Ayush, CSIR to partner in traditional medicine

The Ministry of Ayush, which leads the promotion of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy worldwide, and the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), a government-run R&D organisation, have entered into a partnership in traditional healthcare

April 22, 2019

India is also the second largest exporter of Ayurvedic and alternative medicine in the world with a market valued at more than US$15.6 billion

The deal comes amid the growing popularity of traditional Indian healthcare practices worldwide that has led to a steady rise in foreign tourism

Joint R&D ranging from fundamental science to product development can help expand India’s contributions to traditional medicine worldwide

CSIR and the Ayush Ministry have already developed the Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL), a database on Indian traditional medicine

The Ministry of Ayush, which leads the promotion of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy worldwide, and the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), a government-run R&D organisation, have entered into a partnership in traditional healthcare. The entities said on April 22 that they would cooperate in research and skill development in traditional medicine and its integration with modern science. The agreement comes amid the growing popularity of traditional Indian healthcare practices worldwide that has led to a steady rise in the arrival of foreign medical tourists to India. India is also the second largest exporter of Ayurvedic and alternative medicine in the world with a market valued at more than US$15.6 billion.

The Ayush ministry and CSIR said that the mix of traditional healthcare and modern basic science offered opportunities for “innovative and path-breaking researches” that can be utilised to explain various basic concepts. Joint R&D efforts ranging from fundamental science to product development can significantly help grow India’s contributions to traditional medicine worldwide. Additionally, the cooperation can lead to application of data mining and analytics as well as Artificial Intelligence (AI) to enable concepts such as “traditional knowledge inspired drug discovery and development” and “food as medicine”. Previously, CSIR and the Ayush Ministry had developed the Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL), a database on Indian traditional medicine.

Meanwhile, the laboratories of CSIR and Ayush Ministry have supported each other in the development of improved varieties and captive cultivation of medicinal plants, including rare, engendered and threatened (RET) species, botanical reference standards, pharmacopoeial standards, and ayurgenomics, among others. Apart from fundamental research, the partnership will cover AYUSH specific diagnostic tools, linking of microbiome, gene expression and prakriti as well as multi-ingredient herbal formulation. The partners will target integration of traditional medicine with Indian Systems of Medicine (ISM) and linking of disease signatures. The ministry and CSIR will also develop international standardized terminologies (disease-morbidity codes) for AYUSH.