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Kottakkal Arya Vaidya Sala

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Kottakkal Arya Vaidya Sala

Kottakkal Arya Vaidya Sala (AVS) is a century old Charitable Institution engaged in the practice and propagation of Ayurveda, the ancient health care system of India. AVS offers classical Ayurvedic medicines and authentic Ayurvedic treatments and therapies to patients from all over India and abroad.

AVS was established at Kottakkal in Kerala State of India in 1902 by the visionary physician and philanthropist the late Vaidyaratnam P.S. Varier. Started essentially as a village clinic, it has now grown into a multi-unit, multi-disciplinary and multi-crore organisation. It has operations in different areas of Ayurvedic practice.

AVS manages Ayurvedic Hospitals at Kottakkal, Delhi and Kochi. All classical Ayurvedic medicines, therapies and expert medical advice are available there. AVS has two modern medicine manufacturing units, has well equipped quality control labs, has fullfledged research activities, publishes Ayurvedic periodicals and books, cultivates medicinal plants and conducts educational programmes. AVS also runs a Kathakali academy where the classical theatre of Kathakali is taught and performed.

The beginning

Sri P. S. Varier, scion of an illustrious family of Kottakkal in the Malabar region of Kerala, was an extraordinary man. He was a multi-faceted personality: a renowned Ayurvedic scholar and academician, an able practitioner; a successful entrepreneur, and a genuine philanthropist... all at the same time!

Sri Varier studied Ayurveda under the classical Gurukula system. He also acquired proficiency in the practice of Allopathy. P. S. Varier started his Vaidyasala in 1902 in this building In late 1902, Sri Varier founded the Arya Vaidya Sala, Kottakkal, for the preparation of authentic Ayurvedic medicines. The rest is history. Today, Kottakkal Arya Vaidya Sala is a name synonymous with Ayurveda. A name that offers a new lease of life to the suffering humanity.

Recognition

In 1933, in recognition of his valuable services to humanity, Sri P. S. Varier was conferred the distinguished title of 'Vaidyaratna' by His Excellency the Viceroy and Governor General of India.


Sri Varier wrote text books of students of Ayurved. One of them, Ashtangasariram, won a certificate in 1932 from the National Organisation of Physicians.

Sri Varier's Will

Sri Varier expired in 1944. He had executed a Will prior to his demise, which converted his proprietary concern into a Charitable Trust of public nature, to be run by a Trust Board consisting of seven members who are related to his family and the Institution.

As per the provisions of its founder's Will, Arya Vaidya Sala functions as a Charitable Trust.

The major share of the earnings from its activities is exclusively spent on charitable causes, in the form of medical aid, on both OP and IP basis, to deserving persons. This included both Ayurveda and Allopathy. Financial support is also provided for managing an affiliated Ayurveda college; for conducting research; for holding seminars and training programmes, for publishing books and periodicals; for cultivation of herbal gardens; and for running a classical theatre academy. The remaining funds are pooled back for the development of the institution. No financial gain accrues to any individual or family.

Treatments

Many special treatments prescribed in the ancient medical classics for some of the most distressing diseases are currently practised only in Kerala, a state in the southern part of India.

These treatments are specially effective in paralysis, rheumatism, arthritis, spondylosis, and other psychosomatic diseases. The classical therapies are also made use of, for devising new treatment modalities to deal with several serious ailments of the modern man such as parkinsonism, motor neuron diseases, cancer etc. The major treatments provided at the hospital are: SnehapanamDhara (Oordhwanga Dhara & Sarvanga Dhara), Pizhichil, Navarakkizhi, Sirovasti, Pichu and Sirolepa. Besides these specialised methods, the hospital offers Panchakarma treatments like Kashayavasthy, Snehavasthy, Nasyam, Virechanam and Raktamoksham.

Pizhichil: The patient is made to lie on a wooden Droni (a specially designed wooden plank). Then pieces of linen dipped in comfortably warm medicated oil are squeezed over the patient’s body from a specific height. When the warm oil flows and spreads over the body, four masseurs sitting on either side give the patient a gentle massage . This is effective in diseases connected with the Vata Dosha and its allied manifestations like spondylosis, hemiplegia, Arhtritis, back pain, muscular dystrophy etc.. This is done only on the body below the neck and the duration can be fixed from one to one and a half hours depending upon the strength of the patient.

Dhara: The patient is advised to lie on a special wooden droni with his neck and head comfortably placed. Then a non-stop continuous stream of the prescribed liquid medicine is gently poured on his forehead from a prescribed height through a specially devised apparatus called Dhara Chatti for a period of one to one and a half hours. Dhara is occassionally administered on whole body in special cases. Dhara is considered to be effective for several diseases like stress related disorders, sleeplessness and many degenerated brain disorders. Different liquid mediums are used in Dhara for different diseases. Medicated oils, milk, tender coconut water and decoctions of herb extracts are some of the fluids used.-

Navarakizhi: Medicated oil is first applied liberally over the patient’s body. Then the body is massaged with small linen bags filled with cooked Navara rice. The rice is cooked by boiling it in cow’s milk along with suitable. The linen bags filled with rice are dipped in the same mixture kept boiling over a gentle flame and applied by masseurs at a comfortable temperature over the whole body of the patient. Navarakkizhi is a special massage , which rejuvenates the body. It is very effective in degenerative muscle diseases like poliomyelitis muscular atrophy etc. It is more effective when done immediately after Pizhichil treatment . The course of treatment can last for 14 or 21 days.

Sirovasti: The treatment consists of keeping the prescribed medicated oil at a bearable temperature in a leather cap fitted around the head of the patient.The oil is filled in the cap up to a level of one finger above the crown of the head.The duration of treatment is between one and one and half hours. Sirovasti is an important procedure which is found to be very effective in trigiminal neuralgia, hemicrania, optic atrophy, otalgia, deafness, facial paralysis and in all diseases affecting cranial nerves . Generally the course of treatment is only seven days at a stretch.

Commissioning of Nanjangud Unit and Introduction of New Range of Products Arya Vaidya Sala has commissioned a new drug manufacturing unit at Nanjangud in Karnataka. Switching on ceremony of the Unit was performed by Dr. P.K. Warrier, Managing Trustee & Chief Physician on 21.10.09. Trial runs commenced the same day. The new Unit has now received GMP registration and manufacturing license from the Drug Controlling Authority of the State of Karnataka. The Nanjangud Unit is designed and established by incorporating modern technological and pharmaceutical concepts and methods in all possible aspects. The Unit was set up with the aim of expanding the manufacturing capacity of AVS and to upgrade the production methods for meeting the increasing needs of Ayurvedic sector.

A range of new medicines has been formulated for the Unit by the Product Development Department established for the purpose. Based on classical Ayurvedic knowledge and our own acquired experience, these “new generation medicaments” are also endowed with better user-compliance. It is envisaged that these formulations will be supported by modern scientific data and will be channelled through prescriptions of modern practitioners and Ayurvedic physicians, thereby enabling us to expand the scope and reach of Ayurvedic medicines. The Nanjangud Unit is expected to represent the modern face of authentic Ayurveda with its upgraded manufacturing capability and a new crop of medicaments. In addition to the new generation medicaments, this Unit will also take up production of classical and other formulations required by the existing Dealership network and its dedicated fraternity of physicians as and when required

Arya Vaidya Sala joins hands with HLL Lifecare Ltd.-Focus on New Products and New Markets

Arya Vaidya Sala has recently joined hands with M/s. HLL Lifecare Ltd., with the aim of expanding the reach of Ayurvedic medicaments to larger segments of Indian Society. HLL is a mini-ratna Public Sector enterprise with considerable presence in the commercial and social sector segments across the country with a wide range of health care products and services with a focus on maternal and child health. The association between AVS and HLL envisages to utilise the strengths of both partners in such a manner that appropriately selected medicines from the time tested product range of AVS and even some newly developed formulations will be positioned in the Indian Market thru the wide marketing channels of HLL. This programme is expected to serve one of the functional objectives of AVS by enabling the Ayurvedic medicaments to reach segments of Indian Society which had limited access to them until now. It will similarly serve the objective of HLL by filling gaps in the existing product range which will focus at special needs of women’s and child’s health care. A memorandum of understanding was executed between Dr.P.K. Warrier, Managing Trustee, AVS and Shri.M.Ayyappan, Chairman & Managing Director, HLL at Trivandum.

The first product developed and marketed as a part of this association is Lactohil which is a flavoured granular version of the classical medicament Stanyajananarasayanam which is a time tested formulation for enhanced lactation and general health support for new mothers. The product has been positioned thru modern prescription channels by HLL in selected regions of the country. It has been well accepted for its efficacy and easy administration by new mothers and gynecologists based on the PMS data generated from different centres. Lactohil is available in 250 g and 100 g packings with dispensing spoons. Subsequently, Chyavanules, the granular version of classical Chyavanaprasam devoid of its content of oil, ghee and honey was developed by the Product Development Department of AVS and standardised by the Quality Assurance Department after being authenticated by a Technical Committee. This is particularly suitable for the population in the 40+ age group because it provides all its classical therapeutic effects without the possible risk associated with the use of lipids. And Chyavanules is formulated in a very user-friendly granular form and it is presented in attractive 250 g jars as well as in packets of 20 sachets of 10 g each. This product was launched at a brief public function at Kochi. Both these products are now made available to the public through the Dealership network of AVS too. Other user friendly new products are in the pipe-line to be marketed across the country as part of the AVS-HLL association.

