There is a global increase in the demand for Indian traditional medicine systems like ayurveda and the government is carrying out a survey on how to capture a bigger pie in the foreign health market, Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss said here Friday.
"There is increasing evidence of a resurgence of interest in Indian systems of medicine all over the world. There is a great deal of demand for ayurveda and yoga, particularly in the US, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the UK and Russia," Ramadoss said.
"A good number of foreign delegations has shown interest in bilateral cooperation in these areas and has sought India's support for conducting collaborative educational and research activities," he said, inaugurating a traditional medicine fair here.
The minister said the government was making all "efforts to push" ayurveda, unani and homeopathy products into the emerging global market.
"To begin with, we have recently signed an agreement with the International Trade Centre (ITC) for a global market analysis for export promotion of ayurveda, siddha and unani products. Once the ITC report is received, we will take the measures necessary to implement its recommendations," he said.
Ramadoss said that with changing lifestyles of people, it has become clear that "chemical drugs alone cannot provide adequate solutions to lifestyle-related chronic and psychosomatic health problems".
On the demand for scientific validation of traditional medicines and therapies, the minister said though these systems had withstood the test of the time, his government was trying to prove their benefits scientifically as well.
"There is no other option but to follow universally acceptable modes of evaluating safety and efficacy if we intend to certify the scientific basis of ayurveda, siddha and unani treatments and medicines.
"As a medical professional and the health minister of the country, I feel that there must be an overwhelming commitment to R&D (research and development) from all concerned - both in the public and private sectors - in order to achieve credibility and global acceptance for the Indian systems of medicine," he stressed.
He said the department of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy), the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) have joined hands for the scientific validation of these traditional systems and develop new medicines as well.