Solutions from Nature
Learning from Traditional WisdomComplementary and alternative medicine has been utilized for several years in various parts of the world to alleviate human disease. The preventive role of complementary and alternative medicine, in particular, cannot be overemphasized. “Complementary” implies that it joins conventional medicine as an equal counterpart to make the healing process complete. Alternative medicine substitutes for conventional medicine. It neither works with nor enhances conventional medicine, but rather acts as its replacement. Complementary and alternative medicine has been used for the well-being of the general population, especially when conventional modern medicine has failed to deliver and has also been used at times in conjunction with conventional medicine to obtain synergistic effects.
The traditional Indian System of Medicine, namely, Ayurveda , Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) [8, 9], Japanese traditional medicine (Kampo) , Unani , Siddha, and so forth, belong to the category of complementary and alternative medicines. For some or the other reason the alternative herbal treatment systems have so far been unable to enter mainstream medicine , though serious efforts are being made, in view of their effectiveness, to develop a strong evidence-based standardization of Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani, Traditional Chinese Medical Therapy , and other CAM so that they can aptly fit into the modern medicinal framework.
Ayurveda, the traditional Indian system of medicine, has been widely used since centuries and a number of plants of the Indian subcontinent have been utilized for tackling almost every human ailment. Ayurveda’s focus is more on creating an energetic balance at the higher energetic or inner level. It sees all life and nature as constantly evolving towards a higher level of consciousness . Ayurvedic formulations have an impact at this higher level of consciousness, as well as the more gross body level. Ayurveda seeks to connect us with this intelligence inherent in nature. These profound concepts, based upon an astute understanding of the universal laws and practical observations about the world around, give us the indication about the holistic approach of Ayurveda and its potential in alleviating many health-related problems afflicting the whole of humanity. Several antiviral agents have been isolated from plants as a result of chemical and pharmacological studies in the recent years, and many have been derived from leads based on Ayurvedic and other traditional medicine principles. These agents include a variety of polyphenols, flavonoids, saponins, glucosides, and alkaloids . Here, we discuss various potential herbs that have been evaluated for their efficacy against flu viruses and hence can prove to be useful to combat the novel H1N1 pandemic.