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J Ayurveda Integr Med. 2010 Jul;1(3):190-8. doi: 10.4103/0975-9476.72620.

Ayurveda-modern medicine interface: A critical appraisal of studies of Ayurvedic medicines to treat osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

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1
Center for Rheumatic Diseases, Pune, India.

Abstract

The potential of Ayurvedic philosophy and medicines needs to be recognized and converted into real life treatment paradigm. This article describes a comprehensive therapeutic approach used in Ayurveda and modern medicine to treat arthritis. We present concise summary of various controlled drug trials carried out by us to validate standardized Ayurvedic drugs using modern medicine protocol to treat Rheumatoid Arthritis and Osteoarthritis knees. Several of the latter are published. The trials consistently demonstrate excellent safety of Ayurvedic medicines but often fail to unequivocally show superior efficacy. Some key findings of a recently unpublished trial in OA knees are also presented to show equivalence between Ayurvedic medicine and celecoxib and glucosamine, and we speculate that equivalence trials may be a way forward. The data from the trials also supports the Ayurvedic 'Rasayana' concept of immune-modulation and healing. We need to interpret logic of Ayurveda when, adopting modern science tools in drug development and validation and much research is required. Validation of Ayurvedic medicines using the latter approach may lead to an evidence based Ayurveda - Modern Medicine interface. Also, in pursuit of finding better treatment solutions, we ought to step beyond the realm of only drugs and attempt validation of comprehensive specific treatment package as per classical Ayurveda. Finally, validation of a combined (Ayurveda and modern medicine) therapeutic approach with superior efficacy and safety is likely to be a major leap in overcoming some of the current frustrations to treat difficult disorders like arthritis using only modern medicines.

KEYWORDS:

Ayurveda; Rasayana; clinical trials; osteoarthritis; rheumatoid arthritis

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