LIFE

An Ayurvedic confluence

Herbal range.

Herbal range.  

Herbs and herb extracts, the medicinal value of major herbs, institutions which provide Ayurveda treatment, pharmaceutical companies -- big, small and tiny -- Ayurveda colleges and a number of related products are on display at the expo of Ayurveda products on the Siva Temple grounds.

The expo organised as part of the World Ayurveda Congress is a showcase of the country's strength in Ayurveda. If knowledge about Ayurveda is imparted in the right manner, it is humanity which will benefit, said one of the participants at the expo. It will be on till November 4.

There are 220 participants at the expo and about 100 of them are from outside Kerala -- mainly from North. Showcasing some of the herbs from the forests of Madhya Pradesh, considered to have a whole gamut of herbs, the Madhya Pradesh Ayurveda Development Corporation has put up a large stall.

Ashu Grover of Bhopal claims that there is cure for all kinds of Hepatitis in Ayurveda. The Baidyanath, Dabur and Charak Pharmaceuticals are some of the companies which have set up stalls from the northern part. From Kerala, there is a whole range of producers. The big names in Ayurveda, from the Kottakkal Arya Vaidya Sala, KAPL, Nagarjuna, etc. to the tiny sector producers under the Khadi and Village Industries Commission and many others are participating in the expo.

Government institutions such as the National Medicinal Plants Board, Central Research Institute, Cheruthuruthy and others too are participating. The institute at Cheruthuruthy has displayed the surgical instruments which were believed to be used by Susrutha, the father of surgery in traditional medicine. According to the officials, the models have been made according to the descriptions in the ancient scripts.

The Board has shortlisted 32 herbs, for which they will be providing subsidy to the farmers. These herbs have a good market potential, said an official of the Board.

According to the Minister of Health, Punjab, Ramesh Dutt Sharma, the State is considering to promote growing herbal plants in rotation with the crop plants. Since the farmers in Punjab are going through a lag period in case of crop plants because of low MSP (minimum support price), scarcity of labourers and high price of petrol and diesel, agricultural income has become stagnant, the Minister said.

Ayurveda attractions.

Ayurveda attractions.  

``Very few turn to Ayurveda back home. We would like to provide it a good thrust,'' Mr. Sharma added.

Panchaloha ornaments are items of interest at the expo. Manufactured by the P.R.M. Lakshmana Iyer Associates from Mannar, the ornaments are supposed good for one's mental and physical health, according to the Vedas. Bangles, rings and pendants are available now, said R. Venkatachalam, one of the partners of the Associates.

The company has its mainline production in bronze craft in Kerala -- providing vessels for Ayurveda medicine manufacturers and also decorative items.

Five Ayurveda colleges in the State have also put up stalls. The Government College, Thripunithura, has showcased the various methods of extracting medicines.

By Shyama Rajagopal

Photos: Mahesh Harilal

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