Publication wing

The Publications Department of Arya Vaidya Sala is actively involved in publication of modern and traditional literature related to Ayurveda. It has its own editorial and production wings with DTP capability.

P.S. Varier himself had recognised the importance of bringing out authentic literature for the growth of Ayurveda. Such activity served essentially two purposes. The first is to strengthen Ayurvedic knowledge base by bringing out authentic texts. The target readers were professionals and students. His publication of Sanskrit classics Ashtangahridayam and Brihacchariram are examples of this aspect. Secondly, he tried to publish reliable reading material for the lay-public on health related topics. He wanted to teach the people about the do’s and dont’s of health care. In both these activities his prime aim was to strengthen Ayurveda and to propagate the Ayurvedic tradition.

The present Publications Department of Arya Vaidya Sala continues to follow the same path. The Kottakkal Ayurveda Series of books include major works in Sanskrit, English and Malayalam. Professionals and students find them useful as reference manuals. Popular Ayurveda Series includes many publications of health matters to provide useful information for the common reader. Aryavaidyan, an English quarterly being published by Arya Vaidya Sala, provides a platform for publication of research papers in subjects related to Ayurveda.

PSV Natyasangam

Kathakali is one of the classical forms of performing art of India. It has originated and flourished in the state of Kerala. Kathakali is held in high esteem by connoisseurs and aficionados for its structural refinement and technical versatility.

Kathakali has basically four components for its system of acting. They are hand gestures (Angikam), emotive expressions of the face and total body acting (Satwikam), oral expression by way of music (Vachikam) and decorative and symbolic costumes and elaborate facial make-up (Aharyam). Dance, stylised mime, music and- percussion form the essential elements of performance. For all these individual components, the structure, technique and practice are rigidly based on highly intricate and artistically stylised functional rules. The system has attained a state of perfection after its evolution during the past more than three centuries.

Kathakali uses versified text as the basis for performance, which is rendered in the form of traditional music by two musicians, who are also present on the stage in their civil costume along with the performer. Moreover, the senior musician functions also as the stage manager. The music is supported by the application of two percussion instruments called “chenda” and “maddalam”. Both are wooden drums with animal skin ends. The musicians use brass cymbals for overall control of time and movements. -The dancer conveys the consistent and transient moods of the situation and the characters by the effective use of facial expressions, body acting and dance sequences. He never speaks on the stage. His miming and hand gesticulations are stylised, symbolic and occasionally abstract in nature, rather than being realistic. His foot-work, hand gestures and body movements are perfectly timed and synchronised and they form individual parts of a composite dynamic structure. It may also be mentioned here that Kathakali performance is an exclusive domain of male artists. The tempo of music and percussion are made to vary to suit and to supplement the mood being enacted. Kathakali has often been described as a complete theatre with all theatrical aspects finding an expression in its performance. The script for a conventional Kathakali performance is invariably based on the Hindu mythology with rare exceptions in the recent times where episodes from Greek or Christian mythology and even Shakespeare have been attempted with varying degrees of success. But, it should be stressed here that, the theme is only an excuse or a vehicle for Kathakali, because what it attempts is to convey a purely sensory experience where the eye and the ear play a major role. Watching a Kathakali performance is an invigorating experience for the seasoned as well as for uninitiated, because it has the inherent capability to convey in ample measure the basic artistic essence to the human mind. Kathakali, unlike the Western Ballet, aims at vanquishing the limitations of space with the aid of its control over time. And it, indeed, accomplishes its objective in a most marvelous manner.

About Ayurveda

The conceptual and operational framework of Ayurveda is wide enough to include all that is essential to make a man healthy and happy. It includes the study of right conduct (dharma), which is necessary for the healthy growth of society in which the man lives. Further it deals with the philosophical aspect of life, the knowledge of which contributes greatly to the comfort and happiness of all human beings. Ayurveda philosophically understands the limitation of human efforts. Still it talks about the means of prolonging life and the methods of invigorating it.

The objectives of Ayurveda are mainly two, the first being the maintenance of positive health, and the other treatment of diseases. These clearly defined objectives are achieved through logically developed means in a classical way. On the basis of objectives defined, the sum and substance of Ayurveda can be classified into two parts:

1.Healthy man’s regimen - the science of positive health (svasthavrittam) 2.Patient’s regimen (aturavrittam).

Healthy man’s regimen

The emphasis on the concept of positive health is a unique feature of Ayurveda. The radical shift occurred in defining health encourages the medical fraternity of modern times to look deeply into empirically evolved ayurvedic techniques for the maintenance of positive health. The recommendations that Ayurveda puts forth in this regard include the observance of systematized daily routine (dinacharya), life in accordance with seasons (ritucharya) and well planned schedules of diet and exercise. Ayurveda stresses on the need of maintaining personal, social and civic hygiene for the orderly upkeep of positive health.

Ayurveda recognizes that mind is very powerful both in the causation and cure of diseases. So, strict mental discipline and adherence to moral values are considered a pre-requisite for health. Therefore, ethical basis of life (sadvrttam) is described as an important health support system.

The innate strength of an individual to resist the affliction of disease - vyadhikshamatvam - is well considered and its positive and negative influence on health understood. The techniques evolved in this regard are the boosters of human immune system.

Experts view the recommendations suggested for maintenance of positive health as protective measures against endogenous - eg. ageing - and exogenous - eg. environmental pollution - afflictions and point out their efficacy in strengthening the cellular function in human body. These observations are comparable with modern concept of Prohost Therapy and use of Cyto-protective Agents of contemporary medicine.

Obviously regular or periodic use of rejuvenative therapy (rasayanachikitsa) also finds a place in the maintenance of positive health because of its therapeutic potentials to delay the process of ageing and also to improve quality of life.

In a nutshell, Ayurveda recommends socio-economic adjustments, modification of personal habits, protection against trauma, control of infection, control of pollution, and prophylatic medication for the maintenance of positive health.

Patient’s regimen

Patient’s regimen (aturavrttam) deals with the curative and palliative measures employed for the medical and emotional care of the patient. It includes definition of the disease, etiology, clinical picture, patho-physiology, prognosis and line of treatment consisting of drugs, diet and life style.

In patient's regimen

A condition of disease is caused by either internal (bodily) or external (environmental) factors. Diseases can have somatic or psychic cause factors. Ayurveda insists that more often than not every ailment will have a psychosomatic etiology. More importantly, the therapeutic approach is focussed not exclusively at the ailment as such, but it is directed at the patient as a human being. Thus, the Ayurvedic approach to a patient and his cure is often termed as holistic. The Ayurvedic therapy is either palliative (samanam) or purificatory (sodhanam). The palliative approach stresses on the use of medicaments. The famous Panchakarma therapies and the supportive Kerala special therapies belong to the purificatory approach. In both cases, proper control of food and behavioural habits is a necessary component for achieving perfect cure. The human constitution and the condition of his ailment are ensconced in a three-factorial humoural (tridosha) frame-work which itself is a derivation from the five-factorial (panchabhautic) macrocosmic frame-work. Medicaments, the tools for dealing with a condition of ailment, are also perceived to belong to these two axiomatic frame-works.

History of Ayurveda

Ayurveda is a monumental contribution of India to the world. As the name implies, Ayurveda (ayuh : life, veda : knowledge) is an organized body of knowledge of healthy living. Systematized knowledge is science, and it is an expression of human creativity. Since creativity has diverse expressions science is a multifaceted enterprise, which refers to different ways of knowing. So the term science need not be confined to the sense of the term used in modern western culture, where it is an institutionalized practice conditioned by a set of conventional rules. This realization about the vast conceptual framework of science is mandatory for the appraisal of Ayurveda, which represents a well-codified human care system and speaks of the art and science of health and healing.- From where and when the stream of Ayurveda started flowing still remains unanswered. However, it has an uninterrupted history of more than 3000 years. The historians and scholars have their own arguments and reasons in fixing up different time frames. Anyway, one thing can be said for certain that there is no civilization in the world, which has not developed some system of medicine or the other. It was the periodic systematization of such medical knowledge and practice, which led to the development of medical science. The same is the story of Ayurveda with its own variations.

It could be seen that Ayurveda is rooted in the knowledge revealed by ancient seers whose insights and visions are compiled in thevedas. Vedas are the earliest forms of documented knowledge. The six systems of Indian philosophy - nyaya, vaiseshika, sankhya, yoga, mimamsa and vendanta acknowledged the authority of vedas. Of the four vedas, Atharvaveda contain more intimate reference to medical knowledge and practice. Ayurveda is therefore considered as an auxiliary limb (upaveda) of Atharvaveda. Similarly, the influence of classical Indian Philosophies, especially of sankhya and vaiseshika is apparent in ayurvedic literature. These philosophical moorings make Ayurveda more than a medical manual though it is radically health oriented.

