IT HAPPENS ONLY IN INDIA,
GREAT JOB MR. PARMAR
it is good to eat as many as vegetables and fruits (totally vegetarian), but my aurvedic doctor asked me to stop eating every...
Vaidya Balendu Prakash is presently carrying out research work on Rasayan Shastra (metal therapy), based on ayurveda. He has been successfully treating patients suffering from multiple sclerosis and leukaemia. All the medicines used are derived from natural resources. Even though he is a successful Ayurvedic practitioner, the medical community continues to ignore his work. Despite this, he has been treating dozens of Australians, who say that Vaidya Balendu Prakash is their last hope in recovering from Multiple Sclerosis. His efforts in curing of MS has been widely reported by the Australian media. SUJATA PANDEY spoke to the Vaidya on a range of subjects related to ayurveda
Multiple sclerosis has no cure in allopathy. How did you develop an interest and begin your ayurvedic research in this?
My father was a vaidya -- the late Chandra Prakash -- who dealt with Rasayan Shastra in the field of ayurveda. In 1960 he successfully treated a patient suffering from leukaemia. After that he cured 2 more cases with his preparations. That captured my father's interest in the field of leukaemia. In 1973 he made a medicine on his own, using Rasayan Shastra method, and I was there, a young lad still in high school watching with awe. The patient responded, and finally recovered within a short while.
It was my upbringing which exposed me to a whole lot of other diseases, apart from cancer. Chronic bronchitis and infertility also interests me. It was revealed that all these chronic diseases are in some way related and that it can be explained scientifically.
My father passed away after I had completed my graduation in botany and my degree in ayurveda. I have been practising since 1985. I treat most diseases which deal with immune disorders. All, except arthritis. I treat cancer patients as well, mostly patients suffering from leukaemia. ms is also an immune disorder disease. According to the principles of ayurveda, our health depends completely on keeping the immune system healthy. All the medicinal preparations in ayurveda have immuno-modulatory properties.
How is environmental pollution responsible for ms? How effective is metal therapy in combating this?
Rasayan Shastra, or metal therapy is a part of ayurveda. It was developed in the 6th century ad. We have a term in ayurveda called dhatu - which means the body, as well as metal. This means that the basic metals found in nature are existing in man, in some form. Any excess or deficiency will upset the body's metabolic balance. Nowadays, we have an exhausted environment, so much so that minerals and metals found in the air, water and earth are lacking. In this way a "balanced diet" is often not healthy enough. Rasayan Shastra is aimed at balancing the metal content of the body to keep it healthy.
You are a running a medical camp right now. How many patients do you have in the camp?
I have 10 patients in the camp and 3 in my home all suffering from ms. Out of 13, nine are from Australia, 1 from England and the rest are Indians.
How are they responding to your treatment?
After 1 week of treatment, they have all shown remarkable improvement.
Are all of them acute cases?
They are all acute cases, but there are 3 stages of multiple sclerosis. These are the regressive, remitant and chronic progressive. Multiple sclerosis is a disease with variable factors. So the symptoms vary from one stage to the other, and the patients have to be careful against contracting external infections.
Are you treating anybody from cancer currently?
Even though I treat cancer patients, I cannot keep them because I do not have the facilities. But I do have outside patients, who come frequently for consultations. I am dealing with a lot of patients from other countries too.
Are these patients receiving allopathic treatment alongside?
No, when I start ayurvedic treatment, no other treatment is allowed alongside. Prior to my treatment, some of my patients had been receiving allopathic treatment.
Do you have treatments, or developed drugs for any other illnesses, apart from sclerosis or cancer?
I have a medicine called Prak-20. It is a herbo-mineral compound, and it is derived from our traditional books. My father used this formula for treating jaundice. The reports from the G B Pant Hospital's gastro-enterology department speak of the anti-fibrosis properties of this medicine.
You prepare your own medicines. What are the processes and ingredients involved in this?
Rasayan Shastra deals with metals, and mercury is the main metal. Apart from that, gold, silver, lead, iron, copper and zinc are also used. The traditional process of making these medicines involves processing, purification, mixing and grinding in a traditional mortar and pestle. It is a lengthy process.
Do you use any machines to manufacture your medicines?
I should say yes and no, because as far as manufacturing is concerned, I am using some electrical grinders. However, for my scientific research work, I am using computers.
Do you incorporate any ideas from the modern medical sciences to assist you in treating ms and cancer?
Yes, I do. I keep on getting ideas from different sources. I read the New Scientist, Scientific American and other medical journals. Our knowledge of ayurveda is thousands of years old, and it has not been recorded systematically in a scientific manner. I do not want to blame our ancestors, because they have done their best. It is our duty now to document the science in the proper manner. I am trying to understand the traditional knowledge of ayurveda with the help of modern medical language, so that it can be translated to meet the demands of modern medical research and treatment.
When did you set up your research foundation?
I set up this foundation in 1988 in the memory of my late father. Our chief patron is the Vice-President, K R Narayanan. He has encouraged me greatly in establishing this foundation.
Ayurveda has its roots in India. Why is your work not being supported by the medical community here?
We do not have an environment of research in this country. We don't have any pioneer who has contributed to research in India. I am not just talking about the medical sciences -- look at this room, the television, the telephone or the fan -- we did not invent any of these 20th century items. As far as medicines are concerned, we can't claim to have created any of the modern medicines that are included in the world pharmacopoeia. Even what I am doing is not an invention but a re-writing of the traditional ayurvedic knowledge.
I understand that you have received an offer from Indians in California. Should you allow the West to gain from patenting the knowledge which is India, without any gain accruing to our people?
I don't mind collaborating with anybody, or if somebody gets the patent rights of my work. But I don't want that anybody who gets the patent rights will stop me from doing further work. Suppose I am working on something and I collaborate with somebody. We both go for patents - he does not get it, hence I am not allowed to work. The patent will then not safeguard the work, as it will stop me from working on it. It does not concern me whether my work is patented or not. Whatever knowledge I have acquired from my ancestors should be shared in a specific manner.
Are you sponsoring any research work in the field of Rasayan Shastra?
Yes. A girl from Dehra Dun is working on her thesis on metal therapy for the Roorkee University. She began in 1992 and we are sponsoring her through the foundation.
What credibility do big firms, marketing traditional medicine under the name of ayurveda or herbal medicine, have?
They are exploiting ayurveda. It is the faith and belief of people that are being used by these big companies. I have only one question to ask: what is the pharmaceutical formulations of these medicines? How should the medicine be taken? How much of the medicine is to be taken? Who should and who should not take the medicine?
Selling ayurvedic medicines is 1 thing, and establishing the credibility of the medicines is a different matter. The root of the problem is the same: why is it not a part of the world pharmacopoeia? A lot of people who have come to know about the side-effects of allopathic medicines are turning towards ayurveda and herbal medicines, so big companies are able to exploit the name of ayurveda.
Has your work been studied by any government agency?
Once, in 1964, when my father cured his 1st patient, it was studied, and then again in 1988. The 1st report said that there is no doubt the patient has been cured, but it is very difficult to say what made him better, whether it was allopathic treatment or ayurvedic treatment. In 1988, there was another fact-finding committee organised by the Prime Minister's Office, but they wanted the literary basis of my work. And since there is no literary basis of ayurveda that can be produced, it is difficult to convince them.