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Peethaambaran Kunnathoor, Chennai July 09 , 2020
Since the herbal drug industry in the world in general and in India in particular is fast growing, and the Indian herbal market is growing parallel to the increase in the acceptance of herbal drugs world over, more attention is necessarily required in the quality of raw materials used for the medicinal preparations.
 
As many of the raw drugs available in the market today are substandard and the herbs are often substituted, the Indian herbal drug industry requires a separate market for herbs so as to make quality products available to the users, opines Dr Younis Munshi, coordinator of the Kolkata Centre of Pharmacovigilance Programme for Unani Medicine, Ministry of Ayush.
 
He said the demand for medicines from all Ayush streams is increasing, but quality of raw materials becomes a burning issue. One of the primary reasons for losing the quality of materials he finds is that the herbs are not properly stored in the market facilities. People who deal with raw material business may not know how they should be stored or their efficacy can be maintained till they reach the expert manufacturers. Since quality aspect is a major concern, a separate market for raw-drugs and herbal materials is necessary today and the stakeholders in the Ayush system should put forward this demand for upholding the efficacy of herbal products.
 
In a telephonic conversation with Pharmabiz, Dr Munshi said acceptance of Ayush medicines in general and herbal products in particular is growing every day. Along with the traditional system of Unani is also growing globally and more research is taken place in that system. But the professionals of Ayush systems in many parts of the country indulge in ‘crosspathy’ which is a fundamental flaw in the profession of practice. He alleged that many Ayush graduates prescribe allopathic medicines to their patients, which is detrimental to the system.

“I have seen tremendous growth of Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani systems among the people in the society. Similarly, there is increase in the number of educational institutions for BAMS, BSMS and BUMS, and governments have set up Ayush clinics district wise in most of the states. If we take the number of people who avail treatments from Ayush doctors we can see that it is also increasing every day. This shows one fact that acceptance of Ayush system of treatments is growing among people and there is no decline on the sector,” he told Pharmabiz.
 
Regarding treatment on COVID-19 patients, Dr Munshi who is also a scientist at the Regional Research Institute of Unani Medicine (RRIUM) in Kolkata, said Ayush system has treatment for the viral disease. But Ayush practitioners have no mandate to deal with COVID patients. “We cannot say we have some antiviral or antibiotics, but based on our fundamentals we have answer to the symptoms which are developing during the progression of the disease,” he said.

Now the union ministry of Ayush, in collaboration with different scientific organizations, has started the trials and it is hoped that something fruitful will come out soon, Dr Munshi added.

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