Ayurveda does not go deep into philosophy after a certain stage and is more concerned with function and dysfunction of the human body, the orderly up keep of which is the prime requisite to fulfill the human aspirations and to achieve the ultimate goals of life. Ayurveda can thus be introduced as a system of medicine built on philosophical foundation that does not go on changing over time. Ayurveda, as any other biological discipline, is dynamic at operational level. Obviously the super structure of Ayurveda is flexible and flexible enough for appropriate extrapolation. This unique feature makes the art of healing down to earth practical in tune with the changing trends and needs of the human life. In short, Ayurveda has a unique self-designed axiomatic framework as its foundation, which remarkably holds out a truly global vision. It assumes fundamental continuity between all elements of universe and as a natural extension of this ideology perceives man as an integral part of nature. Ayurveda underscores the fundamental commonalties observed in man and nature and attempts to explain the human life in its totality.

It starts by saying that purusha, the individual being, is a blend of soul, mind, sense organs and body. The structural and functional units of the human body are categorized and represented in Ayurveda in terms of bio physico chemical energies of the living body(doshas), tissues (dhatus) and metabolic end products (malas).

Health is defined as a state wherein the dynamic balance of doshas, dhatus and malas is maintained, the metabolism is at optimum level and soul, mind and sense organs assume sublime position. This definition fully agrees with the integral vision of health envisaged by WHO; the former has an additional dimension of sound spirituality. -The structural and functional units of human body are composed of five basic elements known as panchabhutas. Panchabhutas literally mean the five elements, which include the earth, the water, the fire, the wind and the space. Each one of them wields an influence on certain part of the human constitution. For example, every opening in the body, the ears and the voids and internal sounds of the body are all belonging to the element of space. The element of fire influences the human form and its glow, the eyes, the bodily heat, the digestive activity and also the feelings of anger and valour. Recognition of this identical elemental basis of human body and outside world has profound implications in the practice of medicine. Diseases are the manifestations of perturbations in the equilibrium of body constituents including doshas. Perturbation involves the increase or decrease of body constituent as the case may be.

According to Ayurveda, medicine is that which being well administered becomes an equalizer of increased or diminished elements, that brings down the excessive one and augments the deficient one thus restoring the pre-morbid condition of the body. This concept leads to the realization that there is nothing in the world, which cannot be used as medicament. Ayurveda considers him as the best physician who knows the science of administration of drugs with due reference to clime, and who applies it only after examining each and every patient individually. To acquire this proficiency and competency, a comprehensive knowledge of human anatomy and physiology, disease process, medical and surgical treatment, psychiatry, preventive medicine, medical ethics, materia medica and pharmacology is indispensable. The content of Ayurveda embraces all the spheres separately, but emphasizing on a holistic vision.

Ayurveda in Kerala

The ideal geographic location of Kerala and its salubrious climate has made external purification and rejuvenation therapies most effective for treatment of many psychosomatic disorders. - The high humidity in Kerala helps to open up the body pores and the medicinal oils used in massaging get easily absorbed into the body there by increasing the effectiveness of the treatment. Sirodhara, Pizhichil, Navarakizhi, Thalapothichil, Pachakizhi and Podikizhi are some of the kerala special ayurvedic procedures.

The fundamentals of Ayurveda being practised and taught in Kerala are not different from those of the rest of the country, in their essence and philosophy. But in the present days, there indeed is a notable difference in certain aspects of Kerala tradition of Ayurveda. This difference pertains to the importance given to Vagbhata’s Ashtangahridayam in preference to other classical texts by Kerala traditional physicians, the uninterrupted history of practising the classical panchakarma therapies in all their authentic fidelity, the innovative development of the reputed Kerala preparatory therapies and finally the wide variety of exclusive herbal based formulations overshadowing the use of metal and mineral based drugs. The development of Ayurveda in Kerala is particularly noted for its origins in non-brahminical traditions even before the entry of classical Ayurveda in the early centuries of the Christian era. These two streams subsequently blended so well that it gave a unique strength to the health care tradition of Kerala. Selected few brahmin households, named generally as Ashtavaidyas, were bestowed with the responsibility of maintaining the Ayurvedic tradition by practising it as a health care service as well as by teaching its principles in the unique gurukula tradition. The traditional practitioners of Ayurveda considered Ashtangahridaya as a primary text. Several commentaries were written by experts here. More importantly, new texts were written in Kerala both in Malayalam and Sanskrit. Sahasrayogam, Chikilsamanjari, Vaidyamanorama are just a few examples. These and similar other Kerala texts still remain sources of very useful information on formulation, medicinal plants and therapies. Another very important contribution by Kerala physicians is the continued practice and enrichment of the panchakarma therapy. Even when they became defunct in the rest of the country due to socio-political reasons, Kerala retained this therapeutic wealth in all its pristine essence. Texts were written here on its practical aspects. More importantly, the famous Kerala special therapies were evolved by the practitioners here. They are essentially preparatory in nature. Dhara, mukkippizhichil, navarakkizhi, etc are typical examples. As the practice of Ayurveda expanded in popular acceptance in the recent past, these treatment modalities have also become more prevalent. There are several unique herbal formulations described in Kerala texts. Many of them have now received national level acclaim and they are included in the Ayurvedic Formulary of India. One important aspect of Kerala formulations is that the stress is more on herbal components rather than on metals or minerals. There is also the history of Ayurvedic physicians developing some areas of specialisations like paediatrics, ophthalmology, martial therapy, etc. The establishment of Arya Vaidya Sala in 1902 by Vaidyaratnam P.S. Varier was a logical development in the Kerala tradition of Ayurveda. He blended modern pharmaceutical procedures and classical Ayurvedic traditions. He introduced formal teaching systems in line with modern University education. He wrote teaching aids. And it was at Arya Vaidya Sala that a Hospital for imparting classical therapies in an organised manner was first set up in 1924 as a Charitable Hospital and then in 1954 as a major Hospital facility.

Medicines

There is a variety of Ayurvedic medicines. Arya Vaidya Sala manufactures more than 530 classical formulations which fall in the following nine categories:

1. Arishta / Asava (Fermented formulation) 2. Bhasma (Calicinated drug) 3. Churna (Powdered herb) 4. Ghrita (Ghee based) 5. Gulika (Pill) 6. Kashaya (Decoction) 7. Leha (Electuary) 8. Rasakriya (Collerium) 9. Taila / Kuzhampu (Oil based) - These formulations are adapted from several classical text books. Their manufacture and marketing are licensed by the Drug Controlling Authority of the State Government. The manufacturing activity is also granted GMP certification by the Government. The principles and methodology of medicine preparation are based on classical tenets. However modern technological and industrial methods are adapted to possible extent. For example, basic cooking is now done in pharmaceutical grade stainless steel vessels by using steam as the source of heat. Vacuum evaporation is employed for concentration step. Several electro-mechanical equipments are used for size reduction of herbs, pulverisation, sifting, grinding, filling and packing, etc. Similarly, Quality assurance procedures have also been adapted considerably from the methods of modern chemistry and physics. On an average, 20-30 herbs are used in the preparation of a medicine. There are rare instances when more than a hundred herbs go into the making of a medicine. There are others which take months to get prepared as a lot. Ayurvedic medicine manufacture is material-intensive, time-intensive, labour-intensive and also water-intensive. They form the main cost contributory factors.

Arya Vaidya Sala uses more than 4000 tons of raw material (about 600 items) in a year to produce 530 formulations for the market. A rough estimate of annual consumption by Arya Vaidya Sala:

1.-Milk—13 lakh litre 2.-Oil—5 lakh litre 3.-Ghee—180 ton 4.-Honey—290 ton 5.-Jaggery—750 ton 6.-Saffron—856 kg 7.-Cardamom—14 ton 8.-Tippali—30 ton 9.-Ativitayam—12 ton 10.-Kurumtotti—480 ton

Quantum of total production Solid formulations—700 ton Fluid formulations—31 lakh litre Total number—530 items These formulations are made available to patients and doctors through a network of 22 branches and more than 1200 authorised dealerships spread all over the country. Recently, Arya Vaidya Sala has embarked on a venture of modernising some of the conventional dosage forms by converting them into more user compliant forms. Example :

 a) Bitter tasting liquid kashayam into the more convenient form of tablet.
 b) Incinerated Bhasmam into more reliable and accurate dosage form of capsule.
 c) Messy and greasy tailam into more convenient and less greasy form of gel.

All these modifications are attempted only after confirming about retaining the original quality of the traditional medicines by conducting a series of formulation and clinical studies.

Ayurvedic Hospital and Research Centre, Kottakkal The Hospital complex has four treatment blocks consisting of 155 accommodation units. These blocks consist of spacious and comfortable family quarters, double rooms and single rooms, all equipped and furnished on modern lines with telephone facilities.

