinosporaCordifolia (TC), commonly known as Giloy or Guduchi, resulted in liver failure in six patients in Mumbai.
In a statement, the ministry said it feels that the authors of the study failed in placing all needful details of the cases in a systematic format.
"Apart from this, relating Giloy or TC to liver damage would be misleading and disastrous to the Traditional Medicine system of India as herb Guduchi or Giloy has been used in Ayurveda since long. The efficacy of TC in managing various disorders is well established," it said.
"After analysing the study, it was also noticed that the authors of the study have not analysed the contents of the herb that was consumed by the patients.
It becomes the responsibility of the authors to ascertain that the herb consumed by the patients is TC and not any other herb," the statement said.
To build upon the soundness, the authors would have taken the opinion of a botanist or would have consulted an Ayurveda expert, it stated.
In fact, there are many studies that point out that identifying the herb not correctly could lead to wrong results.
A similar looking herb TinosporoCrispa might have a negative effect on the liver.
So, before labelling a herb, such as Giloy, with such toxic nature the authors should have tried to correctly identify the plants following the standard guidelines, which they did not, the ministry said in the statement.
"Other than this, the study has many flaws in it. It is unclear that what dose the patients had taken or whether they took this herb with other medicines.
The study has not taken into account the past or present medical records of the patients.
"Publications based on incomplete information will open the door for misinformation and defame the age-old practices of Ayurveda," the statement said.
It would not be out of context to state here that scientific evidence on medical applications of TC or Giloy as protective to liver, nerves etc. are available.
It was found out that 'Guduchi and safety, as key words, alone has some 169 studies available in the public domain.
Similarly, a quick search on T.Cordifolia and efficacy, as keywords, will show 871 results.
There are other hundreds of studies on Giloy and its safe use, the ministry said.
Giloy is one of the most commonly prescribed medicines in Ayurveda.
It has proper pharmacopoeia standards in place of established safety of hepato-protective properties.
No adverse event is noted in any clinical practice by pharmaco vigilance or in any clinical study.
"The newspaper article based its entire story on the much limited and misleading study without taking into account the voluminous peer reviewed, robust studies that speak for the efficacy of T. Cordifolia and without consulting any reputed Ayurveda expert or the Ministry of Ayush," the statement said.