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Lifestyle Health and Wellbeing 02 May 2016 Indian doctors subst ...

Indian doctors substitute Ayurvedic drugs for antibiotics during surgery

Published May 2, 2016, 6:46 pm IST
Updated May 2, 2016, 6:46 pm IST
Ayurvedic drugs' potential use as antibiotics is immense, experts say.
Ayurveda, a traditional form of medicine, is known to have the least side-effects. (Photo: Pixabay)
 Ayurveda, a traditional form of medicine, is known to have the least side-effects. (Photo: Pixabay)

New Delhi: A Meerut hospital has successfully substituted ayurvedic drugs for antibiotics during a prostatic surgery of an 83-year-old man.

Usually, antibiotics are used before, during and after the surgery to prevent urinary tract infection and sepsis following endoscopic urologic procedures. "The patient was allergic to antibiotics and therefore, a panel of doctors decided to go in for ayurvedic drugs as an alternative," Dr. Subhash Yadav, Urologist with Anand Hospital told Indian Science Journal over telephone from Meerut.


"During the surgery, we have used only anaesthesia and no antibiotics." Dr. Yadav said, they were surprised by the outcome of integrated treatment and the patient, Ojaswi Sharma is well on the path of recovery after removing 240 grams of prostate on March 1.

He said a team of expert Ayurvedic practitioners across the country were contacted, who suggested special medicines from extracts of Indian Tinospora (Giloy in Hindi), Moringa Oleifera (Shigru in Hindi, Muringa in Malayalam), Gooseberry (Hindi name-Amla), Turmeric and Indian bdellium-tree (Gulgul). Shigru is used for mild infections and is a natural pain reliever. Amla increases immunity while Giloy has known detoxifying characteristics.


"This is a very interesting development," said Dr. Ram Manohar, Research Director at Amrita School of Ayureda in Kerala. "It is an eye opener in this period when resistance is being developed for antibiotics. This case points to the need for more studies to explore the potential contributions of Ayurveda in many areas of challenge."

Dr. Ram Manohar said, this development comes close to a study at New Delhi's All India Institute of Medical Sciences, which showed supportive Ayurvedic treatment improved outcomes in chemotherapy for cancer. All these show the great potential for integrative approach to healthcare. "India can lead the world if there is better cooperation between Ayurveda and Allopathic professionals."


But practitioners of modern medicine are not euphoric about the development. Many doctors with whom Indian Science Journal talked to, were guarded in their response. "This does not show any benefit yet as it is preventive," opined Dr. Puneet Dhar, Head of Gastro Surgery Department of Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences & Research Centre in Kochi. "It could be a chance that the patient did not get any infection. In short, it was possible not to get an infection, even if no antibiotics or ayurvedic cocktails were given. There is no efficacy to show."


Dr. Dhar, however, favoured scientifically integrating alternative system of healthcare with modern medicine. He said, ayurvedic drugs' potential use as antibiotics is immense. "But we need to prove it in proper infections. The best way to do this can be in two ways - one, is in the test-tube settings in a laboratory by seeing various bacterial cultures and validating if these extracts are effective against it. Second is to do it during infections, where we already know the antibiotics are ineffective. So there is a mult-drug resistance infection and see if these are beneficial."


Dr. Girish Pillai, a cardiac surgeon with Sri Raghavendra Medical College and Research Centre in Chennai was sceptic about the efficacy of integrating ayurvedic medicines with modern medicine. He said, he would not hazard a risk, since the mechanism of action of ayurvedic formulations are not known, its absorption, metabolism or excretion."

However, buoyed by the results, Dr. Yadav said he now plans to expand the application of ayurvedic formulations during similar surgical interventions. This is epoch making as ayurveda has the least side-effects, said Dr. Yadav.