Established in 1954, this Hospital complex is, perhaps, the first of its kind where all the classical panchakarma and Kerala special preparatory therapies were made available to patients in an organised manner under the umbrella of a modern Hospital facility. It started functioning on the occasion of the Golden Jubilee celebrations of Arya Vaidya Sala. This Hospital evolved and established modern standards of quality and operational procedures for the classical therapies. It is recognised now as a model referral Hospital. It expanded in size and reach during its very fruitful existence in the past five decades. It has now four blocks consisting of different types of accommodation including suites, A/c and non A/c flats, double / single rooms etc. It is located in a salubrious environment with a view of the typical Kerala greenery around it. Many are the celebrities, dignitaries and national and international personalities who came to Kottakkal and stayed at this Hospital to receive genuine classical Ayurveda therapy. Presently, about 30% of the patients coming for solace at this Hospital are from abroad; mostly from the West European, Middle East and North American countries. The Hospital celebrated its 50th anniversary of service to ailing humanity. Celebrated professionals like Dr. M.S. Valiathan, Acharya Sriram Sharma, Justice Paripoornan were among those who spoke on the occasion.

All activities right from consultation/registration to discharge are computerised and thus in a position to deliver quality service and attention at all times. Internet facility is also made available in the campus itself. The same is provided in selected VIP rooms based on request. There is an Internet Cafe in the campus itself where the patients can surf at a nominal rate and also keep in touch with friends and relatives while in hospital through e-mail. The Internet Cafe which is open from 3.00 p.m. to midnight would provide an additional channel of effective communication and a prompt source of information on global level.

Medicine Despatch Medium

Medium for sending medicines is either through Registered Parcel, Courier, or VPP. But this facility is available from Kottakkal only. In addition to this, medicines can also be purchased from the nearest branch/authorised dealerships where the patients reside.

Canteen Facility

There is a well-equipped canteen serving pure vegetarian dishes for the benefit of the in-patients. In addition to North Indian and South Indian dishes, Chinese dishes are also served. Special Thali meals for patients are also available.

Library Facility

A general library is functioning in the hospital at Kottakkal for the benefit of the patients and bystanders. Its collection includes books of general interest as well as professional literature.

Ayurvedic Hospital and Research Centre, Delhi

In order to fulfill the longstanding demand of patients from the Northern parts of India and abroad this 35 bed full fledged hospital was started in Delhi in the year 2000. The diagnostic and therapeutic procedures as well as the authentic medicaments used are exactly the same as being employed at Ayurvedic hospital at Kottakkal. Expert medical and paramedical staffs with skill and experience gained at Kottakkal are in position here. The Hospital is equipped with traditional treatment facilities and manned by a dedicated team of Ayurvedic Physicians and therapists.

Common ailments are treated effectively by using genuine ayurvedic medicines which are manufactured in Kottakkal. Chronic ailments like Arthritis, Paralysis, Skin diseases etc. are managed by giving internal medicines and various therapies like Panchakarma and Kerala Special treatments. Feasibility and modality of treatments are decided only after examining the patient. Necessary inputs from modern investigations are taken for case study. Normal course of inpatient treatment is 14 – 28 days.

There are three types of accommodation viz. A/c rooms, Non-A/c Rooms & General Ward.

Facilities in an A/C Room: Single bedded air-conditioned (Cooling/Heating) rooms. Self contained with attached treatment room. Telephone, Individual Wardrobe, writing table, bedside locker ,Television ,Refrigerator, News Paper, High speed Wi-Fi internet access and a sofa-cum-bed for attendant.

Facilities in a Non-A/C Room: Single bedded, self-contained Non-air-conditioned rooms without attached treatment room. Telephone, Individual Wardrobe, writing table, bedside locker Television , News Paper, High speed Wi-Fi internet access and sofa-cum-bed for attendant . During summer season Cooler will be provided.

General Ward : 3 bedded hall . treatment & wash room are common. Bedside locker is available with each bed.

The hospital is located at Karkardooma in East Delhi. It is well connected to New Delhi by Vikas Marg Road. Distance from Delhi Airport is about 40 Kms and from Nizamuddin Railway station is 16 Kms.

Ayurvedic Hospital and Research Centre, Aluva

The hospital offers Kerala special treatments as well as the Panchakarma and other Ayurvedic treatments like different kinds of Vasti viz. Prishtavasthi, urovasthi , etc. Snehapanam, Pichu, Podikkizhi, Pachakkizhi, Tarpanam ,etc. Well qualified and experienced medical and supervisory staff render efficient service to the patients. The hospital functions on all days.

The Ayurvedic Hospital & Research Centre, Aluva is situated in a sylvan & salubrious complex. The atmosphere is calm and serene.

Ayurvedic Hospital and Research Centre, Kochi Kottakkal Arya Vaidya Sala and the significant role it played in the last century in raising the ancient Indian healthcare system of Ayurveda to its original position of glory have been well documented in the annals of Indian renaissance history. It has been nationally recognised as an authentic practitioner and honest propagator of Ayurveda. Arya Vaidya Sala and its place of origin, Kottakkal, are traditionally recognised to be synonymous with classic and authentic Ayurveda. A Keralite does not need any introduction to what Arya Vaidya Sala stands for and what it has achieved in more than 105 years of its glorious existence.

Kochi, the booming commercial capital of Kerala and the soon-to-be IT hub is now all set to have a modern and authentic Ayurveda Hospital. Kottakkal Arya Vaidya Sala is bringing to Kochi its century old expertise in healing of human suffering, by opening the new Ayurvedic Hospital and Research Centre at Thrikkakkara. Arya Vaidya Sala’s association with Kochi is 50 years old starting with the opening of a Branch Office at M.G. Road in 1957.

It was at the Ayurvedic Hospital and Research Centre at Kottakkal that modern standards were set for Panchakarma and Kerala special therapies. Thousands of gravely ill people have come and stayed at Kottakkal to receive the healing treatments at the hands of expert doctors and skilled paramedical staff. The services of the same doctors and support staff are made available at the Thrikkakkara Hospital. All the Kottakkal medicines are made available here. The location is ideal for convalescing. The hospital will be a wellness centre. Thrikkakkara is in the middle of the city and yet away from the disturbing hustle and bustle of the noisy metropolis and it is easily accessible by road, rail and air. Hospital provides both in-patient and free out-patient facilities. In house expertise of doctors and staff members. Walk-In treatment for patients residing close to the hospital. Air-conditioned rooms, VIP and mini suites available. Library and canteen on premises. Appropriate back up arrangements to deal with clinical emergencies. Yoga sessions. All rooms with TV connection, Secured Internet connectivity and direct dial facilities.

Charitable Hospital, Kottakkal

The Arya Vaidya Chikitsa Sala was established in 1924 at Kottakkal. The main wing of Arya Vaidya Sala's charitable activities, the hospital provides free Ayurvedic and Allopathic treatments to the poor and needy patients. It also operates a Maternity Home, a Surgical Unit, a Panchakarma Ward, a Clinical Research Ward and a Poison Treatment Ward. It is presently engaged in conducting clinical research in the fields of cancer, rheumatoid/osteo arthritis and is also collaborating in clinical research on sickle cell anaemia.- The establishment of Charitable Hospital is very significant not only in the history of Arya Vaidya Sala but in the history of the evolution of Ayurvedic system of health care also. P.S. Varier established this facility for imparting practical instruction to the students of his Ayurveda College. He set up an Allopathic wing also, to function separately from Ayurvedic wing, for giving lessons in anatomy, physiology and surgery. These wings are continuing to function parallely even now, but on a much larger scale. The patients can opt either Ayurvedic or Allopathic course of treatment. About 1000 patients attend the out patient unit every day. Allopathic drugs are bought from the market by Arya Vaidya Sala and given free to the patients. The classical Ayurvedic medicines are also given free to the patients. The IP unit, which can accommodate about 140 patients at a given time, provides medicines, therapy, food and accommodation free of cost to needy patients. This free service amounted to Rs. 4.5 crores in recent years. More importantly, the Charitable Hospital facility, over the period of time, has expanded its areas of operation. It has become a centre for clinical research. Cancer, diabetes, rheumatoid and osteo arthritis and sickle cell anaemia are the areas in which clinical research is being carried out. There is an Ethical Committee and Clinical Research Committee which supervise the research activities.

CMPR

An important milestone in our march for the attainment of higher objectives in the field of medicinal plants research is the establishment of the Centre for Medicinal Plants Research. This was made possible by the generous funding from Sir Dorabji TATA Trust, Mumbai. The work on CMPR was initiated by Arya Vaidya Sala in June 2002 with a view to satisfying a long felt need for an Institution for conservation and study of medicinal plants used in Ayurveda. The new building comprising an administrative block, botany, phytochemistry and tissue culture laboratories was inaugurated by His Excellency Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, The President of India on September 25, 2003, in the presence of Sri. A. K. Antony, honourable Chief Minister of Kerala, Dr. M. S. Swaminathan and other dignitaries.

