Good job bringing this to light. People won't realise how huge the problem is and municipalities are woefully ill equipped to...
Agreed; mining can never be sustainable, but then how do you get the metals to make all the things you need in the course of...
Very good piece.
thanks to ayurveda, Subhash Jacob is free from migraine now. The headache was with him for over 30 years. Repeated
attempts at seeking cure from different schools of medicines were ineffective and left him with many side effects. "I am 90 per cent cured after I
took the ayurvedic treatment," says Jacob, a scientist at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.
The treatment that Jacob took was developed in 2002 by Balendu Prakash, the director of the vcpc Research
Foundation in Dehradun, Uttaranchal. A blend of five herbo-mineral drugs mentioned in the ancient ayurvedic texts, the new treatment, according to
Prakash, cures the headache in 120 days. He has trained many traditional practitioners around the country in the system. They later applied the
treatment on more than 400 migraine patients in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra.The findings of their experiments with migraine were
presented at the 13th Congress of the International Headache Society (ihs), Stockholm (see figure Better
The study followed guidelines for traditional medicines set by the World Health Organization, which puts migraine as
19th in the list of causes for 'years lived with disability'--work days lost due to the disease. It is estimated that migraine costs class='UCASE'>us employers over us $24 billion every year.
Prakash and the traditional practitioners conducted the experiments between May 2005 and March 2007 among patients who were suffering from the
most common form of migraine--migraine without an aura. They were advised to rearrange their lifestyle and diet; to give up coffee, chillies, onions
and red meat, to name a few. The drugs given included narikel lavana, sootashekhar rasa, sitopaladi, rasonadi vati, godanti
mishran--a mix of herbs like ginger, turmeric, charcoaled coconut, dhatura, bamboo, and minerals like silver oxide, copper oxide, sulphur
According to the vaidyas--traditional ayurvedic practitioners--the treatment works on the principle that migraine occurs when the
acid-alkaline balance in the stomach is disturbed. This, according to them, leads to increased pitta--a measure used in ayurveda to check a
person's health using the pulse--and affects body functions. "The medicine helps maintain the balance," says S Raghvendra Babu of the Padaav Speciality Ayurvedic Treatment Centre, Bangalore, who co-ordinated the study.
The cure is also dependent on the change in lifestyle of the patients, say experts. Though considered genetic in nature, a variety of environmental
factors trigger migraine--stress, change in weather and the food consumed. Both ayurveda and allopathy cite irregular eating habits like long
intervals between meals as causes for migraine. "Under allopathy, a neurologist treats migraine while in ayurveda it falls under gastroenterology,"
The practitioners pooled data from different clinics and analysed it. "This multi centric documentation of clinical practice is a novel method of
ayurvedic research," says Prakash. But Ish Anand, a neurologist at the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Delhi, does not approve of the research method.
"Double blind study under which the efficacy of a treatment is tested against a placebo is the only way," says Anand.
What makes the ayurvedic treatment significant and more viable? Studies show that patients following allopathic treatments for migraine for long
tend to be dependent on drugs. There have been cases of medicine over-use causing headaches in patients, which demands further medical help.
But the ayurveda method has little side effects and the shorter spell of treatment also reduces treatment cost. A full course of the treatment costs
between Rs 8,000 to 12,000 while a month's medicines cost about Rs 200 in allopathy,
which demands a lifelong treatment.
The global market for allopathic migraine drugs is worth us $3.4 billion; experts, however, say this will go down to
class='UCASE'>us $3.2 billion by 2015 with cheaper drugs reaching the market. In India, the ayurvedic drug industry is ready to tap this
market. Ipca Laboratories, Mumbai, is trying to market the ayurvedic treatment for migraine. This could help the about 20 per cent people suffering
from migraine in India.