A need for an integrated approach with Ayurveda for the management of chronic diseasesAuthor(s): Simmi Chopra
The use of plant extracts is attracting much attention as a simple, environmentally friendly route to obtain metal, metal oxide, non-metal and even organic nanoparticles; considered an example of green chemistry, these extracts replace expensive and toxic compounds used as reducing and/or capping agents during the synthesis of the nanoparticles. These green nanoparticles have applications in a wide range of fields, such as medicine, biosensors, pollutants treatment, agriculture, and catalysis and energy storage. In this chapter, preparation and characterization of silver, gold and iron nanoparticles prepared from plant extracts and inorganic salts of the metals are described, together with their main actual and potential uses. One of the most significant developments of 2009, indeed, medically speaking, of the millennium, has been the formation of the Global Alliance for Non-Communicable Diseases. The Alliance has been established by agreement between the heads of the world's top agencies directing publicly funded medical research: the US National Institutes of Health, the UK's Medical Research Council (MRC), similar agencies in Canada, Australia and China, and most importantly for J-AIM, the Indian Council of Medical Research. Other Thought Leadership articles in this issue have treated validation of Ayurveda treatments, and its use to reduce drug development costs and lead times – things of concern to many industries and scientists. Each J-AIM Editorial Board member is offering leadership in the field they know best. This article concerns fundamental concepts in Ayurveda, and how translating them into terminologies that biomedical scientists can accept, may be a significant way to assist its acceptance as a means to tackle the global chronic disease problem. The challenge of the mystery has one possible implication. In the very differences making Ayurveda and western thought so different may lay its ability to restore health to those chronically ill. Indeed, Ayurveda's potential for treating chronic diseases, even cure them, and provides strong motivation to try to make progress on the problem. Article summarizes important ways that integrative medicine can contribute to resolving the global health crisis with special reference to the US. Research using modern methods of analysis of cellular changes at the epigenetic level has shown that diet and lifestyle interventions greatly improve the state of patients’ health. Estimates have been given that up to 75% of all US health costs can be saved by these methods, particularly if applied preventatively. It is thus vital that active steps are taken to implement such programs, to reduce costs to citizens and society alike, as well as to Government.