Thrust areas

 Exploration, Collection, Conservation and Documentation of medicinal plants of Kerala and neighboring regions.
 Establishing a medicinal plant gene bank with field, in vitro, and seed bank components.
 Resource mapping of Rare, Endangered and Threatened medicinal plants.
 Detailed investigations on the Crude drugs and their plant sources to establish the genuineness of the source and to evolve standards.
 Botanical, Pharmacognostic, phytochemical and pharmacological profiling of medicinal plants.
 Molecular profiling of important medicinal plants.
 Rapid tissue Culture propagation of important and recalcitrant medicinal plants with a view to widen the resource base to the Ayurvedic industry and also to repopulate the forest niches.
 Analysis, extraction, identification, study and utilization of the bioactive principles from medicinal plants.
 Screening of germplasm of the important medicinal plant species for locating superior chemotypes and genotypes.
 Processing and value of addition of medicinal plants.
 Popularization of medicinal plant cultivation on a large scale and also to supply genuine planting material for commercial cultivation and to the people of the rural areas.
 Establishing a data bank on the medicinal plants of Kerala.

Major Divisions

The centre has established laboratories /facilities for the study of the following:

 Taxonomy-  Tissue culture
 Genetic resources-  Phytochemistry
 Anatomy-  Extension activities

Main Facilities

 Infrared spectrophotometer, Ultraviolet spectrophotometer, HPLC, Research microscope with photographic attachment and Stereo Microscope.
 Tissue culture facility for large scale propagation of selected medicinal plants.
 Field Gene Bank for Medicinal Plants.
 In vitro gene bank for medicinal plants.
 Expertise for conducting field survey, identification and chemical screening of medicinal and aromatic plants.
 Image library of medicinal plants.
 Library on medicinal and aromatic plants.

Taxonomy Exploration, identification, collection and documentation

Forest Exploration -Exploration, identification, collection and documentation of the known and lesser known rare and endangered taxa used in Ayurvedic system of traditional medicine from various localities in the southern states of India i.e. Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, in order to study the extent of rarity and intra-specific variations.

National Gene Bank for Ayurvedic Medicinal Plants (NGBAMP) Collection of germplasm of the known and lesser known rare and endangered taxa used in Ayurvedic system of traditional medicine from various localities in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh to develop a live bank of variants of medicinal plants.

Seed Bank A seed gene bank of rare, endangered and endemic Ayurvedic medicinal plants possessing orthodox seeds for conserving genetic diversity at different temperatures is being maintained.

Herbarium and Raw Drug Museum (HRDM)- Inauguration of the Field Gene Bank by Dr. P.K. Warrier Enrichment of the existing herbarium and raw drug museum of Ayurvedic medicinal plants has been started by adding new ones collected during the survey trips.

Plant Image Library (PIL) Consists of images of medicinal plants, rare, red-listed and endemic ones with necessary details

Digitized Database of Medicinal Plants (DDMP) This database will consist of all the information on medicinal plants such as names in different languages, description, distribution, anatomical, phytochemical, taxonomical characters and medicinal importance together with relevant photographs.

Anatomy

Anatomical characterisation of controversial raw drug used in Ayurvedic medicines to evolve standards for genuine source plant from the spurious ones.

 Micromorphological status of plant part using simple microtechnique and photomicrography.
 Histological studies of different useful plant parts using microtechnique and photomicrography.
 Cellular structure identification using maceration technique.
 Comparative anatomical studies of genuine/substitute and adulterant raw drugs.
 Standardisation of the genuine source plant using cellular and histological characters.

Phytochemistry

 Comparative chemical profiling of raw drug and their different source plants
 Chemical profiling of selected medicinal plants
 Chemical prospecting of medicinal plants and characterization of biologically active compounds
 Pharmacological evaluation of isolated bioactive component by both in vivo and in vitro methods

Tissue Culture

 Standardisation of micropropagation protocols for important and endangered medicinal plants
 Conservation of genetic resources of important and endangered medicinal plants in in vitro gene bank
 Large scale multiplication of selected medicinal plants for the production planting material

Extension activities Extension activities are being carried out in a big way for creating general awareness among the public on various aspects of medicinal plants such as conservation, cultivation, evaluation, processing and product development.

Clinical related research is aimed at evolving new methods and procedures for dealing with difficult ailments such as cancer and rheumatoid arthritis. For cancer-related research, a package of innovative Ayurvedic medicines is being tried out and the data thus generated is being analysed by a special unit set up for this purpose. About 2000 samples on different types of cancer have so far been collated. Arya Vaidya Sala has collaborated with the Pain and Palliative Care Clinic of the Calicut Medical College in a study to evolve classical Ayurvedic modalities to improve the quality of life of terminal cancer patients. This study has led to a therapeutic procedure, which has been published in an international journal.

Arya Vaidya Sala is also carrying out a study for evolving appropriate cost effective therapeutic procedures for combating rheumatoid and osteo arthritis . Arya Vaidya Sala, in collaboration with the Vivekananda Medical Mission, has recently initiated a study on the potential use of Ayurvedic medicines in the unique occurrence of sickle cell anaemia among the tribal population in Wynad. Arya Vaidya Sala has an ongoing programme on peptic ulcer under the aegis of the Central Council for Research in Ayurveda and Siddha.

A new research project has been initiated on the management of diabetes. Strengthening the critical resource base of medicinal plants has always been considered an important task by Arya Vaidya Sala. The efforts in this regard have been in five major directions, viz., maintaining of demonstration garden, cultivation in natural estates, undertaking collaborative research, collating and publishing reference material and undertaking extension work. An important activity has been in the area of collating and compiling information on the character and use of medicinal plants as found in classical and modern texts. This major work has resulted in bringing out a five volume treatise entitled “Indian Medicinal Plants-A Compendium of 500 Species” (Orient Longman, Chennai, 1994–96).

A demonstration garden is set up in an eight acre plot at Kottakkal. A live collection of 700 scientifically identified medicinal plants, a herbarium and a museum for selected items of correctly identified crude drugs are maintained in this facility. This facility serves as a centre of learning and referencing for professionals, physicians, students, farmers and others. Based on the taxonomic studies made here, several scientific papers and a book entitled “Ayurvedic Drugs and Their Plant Sources (Oxford & IBH, Delhi, 1994) have been published. The garden is a favoured location of visit for informed visitors as well as laypersons. Over 200 acres of medicinal plant estates are being maintained at Mannarghat (Near Palakkad, S India), Kottapuram, Thrikkakara (Near Kochi, S India) and Kottakkal, where large-scale cultivation of rare plant species is organised. These estates also support scientific activities by providing trial cultivation and maintenance of field gene banks. One of the major research projects, entitled “Medicinal Plants (India) Project”, was undertaken in collaboration with the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) of Canada. Twenty endangered medicinal plants of the Western Ghats were studied under this project with respect to their pharmacognosy, propagation and distribution. Several scientific papers and a major compilation entitled “Some Important medicinal Plants of the Western Ghats, India – A Profile” came out of this project. IDRC sponsored a project on harvesting, processing and storage of Ayurvedic raw drugs with the aim of evaluating present practices and evolving new procedures. A programme to set up a Germ Plasm Bank of medicinal plants has recently been initiated with the support of the Department of Biotechnology of the Government of India. The major components of this programme are a field gene bank, an in-vitro bank, a seed bank, a digital database, etc. Extension work has been planned to ensure availability of genuine herbs. Seeds and seedlings from the estates are distributed at nominal cost to farmers. Organic manure from plant residue is also made available to them at a competitive price. Training programmes are organised for the benefit of farmers, NGOs, agricultural officers, etc on cost-effective farming techniques. Arya Vaidya Sala has also been instrumental in setting up a society of farmers for promoting need-based cultivation and marketing of medicinal plants. Future programs include an important drive to generate computer-aided library of plant standards with morphological and anatomical data and to use them for on-line application at medicine manufacture level. 1. DBT Project

The Department of Biotechnology, Govt. of India, has given an extension of the project titled ‘Establishment of a Germplasm Bank for Ayurvedic Medicinal Plants’ for one year To Arya Vaidya Sala with an additional funding of Rs. 12.46 lakhs. Out of the 150 rare, medicinal plants selected for the Field Gene Bank, 136 have been collected so far from South Indian forests with their available variants and planted in the two local estates of Arya Vaidya Sala. Seeds of 35 medicinal plants are stored in the Seed Gene Bank under different temperature and humidity. A Herbarium, Raw Drug Museum, an Image Library, a Digitized Database and an In vitro gene bank have been established under this project. Based on the taxonomic studies done so far, eight scientific papers have been published, 13 communicated to different journals.

