Ayurveda, Yoga, Natural Healing: Now it should finally be clarified whether that really gives us anything

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi (71) was present at the opening of the center in the city of Jamnagar in mid-April. « India’s traditional medicine system is not just a treatment. It is the holistic science of life, » he said.

According to the WHO, his government supports the center with 250 million US dollars (230 million euros).

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (57) said: « The center aims to be an engine of innovation to advance an agenda for evidence, data, and sustainability in traditional medicine. »

It should connect practitioners of traditional medicine worldwide and help to set standards for research. Traditional medicine is a broad field. According to a WHO statement in the center, 80 percent of the world’s population uses traditional medicine.

These include acupuncture, Ayurvedic medicine, and herbal mixtures. Traditional medicine is also represented in modern science. According to the WHO, around 40 percent of all drugs approved today are derived from natural substances.

The discovery of aspirin, for example, was based on old recipes made from willow tree bark. The research on artemisinin for use against malaria, for which the Nobel Prize was awarded in 2015, began with a study of ancient texts on Chinese medicine.

However, Ruschemeyer also emphasized that in addition to the examples of traditional methods mentioned by the WHO, which form the basis of now established therapies, could presumably still find numerous examples in which traditional methods proved to be ineffective or even dangerous on closer examination – keyword bloodletting.

Whether a procedure justifies putting a lot of money into reviewing studies is always an important consideration. There are a number of Cochrane reviews on the use of traditional methods such as acupuncture for specific issues.

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