APA Seminar ~ Dravyaguna, Polyherbal Formulations & Drug-Herb Interactions
Saturday, 20 January 2024 10:30 - 14:00 GMT
Dr Rammanohar explains: 'A couple in their forties arrived at the emergency room of a hospital with a life-threatening heart problem. It took a while for the doctors to understand that the salad they ate during their last meal was the cause of their malady. A neighbour had given them foxglove plants to grow, mistaking it for kale. Foxglove is the source of the powerful cardiac glycoside digoxin, which can be life-saving when administered in the correct doses. In the couple's case, a large serving of foxglove leaves was enough to deliver toxic doses of digoxin and shut off the electrical conduction system of their hearts. The salad nearly killed them. Herbs around us are powerful, a storehouse of myriad chemicals and ingredients that can nourish us as food, heal us as medicine or kill us as poison.
Ayurveda points out that there is nothing under the sun that does not have potential medicinal value when used appropriately. Poison can become medicine when properly used, but even nectar can become toxic when used improperly—the Ayurvedic discipline of Dravyaguṇa (~Ayurvedic Pharmacology) lays down the principles of combining herbs and administering them in appropriate doses for optimal results. No herb or substance is completely safe or devoid of medicinal properties. Safety depends on proper use, which involves considering four factors - a). Assessment of the natural properties of the substance for risk-benefit profiling, b). Combining with other herbs to enhance benefits and minimize undesirable effects, c). Choosing the appropriate method of processing the formulation for optimized drug delivery and bio-availability, and d). Considering how the formulation will interact with the individual, given the time and place s/he is placed in, diet, lifestyle, and other medications being co-administered. This thought process is called Yukti, or rational use of medications in Ayurveda. Ayurveda points out that Yukti-based treatment ensures safety and efficacy. Even the safest medicine can prove dangerous when administered improperly.
Today, single herbs, mostly powdered, are used widely without combining with other herbs or appropriate processing. Herbs like Aśvagandhā and herbal formulations like Triphalā are globally used without considering the patient's constitution and other individual factors. On top of it all, modern medications are also co-administered along with these herbal supplements. We now know that many herbs interfere with the bioavailability and metabolism of chemical medicines. For example, garlic can attenuate the anticoagulant effect of warfarin and cause uncontrolled bleeding. It is not surprising that undesirable side effects are encountered, which are sometimes serious and life-threatening. On the other hand, some interactions may be beneficial, but these need to be studied properly.
In this talk, we will examine the current global trends of herbal medicine use in light of the principles of Dravyaguṇa from the Ayurvedic perspective'.
About The Speaker
Dr. P. Rammanohar is the Research Director of the Amrita Centre for Advanced Research in Ayurveda. He received a BAMS degree from Bharathiyar University, Coimbatore, in 1991 and an MD (Ay) degree from Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences, Bengaluru, in 2001. He has been contributing to the field of Ayurvedic research for the last 30 years. His publications include research papers in indexed journals and chapters in books.
In 2022, he was honoured with the Ayurveda Ratan Award from the All Party Parliamentary Group on Indian Traditional Sciences, Houses of Parliament, United Kingdom. In 2022, he also received the Dhanvantari Award from Nature Fit. In 2021, he was honoured with the Dr. Keshav Baliram Hedgewar Healing Honor 2021 for his contributions to facilitating Integrative and Preventive Medicine. In 2021, he also received the Bhishak Bhushan Puraskaram from Vagbhatasarani for his contributions to the field of Ayurvedic research. In 2017, he was honoured with the Dr. C. Dwarakanath Memorial Award by IASTAM for contributions to contemporary interpretations of the principles of Ayurveda. In 2016, Poonthottam Ayurvedashram gave him the Bharadvaja Puraskaram Award for his contributions to research in Ayurveda. He was conferred the Vaidya Sundarlal Joshi Smriti Sodha Puraskara by the Mahagujarat Medical Society in 2015. He was honoured with the Ayurveda Marga Pravarthaka Award by the L. Mahadevan’s Ayurveda Foundation in 2014. He is a co-author and Principal Investigator on the Indian side of the NIH-funded study published in the Journal of Clinical Rheumatology and Annals of Rheumatic Diseases that won the Excellence in Integrative Medicine Research Award from the European Society of Integrative Medicine in 2012. He has made research visits to the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Germany, France, Netherlands, Italy, Austria, Latvia, Russia, Denmark, Belgium, Singapore, Switzerland, Thailand, and Sri Lanka for the promotion of Ayurveda.
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Saturday, 20 January 2024 10:30 - 14:00 GMT