2. TATA Project The Anatomy and Phytochemistry divisions undertake pharmacognostic studies of the raw drugs used in Ayurveda with a view to evolve their standards. Using the computer controlled microscopic system, a digitized database of the anatomical standards is being prepared which are used for the floor level checking of the raw drug samples. This facility is being used for checking the authenticity of the raw drugs used in Arya Vaidya Sala. Research paper titled ‘Anatomical markers as a tool to identify genuine ‘asoka, from its common adulterant’, won the best poster award in the 17th Kerala Science Congress held at KFRI, Peechi, on January 30, 2005. 6 research papers have been sent for publication. 8 M.Sc. students have completed their project work. Chemical fingerprint profiles of 25 medicinal plants have been generated in the Phytochemistry division. 8 therapeutically active compounds have been isolated and quantified. In vitro antioxidant studies of 11 plants, chemical fidelity testing of tissue cultured plants of 6 species and quality control studies of 14 raw drugs have been done during the last one year. The division imparted training to 15 postgraduate students. In the Tissue Culture Facility, micropropagation protocols have been standardized for 14 species and protocols have been scaled up in 6 species this year. Based on the work done, four research papers were published and five sent for publication. Training was imparted to 15 post-graduate students from various universities. For promoting medicinal plant cultivation in association with Estate Department, 15 seminars were organized in different parts of Kerala. About 550 farmers from different localities were given training on cultivation practices, semi-processing, sustainable utilization and market potential of medicinal plants. A tie up with selected farmers under eight Krishi Bhavans in Malappuram district was made to buy back Kattupatavalam and Atapathiyan. Nearly 15,000 plants (tissue cultured plants, seedlings etc) and seed material were distributed to farmers. Classes were taken to schoolchildren to create awareness on conservation of our medicinal plant resources. The selected managers of various Nationalized Banks were trained on the need for supporting the farmers in medicinal plant cultivation.

3. ICMR project A project titled ‘Quality standardization of Indian Medicinal Plants’ has been sanctioned by the Indian Council for Medical Research, New Delhi in March 2005 for a period of three years with a total outlay of Rs. 20.54 lakhs. The project aims at developing quality standards of 33 medicinal plants using anatomical and phytochemical parameters. The work has been initiated.}

4. KSCSTE Project The Kerala State Council for Science, Technology and Environment has sanctioned a project titled ‘Micropropagation and in vitro conservation of Operculina turpethum and genetic fidelity analysis’ in March 2005 for a period of 3 years for Rs. 5.94 lakhs.

5. NMPB project National Medicinal Plants Board has sanctioned a project titled ‘Large scale micro-propagation and organic home-stead farming of medicinal plants in rural areas as a means of economic empowerment of rural women in three districts of Northern Kerala’ for three years. Product related research has been undertaken in the following four areas :

 New Product Development
 Establishing standards for conventional  formulations
 Establishing standards for raw herbs
 Establishing stability factors-

The New Product Development activity has two components. The first is the efforts towards designing new drug formulations based on classical knowledge and past experience. These drugs are optimised formulations for dealing with the new ailments of modern man as well as the conventional ailments. Secondly, a project is progressing to improve the dosage presentation forms of conventional formulations in order to render them more user-compliant. The aim of this programme is to convert some of the classical dosage forms like Kwathas, Bhasmas and Taila, which are not readily accepted by modern generation into more agreeble forms of tablets, capsules, gel etc.. without compromising the essential quality of drug. Several kwatham and gulika tablets and bhasmam capsules are already in the market which have come out of this project. The project is continuing and is entering in the new area of gel preparation. The standardisation effort is designed to generate HPTLC based finger prints for finished products as well as for selected raw materials. The objective is to generate modern validation parameters for classical products. The kashaya formulations need appropriate preservation. A project is progressing aimed at optimising preserving method and in establishing correct stability factor.

Process Related -The traditional Ayurvedic medicine processing methods are highly material intensive. Additionally, time, labour and water are also high cost factors. A pilot level research activity employing a Solid Liquid Extraction System (SLES) is progressing, which aims at developing new optimised and rationalised process methods. The crucial component is retaining the basic quality of the product at the original level.

All these in-house research programmes are planned and executed with the purpose of enhancing the inherent strengths of Ayurvedic system. Modern scientific instruments and tools are employed to equip the Ayurvedic system to meet the challenges of modern times.

Arya Vaidya Sala is accredited by the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research as a Scientific and Industrial Research organisation.

Research – Collaborative Arya Vaidya Sala is engaged in major research collaborations. The most important among them is the collaboration with the apex national research body, the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). The thrust area of this collaboration is to make scientific efforts to locate and identify bioactive molecules in classical Ayurvedic formulations. The aim is to design modern medicaments which will satisfy global drug standards. Several CSIR laboratories are involved in this major endeavour. Some very encouraging results in the form of new formulations and new molecules have emerged from the programme. Some of them are being patented internationally. It is envisaged that some very significant products of global acceptance will come out of this programme. Another collaboration with the Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT) of Hyderabad under partial support from the Department of Science and Technology looked at the possibility of developing optimised and rationalised improvements in classical medicine preparation procedures. The Project has resulted in the establishment of a Solid Liquid Extraction System (SLES) in the Pilot Plant of Arya Vaidya Sala which makes it possible to undertake various process trials under controlled experimental conditions. The Project also succeeded in designing and establishing a Computer Controlled Herb Authentication System (HERBAS) at the Centre for Medicinal Plants Research (CMPR) at Kottakkal. This was designed by the Central Electronics Engineering Research Institute (CEERI), Chennai. This unique equipment has enabled CMPR to establish visual images of anatomical cross-sectional pictures of several medicinal plants. The software of HERBAS helps in generating, storing and retrieving such standard images for regular plant identity checks. Arya Vaidya Sala is a partner of the New Millennium Indian Technological Leadership Initiative (NMITLI) of CSIR in a major multi-component drug development programme. Recently Arya Vaidya Sala has also joined the Golden Triangle Programme (GTP) initiated by CSIR, ICMR and DST for drug standardisation. Yet another major collaborative programme is the one on physico-chemical characterisation of bhasmas initiated jointly with the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, with support from ICMR. All these collaborative programmes of research are intended to generate modern scientific data which will help Ayurveda to expand the reach and depth of Ayurvedic knowledge base.

Quality Control

The QA Department and the QC laboratory under its purview are continuously engaged in efforts to ensure the quality of the medicines being made at the two Factories. Modern scientific principles and methods are employed in the analytical laboratory to test and certify the quality and fidelity of the raw materials and finished products. Parameters and methods specified by The Bureau of Indian Standards and the Pharmacopoeial Standards of the Government of India are employed for the purpose.-

In-house standards are developed and implemented in required cases. Analytical and instrumental methods are employed for the purpose.

Ensuring good quality is an integral component of medicine manufacture. The classical Ayurveda texts have prescribed methods for achieving this objective. Presently, the principles and tools of modern science are also profitably adapted for this purpose. The medicines produced at the two Factories of Arya Vaidya Sala go through rigorous quality checks at the Quality Assurance Department and the Quality Control Cell. The QA Department is a modern laboratory where modern infrastructure and scientific skill are available for employing scientific testing methods. The QC Cell consists of physicians who check the classical organoleptic characteristics.

The QA Department is equipped to test the quality of both raw materials and finished products. For this purpose, the quality standard parameters and analytical procedures prescribed by the Bureau of Indian Standards and the Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of the Government of India are accepted. The expertise available with the Centre for Medicinal Plants Research and the Herb Garden also helps in this activity. The raw materials, on arrival and on approval, are received and used for medicine production. Those items, which fail the test, are rejected.

In the case of finished products, the standard parameters and analytical procedures prescribed in the Pharmacopoeial Standards for Ayurvedic Formulations of the Government of India are made use of. The quality certificate issued from the QA Department forms a part of the Batch Manufacturing Record of each batch of medicine. This procedure is an inherent aspect of the Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) followed in the production units. The organoleptic characteristics of the finished products are ascertained by the expert physicians of the QC Cell.

Thus, the quality of the medicines produced by Arya Vaidya Sala is ensured by adopting a comprehensive approach comprising both classical and modern practices.

Out Establishments

Factories Arya Vaidya Sala manufactures more than 500 classical formulations. The manufacturing activity takes place at two centres, one at Kottakkal and the other at Kanjikode near Palakkad. Both Factories operate on manufacturing license issued by the Drugs Controller of the State and both possess GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) certificate issued by the Government. The important feature of the two Factories is the fact that the basic principles and practices of medicine manufacture are still based on the specifications in the classical text books. At the same time, extensive mechanisation has taken place as a necessary consequence of adapting industrial methods. This change is essential when scaled up and bulk level production of medicines becomes necessary. All the processing activities are done in pharmaceutical grade stainless steel vessels. There are several electro-mechanical equipments which are employed for achieving efficiency in production. Major areas where mechanisation has been incorporated are: Fire wood has completely been replaced by boiler generated steam for boiling purpose. There is 15 tons/hr and 6 tons/hr steam generating capacity at Kottakkal and Kanjikode respectively. Major functions like disintegration, sifting, filtration, concentration, incineration, compression, filling, blistering, packing, etc are done with the aid of heavy equipments. The introduction of modern dosage presentation forms of tablets and capsules has also necessitated the incorporation of modern pharmaceutical machinery like punching machine, mass mixer, granulator, drier, blender, encapsulation equipment, blister packing machine, etc. Both the Factories work round the clock in three shifts. More than 600 personnel are engaged in manufacturing activity including work-men, and supervising, clerical and support staff. Every Section of the two Factories is managed by qualified and trained Physicians under the overall control of a Factory Manager and Production Manager. The production activity is scheduled by the Production Planning Unit. It draws up annual / monthly / weekly / daily production schedule by taking into account the requirement of the Marketing Department and by maintaining close association with the Materials Department, Factory Managers and Finance Department. The operations of the Factories are supported by Personnel Department, QA Department and Engineering Department. Personnel Department takes care of human resources development related matters. There is a Labour Welfare Officer who works closely with the recognised Unions of the workmen and associates with the Personnel and Production Departments. QA Department has a well-equipped laboratory and trained chemists. They carry out regular analytical tests to ensure the quality of raw materials as well as that of finished products. Issue of a Quality Certificate is a necessary step for accepting every item of raw materials. Standards specified by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) are generally followed in the QC Laboratory. The QC Certificate issued by the QA Department forms an integral part of the Batch Manufacturing Record (BMR) of every product. In the case of finished products, the Pharmacopoeial Standards specified by the Government of India are followed. A high level Quality Control Cell comprising senior physicians examines samples from every batch of products. Engineering Department looks after procurement, installation and maintenance of the plant and machinery of the Factories. Under the control of Sr. Manager (Engg.), there are electrical / mechanical / classical Engineers and a Maintenance Engineer looking after the functions of the Department, which are manned by about 70 skilled and professionally qualified workmen. Additionally, there is Civil Engineering Department under the control of an Executive Engineer, which looks after the civil construction and maintenance requirements. There is heavy transfer of information and data between different Sections of the Production Units as well as between different Departments and the Factories, which crucially influence the speed and correctness of Factory operations. Appropriate software for information / data transfer and for passive control of work have been specially got prepared for this purpose. A full-fledged IT Department maintains the database in addition to designing/upgradation of software as per the changing requirements

