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Indian J Dermatol. 2013 Mar;58(2):127-31. doi: 10.4103/0019-5154.108046.

Evidence-based integrative dermatology.

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Director, Institute of Applied Dermatology, IAD Junction, Uliyathadka, Madhur Road, Kasaragod, Kerala, India.


American recognition for medical pluralism arrived in 1991. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine was established under the National Institutes of Health in 1998. Following this, patients and researchers began exploring use of integrative medicine. Terence Ryan with Gerry Bodeker in Europe, Brian Berman in America, and the Indian council of Medical Research advocated traditional medicine and integrative medicine. The Institute of Applied Dermatology (IAD), Kerala has developed integrated allopathic (biomedical) and ayurvedic therapies to treat Lymphatic Filariasis, Lichen planus, and Vitiligo. Studies conducted at the IAD have created a framework for evidence-based and integrative dermatology (ID). This paper gives an overview of advances in ID with an example of Lichen Planus, which was examined jointly by dermatologists and Ayurveda doctors. The clinical presentation in these patients was listed in a vikruthi table of comparable biomedical terms. A vikruthi table was used for drug selection in ayurvedic dermatology. A total of 19 patients were treated with ayurvedic prescriptions to normalize the vatha-kapha for 3 months. All patients responded and no side effects were recorded. In spite of advancing knowledge on ID, several challenges remain for its use on difficult to treat chronic skin diseases. The formation of new integrative groups and financial support are essential for the growth of ID in India.


Ayurveda; complementary and alternative medicine; integrative dermatology; integrative medicine; lichen planus; medical pluralism; traditional medicine; vikruthi table

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