Marketing Arya Vaidya Sala produces more than 500 classical formulations. All these medicines are made available to needy patients across the country through a chain of authorised Dealers. These Dealers have their own premises and they stock exclusively Arya Vaidya Sala medicines. Services of qualified Physicians are also made available in all the Dealerships.- Arya Vaidya Sala has more than 1200 authorised dealerships. Medicines are supplied to dealers from our Maketing Department. The Dealership network is under the control of Marketing Department at Kottakkal. The team at Marketing department plans the logistics of supply and accounting

Estates The Ayurvedic medicine industry is critically dependent upon uninterrupted supply of raw herbs. It means that medicinal plants of right quality should be available in right quantity for the sustained growth of Ayurvedic medicine industry. It is a fact that the expanding Ayurvedic industry has had an impact on the raw herb supply position. Arya Vaidya Sala has recognised the importance of the natural resource base and has taken comprehensive steps for strengthening this unique resource base. These steps include cultivation of threatened medicinal plants, promotion of cultivation, supply of seedlings to growers, generation of organic manure, finding new sources of water and supporting efforts for cultivation and trade in medicinal plants. About 220 acres of land has been developed as medicinal plants estates. Several annual, binnial and perennial herbal species are cultivated there for in-house consumption. In fact, Arya Vaidya Sala is now self sufficient in certain items like Atalotakam, Karinkurinji, Nagadandi and Brahmi. There are about a hundred other medicinal plants which are cultivated for supplementing production needs. About 5 lakhs of seedlings are produced for distribution amongst potential cultivators. The Green House facilities of the Centre for Medicinal Plants Research are being used for the generation of seedlings and cuttings. A special type of Shashtika rice is cultivated for medicinal applications. Similarly, special COD and MYD varieties of dwarf coconut trees are planted to meet the demand for tender coconut water for medicine preparation. BSRI variety of gooseberry trees are planted for supplementing its supply for medicine manufacture. The Medicinal Plants Board of Government of India has recognised the efforts of Arya Vaidya Sala in the field of herb cultivation and has extended financial support for strengthening these activities. The special know-how and skill generated in the field of medicinal plant cultivation are transferred to individual farmers and NGOs through a verity of extension and education programmes. With the involvement of the expertise available with the Centre for Medicinal Plants Research, various extension activities are conducted at Panchayat and District levels. Another allied activity is the production of high grade organic manure from the solid herbal residue generated in the Factory. Apart from using this manure for captive consumption, it is also being made available at subsidised cost to the cultivators and farmers. New methods of compost production using micro organisms are also planned. Scarcity of water is a major problem while expanding cultivation activities. Apart from attempting to identify new sub-soil water sources, concerted efforts are made to conserve ground water by setting up ponds and by recycling effluent water discharged from the medicine manufacturing activity.

INITIATIVES IN THE MEDICINAL PLANT SECTOR Strengthening the critical resource base of medicinal plant has always been considered an important task by Arya Vaidya Sala. The efforts in this regard have been in five major directions, viz., maintaining of demonstration garden, cultivation in natural estates, undertaking collaborative research, collating and publishing reference material and undertaking extension work. An important activity has been in the area of collating and compiling information of the character and use of medicinal plants as found in classical and modern texts. This major work has resulted in bringing out a five volume treatise entitled “Indian Medicinal Plants-A Compendium of 500 Species” (Orient Longman, Chennai, 1994–96). A Demonstration garden is set up in an eight acre plot at Kottakkal. A live collection of 700 scientifically identified medicinal plants, a herbarium and a museum for selected items of correctly identified crude drugs are maintained in this facility. This facility serves as a centre of learning and referencing for professionals, physicians, students, farmers and others. Based on the taxonomic studies made here, several scientific papers and a book entitled “Ayurvedic Drugs and Their Plant Sources (Oxford & IBH, Delhi,1994) have been published. The garden is a favored location of visit for informed visitors as well as laypersons. Over 200 acres of medicinal plant estates are being maintained at Mannarghat, Kottapupram, Thrikkakara and Kottakkal, where large scale cultivation of rare plant species is organized. These estates also support scientific activities by providing trial cultivation and maintenance of field gene banks.

One of the major research projects, entitled “Medicinal Plants (India) Project”, was undertaken in collaboration with the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) of Canada. Twenty endangered medicinal plants of the Western Ghats were studied under this project with respect to their pharmacognosy, propagation and distribution. Several scientific papers and a major compilation entitled “Some Important medicinal Plants of the Western Ghats, India – A Profile” came out of this project. IDRC sponsored a project on harvesting, processing and storage of Ayurvedic raw drugs with the aim of evaluating present practices and evolving new procedures. A programme to set up a Germ Plasm Bank of medicinal plants has recently been initiated with the support of the Department of Biotechnology of the Government of India. The major components of this programme are a field gene bank, an in-vitro bank, a seed bank, a digital data base, etc. Extension work has been planned to ensure availability of genuine herbs. Seeds and seedlings from the estates are distributed at nominal cost to farmers, Organic manure from plant residue is also made available to them at a competitive price. Training programmes are organized for the benefit fo farmers, NGOs, agricultural officers, etc.

Temple Vaidyaratnam P.S. Varier consecrated a Temple for Lord Viswambhara in 1932. It is located adjacent to Kailasamandiram, the magnificent residential mansion he built for himself in 1929.

The beautiful and serene idol is carved in white marble. It was got specially made from Agra. He personally anointed it and conducted daily pooja for the idol for an year before installing it at the sanctum sanctorum of the Temple.-

The four-armed Viswambhara is conceived as an incarnation of Lord Vishnu with the divine conch, discus, mace and lotus in the four arms. Ever since installation, strict rituals appropriate to the sanctity and stature of the Temple are conducted rigorously. P.S. Varier also started an annual festival of the Temple in 1934. This seven-day annual festival has become famous for its pomp and cultural importance. Even now the annual festival is a cherished occasion for the aficionados of high culture to come to Kottakkal. All time greats among Kathakali artists and Musicians have been performing during the seven-day festivities at the Viswambhara Temple. The private Temple has become an abode of solace and consolation for a large number of patients visiting Arya Vaidya Sala. The fact that caste and creed were not barriers for entry to the Temple even at the time of its inception has been widely acknowledged.

Museum A historical Museum to perpetuate the memory of Vaidyaratnam P.S. Varier is being established at Kottakkal. It has exhibits of photographs, audio/video displays, artifacts and dyoramas showing important milestones in the celebrated life of P.S. Varier. Along with that, the evolution of Arya Vaidya Sala is also depicted. The Museum provides data and information on the Ayurvedic practice and an audio-visual presentation on the evolution of Ayurveda in general is also set up. The Museum is expected to be of interest to students, lay-public as also professionals. The museum is housed in a heritage building constructed by P S Varier himself in 1924.

Seminars Propagation of Ayurveda is a major objective of Arya Vaidya Sala. Supporting Ayurvedic education and publishing traditional and modern literature on the science and practice of Ayurveda are two major activities in this direction. The third activity is conducting regular academic seminars and meetings for providing a platform for scholars to get together and discuss important academic issues. Holding of Annual Ayurveda Seminar commenced in 1964. It is now a regular annual feature which the Ayurvedic fraternity looks forward to as a useful forum for interaction. Many important topics have been discussed and many national scholars have participated in the past seminars. Proceedings of all the past Seminars are published and they have proved to be very useful reference manuals for professionals and students. List of subjects covered in the Seminar Proceedings: [Note : The list of Seminar proceedings and the subjects covered can be obtained from Publications Department]

National level Essay competition is also held annually and prizes are distributed on the occasion of the Seminar. Rank holding Ayurveda students of the four Universities in the State are given awards annually.

VPSV Ayurveda College P.S. Varier set up a formal education Institution for Ayurveda in 1917. It was the second of its kind in Kerala. It has a history of its own. P.S. Varier took initiative to form an academic council named Aryavaidya Samajam which had academic control over the college, which was then called Aryavaidya Pathasala. P.S. Varier extended all financial support. He taught anatomy and physiology. He himself wrote Sanskrit texts for the purpose, which received acclaim from Ayurvedic scholars. - Originally established at Kozhikode (Calicut, then) a small town near Kottakkal, it was shifted to Kottakkal when he established the Charitable Hospital there. This Hospital provided a centre for practical studies of the students. An allopathic wing was also attached to the Hospital and the doctor taught anatomy and took care of essential surgery in the Hospital.

The Aryvaidya Pathasala was later rechristened as Vaidyaratnam P.S. Varier Ayurveda College and was affiliated to Calicut University. Undergraduate and Postgraduate courses are being conducted there. Arya Vaidya Sala continues to extend financial support to the College.

First Managing Trustee Founder in his will had named the members of the board to administer Arya Vaidya Sala after his demise. Accordingly his nephew Aryavaidyan P. Madhava Varier became the first Managing Trustee in 1944. He was in office till he passed away in a tragic aircrash in 1953. He initiated the process of modernizing of Arya Vaidya Sala and laid down the foundation for many later developments including the nursing home.-

Present Managing Trustee

Dr. P. K. Warrier Managing Trustee & Chief Physician-Aryavaidyan P.K. Warrier became the Managing Trustee on the demise of his brother P.M. Varier. He is leading Arya Vaidya Sala for more than half a century. Dr. P.K. Warrier serves also as the Chief Physician ably assisted by other senior and experienced physicians. Under his leadership Arya Vaidya Sala has grown into a multi-core, multi-unit, organization and has been recognized as the premier centre of Ayurveda in the country. Arya Vaidya Sala became the destination of ailing patients, rich and poor alike, students and scholars from India and abroad. He made Kottakkal the synonym of authentic ayurveda. P.K. Warrier made his imprints as an able administrator, educationist and academician and above all a physician of international repute. Dr. Warrier is the person most sought after in national and international conferences. His most important works are Padamudrakal – a collection of scientific papers and Smrtiparvam, his autobiography.

Honours / awards Dr. P.K. Warrier, a fellow of Academy of Indian Medicine, is the recipient of many honours in the national and international level.

 The All India Ayurvedic conference gave him the title of Ayurveda Maharshi in 1997. 
 The President of India bestowed on him the title of ‘Padmashri’ at Rashtrapatibhavan on 23.3.99.
 Rotary Club of Calicut gave him ‘For the Sake of Honour’ award in 1999. 
 The Calicut University conferred on him honorary degree of D.Litt. on 22.05.99.
 Chilla Pratibha Puraskar was presented to him on 16.1.2000 by the Hon’ble Governor of Tamilnadu. 
 The reputed Bhoopalan Singh Karki special honour was awarded to him at a glittering function held at Kathmandu, Nepal on 15.5.2000. 
 He has been nominated for ‘the pioneers of health in 2000’ award by the SAAOL Health and Research Foundation, New Delhi. 
 The Academy of Ayurveda, Vijayawada conferred on him the ‘Millennium Gold Medal’. 
 He is also the recipient of the Dhanwantari Award instituted by the Dhanwantari Foundation, Mumbai for outstanding medical men. This was presented to him on 4.11.2001.
 Dr. Poulose Mar Gregorios Award was awarded to him by the Rashtrapati in New Delhi on 27.11.2001. 
 The first Adisamman Puraskar instituted by the Academy of Ayurvedic Doctors in India was awarded to him in Calcutta on 29.11.2001. 
 The Kerala Management Association conferred on him the Management Leadership Award for the year 2002. 
 Pandit Shiv Sharma Oration Award was presented to him in Delhi on 13.2.03 by Indian Association for the Study of Traditional Asian Medicine. 
 The Ernakulam Press Club honoured him by presenting 
 PS John Memorial Endowment Award in April 2003. 
 The National Association for Science and Arts (N.A.S.A.), Thiruvananthapuram, conferred on him The Sevanaratnam Award 2003 in June, 2003. 
 Patanjali Puraskaram instituted by the Ayurvedic Medicine Manufactures Organization was presented to him on 11.07.203. 
 Dr. C.P. Menon Memorial Award was awarded to him for his book Padamudrakal on 20.09.2003. 
 C. Achutha Menon Award was presented to him in Trissur by Achutha Menon Society for Human Action on 16.08.2004 . 
 Jamia Hamdard Deemed University, New Delhi conferred on him degree of D.Sc. (Honoris Cauisa) on 14.01.2005.
  Honoured with Padmabhooshan in 2010.

Positions held / holding

 Project Officer, Clinical Research Unit (CCRAS) at Kottakkal.
 Member, Governing Body and Executive Committee of the Kerala Ayurvedic Studies and Research Society, Kottakkal. 
 Member, Ayurveda Advisory Committee and Committee on Drugs Control, under the Government of Kerala. 
 Member, Task Force on Ayurveda & Homeopathy under the State Planning Board and Kerala Bio-diversity Committee. 
 Member, Commission on WTO concerns in Agriculture constituted by Govt. of Kerala. 
 Member, Kerala State Management Association, All India Management Association, etc.
 Member of the Panel of Ayurvedic and Other Systems of Medicine, constituted by the Government of India.
 President of All India Ayurvedic Congress. 
 President, Kerala Ayurveda Mandalam. 
 Member of the Central Council of Indian Medicine, Central Council for Research in Ayurveda and Siddha. 
 Pharmacopoeia Committee member. 
 Member, Scientific Advisory Committee under CCRAS.
 Member, Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia Committee. 
 Member, Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani Drugs Technical Advisory Board under Govt. of India.
 Member of the National Academy of Ayurveda, New Delhi. 
 Member, Standing Committee for Health, Sewerage and Water Supply and Nutrition under the State Planning Board. 
 Vice President of IASTAM (International Association for the Study of Traditional Asian Medicine). 
 Dean, Faculty of Ayurveda & Chairman, Board of Studies in Ayurveda for the University of Calicut twice.
 Member, Travancore-Cochin Medical Council.

Kottakkal Arya Vaidya Sala – An Overview

 Founded in 1902 by the Late Vaidyaratnam P.S. Varier at Kottakkal in Malappuram district of Kerala State.
 The nearest Railway stations in TIRUR (Malappuram Dist), on the Chennai-Mangalore railway line, at a distance of 16 k.m.
 Kozhikode is the nearest airport at a distance of 28 km.
 Kottakkal is situated at a distance of about 165 km from Kochi, 160 km from Combatore and 48 km from Calicut (Kozhikode) by road.
 A Charitable Trust of Public nature having two production units, one at Kottakkal, Malappuram Dist and another at Kanjikode, Palakkad district for the manufacture of about 500 genuine ayurvedic medicines.
 Our Ayurvedic Hospital & Research Centre at Kottakkal has 160 rooms with necessary amenities.
 Provide Panchakarma and other Kerala special treatments under the guidance of expert ayurvedic physicians. These treatments are found effective for various ailments like Paralysis, Arthritis, Spondylosis etc.
 We also have a charitable hospital where deserving poor patients are given both ayurvedic & allopathic treatments, medicines, accommodation and food free of cost.
 Hospitals at other locations across the country other than Kottakkal to provide ayurvedic treatment, to patients from northern parts of India as well as abroad.
 Branches at New Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Secunderabad, Chennai, Coimbatore, Madurai, Trivandrum, Kottayam, Ernakulam(Kochi), Aluva, Calicut, Kannur, Palakkad and Tirur. We also have over 900 authorised dealer network for the sale of our ayurvedic medicines.
 The Late Vaidyaratnam P.S. Varier founded an Ayurveda Pathasala in 1917 for effective propagation of the system of Ayurveda. This Pathasala later became the Vaidyaratnam P.S. Varier Ayurveda College affiliated to Calicut University. The college has Degree and Post Graduate Degree courses in Ayurveda. Provide financial support to the college as per the provisions of the “WILL” of the founder.
 Undertaken the task of planned cultivation of medicinal plants in our various herbal gardens as part of a project of conservation and sustainable use of medicinal plants.
 The Research & Development Department of the institution is actively engaged in research work for modernization of production and quality control of ayurvedic drugs. An Ongoing Research Programme with CSIR-DST-IICT (Govt. of India) is intended to evolve modern standards for materials, processes and products. 
 We have a separate department for the publication of various books on ayurveda and medicinal plants. A Quarterly medical journal “Arya Vaidyan” is published by us.
 Our founder, the late Vaidyaratnam P.S.Varier, a connoisseur of arts, founded a dramatic troupe which was later converted to the famous Kathakali troupe, P.S.V. Natyasangham. This troupe has eminent artistes who stage Kathakali performances in India and abroad.
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